The Grand Canyon of Thailand: Sam Pan Bok

Sam Pan Bok (3,000 Holes)

One of the lesser known attractions of Thailand is the impressive Sam Pan Bok – the Grand Canyon of Thailand, located near Ubon Ratchathani, close to Laos.

Made up of sandstone cliffs that run along the Mekong River, the Sam Pan Bok canyon can be best seen by taking long tail boat tours from the Song Khon village. The boat stops in few places allowing the tourists to step on different rock formations and sandy beaches.

Climbing up to the plateau, the view is breathtaking. The 7 meters tall and 20 meters wide plateau lying in the middle of the Mekong River is filled with many holes and basins. No wonder the name of the place Sam Pan Bok means ’3,000 holes’.

The best time to visit is during the dry season between December and April, in the mornings and evenings.

Sam Pan Bok - The Grand Canyon of Thailand

Sam Pan Bok – The Grand Canyon of Thailand

Long tail boat

Long tail boat

Boat approaching the shore

Boat approaching the shore

Volcanic landscape

Volcanic landscape

Sam Pan Bok sandstone cliffs

Sandstone cliffs

Sam Pan Bok canyon

View of the canyon

Sam Pan Bok tourists taking photos

Tourists on the canyon ridge

Sam Pan Bok canyon

Sam Pan Bok canyon

3,000 holes canyon

3,000 holes

Children playing at the Sam Pan Bok canyon

Children playing

Sam Pan Bok canyon hole

Canyon hole


Sandy beach

Nearby Attractions

Wat Thung Si Muang Temple

Wat Thung Si Muang is a temple on stilts built in the middle of a lotus covered pond. A wooden bridge connects the temple with the land.

The temple was constructed in the 1800s in a mix of Lao, Burmese and Thai styles. A replica of the Buddha’s footprint can be found inside the temple.

Wat Thung Si Muang Temple

Wat Thung Si Muang Temple

Phu Phrabat Bua Bok Forest Park

Here you can find interesting mushroom shape rock formations formed by glaciers.

Phu Phrabat rocks

Phu Phrabat balancing rocks

Related Links & Directions
Area Map