Visiting Nakhon Ratchasima, the gate to Isan

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Nakhon Ratchasima also known as Korat, is a province located in the lower Northeast of Thailand. Far to be a tourists destination, is a place plenty of gentle people, spectacular temples, colorful markets, the famous “good luck” Korat cats or Si-Sawat, rice and cassava fields and a ancient history.

Nakhon Ratchasima is home of notable and famous people such as singers, actors and actresses, the weightlifter Udomporn Polsak, the footballers Amorn Thammanarm and Issawa Singthong, the physicist & scientist Shaiwatna Kupratakul, and of course, the Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-ocha.

Korat City is a big and modern city with a population of 150,000 people and the second largest city in Thailand. It is very famous for the Thao Suranaree Monument dedicated to Lady Mo, the wife of the deputy governor of Nakhon Ratchasima. She saved the people of Korat from the Laotian invaders. Located in the klong or canal, in front the Pratu Chumphon Gate, the Thao Suranaree Monument is a sacred and revered place for the inhabitants of korat. Near the monument, the canal or klong crosses the downtown, and street vendors in the area sell food to feed the fish and pigeons.

Another historical and visible spot in the city is the Korat City Gate or Ya-Mo Gate, located at the junction of Ratchadamnoen Road and Highway 224.

The city has a number of shopping centers such as The Mall which has a beautiful waterfall, the popular Klang Plaza, and the new shopping complex Terminal 21 and Central Plaza still under construction. Nakhon Ratchasima is plenty of restaurants offering Isan food, street markets with special mention to the popular Night Bazaar Korat also known as NBK. The Save One market, is a huge night market and is the biggest market in Korat, with restaurants, shops and dozens if not hundreds of stalls selling cheap items such as mobile phone accessories, antiques, clothing, shoes, costume jewellery etc. The Save One Market offers free transportation service using electric shuttles to carry passengers from one place to another within this immense market.

The city has also some night life near the Technology University, with bars and restaurants frequented by local students.

The canal or klong crosses the downtown, and street vendors in the area sell food to feed the fish and pigeons.

Korat has many interesting places to visit, for example Wat Pa Salawan, a Theravada Buddhist temple located in the downtown. Other interesting places in the metropolis are the 80th Birthday Stadium home to Nakhon Ratchasima FC, His Majesty the King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary 5 December 2007 Sports Complex built for the 2007 Southeast Asian Games which coincided with the 80th birthday of King Bhumbol Adulyadej and the Maha Weerawong Museum.

The City of Nakhon Rachasima is also home of historical temples such as the Khmer temple Prasat Hin Phanom Wan, Wat Phra Narai Maharat, and the unconventional Wat Sala Loi Chapel in the shape of a Chinese Junk. Wat Ban Rai, also known as the elephant temple is a popular tourist destination for Thai and foreign tourists.

Korat has two airports, the Nakhon Ratchasima Airport situated 26 kilometers east of the city in Amphoe Chaloem Phra Kiat, and The Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base is located about 8 km south of the centre of Korat, and was used during the Vietnam War.

Outside the city, Nakhon Rachasima has also much to offer.

If you’re visiting Sikhio, not far from the city, is a must to pay a visit to the magnificent and impressive Wat Luang Phor Toh, a spectacular temple funded by the famous Thai actor Sorapong Chatree.

The Dan Kwian Ceramics Village is a village in Chok Chai District. It is very famous for its ceramic, pottery and handicrafts. This small village produces amazing pieces such as huge and realistic Buddha images plus clay tile, carved ceramic murals and ceramic jewellery.

In the southern part of the province one can visit the Wang Nam Khiao floral garden in Wang Nam Khiao district, an exotic garden with thousands of colorful flowers.

Another interesting place to visit to forget the daily routines is Jim Thompson Farm, which opens from December to January. This 600-rai farm expose subjects related to the rice culture, attracting large crowds, especially during weekends and public holidays. The farm visitors can also experience the silk production processes.

Nakhon Rachasima is a culturally rich province with friendly people, a treasure that most tourists don’t know about.

A gallery of pictures can be seen below.

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Posted: October 2, 2016

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