Saturday, 18 May 2024

The Northeast

Known as Isan in Thai, the Northeast consists mostly of a plateau. Some may think that this area is dry and lifeless. But in fact, it has large numbers of tourist spots, especially sites of historical and archaeological significance. Nakhon Ratchasima (259 km), or Khorat for short, is the gateway to the Northeast, where are located the Thao Suranari Monument, Khmer-style stone shrine Prasat Hin Phimai and an over 250-year-old banyan tree. Khon Kaen (449 km), one of the northeastern commercial centres famous for the local product -- matmi silk. At Phuwiang National Park, dinosaurs' fossils, which were uncovered at the site, are on show. Kalasin (519 km) is where dinosaurs' fossils were excavated and are now exhibited at Dinosaur Research Centre in Sahatkhan District.

Ubon Ratchathani (629 km) is the easternmost province of Thailand, bordering Laos on the east and Cambodia on the south. The renowned Pha Taem and Pha Mon are sandstone cliffs featuring prehistoric colour paintings. Other attractions include beautiful old temples and many rapids and cascades along the Mun and Mekong rivers. Sakon Nakhon (647 km) offers tourists the picturesque scenery of the vast Nong Han Lake and Phu Phan National Park. Surin (457 km), the land of elephants, is world famous for its Elephant Round-up taking place at the third weekend of November. Si Sa Ket (571 km) where the famous Khmer ruins, Khao Phra Wihan, is located on the Cambodian border. There are many other Khmer-style stone buildings in the province which are worth visiting.

Buri Ram (410 km) Comprising plenty of Khmer ruins, this province is where the largest Khmer-style stone temple, Prasat Hin Phanom Rung is located. Loei (520 km), a challenging place for nature lovers who want to admire the scenic beauty of Phu Kradueng National Park in the cool season.

Udon Thani (564 km) is famous for its World Heritage site -- Ban Chiang Village of ancient civilisation, and Phu Phra Bat Historical Park with bizarre rock formations. Nakhon Phanom (740 km) is well known for its Phrathat Phanom, which is a very ancient pagoda containing a relic of the Buddha, and its annual Illuminated Boat Procession Festival, which is held around October or November.


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