Laos loomed across the vast Mekong River as our motorbike hummed west. Water buffaloes, straw-hatted farmers and forest monks moved slowly in the heat. We detoured to viewpoints, temples, waterfalls and villages, entranced by the relaxed pace of life. But the best part about motorbiking the riverside road from Nong Khai to Sangkhom was the sense of freedom.
Known for its markets, riverside promenade, jaw-dropping sculpture park and the original Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, Nong Khai is probably the most popular travel destination in Isaan, or Northeastern Thailand. The capital is certainly worth a visit, but a 90-kilometre adventure to the tiny village of Sangkhom was our highlight of Nong Khai province.