Nong Khai Bars – Down by the Riverside
Nong Khai is a lovely city and the area by Tha Sadet Market on the banks of the Mekong River is my favourite hang out place when I visit there. The market can get very busy and rabid hot. I shop for what I want and then hit one of two bars at opposite ends of the market. Sometimes both. Rimkong Restaurant & Bar and Go Thasadej are two Nong Khai bars I recommend if you’re looking for decent food, reasonably priced drinks and charming staff.
Nong Khai Bars by the Riverside
Go Thasadej is about 15 metres from the left-hand entrance to the market and has been there for many years. The bar has an easy-going, almost sluggish climate, but sometimes that’s just what Doc Holiday prescribes. The staff are ultra-friendly, and the outside seating is perfect for watching Nong Khai’s portrayal of the world go past.
Duckstein, Paulaner and Wethenstephan are all beers with Bavarian links. English cider is an entirely different thing having a strong bond with mad dogs and midday sun. Lao Dark, a trendy beer, is 80 baht a bottle.
The outside seating is a bit squashed, but there’s plenty of room inside. The bar has a regular custom of expats and a few passing tourists too. Go Thasadej isn’t a bouncy, loud music bar, it’s a laid-back, sleepy lunchtime watering hole – slow-slow, not go-go might be the best words to define it.
Food is one reason why Go Thasadej has a steady expat customer base, although its cuisine does receive mixed views on TripAdvisor. From my experience, I can’t understand why.
I certainly had no complaints with the cheeseburger on the right (click to enlarge). Tasty, a big size, plenty of real cheese and easy on the wallet. One of the best burgers I’ve eaten in Thailand. The menu has a nice mix of European and Thai dishes, and its continental and Bavarian breakfasts are popular mid-morning meals.
Rimkong Restaurant & Bar
Rimkong Restaurant & Bar is about 50 metres from the right-hand entrance to Tha Sadet Market and has a view overlooking the Mekong River and neighbouring Laos. It’s a roller shutter, open-air type of place, like so many you see in Thailand’s popular tourist resorts. It wouldn’t look out-of-place in a quiet Pattaya side street.
The restaurant has an ebb and flow of customers – you can be sat on your own one minute and swapping fish tales with tourists and expats the next. The time of day and season dictates whether it’s fish tales or silence. Either way, the staff are cordial and the restaurant’s menu lengthy and widespread. The view from the restaurant is pretty good too. See below.
The world goes by real close-up at the Rimkong Restaurant & Bar. If you like people watching, this is an ideal spot. All kinds of noises and all sorts. Not that I agree with the elephant being there.
English breakfast, burgers, pasta, pizza, sandwiches and steaks are some of the Western dishes available. There’s also plenty of Thai food to chew and a decent choice of bottled beers and wines as well. A sample of the menu and prices are pictured below.
Go Thasadej, and the Rimkong Restaurant will never blow your boat out of the water, but they will rock it gently from side to side. They are honest places to eat and drink. Fair and square value too. A pebble without a flaw being worth more than a fake diamond is an excellent adage to describe them. Both get a thumbs up and recommendation from me.
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