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615km (382 miles) NE of Bangkok; 51km (32 miles) N of Udon Thani

The little border town of Nong Khai is nothing special but its sprawling riverside market Tha Sadet is full of interesting goods from Laos and China, and the place has a palpable calm with some good, laid-back riverside guesthouses. Nong Khai is a popular jumping-off point for travel to Laos.