Introducing Renu Nakhon
Renu Nakhon is a Phu Tai village known for cotton weaving, though few people in the town proper work their looms anymore. It's better to visit a nearby village, if you want to see cloth being made. The finished products, along with silk and cotton from Laos and elsewhere in Thailand, are sold in the big handicrafts market on the grounds of Wat Phra That Renu Nakhon as well as at a string of nearby shops. The temple's 35m-tall tâht closely resembles the previous chedi built in That Phanom and is considered very holy. Tour groups sometimes arrange Phu Tai folk dances on the stage outside the market.
The turn-off to Renu Nakhon is 8km north of That Phanom, and then it's another 7km west on Rte 2031. There's no public transport. Túk-túk drivers in That Phanom ask 300B round trip (200B for just one person) with a little waiting time for you to look at the tâht and do some shopping, but the final price depends on your bargaining skills. You might save a little travelling up to the junction and bargaining with a túk-túk driver there.