If you’re not heading straight across the bridge to Laos, consider making a trip to Sala Kaeo Kou, also known as Wat Khaek, where you’ll find dozens of curious stone sculptures. To the southwest of Nong Khai is Wat Phra That Bang Phuan, which offers some classic temple sightseeing, while the natural rock formations at Ban Phu and the spectacular temple Wat Phu Tok require much more effort and a full day out. The scenic riverside route upstream to Chiang Khan is also within day-tripping distance, and it’s quite possible to get to Ban Chiang and back in a day, changing buses at Udon Thani.

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