Sakon Nakhon isn’t an Isaan tourist magnet in the way of Ubon Ratchathani or Loei, but the small province punches above its weight in the contest of craftsmanship and food getaways.
Returning to the province this Dec 9-11 is Sakon Hed, an annual craft and food festival organized by a group of the same name (meaning, Sakon-made).
The food highlight is undeniably the one-night, forest-to-table feast by the Fucking Chefs team, whose all-star cast includes chefs Weerawat “Num” Triyasenawat (of Samuay & Sons in Udon Thani), Napol “Joe” Jantraget and Saki Hoshino (of 80/20 in Bangkok), Phanuphon “Black” Bulsuwan (of chef's-table-only Blackitch in Chiang Mai) and Chalermpon “Van” Rohitratana (of Rarb and Escapade Burgers & Shakes in Bangkok). Basically, we’re talking the pioneers of Thailand’s movement for locally-sourced dining.
The chefs will plate up ingredients freshly foraged from the forests of Tao Ngoi and Cherng Doi districts in a six-course, B1,200 meal. For those interested in getting their hands dirty, try the one- and two-day foraging trips (B500 per day, depending on the number of participants). Get your seats now—the feast is limited to 30 spots. Book at 089-128-7390 or see the details (in Thai) here.
Walk off that meal shopping the non-edibles, such as indigo tie-dye brands Mae Teeta and Mann Crafts. Other craft masters represented are kombucha brewers Na Kham Hom, acoustic phin maker San’s Garage, and Don Moo Din’s ceramicist Walriya Pengsawang, who’s famous for creations combining Sakon soil and indigo paste. The festival will also feature craft workshops.
AirAsia and Nok Air run daily, direct flights from Don Muang Airport to Sakon Nakhon from around B2,600.