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  1. #26
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    Part of the deal is that the boat lady takes us back a longer way, between a few of the dry season islands. This was good.



    For much of the year, these trees are underwater.




    Back in Thailand.



    We take the longer but better road back to Phibun, which means a sundowner at 'little Pattaya' is in order. We don't bother with the rafts though- just have a mat spread out by the lake edge, picnic style. This is a bit surreal -








    A pleasant day out, at a very pleasant time of year.
    probes Aliens

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    A pleasant day out, at a very pleasant time of year.
    Loser. Bournemouth's much nicer.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by grassclopper
    Bournemouth's much nicer.
    Specially this time of year.

    Quote Originally Posted by grassclopper
    The healthier buffalos
    Healthy horns on this local beauty


  4. #29
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    Superb mate !!!! your making Jan homesick looking at all this ( and me in a different way ) never mind only 2 weeks to go and we will be there !!! Cheers got your PM see you soon

  5. #30
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    nice pics thanks for the tip a green is sent

  6. #31
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    Cheers . Now this 'border hopping' clearly lies in a grey zone when it comes to international, Thai and Laos law. So I have to add the Disclaimer, 'do so at your own risk'. One obvious potential issue is customs or duty free limits- you could easily be shaken down for that on the Thai side, if some nasty uniform were so inclined. Personally, the four of us stuck to our basic duty free limits, just in case. There was no hassle, but neither any uniforms in sight.

  7. #32
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    I plan on returning from Pakse back into Thailand (Chong mengs the border place yes???)and definately want to stop in Khong Chiam just for those gigantic prawns.I also want to see the waterfall where the water flows from a hole in the rock so shall i spend the night in Khong Chiam if they have good clean accomodation or rather head to Ubon Ratchathani to spend the night or 2 before heading to bangkok via bus???
    Pease advise what will be the best way to go about it
    Thanks

  8. #33
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    There are a few choices of accommodation in Khong Jiam, from the four star TohSang resort down. There is an Areeya Resort too which is cheaper. I've yet to overnight there as it's only an hours drive from home. It's only about 15 minutes from Chong Mek- if you have your own car that is. Otherwise you'll have to find a song thaew going up that way. Ubon is a pleasant enough place to hang out, though not really a tourist attraction. If you don't have your own wheels, the direct Pakse/ Ubon bus is certainly more convenient.

    Good luck with the giant Prawns- I've never seen them again as big as our first visit there (still pretty big though), and one time this rainy season there were none to be seen at all. Seasonal I guess, and likely overfished.
    Last edited by sabang; 04-10-2010 at 10:39 AM.

  9. #34
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    I'd enjoy making that trip some day. As you indicated earlier in the thread,
    Jan might just be a good time to do it.

  10. #35
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    ^ Make sure you let us know!
    I'll put another giant shrimp on the barbie

  11. #36
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    Sounds good Khun Sabang but what I (we) would most probably need is some willing accompanyment.... so I have someone to drink with in the evening at dinner time.....

  12. #37
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    Breakfast, lunch or dinner you'll find a willing drinking partner.
    Weather wise, November through February are probably our prime times of year- and the Mekhong & Mun Rivers are scenically at their best.
    Bring something a bit warm, just in case. Compared to the south, it can seem pretty cool up here in winter.
    If yer don't mind roughing it a bit (outdoor dunny) you're welcome to stay in sabs 'doghouse' too.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    There are a few choices of accommodation in Khong Jiam, from the four star TohSang resort down. There is an Areeya Resort too which is cheaper. I've yet to overnight there as it's only an hours drive from home. It's only about 15 minutes from Chong Mek- if you have your own car that is. Otherwise you'll have to find a song thaew going up that way. Ubon is a pleasant enough place to hang out, though not really a tourist attraction. If you don't have your own wheels, the direct Pakse/ Ubon bus is certainly more convenient.

    Good luck with the giant Prawns- I've never seen them again as big as our first visit there (still pretty big though), and one time this rainy season there were none to be seen at all. Seasonal I guess, and likely overfished.
    Could someone give me the name of the restaurant for the giant prawns please.
    How many kilometers away is Ubon town from Khong Jiam. Is there anything to do here besides eat the prawns here??
    Thanks

  14. #39
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    There are two floating barge restaurants on the river (sometimes only one of these is open, so perhaps seasonal) and one overlooking them on the bank of the Mekhong- which features a large photo of ex-PM Samak at the entrance, as he did one of his cooking shows there. They all have Thai names written in Thai, which means no name to most of us. But you really can't miss them- KJ is a small place.

    About 60km from Ubon, roughly. Apart from eating and drinking, you can cross the Mekhong to Laos and shop (last thing I knew), enjoy the view, you can also hire a boat to take you upriver about 10 km to check out Pha Taem national Park and it's prehistoric cliff paintings. At night, probably not much- there are said to be a couple of karaoke type bars staffed by nubile Laotians, but never had the pleasure.
    Last edited by sabang; 08-10-2010 at 08:59 AM.

  15. #40
    Thailand Expat ossierob's Avatar
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    Great story sabang....havent been there yet but you did mention November through Feb as a good time....Love the look of the seafood.... that is very inviting on its own

    Thanks

  16. #41
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    I was in KJ a few weeks ago - stayed at the TohSang by the river, pretty good hotel. Had a meal at one of the floating barge restaurants which was cheap and good food - 3 or 4 restaurants along the river there. The river was high so not so much seafood. Pha Taem NP was worth a visit for the cliff overlooking the mekong and the paintings. A drive to Sang Chang waterfall was good too - lots of water after a thunderstorm. And there are a few karaoke bars on either side of the bridge across the Mun in Khong Jiam - the girlies looked quite reasonable too, but it looked a very thai thing...the wife wouldn't let me investigate them any further.

    Nice part of thailand, for sure.

  17. #42
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    I'm reliably informed the girls are all from Laos actually. Same in the restaurants, I guess their 2000 bht a month buys a lot over the Mekhong.

  18. #43
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    The Mekhong

    Some thoughts. It's iconic status as the lifeblood of a significant region is assured, but at the end of the day it's one big, long, boring river. See it at Nong Khai/ Vientianne, Bung Kan, Khemmarat, Mukdahan/ Savannakhet, Pak Se etc, same same. You go there, you see it, and now you've seen the Mekhong- be sure to tell the folks back home.

    Some parts of it are worth seeing in their own right however, albeit relatively few in the Thai/ Laos mid section of the river. Khong Jiam is one, because of it being the junction of the Khong & Mun (which isn't small), the seasonal 'two coloured river' effect, and the river islands, particularly in dry season. Khenkabao, some 40km north of Mukdahan, is another because of the rapids, especially in the dry. The Thousand Island region, at the Laos/ Cambodian border is certainly another. Thats about all I can think of.

  19. #44
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    Great pictures and detailed descriptions Sabang. I'm looking forward to taking some of these road trips soon as construction is finished.

    Good stuff...

  20. #45
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    Cheers- I'll add more bits as I do some more day trips from Ubon.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    I'm reliably informed the girls are all from Laos actually.
    Yep...I should have said that they looked like bars for locals, maybe not for farangs.

  22. #47
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    Real nice thread and great pics
    Thanks !

  23. #48
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    Pha Taem national park

    It certainly took me a long time to get here. Pha Taem is most famous for it's neolithic cliff paintings, but it is an area of significant natural beauty too, and contains some weird rock formations. Clearly signposted, it is located some 15km north of Khong Jiam by road. The farang rate is 200 bht, Thai 20bht. At least something has come down in price in Thailand- six years ago they wanted 400 bht! Your day pass entitles you to enter other local parks too, mainly known for their waterfalls- so there's an option if you want to extract maximum value.

    The first attraction you come to as you pass the boom gates are these rock formations-







    Then it's back into the car, and on to the parking area and visitors centre, which contains a smallish museum worth looking at. The usual few souvenir stands selling the usual stuff, and the usual restaurant with no customers completes the ensemble.





    The walk to see the paintings is a 2.7 km circuit, by no means difficult although there are some steps involved. Clearly signposted, so you won't get lost in the jungle. I'd advise covered sandals at least, because some of the rocks can be a mite slippery, especially in the wet. But really, it's a doddle.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pha_Taem

  24. #49
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    You're walking along a cliff face, and that involves some luvly views over the Mekhong to Laos.








    The Park dog accompanied us for a while, and the women soon gleefully swooped on the various mushrooms that are quite plentiful at this time of year. Between these and baby bamboo shoots, they gathered quite a haul- now thats sure to put a smile on any Isaan womans face.





    A little further along you come to some very nice stands of Impatiens- a favoured ornamental flower, it's nice to come across them in their native environment. Unfortunately, this photo does them little justice.





    A very pleasant walk indeed, pleasantly cool too because of the thermal effect of the cliff face, moisture and lush vegetation.
    Last edited by sabang; 15-08-2011 at 01:00 PM.

  25. #50
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    The Paintings

    Here they are, strange alien looking beings sure to bring out thoughts of Erich von Daniken and his 'alien visitation' theories.








    Looking across to the virtually unpopulated Laotian side, one wonders what might lie undiscovered over there.










    Fail :-



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