The city of various Khmer ruins and the famous statue of Khan Ying Mo named Nakhon Ratchasima or commonly known as "Khorat" is situated on a plateau, about 260 kilometres northeast of Bangkok. The city itself seines as the Gateway to the Northeastern Region.
NAKHON RATCHASIMA's ATTRACTIONS
Monument of Thao Suranari or Khan Yin g Nlo is situated in front of the old gate of "Pratu Chum upon" on the west side of the city. This monument was erected in 1934 to commemorate the heroic deed of Khan Ping Mo, wife of the Deputy Governor of Khorat during ing the reign of King Rama III, who managed to save the city front the invasion of the Laotian army led by Prince Anuwong of Vientiane. Every year from March 23 to April 3, there is a cerebration to honour this statue which draws thousands of people from town and neighbouring provinces.
Wat Phra Narai Maharat on Prachak Road houses an image of Narayana ( Hindu God) made of sandstone. This statue is considered the major sacred object of the city. The City Pillar is also enshrined in this temple.
Maha Viravong National Museum opposite the city hall, exhibits various arts objects and artifacts donated to Somdet Maha Viravong such as sand stone Buddha images of Khmer and Ayutthaya periods, bronze Buddha images, different sizes ceramics and wood carvings from ancient monasteries. Open everday except Mondays and Tuesdays from 9.00 -16.00 hrs.
Wat Sala Loi is located on the bank of Lam Takhong Diver, about 400 maters off the side - road to the Northeast of the town. The main chapel, which received many awards from various architectrual associations as a modern lending design of religious monument, is constructed in the shape of Chinese Junk.
Lam Takhong Dam lies 62 kilometres before reaching the town on Highway No. 2. The constriction had staged in 1964 and finished 4 years later. The lake - like reservoir can contain up to 300 million cu.m, of water and irrigates 238,000 rais of paddy field.
Khao Yai National Park at km. 165.5 on Highway No. 2 covers an area of 2,168 sq.km. in four provinces: Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Nayok, Sara Buri, and Prachin Buri. The Park comprises various mountains, two i mportant rivers of Lam Takhong and Nakhon Nayok, with many rare species of henna and flora.
Wat Khao Chan Ngam is 58 kilometers from Khorat on Highway No. 2 and 3 kilometers on a side road after turning left at Km. 198. The monastery is famous for the pre-historic colour paintings on a huge rock depicting human and animal figures in various movements. It can he elated to about 3.000 years ago.
Phra Non Sema loaned o kilometers from Amphoe Sung Nom, is a Reclining Buddha image made of red sand stone which is the most ancient and largest in Thailand. The image is assumed to he built since 1,200 BE. There are various evidences of archaeology found within the area such as bronze Buddha images, Buddha terra-cotta printing images, glass heads and inscribing stone.
Ban Prasat Archaeological Site is 42 kilometers away from Nakhon Ratchasima along the Nakhon Ratchasima -Khon Kaen route. Skeletons, ornaments, and artifacts and potteries were discovered here. It is presumed that this area has continuously been inhabited during the past 3,000 years up to present.
Prasat Hin Phimai is the largest sandstone sanctuary in Thailand almost situated in the center of Phimai Ancient city which carries a rectangular shape of 665 meters mile and 1,030 meters long. The Sanctuary has been magnificiently restored and renovated rains and has been perserved as a National Historical Park.
The principal sanctuary is a tower (Prasat) surrounded by tour porches with an ante-chamber leading into each porch. On the terraces of the pyramidal roof, which is supported by Garudas. guardian figures. are interspersed with Naga.
Of special interest is a carved stone door- lintel depicting a divine figure. dressed in an elephant skin worn upside clown. who dances on a pair of prostrate figures, on either side of this figure are lows of seated Buddha images dressed in royal attire, while below them are rows of dancing celestial Figures.
Also on the way to Phimai is the Phimai National Museum housing valuable historical objects and archaeological remains found in the region.
Other Khmer ruins within -Nakhon Ratchasima include Prasat Hin Phanom Wan located about 20 kilometers from town, Prasat Hin Nang Ram some 80 kilometers, northeast of Khorat in Amphoe Prathai, Prang Ban Ku and Prang Situ all of which are similar to Phimai ruins but somewhat smaller.
Sai Ngam or "Beautiful Banyan 'free" is two kilometres front Phimai. It is a recreation place which provides more than 15,000 square feet of shady area. Food stands for snacks and drink are also available.
Dan Kwian situated on highway No. 24, about 14 kilometers from the city of Nakhon Ratchasima is a village noted for the unique pottery widely used for interior and outdoor decoration. The cloy at Dan Kwian has a specially marvellous quality of tough, ductile texture and the color of rust which are beyond comparison and the quantity is fantastic. Such cloy cannot be found anywhere else but Dan Kwian and when added with proper heating process and attractive design, the earthwares are irresistible.
Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo About 13 kilometers from town along the Khorat-Pak Thong Chaff route, covers a vast stretch of land comprising a reservoir and habitation areas for animals amidst the surrounding nearest to their natural environment. Open daily between 8.30-1.30 hrs.
Amphoe Pak Thong Chaff itself is also noted for its finest silk. The town is situated about 32 kilometres front Nakhon Ratchasima along I-fighway No.304
Lam Phra Phloeng Dam is situated in Amphoe Pakthong Chai on a side road some 28 kilometres from the main highway. from the Darn, boats can also he hired to go another 23 kilometres up the reservoir to Namtok Pak Thong Chaff (waterfall) or Nomtok Khlong Ki. Here is another spot for retreat and relaxation.
Phimai Boat Racing, an annual festival held for ever a hundred years in Amphoe Phimsti, now takes place during Loi Kratong Festival (October or November), draws thousands of tourists both iron Khorat city and neighbouring provinces.