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Chiang Khong is a small town in Northern Thailand that sits on the banks of the river Mekong, the border between Thailand proper and the country of Laos. The settlement was traditionally a stop-off point for tourists travelling from Thailand over into Laos, usually during Laos & China river cruises but has since become a destination in its own right, owing to the stunning range of attractions and things to do in the area.

What Makes Chiang Khong Famous And Why?

Historically, Chaing Khong was an important market town for trades with Northern Laos and for local hill tribes. The town is now also famous for being the birthplace of the British cyclist Alan Bate. Bate broke the Guinness World Record in 2010 for being the fastest person ever to circumnavigate the world by bicycle. Although some have claimed that he hitchhiked part of the journey, the record still stands to this day. Chiang Khong, despite being a small town, is now home to a bicycle museum, bicycle-themed public house, and hostel.

The town was also famous as being a major stopping point for people travelling to Laos. However, with the construction of the new bridge running from Chiang Khong to Huay Xia, there's no longer such a need for people to stay over in the town, which has hurt the economy.

With that said, Chiang Khong remains a beautiful and fascinating stop-off point on your trip, with exotic cultural marvels, restaurants, and places to stay. It's a great place to stay for people wanting to experience traditional Thai life. Did you know you can explore this beautiful location while on our Mekong River Cruises?

An image of Chaing Khong's beautiful landscapes and tranquil views captured during sunrise
An image of Chaing Khong's beautiful landscapes and tranquil views captured during sunrise

Top Attractions In Chiang Khong

Sunset Beach

A stunning small beach which enables visitors to swim in the Mekong River. However, if that's not your thing, you can simply take a stroll alongside it and witness the breath-taking views, especially during sunrise/sunset time. A walk by the beach makes for the perfect way to unwind, especially after a long journey on a boat or bus ride.

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew is a stunning temple located to the north of Chiang Khong and visible from Krai beach. From the temple, you have views over the Mekong and the hills in the distance. The Wat Phra Kaew temple is the oldest temple in the entire district and is easily recognisable too, surrounded by an assortment of coloured lanterns.

Wat Huai Meng

Wat Huai Meng is a Buddhist temple to the north of Chiang Kong. It features a stunning, pagoda-style roof with fabulous adornments. A road runs past the walled temple which has commanding views over the Mekong. The temple looks particularly good when lit up at night.

Lue Lai Kham Museum

To the sound of the Chiang Khong crossing along route 1020, you'll find the Lue Lai Kham Museum. The Lue Lai Kham Museum is a traditional clothing museum that was started by the owner, Mr Suriya Wongchai, who began by buying old clothes from the Lue villages and showcasing them in his home.

Top Things To Do In Chiang Khong

There are plenty of things that you can do while in Chiang Khong.

Explore The Local Market

Chiang Khong is home to a local market which sells local produce as well as art and craft items made by local people. You can also go on a market tour around the market until late in the evening. The market closes at around 11 pm on most nights and then starts again as early as 6 am. It's a great place to try fresh fruits and vegetables, and get a great deal too.

Swim In The Mekong

Chiang Khong is home to a small sandy beach where you lay out a towel and relax or go for a swim in the Mekong river. The river is safe to swim in, although you'll want to stay close to the banks to avoid being swept away by the currents.

Walk Along The Banks Of The Mekong

Even though the Mekong river Cruisec does a perfect job at showcasing the beauty of this river to all our passengers, the path that runs along the side of the Mekong makes it a great place to go for a walk on a long, lazy afternoon.

Image of Chiang Khong captured by a passenger showing its quiet and picturesque landscapes
Image of Chiang Khong captured by a passenger showing its quiet and picturesque landscapes

Indulge in Local Cuisines

Thai food is not only delicious, but cheap too, and there’s lots of choice of places to eat and explore a different cuisine in Chiang Khong. Padthai Baan Yim is an excellent restaurant which serves pad Thai, pork and basil. If vegetarian food is more your thing, you can head over to the local vegetarian buffet for noodle soup and simple accoutrements. Along with good food, The View Restaurant also offers a fantastic view of the river and surrounding countryside from the north of the town.

Overall, Chiang Khong makes for an excellent stop for all Pandaw passengers to explore the local culture and indulge in local cuisines along with visiting the famous tourist attractions.