Nong Han Lake (หนองหาน) in Sakon Nakhon is the largest lake in northeastern Thailand, the area of the country known as Isaan. The beautiful lake covers an area of 125.2 km², which is a surprise to some people who believe the Thai Northeast to be an excessively dry place. One of the best places to view the lake is from Nong Han Viewpoint (near the Lotus Park) on the road that goes to Nakhon Phanom. You’ll find a boardwalk there which leads out through lily pads to a small island, where you can see egrets, herons, ducks, and the Asian openbill stork (which is fast becoming one of the most seen waterbirds in Thailand). You might also catch a glimpse of the occasional fishermen in a small wooden boat.
However, as the lake is so large, there are many nice places to enjoy the water, flora, and bird life. You can hire a longtail boat with a driver who will take you on a tour of the 20 islets that populate the lake, including Ko Don Sawan, where a deserted temple and ancient Buddha images are located. Another popular option is to grab some Thai food and drinks, and hire a large floating raft at Ban Tha Wat Rafts (แพบ้านท่าวัด อาเล็กแพ) or Nong Eun Rafts (แพน้องเอิร์น ล่องแพบ้านท่าวัดเหนือ), and eat lunch while floating out on the lake.
To learn more about the Ban Tha Wat lakeside community, its 3 beautiful temples (Wat Maha Phrom Phothirat, Wat Klang Si Chiang Mai, and Wat Pa Eo Kan), and the rafting/dining opportunities, please go to the page Nong Han Lake rafts.
Read about the ancient Khmer city of Eek Thee Ta, which (according to legend) now lay buried beneath Nong Han Lake: The Naga Legend of Nong Han.