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ChiFlyer

A recent trip to the Khon Kaen Area

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ChiFlyer

I have a Thai GF that I have know for over a year. She is not a bar girl and hey who cares.

I recently took her and her sister to the Khon Kaen area to visit her family for her birthday. The whole family turned out and they had not all been together in 5 years. I had a great time and am glad I/we did this. 

Airfare on Thai Smiles to Khon Kaen from BKK is surprisingly cheap at about $80 USD round trip per person.

We stayed in a town about 30 minutes from Khon Kaen. I do not care to get anymore particular than that at this time. Some comments and fotos from the trip.

Khon Kaen and the general area are famous for dinosaur finds. Starts at the Khon Kaen airport and continues elsewhere.

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I was amazed at times by how friendly the locals were to a visiting Farang. My terrible Thai skills were encouraged and assisted, but occasionally the subject of laughter. Goes with the turf, if you have ever tried to learn a language.

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We hit a couple of temples on her birthday and it was great visiting temples with close to zero tourist impacts.

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I understand that there are places of interest for members of this punter oriented board in Khon Kaen, but I observed none of that outside of Khon Kaen. I am sure it exists, but most certainly not at a Walking Street level.

I encouraged the creation of this area within PA and would be interested in hearing from others who have visited Isan.

 

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iLoveit

Nice pictures. I have had a visit to Nakhon si Thimmarat on an earlier trip to Thailand and I had an awesome time. Everyone was very friendly, paid normal prices and we only saw 4 other farangs the whole week we were there and some of the scenery was magnificent, from high up in the mountains to the beaches. 

  

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Harry Brown

Thanks for the TR, sounds like you had a great time.

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renovator

agreed,pity the farang that never seen the real Thailand.It's a magical experience of Thai hospitably.And the food,wow.

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udontony

So good to hear a positive report from someone experiencing Isann for the first time.  There are many beautiful places to visit that are rarely seen by tourists, many good places to stay at a very affordable price and lovely Issan people. 

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ChiFlyer
3 hours ago, udontony said:

So good to hear a positive report from someone experiencing Isann for the first time.  There are many beautiful places to visit that are rarely seen by tourists, many good places to stay at a very affordable price and lovely Issan people. 

Really. I think we paid 700 baht a night for a very nice hotel room including breakfast. The wifi was spotty at best,  but wtf. We went out for a birthday dinner one night. The cook it yourself concept that you see in Jomtien is taken to another level here. The pan over the coals has a rim so that you are making a soup at the same time. Quite tasty.

A few pics.

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renovator

in isaan,I think they call it suki

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udontony

Many times we have eaten at buffet B-B-Q`s, some have been fantastic and much better than any I have seen in Pattaya or BKK.  Often there is a grill on one charcoal pot and the other has the normal dish where you can cook noodles etc.  Some in Udon have the best selection of food that I have seen anywhere and all for a reasonable price, just gone up to 269 baht but no time limit.   If you visit Issan without a good guide it would not be easy to find these places as everything is in Thai and often they are a bit out of the way.

As for acomadation  it is possible to find decent places with wifi for 500 baht even in the cities.  I go to Khon Kaen quite often and stay in middle of city in a very smart hotel for 690 baht a night, this is a fairly new built place and as clean as anywhere I have ever stayed.

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Jebb

Good report mate, thank you.

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Tarl
On 29/03/2018 at 08:00, udontony said:

Many times we have eaten at buffet B-B-Q`s, some have been fantastic and much better than any I have seen in Pattaya or BKK.  Often there is a grill on one charcoal pot and the other has the normal dish where you can cook noodles etc.  Some in Udon have the best selection of food that I have seen anywhere and all for a reasonable price, just gone up to 269 baht but no time limit.   If you visit Issan without a good guide it would not be easy to find these places as everything is in Thai and often they are a bit out of the way.

As for acomadation  it is possible to find decent places with wifi for 500 baht even in the cities.  I go to Khon Kaen quite often and stay in middle of city in a very smart hotel for 690 baht a night, this is a fairly new built place and as clean as anywhere I have ever stayed.

Be interested in the name of the hotel. Might be there soon for a night or 2.

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udontony
2 hours ago, Tarl said:

Be interested in the name of the hotel. Might be there soon for a night or 2.

Hi Tarl.

Hotel name is Chada Veranda, very easy to find and a few minutes walk from the main bar and night life area.  We are there again in May, if you want easy directions please let me know.

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Tarl
22 hours ago, udontony said:

Hi Tarl.

Hotel name is Chada Veranda, very easy to find and a few minutes walk from the main bar and night life area.  We are there again in May, if you want easy directions please let me know.

Awesome thanks mate. Will have a look. We will be there for hospital visits by the looks.

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udontony
13 hours ago, Tarl said:

Awesome thanks mate. Will have a look. We will be there for hospital visits by the looks.

I park at hotel and take taxi, hotel book for you at a moments notice, to avoid the traffic on the way to the hospital but depends which hospital you are going to.   Hotel car park is now a bit smaller than it was because they have or are building a swimming pool there.  Last time I was there it was well on way to being built.  Hope no serious problem.

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mr21
On 3/26/2018 at 21:30, renovator said:

agreed,pity the farang that never seen the real Thailand.It's a magical experience of Thai hospitably.And the food,wow.

Completely agree about visiting Isaan...started getting a little bored with Pattaya so I branched out to different places. Been to Nong Khai and Udon (both twice) and Buriram. Khon Kaen is next on my list.

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Steph34

Will be driving there on Friday with my GF from Bangkok. Her University Friend  is getting married....luckily they studied English so I will have a few to talk to....so I hope at least

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jmooney

You should check out King Kong Restaurant Khon Kaen.
Eaten there a few times now and it's awesome.
If you miss proper Farang food then this is the best in kk and pretty much the best I have tasted in Thailand.
They even do proper Sunday roast Lamb and Pork.
Https://www.facebook.com/kingkongrestaurantkhonkaen/
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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Roadrunner

Chai Pat Hotel, a few minutes walk from the main bar area, 400 Bht a night . 

And if you ask the doorman , he can get you a friend sent to your room ..555  

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abonvivant2
On 3/29/2018 at 08:00, udontony said:

Many times we have eaten at buffet B-B-Q`s, some have been fantastic and much better than any I have seen in Pattaya or BKK.  Often there is a grill on one charcoal pot and the other has the normal dish where you can cook noodles etc.  Some in Udon have the best selection of food that I have seen anywhere and all for a reasonable price, just gone up to 269 baht but no time limit.   If you visit Issan without a good guide it would not be easy to find these places as everything is in Thai and often they are a bit out of the way.

As for acomadation  it is possible to find decent places with wifi for 500 baht even in the cities.  I go to Khon Kaen quite often and stay in middle of city in a very smart hotel for 690 baht a night, this is a fairly new built place and as clean as anywhere I have ever stayed.

The new (well maybe a year) place opposite UD town where the containers are stacked up is 349 per head but has probably a good a selection of BBQ food as I have had in Thailand. Pork and Beef Steak ( not really thinly sliced as in other styles of BBQ) as well as the usual prawns etc. 

Went into that other new Thai ( Brassaries or some such) bar up from it as well the other night. They had a seriously good lead guitarist in the band and also the a la cart food was first rate. I was there with 2 girls and we ate had 6 big bottles of Leo and got out just a bit over 700bht. Udon is becoming a  great place to live or maybe I am becoming more comfortable

You must have noticed some changes in your time there. Seems to be plenty of cash floating around the town at the moment

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udontony
On 9/3/2018 at 23:19, abonvivant2 said:

The new (well maybe a year) place opposite UD town where the containers are stacked up is 349 per head but has probably a good a selection of BBQ food as I have had in Thailand. Pork and Beef Steak ( not really thinly sliced as in other styles of BBQ) as well as the usual prawns etc. 

Went into that other new Thai ( Brassaries or some such) bar up from it as well the other night. They had a seriously good lead guitarist in the band and also the a la cart food was first rate. I was there with 2 girls and we ate had 6 big bottles of Leo and got out just a bit over 700bht. Udon is becoming a  great place to live or maybe I am becoming more comfortable

You must have noticed some changes in your time there. Seems to be plenty of cash floating around the town at the moment

Udon has changed so much over the last 12 years, some for the better and some changes for the worse.   There are many more expats living there and the infrastructure has improved so much to cater for them.   Think this is not just about expats as many of the Thai people living there enjoy western foods now.  In the last few years the night life in my opinion has deteriorated, there are more and more restrictions all the time.   The B-B-Q`s that I like best are on the ring road and I can not tell you any names as they are all in Thai.  Some have live prawns included so you know they are fresh!   I love seafood so I tend to like to go to these as there is usually a very good selection plus loads of other meats etc.   Another favourite place to eat is the B-B-Q fish place at the traffic lights straight in front of the railway station and across the road from UD town.  Outside seating so pick a dry night, you can order fish etc plus get food from other vendors nearby and all eat together, it is not expensive there.   Usually the more you know a place the more comfortable it becomes!

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abonvivant2
On 9/5/2018 at 08:18, udontony said:

Udon has changed so much over the last 12 years, some for the better and some changes for the worse.   There are many more expats living there and the infrastructure has improved so much to cater for them.   Think this is not just about expats as many of the Thai people living there enjoy western foods now.  In the last few years the night life in my opinion has deteriorated, there are more and more restrictions all the time.   The B-B-Q`s that I like best are on the ring road and I can not tell you any names as they are all in Thai.  Some have live prawns included so you know they are fresh!   I love seafood so I tend to like to go to these as there is usually a very good selection plus loads of other meats etc.   Another favourite place to eat is the B-B-Q fish place at the traffic lights straight in front of the railway station and across the road from UD town.  Outside seating so pick a dry night, you can order fish etc plus get food from other vendors nearby and all eat together, it is not expensive there.   Usually the more you know a place the more comfortable it becomes!

Yes go here a lot as I am a great fan of the fish. Would eat it 3 times a week. Bit spoiled though as there is a small place near my house that has live fish and kill and gut them and then stick them on grill. Couple of long necks of Lion while you wait. all for less than 300 bht. Life is good

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onehunglo

sounds like a go- to place for a visit , will have to put on the to-do list

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gimmesum

Khon Kaen is a great town been there many times.  It is very refreshing to exit Pattaya at times and see what the real Thailand looks like.  Folks are friendlier and you don't feel like you are in a tourist trap!

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RakJay87
On 9/9/2018 at 06:34, gimmesum said:

 It is very refreshing to exit Pattaya at times and see what the real Thailand looks like.  Folks are friendlier and you don't feel like you are in a tourist trap!

Agreed, visiting Isaan is nice for those reasons.  Can't say I really liked Khonkaen but it was ok to visit once.  I found the locals there to be less friendly than in Buriram, Udon and Korat.  Who knows... waked through the local markets around the lake during Songkran and didn't see anyone really smiling at all.  Everyone looked incredibly serious, maybe it was just too hot out.

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gimmesum
On 9/15/2018 at 11:15, RakJay87 said:

Agreed, visiting Isaan is nice for those reasons.  Can't say I really liked Khonkaen but it was ok to visit once.  I found the locals there to be less friendly than in Buriram, Udon and Korat.  Who knows... waked through the local markets around the lake during Songkran and didn't see anyone really smiling at all.  Everyone looked incredibly serious, maybe it was just too hot out.

Well could be big city burnout.  Khon Kaen like many places in Thailand now has big traffic problems and a pollution problem similar to places like Pattaya (check the records Pattaya pollution is nearly as bad as Bangkok but is censored).  I spend most of my time around the university area when there and it was more laid back I would recommend checking out that area.

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gimmesum
On 3/30/2018 at 19:31, udontony said:

Hi Tarl.

Hotel name is Chada Veranda, very easy to find and a few minutes walk from the main bar and night life area.  We are there again in May, if you want easy directions please let me know.

Stayed there and excellent value.

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