Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) in Northeastern Thailand (Isaan)


Nakhon Ratchasima on the Map

The city of various Khmer monuments and the famous statue of Khun Ying Mo is named Nakhon Ratchasima (or commonly known as "Korat"). It is situated on a plateau, about 260 kilometers northeast of Bangkok . The city itself acts as the Gateway to the Northeastern Region.


Train at Nakhon Ratchasima


What to see and what to do in Nakhon Ratchasima?


Monument of Thao Suranari or Khun Ying Mo is situated in front of the old gate of "Pratu Chumpon" at the edge of the city. This monument was erected in 1534 to commemorate heroic deed of Khun Ying Mo, wife of the Deputy Governor of at during the reign of King Rama III. She managed to save the city from the invasion of the Laotian army led by Prince Anuwong of Vientiane. Every year, from March 23 to April 3, there is a cerebration which draws thousands of people from town and neighbouring provinces.

Wat Phra Narai Maharat on Prachak Road houses an image of Narayana (Hindu God) made of sandstone. This statue is considered the major sacred object of the city. The City Pillar is also enshrined in this temple.

Maha Viravong National Museum, opposite the city hall, exhibits various arts objects and artifacts donated to Somdet Maha Viravong. They include sand stone Buddha images of Khmer and Ayutthaya periods, bronze Buddha images, different sized ceramics and wood carvings from ancient monasteries.

Wat Sala Loi is located on the bank of Lam Takhong River, about 400 meters off the road to the Northeast of the town. The main chapel, which has received many awards from various architectural associations as a modern leading design of a religious monument, is constructed in the shape of Chinese Junk.

Khao Yai National Park, at km. 165.5 on Highway No. 2, covers an area of 2,168 in four provinces; Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Nayok, Sara Buri and Prachin Buri. The Park is comprised of various mountains, two important rivers (Lam Takhong and Nakhon Nayok). It has many rare species of fauna and flora.

Wat Khao Chan Ngam is 58 Kilometers from Khorat on Highw;ay No. 2 and 3 kilometers on a side road after turning left at Km. 198. The monastery is famous for the pre-historic color paintings on a huge road which depict human and animal figures in various positions. It is dated to about 3,000 years ago.

Phra Non Sema, located 4 kilorneters from Amphoe Sung Noen, is a Reclining Buddha image made of red sand stone. It is the most ancient and largest of its kind in Thailand. The image is assumed to be built in 1,200 BC. There are various archaeology finds within the area, such as, bronze Buddha images, Buddha terra-cotta printed images, glass beads and inscribed stone.

Prasat Hin Phimai, Phimai, Nakhon Ratchasima

Prasat Hin Phimai, Phimai, Nakhon Ratchasima

Prasat Hin Phimai is the largest sandstone sanctuary in Thailand. Situated in almost the center of Phimai Ancient city which is rectangular shaped (665 meters wide and 1,030 meters long). The renovated Sanctuary has been magnificently restored and the ruins have been preserved as a National Historical Park.
The principal sanctuary is a tower (Prasat) surrounded by four porches with an antechamber leading into each porch. On the terraces of the pyramidal roof, which is supported by Garudas and guardian figures, are Nagas.
Of special interest is a carved stone door lintel depicting a divine figure, dressed in an elephant skin worn upside down, who dances on a pair of prostrate figures. On either side of this figure are rows of seated Buddha images dressed in royal attire, while below them are rows of' dancing celestial figures.
Also on the way to Phimai is the Phimai National Museum housing valuable historical objects and archaeological remains found in the region.
Other Khmer ruins within Nakhon Ratchasima include Prasat Hin Phanom, Wan located about 20 kilometers from town and Prasat Hin Nang Ram some 80 kilo-metre' northeast of Khorat in Amphoe Prathai, Prang Ban Ku. All of which are similar to Phimai ruins but somewhat smaller.

More about the Khmer Empire and Culture in present day Thailand.

Sai Ngam or "Beautiful Banyan Tree" is two kilometers from Phimai. It is a recreation place which provides more than 15,000 square feet of shady area. Food stands for snacks and drinks are also available.

Phimai Boat Racing, an annual Festival held for over a hundred years in Amphoe Phimai, now takes place during Loi Kratong Festival (October or November), draws thousands of tourists both from Khorat city and neighbouring provinces.

More images of Phimai historical Park, visit Images of Phimai