Khong Jiam is a sleepy village by the Mekong River in the easternmost part of Thailand. I made my way there mostly, because I wanted to visit the nearby Pha Thaem National Park, but was enamoured enough with the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that I was the only farang around that I decided to spend a night in town.
What I found was a laid-back village full of friendly locals and some interesting low-key sights. Hardly did I ever feel farther off Thailand’s tourist trail, and I absolutely loved it. Read on for my recommendations of things to do in Khong Jiam.
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The Best Things to Do in Khong Jiam
Visit the Two-Colored River
Locally known as Mae Nam Song Si, this is the point of confluence of the Mekong and Mun Rivers. The blue waters of the Mun contrast with the reddish-brown waters of the Mekong, making for an unusual sight.
It’s nothing to go out of your way to visit, but if you’re in town because you want to connect to Pha Thaem National Park, I think it’s worth checking out, especially as the scenery down by the Mekong is quite serene.
To see the two-colored river, walk to the easternmost spot of the village behind Wat Khong Jiam.
Check Out Wat Tham Khuha Sawan
This is an interesting temple, full of attractive buildings and unusual details, including a humongous gong, a cave full of golden Buddha statues and the preserved body of the late abbot in a glass display-case (which I was kind of used to after a few weeks in Thailand).
The complex is centred on a pretty gold-spired chedi and has nice views of the village, the Mekong River and the hills over in Laos. To get to the temple, simply walk up the stairs near the bus stop at the western end of Thanon Klaeo Pradit.
Take a Trip to Pha Thaem National Park
This amazing National Park is the main reason I came to this corner of the Isan Region. There are plenty of pretty waterfalls and some interesting rock formations, but the main reason to come here is to stand atop the namesake cliff and peer over the gently flowing Mekong River and surrounding plains.
Unfortunately, there is no public transport to Pha Thaem National Park, so the easiest way to reach it is by scooter. I rented one from Ban Apple Guest House, which also gave me plenty of freedom to move inside the Park. Stay tuned for my dedicated guide to the National Park.
How to Get to Khong Jiam and Away
The closest city to Khong Jiam is Ubon Ratchathani, from where you can catch a bus or minibus to Khong Jiam at the main bus station. Make sure to inquire early as to when they leave, as they are super infrequent. The bus stop in Khong Jiam is at the western end of Thanon Klaeo Pradit.
Where to Stay in Khong Jiam
I stayed at the friendly, low-budget Ban Apple Guest House (+66 45351160), but there are also a few mid-range options, like Baan Kieng Tawan. If you’re looking for a bit of luxury, try Tohsang Heritage Khongjiam on the eastern bank of the Mun River.