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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nakhon Phanom Trip Report

I departed Sakon Nakhon about 0730 Friday the 1st of November. I stopped in Tha Rae to ensure that Roads 213 and 2291 had not in fact been relocated . From there  I traveled to Kusuman and visited the Thai So Museum then a brief stop at Phra That Mahachai and into NKP (more in future posts).
First a stop at the airport that I had not visited in 10 years and was amazed by the new? terminal. I really don't see the need for something that big that gets 2 flights a day. The old terminal, with it's Portable Steel Plating (PSP) could still serve just as well and was a lot more welcoming.
Into town things keep expanding to the  west on road 22 or Nittayo Road as it is called from Udon through Sakon Nakhon to the Mekhong River. I have no idea how all the car dealers stay in business, but they line the road into town.
The Illuminated Boat Festival marking the end of the rains retreat had just finished and the municipality was doing great work at clearing the temporary markets and such.I visited the Tourism Authority of Thailand office just to see what if any information lodging, food and otherwise they had available.
After waking up a staff person, I guess they were quite tired after the big festival. I showed him the Tourism Authority of Thailand map of NKP with some questions about lodging and places of interest. Not surprising he could not understand the map. I am, after 17 years not surprised that Tourism Authority of Thailand is clueless about anything related to tourism as all their work is contracted. I do wish that individual Provinces would get an interest in promoting themselves. One way or the other Tourism Authority of Thailand has only a small portion of the information a person would want for a particular Province in any category All in all he was much more polite, but not less clueless than staff in other offices. Useful information collected "Zero". Without going digital Tourism Authority of Thailand and other government agencies promoting tourism are useless.
There are some new and old lodging options in town which I will be posting and commenting about in the blog soon.
I like NKP, but for some reason tourists much prefer Mukdahan along this stretch of the Mekhong River. The town (NKP) does look a bit depressing and information is difficult to find, but stick it out there are things to do, as I show in Nakhon Phanom.
Foodwise Mukdahan leads the way and the night food market there is hard to beat. But you will not starve in town. As a matter of fact I had quaiytiaow at a place rated by McDang. yes, also, in a post coming soon.
I am also amazed that Thailand does nothing to promote and resurrect the old "Hippy Trail" that ran from Loei to Ubon.
I can easily enjoy a few days in the town and any visitor, even without any Thai language, is well served visiting the sites around NKP town. Take your time, be patient and the good folks of Isaan will help you out.
What is a shame is that there are so few informative and insightful sites about Isaan. Ralph in Mukdahan is kicking in again, Hans has covered the Sakon Nakhon area for years and Mike with The Thai report from Ubon are all doing great work.
Travel bloggers continue to give false, incorrect and out of date stories about the region. Take a look at their facebook group. I never see any interest in accuracy only in money. I just looked at a couple of the popular sites while doing this post and their information is misleading, incorrect and out of date. But they are making money, so who cares.
Well, way to many words for me and I hope you can follow my scattology, More to come. Thx Tom