Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen is the commercial and political center of Northeastern Thailand, featuring a number of upscale restaurants and hotels, the largest university in the North East, and a busy airport.
In addition to containing some fascinating historical and archaeological sites, Khon Kaen is also an excellent place to watch the production of Mudmee Silk or participate in outdoor activities within one of its several animal reserves or national parks.

 

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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 LaoPhutai language groups, which along with Thai are members of the Tai languages of the TaiKadai 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 : Khon Kaen @ Thailand Loei Nong Khai Nakhon Phanom Udon Thani Sakon Nakhon Nong Bua Lam Phu Khon Kaen Chaiyaphum Kalasin Mukdahan Maha Sarakham Yasothon Amnat Charoen Nakhon Ratchasima Roi Et Buriram Surin Sri Sa Ket Ubon Ratchathani Bueng Kan

Khon Kaen

 

 

Khon Kaen is the commercial, administrative, and educational center of the Northeast that is often used by travelers as a base for visiting many parts of upper Isan.

Khon Kaen is the commercial and political center of Northeastern Thailand and is well known for the high quality silk that is produced in the province. Located in the heart of Isan, Thailands northeast region, Khon Kaen has been one of the fastest growing areas in Thailand. The Thai government nominated Khon Kaen as the export center for trade throughout the Indo-China Region and both Laos and Vietnam have consulates in Khon Kaen to process visa applications. Khon Kaen also contains the largest university in the northeast, Khon Kaen University, a major center of education and technology.

Historically, Khon Kaen is quite a new town, established a little over two centuries ago during the reign of King Rama I. But prehistorically, this town on the plateau has been home to various cultures as well as other fascinating creatures, heretofore unknown to the modern world. Artifacts have proven that millions of years ago the area was occupied by gigantic dinosaurs, several of which were endemic to the region. People in various cultures later occupied the plateau for thousands of years until the Ancient Khmer Empire expanded its presence into the area in the 12th century and ruled it for some time. The ancient cultures, traditions, and historical sites in this area have all contributed to shaping the people and culture of Khon Kaen.

A major source of local wisdom regarding the production of silk is in Amphoe Chonnabot, where excellent Mudmee Silk is delicately woven by hand using a special tie-dye technique, and Khon Kaen features both creature comfort, in the form of fine eateries and swanky hotels, and beautiful nature, including a variety of animal parks and a number of spectacular national parks.


Khon Kaen is the commercial and political center of Northeastern Thailand, featuring a number of upscale restaurants and hotels, the largest university in the North East, and a busy airport.

In addition to containing some fascinating historical and archaeological sites, Khon Kaen is also an excellent place to watch the production of Mudmee Silk or participate in outdoor activities within one of its several animal reserves or national parks.

 

HOW
TO Go
ISAN

@ Thailand

by...webSanom

TRAVEL TO KHON KAEN

Options in Khon Kaen, Thailand
As the commercial and political center of Northeastern Thailand, Khon Kaen can be reached via private car, public bus, train, or airplane. In Khon Kaen town there are standard forms of local transport available for visitors: i.e. songtaew, motorbike taxi, and tuk tuk for local and regional transportation.

 

Getting to and from Buengkan

By Train:
Trains from Bangkoks Hua Lumphong Railway Station bound for Udon Thani and Nong Khai travel via Khon Kaen. Leaving Bangkok daily, there are various kinds of trains available such as rapid, express, and air-conditioned diesel locomotive. For more information, call Tel. 1690, 0 2220-4334, 0 2220 4444. Khon Kaen Railway Station can be contacted at Tel.0 4322 1112 or www.railway.co.th.


By Car:
Khon Kaen province is 449 kilometers from Bangkok. Motorists should take Highway No.1 (Phahonyothin Rd.) north and turn right onto Highway No.2 (Mittraphap Rd.) at kilometer 107 in Saraburi province. Finally, follow Highway No.2 through Nakhon Ratchasima to Khon Kaen.

As Khon Kaen is a transportation hub of the Northeast region, motorists can also travel via the Saraburi-Lam Narai Road then turn right, through Mueang Khom-Dan Khun Thot-Chaiyaphum, to Khon Kaen. Or from Saraburi, motorists can travel via Lam Narai-Thepsathit-Chaiyaphum-Mancha Khiri-Phra Yuen to Khon Kaen.


By Bus:
A journey by bus from Bangkok to Khon Kaen takes 7 hours. Several ordinary busses, air-conditioned coaches, and 24-seat VIP coaches leave Bangkoks Northeastern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) daily. For more information, call Tel. 0 2936 2852 to 66. Bus schedules from Khon Kaen can be checked at the Khon Kaen Bus Terminal (Tel.0 4323 7472, 0 4323 7300) and the Air-conditioned Bus Terminal (Tel.0 4323 9910)


By Air:
Thai Airways International operates daily flights on the Bangkok-Khon Kaen route. For more information, call Tel.1566, 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 or Khon Kaen office at Tel. 0 4322 7701 to 5 or visit the website www.thaiairways.com. Thai Air Asia also operates flights on this route. Call for more information at Tel. 0 2515 9999 or visit the website www.airasia.com.

 

Getting Around Khon Kaen
Getting around the province is quite convenient as various kinds of vehicle are available. Regular busses, fanned and air-conditioned, operate in the city and there are busses leaving the capital for other districts all day long. Visitors can also use car rental services operated by many tour companies in town.

As in most rural Thai provinces there are typically also songtaews that follow established routes around the provincial capital and between towns within the province. Songtaews, motorbike taxis, samlors (pedal powered tricycle taxis) and tuk tuks are usually available for private charter as well.

 

Activities
As an up and coming province, Khon Kaen has a number of activities other, particularly in its spectacular natural parks, including jungle trekking.

Attractions
Once one of the fastest growing regions in Thailand, Khon Kaen has numerous attractions, ensuring that visitors with any interest, particularly in culture, history, or nature will find something to keep them entertained on their Khon Kaen holiday. The following are some of the most popular attractions in Khon Kaen:

Art, Culture & Heritage

Prem 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.

Art 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.

Hong 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:

Zone 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.

The 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 hours.

Sala Mai Thai
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.

Phra 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.

Phrathat Kham Kaen
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.

 

Places of Worship

Wat 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.

Sim ( Ubosot of Wat Sa Thong Ban Bua )
This 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.

Chang Kra
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.

Wat 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
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.

 

Nature & Wildlife

Ubolratana 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.

How to Get There:

By OTHER
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.

 

Pattaya II
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.

Hat Sawan
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.

Bang 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.

Phu 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.

All 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.

Besides 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.

How to Get There:

By OTHER
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. Tu

 

Phu 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.

Namtok 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.

The 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.

Nam 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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

Tham 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 and stalactites.

 

Suburban Living

Tortoise Village
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 metres away.

Non 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).

How 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.

Ban 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.

 

Recreational & Entertainment

Buffalo Conservation Village
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.

 

 

 
 


 
 
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