The Otherworldly Sam Phan Bok
Villagers call Sam Phan Bok the “Mekong Grand Canyon” for a reason. Its otherworldly landscape has inspired fables and fairytales since ancient times.
When asked about special places to see and experience in Thailand, Ubon Ratchathani is one place to my mind that’s off the beaten path. It is located in Thailand’s northeastern Isaan region. With the Mekong River flowing along the borders with Laos, the landscapes here are different than the typical places you see in Thailand.
You wouldn’t think tropical Thailand would have dry arid landscapes, but in the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani there is the otherworldly “Sam Phan Bok.” In the Isaan language, Sam Phan Bok means 3,000 holes. Caverns and canyons emerge as the Mekong River bed evaporates in the dry season, revealing naturally eroded holes just waiting to be explored.
- “Sam Phan Bok,” or the 3,000 holes, is located at Ban Song Khon, Amphoe Pho Sai, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand.
- “Bok” is a Laotian word that refers to a deep hole in the rapids under the Mekong River. These rapids can be noticed in the dry season when there is no water.
- Villagers call it the “Mekong Grand Canyon.”
- The most suitable period to visit Sam Phan Bok is from December to May.
- Transportation: It is 120 kilometres from Ubon Ratchathani province. Drive along Highway 2050 to Amphoe Pho Sai, a distance of 110 kilometres. Travel to Ban Song Khon and drive on for another 3 kilometres.
- Reference: https://www.tourismthailand.org
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