Nestled on the Mekong River where Thailand meets Laos, Chiang Khong is an old market town that provides a charming riverside gateway to national parks and ancient Buddhist temples. The township is dotted with Thai and international restaurants and boasts a popular street market.
Things to do in Chiang Khong
You’ll notice a distinctly laid-back vibe within Chiang Khong as you stroll along its main strip beside the Mekong River, home to restaurants serving sumptuous Thai cuisine. Stop in at Bamboo Mexican House Restaurant for authentic Mexican dishes or venture slightly off the main road to grab a beer or wine at The Hub.
The main street also reveals historic structures, including the remnants of the Old City Wall and the Wat Phra Kaew Chiang Khong, a small Buddhist temple with an elaborate facade. Immerse yourself in local culture at the bustling Chiang Khong Street Market, which features local stall holders selling fresh regional produce, Thai delicacies, handmade goods and unique trinkets.
Venture slightly south from town to discover traditional ethnic culture at the Lelaikham Museum. Here you can see old textiles and sleeping quarters, along with ancient clothing and tools. Grab a drink or bite to eat at the on-site coffee shop, which overlooks a vast pond with a long timber boardwalk.
Drive north or south of Chiang Khong to admire Laos from either Huai Sai Marn View Point or Rim Khong View Point. Both offer nearby restaurants and shops selling souvenirs. If you’ve got the kids with you, stop off at the Freshwater Fish & Big Fish Museum, where you can see displays of local marine life, watch a traditional dance performance or snap wacky photos with the 3D art.
Getting around Chiang Khong
Chiang Khong is easily reached by flying from Bangkok to Chiang Rai and catching a minivan. You can explore Chiang Khong’s riverfront on foot or use tuk-tuks or taxis to venture further afield.