Sa Kaeo – A Famous Historical Place in Thailand
General information of Sa Kaeo
A history of a place is best learned by stepping into the town that contains it. Sa Kaeo, a province located at the far east of Thailand, is a famous place for seeing ruins and architecture of the past. It is also a province that is on Thailand’s eastern border next to Cambodia in which you can easily see the mixture between Thai and Cambodia culture right here. Not just culture, you can also see many combinations between Thai and Cambodia architecture that you cannot see elsewhere.
It is a place where you can see the past through many artefacts and monuments which are telling its own history. Other than that, Sa Kaeo is also famous for its nature and environment. There are quite a few of National Parks here for you to explore the abundant nature resource that Sa Kaeo has. For example, Pang Sida National Park and Ta Phraya National Park are two most famous National Park here. As the province is close to the Cambodian border, the place act as a grand gate that connects to Cambodia and its tourism. There is also a market called Rong Kluea Market where it contains various goods from neighboring countries.
How to travel to Sa Kaeo
Sa Kaeo is 275 kilometers away from Bangkok and you can either take a bus or a train to come here. However, if you prefer to drive yourself here, it is totally fine as well. Just remember to carefully follow the GPS or else you might get lost! Once you are here, enjoy the atmosphere and try something local!
Things to do in Sa Kaeo
As Sa Kaeo is considered to be pretty close to Cambodia, there are few ancient remains available for you to explore. If you like to explore and do some adventure of your own, please feel free to do so! Some ancient or historical remains are located in the town, but some are in a forest. However, the most notable ancient architecture is Sdok Kok Thom or Sdok Kak Thom.
The place is a castle from the eleventh century Khmer Empire that is now located at Sa Kaeo, Thailand. The name comes from the fact that there are many papyruses in the area near the castle. However, the Thais previously called this place “Baan Prao Castle”.
It is considered to be the biggest ancient architecture of Khmer Empire in the eastern region of Thailand. The castle was built with rock, sand, and red stone which are the characteristics of ancient Khmer. As of the time that I am writing this, the Fine Arts Department of Thailand is currently renovating this place with the hopes of returning this thousand years old place to its original beauty. If you want to know more, you can ask the guide or the locals there. They probably know the most accurate story of the castle.
Pang Sida National Park
This is the best place to see butterflies in all of Thailand with more than 400 species.
This place is recognized as the second natural heritage of Thailand. For seeing the butterflies, there are lots of them in the morning and even more so in the rainy season around June to July. There is also a festival that will be held in June every year in which you can see many species of butterfly here, including hornbills and 300 more species of birds. Additionally, there are waterfalls and a lot of animals you can take a look such as bulls, hornbills, and freshwater crocodiles.
If you are a type of person who loves the nature and also looking for an adventure, Sa Kaeo will surely satisfy your taste.
Let us start with Lalu which is a canyon with weird dirt pillars (Local tells). In fact, they are not something that is man-made at all.
It is a product of nature from weathering. This place is separated into different zones for tourists in which you can come here all year round. However, the best time is in the evening when the sunlight lightly shines on the pillars which produces a golden color.
If you fancy caves and canyons, there are two caves you can check out. The first cave is Petch Pho Thong Cave which contains beautiful natural canyons.
This is a one of the most beautiful medium-sized caves in Thailand with a distance of 700 meters where the interior is separated into four sections. Each section contains unique stalagmites and stalactites with more than a hundred centuries old. One fact about the cave is the feature that influence the name of the cave. The natural canyon here has an egg-like shape in which the surface shines like a diamond when hit by lights. The ceiling also looks like golden Bodhi leaves.
Another cave is called Siva Cave. The highlight for this cave is the river that runs through the cave with a height of 10 to 220 centimeters.
From the opening of the cave to the end is around 350 meters in distance which might take about one to two hours. There is also a spot that you need to swim to get through the river. While you are touring the cave, you can look around and see natural canyons that caused by centuries of weathering. There is also a discovery regarding 19 levels of waterfall, but it is still in the process of exploring which will be open for tourists in the future.
You might also want to have some souvenirs to take home with you. I highly recommend cantaloupes as it is the star of this province. Another thing you can bring back for your family is ceramics. They are truly unique, and their patterns are beautiful beyond believe.
Living in Sa Kaeo
The motto for Sa Kaeo is “The Frontier of the East, Beautiful Forests and Splendid Waterfalls, Plenty of Ancient Civilizations, The Commercial Venue Between Thailand and Cambodia.”
To get around the province, you can hire tuktuks to take you around. However, you also need to cautious of the price they might charge you. So, remember to ask for the price before getting in. There are also motorcycle taxi you can take, just remember what I told you earlier.
For accommodation, you can sleep at the hotels in the city centre which doesn’t cost you a fortune or a resort in the outer ring of the city. There aren’t many luxury hotels here, but mid-range hotel with reasonable price. Do enjoy your time here and don’t forget to bring back some goods!
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