Amnat Charoen Province

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Amnat Charoen
อำนาจเจริญ
Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Amnat Charoen Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Amnat Charoen Province
Country  Thailand
Capital Amnat Charoen town
Government
 • Governor Bunsanong Bunmi (since March 2009)
Area
 • Total 3,161.2 km2 (1,220.5 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 60th
Population (2011)
 • Total 372,241
 • Rank Ranked 63rd
 • Density 120/km2 (300/sq mi)
 • Density rank Ranked 40th
Time zone Thailand Standard Time (UTC+7)
ISO 3166 code TH-37

Amnat Charoen (Thai: อำนาจเจริญ, Thai pronunciation: [am.nâːt t͡ɕa.rɤːn]) is one of the northeastern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (clockwise from the south) Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon, and Mukdahan. To the east it borders Salavan of Laos.

Geography[edit]

The province is in the Mekong valley. In dry season, from February to May, water in Mekong River declines, and allows islands to appear. Islands include Kaeng Tanglang at Si Sombun Village, close to Amphoe Chanuman, and Kaeng Hin Khan at Ban Hin Khan, 30 kilometres south of Amphoe Chanuman. The other two rivers in the province are the Lam Sae Bok and Lam Sae Bai.

Phu Sa Dok Bua National Park is partially located in Amnat Charoen Province.

History[edit]

Amnat Charoen gained city status during the reign of King Rama III. It was first administered from Nakhon Khemarat, and later from Ubon Ratchathani. It became a province in its own right on January 12, 1993, when it was split off from Ubon Ratchathani. It is thus one of the three youngest provinces of Thailand, together with Nong Bua Lam Phu and Sa Kaeo.

Symbols[edit]

In the middle of the provincial seal is an image of the Buddha called Phra Mongkol Ming Muang. Also known as Phra Yai (Big Buddha), this 20m high statue is the most sacred one in the city of Amnat Charoen.

The provincial tree is Hopea ferrea.

The provincial slogan is Phra Mongkhon, Seven River basils, sacred caves, Phra Lao, beautiful islands and mountain, precious silk and religious people.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map of Amphoe

The province is subdivided into 7 districts (amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 56 communes (tambon) and 653 villages (muban).

  1. Mueang Amnat Charoen
  2. Chanuman
  3. Pathum Ratchawongsa
  4. Phana
  1. Senangkhanikhom
  2. Hua Taphan
  3. Lue Amnat

Tourism[edit]

Sights[edit]

Amphoe Mueang Amnat Charoen (Town district)[edit]

Buddha Utthayan and Phra Mongkhon Ming Mueang (พุทธอุทยาน และพระมงคลมิ่งเมือง): This base rock area is shaded and contains different kinds of vegetables decorated under the theme of "Buddha Park". Inside the park, a huge northern Indian style Buddha image, Phra Mongkhon Ming Mueang or Phra Yai, is placed in front of the temple. This beautiful Buddha image is now the logo of Amnat Charoen province.

Chidsakol Farm (สวนเกษตรชิตสกนต์): Located close to Chidsakol Resort, the famous farm features beautiful flowers and plants. Its huge plantation of African marigold always turn the whole field into a bright yellow hue when in full bloom.

Wat Tham Saeng Phet (วัดถ้ำแสงเพชร): Located on a spacious sandstone plain, the cave temple features a viharn, a pagoda and a huge reclining Buddha. This cave is named Saeng Phet or "diamond’s glitters" due to its glittering rock. Wat Tham Saeng Phet is a meditation centre for those who honour Achan Cha Suphatto, a famous monk from Wat Nong Pa Phong. Many foreign monks visit it for practising meditation.

Mo Lam Village (หมู่บ้านหมอลำ): The cultural attraction of Amnat Charoen, Mo Lam is a famous traditional performance of Northeast Thailand. Performances feature dance and traditional music. It is the biggest Mo Lam village of Thailand with 20 bans of Mo Lam living in the village. The Mo Lam performance of Ban Pla Khao village was awarded Amnat Charoen’s OTOP (One Tambon One Product).

Amphoe Hua Taphan[edit]

Ban Kham Phra Handicraft Centre (ศูนย์จำหน่ายหัตถกรรมบ้านคำพระ): The centre offers various home made handicrafts made by the women of the area.

Ban Chang Tho Royal Folk Arts and Craft Training Centre (ศูนย์ศิลปาชีพบ้านสร้าง): The centre offers training course on various local crafts such as weaving and gem cutting. The centre here produces world-class gems cutting technicians.

Amphoe Phana[edit]

Wat Phra Lao Thep Nimit (วัดพระเหลาเทพนิมิตร): This temple has a Lanna-style chapel which houses the principle Buddha image "Phra Lao Thep Nimit". Built in 1720, the Buddha image, in the form of subduing Mara and decorated with gold leaf, is considered the most beautiful Buddha image of the Northeast Region. The art style mirrors the Laotian art from Vientiane which is influenced by Lanna during the 16th-17th Century.

Don Chao Pu Botanical Park (วนอุทยานดอนเจ้าปู่): The park is home to various wildlife, particularly crab-eating macaques, many of which can be easily spotted. The park houses a sacred shrine as well as a Buddha images showing his birth, enlightenment, the first sermon and in a reclining mannere.

Amphoe Senangkhanikhom[edit]

Phu Sa Dok Bua (ภูสระดอกบัว): On the mountain top one finds 11 stone pools, each a few metres wide. It is quite strange that all of them are occupied by different species of colourful lotus which normally are found in swamps. Locals insist that no one planted the lotus and that they occur naturally. So, they named these pools "Phu Sa Dok Bua", literally "Mountain Lotus Pool". Nearby is a huge cave which can accommodate hundreds of people. It once served as a stronghold of the Communist Party of Thailand.

Amphoe Chanuman[edit]

Mekong River scenery (ทิวทัศน์ริมฝั่งโขง): In front of the Amphoe Chanuman office, a long footpath running side by side with the river allows people to enjoy the view. In the dry season, from February to May, water in the Mekong River is much lower and allows islands to appear. Such famous islands include Kaeng Tanglang and Kaeng Hin Khan.

Festivals[edit]

The people of Amnat Charoen attach their lifestyle to local traditions and festivals that are held throughout year such as the festival to mark the end of Buddhist Lent, the Rocket Festival, Loy Krathong and Songkran. Moreover, they practice 14 moral regulations such as cleaning feet before getting inside the house, donating food to the monk, avoiding to step on a monk’s shadow, paying respect to the parents, paying homage to the Buddha image with flowers, candles and joss sticks and learning Dhamma every day.

Most people in Amphoe Chanuman are descendant of the Phu Thai ethnic group who migrated from Laos. They specialise in weaving "Khit" cloth, preserving its unique patterns. Their traditional musical performance "Mo Lam" always supports the democratic constitutional monarchy. Amnat Charoen people try to retain the "Long Khuang" tradition which consisted of teenagers meeting up for communal activities such as weaving or silk spinning accompanied by lively traditional music.

The Boat Race Festival (ประเพณีการแข่งเรือยาว) is held in October and November each year. The race is a big tournament for boats from Amphoe Khemarat (Ubon Ratchathani province), Amphoe Chanuman (Amnat Charoen province) and Laos. The race takes place on the Mekong River in front of the Amphoe Chanuman office.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 15°54′5″N 104°37′22″E / 15.90139°N 104.62278°E / 15.90139; 104.62278