In Thai, the word loei means “beyond” or “to the farthest extreme,” a fitting name for a town and province that lie in Rolling hills near Loei, typical of this part of the Northeast the northernmost part of Northeast Thailand, straddling the edge of the Khorat Plateau. Though the province is administrated as part of Isan (the Northeast), its climate and landscape are more similar to those of Northern Thailand. In winter it is cold and foggy, in summer searingly hot. In the past, bureaucrats who had fallen out of favor with the Siamese government, based in Bangkok, were posted to the remote town of Loei as punishment for their inefficiency. One fortunate aspect of Loei’s isolation is that it firmly retains its traditional flavor. Lying along the west bank of the Loei River, Loei has a few sights of interest to vis itors. There is a lively market by the bridge across the river, and next to the bridge is the Lak Muang or “city pillar.” The town also has an old Chinese shrine, Chao Pho Kut Pong, a popular place of worship for the local people. The surrounding valley is rich in minerals and also produces some of the finest cotton in Thailand. Examples of this can be bought in Loei, in shops along Charoenraj Road and Ruamchai Road.
Loei also has a reasonable amount of cheap accommodations, making it a good base from which to visit Phu Rua and Phu Kradung national parks.