Korat, Thailand - A Good Base for Isaan's Southern Attractions
Korat, Thailand, or Nakhon Ratchasima to give its full name, is quite a large city that few foreigners visit. To see a map of the city and details of guesthouses and hotels, click HERE. It has an attractive, rectangular water moat at is center but its old city walls haven't stood the test of time as well as famous Chiang Mai's moat walls. The few remaining walls have a 'modern renovation' feel that makes them not so eye-catching.
| View over the city|
Once off the daunting highway road that circles the city, the streets are quite pleasant to stroll around, especially the area inside the moat.
The statue of Thao Suranari, a Thai Heroine who rallied villagers together to fight against an invading force from Vientiane, Laos in 1826, could be called the center of the city and is a big draw for Thai tourists who come to pray in front of her. Fortune tellers sit nearby to create a lively scene.
| People pay respect to Thao Suranarai's monument|
| Korat's pleasant city moat|
A kilometer from the center is large Bung Talau Lake Park with some lovely grass areas to relax in. In the late afternoon, toddlers sit with paintbrush in hand next to their easel as cyclists, runners and walkers pass by. Walk over the swaying footbridge and go canoeing onto the lake.
| Large and peaceful Bung Talau Lake Park |
Head to peaceful Wat Pra Narai (letter A on my map), a temple built in the center of a small lake, connected by a footbridge. Try to spot one of the many large monitor lizards that the temple dogs keep a watchful eye on!
| Relaxing Wat Pra Narai - watch out for the lizards! |
Click HERE to see more photos of the city .
The city isn't somewhere I'd return to in a hurry - it does feel a bit like one of those in-between places - not small enough to be called peaceful yet it lacks the things to do and see and the multiculturalism that a big city offers.
However, it is certainly somewhere you could use as a base as there are many amazing attractions close by or quite close by.
Phimai Historical Park, 60 kilometers north of Korat is Thailand's answer to stunning Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It's a 900 year old Khmer complex in fine condition See THIS PAGE to see pictures and find out more.
If you're lucky (or unlucky!), you might spot wild elephants or bears at 2,000 square kilometer Khao Yai National Park, Thailand's first estalished national park, 110 kilmeters south of the city. For more information, visit THIS PAGE.
50 kilometers south is Wat Khao Chan Ngam, where you can see rock drawings that are believed to be 3 to 4 thousand years old! Click HERE for details. (coming shortly).
Just 20 kilometers north of Korat Thailand is Prasat Phanom Wan, another 1,000 year old Khmer complex, although smaller and in poorer condition than more famous Phimai. You're more likely to see farmer's cattle grazing than see other tourists here! Click HERE for photos and information. (coming shortly).
45 kilometers north of the city, just a few kilometers before the turn off to Phimai, is Ban Prasat Archaeological Site, the site was the second site in Thailand, after the more famous Ban chiang near to Udon Thani, to be set up as an outdoor museum. The area shows evidence of life 3 to 4 thousand years previous. A small museum exhibits pots and utensils and there are 3, 5 meter deep excavation pits with skeletons on display. Click here for photos and how to get there. (coming shortly).
And 35 kilometres south of the city is Sema Historical Site. There is very little remaining of the old city of Sema but nearby you can see a 13 meter long, 1,400 year old reclining Buddha that was unearthed. Also nearby are 3 ancient sites in much better condition than at Sema. Click HERE for more information. (coming shortly).
Korat Thailand's surrounding attractions turn Korat from a rather ordinary place into a city that's a bit special!
Return from Korat Thailand to Isaan