Isan, The Unexplored Thai Province

- A Secret Retreats journey -
8 days / 7 nights
from 1,900 USD /person

 

ITINERARY BOOK
 

Phajongkit Laorauvirodge,
Owner of Supanniga Home, native of Khon Kaen and passionate about the culture of Isan, expert in Silk, gardening and Tea Master, Khun Phajongkit is unveiling the most unknown and mysterious province of Thailand.

Often overlooked, Isan is the largest and most authentic province of Thailand, untouched by mass tourism. Bordered by the Mekong, natural boundary with Laos and Cambodia, Isan does not have many tourist infrastructure, English is not widely spoken, so the province has been preserved and the real attraction is its authenticity. With mostly farmlands and little towns, we invite you here to discover the Thai daily life in the countryside, its traditions, its food, some of the nicest National Parks and bucolic roads along the Mekong

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Your Journey Day by Day

8 days / 7 nights
from 1,900 USD /person

based on a family/group of 4 persons travelling together

 

BOOK
 
Day 1 : Phitsanulok – Dansai (-/L/D)
We start around 10am from Phitsanulok (city or airport), direction: Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park. This park is well known to Thai people because it once housed bases of the Thai Communist Party in the 1970s which fought against the central government. The rebellion was organized in a village with a field hospital, a school etc. You will visit these relics of history. Later, we will walk (easy path) to the highlight of the park- its cliffs and its extraordinary views over the whole plain. Lunch in one of the park's restaurants.
You will also certainly see the Hmong women selling fruits and vegetables grown nearby. After this visit, we continue to Dansai - famous for its annual festival of Phi Ta Khon. Visit of the small museum of Phi Ta Kon and Wat See Song Rak, locals from all over the province come to make offerings there during the holidays. It is forbidden to wear red color cloth. We reach you countryside hotel in its valley, settle for the night and dinner at the hotel.
HOTEL: Phu Na Come Resort (Deluxe Room)
Day 2 : Dansai – Chiang Khan - Pakchom (B/-/D)
In the morning departure towards the east and the town of Loei. On the way, you will visit the village of Baan Na Aor with its beautiful houses then drive towards the Mekong. In Chiang Khan, have a short stroll through the village which has preserved its old wooden houses and its unique atmosphere. Final destination: Pakchom. Still driving along the curves of the Mekong, the road and sceneries around are beautiful, especially mid late afternoon, crossing villages with old wooden houses and views over Laos. A natural balcony overlooking the Mekong and local temples. Check-in at Mekong Villas, right on the banks of the Mekong, for 2 nights, enjoy the garden and the pool to relax. Dinner at the hotel.
HOTEL: Mekong Villas (Villa)
Day 3 : Pakchom (B/-/D)
Today, your driver and guide are available for you. No set program, you can create your own. Take a bicycle or the car to explore the countryside and villages around, some of which form a natural balcony on the Mekong and offer a terrace or a temple perched on a hill, superb panoramas and moments of emotion. The road climbs and leads to Wat Pak Tak Sua, famous for its magnificent panoramic view over Thailand, Laos and the long ribbon formed by the Mekong. Discover the slow and sweet life of the local villagers. Your guide will explain you more about the daily life of the locals, their beliefs and particularities- a Thailand far from clichés.
Free lunch. Dinner at Mekong Villas.
HOTEL: Mekong Villas (Villa)
Day 4 : Pak Chom – Nongkhai (B/L/D)
Departure to Nongkhai, along a pleasant road crossing a very fertile region, pretty villages, flower markets, vegetable or tobacco plantations… When we reach Nongkhai town, we stop to visit the Sala Kaeo Ku – a park with gigantic statues of Buddhas and Hindu deities that recreates the fantastic universe in the imagination of a local monk. Then we continue via a small road to a village where the Pimali Foundation is located. Your cottage for the next 2 nights is within the school and non-profit foundation which aims to offer a chance to the disadvantaged orphans or children of very poor families of the region and give them full and free hotel training. Welcome by the director of the foundation, quick visit of the property and the gardens, check-in then lunch at the restaurant. We bring you here to discover, far from the glitter of tourist areas and in all humility, a noble organization aiming at bringing underprivileged young people out of poverty, with the basics for life, hope and respect.

In the afternoon, (between November to March inclusive), we will drive a few miles further to visit an organic rum factory, surrounded by sugar cane plantations. Learn the process and have a sip!. If you travel outside the sugar cane season, we will go to a nearby old temple with majestic trees, then to a local market (Mekong fish, vegetables and fruits, preparation of fish paste and other typical dishes of the region). You will then return to start your cooking class at the foundation. Tasting dinner after your cooking class.
HOTEL: Pimali (Cottage)
Day 5 : Nongkhai (B/L/D)
Today again, your driver and guide are available for you and the program is flexible. Why not going for a bike ride in the surrounding countryside during the morning? If you come around July-August or Oct-Nov, you could also help and plant or harvest rice. Lunch is served at Pimali. In the afternoon, visit the provincial capital of Nongkhai. Walk among the old houses with mixed architectural influences, but the market along the Mekong, embark for a boat trip on the Mekong, along the banks of the city which stretches opposite the Laotian shore. Back to Pimali and dinner by the students.
HOTEL: Pimali (Cottage)
Day 6 : Nongkhai – Khon Kaen (B/L/-)
Between December and March, early in the morning we will drive you to a small lotus lake, out of this world, for a short ride on a rowboat to listen to silence. After breakfast, departure towards Phu Phra Bat Park. Visit the park and its strange rock formations, prehistoric cave paintings, small sanctuaries and rock sculptures from the Dvaravati period. Picnic lunch in the park. Back on the road, we will reach Khon Kaen in the afternoon and settle at Supanniga Home, you home for the next 2 nights. Relax in the large garden, read a book or go for meditation. No arrangement for dinner.
HOTEL: Supanniga Home (Villa)
Day 7 : Khon Kaen (B/-/-)
In the morning, we start the day with a visit to the large central market, then we drive outside the city to Chonnaboot, a mutmee silk weaving center (a technique close to the Indonesian Ikat), and if possible, we visit also a silk workshop. We then head south to the small village of Wang Koon, a very peaceful and typical village of Isan, we visit a rare temple of Isan, Wat Sa Bua Kaew with beautiful murals outside the main chapel, which was restored a few years ago by the Department of Fine Arts. We continue through the countryside to the small Khmer temple of Puay Noi, a bucolic moment.

Back to Khon Kaen. Free lunch and dinner.
HOTEL: Supanniga Home (Villa)
Day 8 : Khon Kaen - Airport Departure (B/-/-)
After breakfast, we drive you to Khon Kaen airport for your flight to the next destination.
Extension :
To end this trip smoothly, we suggest you to relax on a quiet beach at one of our seaside hotels on Phuket, Krabi or around Samui (Le Passe-Temps, Koh Jum Beach Villas, Paresa Resort, Aava Resort).
Ask Secret Retreats concierge for advice.

THE HOTELS



Phunacome Resort


Pimali

Isan, The Unexplored Thai Province

8 days / 7 nights
from 1,900 USD /person

based on a family/group of 4 persons travelling together

 

BOOK

The total price includes:
Accommodation for 7 nights
All meals as mentioned in the program
All transfers from airport, to airport and all destinations visited, as indicated in the program (private A/C car).
Guided visit, activities and excursions mentioned in the program
English (or French) speaking guide for local sightseeing.
Government tax and service tax

The total price does not include:
Domestic and International flight to and from Bangkok
Early check in or late check out
Extra activities and meals not mentioned in the program
Personal expenses, drinks, tips, etc
Travel Insurance


This Secret Journey was designed in cooperation with Phajongkit and Butler Company (License N°03372).

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