Slow Down and Celebrate a Special Tradition
Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Thailand, the little town of Chiang Khan is a good example of the simple life in rural Thailand. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, the pace of life is much in line with the leisurely flow of the river. Having witnessed a spike in popularity over the last few years, Chiang Khan is a popular destination for domestic tourists.
The guesthouses and homestays fill up easily during the weekend transforming the sleepy little town into a busy tourist destination. The center of it all is the well-known night market. There are vendor stalls with food, clothes, local crafts and many more goods lining the main street all the way to the end in front of Wat Tha Krok.
But there is more to Chiang Khan. The local community wants to maintain the existing character of their home. Many have lived here for generations and have no plan to move any time soon. However, since the town’s economy is booming, people from outside have wanted to buy and invest in the town. The residents of Chiang Khan prefer to keep things like they are.
One example is the family who owns several houses along the main street, each of which operates as a boutique hotel or guesthouse. The older women in the family are keen on sustaining their businesses and passing on local Chiang Khan traditions.
Khiri Travel Thailand offers an exploration of Chiang Khan that highlights the town’s dedication to saving local tradition. One example is the town’s spiritual belief in the offering called pha sat. Very similar to the krathong offerings that are offered during Thailand’s annual Loy Krathong festival, pha sat is only done in Chiang Khan.
Made from locally sourced natural materials, some local aunties are more than happy to show your clients how to make these colorful bamboo creations. They also sell them at the night market near a spot where your travelers can then release their offering into the river. Local tradition dictates that all one’s worries and bad karma will symbolically float away down the river on this lovingly crafted offering.
When staying in Chiang Khan, there are many small accommodations such as the Chic Boutique Hotel overlooking the Mekong on one side and facing the night market on the other. If your clients have a bit more to spend, the Camp Chiang Khan offers a unique and comfortable camping experience a bit further down the road. Located only meters from the Mekong riverbank, the views and soothing sounds of flowing water give a relaxing ambiance to this place to sleep.
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