After a couple of days in Laos we were finished our visa activity, visiting Vientiane and ready to head back to Chiang Mai. Our journey was a road trip through Isaac to Nakhon Phanom, then to Petchabun and then home. After crossing the Laos border into Thailand at Nong Khai (an easy process), a restful night and a lovely Vietnamese dinner we headed along the Mekong River towards Nakhon Phanom on hwy 212.

Day 5 was a pleasant drive with light traffic that allowed for taking our time and to absorb the scenery of our route. 

The scene was rural Thailand. There were farm trucks and trackers moving on the sides of the road. We stopped along the Mekong to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy some Isaan food. Papaya salad, sticky rice and a few other dishes filled us up. When we stopped at a small Riverside village we could see across to Laos and the hills that are distinctive. A lady wandered past us after leaving the local medical clinic. She said hello in Thai.


We arrived in Aces home town of Nakhon Phanom for an overnight stay and visit with his mother. She had plans to travel back to Chiangmai with us for a holiday. It happened to be the annual festival at Wat Phra That Phanom, a significant and ornate temple in the Province, that is aid to contain the Buddha’s breastbone.. It is a big event that draws crowds from far and wide.

Wat Phra That Phanom

When parking our vehicle at one of the many private spaces, offered due to the volume of vehicles, it turned out to be relations of Aces family and one guy was a resident of Sydney. He was home for a visit so a great chat followed about life in Thailand vs Sydney. He works as a dental assistant and is looking forward to the day he returns to live in Thailand.

We visited the temple, rituals were followed and then we wondered the fair stalls before heading to a Vietnamese noodle shop. As it was a special

The next day I awoke with a very bad flu/cold and infected chest. I was not looking forward to a 7 hour drive. I struggled through the day heading to Udon Thani and then towards Petchabun.


Late afternoon we arrived at our resort for the night – Blue Sky at Khao Kho. I went right to bed, exhausted from driving and fighting the flu. The next morning allowed for some exploring and enjoyment of the scenery of our location.

The resort is set at the base of a large hill, lovely scenery with nice gardens, english cottage feeling location and rooms and nice restaurant and menu. There was a small band singing in the evening during dinner and there was an adequate buffet style breakfast offering.  The weather was warm but in the morning there was a strong breeze and the weather had cooled substantially.

We then went to visit a nearby hillside temple at Wat Pha Sorn Kaew  (temple on glass cliff) before heading the MUX towards home. This Wat is set on a 830m peak.

We arrived home late in the afternoon of day 7 of the trip. The dog and cats arrived soon after from the kennel. It was good to be home with the pets, but wiser about more of Thailand and our neighbour Laos.