Maha Sarakham

Maha Sarakham is a small province in the Northeast of Thailand. In addition to being a rather lively college town, Maha Sarakham is famous for its historical sites, beautiful Buddhist temples and Buddha images, and exquisite woven materials, including hand made silk and cotton fabrics. Otherwise the people of Maha Sarakham are primarily engaged in agriculture, the mainstay of the province.


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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.

Maha Sarakham


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ISAN MAP : Maha Sarakham @ 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

Maha Sarakham

Maha Sarakham is located in the heart of Isan, Thailands Northeast Region. With lots of educational institutes, the province is a significant educational center in the region, earning it the nickname Taxila of Isan (Taxila was an ancient learning center in India). Maha Sarakham is also the Buddhist center of Isan, as many Buddhist archeological artifacts were found here, including a Relic of Lord Buddha in Amphoe Na Dun. Such evidence leads to the theory that the site was once the location of an ancient kingdom dating back over 1,500 years. A pagoda was built in Maha Sarakham to mark the glory days of Buddhism and to serve as venue for important Buddhist rites in the region.

Maha Sarakham is a small province in the Northeast of Thailand. In addition to being a rather lively college town, Maha Sarakham is famous for its historical sites, beautiful Buddhist temples and Buddha images, and exquisite woven materials, including hand made silk and cotton fabrics. Otherwise the people of Maha Sarakham are primarily engaged in agriculture, the mainstay of the provinces economy.




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Options in Maha Sarakham, Thailand
As a province somewhat off the typical tourist route, Maha Sarakham is best reached via private car or bus. 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 Maha Sarakham

By Train:
Tourists traveling by train can travel from Bangkoks Hua Lumphong station to Khon Kaen and then get a bus to Maha Sarakham, 72 kilometers away.

By Car:
From Bangkok, motorists can head north via Highway No.1 to Highway No.2 at Saraburi via Nakhon Racthasima. Then follow Highway No.226 to Buri Ram, and then Highway No.219 to Maha Sarakham. This route is 475 kilometers.

By Bus:
The Transport Co. operates many regular busses and air-conditioning coaches travelin between Bangkok and Maha Sarakham. For more information, call Bangkoks Northeastern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2/Chatuchak) at 0-2936-2852-66.

Privately owned bus service providers include Mongkol Tour (0-4371-1072) and Cherdchai Tour (0-4374-0359).

By Air:
Tourists traveling by airplane can fly on Thai Airways from Bangkok to Khon Kaen and then get a bus to Maha Sarakham, 72 kilometers away.


Getting Around Maha Sarakham
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.

As one of the less frequently visited tourist destinations in Thailand, Maha Sarakham features activities centered on the natural, historical, and cultural attractions that are found in abundance throughout the province.

As one of the quieter tourist destinations in Thailand, Maha Sarakham features mostly natural, historical, and cultural attractions, including peaceful parks, beautiful temples, and charming silk weaving villages. The following are some of the most popular attractions in Maha Sarakham:

Art, Culture & Heritage

Isan Arts and Culture Research Institute
Isan Arts and Culture Research Institute is in Maha Sarakham University. The institute has exhibits on Isan arts and culture. Of particular interest are displays on the origin of weaving, the development of local fabrics, basketry and woodwork, metalwork, the development of pottery, household items, animal traps and related tools, musical equipment, literature, ancient language inscriptions, and contemporary art of students, as well as various media on regional arts and culture for sale.

Ku Santarat
Ku Santarat is on the way to Na Dun. To get there, take Highway No. 2040 past Kae Dam and Wapi Pathum, then turn right onto Road No. 2045 and drive for 1 kilometre. The site is a stone sanctuary built in the reign of King Jayavoraman VII. This Bayon-style building was completed during 1157-1207. This square laterite structure is similar to Ku Maha That. The front doorway has a remarkably beautiful lintel.

Phra That Na Dun
Phra That Na Dun, or the Buddha Monthon of Isan, is the area where historical and archaeological findings that proved the magnificence of the ancient city of Champa Si were made. Artefacts found here are now on display at the Khon Kaen National Museum. The most important piece is the stupa (pagoda) encasing the holy relics of Lord Buddha in gold, silver and bronze caskets. The site was from the Dvaravati period of the 8th-10th century. This model for Phra That Na Dun comes alive every Makha Bucha Day.How to get there, From Maha Sarakham City, use highway 2040 via Amphoe Kae Dam and Wapi Pathum, turn right into highway 2045 to Amphoe Na Dun. Prathat is 65 kms from Maha Sarakham City... Link 1

Phra Yuen Mongkhon and Phra Ming Mueang
Phra Yuen Mongkhon and Phra Ming Muang Buddha images are the most important Buddha images of the province. They are at Tambon Khan Than Rat on Highway No. 213, about 14 kilometres from town. The images are in the Dvaravati style and are made of red sandstone. It is believed that they can make rainfall in the rainy season. Legend says a man built the Ming Muang image, while a woman built the Yun Mongkhon image.

Isan Arts and Culture Centre
Isan Arts and Culture Centre is in Maha Sarakham Rajabhat Institute. The centre has exhibits on the origin of Isan art, Isan literature on dried palm leaves and handicrafts such as weaving and fabric designs.


Places of Worship

City Shrine
Located in front of Lak Mueang Maha Sarakham School, the shrine was built since 1865 by Thao Mahachai, the first ruler of Maha Sarakham who has moved from Roi-Et to build new city here. The city shrine was built as a sacred icon of the city where Maha Sarakham people pay lot of respect... Link 1


Nature & Wildlife

Kaeng Loengchan
The big reservoir is situated back of Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University , some 3 kilometres from Maha Sarakham city. Around the area is fishery station which breeds and distributes different kinds of fresh water fish to provinces in the region. Beautiful scenery around the reservoir attracts a number of people to enjoy holiday here.

Hat Wangko
The 500-metre-long beach on the bank of Chi River is situated in Ban Tha Duea, Tambon Nong Bon. Tourist can get there via Kosum Phisai-Tha Phra-Khon Kaen Road. With clear and shallow water, the beach is a good place for relaxing. Facilities available on the beach include, beach beds, speed boat, banana boat, jet ski, donut ski, life vest and etc.

Kosamphi Forest Park
Acquiring total area of 125 rais (50 acres) in Tambon Hua Khwang, by Chi River, the park was established on October 1, 1976. The shady park is home to different big trees such as Yang, Tabaek (Lagerstroemia floribunda Jack) and Kathum (Anthocephalus chinensis (Lamk.) A. Rich.ex Walp.) whose canopies connect to each other. With natural pond and scenery, this park is home to different kinds of bird, big herd of crab-eating macaque, as well as rare golden crab-eating macaque.Attractions in the park include.

Kaeng Tat. Rapids in Chi River is situated at north and east of the park. Base rock acquires wide area in the river. When the river descends between November and May, shallow water allows rapids to appear. It has beautiful setting around the area.

Lan Khoi. The terrain is occupied by toothbrush trees. Today, over 200 of them are bended into different shapes.

Crab-eating macaque. The animals make this park their home. There are two kinds of crab-eating macaques in the park, the grey and golden macaque.

How to get there, From Maha Sarakham City, take highway 208 for 28 kilometres. At Kosum Phisai Intersection, get into asphalt road and keep going for 450 metres.

Dun Lamphan No-hunting Area
Situated in Amphoe Na Chueak, 60 kilometres from Maha Sarakham City, the area features two forest types namely deciduous dipterocarp forest and peat swamp forest which is nourished by stream all the time in particular spots. The area is rich in endemic and rare species for both flora and fauna. The most famous endemic species found here is Mealy Crab Thaipotamon chulabhon Naiyanetr, 1993, or Pu Thunkramom (named by HRH Princess Chulabhorn). A bit bigger than ricefield crab, this kind of crab is quite colourful in purple, orange, yellow, and white. Now, this endemic crab is enlisted as protected animals. This No-hunting area is also good for bird watching and studying the ecological system. For more information, call 08-1817-9441, 08-1799-5795. How to get there, Dun Lamphan No-hunting Area is situated on highway 219 (Borabue- Na Chueak-Phayakkhaphum Phisai), some 3 kilometres from Amphoe Na Chueak Office.

Khong Kut Wai Fish Sanctuary
Situated 10 kilometres from Maha Sarakham City, the lake is home to over 100 species of freshwater fish. It is a nice place where people can enjoy feeding the fish and relax.


Suburban Living

Pottery Village
The villaged is situated in Tambon Khwao, 4 kilometres from Maha Sarakham city via highway 23 (Maha Sarakham-Roi Et). The villagers here inherited ancient method of pottery from their ancestor. From water pot and cooking pots, they have diversified their products into various design to cope with modern living style.

Ban Isan Museum
Ban Isan Museum is another interesting place that shows the way of life of the Isan people. It is located a short way from Phra That Na Dun. The museum is a research project of Maha Sarakham University. It comprises model houses of the various tribes in the region and there are exhibitions displaying household items.

Ban Nong Khuean Chang
Ban Nong Khuean Chang is at Mu 7, Tambon Ban Song Khon. This village is renowned for making quality silk and cotton materials. It is 12 kilometres from town on the Maha Sarakham-Kosum Phisai Road. Turn left at the 12-km marker onto Highway No. 1027 and drive for 2 kilometres.

Ban Phaeng
Ban Phaeng village is famous for making reed mats. It is 38 kilometres from town (Highway No. 208). The mats are local products that are used widely in Thailand. The village does extensive reed farming and has set up a reed-mat-making co-operative to demonstrate the process of making mats and sell them at very affordable prices.


Recreational & Entertainment

Chi Long Forest Park
Chi Long Forest Park is at Ban Wang Wa, 10 kilometres from town on the way to Kosum Phisai. The park is on an island that was formed by a course divergence of the Mun River, a main waterway of the Northeast. The island is covered with shady rubber trees and a road circling it makes sightseeing most enjoyable.

Bueng Bon
The lake packed with elephants ear plants is a nice place to picnic for people in Kosum Phisai and nearby . Situated in Tambon Hua Khwang, 100 metres from Kosamphi Forest Park, the lake is 2.50 metres deep and acquires total area of 120 rais (48 acres). How to get there. Use the same way with Kosamphi Botanical Park.


Educational places

Walai Rukavej Research Institute
Located east of Phra That Na Dun, the institute makes research on conserving, improving, and distributing flora of the region. It has bamboo terrain, herbal garden, Isan Cart Museum, and Isan traditional house museum that features different kinds of house in Isan such as Phu Thai house, Isan fishery house, Isan musician house, animal traps house, doctor house, and weavers house. Tourist can stay overnight in these unique and interesting houses. For more information, call 0 4379 7048, 0 4372 3539.



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