Nong Khai is a city in North-East Thailand and is the capital of the Nong Khai Province. It is situated on the Mekong River and is the site of the first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge across to Laos.The Thai-Lao Friendship bridge was largely funded by a gift to the Lao Government by the Australian Keating Labour Government. It is the Thai gateway to the Laos' capital of Vientiane, 25 kilometers up river, on the North bank opposite the Thai town of Sri Chiang Mai. At the time of its building, space for a rail track was installed along the center of the roadway to the Laos side. Construction of an extension to Tha Na Lang outside of Vientiane was begun early 2007, and officially opened March 5, 2009.
Nong Khai city is administered as Amphoe Mueang Nong Khai. A road sign Nong Khai's main sight is Sala Keoku (alternatively spelled as Sala Kaew Ku, also known as Wat Khaek), a park of massive sculptures (some over 20m tall). The park is the handiwork of the mystic Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, who bought the land in 1978 when he was exiled from his native Laos (where he had built a similar park in Vientiane in the nineteen-fifties). Synthesizing Buddhist and Hinduist ideologies, Buddhas, many-armed goddesses, a seven-headed Naga snake and all sorts of human-animal hybrids dominate the scenery.