The town of Nong Khai is mainly a transit point for journeys into Laos and for further exploration of Isaan Province.
Once a provincial backwater, Nong Khai is now a busy commercial town, having grown in size and importance since the opening of the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in the early 1990s. A few examples of French-Chinese architecture remain, bearing testimony to its former Laotian rule.
Just outside of the town there is an interesting collection of imaginative statues built by Luang Pu Bunleau, who left Laos shortly after the Communist Revolution in 1975. The surreal statues depict scenes and characters from Hindu and Buddhist lore, the most impressive being a 25 metre-high Buddha seated on a coiled, multi-headed naga.
Nong Khai has also developed a reputation for serving some of the most authentic and delicious Vietnamese food in the region.
The town also has several comfortable hotels although unfortunately lack the character of our other options in Isaan.