Top Ten Southeast Asia Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Cycle the Mekong
By Andrew Forbes

The backwoods ferry town of Chiang Khan in northeast Thailand's remote Loei Province is the starting point for an incredible yet little-known bicycle ride along the banks of the great Mekong River. For 120 miles, the road east from Chiang Khan follows the Mekong through a series of small and friendly towns as far as Nong Khai, site of the "Friendship Bridge" to Vientiane, the capital of neighboring Laos. Northeast Thailand attracts fewer than 3 percent of Thailand's visitors, so you'll likely travel the whole distance—it can take from three to five days—without meeting another foreigner. En route, stop for the night at Pak Chom, Sangkhom, and Si Chiang Mai—the latter populated mainly by ethnic Vietnamese who make a living by exporting spring roll wrappers throughout the region.


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