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Mekong Fun Bike: Leisurely ride along the peaceful bank of Mekong River
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Mekong Fun Bike: Leisure ride along a peaceful bank of the Mekong River

 

The mighty Mekong runs leisurely to nourish Nakhon Phanom, one of Thailand’s most livable cities. Nakhon Phanom is a bicycle-friendly town, especially with a riverside bike trail that follows the 12 km road linking the town center and Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge.

Roam the peaceful town on a bike and feel the vibe of Nakhon Phanom’s peacefulness.

The Naga Monument can be a good place to start the bike trip. The statue of "Sri Satta Nagarat" was built to worship a legendary powerful Naga, a mythological giant serpent, said to have created the Mekong River. The adjacent area is dedicated to 3D sidewalk art which could be cool backgrounds for photos.

Then ride through nearby one-thousand-feet long "Nagarat Tunnel", like traveling through the lengthy body of Naga, for good fortunes. Just a stone's throw away, Indochine Market always distracts bikers with various merchandise from Indochinese countries particularly China and Vietnam.

Running along the river, Soonthon Vichit Road, displays the serenity of this town as people stroll the lanes for fresh air and morning exercise. If you start early enough, you will see Buddhist monks walking elegantly in line for alms giving.

While exploring attractions along the bike route, you will find yourself among panoramic river view and splendid limestone mountains rising above Tha Khaek town in Laos.

Soonthon Vichit School or Bamrung Vithaya gives an evidence of western influence in architecture in this region built with a European style construction. The Nakhon Phanom governor’s residence museum is also a fine sample of the early 20th-century French-Indochinese architecture in Thailand. Built around 1915 by a Vietnamese architect, the two-storey brick and concrete house features exhibitions on the town’s history, royal visits and traditions of Nakhon Phanom.

Further north of the town situates gothic architecture in commemoration of Saint Anne, Nongsaeng Church. It serves as a spiritual center of the Catholic faith that was introduced there by Vietnamese immigrants.

How to get there: Nakhon Phanom Airport is 12 miles north of the town with daily services by Nok Air and Thai Air Asia. For more information, call TAT Nakhon Phanom Office at 0-4251-3490 – 1.