Nakhon Ratchasima is the province of wonders in nature and culture of Thailand. It is no mistake to call this province as a hub of the Esan region as many tourists tend to use this place as a province to get through to other provinces in this region. However, it also contains a charm in itself that you can definitely explore.
General Information about Nakhon Ratchasima , Thailand
The province of Nakhon Ratchasima or Korat is considered as the largest province in Thailand. Many tourists that come here use this province as a hub before they transit themselves to other provinces in this region. The province itself contains various wonders, including nature, culture, and tradition. It also contains the most temples in all of Thailand!
You can easily trace the history of the province back to around late 17th century during the reign of King Narai of Ayutthaya. The province continues to grow from there into a prosperous province that we see today. To get here, you can drive yourself here or take a bus from Bangkok’s Mo Chit Bus Terminal. However, you can feel free to use the train from the Bangkok Railway Station which takes around six hours for you to be here.
The famous attractions in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Nakhon Ratchasima is filled with many amazing famous places that you can only find here in Thailand. It consists of a national park, ancient castle, and more! The province itself is fairly large which explains why there are so many places here. However, I have selected the best of the best places for you below!
Khao Yai National Park
This place has a total area of 1,353,471 rai which is enough to cover four provinces in Thailand. It is the first national park of Thailand and has awarded as a World Heritage as the place contains an abundance of nature and various types of forest. It is also the source of many rivers and contains a lot of beautiful waterfalls. This is the place for a substantial number of animals such as elephant, tiger, bull, bear, deer, and etc.
You can frequently observe more than 250 species, including 5,000 species of insects, more than 216 species of butterflies, and various species of birds. There is a tower where you can observe the animals, spot birds, and study the nature’s path. This national park is surely one of the best places for nature tourism in Thailand that you cannot miss!
Prasat Hin Phimai
Phimai Historical Park contains a castle called Prasat Hin Phimai which is an ancient Khmer castle. It was built during the 12th century on an area over 115 rai with a beautiful combination of Papuan and Nakhon Wat arts. There are many interesting inside the castle such as the biggest Buddha statue with over 28 meters of height that is facing the south. It is truly unique to other ancient Khmer castles in Thailand in which all of them turns to the east. It was built with the biggest white sandstones in Thailand and they are stacked together for five levels.
If you want to study more about precious ancient artifacts, Phimai National Museum is the place for you. It showcases ancient artifacts of Khmer from lower Esan region and pre-historic artifacts such as ancient pottery and accessories that are made from stones, including architecture which was made from sandstones.
Nakhon Ratchasima is also a famous source of grape in Thailand and they use it to produce red wine, white wine, and other processed grape products such as jam, grape juice, and etc. Especially in Pak Chong and Wang Nam Khiao districts, there are many grape farms that you can visit to observe the beautiful scenery of grapes. During the harvest season around February, many farms will open themselves for you to harvest grapes and produce some wines.
This province is quite huge and there are many things for tourist like you to explore. Apart from all the famous places, there are even more interesting places for you to see which are not exactly famous for the tourists yet. These places are the representatives of culture in this province.
Wat Ban Rai
The first recommended place by the local is Wiharn Thep Wittayakhom at Wat Ban Rai. This is actually a structure with a width of 60 meters and 40 meters in height. It positions itself in the middle of a large pond as a building that collects all the knowledge concerning Buddhism, including its history. This building has mosaic tiles as its decoration with almost 20 million tiles and each of them has amazing details.
On the roof, you will see Airavata elephant which carries the Hindu god called Indra on its back. It has a big head and weighs more than 520 tons with huge ivories that weigh 10 tons each. You can also see wall arts and sculptures which have hidden messages of Buddhism on them. It sure is a sight to see! It will be even more beautiful after 6pm when there are lights shine on it.
Jim Thompson Farm
Next stop is Jim Thompson Farm which is a farm that opens for visitors only once per year! The farm usually opens around December to January and it contains pretty interesting attractions inside. You can learn all about silk which is a famous good of this province. You will be able to observe the process from dyeing the silk to weaving it.
The next place is the Cosmos plain where you will see pink flowers that cover the entire plain in area over 50 rai which is the largest in Thailand! There are more plains that contain various species of flowers, including various species of pumpkins with rare and weird shapes that are hard to find in Thailand. There is also an organic vegetable plantation for you to observe. Apart from all of the above, you can learn about culture and tradition of Esan people through various activities. You can also buy souvenirs at the market with wide selection of goods!
Wat Simalai Songtham
This is the last recommended place here. It is a temple on top of the hill and it is also a temple with unique decoration which you cannot see elsewhere in Thailand. It is a temple that has the most decoration regarding clay pots in Thailand as well. Inside of the temple, you will see many paintings, Buddha images, and important events of Thailand. There is also a cave that contains beautiful rocks for you to explore.
Apart from that, you can see many Buddha statues and a lot of Buddha heads which are absolutely beautiful in every which way. At the top, you can observe the beautiful sceneries in a wide angle. At night, there will be lights all around the temple which is something that you should see for yourself.
The famous good here at this province is the Korat noodles which is similar to Padthai, but it has totally different flavors. Korat noodles has a sticky noodle which is then stir-fry with the secret sauce from the people of this province. The smell is enticing to the nose and the flavor is very intense. It is a recipe that was inherited for many generations which is one of the reasons why you need to try it when you come here. There is also an instant noodle version that you can buy as a souvenir.
Other Interesting Information of Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
The motto for this province is “The Land of Brave Women, Fine Silk Material, Korat Noodle, Phimai Historical Park, and Dan Kwian Ceramics”.
To get around Nakhon Ratchasima
There are three methods for you to get around the province which are tuktuk, motorcycle taxi, and taxi. In addition, you can also use the tricycle taxi or songthaew around the town.
there are various hotels for you to choose from. If you are looking to stay in a luxurious hotel, there are many which goes the same for budget and mid-range hotels. Have a nice stay!