Sakon Nakhon

Having a long, culturally diverse history, Sakon Nakhon features a unique mixture of ancient traditions. In addition to historical sites and temples that reflect this, there are a number of traditional festivals that visitors may also enjoy, including the wax castle and illuminated boat festival. Local products from Sakon Nakhon feature handicrafts, including earthenware, cotton clothes, silk products, and hand-woven Khit clothes with natural bark dye.

 

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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 : Sakon Nakhon @ 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

Sakon Nakhon

Having a long, culturally diverse history, Sakon Nakhon features a unique mixture of ancient traditions.

Sakon Nakhon is in the upper northeast of Thailand’s Isan region. It lies within the Phu Phan mountain range and features many forested temple retreats for Buddhist meditation, where a number of famous monks reside.

The capital of the province, also called Sakon Nakhon, is a Buddhist town with five Buddhist stupas. Its history can be dated back three thousand years. More recently, Nongharn town, where present day Sakon Nakhon stands, was originally believed to have been built in 11th century when the Khmer ruled this region. After the fall of Angkor, the town was under the rule of Lan Xang, a Laotian Kingdom, and it was renamed “Muang Chiang Mai Nongharn”. When the town was finally brought under control of the Siamese it was renamed again: “Sakon Thavapi”. In 1830, during the reign of King Rama III, the town was finally renamed “Sakon Nakhon”.

Having a long, culturally diverse history, Sakon Nakhon features a unique mixture of ancient traditions. In addition to historical sites and temples that reflect this, there are a number of traditional festivals that visitors may also enjoy, including the wax castle and illuminated boat festival. Local products from Sakon Nakhon feature handicrafts, including earthenware, cotton clothes, silk products, and hand-woven Khit clothes with natural bark dye.

 

 

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TRAVEL TO SAKON NAKHON

Options in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand
As a province somewhat off the typical tourist route, Sakon Nakhon is best reached via private car or public bus. However, it is possible to take a train or plane to nearby Udon Thani an then a short bus to Sakon Nakhon. 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 Sakon Nakhon

By Train:
There is no direct train from Bangkok to Sakon Nakhon. Visitors can take a train to Udon Thani and continue the journey by bus to Sakon Nakhon. 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 Ban Phai which connects with Highway No. 23 to Maha Sarakham; finally, continue the journey along Highway 213 via Kalasin to Sakon Nakhon, a total distance of 647 kilometers.


By Bus:
Bangkok-Sakon Nakhon buses depart from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) every day. Contact Transport Co.Ltd at Tel: 0 2936 2852-66 or visit www.transport.co.th for more information

 

Getting Around Sakon Nakhon
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, Sakon Nakhon has limited activities for visitors to participate in other than visiting the natural and cultural attractions around the province.

Attractions
Although one of the quieter tourist destinations in Thailand, Sakon Nakhon is enjoyed particularly because of its quiet and natural environment, one reason it is famed for its meditation retreats. Otherwise, Sakon Nakhon features mostly natural and cultural attractions, including beautiful temples, and silk and handicraft villages. The following are some of the most popular attractions in Sakon Nakhon:

Art, Culture & Heritage

Saphan Khom
Saphan Khom is just before entering the town on the Sakon Nakhon-Udon Thani Road. It is believed to have been a route of the Khmer people.

Phra That Phu Phek
Phra That Phu Phek is on a mountain in Tambon Na Hua Bo. To get there, take the Sakon Nakhon-Udon Thani road for 22 kilometres and take a road on the left for 14 kilometres, then ascend 491 steps. The laterite pagoda is on a square base. Seemingly unfinished because it has no roof or pagoda top, it was built in the 16th-17th Buddhist century. Moreover, this Khmer Ruins is special as it houses solar calendar, cube-shape rock, in its stupa. The ancient people used it for indicating position of the sun to indicate date for religious rites and agricultural seasons.

Phra Archan Man Phurithatto Museum
This museum is opposite the Provincial Government Centre on Suk Kasem Road in Wat Pa Sutthawat. The museum is built of fired clay tiles. On display are a wax figure of Phra Achan Man who was a famous monk, his personal items and his biography.

Phra That Dum
Phra That Dum is at Tambon Ngew Don, 3 kilometres from town on the way to Phatthana Suksa School. There were originally 3 brick Khmer pagodas on the same laterite base but only one stands today. The pagodas were built in the 16th Buddhist Century.

Phra That Choeng Chum
Phra That Choeng Chum is an historical site that has always been with Sakon Nakhon. This plaster-covered brick pagoda has a square base and is 24 metres high. The chapel houses the holy Luang Pho Ong Saen.

Phra That Narai Cheng Weng
This khmer sanctuary is 5 kilometres from town on the way to Udon Thani. The sandstone pagoda is on a laterite base. Ornate designs adorn the lintel, doorway and windows. It is believed the site was entirely constructed by women who competed with the men who built Phra That Phu Phek. It dates from the 16th-17th Buddhist century.

Achan Fan Acharo Museum
Achan Fan Acharo Museum is at Wat Pa Udom Somphon in Tambon Phanna Nikhom en route to Udon Thani. The museum has a wax figure of the famous monk, as well as his personal items and biography.

Achan Wan Uttamo Museum
Achan Wan Uttamo Museum is on Phu Pha Lek. To get there, take the Sakon Nakhon-Udon Thani road for 84 kilometres to Sawang Daen Din, then a road on the left to Song Dao for 32 kilometres. The museum features paintings of the monk and his personal items.

Ban Kut Na Kham Arts and Crafts Centre
Her Majesty the Queen has initiated to set up Kut Na Kham Art and Crafts Centre in 1983 in Ban Kut Na Kham, Tambon Charoen Sin, Amphoe Chaoreon Sin. The centre is established to train craftsmanship for Isan people who generally have excellent skill for handicraft. The handicrafts produced form this centre will help the poor earn some extra. The centre becomes model for other 30 something Art and Crafts Centres established later nationawide.

Presently, the centre is a major quality terra cotta products producer of Isan. Visitor can enjoy witnessing the delicate process in demonstration room featuring casting and painting and enjoy shopping finished products in the show room. Terra cotta products from Kut Na Kham is famed for its high quality and unique design. Today its handicrafts portfolio expands to wood carving, silk weaving, artificial flower producing, basketry and etc. Delicates handicrafts from the centre are always displayed and sold in the province’s souvenir fairs, and festivals countrywide. The centre is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 8.00 am. to 4.30 pm.

How to get there: From Sakhon Nakhon City, use highway 22 (Sakhon Nakhon-Udon Thani) for 85 kilometres. Turn right at Amphoe Sawang Daen Din into highway 2091 and turn left into highway 2280 to Amphoe Charoen Sin. The centre is 20 kilometres away.

Sakon Nakhon Cultural Centre
Sakon Nakhon Cultural Centre is in Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat Institute, about 6 kilometres from town on the Sakon Nakhon-Udon Thani Road. Exhibits include utensils of various tribes in the province and information on Sakon Nakhon in the old days.

 

Places of Worship

Wat Kham Pramong
Wat Kham Pramong is at Ban Kham Pramong in Tambon Sawang, 40 kilometres from Amphoe Muang on Highway No. 22, then take Highway No. 2355 to Akat Amnuai. The temple is the meditation centre of the famous monk Luang Pu Sim.

Wat Tham Kham
Wat Tham Kham used to be where the famous monks Achan Fan and Luang Pu Thet meditated. A pagoda housing the relics of the latter is here.

Phra That Si Mongkhon
Phra That Si Mongkhon at Tambon Ban That is 2 kilometres from the district office. This pagoda has a square base and is decorated with fired clay designs. The present pagoda encases the original one which is made of laterite.

 

Nature & Wildlife

Nong Han
Nong Han is a large freshwater lake with an area of 123 square kilometres. It is where many waterways converge and is also a major agricultural and fishery centre of the province. Nong Han's shorefront has been developed into a public park. In addition, there is Sa Phang Thong, an ancient pool believed to have been constructed at the same time as Phra That Choeng Chum.

Nam Un Dam
Nam Un Dam is 57 kilometres from Amphoe Muang en route to Udon Thani and a left for 6 kilometres en route to Waritchaphum. The dam is at its loveliest at sunset over the reservoir.

Phu Phan National Park
Phu Phan National Park covers a wide jungle area in the upper Northeast. The park headquarters is on Highway No. 203 on the way to Kalasin, 25 kilometres from the district office. Tourist spots in Kalasin include Pha Nang Moen, an observation point 700 metres by foot from the park office, and Lan Sao E, a natural rock plateau on a cliff 2 kilometres away.

Phu Pha Lek
Phu Pha Lek is a mountain in the Phu Phan range. Some parts of the area are rock plateaus that are covered with flowers toward the end of the rainy season. Tourist spots here are the observation point on the high cliff, Kaeng Kula waterfall, Kao Chan waterfall that has water only in the rainy season, and prehistoric drawings at Phak Nam cave that are over 3,000 years old.

Phu Phan Ratchaniwet Palace
Phu Phan Ratchaniwet Palace is on Phu Phan mountain range on the Sakon Nakhon-Kalasin road, 13 kilometres from the district office. It is the residence of Their Majesties when they visit the Northeast.

Huai Huat National Park
Huai Huat National Park has many interesting spots. The park can be accessed via either taking the Sakon Nakhon-Kalasin road for 5 kilometres and then Highway No. 2339 on the left for 35 kilometres, or taking the Sakon Nakhon-Na Kae road for 14 kilometres and then a road on the right for 18 kilometres. The park is noted for the visual beauty of the reservoir, the waterfall and the rock plateau covered with flowers at the end of the rainy season. There are also prehistoric cave drawings.

Khong Ping Ngu
Khong Ping Ngu is 14 kilometres from Amphoe Muang. It is part of the Sakon Nakhon-Kalasin route. This snake-like road is interesting for the largest kilometre marker in Thailand. Many waterfalls like Heo Sin Chai, Tat Ton and Kham Hom, are nearby with easy access.

Namtok Pricha Suksan
This waterfall is on Phu Phan mountain range, 17 kilometres away on the Sakon Nakhon-Udon Thani route and 10 more kilometres on the left. The waterfall is a rock plateau with water coming down like a slide. It is suitable for swimming.

 

Suburban Living

Pottery Village
Sakon Nakhon's pottery village is at Ban Chiang Khrua, 15 kilometres away on the way to Nakhon Phanom. Products made here are jars, pots, containers, and flowerpots. All are sold to tourists at reasonable prices.

Ban Kut Na Kham Arts and Crafts Centre
Her Majesty the Queen has initiated to set up Kut Na Kham Art and Crafts Centre in 1983 in Ban Kut Na Kham, Tambon Charoen Sin, Amphoe Chaoreon Sin. The centre is established to train craftsmanship for Isan people who generally have excellent skill for handicraft. The handicrafts produced form this centre will help the poor earn some extra. The centre becomes model for other 30 something Art and Crafts Centres established later nationawide.

Presently, the centre is a major quality terra cotta products producer of Isan. Visitor can enjoy witnessing the delicate process in demonstration room featuring casting and painting and enjoy shopping finished products in the show room. Terra cotta products from Kut Na Kham is famed for its high quality and unique design. Today its handicrafts portfolio expands to wood carving, silk weaving, artificial flower producing, basketry and etc. Delicates handicrafts from the centre are always displayed and sold in the province’s souvenir fairs, and festivals countrywide. The centre is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 8.00 am. to 4.30 pm.

How to get there: From Sakhon Nakhon City, use highway 22 (Sakhon Nakhon-Udon Thani) for 85 kilometres. Turn right at Amphoe Sawang Daen Din into highway 2091 and turn left into highway 2280 to Amphoe Charoen Sin. The centre is 20 kilometres away.

 

Recreational & Entertainment

Isan Freshwater Aquarium
This aquarium is at the Sakon Nakhon Fishery Station on Sai Sawang Road. The centre has on display freshwater fish and animal species found in the Northeast.

Phu Phan National Park
Phu Phan National Park covers a wide jungle area in the upper Northeast. The park headquarters is on Highway No. 203 on the way to Kalasin, 25 kilometres from the district office. Tourist spots in Kalasin include Pha Nang Moen, an observation point 700 metres by foot from the park office, and Lan Sao E, a natural rock plateau on a cliff 2 kilometres away.

 

 

 
 


 
 
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