Culture & Heritage
Tinsulanonda Military Fort and Hall of Honour
The hall of honour features the biography and achievement
of statesman Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda who devoted himself for developing
Thailand in different areas. Group visitors can contact in prior
at the Prem Tinsulanonda Fort, Tel. 0 4324 9490.
and Cultural Centre
Located in the compound of Khon Kaen University, the Isan barn-style
building features local knowledge in different areas; namely,
arts, geography and history through a modern display. The centre
can be accessed through the Si Than Gate.
Mun Mang or Khon Kaen City Museum
This museum is situated by the Kaen Nakhon Lake in the town.Hong:
means a tower for keeping treasures. Hong Mun Mang is a tower
where accumulated historical articles of Khon Kaen are preserved.
It is a museum which reflects the way of life of Khon Kaen people
from the past to the present.This museum was established in order
to link each community in Khon Kaen province and to make people
feel pride in their community. It is also a center of study and
research on the history of Khon Kaen. There are 5 zones:
1 : Introduction to Khon Kaen province
Zone 2 : History and Culture of Khon Kaen
Zone 3 : The founding of the city
Zone 4 : Towns and lifestyles of Khon Kaen people
Zone 5 : Khon Kaen Today.
museum is open daily, except Mondays, from 12 noon - 8.00 p.m.
Entrance fee is 90 baht. For more information please contact The
Town Council Office of Khon Kaen, Prachasamran Road, Mueang District,
Khon Kaen Province, Tel.0 4327 1173, 04322 4032 during office
Located in Khon Kaen Vocational College, Sala Mai Thai is part
of the project to celebrate the 60th birthday anniversary of Her
Majesty the Queen (August 12, 1992). The silk centre was established
to support Her Majesty the Queens mission to promote silk and
silk products from Isan as well as conserve the traditions. The
centre feature the silk production process from dyeing to weaving,
tools for silk production and rare equipment, and different ancient
silk textiles various pattern. The centre also exhibits the world's
most expensive Mudmee silk textile woven by the people of Chonnabot
people. The silk textile has won Asian award in silk contest.Sala
Mai Thai is open daily during official hours, Monday to Friday
during 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. For more information, contact the
Khon Kaen Vocational College, Amphoe Chonnabot, Khon Kaen 40180
at Tel. 0 4328 6160.How to get there: From downtown Khon Kaen,
visitors can go via Highway 2 (Khon Kaen-Korat) for 44 kilometres.
Turn right at Ban Phai Intersection to Highway 229 and go for
another 11 kilometres. Sala Mai Thai is on the left, opposite
to Kong Kaeo Lake.
Mahathat Kaen Nakhon
Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon or The 9-storey stupa Located in Wat
Nong Waeng, a royal temple on Klang Mueang Road, the Phra Mahathat
houses relics of the Lord Buddha and important Buddhist scriptures.
Doors and windows of the 9 storeys of the stupa are beautifully
carved, featuring the life and former reincarnations of the Lord
Buddha, 16 classes of visible deities in the Brahmas world, and
Buddhist rites. Murals within the stupa feature history of the
town. The top floor, on the 9th storey, houses relics of the Lord
Buddha. Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the town from there.
Located in Wat Chetiyaphum, the Phrathat is believed to be the
origin of Khon Kaen city since ancient times. Phrathat Kham Kaen
can be date the 20th century A.D. According to the legend, a back
to king who ruled Mori town in the Khmer kingdom assigned 9 senior
monks to bring relics of the Lord Buddha to be placed in Phrathat
Phanom. On the way, the caravan spent a night here, setting a
camp by the heartwood of a dead tamarind tree. The caravan reached
Nakhon Phanom on the next day just to learn that Phrathat Phanom
had already been completed, so they returned on the same route
with a wish to place the relics at their hometown instead. On
the way back, they were surprised to find the dead tamarind tree
buddingly lush. Therefore, they decided to build a Phrathat here
and placed the relics and Buddha images inside, naming Phrathat
Kham Kaen which means the stupa of tamarind heartwood.The Phrathat
is now well renovated and landscaped. A celebration is held annually
on the full moon day of the 6th lunar month. Phrathat Kham Kaen
is 12 kilometres from downtown Khon Kaen. Visitors can get there
via Highway 209 (Khon Kaen-Kalasin route). After crossing the
Nam Phong River, turn left and keep going for another 14 kilometres.
Sa Bua Kaeo
The temple is located at Ban Wang Khun. The mural and sculptural
works of this temple is worth a visit. Crouching guardian lion
replicas are on both sides of the stairway leading up to the Ubosot,
ordination hall, with sculptures of men stretching their legs
in front in front. Luangpho Phui, preceptor of the temple, created
all of these sculptures. Murals on four walls of this concrete
ordination hall, both exterior and interior, features the peoples'
lifestyle, history of the Lord Buddha, heaven and hell and folklore.
The pictures are separated by the so-called Sinthao line, a flash-shape
pattern which is widely found in murals from the Ayutthaya and
Rattanakosin periods, not in the Isan region. By the unique brushwork,
the murals mirror freedom of the artist in expressing emotion
into the pictures, trees and animals, like Western impressionists.
The favorite colors include yellow, indigo, red ochre, green,
blue and black.How to get there: From downtown Khon Kaen, visitors
can go via Highway 2 (Mitraphap Road), heading to Amphoe Phon
for 75 kilometres, then turn left to Highway 207 bound for Amphoe
Nong Song Hong for another 17 kilometres. At kilometre 27-28,
turn right at Ban Wang Khun and go ahead for a kilometre.
( Ubosot of Wat Sa Thong Ban Bua )
Sim, ordination hall, is architectural heritage of Isan with outstanding
local characters. The exterior is decorated with colourful mural
and glass. The Sim houses a rare Isan-style sandstone Buddha image.
In 2002, the Sim was awarded a precious architecture, heritage
and cultural conservation of the Asia Pacific by UNESCO.
Having grown wild over a century ago in Wat Pa Mancha Khiri, over
4,000 Chang Kra orchid-Rhyncostylis gigantean (Lindl.) are in
full bloom on the branches of some 280 trees every year during
January and February. These wild orchids always fill the whole
area with their mild fragrance.How to get there: the temple is
only a kilometre from downtown Amphoe Mancha Khiri, 57 kilometres
from downtown Khon Kaen. From Bangkok, motorists can drive via
Highway 2 (Mitraphap Road) then turn left to Amphoe Chonnabot,
via Highway 229 (Chonnabot-Mancha Khiri). The entrance to the
temple is on the left before reaching Amphoe Mancha Khiri or some
35 kilometres from Mitraphap Road. From Khon Kaen, motorists can
go via Highway 2731 and 2062 through Amphoe Phra Yuen.
Udom Khongkha Khiri Khet
Good for meditation practicing, the temple is located deep in
lush forest in Tambon Ban Khok. Luangpu Phang, a Buddhist monk
famous in meditation, once lived here. Today, Buddhists come to
visit the temple and pay respect to his monument in the temple
compound. How to get there: visitors can go via Highway 12 (Khon
Kaen-Chum Phae) for 14 kilometres then turn left to Highway 2062
(Ban Thum-Mancha Khiri Road) for another 44 kilometres and get
on highway 229 (Mancha Khiri-Chaiyaphum Road) for 12 kilometres
and turn right into the temple, 12 kilometres away.
Prasat Pueai Noi is the largest Khmer sanctuary in the upper Northeast.
The compound comprises 3 brick buildings built on the same laterite
base. All face to the east. Each pagoda has a sandstone lintel
with designs. Each pagoda has a smaller chapel and a lintel with
clear, lovely designs. A laterite wall surrounds the compound
and there is a pool just beyond it. From Khon Kaen, take Highway
No. 2 for 44 kilometres to Ban Phai, then take Highway No. 23
for 11 kilometres to Borabu district, then take a right-hand road
for 24 kilometres to Ku Pueai Noi.
Dam or Phong Nip Dam
Ubolratana dam is the largest multi-purpose dam in the Northeast.
To get there, take Highway No. 2 (Khon Kaen-Udon Thani) for 26
kilometres, turn left and drive for 24 kilometres. The dam is
across the Phong river at the pass connecting Phu Kao and Phu
Phan mountains. The view at the dam is magnificent. Tourists regularly
frequent the area to look at the lake and sample local delicacies,
including the famous grilled fish famous here.
to Get There:
the dam is 50 kilometres from downtown Khon Kaen. Visitors can
go via Highway 2 and turn left between kilometres 470-471. The
dam is 24 kilometres away.
The pond acquiring an area of 20 rai is at Ban Nong Kung Soen,
78 kilometres from Amphoe Mueang. The scenic pond with the backdrop
of Phu Phan Mountain is a nice place where the locals love to
relax. Besides delicious freshwater fish cuisine available around
the pond, there are various water sports tourists can enjoy.
How to get there: from Amphoe Mueang, tourists can get there via
Highway 12 and turn right on Highway 2038, continue for another
12 kilometres then turn right onto Kiatsuranond Road. Go for another
12 kilometres, then turn left to Ban Kho. Turn another left at
Wat sopha Rattana Phatthanaram, go ahead and make a right turn.
Acquiring a 62 rai area, the scenic beach by the lake over Ubolratana
Dam is an ideal place for recreation among the locals and tourists.
Saen II and Hat Chom Thong
The beaches are in Ban Hin Phoeng, Tambon Tha Ruea, 53 kilometres
from downtown Khon Kaen. As part of the lake over Ubolratana Dam,
the beaches are quite picturesque particularly when the sun sets
behind the mountain ranges. There are various water sports available
such as water bicycle, banana boat, and scooter. Visitors can
enjoy fish a menu of freshly caught from the lake. During the
holidays, the beaches are always quite lively.
Wiang National Park
This national park always reminds tourists about dinosaurs. Indeed,
nobody had formerly ever though the Isan plateau was once home
of dinosaurs. Until 1976 when a uranium survey team discovered
a piece of fossil, which was examined by French specialists and
declared that it was a left knee bone of a dinosaur. After that,
serious execration has never ended until now.On the hill Pratu
Ti Ma, which was the first site, geologists have found fossils
of a dinosaur, 15 metres high with a long neck and tail. This
is a kind of plant-eating dinosaur never found else where before,
so it was named Phuwiangosaurus Sirindhornae to honour H.R.H Princess
Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. In this site, over ten teeth of a meat-eating
dinosaur have also been found. So geologists and scientists presumed
that the long-necked dinosaur was prey for these teeths owner.
Among these teeths, one is different. After a study, scientist
found that it belonged to a new species of dinosaur never found
before. So it was named Siamosaurus Suteethorni after the discoverer,
Mr. Warawuth Suteethorn.
the three sites are not far from the headquarters, and tourists
can also visit the second and third sites nearby.Fossils of Siamotyrannus
Isanensis found here are the oldest ones, dating back 120-130
million years. This indicates that tyrannosaurus originated in
Asia. These fossils are now displayed in the museum of the Department
of Mineral Resources.At the 8th site, there are 68 footprints
of dinosaurs, dating back 140 million years ago. Most of them
belong to the world's smallest species of meat-eating dinosaur,
which walked on two legs. Among such footprints, there is one
bigger footprint, assumed to belong to Carnosaurus.These sites
are 19 kilometres from the headquarters. It takes an hour to get
there by car and four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. In many
sites, geologists found fossils of dinosaur babies, small crocodiles
and mussels dating back to 150 million years ago.
fossils of dinosaurs, there are also traces of ancient civilizations
in this area including a high relief of the reclining Buddha on
the cliff, at the crest of Phu Wiang Mountain. The Buddha image
was carved in the 9th century, mirroring an influence from Indian
art. Nearby is Tham Famue Daeng, Dang, or Red Palm Cave, at Ban
Hin Rong. The cave wall houses prehistoric paintings of cavemen's
hands from sprays of red ochre.
Natural attractions in the park include waterfalls and field of
wild flowers. Namtok Thap phaya Suea is a small waterfall near
to Tham Famue Daeang. Namtok Tat Fa is a 15-metre high waterfall
that can be accessed by car. The waterfall is 18 kilometres from
Amphoe Phu Wiang. Some 5 kilometres from Namtok Tat Fa is Namtok
Tat Klang which is a 8-metre high waterfall. Savanna and rock
plateaus are always blanketed with wild flowers in full bloom
by the end of the rainy season.Phu Wiang National Park acquires
a total area of 380 square kilometres in Amphoe Si Chomphu and
Amphoe Chum Phae.How to get there: from downtown Khon Kaen, visitors
can get there via Highway 12 and connect to Highway 2038, bound
for Amphoe Phu Wiang. From Amphoe Phu Wiang, talk the Phu Wiang-Ban
Muaeng Mai Road, passing the national park unit, Pak Chong Phu
Wiang at kilometre 23. Turn left at kilometre 30 at Ban Pho Reservoir
and the national parks headquarters is 8 kilometres away. The
headquarters features an exhibition about the dinosaurs and fossils
found in the area. For group tourists requiring a guide, contact
the headquarters in advance at Tel. 0 4324 9052.
to Get There:
from downtown Khon Kaen, visitors can get there via Highway 12
and connect to Highway 2038, bound for Amphoe Phu Wiang. From
Amphoe Phu Wiang, talk the Phu Wiang-Ban Muaeng Mai Road, passing
the national park unit, Pak Chong Phu Wiang’ at kilometre 23.
Pha Man National Park
The obvious natural landmark of this park is the towering limestone
cliff that looks like a huge curtain. Lush jungle and mixed forest
keep this place cool almost all the year round. Acquiring a total
area of 218,750 rai, the park covers areas in Amphoe Phu Pha Man
and Amphoe Chum Phae of Khon Kaen as well as Amphoe Phu Kradueng
of Loei.Attractions in this national park include:Tham KlangKhao
The cave is in Phu Pha Man Mountain, 2.5 kilometres from Amphoe
Phu Pha Man. The caves entrance is some 100 metres above ground
level. Inside is the habitat of millions of bats, whose accumulated
droppings cause a strong smell.Every evening, around 6 pm., these
bats always leave the cave in line, over ten kilometres long.
It takes some 30-45 minutes until the last bat leaves the cave.Tham
Phra Near to Tham Klangkhao, this cave has a natural tunnel sloping
up to the crest of Phu Pha Man, but it is quite difficult to get
through. The cave houses beautiful stalagmites, stalactites, and
big stone pillars. The cave entrance can be accessed by car in
any season. Winter, from November to February, is the best period
to visit the cave.Tham Pu Ta Lo The cave is in Ban Wang Sawap,
17 kilometres from downtown Amphoe Phu Pha Man. Cars can access
to the cave entrance only in the dry season, from November to
April. The cave has a spacious chamber, covering over a one rai
area. With flat soil ground and 5-7 metre high ceiling, good ventilation
allows visitors to enjoy admiring the cave comfortably. Stalagmites
and stalactites remain untouched. Some glittering stones look
like rock crystals.Namtok Tat Fa Tat Fa creek, natural borderline
between Amphoe Phu Pha Man of Khon Kaen and Amphoe Nam Nao of
Phetchabun, cascades through five steps to form this waterfall.
The last step is the most impressive one with a height of 80 metres.
The rainy season, from late May to early October is the best period
to visit the waterfall. Namtok Tat Fa is in Ban Dong Sakhran,
Mu 7 Tambon Wang Sawap, some 40 kilometres from downtown Amphoe
Phu Pha Man. Cars can reach Ban Tat Fa, then visitors have to
trek to the waterfall.The headquarters route-From the former route,
going through Highway 201.Namtok Tat Yai The big waterfall originate
from Tat Fa Creek. The creek cascades through small waterfalls
before going through a big cliff at 80 metres high. Namtok Tat
Yai is the highest waterfall in the park.
Tat Rong With a height of 60-70 metres, the waterfall originates
from Phong River that runs from Phu Kradueng. The waterfall borders
Phu Kradueng National Park and Phu Pha Man National Park. A folk
tale says the waterfall can sing as water runs upon a piece of
thin stone, the falling water veers off into different rock holes
nearby and fills the forest with strange sounds. Tham Phaya Nakharat
As winding as a giant naga, the one-kilometre long cave is naturally
decorated with glittering curtain-like stalagmites and stalactites.
Cars can access to the cave entrance.Tham Lai Thaeng Some 800
metres from Tham Phaya Nakharat is tham Lai Thaeng whose wall
has ancient paintings on some two-square metre area. The paintings
contain some 70 pictures of humans, animals, and others, mirroring
culture and life in the pre-historical period dating back to over
2,000 years ago.
national park has not any accommodation and facility for tourists.
Visitors should prepare everything by themselves. For more information,
please contact the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant
Conservation Department at Tel. 0 2562 0760. www.dnp.go.thTham
Pu Lup The cave is on Highway 201. Its five chambers are all decorated
with glittering stalagmites and stalactites. The cave contains
water the year round.Pha Nok Khao The towering cliff of black
rock by the Phong River looks like an owl or Nok khao in Thai.
It is 125 kilometres from downtown Khon Kaen. Tourists can get
there via Highway 2 and 201 (Khon Kaen-Wang Saphung). Pha Nok
Khao is on the left of Ban Dong Lan. The best location to see
the owl-shape cliff is at the orchid nursery of the Forestry Department
on the other side of the road. There is another nearby place of
interest known as Namtok Tat Ron, or Namtok Tat Hong as it is
called by local dialect name. The 70-matre high waterfall is located
in neighboring Loei province on the boundary of Phu kradueng national
Park, Phu Pha Man National Park and the Phong River. The sound
made by the waterfall when cascading onto a huge a large stone
slab beneath is how the waterfall derived its name.
Phong National Park
Acquiring a total area of 197 square kilometres, the park covers
a large area in Khon Kaen namely; Nong Ruea, Ubolratana, Phu Wiang,
Ban Fang, Mancha Khiri, and Khok Pho Chai as well as two Amphoes
in Chaiyaphum provinces, Ban Thaen and Kaeng Khro.The park headquarters
is located by the lake over Ubolratana Dam. Forest in this national
park is watershed of the chi and Phong Rivers. The deciduous dipterocarp
and dry everygreen forests in this mountain range are a major
source of herbs. There are viewpoints in the park. Hin Chang Si
is a group of rocks, where wild elephants use for scratching their
flanks. This point has a scenic view of the Uboltatana lake and
Khon Kaen city. Hin Chang Si viewpoint can be accessed by car,
eight kilometres from Sok Tae Reforestation Park. From the head
quarters, walking to Hin Chang Si takes around two hours. Some
30 minutes on foot from Hin Chang Si is Plan Chat viewpoint. Pha
Sawan is another viewpoint from where visitors can witness beautiful
scenery of the lake. The cliff is a two-hour walk from the headquarters.
Another interesting attraction in the park is Phon Kham, crater-like
rock well. For more information, call Nam Phong National Park
at Tel. 0 4324 8006 or of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation
Department in Bangkok at Tel. 0 2562 0760.How to get there: Nam
Phong National Park can be reached from two routes.
From Khon Kaen, go via Highway 12 to Chum Phae District, then
turn right at kilometre 30 to Ban PHue for another 19 kilometres
via Highway 3034 (Nong Saeng-Tha Ruea). This route is 49 kilometres.
From Khon Kaen, bound for Amphoe Ubolratana via Highway 2, heading
for Udon Thani, then turn left to Amphoe Ubolratana. In the Amphoe,
use Highway 3034, which lies along the lake over Ubolratana Dam.
This route is 65 kilometres long.
Pha Phuang Forest Park
Tham Pha Phuang Forest Park is in Ban Dong Lan, Tambon Pha Nok
Khao, 123 kilometres from Khon Kaen on the Khon Kaen-Chum Phae
road by Highway No. 12 and 201. A 4-kilometre road on the right
then takes you to the park. Tham Pha Phuang is a huge limestone
cave. Inside, is a large chimney-shaped rock and lovely stalagmites
The villagers keep a large amount of tortoises as their mutual
pets. The brownish yellow shelled tortoises, called Tao Phek in
local dialect, always travel around in the village to be fed.How
to get there: from downtown Khon Kaen, motorists can drive via
Highway 12 (Khon Kaen Chum Phae) for ten kilometres then turn
left to Highway 2062 (Khon Kaen-Mancha Khiri) for another 54 kilometres.
The entrance to the tortoise village is on the left at Ban Kok,
two kilometres prior to Amphoe Mancha Khiri. It is easy to notice
with two tortoise replicas on the roadside opposite to Wat Si
Sumang. Turn left through Ban Kok, the tortoise village is 50
Mueang Ancient Town
The ancient town is located at Ban Na Pho, 80 kilometres from
downtown Khon Kaen. Legends say the hill known as Non Mueange
was the location of an ancient town. Acquiring a 216 rai area,
the oval hill has double moats. Archaeologists have found sandstone
Sema boundary markers in Dvaravati style in the town and nearby.
Potsherds were scattered around. Some were painted in red, and
some decorated with incising and cord-marked patterns.In the soil
layer of the Dvaravati period (7-11th century), none of the funeral-related
artifacts was found. So, archaeologists presumed that the funeral
of this town changed after the arrival of Buddhism. In deeper
soil, more interesting historical evidence was found. Archaeologists
found that there used to be a human settlement here since the
late pre historic period. They discovered human skeletons dating
back 2,500 years ago. Funeral tools and utensils were buried together
with the bodies. The utensils found included pottery decorated
with painted , incising and cord-marked pattern, bronze and animal-bone
bangles, shells, colorful beads, as well as iron tools such as
hoe, sickle, and animals bones; namely deer, barking deer, and
different fishes. These artifacts prove that people in this community
lived on agriculture until the Lop Buri period (11-12th century).
to get there: Motorists can get there via Highway 12, Khon Kaen-Chum
Phae Road, then make a left turn at Chum Phae Post Office, continuing
for another 5 kilometres.
Khok Sanga king cobras village
King Cobras Village Ban Khok Sa-nga in Tambon Sai Mun is famous
for its strange pets, king cobra, kept at every house. The villagers
formally earned extra income by selling herbal medicines by travelling
around through viillages. By 1951, a local doctor, Ken Yongla
initiated a cobra show, which was successful to attract clients
to the village. Anyway, a cobra show was too dangerous as the
snake can spit its poison for two metres making a man blind. So
he changed to conduct the show with a king cobra and inherited
such skill to the villagers.Today, after the harvest season, with
better transportation, villagers of Khok Sa-nga always travel
around to organise a snake show and offer their herbal medicine.
In the village, a snake show is held at Wat Si Thamma, performing
different series of show such as snake dancing and boxing between
king cobra and man. Exhibitions regarding the king cobra as well
as nursery are located nearby.How to get there: Ban Khok Sa-nga
is 49 kilometres from downtown Khon Kaen. Visitors can go via
Highway 2 and make a right turn at kilometre 33 to Highway 2039.
At kilometre 14, opposite Phang Thui police box, turn right onto
a soil road. Then keep going through Ban Na Ngam and make a left
turn at the intersection, continue for another 600 metres.
Supported by the provincial livestock offices, villagers have
kept lots of water buffaloes until the village was honoured as
the centre to conserve and develop Thai water buffalo. For more
information, call Nawa Subdistrict Administration Organisation
at Tel. 0 4321 1466.