Take a hike up Phukhradung 1,316 metres in the park of the same name. Start the trail at the park office, no need to carry supplies as there are several rest areas on the climb where you can buy refreshments. Once you reach the top, 3 hours perhaps, there are places to eat and you can hire a tent from the rangers. The top iis a plateau but it's worth staying 2 nights and get some hiking in as there are many trails to waterfalls, cliffs and a chance to see wildlife such as elephants and deer. The park is closed in the rainy season, June to December.
Located in Srisongkram Witthaya School,this Art Centre aims to be the Centre for Art students in countryside and to support the art knowledge for students.The Art Centre have 4 main buildings : 1)Museum - exhibits history and art productions of all students who won Art reward both nation and international prize. 2)Temporary Exhibition building - a free space for students,the exhibition change 4 times per year. 3) Study room - with an open air space. 4) Conference room - for formal study class. Also within the surrounding area decorated with good sculptures and very nice garden. When I was there I enjoyed taking photo around, it 's a good site for inspiration.
Open : Mon-Fri 8.30 - 16.30 / Free of charge
Loei Cultural Centre was built to make a brief understanding on Loei Culture. The exbitions 're about the natural history, geography, history, tribes, archaeology, traditions in Loei. The Centre also exhibits local textile collection and local utensils.And offer knowledge centre for Loei culture.
Open : Mon - Fri 8.30 - 16.30 / Free of charge
Pha Puu cave or so called Piang Din Cave found by the famous monk named Luang Puu Khamdee Papaso. He was built a temple in this area in later time. Pha Puu Cave located under a rock mountain, inside houses Buddha images. The cave also have stalagmite and stalactite which made the cave more beautiful. On the mountain, it 's mixed forest which 's still plentiful. This forest have langurs (Presbytis phayrei Blyth) which 's hard to find in Thailand.
Located at the foothill of Pha Bing mountain where have a big cave with Buddha Footprint on ceiling. This temple used to be a place where Phra Ajarn Man Phuritatto, the famous meditation master in Thailand stayed. After his death, people was built the stupa with museum to honor him on the top of the mountain.
The old temple in chiang Khan where you can found Ubosot (ordination hall) in Lanna Art (Northern Thailand style) mixed with LanXang Art (Luang Prabang ,Laos Art).From the inscription which found in this temple told about this temple was built before 2377BE. by the abbot and people. A must see things within this temple 're Ubosot in mixed style,Wooden buddha image and local museum.
Phra That Sri Song Rak 's the holy stupa of Loei people which was built in Ayutthaya period as a friendship sign between Ayutthaya Kingdom and Lanxang Kingdom. The stupa or so called Phra That was built in Lanxang or Laos style. Inside houses Buddha images and holy books. Everyyear, local always held a celebration by making bamboo to be a pyramidal shape and decorated with wax to holy the stupa.
1. Don't bring red stuffs or even red flower inside.
2. Don't wear red clothes to this temple. Becuase the temple was built in friendship meaning, red means blood and violence.
3. Don't bring umbrella, hat and shoe upstair.
4. Don't bring children under 3 years old upstair.
This museum aims to represent the old tradition of Dansai District called Boon Luang. This tradition always have man wearing Phi Ta Khon mask in a procession which become a sign of this culture. Phi Ta Khon festival held around June for 2 days. It 's a big festival in this area.
Inside the museum, exhibits about Phi Ta Khon mask which relate to culture and tradition, also the making of mask which you can try to make it by yourself (this service available only weekend).
The road is panoramic, but the best part for me is from Chateau de Loei to Loei. You may see wonderful mountains and there are a lot of flowers. I did not like the vinery Chateau de Loei: wine is not good and overpriced and souvenir shop is expensive. For a good suovenir you may choose from a lot of stalls that sell pumpkins of every size similar to a doll. These are exotic souvenir at a very cheap price.
The route to Tha Li is wonderful. My preferred one (you need a car) is go towards Phu Rua (route 203) and then descend to the village affording wonderful views of mountains (if you don't see signs for Tha Li you may follow the signs for scenic point or view along the road from Loei ti Tha Li). Interesting temple.
I went there in a journey from Loei. The best way to go there is via Chiang Khan or Pak Chom. There is a beautiful contryside and some fine temples like Wat Hai Sok (2 kms from Sanghom, and Wat Hin Mak Peng (30 km from the village); both offer superb views of Mekong and countryside. (For the drive to Chiang Khan and return, you may read my tip on Chiang Khan)
Drive to Chiang Khan from Loei is fine and you cross wonderful mountains to arrive to this little village on the Mekong River. You may remain there to see temples and the river; then you may go to Kaeng Khut Khut where see the falls. Furtheremore you may return back via Pakchom or continue the trip along the Mekong. Interesting: Mekong here is very small and is possble (but illegal) to cross by foot. Along the river there are a lot of check points (military or police) but don't be afraid: seldom they stop foreigner and often are helpful.
If you are here for some nice scenic views and work out. Here's the place to visit (as well as other Phus). Give yourself about 4 days at least to enjoy Phu Kradeung. It was said that Phu Kradueng is meant for couples as a test of their love for each other (is it true?). I do see many families travel together (probably fosters family relationship huh)
Labelled as one of the earlier national parks of Thailand - this place is worth a visit. Find yourself among the mother nature. Pine trees are beautiful and flora and fauna aplenty. If you are lucky (or unlucky enough), you may spot wild elephants, deers (i saw a few!).
What to do when up in Phu Kradeung:
Go biking and enjoy the breeze. Bikes are available for rent for a whole day or just few hours.
Trek through the forest along the dirt tracks and catch beautiful waterfalls and the temple
Enjoy picnic at any of the waterfalls.
Catch sunrise and sunset at the two different cliffs.
Where to stay:
Book a bungalow in advance or rent a tent.
Remember to bring:
- warm clothing
- some cash
- things which you think you will need in order to survive in the wild (a bit exaggerating though :P)
It takes about 4-6 hours (depending on your pace) to get up to the hilltop.
Read more about them in my travelogue.
In mid June to early July, many people stay in this area for the Phi Ta Khon festival, since there is very little accomodation around Dan Sai. The big festival is held in Dan Sai, which is two hours away by bus. Loei has their own Phi Ta Khon festival by not sure of dates.
One of the must thing to in Chiang Khan 's walking on the pathway along the Khong river on sunrise and sunset time. I think it's the way to enjoy lifestyle of people and relax your mind. Enjoy walking!!