The Indochina Market in Mukdahan is an excellent place to go for a day trip from Sakon Nakhon. It takes a little under 2 hours, and there are a number of other attractions within the vicinity to make it a worthwhile journey. The Indochina Market has dozens of retailers, selling items such as locally made jewelry, fabrics, and snacks, Buddhist/Hindu statues and souvenirs, handwoven hats and bags, and kitchenware, toys, and clothing. While prices are already reasonable, negotiating prices is common, especially when purchasing multiple items.
The Indochina Market runs parallel to the Mekong River, which separates Mukdahan from the Laos border. While you can’t see the river from the market, it is but a short walk to get to the river’s edge for some beautiful views. We would recommend walking north toward the temple Wat Si Mongkol Tai and the adjacent Chao Mae Song Nang Shrine (ศาลเจ้าแม่สองนางพี่น้อง), from which there is a nice platform overlooking the river.
As you leave the Indochina Market walking street on the Northern end, you’ll see a large tree, wrapped in colorful fabric. This is a Banyan tree (a close relative of the Bodhi or Bo tree under which the Buddha achieved enlightenment). Banyan trees (like Bodhi trees) are a special class of fig trees which are considered sacred in Thailand. Banyan trees are said to be the home of spirits, and you’ll often see spirit houses placed at their base.
There is plenty of parking available at the Indochina Market in Mukdahan, in particular next to the Wat Yot Kaeo Siwichai temple, which is beside the walking street. Wat Yot Kaeo Siwichai was built in 1826, and houses a replica of the famous Phra That Phanom Chedi, as well as a large, gold Buddha statue, the facial features of which are quite unique and unlike those seen in other statues of the Buddha at Mukdahan temples. Overall, the architecture of Wat Yot Kaeo Siwichai is beautifully ornate, and indicative of its importance to the community.
Lastly, when it comes to having lunch, we would definitely recommend the noodle shops at Indochina Market, which are among some of the best in Thailand.