Although geographically located in the northeast or I-San, Loei has many things in common with the northern region namely its numerous high hills and mountains and its wintry as well as foggy climate. Literally speaking, the province deserves its name Loei which means beyond or to the furthest extreme as Loei lies in the northernmost part of the Northeastern region. Most notable is that Loei is the only province in Thailand where the temperature can drop to as low as zero Celsius in winter while it can become hotter than any province during summer. In short, Loeis geography and climate is unique when compared to other I-San provinces.
Situated along the Phetchabun Mountain Range, Loei, a province that rises approximately 400 meters above sea level, is dubbed the land of seas of mountains, the coolest in Siam. Covering an area of 11,424 square kilometers (equivalent to 7.14 million rai of land), Loei Province, which is 520 kilometers from Bangkok shares a border with Laos to the north with the Khong and Heung Rivers forming the natural border, with Khon Kaen and Phetchabun Provinces to the south, with Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Nong Khai and Khon Kaen Provinces to the east, and with Phitsanulok Province to the west. The province can be divided into three main areas: the high mountains in the west, the plains at the foot of the hills in the south and the east, and the lowlands in the basins of the Khong and the Loei Rivers.
Loei Province has an abundance of precious resources such as forests and natural resources. Of equal importance, however, is its unusual mix of northern and northeastern culture which is treasured by both locals and visitors. This remarkable cultural blend has produced more than one local dialect but only one local identity.
Attractions within the province that should be explored include Phu Kradung, Phu Luang and Phu Reua National parks, as well as Tha Li and Chiang Khan
Administratively, Loei is divided into 12 districts (Amphoes) : Mueang, Wang Saphung, Phu Kradueng, Chiang Khan, Pak Chom, Tha Li, Phu Ruea, Dan Sai, Na Haeo, Na Duang, Phu Luang, Pha Khao, Erawan and Nong
History of Loei
Loei is a place where visitors can track down pre-historic remnants such as cave paintings depicting people, human hands, animals and various symbols. Eleven such caves have been discovered; two in Mueang District and the other nine in Phu Kradung District.
Fortunately, the provinces isolation has helped in retaining local traditions, while delaying and buffering against the intrusion of external changes.
The provincial seal depicts the stupa at Phra That Sri Songrak, which was built in 1560 by King Chai Chetha of Sri Sattana Kanahut and King Maha Chakrapat of Ayuthaya as a memorial of the demarcation of the border between the two towns. The two kings ratified their common border at the site where the Oo Stream meets the Mun Stream (currently Dan Sai
Loei is a gateway to the exploration of both natural and cultural attractions. In addition, there are many traditions and festivals that are well known among tourists such as the Phi Ta Khon Procession, the Loei Cotton and Tamarind Fair and Homage to Phra That Sri Songrak Festival.
Due to its geographical diversity and soil composition, agriculture is the basis for the provinces economy. While the highlands in Loei are favorable to warm-temperature crops such as highland rice, macadamia nuts, passion fruit, and Arabica coffee, the plains at the foot of the hills are suitable for tropical crops like soybean, bananas, maize, sesame, rubber, grapes, and longan. On the other hand, other lowland areas are good for rice, cotton, mangoes, tamarind and flowers like roses, jasmine and Thai Gerbera. However, the main agricultural products are tamarind, rubber, mangoes, longan, bananas and
How to get there
While Loei is easily accessible by road, one needs to use Udon Thani or Khon Kaen railway stations to reach Loei by train. A commercial airport is situated 6 kilometers from the town
As for river transportation, local residents use the Khong River to connect to
Route 1: From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 to Saraburi and Highway No. 21 via Phetchabun and continue the trip along Highway No. 203 via Lom Sak, Dan Sai and Phu Ruea to Loei. Total distance is 520 kilometers.
Route 2: From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 to Saraburi and Highway No. 2 via Nakhon Ratchasima to Khon Kaen, then continue driving along Highway No. 12 via Chum Phae before turning left into Highway No. 201 and proceed to Loei via Wang Saphung. Total distance is approximately 540
Buses depart from Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) to Loei every day. There are VIP (24-seat) buses departing at 8.30 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. while air-conditioned and regular buses depart on a daily basis. Daily buses are also operated on the Bangkok-Dan Sai-Phu Ruea route. For more information call 0 2936 2852-66
Regular trains depart from Bangkoks Hua Lamphong Railway Station (Tel. 1690, 02 223 7010-20) to Railway Station located in Udon Thani province. Then take a bus on route Udon Thani Loei to the provincial city (Loei). Call.1690, 0 2233 7010, or 0 2223 7020 for more up-to-date information, or contact Udon Thani Bus Terminal at 0 4222 2061. Alternatively, visit www.railway.co.th for more details on schedules and
Visitors can fly from Bangkok to Phetchabun, Udon Thani or Khon Kaen and continue the trip to Loei by bus. For more information, call Thai Airways International at tel.: 1566, 0 2628 2000, 0 2280 0060.
Air Andaman flies to Loei from Bangkok three times a week. For updated flight schedules, contact 042 81 2344.
Getting around the city
Tuk-tuk, which can be found at the bus station, can take you to any place in town for 5-10 bahts/person. Alternatively, a chartered tuk-tuk will cost approximately 40-50 baht/trip into
Getting to other provinces/Loeis districts
Numerous air-conditioned and regular buses provide services from Loei to its neighboring provinces namely Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Phetchabun, Phitsanulok and Nakhon Ratchasima Provinces. In addition, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Provinces can also be traveled to from Loei. Other than these provinces, Pak Chom, Chiang Khan, Na Duang, Wang Saphung and Tha Li Districts can also be reached from
Dok Fai Ban Makham Wan Mueang Loei Fair
Dok Fai Ban Makham Wan Mueang Loei Fair is held in front of the provincial hall during Chinese New Year in January-February. A procession decorated with cotton products is the highlight. There are also shops from various
Dok Mai Mueang Nao Fair
Dok Mai Mueang Nao Fair is held in Amphoe Phu Ruea during New Year. The fair features shops, pageants and the sale of decorative plants, flowers and agricultural
Phi Ta Khon Festival
Phi Ta Khon Festival is held at Amphoe Dan Sai in May or June. Aside from merit-making and a sermon, there is a procession bearing Phra Uppakhut, a rain-inducing Buddha image. Adult men and boys wear colourful ghost masks and join in the procession. The ghost costumes derive from a local legend. Some believe that they are from the Buddhist saga Phra Wetsandon Chadok.