Due to we would like to see the sea of mist but we have to give up to go to Phu Thok of Chiang Khan in Loei Province as there are crowded by a lot of tourists. Therefore, we then open the travel review to find a new attraction around Northeastern part of Thailand and we eventually find "Phu Huay Isan, Sangkhom District" (a small district with an area of 440 sq. km.). Our eyes shine with an exciting feeling and we decide to travel to this place. Well! Let's travel to Northeastern part together!
We buy a ticket only 5 days in advance for this trip. We take an express train which is a 2nd class air-con seating train, departure time on 7th December at 19:35 and will reach Nong Khai at 04:15, the ticket costs 498 baht.
And we also buy a return ticket on 9th December which is an express train as well. The train will depart from Nong Khai at 18:15 and reach Bangkok (Hua Lumphong Station) at 04:35, the ticket price is same as the departure ticket which is 498 baht. (If you guys would like to save cost, then choose 3rd class fan train, the price would be cheaper which costs 218x2=436 baht. The weather would be pretty pleasant in the winter season and it could also could save half of the traveling cost)
There is also another option which is using the bus service of Bussarakhum Tour Company. The traveling time would be around 18:00 in the evening and will reach Sangkhom District in the morning on the other day and the price for one leg would cost around 550 baht. On the return leg, you could get on the bus from Sangkhom District and get off at Mochit Bus Terminal, the time of return leg is around 18:00 which is pretty convenient. However, I prefer to travel by train, feeling safe, moreover we could stop over at Nong Khai Province to eat Khai Kata (Pan-Fried Egg) as well.
Finally, today is our traveling time now, we feel pretty excited and hope to see the sea of mist.
The train is coming. Get prepared and wait for the train.
The seat is like the bus seat, the air-condition is pleasant cold, there are also additional fan. In the beginning time after the train departs, there would be foods selling as there is no supply bogey for this train.
And of course, there is a white blanket distribute.
On the train, they will not close the light as it will be safe during night time and there are people get on and off on the way. The officer will wake passenger up before reaching their station which is pretty attentive, therefore, please don't swap the seat.
The train reach Nong Khai Province on schedule time at 04:15, the weather is pleasant, not cold.
The Tuk Tuk Skylap car costs us 150 baht from Nong Khai train station to Nong Khai Bus Terminal.
We ask him to send us off at the breakfast shop near Nong Khai Bus Terminal.
We have a lot of time, thus we sit back and eat full course of breakfast, it tastes awesome, I love their bread the most.
Now as we are full, we head to Nong Khai Bus Terminal to catch a Nong Khai - Loei bus route with the departure time of 07:30, 11:00 and 15:00, the bus ticket costs 65 baht per person.
The bus looks old that make me think of the childhood time. I think in my mind that how far the car in this condition could ride? But in fact, this car could ride to Loei Province, get through Pak Chom, then to Chiang Khan to see the sea of mist at Phu Thok.
Sangkhom District is 95 kilometers away from Nong Khai Province.
It's alright, the price is cheap and we could reach the destination as well, save cost!
Our green bus has stopped 2 times for some rest, thus we could go restroom and walk a bit to relieve a stiff.
When we get pass Sangkhom District, we will see this signboard indicated scenic point of the sea of mist. We feel pretty excited and would like to quickly go up and admire the sea of mist.
Another 22 kilometers away from Sangkhom District, we will reach Khrua Mai Nam restaurant before and then reach at Ban Muang Subdistrict Administrative Organization, these 2 places are the spots to get on E-tak car to Phu Huay Isan.
Upon seeing this signboard of "Ban Muang" village, our accommodation would be on the right side which calls "Khrua Mai Nam Restaurant, Accommodation and Tent Yard", contact number 085-0017-411 (Mr. Sayan)
Before traveling, we have made a contact with Mr. Sayan, the owner of Khrua Mai Nam and already transferred the accommodation fee for 400 baht.
Now as we arrive at the accommodation, we feel pretty hungry, thus, we will order the delicious food at the renown Khrua Mai Nam Restaurant.
We would have to praise the food by Khun Pu, Mr. Sayan's wife as it tastes really good.
At Khrua Mai Nam, there are a lot of additional activities to do.
Anyone who like to stay in the tent could put up the tent in this area by Khong River which you could see the view of Laos.
However, I prefer to stay in an accommodation as there is a private bathroom inside. Mr.Sayan who is the owner of this place says that he is going to construct more accommodation. Well, the accommodation costs only 400 baht, pretty cheap, Awesome!
The hut in the front costs only 300 baht with public bathroom available for service.
The room condition is pretty clean, we even don't have to open the fan as the weather is pleasantly cold. However, there is no water heater for showering. Well, with the price only 400 baht is pretty alright.
We take a shower and take some rest. Then at first we plan to ride on the boat to see the view of Khong River, however, I feel fear of the water. Therefore, this trip would be the trip of having some rest with not much activity, just play with the cat and take a pleasant time among the nice atmosphere.
Our dinner meal is also awesome, it tastes delicious. I really like Khrua Mai Nam.
Mr.Sayan has made an appointment with us at 05.00 in the morning as the E-tak car will pick us up at the front of our accommodation. Today is a weekday, thus, the customers of Khrua Mai Nam haven't come yet. Therefore, there would be only another 2 tourists join us on the journey to Phu Huay Isan, the E-tak car costs 60 baht per person for the return trip.
"Racing Car" or called "E-tak car" as the sound of the car is Tak, Tak, Tak.
The cold weather with the sound Tak Tak from the car and me swaying along the way, make me feel fun.
It takes 20 minutes for around 3 kilometers, I like to continue riding on this car as it is pretty fun more than I could explain in a word.
Upon arrival, there is also a shop selling food like Tea, Coffee, Ovaltine, Mama (Instant Noodles) and snacks. I definitely don't miss out to try Khao Jee (Grilled Thai Sticky Rice with Egg).
Now, let's pray and see that we could see the sea of mist or not? Well, when the light comes, I instantly know that there is no the sea of mist appear to be seen in this morning. Hooo! I wanna cry.
I continue wishing to see the beautiful sunrise, but at last the sun is not coming up. I feel heartbroken.
It's alright, no sea of mist, no sun but at least we still have each other as everyone comes to "Phu Huay Isan" with the same purpose which is to admire the nature, but then again, we human cannot control the nature.
Now, let's walk up to the 2nd scenic point.
We feel a bit tired but it's worth to climb up here. I think it will be much more beautiful if there is a sea of mist appears. I still feel a bit upset.
The view is stunning, the zigzag Khong River located in the middle to divide the area between Thailand and Laos.
Easy traveling, Cheap cost with the beautiful view like this and have a chance to ride on the E-tak car, I would definitely come back again. For the next trip, I would plan to go to Chiang Khan too. Wow! what a good plan.
We take a photo for keeping as a good memory of Phu Huay Isan, Ban Muang Subdistrict, Sangkhom District, Nong Khai Provice to see when we are at home so that it could remind us of this place and make us want to visit again.
We always reach at the place before other people and get back after other people as well. Well, we will have to say goodbye to "Phu Huay Isan" now and we will come back here again.
Upon getting back to our accommodation, we have some breakfast, pack our baggage and put them on a roadside, then wait the green bus Nong Khai - Loei route passes by and get on a bus back to Nong Khai around 11:00 o'clock.
The souvenir must be this thing, Banana Chips Baked with Honey, I would say that the banana of Ban Muang Subdistrict, Sangkhom District, Nong Khai Province tastes pretty delicious. We end up eat all the souvenir before giving to other person as it is really delicious.
Before ending this review, let's know a bit about E-tak car.
"E-tak" car is not "E-tan" car as it has smaller size. It could accommodate around 8 passengers per car with 4 people in the front and 4 in the back, the driver will sit in the middle of the car. The "E-tak" car is usually used to carry agricultural crops from a high mountain. Therefore, when reach the traveling season (winter), they will come together to offer a service for the tourists to earn some extra income by taking tourists to see the view on "Phu Huay Isan".
The bus rides around 3 hours, same amount of time, to reach at Nong Khai Bus Terminal, then we take Tuk Tuk Skylap ride to Nong Khai Train Station which costs us 100 baht.
We eat some food and finish it. there still a lot of time left so we walk to this place.
"Public Library of State Railway of Thailand, Nong Khai Province"
This place is awesome, we sit back in the cold air-con air, we stay here until the closing time at 17:00 in the evening.
Then we walk across the road to Nong Khai Train Station.
I just know that there is a train service riding to Laos already, I pretty awesome and I would like to travel there.
Tourist need to travel with Nong Khai - Tha Na Lang train route, the inter-country train from Nong Khai Province (Thailand), cross First Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge and get off at Tha Na Lang Station, Ban Khok Pho Si, Muang Had Lai Fong, Vientiane (Laos) takes around 15 minutes ride.
It's time to say goodbye to Nong Khai now.
Expense for this trip:
Return route of train ticket costs 498x2= 996 baht, 2 persons cost 1,992 baht.
Return route of Tuk Tuk Skylap car costs 150+100=250 baht
Return route of Green color bus Nong Khai - Loei route costs 65x2=130 baht, 2 person costs 260 baht.
Return route of E-tak car costs 60 baht, 2 persons cost 120 baht.
Accommodation at Khrua Mai Nam costs 400 baht
Total 3,022 baht divid by 2 that would be 1,511 baht per person. (exclude food cost)
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