The next stop on iTravel’s Discover Thainess tour of the North was Loei
Our intrepid team caught the 6:50am flight to Phitsanulok then made the 3-hour drive to Loei, stopping on the way for a delectable lunch of Northern Thai cuisine.
After lunch we spent the afternoon exploring the delights of the province. Our first attraction was Phu Pa Praw, known as the Mount Fuji of Loei. There is a novel way to reach the 3 viewpoints – rather than hiking, biking or walking, you can take a tractor ride! It costs just 60THB per person, and rides start as early as 5am, continuing until 8pm in the evening. Make sure you head right up to the highest viewpoint, as the views are truly spectacular.
During our stop at the viewpoint to admire the beauty of Loei, iTravel hosts Daniel and Angie got another taste of that special quality of Thainess which makes the local people so special. Encountering some friendly locals with a guitar, the two presenters got to enjoy an impromptu jam session, with plenty of laughter and smiles all round. This kind of encounter is none too infrequent in Thailand and demonstrates the warmth and easy, open nature of the Thai people. We ended our first day in Loei by exploring the vibrant Walking Street in Chiang Khan, where we savoured a mouth-watering dinner by the banks of the river which lies on the border with Laos. At last we checked in to our hotel, Ban Oun Rak Rim Khong, Kaeng Khutkhu, to enjoy some much-needed rest.
On our first full day in Loei we woke early and headed to Chiang Khan to experience the morning alms-giving. The weather was chilly and refreshing, and Angie and Daniel enjoyed the beautiful ritual of giving alms to the local monks, an important part of Buddhist belief and Thai culture. Next we headed to stunning Phu Tok Viewpoint and were dazzled by the spectacular views of the mists unfolding over Chiang Khan and the Mekong River. If you want to visit Phu Tok take the songthaew for a mere 60THB; you can arrive as early as 5am.
After heading back to our lovely riverside hotel for a tasty breakfast, we checked out and began making our way to Dansai. On the way we stopped off at Suan Loong Woot Garden and Phitakon Museum, where hosts Daniel and Angie got to learn about the fascinating Phitakon Festival; they even got to paint their own ghost mask, wear the Phitakon costume and learn the traditional dance moves – a truly unforgettable experience. Just before sunset we visited Wat Neeramit Wipatsana and were taken aback by its size and splendour. Next we had originally planned to head on to our hotel in Dansai, but on learning of a vibrant local festival being held about 100km from the hotel we detoured there first and ended the day on an epic note, experiencing the vibrant night market, tasting local delicacies and enjoying the fairground rides. Another incredible taste of Thainess!
We checked out to our second accommodation, Rung Yen Resort, which occupies a stunning location overlooking a lake, and we ended our incredible Loei trip with a visit to Phathat Si Song Rak, also known as the Stupa in Honour of Two Loves. All in all, the iTravel team had a truly amazing trip to Loei and we would like to extend our profound gratitude to the TAT Loei for helping us make this project such a resounding success. New host Daniel experienced a genuine taste of Thainess in Loei. The delicious Northern Thai food and friendly, smiling locals made his trip to the region particularly memorable. Make sure you visit this beautiful region of Northern Thailand, which offers an authentic holiday experience and unveils the hidden beauties of this corner of the Land of Smiles.
Watch the full story here http://theitravelchannel.tv/top-things-to-do-in-loei/