Loei province points of interest
If you are planning to visit Thailand, chances are you are looking at interesting places to go on your trip. When you look at Thailand, there are so many to chose from that it is hard to decide. One province I would really like to recommend to you is the province of Loei. In my article I talk about some great Loei province points of interest that I think you will like to read about.
Loei is the name of a province and a city. Loei province is in the North East of Thailand near the provinces of Udon Thani and Khon Kaen. This area in Thailand is sometimes referred to as Isan. Loei city is the provincial capital.
Loei province is such a diverse province. There is so much to see and do, so many places to visit, so many tourist attractions. Loei has National Parks, waterfalls, villages by the Mekong river, markets, museums, local textile co-operations, temples, the list goes on.
I have listed the most popular tourist attractions below, just click on the place you are interested in and you will be taken to a page with more detailed information and pictures.
Phu Kradeung is Loei province’s number one National Park. Most popular during the cold season, which is from November through to February. The reason why people like to climb in the cold season is because climbing in the heat takes a lot out of you. Climbing when the weather is cooler makes for a more comfortable climb.
It is so beautiful on Phu Kradeung. Most visitors camp on the top and stay for two or three nights. If you do not have a tent, do not worry the park has them for rent. You can also rent bedding from them, too. If you like a bit of luxury then why not try one of their cabins for rent.
The visitor center and campsite are well organized. There are rows and rows of tents with toilet and shower blocks dotted around the edge. There are also huts that store the bedding. If you are renting your bedding it is from these huts that you need to get it from.
New Year is busy
The New Year period is very busy. From mid December to early January there is a large number of Thai tourists that want to climb Phu Kradeung. If you want to avoid the crowds then try November or February.
The park is closed during the rainy season. From 1st of June through to 30th September. This allows the plant life to recover.
It is a hard climb, there are no roads to the top just a trail that is very steep in places. There are lots of rest stops on the trail so there is no need to rush. The rest stops are about 500 or so meters apart. The average time it takes to get to the top is about 3 and a half hours. The hard climb is worth it though, the views from the top are amazing.
There is not a lot of information about Phu Kradeung in English, so therefore few foreigners get to know about this great park. Thais on the other hand, love it and make an effort to visit Phu Kradeung at least once.
Coming in a close second to Phu Kradeung National park is Phu Ruea National Park. This park is much easier to climb than Phu Kradeung. There is a main road that allows vehicles to get to within one kilometer of the peak. From this car park is a path to the peak that is about 1 kilometer. There is also a shuttle service that takes people to the peak for a small fee.
You can camp on Phu Ruea. They have a nice camp site with toilet and shower facilities. If you do not have your own tent, then you can rent a tent and bedding from the visitor center. In and around the campsite or a numbers of trails you can follow to explore.
Phu Ruea is also busy in the cold season. Phu Ruea is also known for being very cold at the top during the cold season, getting to zero degrees Celsius during the New Year period. There is a temperature display on the peak that many people like to take pictures of themselves with when it shows zero.
Phu Ruea flower festival
Phu Ruea town has a very popular flower festival that starts in December and goes through to January. Phu Ruea is very busy during this time. If you want to avoid the crowds then try to visit before or after the flower festival.
Chiang Khan is a very beautiful little village on the Mekong River. It is very famous for its walking street. This street is about 1 kilometer long and has shops, bars, restaurants, coffee shops and many food vendors. The street is closed during the day, it opens up at around 5 p.m. by 6 p.m. it is usually quite busy with people taking pictures of the old Thai style buildings.
Just a short walk down one of the many lanes off the walking street and you will find the Mekhong River. This is a great place to watch the sunset. The orange glow across the river as the sun slowly descends behind the mountains makes for some great souvenir photos.
Chiang Khan is a popular tourist attraction for Thais. There is not that much about it in English so again few foreigners get to hear about it.
Phu Pa Por is a recent attraction to Loei. It only has been open since 2013 or so. Phu Pa Por has been marketed very well and has seen a large increase in Thai tourist numbers over the last couple of years.
The entrance is a big car park on the left of the main road. Once you are inside the car park you will see a number of food vendors around the edge and also a roofed area with tractors parked in front of it. It is here that you must buy your tickets. Once you get your ticket then you wait to be told a number and this number is the tractor that will take you along the trail.
Thai tractor ride
It is different from other attractions because you get to ride on a specially adapted tractor. This tractor takes tourists to a number of view points on the way to the peak of the mountain. There are four viewing points. The first, second and third point, the tractor will take you to. At each point the tractor will wait for you. The fourth view point is up a trail that the tractor can not go, so you have to walk up to this one. It is worth it though, you have a 360 degree view of the countryside.
Only three kilometers from Phu Pa Por is Khun Ming, Muang Loei. Khun Ming is not its correct name. Its correct name is the beautiful rock garden, but that name is difficult to market. So they came up with Khun Ming because the rock formations are similar to Khun Ming in China. It has proved to be a good idea because many Thai tourists come to Loei to visit Khun Ming.
Khun Ming Muang Loei is a park of limestone rock formations that were formed many millions of years ago. There is a nature trail that takes you through these limestone rock formations.
At Khun Ming you have two choices to view the park. You can get a tractor ride to the base of the view point or you can walk the trail to the view point. I personally would recommend walking the trail. It takes you through some very beautiful rock formations and some cool forest. It is only 2 or 3 kilometers. Most of the Thai visitors like to use the tractor so most of the time you have the trail to yourself.
Just outside Phu Ruea is Wat Pa Ban Huai Lat temple. This temple is very beautiful and is situated at the base of a mountain. If you plan to go to Phu Ruea, you should visit this temple. If you are traveling from Loei to Phu Ruea. You will find this temple off to the left of the main road shortly before reaching Phu Ruea.
About 10 kilometers from Phu Ruea is Chateau De Loei. Here there is a winery that the owner has opened for visitors to walk around. There is also a souvenir shop in the car park for visitors to buy wine and other locally made products. If you are traveling from Phu Ruea in the direction of Phitsanulok. You will find The Chateau De Loei 10 kilometers after leaving Phu Ruea.
In the suburbs of Loei City is a village that has got together to form a co-operative selling Thai cotton goods made on old style weaving machines.
You are able to watch them while they weave. There is also a shop on site selling goods that they make plus some other stuff that they have got in to sell. They start at about 09.00 and go through until about 16.00. If it is a religious day they will not work because they will be at the temple.
Once a year in about June or July of each year is the Phi ta khon festival. It is a three day festival that attracts visitors from all over Thailand and also abroad, too. For three days the small town of Dan sai is full to the brim with visitors coming to see the festival. Many people call it the ghost festival because the villagers dress up and wear masks that make them look like ghosts.
Over the three days there are religious ceremonies, parades, dancing, contests, concerts and many other fun things. The highlight is the parade that starts on the second day at 10.00. The parade is long and very colorful. It is great fun and very a good experience of Thais and their ability to put on a good show.
The province of Loei has something for everyone. If you are interested in doing something that is off the main tourist trail. Then Loei is somewhere that you should look into. There are far fewer foreign tourists that come to Loei than the other provinces that are more well known. You will not run out of things to do here.
If you have any questions or experiences of your own you would like to share. Then please feel free to share or ask them in the comments box below.