Surin is the clearly the city of elephants without any doubt. Whether you are looking out of your window while traveling here, you will see elephants roaming around through the spectacular features and scenery of this province. You will never get the same vibe from other provinces for sure.
General Information about Surin, Thailand
The small province in the Esan region is basically Surin. The province itself may be small, but the population is quite dense here, apart from the elephants of course. This province is also very close to the Cambodian border which is why you can see many ethnic groups from Cambodia such as the Suay people.
However, this city is quite peaceful and quiet despite its high density of population. As Surin has a long history of elephants, you can see the symbol of the province which has an elephant on it anywhere at this province. They also have great souvenirs such as silk and jasmine rice.
You can get here by taking a plane from Nok Air which takes you around three hours of sitting on a plane. You can also choose to drive here yourself for 450 kilometers from Bangkok or take a bus from the Northern Bus Terminal which could take longer than driving. Taking a train here would be great too.
The famous attractions in Surin, Thailand
Famous places around Surin are awesome and terrific! They are what you are looking for when you are visiting Thailand to see the culture, tradition, and others. If you are also looking for excitement, then these famous places are perfectly for you. So, go on and see my list for all the famous places here!
Ban Ta Klang Elephant Village
The first famous place of this province is Ban Ta Klang Elephant Village. It is the best place that you can completely learn all about the National Animal of Thailand. This is also the community of the Suay people in which they take refuge from Cambodia and they also specialized in raising elephants. There are about 200 to 300 elephants living here which is the most in Thailand and the world. Once you step in here, you will experience the culture and tradition of elephant raisers. They raise the elephants like they are in their own family or friends. They also have a close relationship with those elephants in any activities that they do together.
You can train yourself to become the elephant tamer! You can learn all the basics of controlling and riding! There is a show you can watch such as the dancing elephant, elephant that can draw, soccer, and etc. In the evening, you can observe the elephants shower near the Mae Kong River with amazing sceneries.
Ta Thip Village
There is a homestay at Surin called Ta Thip Village. What special about this village is that it is the village where all elephant tamers organize some activities together. This is the homestay where you can live closely with elephants. You can take elephants to bath at the river, clean them up, and cut some sugar canes for them to eat. Each elephant will have at least one tamer to take care of you for safety reasons and help you in whatever you need.
Wedding on an elephant’s back or Satte
If you want to experience an exotic wedding experience, you can experience it here! Every 14th of February, there is a tradition of a wedding on an elephant’s back or Satte in the Khmer language. The bride and groom will wear the ancient costume of Khmer and participate in the tradition. There is also a parade that consists of more than 50 elephants as a crucial part in this holy tradition of the ancient Gui. After that, you will get married on the elephant’s back which is very unique and only available at Surin. There are other traditions and cultures that involve elephants which you can say that Surin is the city of elephants of Thailand.
The province of Surin is already a unique province of itself and require no further explanation of how brilliant it is. However, the locals have proved me wrong and they provided me with a list of awesome recommended places that you should see once you are here. Be sure to visit them all!
At Surin, there are countless ancient Khmer castles and you can say that this province has the most of it. There is one extraordinary castle in Surin which is Sikhoraphum castle. It is an old castle that was built during the 11th century. This castle reflects the belief of Brahma which consists of five statues with five attitudes on one stone plate. The statue in the middle has a height of 28 meters! You can also see crafted stone plates called Tub Lang here and they tell various stories on them. Most people consider these stone plates to be the some of the most beautiful ones in Thailand. There is also a Tub Lang that resembles the one at Nakorn Wat that you can only see it here out of all places in Thailand!
Next up is a lake called Tungkula Lake which is actually a big swamp with more than 1.2 square kilometers of area and has a blueish color like the sea. With clear water, chill winds, and beautiful sky, this is the favorite place for swimming for people from Surin and other nearby provinces. You can rent a raft and comfortably sleep on it while you are floating in the middle of the water. In addition, you can choose to enjoy other water activities such as banana boat, cycling boat, and water jumping to refresh yourself. After that, enjoy choosing a restaurant from the vast options available which you can even eat on a raft!
Tha Sawang Silk Weaving Village
This is another recommended place to go. The special thing about the fabric here is that there is a handmade fabric which was selected as a shirt and scarf for the bride and groom at APEC conference in Thailand during the year 2003. The most renowned silk here is known as Pha Mhai Tor Nueng Pun Si Roi Sib-hok Takor which is a handmade product of Chan Soma Silk Weaving Group. This silk used a technique from the ancient Royal Palace which is a very sophisticate technique and this technique can produce highly complicated patterns. You can also see local weaving techniques which create a soft pattern with neat details. There are other handmade silks that are very famous and suitable as souvenirs.
Ban Chok Silver Village
Lastly, Ban Chok Silver Village which has a Khmer leader who came from Cambodia and take refuge here. This is the first village in Thailand that produces silver beads. Another name for this kind of thing is Look Pra Kuem which comes from the Khmer language. This product has been passed down for many centuries. Silver bead is a material for making women’s accessories such as necklace, bracelet, earrings, belt, and etc. What set these accessories apart is the pattern and details of the silver beads. It has a unique charm, and this is the only place in Thailand that makes it. Most of the patterns resemble natural patterns like lotus leaf, dok chan, sun, and etc. They also produce other silver-made tools and accessories here.
Other Interesting Information of Surin, Thailand
The motto for this province is “The Land of Elephants, Beautiful Silk, Magnificent Bead, Various Castles, Sweet Cabbage, Aromatic Jasmine Rice, and Great Culture”.
To get around here
You can use the three-wheel pedal tricycles and tuktuks.
There are a lot of budget hotels here that you can stay and homestays as well. The price is also quite nice with about 300 to 800 baht per night, but different for homestays. Have a great stay with the elephant!