City of the Sea of Mountains, Coldest Place in Siam, and Beautiful Flowers of Three Seasons.
Sharing a Mekong River border with Laos, Loei province is in many ways more similar to the north of Thailand than to the rest of Isan, even earning the nickname “the Mae Hong Son of the northeast.” Loei is an up-and-coming ecotourism region surrounded by undulating mountain ranges, abundant with various kinds of flora and capped with fog enshrouded summits. The most majestic mountains are Phu Kradueng, Phu Luang and Phu Ruea. However, while Loei features numerous outdoor activities and fascinating cultural attractions, tourism is relatively new to the province and the area is greatly unspoiled.
The temperature in Loei is generally cool thanks to the mountains and rivers it contains, but can get surprisingly cold in the winter and unbearably hot in the summer. Loei has unique cultures and traditions in addition to beautiful geographical surroundings, such as the colorful Phi Ta Khon Festival. There are many spectacular sights and exiting activities awaiting travelers to come and experience the miracle of this land.
Agriculture drives Loei’s economy, with villages primarily engaged in crops ranging from macadamia nuts, passion fruit, and Arabica coffee in the highlands to bananas, sesame, and rubber in the plains; however, thanks to its spectacular natural attractions, including several national parks and the Mekong River, Loei is an up and coming ecotourism destination. As a result of its natural beauty and unique mixture of northern and northeastern cultures, Loei is creating much the same buzz Mae Hong Song once did and tourists are taking note.
As a province somewhat off the typical tourist route, Loei is best reached via private car or public bus. However, it is possible to take a train or plane to nearby Udon Thani and then a bus to Loei. Once there, it may be easier to get around with your own car, but there are standard forms of local transport available for visitors: i.e. songtaew, motorbike taxi, and tuk tuk.
Getting to and from Loei
- By Train:
There is no railway station in Loei. However, visitors can take a train from Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lumphong) to Udon Thani and then take a bus to Loei. For further information, please contact the State Railway of Thailand at Tel. 1690, 0 2233 7010, 0 2223 7020 or www.railway.co.th or the Udon Thani Railway Station at Tel. 0 4222 2061.
- By Car:
From Bangkok take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road), passing through Amphoe Mueang of Saraburi. Turn onto Highway No. 21 past Phetchabun, and then take Highway No. 203 through Amphoe Lom Sak and Lom Kao into Loei province. The trip takes approximately 7 to 8 hours.
Otherwise, from Saraburi, take Highway No. 2 (Mittraphap Road) past Nakhon Ratchasima to Khon Kaen and turn left onto Highway No. 12 through Amphoe Chum Phae. Finally take Highway No. 201 into Loei province, a total distance of 540 kilometers.
- By Bus:
The Transport Co., Ltd. provides daily busses between Bangkok and Loei including both normal busses and air-conditioned coaches. The trip takes approximately 10 hours. For further information, please contact the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2), Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Tel. 0 2936 2841-8, 0 2936 2852-66 or visit www.transport.co.th.
Private bus companies servicing Loei include the following:
Chumpae Tour Ltd. Contact their Bangkok office at Tel. 0 2936 3842 or Loei office at Tel. 0 4283 2285
Phet Prasoet Co., Ltd.’s Contact their Bangkok office at Tel. 0 2936 3230, Amphoe Phu Ruea Office at Tel. 0 4289 9386, Amphoe Dan Sai office at Tel. 0 4289 1908.
- By Air:
At present, there are no regular commercial flights to Loei. The nearest airport with regularly scheduled flights is Udon Thani, which is serviced by a number of domestic air carriers. From Udon Thani it is possible to get a bus or rent a car in order to travel to Loei.
Getting Around Loei
As in most rural Thai provinces there are typically songtaews that follow established routes around the provincial capital and between towns within the province. Songtaews depart from the Bus Terminal on Maliwan Road.
Traveling from the center of the province to other districts and nearby provinces can be done by busses that depart from the Bus Terminal on Maliwan Road.
Getting to Phu Kradueng National Park:
From the center of Loei town, take Highway No. 201, the Loei – Phu Kradueng route, 75 kilometers from the province and turn right into Highway No. 2019 for 8 kilometers to the park office.
Tourists can travel on the Bangkok - Loei bus and get off at Pha Nok Khao, which is a connecting point between Chum Phae and Phu Kradueng. From this point, there is a mini bus to Phu Kradueng National Park. Otherwise, tourists can take the
Bangkok – Chum Phae bus, get off at Chum Phae Market and continue with the
Chum Phae - Pha Nok Khao bus to Pha Nok Khao. There will be a minibus (Songtaew) there that provides shuttle service into the national park.
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