Written by

Sam Phan Bok lake in Thailand, popularly referred to as Thailand’s own Grand Canyon, is a captivating destination for adventure junkies. Located in the country’s northeastern region, close to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the lake presents a stunning view of sandstones, canyons, and deep hollowed-out rock basins or potholes that the great Mekong River has carved out over several million years. As you walk through this natural wonder, you are guaranteed to feel as if you are under a spell as you try to decode the mysteries of Thailand’s ancient geology at every given turn.

Sam Phan Bok Overview

Scenic beauty of Sam Phan Bok, along the Mekong River.

Image Credit:Yubonwan for Wikimedia Commons

Sam Phan Bok or the “Grand Canyon of Thailand” are the adjectives used to describe the seasonal phenomenon at the Mekong River in Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand. This natural splendour is a 110km stretch with numerous sandstone formations carving out over 3,000 shallow basins and potholes by the river over millions of years. The name for the site “Sam Phan Bok” translates to “3,000 shallow lakes,” which is a good representation of the large number of erosional depressions filled with water. Located 700 kilometres from Bangkok, this natural wonder provides a fascinating view for everyone interested in geological formations.

Must Read: Resorts In Koh Phi Phi

Activities And Things To Do At Sam Phan Bok

Sam Phan Bok or the Grand Canyon of Thailand is one of the most beautiful and interesting formations of the natural world that will leave any tourist breathless. The site has splendid rock faces and natural rock potholes for more than 30 km².

1. Take A Boat Ride

Boat riding is a must-do activity when you are in Thailand.

Image Credit: MithunAhamed for Wikimedia Commons

The famous view of the rocks can be seen in 30 minutes by boat from Sam Phan Bok. One may move by car for one hour to Wat Phu Phet. This interesting opportunity allows individuals to see the breathtaking views of natural phenomena, inhaling the majestic views of land formation. It is priced at about 500 baht, equivalent to 16 dollars per head, and the tour offers as fun a way to visit Sam Phan Bok as possible.

2. Picnic And Relaxation

Sam Phan Bok is a perfect picnic destination.

Image Source:Pexels

Sam Phan Bok is the perfect place to have a picnic and to take a rest with its fantastic and magnificent nature view. The site contains specially equipped zones with benches and the opportunity to place the wooden shadowed constructions for more comfortable rest in which people can sit back, relax, and enjoy the views. Whether one is interested in taking a break from the daily stressful world or partaking in a scrumptious meal within the natural sight of the arrayed views of this unique rock formation that is Sam Phan Bok.

Suggested Read: Hotels In Phi Phi Island

3. Photography

Sam Phan Bok situated along the Mekong River presents beautiful sceneries.

Image Credit:Visions of Domino for Wikimedia Commons

The grandeur site of Sam Phan Bok offers a photogenic opportunity that is rare to be seen, quite indeed hard to be beaten. It is possible to take hundreds of shots of various rocks, the grey, orange, and black colours that paint this wonder of nature. Regardless of whether one is a professional photographer or an amateur who loves to capture beautiful sceneries of nature, one will be able to take pictures that cannot be repeated at Sam Phan Bok.

4. Unveil The Beauty

Dog footprint rock formation in Thailand.

Image Credit: ::::=UT=:::: for Wikimedia Commons

The site reveals a splendid piece of creation, patterns of the natural environment, colourful and composed rock formations, and naturally carved rock depressions. This wonder offers scenic views that can be ideal for taking beautiful and memorable pictures. Visitors are welcome to sit back and enjoy the marvel of this natural occurrence and capture moments worth framing on camera. Sam Phan Bok is the greatest opportunity to reveal and capture the creator’s magnificent work within photos, whether imposing geological structures, bright colours, or engravings.

Suggested Read: Coral Island Thailand

5. Adventure And Exploration

Trekking in Sam Phan Bok and exploring the rock formations is a thrilling experience.

Image Source:Pxhere

Sam Phan Bok is a land that can be considered a Mecca for all who love to have thrilling adventures in their lifetimes. Visitors can choose from elaborate trails that would let trekkers marvel at the canyons and climb cliffs for an exhilarating adventure. Some canyons invite explorers to come over to conquer the cliffs and get splendid views of the mighty Mekong River. Whether you are an adventurous hiker, a thrill-seeker or just a photographer who seeks the majestic beauty of nature, Sam Phan Bok will surely not disappoint you.

Sam Phan Bok Nearby Attractions

Next to the Sam Phan Bok, the so-called ‘’Grand Canyon of Thailand ’’, several other attractions are situated, which makes the overall visit even more exciting.

1. The Two-Colour River

Stunning view of the two-colour river, located near Sam Phan Bok in Thailand.

Image Credit:Naikhumklao for Wikimedia Commons

The two-colour river also known as the Maenam Song Si is one of the rivers found in Thailand. What makes this river unusual is the fact that it has two different coloured currents. The river, referred to as the New River, bifurcates, and one half of the river looks blue while the other half has green water. This is because, at some time, the water holds the sediments as well as the algae in different quantities. This river attracts many tourists who must recognize this natural curiosity. It is one of the attractions on the territory of Thailand, and people come to it from all over the world to enjoy the view.

Suggested Read: Thailand Airports

2. Pha Taem National Park

The rich landscape of Pha Taem National Park, situated near Sam Phan Bok in Thailand.

Image Credit: Alabama Martin Künzel for Wikimedia Commons

It is one of the off-beat national parks of Thailand situated in Ubon Ratchathani Province. It is located in the confines of Thailand and Laos and along the line of the Mekong River. It covers an area of about 340 square kilometres and is endowed with spectacular scenery, the historical art of prehistoric painters in the forms of early paintings on rocks, and other distinct features of geological features. Tourism attractions include the forest, cliffs, and waterfalls among others. Any interested visitor can be able to view the cultural history of the area depicted from the rocks. It has proven to be a great destination situated in an area that is so off the beaten track for many tourists.

3. Sang Chan Waterfall

Picturesque natural scene of Sang Chan Waterfall.

Image Source:Pexels

Sang Chan Waterfall or Long Ru Waterfall is a very beautiful waterfall and is located in Khong Chiam, Thailand. The waterfall also has a central feature of a hole in the overhead rock which, when opened at night, glimmers in the full moonlight. This natural asset has endowed the waterfall with a lot of visitors both from within and outside the country. However, the surrounding area is filled with verdant vegetation, trails for trekking, and chances for water baptising in the flow formations. Overall, visiting Sang Chan Waterfall provides one with an experience that harmoniously blends nature with a touch of mysticism.

Suggested Read: Festivals In Thailand

4. Sao Chaliang

View of Sao Chaliang, a must-see place near Sam Phan Bok in Thailand.

Image Credit:Charin ninsu for Wikimedia Commons

Sao Chaliang can be described as a Thai village with stunning views with a blend of the traditional way of living. It is in the Ubon Ratchathani Province of Thailand, in the northeast just shy of the Mekong River. In detail, the area contains beautiful forests, high cliffs, and beautiful waterfalls and, therefore, a paradise for naturalists. Sao Chaliang also has paintings, archaeological sites and mechanical structures which give a past culture of the area. Thus, the visitors can study the above cultural values alongside the impressive views of the natural scenery and create a unique experience. Regardless of the reasons one may be visiting the country to seek thrill or even peace, Sao Chaliang provides an enjoyable ride through different aspects of Thailand including its traditions and scenery.

Best Time To Visit Sam Phan Bok Lake In Thailand

Close-up of Lake’s rock formations in Thailand

Image Source: Facebook

Sam Phan Bok is a splendid natural wonder in Thailand, it is recommended to visit it from December to May when there is no rain. During this period, the Mekong River flows low, which offers a whole different view of the place. Early mornings are particularly enchanting to watch the sunrise, while sunsets are magical, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink, and creating a picturesque backdrop for this natural wonder.

Suggested Read: Hotels In Phi Phi Island

How To Get To Sam Phan Bok Lake In Thailand

reach Thailand by train in Sam Phan Bok.

Image Credit: Maurits90 for Wikimedia Commons

By Car or Motorbike

  • From Khong Chiam: Currently, the nearest town to the Sam Phan Bok is Khong Chiam which is about 80 km to the south from there. From Khong Chiam, one can either drive a car or else you can motorbike to Sam Phan Bok.
  • Take Highway 2112: Sam Phan Bok is accessible by car from Khong Chiam, where you take Highway 2112 and drive approximately 80 km.

By Taxi or Tour

  • From Khong Chiam: Guesthouses in Khong Chiam can arrange for a private taxi/car or a guided tour to take visitors to Sam Phan Bok.
  • From Ubon Ratchathani: The second adequate option is to take a flight from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Ubon Ratchathani and then drive a metered taxi to Sam Phan Bok which costs approximately 2,389 Baht and will take you two and half – three hours.

By Sightseeing Boat

  • From Hat Salueng: A tourist boat ride is possible from Hat Saluen. The 4-kilometre route includes the start at “What Saluang” and the end at “Pak Bong”

Further Read: Coral Island Thailand

Grand Canyon of Thailand, or Sam Phan Bok Lake, is a phenomenal site showcasing the country’s unique geological features. From the magnificent sandstone forest, with its towering cliffs and large metal potholes, to thrilling boat cruises on the mighty Mekong River, Sam Phan Bok invites everyone to embrace their inner explorer. Take the opportunity to meet this natural marvel where each second is a reference to the might of nature and the finest qualities of landscapes of the Thai Kingdom. Book a trip to Thailand and discover why this hidden gem is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Thailand.

For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here.

Cover Image Credit:Yubonwan for wikimedia commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Sam Phan Bok

What is the best way to traverse around the rock formations and potholes at Sam Phan Bok?

To access the area, it is advised to take a guided hike or rent a longtail boat to move through the area safely.

Is there a place to spend a night near Sam Phan Bok?

There are simple lodges and homestays in the town of Khong Chiam a few kilometres off the national park.

Is it possible to swim or engage in any water activities at Sam Phan Bok?

Swimming is prohibited at Sam Phan Bok due to the rock basins. Additionally, the powerful currents of the Mekong River make swimming dangerous.

Is there any precaution a visitor should take while at Sam Phan Bok?

Bring strong footwear, and enough drinking water, and put on protective clothing as the environment has no shelter from the sun.

Is Sam Phan Bok accessible during the rainy season?

It could be best averted during the monsoon season since the Mekong River at this time is shallower which restricts accessibility.

People Also Read:

Category: Places To Visit, Thailand, Things To Do

Best Places To Visit In India By Month

Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month