Nong Khai Province

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Nong Khai
หนองคาย
Province
Official seal of Nong Khai
Seal
Map of Thailand highlighting Nong Khai Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Nong Khai Province
Country  Thailand
Capital Nong Khai
Government
 • Governor Suchat Nopphawan (since November 2014)
Area
 • Total 3,027 km2 (1,169 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 27th
Population (2014)
 • Total 517,269[1]
 • Rank Ranked 22nd
 • Density rank Ranked 37th
Time zone ICT (UTC+7)
ISO 3166 code TH-43

Nong Khai (Thai: หนองคาย, pronounced [nɔ̌ːŋ kʰāːj]) is the northernmost of the northeastern (Isan) provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are (from east clockwise) Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, and Loei. To the north it borders Vientiane Province, Vientiane Prefecture, and Bolikhamxai of Laos.

Geography[edit]

The province is in the valley of the Mae Nam Kong (Mekong River), which also forms the border with Laos. There are highlands to the south. The Laotian capital Vientiane is only 25 kilometres away from the provincial capital of Nong Khai. The Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge, which connects the two countries, was built jointly by the governments of Thailand, Laos, and Australia, and was opened in 1994.[2]

History[edit]

Nong Khai Aquarium
Phrathat Nong Khai

Over the centuries the control of the province swung between the Thai Kingdom Ayutthaya, and the Laotian kingdom Lan Xang, as their respective powers ebbed and flowed in the region.[3]

The Prap Ho Monument before the old city hall (now a museum and cultural center) memorialises the dead of the Haw wars.[4]

In more recent years, Nong Khai has become a popular destination during the Buddhist Lent festival when mysterious balls of light, or Naga fireballs, rise from the Mekong River. The balls resemble an orange sun. They rise out of the river approximately 6–9 meters (20 to 30 feet) and disappear after three to five seconds. Although the fireballs can be seen at other times, most Thais travel to see them during the full moon in October when the incidence of them is considered to be much higher.[5]

Nong Khai's main sight is Sala Keoku (alternatively spelled as Sala Kaew Ku, also known as Wat Khaek), a park of colossal sculptures, some over 20 m tall. The park is the handiwork of the mystic Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, who bought the land in 1978 when he was exiled from his native Laos, where he had built a similar park in Vientiane in the 1950s. Synthesizing Buddhist and Hinduist ideologies, Buddhas, many-armed goddesses, a seven-headed Naga snake, and various human-animal hybrids dominate the site.[6]

Symbols[edit]

The provincial seal shows a pond with a bamboo clump close to it. The bamboo symbolizes stability, glory, and continuity for the peaceful and fertile land.[7]

The provincial tree is the tamalan or Burma pallisander (Dalbergia oliveri).

Administrative divisions[edit]

As of 23 March 2011, the province is divided into nine districts (amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 62 subdistricts (tambon) and 705 villages (muban). The eight districts of Bueng Kan were districts of Nong Khai before they were split off to form Bueng Kan Province.

1.Mueang Nong Khai
2.Tha Bo
5.Phon Phisai
7.Si Chiang Mai
8.Sangkhom

14.Sakhrai
15.Fao Rai
16.Rattanawapi
17.Pho Tak

 
Map of amphoe

Transport[edit]

Nong Khai Railway Station

Air[edit]

The nearest airport is Udon Thani International Airport, which is 56 km from Nong Khai.

Rail[edit]

The main railway station in Nong Khai is Nong Khai Railway Station.

Road[edit]

The Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge was largely funded by a gift to the Lao government from the Australian government.[8] It is the road and railway gateway to Laos's capital, Vientiane, 25 kilometers upriver, on the north bank opposite the Thai town of Si Chiang Mai District. Construction of a rail spur to Thanaleng outside of Vientiane was begun early-2007 and officially opened 5 March 2009.[9]

Nong Khai is 626 km north of Bangkok[10] and 60 km north of Udon Thani.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population of the Kingdom" (PDF). Department of Provincial Affairs (DOPA) Thailand (in Thai). 2014-12-31. Retrieved 19 Mar 2015. 
  2. ^ "Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Nong Khai". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Prap Ho Monument". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Naga fireballs, Nong Khai". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Sala Kaeo Ku or Wat Khaek". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Masure, Yves. "Nong Khai". THAILEX Travel Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Australian Govt Dept of Foreign Trade, Feb 9 2008, "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-31. Retrieved 2014-11-11. ,
  9. ^ Spooner, Andrew (2009-02-27). "First Train to Laos". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Distance: Bangkok to Nong Khai". Google Maps. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Distance: Udon Thani to Nong Khai". Google Maps. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 17°52′5″N 102°44′40″E / 17.86806°N 102.74444°E / 17.86806; 102.74444