Amnat Charoen (อำนาจเจริญ)
Amnat Charoen is part of lower Northeast region. The province acquires a total
area of 3,161 square kilometres. Its eastern boundary, at Amphoe Chanuman,
is next to Mekong River. The community was firstly established during the
reign of King Rama III of Rattanakosin some two centuries ago. Amnat Charoen
has been part of Ubon Ratchathani until it was upgraded into province in 1993.
Although it is a small and tranquil town, Amnat Charoen has various attractions
distributing in different Amphoe. Visitors to Amnat Charoen can stroll around to witness
sacred Buddha images, picturesque rice paddies and fruit orchards, rocky
rapids of the Mekong River in dry season, and excellent handicrafts - particularly silk.
Nakhon Ratchasima (นครราชสีมา)
Nakhon Ratchasima, generally known as "Khorat", is Thailand's largest province
situated on the sprawling northeast plateau. Some of the main attractions in Khorat
are Khmer ruins. Scattered around the province, these products of ancient wisdom
shines through time.
One of the Thailand's finest Khmer ruins can be seen here next to Mon and Lao sites.
In addition, Khorat has an abundance of natural attractions in its forests, hills,
wildlife and waterfalls that are easily accessible in locations such as Khao Yai
National Park. Apart from the famous statue of Khun Ying Mo or Thao Suranari,
Khorat is most well known for silk weaving (in Pak Thong Chai) and a variety of
top-notch quality handicrafts such as clay pottery products of Dan Kwian.
Known as the city of pleasantness, is one of largest and most populated
provinces in Isan. The southern part of the province has a number of Khmer
sanctuaries, the most magnificent being Phanom Rung, regarded as one of the
most beautiful examples of Khmer architecture in Thailand.
Phanom Rung Historical Park: Phanom Rung (ปราสาทหินพนมรุ้ง)
or, with its full name, Prasat Hin Phanom Rung (Phanom Rung Stone Castle),
is one of the most significant Khmer monuments in Thailand. It was built in
sandstone and laterite in the 10th to 13th centuries. It was a Hindu shrine
dedicated to Shiva, and symbolises Mount Kailash, his heavenly dwelling.
Surin is a big province on Mun River Basin in the lower Northeast of Thailand.
It is well known, locally and international, for its elephants. The gigantic
animal of Surin impresses everyone with loveliness, cleverness and creates
unique character of the province. Surin people have long relationship with
elephants which became an icon of the province. Plenty of Khmer Ruins, beautiful silk
and famous jasmine rice make Surin a very interesting destination.
If you have ever wanted to see a lot of elephants in one place (there are
more elephants now in Thailand than in India), this is your opportunity.
Surin is 457 kilometers from Bangkok.
Si Sa Ket (ศรีสะเกษ)
Si Sa Ket is a quiet province on the Cambodia border with
Khmer ruins scattered throughout the province. Most notable are the two ruined
sanctuaries of Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai and Noi, dating back to the 10 th century.
However, the most famous Khmer site is actually in Cambodia. Khao Phra Wihan
was built over 10 centuries ago and is one of the most spectacular Angkor-period
sites. Built as a Hindu temple, it begins in Thailand and rises to 600 metres
with the main sanctuary in Cambodia.
After a long period of war, its wonderful craftsmanship, stairways and courts
are now being restored. The walk to the summit is long and steep, but visitors
are sure to be impressed by the size and complexity of its design.
Ubon Ratchathani (อุบลราชธานี)
Ubon Ratchathani has been a well established community for hundreds of years.
Relatively unknown to the most tourists, the province boasts a number of natural
wonders, cultural and historical attractions, national parks, silk producing shops, etc.
The province is renowned for its strong Buddhist tradition, particularly the
practice of forest-dwelling monks and the ancient Buddhist temples, which can
still be seen throughout the province today. The province is unique in its folk
culture, which is expressed in the indigenous cuisine, handicrafts, such as
silk and cotton products, basketry, and bronze-ware, and traditional events such as
the Candle festival held every July.
Yasothon is famous for its boisterous Rocket Festival
every May, when giant home-made missiles are launched into the air in a
symbolic rain-making gesture.
In the town at Wat Mahathat, Phra That Yasothon is a much-visited Lao-style
chedi, said to be over 1,200 years old. It enshrines holy relics of Phra Ananda,
ne of Lord Buddha's chief disciples. That Kong Khao Noi is an ancient Khmer chedi
with a much revered brick and stucco Buddha that is ritually bathed every April.
The handicraft village of Ban Si Than is famed for the triangular pillows used
in most Thai households.
Roi Et (ร้อยเอ็ด)
Roi Et town is built around a large artificial lake, Bung Phlan Chai,
where a large, walking Buddha stands on a small island in its centre.
Tall Buddhas are popular in Roi Et as Wat Buraphaphiram features a 68-metres
walking Buddha, with a staircase that enables visitors to climb to knee-high
level. Sixty kilometres outside of town is Ku Kasing, a large Khmer sanctuary
dating from the 11th century.
Handicrafts are the province's main product, particularly the Isan khaen,
a kind of panpipe made from wood and reeds. These are best made in the small
village of Si Kaew. Thanon Phadung Phanit is a good place to buy silk and cotton fabric.
Maha Sarakham (มหาสารคาม)
Situated in the heart of Northeastern Thailand, the small province
of Maha Sarakham is considered to be a regional education centre, earning the name "Taksila
of Isan" (Taksila was a city where education of all branches centered around in ancient India).
The province also houses a sacred Buddha image and has many historical sites, with the province
being the former site of the ancient Dvaravati city of Nakhon Champa Si. Maha Sarakham's
beautiful hand woven silk and cotton fabrics are sought after for their original patterns.
Maha Sarakham is 470 kilometres from Bangkok.
Khon Kaen (ขอนแก่น)
Khon Kaen is the commercial, administrative an educational centre of the Northeast,
which is often used by travellers as a base for visiting many parts of upper Isan.
Khon Kaen National Museum houses objects from the Dvaravati period and bronze sculptures
from Ban Chiang. Kaen Nakhon Lake in the centre of town is a popular spot for picnics and
dining, while Wat That on its bank features typical Isan spires. A dinosaur is the provincial
symbol ever since remains of these great beasts were unearthed in Phu Wiang National Park,
an area also famous for its flora, fauna and waterfalls.
It is well known in tourism terms because it has beautiful flower fields.
Chaiyaphum was founded over 2 centuries ago during the early Rattanakosin
period by a group of Vientiane people. Four national parks
are located in the province. The Tat Thon National Park
is in north-west of the province. The biggest attraction of the Sai Thong
National Park in the west of the province is the Sai Thong waterfall, but
also some fields of the Siam Tulip.
Similar fields can be found in the Pa Hin Ngam National Park
in the south-west, scheduled to be gazetted in the future. This park has
its name from the strangely shaped rock formations found there (beautiful rock forest).
Phu Laenkha National Park covers another 200 km² of forested hills northwest of Chaiyaphum city.
Kalasin, which means the land of Pong Lang music, is also called
the "Queen of Silk" for its famous Phrae Wa hand-woven
silk cloths and shawls. It is 519 km north-east of
Bangkok and most of the province is covered by hilly
landscape. In the north is the Lam Pao dam built 1963-68,
storing 1,430 million m³ of water for flood prevention and
agriculture. Most parts of the province is fertile agricultural
land, producing sticky rice and other cash crops such as manioc
and sugar cane.
In recent years the province became most famous for
the dinosaur fossils found at Phu Kum Khao, the largest
dinosaur site in Thailand. Most of the fossils are from
the giant Sauropods aged 120 million years ago.
Mukdahan is a peaceful province located on the bank of the Mekong River,
opposite Sawannakhet in Laos. The province has always been an interesting
mixture of cultures from various tribes since ancient times. Moreover,
it is a land of fantastic natural rock parks and is a major gateway to
tourism in Laos and Vietnam. The province is renowned for its sweet
tamarind fruit and features many natural attractions.
Mukdahan is known for this beautiful Mekong scenery and as a Thai-Lao
trade centre. Among Thais it's most known for the Talat Indojin, or
Indochina Market, a Thai-Lao-Vietnamese affair that gathers around Wat
Si Mongkhon Tai near the Tha Makdahan.
Sakon Nakhon (สกลนคร)
647 km from Bangkok in the upper Northeast, is located on the Phu Phan mountain
range and has many forest temple retreats for meditation. These temples are home to
famous monks well known in meditation circles. Phu Pha Yon the mountain in
the compound of a meditation centre houses 3000 year old cliff
carvings featuring lifestyle of Thai people in the pre-historical
period. The Phu Thai tribe people living in this province sometimes
still wear their ancient costumes on special occasion. The famous
"Wax Castle Festival" is held in October. To celebrate the end of
Buddhist Lent (Ok Phansa), mould beeswax into miniature Buddhist temples
and shrines (wax castles) in order to gain merit, believed to determine
their future rebirth. Ban Kud Na Kham is the production centre of
ceramics, wood carvings and silk weaving.
Nong Khai (หนองคาย)
Nong Khai is a long thin province running along the Mekong River, providing
the main access to Laos. Originally people went by boat from Tha Sadet, but
the building of the Friendship Bridge across the Mekong has made Nong Khai a
major centre for transport and trade with Laos.
Attractions include Wat Pho Chai, renowned for its large seated Buddha believed
to have been cast in Lan Chang, and Phra That Nong Khai, an old chedi that
slipped into the river and can now only be seen completely in the dry season.
Sala Kaeo Ku is a bizarre sculpture garden packed with statres of Shiva, Vishnu
and Buddha as well as many other figures from Hindu and Thai culture. Phu Wua Wildlife
Sanctuary near the Mekong River contains a number of beautiful waterfalls.
Udon Thani (อุดรธานี)
Udon Thani, is a prime business center of I-San. Located 564 kilometers from
Bangkok, it the world heritage site for the prehistoric culture of
Udon Thani is probably best known for its archaeological wonders, paramount
among them the hamlet of Ban Chiang where the world's first Bronze Age
civilization is believed to have flourished more than 5,000 years ago.
The locals are mainly engaged in agricultural activities, with particular
rising in wholesale and retail trading activities. That is why Udon Thani
is an agricultural market hub or neighboring provinces.
Loei is one of Thailand's most beautiful and unspoiled provinces. The land is mountainous
and the temperature goes from one extreme to the other, the weather being hotter than elsewhere
in Thailand during the hot season and colder during the cold season. This is the only province
in Thailand where temperatures can drop to 0°C.
Attractions within the province that should be explored include Phu Kradung, Phu Luang and
Phu Reua National Parks, as well as the districts of Tha Li and Chiang Khan.
Nakhon Phanom (นครพนม)
Located on the right bank of the majestic Mekong River is Nakhon Phanom, an ancient
city with a name that literally means City of Hills. The lovely setting of the
provincial capital is enhanced by the rugged beauty of jungle covered mountains
which lie beyond the Laotian town of Tha Khaek, located on the opposite bank of
the river. Nakhon Phanom is renowned as a great place with beautiful scenery and
relaxing ambiance by the Mekong River consisting of high hills and plains covered
with lush and virgin forests.
Nakhon Phanom is where Phra That Phanom, the most sacred and ancient religious
monument of the Northeast, is located. Both Thais and Laotians usually make their
pilgrimage to this highly venerated site to ask for blessings.
Nong Bua Lamphu (หนองบัวลำภู)
Split off from Udon Thani in 1993, Nong Bua Lam Phu is a scenic province
famous for its prehistoric sites. Fossilized shells about 140 million years
old can be seen in the cliffs 10 kilometers outside the main town,
archaeological sites at Kudkwangsoi villages are also attractions.
Wat Tham Klong Phen, a tranquil forest monastery outside of town, is revered as
the home of the famous meditation monk. Luang Phu Khao Analayo. A museum in the
compound is dedicated to the monk. A beautiful nature reserve is found at
Phu Kao Phupan Kham National Park, covering 320 square kilometers, including a
large lake formed by Ubon Ratana Dam, which is a popular fishing area.
Bueng Kan (บึงกาฬ)
Bueng Kan, anew province was formed in August 2010, separating from Nong Khai province
in the northeastern Thailand. The new province has population of around 400,000. It borders
from the south clockwise Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, Nong Khai Province and lies
opposite Bolikhamxai province of Lao People’s Democratic Republic across Mekong River.
Perfectly positioned in the valley of the Mekong River, it is abounded with natural attractions
such as waterfalls, mountains, highlands, flat farmlands and inevitably missed, the Mekong River,
which is the home to beautiful sandy beach on the river bank. The Friendship Bridge connecting to
Vientiane is the closest border crossing which facilitates the commuting and travelling to and from
the two countries. Not only the natural wonders, traditions and cultures of Isan people allure tourists
to discover. There are accommodation for both city lovers and those who prefer unwinding with the
backdrop of the river.