How to get to Loei

Land and Nature

Location at the northernmost tip of the northeastern region of Thailand, Loei possesses different geographical features from those of other northeastern provinces. Up to two-thirds of its area is occupied by mountains covered with manifold forests, while its districts Amphoe are located on narrow agricultural valleys. A sea of mountains encircles Loei on all but one side.

A sea of mountains encircles Loei on almost all sides. The Western Phetchabun range separates Loei from Phitsanulok and Phetchabun, from the west districts of Na Haeo and Dan Sai to the southern districts of Phu Luang and Phu Kradueng. Well-known peak on this range are Phu Luang, the first two of which have been designated national parks, while the latter is a wildlife sanctuary. The Loei River and The Man River, are the major sources of water supply of the provinces of water supply of the province, originate from the fertile range.

The Eastern Phetchabun range extends separating Amphoe Pha Khao, King Amphoe Erawan, Amphoe Pak Chom from the provinces of Nong Bua Lam Phu, Udon Thani, and Nong Khai. The Mekong and Hueang rivers separate northern Loei from Laos.

Loei is famed for not only its expansive sea of mountains but also it’s the coldest spot in Thailand. The northeastern monsoon, which blows chilliness from Chaina blows Chilliness from Chaina derectly onto the province through the open space in the north, creates the phenomenon locally called Mae-Kaning, or frozen dew. Frost can often be seen, especially in Phu Rues, which once made the coldest record of -0.3 degrees Celsius in January 1974.

Turning Points in History

Pre-historical period

9000 year ago in this Paleoluthic age, wandering people survived by gathering food and hunting. Pebbles tools and terra cotta pottery were produced during this period can be found in Chiang Khan along the Maekong bank.

5000 year ago This Neolithic period coincided with the world famous Ban Chiang archeological site in present-day Udon Thani. Things made of polished stone, especially axes and bracelets, are scattered in almost 100 sites in Tha Li, Pak Chom and Chiang Khan in the north and in the plains on the central and southern parts of the districts of Muang Loei and Wang Saphung

4000-2000 year ago Evidences found from this Broze Age lead to the assumption that iron and copper were mined in the districts of Pak Chom and Muang Loei.

Historical periods

7-11 centuries A Bai Sema a sacred boundary stone of a Buddhist temple from the Thawa-rawadi period was found at Wang Saphung.

15th century People settled down in 3 sites in present-day Loei; I.e. in Ban Se Lai in the central plain, Chiang Khan in the north by the Mekong bank, and Dan Sai in the west. These 3 towns and environs were under the rule of Lan Xang Kingdom in present-day Laos.

1560 Somdet Phra Maha Chakkaphat, King of Ayutthaya, and Phrachao Chaiyachetthathirat, King of Si Sattanakhanahut or Lan Xang kingdom, joined hands to build Phra That Si Song Rak at Dan Sai. Literally meaning “Sublime Love of Two”, the3 Phra That (a pagoda with the Buddha’s inside) was the symbol of a friendly relationship between Ayutthaya and Lan Xang kingdoms at the time of Myanmar’s encroachment into the Chao Phraya and Mekong Rivers.

1695 Turmoil in Lan Xang broke the kingdom into two parts, centered in Luang Prabang in the north and Vientiane in the south. Chiang Khan, located in the left bank of the Mekong River, then became Luang Prabang’s frontline state vis-a vis Vientiane

1778 Lan Xang, including Chiang Khan, became tributary states of Thon Buri, the capital of Thailand at that time

1853 Loei was given town status (called Muang Loei Thai), under Monthon Udon or regional administrative region), King Rama IV graciously appointed Tao Kamsaen to be the first governor of Loei with the title of Luang Si Songkhram.

1903 In the reign of King Rama V, the dispute between Thailand and France resulted in Thailand’s relinquishing its political rights over the left bank of the Mekong River to France. People in Chiang Khan migrated from Chiang Khan in Laos to Loei, and called their newly established town by the old name.

1933 Loei was upgraded to provincail status.

1961 Highway 201 ran from Khon Kaen to Loei, thus serving as the linkage to this province and enticing many people to migrate to Loi.

1992 Loei was developed into a center for tourism in the Mekong region.


Indigenous people in Loei call themselves Thai Loei and call others in the northeastern region Thai Tai, meaning Thais living in the South and call people in Bangkok Thai Krung Thep. They have fair complexion like peoples in the north of Thailand. Old women often have long hair to make a topknot at the back of their heads. Their unique dialect, called Thai Loei language, resembles those spoken in Amphoe Lom Sak Phetchabun; Amphoe Nam Pat, Uttaradit; and Chai Buri and Luang Prabang in present-day Laos. It is thus assumed that Loei people had close relations with those in Luang Prabang, while had closer relations with Vientiance, is that the carnival-like festival in Dan Sai, call Phi Ta Khon, resembles Puyoe Yayoe festival in Muang Kaen Tao, a town near Luang Prabang.

Thai Dam

This group of people migrated from Laos in 1874 to settle down in various areas, including the present-day provinces of Phetcahburi, Ratchaburi, Saraburi and Nakhon Sawan. The Thai Dam community in Loei can be found in Ban Na Panat in Chiang Khan.

At present most Thai Dam in Ban Na Panat have abandoned their belief in spirits and converted to Buddhism. These people, particularly the old-aged, still communicate in their own language, and keep close contact with their compatriots in Phetchaburi.

Thai Phuan

Thai Phuan people live in Ban Buhom and Ban Klang in Chiang Khan. It was recorded that they migrated from villages near Luang Prabang to settle down in Ban Buhom. After Ban Buhaom becamedd too crowded, some moved to settle down in Ban Klang.

Thai Phuan people, especially those in Ban Klang, still hold strong beliefs in Nang Thiam, or a medium, who uses her extrasensory powers to cure illness and to provide morale support to those in distress.  


Site Map: Loei

::: Loei

::: Loei Hotels:

::: Attractions:

::: To Sacred Temples
::: Along the Mekong
::: Glimpse of Loei
::: Conquer Summits

::: How to get to Loei

::: Loei Map

::: Loei Festival

::: Tour Programs Loei

::: Local Cuisine Loei

Loei Hotel Reservation


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