CHIANG KHAN – Nested 1 hour away from the airport of Loei is the rustic gem of Chiang Khan. You might be wondering, where is Chiang Khan, you must be talking about Chiang Mai?
Nope, you heard me right – Chiang KHAN, spelled with a ‘K’. This little district part of the Loei province in Thailand is almost untouched by foreign tourists, with majority of the visitors coming from local Thais from surrounding cities in Thailand. It is the coldest part of Thailand during winter, and can get as cold a -6 degrees, hence Thais love to flock here to enjoy the cold.
We scooted over to Chiang Khan via local budget airline Nok Air, an adorable little propeller plane with their airline symbol – a bird’s beak. Flights to this destination is very affordable from Bangkok, and even with a last minute over the counter purchase, I paid around SGD$95 for a 1-way ticket. Alternatively, one can also catch a 2-way coach down 8 hours from Bangkok at 700baht.
So what’s unique about this destination that makes it any different from the other parts of Thailand like Bangkok/ Krabi/ Chiang Mai etc
6 Reasons why Chiang Khan is worth your time
1. A Pretty Little Wooden Town
One very iconic aspect about Chiang Khan is that – almost every single house here is made out of purely wood, in particular teak wood which is in ample supply here. Chiang Khan use to be a french colony, hence some of the houses here still have some french influence. But the general style is that they are all made of wood – rows and rows of wooden houses line the streets, no matter if it is an old resident house, a café, a shophouse or a hotel, there is a distinct consistent style of every single house built here. And other than 2 hotels, everything else in this little town is only at maximum of 2 storeys high. No high rise 5 star hotels or malls spotted here.
In some sense, the main walking street ( from Soi 1 – 25 to be exact) even feels like a movie set, with neat little wooden houses parallel to the beautiful Mekong River flowing by the side. The stunning river that hold the record of being the 10th or 12th longest river in the world. I will share more later.
(For those looking for accommodation, we stayed at the lovely wooden Sri Chiang Khan Hotel )