Sangkhom – North Thailand.

Sept 14 / 15

Time for the annual bike inspection. Also a good excuse to escape Bangkok for the weekend and visit friends.

Take the 200 Baht mini bus from Udon to Nong Khai to a friends house to get the KLX

First we drop off some passengers at the Friendship Bridge.

Then straight off to get the vehicle inspection done.

All passed and off to Kawasaki for an oil change and service.

Then hit the road with a stop off at Si Chiang Mai looking over to Vientiane. I can smell the Beer Lao.

While I had a coke 🙁

Then time to chill at Ban Mai for beer O’clock and sunset.

Koi gave me my very own Beer bell.
This is the moon rising.. Not the sun setting.. So spectacular with the naked eye.

The next day. Time for some drone practice.

But first coffee by the Mekong

Off with the drone. This time I kept close to Thailand and the shore line so no international drone rescue.

Looking upstream towards Chiang Khan
Looking over to Laos.
The boats come down the river in the channel behind the island as it is deeper.
This side too shallow with sandbars and rocks.
Looking down stream toward Vientiane.
Wat Pha Tak Suea on the top of the mountain to the right.
Ban Mai Frontage.

Then a final lunch in Nong Khai with Peter and Noi before the flight back to Bangkok.

July 14 / 15 / 16 Long Weekend

Been a couple of months since last up to Nong Khai. With the drought and no rain about, why not go up and ride along the Mekong and visit friends in Nong Khai and Sangkhom..

Plus give the KLX battery a charge and clean up the air filter.

Always nice riding along the 211.. BUT.. The road is being upgraded. Two lanes in progress and work is 3/4 or the way towards Sangkhom from Nong Khai.

Bangkok 674 km Singapore 2089 km
Getting closer to Sangkhom

The mighty Mekong is pretty low. In all the years my friends have had this resort. The sand island has never been so visible in the dry season. This is the rainy season.

The week before guests walked from the banks of the Mekong to the sand island !

Walk about at Ban Mai Rim Khong.

Beer O’clock is early today.

Koi organised a bunch of us to go for Mekong island beers at sunset.

While waiting for our boat. These Lao people were picking up supplies from Thailand and loading up to take over the Mekong to Laos.

The drunken sailors take the boat out to the sand island for sunset beers on the Mekong. What great fun, not something you do every day.

Stunning sunsets out here on the Khong.

Ban Mai Rimkhong Resort at the back of the picture.
Not a small island at all.
Beer O’clock proper.. How cool is this.. Technically sitting in Laos.
Sunset and jumping for joy.

49 years old and sitting Asian style for good 15 or so minutes..

Worried I might need a crane to get up.. But all was good.

Sunset from the Mekong.
Blue dot where we were sitting
The local boat man dropped us back.

Wat Pha Tak Suea

Had to get around a barrier for this pic. The paragliders take off from here
Up at Wat Pha Tak Suea

Back at Ban Mai for Beer Oclock

Drone Practice

Part of the trip is to learn to fly my new drone.

Nearly lost it in the Khong twice.. First day just made it back in time before the battery died.

It does state in the manual. Caution over water and snow. To do with the tracking.

In hindsight. I should have turned off all the safety features over water to have control.

May be a bit ambitious for a first flight.

The second flight almost landed in the Khong, saved it and made it to the bigger sand island. Then had to go to the local boat man. Take me over to Lao and retrieve it from the bigger island.

Had to promise the local officials that I would come back.

Hired my boat
Found it on the island. Thailand in the back ground.
Emergency landing location
I did get one nice picture of Sangkhom and the Mekong.
Our Beer Oclock island to the right.

My first drone flight footage. Lot’s of room for improvement.

Over the Mekong and video of Sangkhom.

Breakfast and you can see the water China let out slowly replenishing the Mekong.. The back of the smaller island almost under water compared to the first day picture above.

Last but not least.. Lovely lunch with Peter and Noi in Nong Khai before heading to Udon and the flight back to Bangkok.

April 06 / 07 / 18 Chakri Day Long Weekend

Chakri Day long weekend. Time to dust off the might KLX sitting in Nong Khai and go for a run to Chiang Khan and spend the night.

Followed by a slow ride back along the 211 to Sangkhom. Taking in the sites and scenery before meeting Peter and Panita at Baanmai Rimkhong Resort.

First a stop around Sri Chiang Mai for a look over to Vientiane and take a few snaps of the local landmarks

The khong is a bit hazy.
Road marker. Vientiane 1 KM away.

That night was spent in Chiang Khan. Finally after so many years of stopping over for coffee or lunch.. A sleep over.

Perfect sun set with Beer O’clock.
Chiang Khan by night
Xanakham Laos on the other side of the river

Time to head to Baanmai while enjoying the river scenery and local life along the way.

Spot this building way back on the hill.. Wonder what is here.. So go and take a look

It turns out to be a temple and this building has pretty stunning views.

Lat 18.02054 Lon 101.76813

A spot of local lunch with one of the best Mekong views.

A spot of gold prospecting along the way.

All that work for these tiny specs of gold.

Looks like a new, under construction view point.

 Lat 18.19400 Lon 102.05222

Arrive at Baanmai. Peter and Panita arrive shortly after.

What a view to wake up to.. Mekong and Laos.
Followed by the best breakfast view.

Christmas 2018

That time of the year again.

Christmas in Sangkhom with good frends Gerrie and Koi at Banmai Rimkhong.

Another good friend recently moved to Nong Khai and kindly allows me to leave the Mighty KLX at his place for get away breaks from the Big Smoke – Bangkok.

Loaded up and ready to roll.

Riding along to Sri Chiang Mai. Looking over at Vientiane and notice an access track to the river / beach. So go down for a play in the sand.

Must admit. Easy getting down. Not so easy getting back up, especially with all the gear on the back and 50 50 tyres.

Only 15 or so kilometres from Sangkhom and loving the Mekong views.

Arrived at Banmai and time for Beer Oclock over looking the mighty river.

I really do love the deck out the back. Could sit here all day watching Mekong life go by.

Special brew from across the water.
I see the light.
The view from my room. Mekong and balcony for the morning coffee.

The food doesn’t get much fresher. Vegitable patch on the banks of the Mekong. Ingredients picked as and when needed.

The fish delivered in the morning by the fishermen wanting to bypass the market.

Picking some veg for my Tom Yum Pla,
Tom Yum Pla… Mekong Spicy Fish Soup.
Today’s catch.. The one of the right looks a little thin.

My work station for one day

26th December had to work for the day.
Nice lunch break.

More information here on Banmai Rimkhong.

Wat Pha Tak Seua

What better way to start Christmas day than a visit to one of the most spectacular views in Sangkhom.

Sangkhom Festival

I never really did find out exactly what this festival is about.. But from what I could make out.. End of year harvest celebration.

Various villages in the district participated with floats and shows.

Short YouTube Video below

Becoming part of the entertainment.

Roaming along the Mekong

Just before Sangkhom Town.

Nong Pla Buek

Nong Pla Buek
Mid morning

Riding along looking for entrances down to the Mekong.

Ban Muang view point

This is really a sunrise view point.

Quite busy with farmers and tractors bringing up the tourists from the town before and around sunrise.

If you want to ride up. Go later in the day when there is no traffic or people. Otherwise park in the village and get a lift up.

More here on the view point:-

On the way up
Steep turns and managed to take a few wrong turns

Found it.

Chiang Khan

Coffe and Cheese cake over looking the Mekong at Chiang Khan.

Looking over at Xanakhan

Kaeng Khut Khu

Back on the 211

Heading back along the 211
Sunset along the way

Ban Mai Sunset.

Last day in Mekong Paradise

Red Lotus Sea – Udon

We were late. Still nice.

Best to get here early morning when the flowers are open.

Another great Christmas and New Year in Sangkhom.

Big Thanks to Koi and Gerrie and the gang at Ban Mai.