Khong Chiam

Roger Prince

Some 70km east of Ubon city, at the most eastern point of the province and of Thailand itself - lays the scenic, rural town of Khong Chiam. Almost unknown to foreigners, but becoming increasingly popular amongst Thai tourists, this small town sits on the confluence of the River Mun (Moon River) and the mighty Mekong River, which flows down through into southern Laos. The point where the two rivers meet is known as the "Two Colour River" because of the sharp contrast created by the differing sediments and water levels. A bridge over the Mun River to the south of town is one of the best places to view this phenomenon, and in recent years it has become quite famous. This charming town has an assortment of ancient Thai-style wooden houses, a hilltop chedi and a scenic riverside walkway, where you can get a good view of the green landscapes of Southern Laos. For nature and wildlife lovers, the outstanding Pha Taem National Park and the alien landscape of Sam Phan Bok are both nearby. Not far from this town are two tiny remote villages, one north and the other south of Khong Chiam, where hand-woven cotton products and baskets are made and traded with their Lao neighbours in exchange for fish. Everyone in this area speaks the Lao dialect, and there is much evidence of the Lao script on signs and menus. The dyeing process for hand-woven cotton products can be viewed at a workshop next to Once Upon a Time Café in the centre of Khong Chiam. An hour's drive to the south-west is the popular Chong Mek border crossing point into Laos.

Map of North East Thailand

North East Thailand-Map