I was able to sleep somewhat on the overnight bus journey from Sukhothai to Khon Kaen, and arrived at the latter’s bus terminal at about 4.15am. I was initially told by the staff at the information booth (who barely spoke English) that I would have to take a 5am bus to Udon Thani to connect to Nong Khai, but at 4.45am I could hear a lady and a man screaming “Nong Khai” and “Udon Thani” which got my attention. Apparently a bus had just arrived from Bangkok that would take me direct to Nong Khai, so I managed to get a seat for 120 baht. The journey was about 3.5 hours, and I slept through most if it as well.
I got a single room at Joommalee Guesthouse for 200 baht. Within walking distance from the bus terminal, it has private bathroom with hot water, free wifi, fan, and TV (which I did not use). Guests can also use bikes for free, which I did use to get to Sala Kae Ku. Oh the bathroom and toilet has no doors (just partitioned off), but this is a single room! I didn’t even notice initially. And I suspect I was the only guest in the whole guesthouse (basically the owner’s house) for the night.
There is really nothing much to do in Nong Khai. The Governor’s Mansion Museum stated in Lonely Planet 2012 doesn’t seem to exist anymore, although the building (presumably the governor’s mansion) is still there, and the Nong Khai Museum was closed and deserted when I went on a Wednesday afternoon. The Tha Sadet Market was pretty much “same same”, and the sunset cruise on the Mekong River onboard the boat belonging to Mut Mee Garden Guesthouse was a no go due to propeller problems. Only the Sala Kae Ku (20 baht), a sculpture park, was interesting enough, but you need to cycle a short distance from town or find other means of transport.