Pha Dai - Wiang Kaen - The Mekong End Of The Road

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #1 DavidFL, Jun 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    Kaeng Pha Dai
    GTR - IMG_5124.JPG

    42 kms downstream from Chiang Khong, there is a wild rocky section of the Mekong where it flows away from Thailand & into Laos, and is no longer the border due to a quirk in the border negotiations with the French once upon a time.

    GTR - IMG_5157B.JPG

    After Pha Dai the river is no longer the border between Thailand and Laos until way downstream where the Nam Heung river runs into the Mekong at Ban Tha Ma Di, between Na Kra Seng and Chiang Khan.

    This section of the Mekong at Pha Dai is famous for the rocks & rapids in the river. It was also a very food fishing ground for the Mekong fishermen. It is a stunning section of the Khong, & a bit tucked out of the way, but is well worth a visit.

    I've been out there several times over the years & the place is always picturesque. There are some reports of visits on GTR, but damned if I can find them all. However here are a few pics from over the years.

    2004 in the dry season
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    A trip with Dave Silverhawk Early: Fang - Chiang Khong Loop
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    The end of the road in 2004
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    Up the steps somewhere there is a border boundary post, That Ian Yonok has checked out, but I can't find the post at the moment.
    This area was once a major smuggling zone, plus a path for communist insurgents once upon a time.

    2015
    DSC_0408~2.

    With Destination Thailand TV, Ian & the DTTV guys
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    2018
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    GTR - IMG_5097B.JPG

    and the river is up. How the boatmen navigate on this river always amazes me.
    GTR - IMG_5112.JPG

    The area has been cleaned up a bit for tourism promotion.
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    GTR - IMG_5137ACDC.JPG

    The end of the road & some nice new asphalt
    GTR - IMG_5095.JPG

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    GTR - IMG_5117.JPG


    Some GTR Reports that mention Pha Dai

    Fang - Chiang Khong Loop

    On the road with Destination Thailand TV part 8

    There are more but can't find them at the moment. Ian & Ron Webb please help with links if you can.

    Of note too is that have held Valentine's Day Festivals there
    Valentine’s Day Festival to Be held at Pha Dai Rapids | Bangkok Informer
    date unknown?
     
  2. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    A google earth view of Kaeng Pha Dai

    GPS-Map000.
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #4 DavidFL, Aug 26, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
    A super bonus, en route to Pha Dai from Wian Kaen city is a magic little coffee shop out in the rice paddies.

    Caffa Roasting House is the place
    GTR - IMG_6959.JPG

    The turn of is 2.6 kms north of Wiang Kaen, on the left hand side heading North.
    GTR - IMG_6963.JPG

    you bump your way down the track a couple of hundred metres and there she is
    GTR-DSC_0730.JPG

    a gem of a place in the middle of seemingly nowhere.
    The aircon is cool & it's clean, with a strong aroma of fresh coffee!
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    literally buckets of it.

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    in an adjoining "staff only" room is the packing room. Ask nicely & you can go in for a whiff 'n photo.

    Caffa has been in business & marketing coffee for 3 years, but the coffee shop is new and only 3 months old.
    They also have numerous teas
    GTR - IMG_6945.JPG GTR - IMG_6944.JPG

    plus coffee of course.

    A highlight of Caffa is the rooftop patio and a glorious view over the village rice fields.
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    Highly recommended.
    Their Facebook page

    Google Maps
    Google Maps

    Check em out sometime. You won't be disappointed.
     
  5. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    That looks a nice quiet spot. I thought it might be next to the river?....... Guess not.
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #6 DavidFL, Aug 26, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
    5.5 kms north of Caffa Roasting Coffee is the village of Huay Luk . Huay Luek is on the Mekong & where you turn right to meander down along the river to Pha Dai. If you navigate through the maze of sois into Huay Luek & make a left "somewhere" you will find an interesting wat.
    Wat Huay Luek.
    GTR - IMG_5143.JPG

    It probably looks just like a regular temple & so it maybe
    GTR - IMG_5145.JPG

    GTR - IMG_5147.JPG

    however in a sala on the side behind some shrines was a very old log boat, that intrigued me greatly.
    GTR - IMG_5149.JPG

    Just another log boat perhaps, but the fact it was basically locked up, under cover &
    GTR - IMG_5150.JPG
    not likely to be used

    GTR - IMG_5153.JPG
    meant to me that it must have some old history & significance to the village = I wonder what the story is?

    Also adjoining the boat an old drum with offerings.
    GTR - IMG_5155.JPG

    plus a "Buddha Footprint"
    GTR - IMG_5138B.JPG

    They must have some fascinating festivals & ceremonies that revolve around the old boat & drum. Another trip or two is called for to solve the mystery (if there actually is one.)

    The google maps location
    Google Maps
     
  7. Lakota

    Lakota Ol'Timer

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    #7 Lakota, Aug 27, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
    I understand the Boat was found locally in the Mekhong. The people of Huey Leuk are predominantly Laos in origin down by the River with a small Hmong population as you enter the Village by the School. I don't know if this is due to a Border demarcation at some stage or resettlement but it would be interesting to find out. The village is closer to the Laos border than Wiang Kean. If you go down by the river and down the slipway you can have a knoodle on one of the floating pontoons that serve the Laos Speedboats. It appears the speedboats get there Gas here , Must be cheaper than Huey Xai. The Village does have a Boat race at some time of the year and the 'OK Phansa' Bhuddist ceromony in October is worth seeing with it's candle lit procession on the River. Don't forget the Som O (pomello) Festival , starts tomorrow 28th August in Wiang Kaen
     

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