On the 3d and final leg of my journey through Loei province, I stopped in the small town of Pak Chom. Situated on the Mekong River about 1 1/2 hours east of Chiang Khan, Pak Chom was a rather pleasant city, but lacked the charm and the tourist infrastructure of Chiang Khan. The cute gift shops, boutiques and trendy coffee shops that were so abundant in Chiang Khan were nonexistent in Pak Chom. Furthermore, Pak Chom, with a population of about 50,000, was a considerably larger town than Chiang Khan – it even had its own hospital.
Tourist friendly accommodations are relatively scarce in Pak Chom - there are just a handful of small bungalow style motels, most of them located just off the highway and close to the river. Most travelers stay in Pak Chom for only night before they move on to their destination. From what I have read, a lot of bikers will often overnight in this small city.
I stayed at Ruenrat Resort, a place I found listed in the Internet. A small family run motel, Ruenrat Resort was located about 1 mile from town. The owners were very friendly and tried to make my stay as comfortable as possible. During the days, I kept myself occupied by bicycling around town and along the Mekong River.
Looking back, I enjoyed my brief four-day stay in Pak Chom – it gave me an opportunity to be away from my fellow tourists – both farang and Thai – and experience a part of Thailand that few visitors are able to.