This place is essentially the main pier for the ferry across the Mekhong River to Tha Dua in Laos. However, Tha Sadet has also become the focal point for local trade between this part of Thailand and neighbouring Laos. The market here is often called the 'Indochina Market' because goods sold here are mainly from across the region, but there are also a lot of items from the former Eastern bloc countries and of course local produce. It makes for interesting shopping - clothes, kitchen utensils, food and fishing equipment... It's all here at rock bottom prices! Taking it home will be difficult though...
Details: Although traders from Thailand are allowed to go into Thailand for three days and a time and vice versa, everyone else needs a visa. Officially visas have to be obtained from the Laotian Embassy in Bangkok so you won't be diving over the border without the proper paperwork. However, there has been some relaxation recently to promote tourism. You can cross the border for 15 days if you:
- Hold a return or onward ticket and a visa for your next destination
- Holds have a bank statement showing a minimum of $400 (or life insurance policy for the same amount)
- Can prove you have a contact based in Laos
- Have a confirmed hotel reservation in Laos
- Are prepared to pay $30 for a visa stamp!
However, these are only relaxations and if you visit to the area is going to include a trip to Laos, talk to their Embassy first. The market is open daily.
How to get there: The easiest way to get to Tha Sadet Market from the centre of Nong Khai is Songtaew.