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Renting car to tour Isan

by SukhiHotu Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 4:08 AM

Am planning on a trip to Isaan for 10 days?
Any ideas how to rent a car and recommendation on the route the to take?

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10 Answers
  • akkipaa's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting car to tour Isan

    by akkipaa Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    Could you give us more details, where are you flying. If you fly and start from Suvarnaphumi, the airport is easiest, not the cheapest, place to rent a car. I would propose you to use google maps and route planner there, gives you lenghts and other details.

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting car to tour Isan

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    Isaan is an area of Thailand that is missed by many tourists who prefer the beaches of the south and the hills of the north but there are quite a few places of interest for tourists.
    If you are renting a car from Suvarnabhumi Airport i would make my first stop at Khao Yai National Park, probably approach it from Pak Chong on route 2.
    http://www.travelfish.org/feature/252

    Continue along rte2 bypassing Khorat and maybe stopping at Buriram especially if there is a festival on such as the kite festival.
    isan.sawadee.com/buriram/eve...
    http://wikitravel.org/en/Buriram

    Next stop would be Surin where you can visit a nearby elephant camp and also venture to Phimai, old Khymer ruins.

    tourismthailand.org/Where-to...

    Further east you will reach Si Saket and from there you could visit the Khymer ruins of Khao Phra Viharn which are actually on the Cambodian side of the border but if there are no confrontations you can visit the site, but check first to see how the situation is as trouble has flared up in recent years.
    khmer-temple.com/kanjanee9.h...

    You could continue to the furthest point east at Khong Chiam where you can see some rapids on the Mekhong where it borders Laos.

    Then i would follow the Mekhong visiting such places as Mukdahan, That Phanom, Bang Kao, Nong Khai, Si Chiang Mai and ending up near Loie where you can hike up Phu Kradung--the table mountain with paths and wildlife if you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse.
    http://www.travelfish.org/feature/64

    Actually there are far too many worthwhile places to visit , so just start by studying the info i gave you and i am sure that other VTers will offer their opinions too.

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  • rosequartzlover1's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting car to tour Isan

    by rosequartzlover1 Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Hi! Driving along North eastern route,the road is ok but one thing I'd like to let you be careful.It's ashame to say this, but watch out for 'police'. I don't want to tell it directly but you may know there are many police in this world that try something you know..? So ..how to avoid is..try to drive not to fast than 110km, and try to keep left,otherwise they may try to stop you and ask for something.If you don't want to pay to him ,then try to speak nicely and patiently that just say sorry or something like that,then they they may let you go.There are many people try to be aggressive to them but it will make thing worse,they'll give you more trouble.And if.. if you really 'have to' give them something because look like he won't let you go,then the rate will be around 100 or 200 B.This is local rate but for foriegner ,I don't know now.
    Anyway ..this is very local inside story,and I'm not sure if this happen to any foreigner or not.But please come and enjoy Thailand,driving there is safe enough so don't need to worried for any other thing.I myself would like to drive around there solo one day soon too.
    Enjoy the trip. : )

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  • jojes's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting car to tour Isan

    by jojes Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Davidjo has made some great suggestions.
    We've been to some of the places in Isan he mentioned and it's really a beautiful area.
    We stayed in Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom, Khon Kaen and Loei.
    The drive along the shores of the Mekong is really stunning.
    Visited Phu Tok mountain, Phu Kradung, Kalassin ('Jurassic park'), Erawan cave, the Mekong rapids and of course some temples in the cities we've stayed.

    We didn't only rent a car, but hired a driver too. That worked out just fine. He lived in Udon Thani but hadn't yet visited most of the places he went with us ... So for him it was a nice trip too. Having him with us turned out to be very convenient, as most people in Isan don't speak English ... and our Thai was insifficient to clearly point out what we wanted or where we wanted to go. Even he had trouble sometimes to find the corrct road.

    We took the overnight sleeper train from Bkk to Nong Khai.

    We've also visited Khao Yai national park, leaving Bkk by bus to Pak Chong.
    It's a really nice national park. If you get up early enough you can visit a look-out-tower from where you can see the elephants.

    Have fun and enjoy your trip!
    Jessika

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  • somsakmah's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting car to tour Isan

    by somsakmah Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    You can rent a car from Hertz or Avis, they need no introduction, and they have a booth in the airport. Usually, being a well-known brand, they are a little expensive.
    You can also try http://www.ezyrentacar.com/ this is a local company which I used regularly. Sometimes they have great deals, for example right now they offer a Vios for 7 days at 5,555 baht.

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  • mim95's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting car to tour Isan

    by mim95 Online Now Mar 24, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    David has some good suggestions. We took a quick Issan driving tour a few years ago and it was mostly a Khmer ruins tour for us. We went to Khorat, Nong Khai, Phimai, Phanom Rung, and more Khmer ruins in Buriram and Surin, and then to Ubon. 10 days is good as you should have enough time. If you like nature, there are many national parks to visit too. We rented a car from a company based in Khorat.

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  • SukhiHotu's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting car to tour Isan

    by SukhiHotu Online Now Mar 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Thanks everyone for your suggestion...

    David, if I only have 4 days as compare to my initial plan of 10 days..
    Which sites are the miss not miss from Isaan??

    Thanks again...

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting car to tour Isan

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 30, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    4 days is not much but if you are interested in old ruins try see Phimai and Khao Phra Viharn but unfortunately it closed temporarily in the middle of this month and i am not sure if it has re-opened yet, but if it has the ruins are on top of a cliff with wonderful views over Cambodia.
    Elephant training camp may be interesting.
    Mukdahan and That Phanom could be of interest as they are situated on the mighty Mekhong!!!

    So with only 4 days the above should keep you busy.

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  • SukhiHotu's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting car to tour Isan

    by SukhiHotu Online Now May 20, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    Thanks alot for all the suggestion..

    Will try to keep those in my plan..

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting car to tour Isan

    by angiebabe Online Now Nov 9, 2013 at 5:03 AM

    great reading your reply here David - very inspirational info for me!
    Hope you will come back and let us know how you got on Sukhi and make some lovely travel pages of your travels to this area!

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