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Visit Sam Pan Bok  (Ubon Ratchathani)

g_translate Thai name : สามพันบก
reviews My opinion: starstarstarstarstar
Ubon Ratchathani
Ubon Sam Pan Bok
Ubon Sam Pan Bok Thailand
Ubon Ratchathani Sam Pan Bok
Sam Pan Bok means the 3000 holes. There must be more but I did not count! It is a rocky stretch of the Mekong River rapids eroded by swirling water during the rainy season that has formed holes or bok (a Lao word meaning deep holes). There is a section that the villagers nicknamed the Grand Canyon of Siam (the ancient name of Thailand). But its dimensions are much more smaller. Besides, in general, the phictures you can see of Sam Pan Bok, including mine, are a bit misleading because they play on the angles of view to make all look more impressive. The tour offered by the local guides takes you to take pictures that play on the points of view and make the result more incredible than reality, but it's really fun to do! In reality, the place is nice but not impressive in its height.

The most suitable period to visit Kaeng Sam Phan Bok is from December to May. From July to the end of October, the water covers the holes. Among the notable holes and rock formations, we can list: a rock whose shape resembles the head of a dog, holes in the shape of a heart or Mickey Mouse's head.

It is recommended to prefer to visit Sam Phan Bok at the beginning or end of the day when the heat is more bearable because there are no trees, no shade, it is a desert landscape with water, but it can be very hot!

Practical information about Sam Pan Bok 

Free entry

Sam Phan Bok can be visited in the dry season. From July to the end of October, the interesting part is usually submerged.

Local tourists mostly come to Sam Phan Bok on weekends. So it is when the place gets crowded. The songthaew service with a guide to walk you to see all the interesting holes costs 200 THB per car (I will say 8 people max). On weekends and public holidays, the local children serve as guides, and during the weekdays one of the souvenir sellers does it. It's better to come here on weekdays as you'll probably have the site to yourself with no other visitors. The tour takes around 1h30. There are also boat tours but, from my point of view, they are less interesting because they do not take you to see the most famous rock formations and holes and that remains the main interest of Sam Pan Bok. The cruise costs 500 THB per boat. The ideal would be to do both and then, it takes 3 hours.

It is better to visit Sam Pan Bok at the beginning or end of the day when the heat is more bearable because there are no trees, it is a desert landscape with no shade.

The new arrival point is quite far from the interesting area, so the songthaew service is really usefull and cheap so take it !. Songthaews are parked in front of the sign. There are a few stands selling souvenirs and drinks as well as a restaurant stand in the parking lot where you arrive.

How to get to Sam Pan Bok  ?

To get to Sam Pan Bok, prefer private transport because no bus goes directly from Ubon Ratchathani to Sam Phan Bok, and even if it is possible to go to Pho Sai which is 20 km by local bus, I am not sure that you will easily find a tuk-tuk or other transport there to take you to Samp Phan Bok, especially with the language barrier. In addition, by public transport, the journey takes a very long time, and it will be alsmost impossible for you to go back and forth during the same day. It seems that from Khemmarat, it is easier to come by bus but you have to check. Otherwise, there are a few resorts in the area that you can contact to organize your trip and visit with them while staying overnight.
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