land of big elephants, prestigious silk, beautiful rosary,
many Khmer ruins, sweet radish, fragrant rice, and rich culture.
is a large province in the Mun River Basin of Thailand’s Northeastern
Isan region. Although the exact history of the town itself is not
well known, the people of the region have always been highly regarded
for a particular skill: capturing and taming elephants. The Suay
or Kuay (meaning simply “people”) migrated to the area perhaps thousands
of years ago and established a reputation for their elephant handling
prowess that is still celebrated to this day. Since 1960, around
the time that elephants were being replaced by machines for most
of their laboring jobs, the Surin Elephant Round-Up has been an
annual event known both locally and internationally. During this
celebration of both the elephants and the training skills of the
Surin people, the gigantic pachyderms impress everyone with their
cleverness and charm, an event that is the embodiment of the unique
character of the province.
to elephants, Surin features many ruins from the era when the Khmer
of Angkor controlled the region, and Surin is also known for producing
beautiful silk and growing Thailand’s famous jasmine rice.
of the year Surin province is a sleepy agricultural province, quietly
growing jasmine rice and weaving beautiful silk. Come November however,
the spotlight shines on Surin province as Thais and foreign visitors
congregate in the province to witness one of Thailand’s most iconic
celebrations: the Surin Elephant Round-Up. As much a celebration
of the mighty elephants as the local people who are so skilled in
training them, the Elephant Round up features hundreds of elephants
showcasing their skills, including a man vs elephant tug-of-war
and full fledged battle re-enactments.
visiting other times of the year or just before, after the big event
will enjoy the bucolic environment that surrounds a number of charming
handicraft villages and a handful of Khmer ruins, abandoned for
half a millennia following the fall of the Khmer Empire at Angkor.
are generally full during the elephant round up so book ahead!
Visitors can interact with the elephants at the end of the day’s
in Surin, Thailand
Surin is easily reached via private car, public bus,
or train. 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, tuk tuk, and if you are
to and from Surin
Regular trains depart from Bangkok's Hua Lumphong Railway Station
for Surin every day. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20or visit www.railway.co.th
for more information.
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road) to Saraburi
and then Highway No. 2 (Mittraphap Road) to Nakhon
Ratchasima; finally, use Highway No.226 to Surin via Buri
Ram, a total distance of 457 kilometers.
Buses depart from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) to
Surin every day. Contact Transport Co.Ltd at Tel: 0 2936 2852-66
or visit www.transport.co.th
for more information
Surin is a very convenient city for travelers to explore: most sights
and lodging are within a few blocks of the bus and train stations.
If you don’t want to walk, Samlor (three wheeled, pedal powered
cabs) charge 20B to 30B for a trip around the city center.
also possible for visitors to rent cars and motorbikes while in
Surin. Be aware that only Commercial First Class Insurance provides
full coverage on rental cars (as opposed to limited personal or
third party only insurance). You may wish to request a copy of an
insurance policy and ensure that it states "For Commercial
Use". Regardless, inspect rental vehicles prior to rental and
drive with caution, particularly as traffic in Thailand can be quite
150 to 300 baht per day you can hire your own motorbike, which will
typically require you to leave your passport as a deposit. Be sure
to inspect bikes prior to rental and drive with extreme caution
as rental motorbikes are not normally insured and accidents are
frequent. Helmets are required by Thai law.
Attending the Surin Elephant Roundup is the province’s number one
activity, though visitors also have the opportunity to visit local
villages to learn about handicrafts production and explore ancient
Khmer ruins. Otherwise, Surin has limited activities other than
enjoying the natural and peaceful environment as well as the charm
of the hospitable local inhabitants.
Other than Surin’s iconic elephants, there are a number of natural
and cultural attractions, including beautiful temples and handicraft
villages. The following are some of the most popular attractions
Culture & Heritage
Si Khoraphum khmer sanctuary at Tambon Ra-ngaeng at Km. 34-35
on Highway No. 226 is 5 pagodas on the same base. Each is about
30 metres high. Designs adorn the door columns and lintels. The
site was built around the 17th Buddhist century... Link
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Ban Phlai sanctuary is at Tambon Chua Phloeng, 10 kilometres from
the district office. This Khmer religious site consists of 3 brick
buildings on the same laterite base with a moat surrounding them.
The buildings were built around the 16th Buddhist century... Link
Prasat Mueang Thi is 16 kilometres from Surin on the way to Si
Khoraphum on Highway No. 226. Three square brick pagodas were
part of five on the same base... Link
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Built around the 16th-17th Buddhist century. This small sanctuary
has very detailed designs. The site is 4 pagodas on a rectangular
laterite base. Each pagoda is square and made of sandstone with
floral and human figure designs. Ban Phluang sanctuary is at Km.
32 on the Surin-Prasat-Kap Choeng road... Link
This khmer sanctuary is at Tambon Dom, 10 kilometres from the
district office on the Sangkha-Buachet road. This is one of the
oldest Khmer sanctuaries in the Northeast and was built around
the 12th-13th Buddhist century... Link
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This khmer santuary is 12 kilometres from Ban Ta Miang on Highway
No. 214 on the Thai-Cambodian border. Prasat Ta Muan Tot has a
square base made of sandstone, similar to those at Ban Phluang.
Prasat Ta Muan Thom is 200 metres from Ta Muan Tot sanctuary.
Situated near a stream, it consists of 3 pagodas with floral and
idol designs. There are also 2 laterite buildings and a pool beyond
Sinarin Handicraft Village
The village, located in Amphoe Khwao Sinarin, is famous for fine
silk, weaing with unique patterns and notable silver beads.
This is a Khmer sanctuary beside Highway No. 24, 4 kilometres
from the district office... Link
Situated at km. 4 of Surin-Prasat Road, on the left before bypass
road. The museum features five areas namely geography, archeology,
city history, ethnology, and heritages of the province.
Geography section features physical of Surin including tomography,
climate, geology, soil science, natural resources such as earth,
water, forest, wildlife, and national parks. Moreover, it features
rice and rice farming, as Surin is of the best place for growing
Archeology section features development of people, lifestyle including
the second funeral in pre-historical period, antique from Dvaravati,
Khmer, and Ayutthaya-Lanchang found in Surin. There are replica
of ancient sites presented with motion picture to educate museum
goer in the area of archaelogy and art history found in Surin.
City History section features history of Surin city from past
to present in the presentation boxes. From Kuai ethnic group who
caught white elephant escaped from Ayutthaya until Surin City
was well established. Other topics include administration reform,
significant incidents such as white elephant catching, the first
arrival of train to Surin, market at the first stage, education
in the past.
Ethnology section features four major ethnic groups in Surin namely
Suay or Kuai who has excellent skill in catching and training
elephant, Khmer who is the native of the region, Laotian who is
the latest migratory, and Thai Khorat who came from Nakhon Ratchasima.
The presentation replicates lifestyle of different ethnic groups
with replica houses, rites, photographs and picture about the
Heritages of the province. Surin is famed for its cultural heritages,
which was handicrafts namely silver ornaments, silk cloth, traditional
performances, and elephant raising. The later puts Surin on the
world map. The presentation of this section includes replica,
photographs and motion pictures.
museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 9.00 am. to 4.00
pm.. It is close on Monday, Tuesday, and special holiday. For
more information, call 0-4451-3358... Link
Surin Phakdi Si Narong Changwang (Pum) Monument
This monument is dedicated to the first lord of the city. It is
located at the southern entrance to the city in the area where
the city's inner wall once stood. It was built in 1968... Link
Located on Lak Mueang Road, 500 metres west of city hall, the
shrine is a sacred icon of the city. At first, the shrine did
not house any pillar. In 1968, the Fine Arts Department has designed
a new city shrine and got golden cassia log from Mr. Prasith Maneekan,
Amphoe Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi, and made it the city pillar. The
log is 3 metres long and 1 metre long in circumcircle. The rite
and celebration took place on March 15, 1974... Link
Wat Burapharam is on Krung Si Nai Road near the provincial hall.
It houses Luang Pho Phra Chi, a sacred Buddha image of the city.
This old image was built during the Thon Buri period at the same
time Surin was founded... Link
Huai Saneng is a reservoir popular with locals who seek relaxation.
It is 5 kilometres from Amphoe Prasat... Link
Located at Bn Dan Phatthana, Tambon Dan, this market is a trade
centre at the border checkpoint for local Thais and Cambodians...
Buthom Basketry Village
This Basketry Village is at Tambon Muang Thi on the Surin-Si Khoraphum
road at Km. 14-15. When villagers are not harvesting, they make
basketry from rattan to sell as household items and souvenirs.
Tha Sawang Silk Weaving Village
Located in Tambon Tha Sawang, the village has a weaving plant
in ancient style. Silk woven here is produced from very fine thread
of silk, dyed naturally, and woven with delicate pattern from
the past. The village produces also ancient style cloth called
Pha Yok Thong, which is woven from pure silver line and golden-coloured
silk. How to get there: The village is 8 kilometres from Surin
City. Motorist can across the railway, opposite to Surin Plaza,
and keeps going to the intersection. Turn left into Ko Loi - Mueang
Ling Road... Link
and Silk Villages
Silverware and Silk Villages can be reached by taking the Surin-Chom
Phra road (No. 214) to Km. 14-15, then 4 kilometres to the right.
These villages are Ban Khawao Sinnarin, Ban Chok and Ban Sado,
all nearby one another. The beautiful silverware and silk products
made here are sold to shops and tourists.In addition, Chan Rom
village at Km. 9 on the Surin-Sangkha Highway cultivates Indian
mulberry for silkworms that are then used to produce ancient-style
silk designs and colors. Basketry is also made here.
This elephant village at Ban Ta Klang on Highway No. 214 (Chom
Phra-Ta Tum) can be reached by going to Km. 36 and left for 22
kilometres. The locals here are called the Suai people. They are
skilled in capturing, training and raising elephants. An elephant
museum here displays a complete elephant skeleton, its organs,
tools used to capture elephants, elephant-raising techniques,
and the history and development of Surin elephants... Link
1 , Link
: 100 baht per person