Sakon Nakhon to Ubon Ratchatani,Thailand and a look at the Mekhong River Winter 2013 Day 1

I left Sakon Nakhon to Mukkdahan en-route to the Mekong River the morning of the 20th of January. Saturday or Sunday mornings are usually nice times to travel as the local Thais are either aslepp hung over or enjoying the day off with a sleep in. I wanted to check out the Phu Mu Forest Park and hilltop as it was home to a microwave station back in the sixties so took the 212 south from Mukdahan and turned east tto the road that was marked along the way. I will mention and visit the airstrip at Loeng Nok  Tha also in Mukdahan, but further south.
It certainly is a strategic point and more so back in the day. A couple of the old barrack are still standing, and I would think the road to the top is the original road. Plenty of  of old buildings still exist and what looks like a Thai administrative building. Generally the area is pretty deserted now.
20130120_115141It was one way up and the same way down a long narrow ridge to the top.
I then turned east onto road 2277 and an uneventful trip to  Road 2024 that connects Mukdahan and Kemmarat. In southern Mukdahan, actually in Amnat Charoen, I stopped at Kaeng Song Yai and Kaeng Hin Kan. Both small sites, but the locals enjoy them during the hot months that will be arriving soon. I list some places in more than 1 map to make it easier for people using them when travelling and using a mobile device. If you are travelling from Mukdahan to Khong Chiam along the Mekong remember to top up in Khemmarat as petrol in not easiily found alont the 2112. The photo is at Kaeng Hin Kan and as you can see the river still has some time befor it reaches it’s lowest elevation.

A few kilometers upriver of Khemmarat lies Kaeng Chang Mohp where Larry of Khon Kaen Retirement and I spent some time last year.

There was no one about at the riverside minimart, but plenty of boats and action in the river. From there I continued down river to Wat Pak Saeng where the list of rapids and beaches starts to come fast and furious, sort of. The town downriver adjacent to the temple has a large site in the river and a very popular place as the year heats up. Just south of there Haat Chom Dao has a new dirt road, widened and improved. You can get an idea of the beaches that you can experience in the river from the picture and it gets better and cooler as the temperatures rise. There has been no building here, but as it was now about 1400hours there was a totally drunk local there to help out. This will be a nice site if anyone gets around to opening some type of restaurant and minimart. The elevation difference between the land mass and river is substantial so camping out on the beach would afford a good bit of privacy.

From there it was on to Haat Salueng which has seen basically no change in the past few years. A very nice resort up near the 2112 and the same old one I have stayed a number of times right in the village. No wifi, but I got a fairly decent 3G signal. One thing you might notice along this part of Thailand is that you often get more and stronger 3G signals from Lao PDR than Thailand.
There is another resort downriver a bit that has wifi, but they had no connection to the internet, not an unusual situation in Isaan.
Once again Tourism Authority of Thailand proves it is clueless about Isaan. The place faces east so you surely won’t be watching sunsets and most of their other information about the area is incorrect, see for yourself. There are a few places to eat in the village as well as at the riverside resort which serves decent food at reasonable prices. So much for now until we move on early in the morning.
And here is a look at Haad Salueng just before I depart the morning of the 21st.

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One Response to “Sakon Nakhon to Ubon Ratchatani,Thailand and a look at the Mekhong River Winter 2013 Day 1”

  1. I can view the post clearly@ Changwatana Road

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