Nong Khai is a lovely city and the area by Tha Sadet Market on the banks of the Mekong River is my favourite hang out place when I visit there. The market can get very busy and rabid hot. I shop for what I want and then hit one of two bars at opposite ends of the market. Sometimes both. Rimkong Restaurant & Bar and Go Thasadej are two Nong Khai bars I recommend if you’re looking for decent food, reasonably priced drinks and very pleasant staff.
Nong Khai Bars by the Riverside
Go Thasadej is about 15 metres from the left hand entrance to the market and has been there for many years. The bar has an easy-going, almost sluggish climate, but sometimes that’s just what Doc Holiday prescribes. The staff are ultra friendly and the outside seating is perfect for watching Nong Khai’s portrayal of the world go by.
Duckstein, Paulaner and Wethenstephan are all beers with Bavarian links. English cider is an entirely different thing having a strong bond with mad dogs and midday sun. Lao Dark, a very popular beer, is 80 baht a bottle.
The outside seating is a bit squashed but there’s plenty of room inside. The bar has a regular custom of expats and a few passing tourists too. Go Thasadej isn’t a bouncy, loud music bar, it’s a laid-back, sleepy lunchtime watering hole – slow-slow not go-go might be the best words to define it.
Food is one reason why Go Thasadej has a steady expat customer base although its cuisine does receive mixed views on TripAdvisor. From my experience I can’t understand why.
I certainly had no complaints with the cheeseburger on the right (click to enlarge). Tasty, a big size, plenty of real cheese and easy on the wallet. One of the best burgers I’ve eaten in Thailand. The menu has a good mix of European and Thai dishes and its continental and Bavarian breakfasts are popular mid morning meals.
Rimkong Restaurant & Bar
Rimkong Restaurant & Bar is about 50 metres from the right hand entrance to Tha Sadet Market and has a view overlooking the Mekong River and neighbouring Laos. It’s a roller shutter, open air type of place, like so many you see in Thailand’s popular tourist resorts. It wouldn’t look out-of-place in a quiet Pattaya side street.
The restaurant has an ebb and flow of customers – you can be sat on your own one minute and swapping fish tales with tourists and expats the next. The time of day, season and how the roll of a business dice falls depends which. Either way, the staff are cordial and the restaurant’s menu lengthy and widespread.
English breakfast, burgers, pastas, pizza, sandwiches and steaks are some of the Western dishes to feast upon. There’s also plenty of Thai food to chew and a decent choice of bottled beers and wines as well. A sample of the menu and prices are pictured below.
Go Thasadej and the Rimkong Restaurant aren’t two Nong Khai bars that’ll blow your boat out of the water but they will rock it gently from side to side. They are good honest places to eat and drink. Fair and square value too. A pebble without a flaw being worth more than a fake diamond is a good adage to describe them. Both get a thumbs up recommendation from me.
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