When you are visiting the region of Isan, many points of interest or sightseeing are not necessarily grouped together.
You will need transport like a motorbike, car, taxi or tour company. Do not miss the Ubolratana Dam in Khon Kaen, located at +/- 50 min north of the city and easy to get there. Take the number 2 road towards Udon Thani and turn left onto Route 2109 at Baan Kham Kaen.
A stop at Phra Bat Phu Pan Kham temple
First, stop Phra Bat Phu Pan Kham temple (see map below) and its magnificent view of the region. Impossible to miss, arriving at the temple by the road 2109, a huge white Buddha will begin to appear, majestic on his hill. Arriving at the foot of it, the stairs (+/- 1050 steps) leading to the temple are a long walk, but there is a road to the right that leads directly to the summit with plenty of parking.
There, the view is breathtaking on the area and the lake. You will find below the statue of Buddha a temple where visits are allowed. Once inside, the decor is flowery and typical Thai temples. Do not forget to hit the gong three times for luck and ring the bells to ward off evil spirits.
Eating on a raft at Bang Saen 2
Going down, take Route 4063 towards Bang Saeng 2 (see map below). You will need +/- 10 min to arrive on the shores of the lake and its countless floating restaurants. There you can sit and enjoy the food and drinks to spend the rest of the day.
However, making your choice is not simple if you are not accompanied by locals, in this case, ask to enter the raft and look at the atmosphere (cleanliness and decor). You have the choice for instance between a raft on the bank or a karaoke raft with a pilot. Therefore raft on the lake is more suitable for large groups. The proposed attractions are a bit ‘old’, bananas-boats pulled by old jet-skis, guaranteed fun.
Epic view over the lake at Khao Khat viewpoint
After that, if you are not too eager to get in, you can follow this road to come back to Khon Kaen along the shores of the lake and admire the scenery.
You will find very epic views to the North, the Khao Khat viewpoint (see map below), at +/- 20 min by car. Views are clearer to take pictures or videos, don’t hesitate to eat many fresh fruits from the local’s shops.
In conclusion, the Ubolratana dam is a very good place to enjoy a day in the magnificent region of Khon kaen.
Directions via Google Map: