Nong Bua Lam Phu

Nong Bua Lam Phu is a Province filled with natural beauty, including Phu Kao Phupan Kham National Park, the Phu Phan mountain range, and Erawan Cave, which features a large Buddha at its entrance. Nong Bua Lam Phu is also rich with cultural attractions, such as archeological sites and interesting local handicrafts villages. For those looking for spiritual tranquility, Wat Tham Klong Phen, located in the forests outside of the provincial capital, was home to one of the most famous practitioners of Buddhist Meditation and a museum there is dedicated in his honor.


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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 : Nong Bua Lam Phu @ 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

Nong Bua Lam Phu

Nong Bua Lam Phu is the country’s newest province: established on December 1, 1993. Before separation, Nong Bua Lam Phu was part of Udon Thani in Northeastern Thailand’s Isan region. However, while the province was only recently established, the area has long history. Archeological artifacts found in this area indicate that there were human’s settlements in Nong Bua Lam Phu since the pre-historical era and there are fossils in the region that are 140 million years old. Roughly 200 years ago, a town was established by Laotian people from across the Mekong River. Today, Nong Bua Lam Phu is a district filled with natural and beautiful attractions.

Nong Bua Lam is a Province filled with natural beauty, including Phu Kao Phupan Kham National Park, the Phu Phan mountain range, and Erawan Cave, which features a large Buddha at its entrance. Nong Bua Lam Phu is also rich with cultural attractions, such as archeological sites and interesting local handicrafts villages. For those looking for spiritual tranquility, Wat Tham Klong Phen, located in the forests outside of the provincial capital, was home to one of the most famous practitioners of Buddhist Meditation and a museum there is dedicated in his honor.




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Options in Nong Bua Lam Phu, Thailand
It is possible to get to Nong Bua Lam Phu directly by private car or public bus. However, it is also possible to take a train or plane to nearby Udon Thani and then take a short bus ride to Nong Bua Lam Phu. 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 Nong Bua Lam Phu

By Train:
There is no direct train from Bangkok to Nong Bua Lam Phu. Visitors can take a train to Udon Thani and continue from there by bus to Nong Bua Lam Phu. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20 for more information.

By Car:
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road) to Saraburi and then Highway No. 2 (Mittraphap Road) to Udon Thani via Nakhon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen; finally, take Highway No. 210 to Nong Bua Lam Phu, a total distance of 608 kilometers.

By Bus:
Buses depart from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) to Nong Bua Lam Phu every day. Contact Transport Co.Ltd at Tel: 0 2936 2852-66 or visit for more information

By Air:
Visitors can fly from Bangkok to Udon Thani and then continue by bus to Nong Bua Lam Phu. Call Thai Airways, Tel: 1566, 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 for more information.


Getting Around Nong Bua Lam Phu
As in most rural Thai provinces there are typically local busses and 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.


Although one of the less frequently visited tourist destinations in Thailand, Nong Bua Lam Phu has a fair variety of activities for visitors to participate, including visiting the natural and cultural attractions around the province.

Nong Bua Lam Phu features a variety of natural and cultural attractions, including beautiful temples, a number of national parks, and fascinating archaeological sites. The following are some of the most popular attractions in Nong Bua Lam Phu:

Art, Culture & Heritage

King Naresuan the Great shrine
Built to commemorate King Naresuan the Great who in 1574 led his army en route Nong Bua Lam Phu to Vientiane by the assignment of the King of Hongsa, or the kingdom of Burma which ruled Thailand at that time. As King Naresuan got sick, King of Hongsa allowed him to get back to Ayuthaya. The venue where King Naresuan set camp is in the compound of around Nong Bua Park, in front of Nong Bua Lam Phu’s city hall. Every year during Januray 25-February 3, celebration and ceremony are held to honor King Naresuan.

Phra Wor Phra Ta City Pillar Shrine
Located just 100 metres from highway 210 (Nong Bua Lam Phu -Udon Thani), the city pillar shrine is built to honor Phra Wo and Phra Ta who had established the city. The first stone of this city pillar shrine was laid on November 21, 1975. It was completed and opened on February 28, 1976.

Million-year-old shell fossils
The museum features shell fossils from Jurassic Era, dating back to 140-150 million years ago. A number of bivalve fossils are found in good condition. These fossils are found in the mountain with 50 metres high cliff. In nearby area, 60 pieces of dinosaur fossils are found in the layer of siltstone, above the layer where fossils of shell, ancient crocodile and some minerals are found.

How to get there. Motorist can use highway 210 (Nong Bua Lam Phu -Udon Thani). The museum is located in Huai Duea Vilage, Tambon Non Than, at kilometre 88.5 on your left. Tourist can take Nong Bua Lam Phu -Udon Thani Bus.

None Don Klang Archeological Site (Ban Kud Kwang Soy)
Situated in Ban Kut Kwang Soi, Soi Santisuk, Tambon Ban Thin, east of Phu Khao Mount, it is an archeological site. Pre-historical artifacts found here include terra cottage similar to Ban Chiang Culture, human’s skeleton, bronze and stone bracelet, glass beat, sandstone mold for bronze axe, steel tool and etc. Some artifacts are kept at National Museum Khon Kaen, the remaining are displayed in the village’s museum.

How to get there. Use highway 2146 (Nong Bua Lam Phu-None Sang) for 36 kilometres and turn right at Ban Nong Waeng and keep going for 5 kilometres.

Phu Pha Ya Archaeological Site
Situated north of Ban Na Charoen, Tambon Dong Mafai, the site is in limestone mountain which separates itself from Phu Phan Range. Many pre-historical cave painting are found here. The first group of painting, in “Tham Lang”, line for 5 metres long on smooth cave wall. They comprise pictures of geometric, animals, hands, in red. The second group of painting, found in “Tham Bon”, comprises pictures of star, man, reptile, draft of big animal. All the pictures wee painted in red and scatter in small groups. These paintings are estimated to be 2,000-3,000 years old, as old as painting found at Phu Phra Bat Historical Park, Udon Thani, and their style are similar to those found in Guangxi Povince of China.A meditation centre of Buddhist monk is located nearby.

How to get there: From Nong Bua Lam Phu City, use highway 210 (Nong Bua Lam Phu -Wang Saphung), turn right into highway 2097 to Amphoe Suwannakhuha, then use Suwan nakhuha-Ban Na Charoen Road.


Places of Worship

Wat Tham Klong Phen
Located at the foot of Phu Phan Mount, Wat Tham Klong Phen is the province’s famous forest temple. Without accurate history, the temple was probably built during Khmer era and it has been neglected until 1958. Luang Pu Khao Ananyo, monk who practiced Wipassana meditation from famous monk Archan Man Phurithatta Thera, has used this venue to practice his meditation. He has covered 3-4 huge rocks with cement roof, making it a very big hall that can accommodate hundreds of people. Luang Pu Khao has practiced meditation here until he has passed away in 1983. Blanketed with lush vegetable and decorated with rock garden, around the temple is very shady and peaceful. The main hall or Ubosot houses statue of Luang Pu Khao and two-sided ancient drum or Klong Phen. In its rock corners, there are many Buddha Statues in different attitudes such as meditation, reclining, and ‘Pattranimitr’ or bas relief of Buddha image in walking attitude. At the front of the hall is a huge statue of a Chinese Monk of good luck. A bit from the temple, a two-kilometre-long road, running through a forest and weird-shaped rocks, leads to the monument of Luang Pu Khao. Around the monument are:

Museum of Luang Pu Khao Ananyo’s utensils. The museum features ashes and utensils of Luang Pu Khao for Buddhist can pay homage.

Old Monastery of Luang Pu Khao. The small wooden hut is situated in the shady forest. The new monastery is a huge house in Thai traditional style.

Luang Pu Khao Wax Museum The architecture, in the shape three rocks sitting next to each other, blends itself to the surrounding rock garden of the temple. Situated amidst colourful garden and lush green lawn, the museum features wax statue of Luang Pu Khao in sitting posture. His utensils are displayed in the room nearby.

Luang Pu Khao Pagoda Built to house ashes of Luang Pu Khao, the pagoda is situated on rock terrace and can be reached by stair.

Luang Pu Khao Pavillion Rectangular pavilion is built during Luang Pu Khao’s era as a venue for Buddhism rituals. Around the pavilion is calm and shady.

How to get there. From Nong Bua Lam Phu city, travel via highway 210 (Nong Bua Lam Phu -Udon Thani) for 13 kilometres, then turn right and keep going for another 2 kilometres.

Wooden Ubosoth of Wat Chaoreon Songtham
Located in Ban Don Por, Tambon Nong Bua Tai, the wooden chapel or Ubosot has compact size in rectangular shape. High roof creates good air ventilation. The ubosot has delicate carving on the roof, and gable with neatly carved garuda. How to get there: The ubosot is 30 kilometres from Nong Bua Lam Phu City, motorist can use Nong Bua Lam Phu-Sangsian Road.

Wat Santitham Banpot or Wat Pa Phu Noi
Besides offering very nice place for practicing meditation, the temple houses Buddha footprint and 8 groups of stone leaves setting in 8 directions. Each group comprises 4 stone leaves, some feature carving in Bhotisattva and pagoda’s crest. These leaves are probably places around Khmer shrine like those at Wat Si Khun Mueang . How to get there: The temple is 30 kilometres from Nonbua Lampu City, motorist can use highway 210 (Nongbua Lampu-Loei) and turn left at Amphoe Na Klang. It is 1.5 kilometes away.

Wat Tham Suwannakhuha
Situated in Wat Tham Suwankhuha, Ban Khuha Pattana, Moo 7, Tambon Nasee, the cave house antique and portrait of King Chai Shettha of Vientiane. How to get there: Use highway 210 (Nong Bua Lam Phu -Wang Sapung Rd.) and turn right into highway 2097 to Amphoe Suwanakhuha. Then travel via Phra Chai Settha Road for a kilometer, turn right at Dong Yang Na Ta Laeo School, the cave is 4 kilometres away.


Nature & Wildlife

Huay Rai Reservoir
The medium sized reservoir is situated in Ban Srakaeo, Mu 6, Tambon Dong Sawan. With clear water, the reservoir is quite scenic. From November to February, Sun hemp plantation will paint the area in bright yellow. Tourist can enjoy cruising on motored raft which can control direction, unique vehicle of the reservoir. Restaurants on the raft are available.

Namtok Thao To Forest Park
Sitauated on highway 210 (Nong Bua Lam Phu -Udon Thani) some 3 kilometres from Nong Bua Lam Phu City, the shady park is a nice place for picnic. The secreted shrine of Pu Lup is located nearby.

Namtok Huay To Botanical Park
The shady park is a nice place for picnic. The secreted shrine of Pu Loop is located nearby.

Phu Kao-Phu Phan Kham National Park
Established in 1985, Thailand’s 50th national park acquires total area of 322 square kilometres. Phu Khao-Phu Phan Kham National Park’s territory covers part of Amphoe Ubolratana, Amphoe Phu Wiang of Khon Kaen, and Amphoe None Sang of Nong Bua Lam Phu. The park features two sandstone mountains situated away from each other. It is blanketed by deciduous dipterocarp forest, mixed dipterocarp forest, and dry evergreen forest. The park’s headquarter is located by the reservoir of Ubolratana Dam, close to Phu Khan Kham.

Phu Phan Kham. The mountain range, which is part of Phu Phan Range, is on the east of Phong River Basin. From the mountain top, tourist can see picturesque view of the reservoir of Ubolratana Dam through the valley. Camping ground, guesthouse of the park and the department of public welfare, are available at the end of the reservoir. Phu Phan Kham is famous for fish breeding and fishing site of the province.

Phu Khao is rugged sandstone mountain range in the shape of a pan. It comprises 9 mountains namely Phu Fang, Phu Khum Pun, Phu Han, Phu Moei, Phu Ko Mo, Phu Chan, Phu Phro, Phu Luak, and Phu Wat. Home of numerous wildlife, all 9 mountains are blanketed with lush forest. Its interesting attractions include:

Wat Phra Buddha Bat Phu Khao. The ancient temple houses two gigantic foot prints, of human and dog, on the rock. Such footprints are related to local legend “Phra Suphrom Wimokha and 9-tailed Dog”. In its compound, there are Tham Muem and Tham Archan Sim, the caves which houses pre-historical paintings and carving on the walls.

Tham Suea Tok, Tham Pla Hai, Tham Chek. The caves are interesting archeological sites. They house cave painting and carving which can be dated back to 1,500 years ago.

Ham Tang Stone Pillar The area is filled up with rocks in different weird shape. The outstanding one is huge rock sitting on the other like mushroom, making it a remarkable natural sculpture.

Ho Sawan. The rock-top pavillion is amazingly built on a huge rock sitting by 30-metre high cliff. It can be accessed by stair and offers very good view.

Namtok Tat Fa. The small falls cascades through mixed dipterocarp forest before plunging 7 metres down into big pool below.

The park provides boat for tourist can enjoy view in the reservoir and three guesthouses. For more information, call Phu Khao-Phu Phan Kham National Park at 08 1221 0526 or the Department of National Park, Wildlife, and Plant Life at 0 2562 0760 or visit .

Phu Khao-Phu Phan Kham National Park can be reached via two routes namely:
Route 1. Motorist can use highway 2109 Khon Kaen-Ubolratana Dam to Amphoe Ubolratana, then turn right into highway 2146 (Ubonratana-Non Sang) to the park. This route is 63 kilometres long.

Route 2. From Nong Bua Lam Phu city, use highway 2146 (Nong Bua Lam Phu -Non Sang) for 40 kilometres, turn left at Ban Sok Chan into Ban Sok Chan-Ubolratana Road. The park is 14 kilometres away. This route is 57 kilometres long.

Tham Erawan
The cave is situated in Ban Pha In Paeng, Tambon Wang Thong, on a stone mountain called Pha Tham Chang Mount, right on the border of Amphoe Wangsaphung of Loei and Amphoe Na Wang of Nong Bua Lam Phu. Tham Erawan is a big cave accessible via winding 600-steped stair. There is a big Buddha Statue at the cave’s entrance which leads to a huge hall naturally decorated with rock formation. This cave is a scene in local legends “Nang Phom Hom’ Or “the lady with fragrant hair” . Local souvenir shop is located in the nearby temple.

How to get there. The cave is 47 kilometres from Nongbua Lampu, use highway 210 (Nong Bua Lam Phu -Loei), turn right at kilometres13, the cave is 2.7 kilometre further.

Tham Pha Wiang
The cave is situated in Mu 9 Ban Pha Wiang, Tambon Na Kae among picturesque mountain range called Phu Pha Wiang. The cave and around is territory of Wat Tham Pha Wiang. Tham Pha Wiang is naturally beautiful with rock formation and stalagmites. There are also many caves in the area such as Tham Pha Klang, Tham Thammat, Tham Prathun, Tham Khok Nuea Yai, Tham Khangkhao. How to get there: The cave is 45 kilometres from Nong Bua Lam Phu City, motorist can use highway 210 (Nong Bua Lam Phu -Loei).


Suburban Living

Pottery-making at Ban Khong Sawan
The village is famed for its terra cotta products by traditional method which are available around the village and by the road. The village is located in Tambon Non Than, 17 kilometres from Nong Bua Lam Phu City via highway 210.




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