Amnat Charoen

Amnat Charoen, located along the Mekong River in Northeastern Thailand, is an area of great natural beauty, featuring a reservoir, the Mekong River, and unspoiled forests and mountains. Amidst this setting are many old temples with exquisite Buddha images and a number of villages engaged in handicrafts production, including silk, for which the province is renowned.

 

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ISAN is the northeastern region of Thailand. It is located on the Korat Plateau, bordered by the Mekong River (along the border with Laos) to the north and east, by Cambodia to the southeast and the Prachinburi mountains south of Nakhon Ratchasima. To the west it is separated from Northern and Central Thailand by the Phetchabun mountain range.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, northeastern Thailand has been officially known as Isan, a term adopted from Sanskrit Ishan, meaning in a “north east direction.” The term "Isan" was derived from Isanapura, the capital of the Chenla kingdom. The Lao-speaking population of the region, who comprise the majority, distinguish themselves not only from the Lao of Laos but also from the central Thai by calling themselves Khon Isan or Thai Isan. The Khmer-speaking minority and Kuy (Suai), who live in the south of Isan, speak dialects and follow customs more similar to those of Cambodia than either the Thai people or the Lao people. Agriculture is the main economic activity. Production lags behind the rest of the country due to the socio-economic conditions and the exceptionally hot, dry climate. Isan remains Thailand's poorest region.

The main language is Isan, which is a dialect of the Lao language. Currently written with the Thai alphabet (instead of the slightly different Lao alphabet), Isan belongs to the Chiang Seng and Lao–Phutai language groups, which along with Thai are members of the Tai languages of the Tai–Kadai language family. Thai is also spoken by almost everyone. Khmer, the language of Cambodia, is widely spoken in areas along the Cambodian border: Buriram, Surin, and Sisaket. The people are aware of their Lao ethnic origin, but Isan has been incorporated into the modern Thai state. Several Thai prime ministers have come from the region. Prominent aspects of Isan culture of include Mor Lam, an indigenous type of folk music, Muay Thai boxing, cock fighting, and celebratory processions. Isan food, in which Sticky Rice (Khao niew) and chiles are prominent, is distinct from Thai cuisine. Sticky rice is a staple of Thai Northeastern cuisine, and it accompanies most meals.

 

 

ISAN MAP : Amnat Charoen @ Thailand Loei Nong Khai Nakhon Phanom Udon Thani Sakon Nakhon Nong Bua Lam Phu Khon Kaen Chaiyaphum Kalasin Mukdahan Maha Sarakham Amnat Charoen Nakhon Ratchasima Roi Et Buriram Surin Sri Sa Ket Ubon Ratchathani Bueng Kan

Amnat Charoen

Amnat Charoen is part of the lower Northeast region and its eastern boundary is formed by the Mekong River where it shares a border with neighboring Laos. Amnat Charoen was first established during the reign of King Rama III of Ratanakosin (Bangkok) some two centuries ago and was once a part of Ubon Ratchathani until it was upgraded to a province in 1993.

Although it is a small and tranquil town, Amnat Charoen has various attractions and visitors can stroll around and see picturesque rice paddies and fruit orchards, the rocky rapids of Mekong River, and the production of various quality handicrafts. Further, Amnat Charoen is known as the Land of Dharma and it features a number of beautiful, old temples with exquisite sacred Buddha images set within peaceful, natural environments.

Amnat Charoen is particularly well known for its silk products. The villages most famous for silk production include Baan Chan Lan, Baan Soi, Baan Pueai, Baan Hua Dong, and Baan Nam Thuam. Furthermore, most people in Amphoe Chanuman are descendant of the Phu Thai ethnic group that migrated from Lao. They specialize in weaving “Khit” cloth, which has unique patterns.

 


Every November, the people of Amnat Charoen hold boat races on the Mekong River, in front of Amphoe Chanuman’s office, during which visitors can enjoy the races by day and shopping and entertainment by night.

Amnat Charoen, located along the Mekong River in Northeastern Thailand, is an area of great natural beauty, featuring a reservoir, the Mekong River, and unspoiled forests and mountains. Amidst this setting are many old temples with exquisite Buddha images and a number of villages engaged in handicrafts production, including silk, for which the province is renowned.

 

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TRAVEL TO AMNAT CHAROEN

Options in Amnat Charoen, Thailand
As a province somewhat off the typical tourist route, Amnat Charoen is best reached via private car or public bus. However, it is possible to take a train or plane to nearby Ubon Ratchathani and then a short bus to Amnat Charoen. Once there, it may be easier to get around with your own car, but there are standard forms of local transport available for visitors: i.e. songtaew, motorbike taxi, and tuk tuk.

 

Getting to and from Amnat Charoen

By Train:
As there is no train service directly to Amnat Charoen, it is possible to take a train to Ubon Ratchathani first and then take bus from there to Amnat Charoen, 75 kilometers away.

By Car:
From Bangkok head north via Highway No.1 (Phahonyothin Road) then take Highway No.2 (Mittraphap Road) to Nakhon Ratchasima. Next, take Highway No.226 (Nakhon Ratchasima-Surin) and then Highway No.214 (Surin-Amphoe Suwannaphum) turning right into Highway No.202 via Yasothon and Amphoe Pa. This route is covers 585 kilometers.

Alternatively, take Highways 1, 2, and 226 to Highway No.212. This route is 704 kilometers long.

By Bus:
Scheduled busses and air-conditioned coaches leave Bangkok’s Northeastern Bus terminal (Mo Chit 2) on Kamphaeng Phet Road for Amnat Charoen daily. For more information, call 0-2936-2852-66 or visit www.transport.co.th

By Air:
As there is no regular commercial airline service to Amnat Charoen, it is possible to fly to Ubon Ratchathani first and then take bus from there to Amnat Charoen, 75 kilometers away.

 

Getting Around Amnat Charoen
As in most rural Thai provinces there are typically songtaews that follow established routes around the provincial capital and between towns within the province. Songtaews, motorbike taxis, and some form of tuk tuk are usually available for private charter as well.

 

Activities
As one of the less frequently visited tourist destinations in Thailand, Amnat Charoen has limited activities for visitors to participate in other than visiting the natural and cultural attractions around the province.

Attractions
As one of the quieter tourist destinations in Thailand, Amnat Charoen features mostly natural and cultural attractions,As one of the quieter tourist destinations in Thailand, Amnat Charoen features mostly natural and cultural attractions, including beautiful temples, and silk and handicraft villages. The following are some of the most popular attractions in Amnat Charoen:

Art, Culture & Heritage

Ban Sang Tho Royal Folk Arts and Craft Training Centre
Located 5 kilometres from Amphoe Hua Taphan, the centre offers training course on various local crafts such as weaving and gems cutting. The centre here produces world-class gems cutting technician. Tourist can enjoy witness the production process and wide selections of products.

Ban Kham Phra Handicraft Centre
The centre is located at Ban Kham Phra, on Hua Taphan-Amnat Charoen highway, 2 kilometres from Amphoe Hua Taphan’s Office. The centre offers various handicrafts made by housewife. “Khit”, hand woven cloth with delicate pattern, and handicrafts made from the beautiful fabric are available. Tourist can watch the production demonstration and enjoy great selection of the products.

 

Places of Worship

Phra Lao Thep Nimit Temple (Wat Phra Lao Thep Nimit)
Situated on highway 2134, 2 kms from Amphoe Phana, the temple has Lanna-style chapel which houses the principle Buddha image “Phra Lao Thep Nimit”. Built in 1720, the Buddha image, in subduing Mara attitude decorated by gold leaves, is considered the most beautiful Buddha image of Northeast Region. The art style mirrors Laotian art style from Vientiane which is influenced by Lanna during the 16th-17th Century. The Buddha image was probably built a bit after such period, assumed from appearance of local art style such as face pattern, higher flame over the head, lap and feet which are similar to art style found in wooden and bronze Buddha statue from the 18th -19th Century.

Tham Saeng Phet Temple (Wat Tham Saeng Phet)
The temple is located on Amnat Charoen-Khemarat Road, 18 kilometres from the city, and 2 kilometres off the main road uphill. Located on spacious sandstone plain, the temple has vihara, pagoda, and huge reclining Buddha. North of the vihara is a big cave housing a beautiful Buddha image. Tourist can walk around to enjoy rock formation of Sala Phun Hong. This cave is named Saeng Phet or ‘diamond’s glitters’ due to its flashing glitter rock. Wat Tham Saeng Phet is meditation centre of those who honour Achan Cha Suphatto, famous monk from Wat Nong Pa Phong. Foreign monks always come for practicing mediation here.

Wat Chaiyatikaram
Situated at Ban Phon Mueang, Tambon Mai Klon, the temple houses a Buddha image in subduing Mara attitude. This 55 centimetres high Buddha image is among Buddhism art from Vientiane craftsman, ranking the same level to subduing Mara Buddha image at Wat Phra Kaeo, Vientaine, and Buddha image at Wat Wichun, Luang Prabang in Lao. This Buddha image can be dated back to the 17th-18th Century.

Wat Pho Sila
The temple is situated at Ban Pueai Hua Dong, Tambon Pueai. The temple houses interesting antique, big white sandstone Sema leaves from Dvaravati period which can be dated back to 1,000 years ago. Built during 7th-8th Century in Khmer style, the sandstone Sema has sharp end, board leave and narrow base carved in lotus shape. Above the carved lotus is pattern of stupa, water pot and bell. Core of the stone leaves are carved with three-ended leave carrying 3 half flowers in three rings lying next to others. Its crest is carved like a flag decorated with lotus’s petal-pattern ornament. Base of the stone leaves is influenced by lotus’s petal pattern from altar of Buddha image or Dhamma Wheel from Dvaravati found in Central Thailand. Half flowers carved in three connecting rings carry the same pattern found in half flowers found in the arc, of which angels are sitting with hands pressing together towards the mid of lintel which was found at eastern gate of Norhtern stupa, Khao Noi Si Chomphu Khmer Ruins, Amphoe Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo Province.

Phra Mongkhon Ming Mueang
This Buddha image is housed in Dan Phra Bat Temple. The temple is situated 3 kilometres from town on the left-hand side of Highway 212. This Buddhist sanctuary built amidst the green trees of Phra Mongkon Ming Mueang, designed in the attitude of Subduing Mara and decorated with golden mosaic tiles. The 20 metre-tall Buddha image was moulded in Northern Indian style in 1965. It is the most sacred Buddha image for Amnart Charoens people. The temple also keeps a respected Buddha image called Pa La Hai, coincidentally discovered in the pond in 1962 when the temple was under renovation. This Buddha image is believed to bring good fortune to worshippers.

 

Nature & Wildlife

Phuttha Utthayan Reservoir
This reservoir is opposite to Wat Dan Phra Bat , three kilometres away from town. This large reservoir under the Irrigation Department offers beautiful scenery. It is an ideal place to visit with resorts and food shops scattered all around.

Rapids in Maekhong River
Chanuman is a peaceful district about 80 kilometres from the provincial town where the land run along side the Maekhong River for a distance of 38 kilometres, affording a wonderful view of the natural scenery of both side of the river. Rapids emerge during the dry season (February-May).

Tham Saeng Phet Temple (Wat Tham Saeng Phet)
The temple is located on Amnat Charoen-Khemarat Road, 18 kilometres from the city, and 2 kilometres off the main road uphill. Located on spacious sandstone plain, the temple has vihara, pagoda, and huge reclining Buddha. North of the vihara is a big cave housing a beautiful Buddha image. Tourist can walk around to enjoy rock formation of Sala Phun Hong. This cave is named Saeng Phet or ‘diamond’s glitters’ due to its flashing glitter rock. Wat Tham Saeng Phet is meditation centre of those who honour Achan Cha Suphatto, famous monk from Wat Nong Pa Phong. Foreign monks always come for practicing mediation here.

Don Chao Pu
Located 40 kilometres from Amnat Charoen city, the park acquires 260 rais area of mixed deciduous forest. The park is home to various wildlife particularly crab-eating macaques, plenty of which can be easily spotted. The park houses a sacred shrine, as well as Buddha image in the attitude of birth, enlightenment, the first sermon, and reclining in the park.

Phu Sa Dok Bua
Situated in Phu Sa Dok Bua National Park, the 423 metres high mountain borders three provinces namely Amnat Charoen, Mukdahan, and Yasothon. The park’s headquarter is located in Amphoe Don Tan of Mukdahan. On the mountain top, there are 11 stone pools, which is a few metres wide. It is quite strange that all of them are occupied by different species of colourful lotus, which is found normally in swamp. Locals insist that nobody plant the lotus, but all come naturally. So, they name these pools “Phu Sa Dok Bua” or literally the mountain of lotus pool. Nearby is a huge cave which can accommodate hundred of people. It once served as stronghold of Communist Party of Thailand.

 

Suburban Living

Mo Lam Village (Mor Lam)
The cultural attraction of Amnat Charoen is situated at Tambon Pla Khao, 20 kilometres from Amnat Charoen City. Mo Lam is famous traditional performance of Northeast Thailand. Performance features dancing and playing traditional music. Ban Pla Khao Village found by Phu Thai ethnic group some 200 years ago. Here is the biggest Mo Lam village of Thailand, with 20 bans of Mo Lam living in the village. Besides conserving the traditional performance, some bans have developed into contemporary style. They perform countrywide and earn lots of money. Mo Lam performance of Ban Pla Khao is awarded Amnat Charoen’s OTOP (One Tambon One Product).

Ban Kham Phra Handicraft Centre
The centre is located at Ban Kham Phra, on Hua Taphan-Amnat Charoen highway, 2 kilometres from Amphoe Hua Taphan’s Office. The centre offers various handicrafts made by housewife. “Khit”, hand woven cloth with delicate pattern, and handicrafts made from the beautiful fabric are available. Tourist can watch the production demonstration and enjoy great selection of the products.

Ban Sang Tho Royal Folk Arts and Craft Training Centre
Located 5 kilometres from Amphoe Hua Taphan, the centre offers training course on various local crafts such as weaving and gems cutting. The centre here produces world-class gems cutting technician. Tourist can enjoy witness the production process and wide selections of products.

 

Educational places

Chitsakon Agricultural Centre
Located close to Chidsakol Resort, the famous farm features flower and beautiful plants. Its huge plantation of African marigold always turn the whole field into bright yellow hue when in full bloom. Visitor to the farm can join activities such as taking care of the plantation or cut flowers.

 

 

 
 


 
 
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