Lets take the long way home! Of course all journeys in Thailand start in Bangkok from where we travel to Khao Yai National Park which is about 160km from Bangkok and can be reached by bus from MoChit bus-station to Pak Chong. It is a great area to go camping and make trekking to see wild elephants. After Khao Yai we will go in direction of Khorat (Nakhon Ratchasima) but we will pass this to continue in direction of Khon Kean but not before we make a stop at Phi Mai (about 50km north of Khorat). Here are the remains of an ancient Khmer temple. After Phi Mai we continue to Khon Kean where we will stay at a small hotel along "Bung Kean Lake" in the city. Every night some parts of the streets in the city are closed and turned into a night-market. And along the lake are many small food stalls.
After Khon Kean we continue our trip to Nong Kai, the gate-way to central Laos with the Thai-Lao Friendships bridge crossing the Mekong river. In Nong Khai along the banks of the Mekong river is still the famous Indo-China Market where you can buy all kind of things from Laos & China. And not forget to visit "Sala Kaeo Ku" a kind of fantasia Buddha park, just 2km outside the city. From Nong Khai we travel a bit along the Mekong river to then go down again in direction of Ban Chiang, a place of pre-historic settlements in Thailand with great examples of beautiful pottery. From here we continue out trip east-wards in direction of Sakhon Nakhon and finally to Nakhon Phanom along the Mekong river with a beautiful view over the mountains area of Laos. The small city is a kind of gate-way to this part of Laos and has some nice colonial buildings.
From Nakhon Phanom we just keep on following the mighty Mekong river and we will be passing Tat Phanom (visit the beautiful Wat Tat Phanom) and Mukdehan (visit the Indo-China market) until we end-up at Ubon Ratchathani. Ubon is a laid back provincial city that gained importance during the time Vietnam War when the US air force used the airport to fly to Laos and Vietnam. Just walk around the city in the evening and taste a piece of Thai life. From here we will make a side-trip to Khong Chiam where the Mun river comes in the Mekong river and again we have a great view to Laos at the other side of the Mekong river. Khong Chiam is the gate-way to southern Laos to visit the 1001-islands in the Mekong river bordering Cambodia. From Ubon Ratchathani we continue to Surin to visit Thailands famous Elephant village. Once a year here is held Thailands biggest Elephant round-up and a Elephant buffet. From Surin we continue to the area of Buriram to visit Prasat Phanom Rung an ancient Khmer temple build on an old volcano. One of the most beautiful Khmer temples of Thailand.
From Buriram we continue to Khorat city to stay overnight and visit the night market in the old city. From Khorat we travel via route 304 to Wang Nam Keauw (on the east side of Khao Yai) where we will visit "Thap Lan" national park and "Khao Lamang" with a stunning view over the valley of Prachinburi. After Wang Nam Keauw it is a easy and boring trip back to Bangkok via Kabinburi and Chachonsao.