Nakhon Ratchasima, ThailandKirsty Turner
Nakhon Ratchasima Province was once part of the Khmer empire and was moved by King Narai between 1656-1688. Around 260 kilometres from Bangkok, travel to Nakhon Ratchasima is easy as it is connected with the northeastern railway line and the Nakhon Ratchasima Airport is 26km east of the city.
There are two main focal points for visitors to this province, the city of Nakhon Ratchasima and the picturesque town of Phimai.
The city of Nakhon Ratchasima is better known as Khorat or Korat. Korat is the capital of Nakhon Ratchasima Province, and there is a great deal to see and do and many opportunities to learn about the city’s interesting history.
A good place to start is the Maha Viravong National Museum, which contains good displays and countless well labeled artifacts. Another interesting site is the Thao Suranaree Monument, where you can see the revered Lady Mo statue.
A tour of the city will lead you to the city wall and unique Chumphon Gate, and don’t forget to look out for the l?k meuang (city pillar shrine).
Nakhon Ratchasima Province is famous for its pottery, and excellent examples of this can be seen decorating Wat Salaloi. Other interesting temples in this city include Wat Phra Narai Maharat and Wat Pa Salawan.
Nakhon Ratchasima is special in that it has two night bazaars, and both the Thanon Manat Night Bazaar and Wat Boon Night Bazaar and good places to do some shopping, have a cheap meal and do a little people watching.
One of the main attractions of this area is the magnificent Khao Yai National Park with its dense jungles, spectacular mountain views and famous waterfall.
Another great day trip is the Reclining Buddha Image at Wat Dhammachakra Sema Ram, just 40 kilometres south of Korat.
If you are in the area during March, make sure you time your trip to coincide with the Thao Suranari festival. Celebrated between March 22nd and April 3rd, the festival features parades, theatre and folk songs.