Phraya Lae Monument, Chaiyaphum City Hall
Map of Thailand highlighting Chaiyaphum Province
|• Governor||Charin Chakkaphak (since 2010)|
|• Total||12,778.3 km2 (4,933.7 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 7th|
|• Rank||Ranked 15th|
|• Density rank||Ranked 50th|
|Time zone||ICT (UTC+7)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-36|
Chaiyaphum (Thai: ชัยภูมิ, pronounced [t͡ɕʰāj.jā.pʰūːm]) is one of the northeastern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Lopburi, and Phetchabun.
The word chaiya originates from the Sanskrit word jaya meaning "victory", and the word phum from Sanskrit bhumi meaning "earth" or "land". Hence the name of the province literally means "land of victory". The Malay/Indonesian/Sanskrit word jayabumi is equivalent.
Four national parks are in the province. Tat Ton National Park is in the northwest, featuring some scenic waterfalls and dry dipterocarp forests. The biggest attraction of the Sai Thong National Park in the west is the Sai Thong waterfall, but also some fields of the Siam tulip. Similar fields can be found in the Pa Hin Ngam National Park in the southwest, scheduled to be gazetted in the future. This park's name ("beautiful rock forest") derives from the strangely-shaped rock formations found there. Phu Laenkha National Park covers 200 km² of forested hills northwest of Chaiyaphum city.
|Climate data for Chaiyaphum (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||31.0
|Average low °C (°F)||18.5
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||4.5
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||1||2||5||8||14||13||14||16||19||10||2||1||105|
|Average relative humidity (%)||61||60||59||64||74||75||76||79||81||76||67||63||69.6|
|Source: Thai Meteorological Department (Normal 1981-2010), (Avg. rainy days 1961-1990)|
The history of the city of Chaiyaphum dates back to the Khmer Empire in the 12th century, when it was a small city on the route from Angkor to Prasat Singh (Kanchanaburi province). The Prang Ku still remains from this time.
In 1817 the area was settled by Laotians led by Nai Lae, an official of King Anouvong of Vientiane, which was a tributary state of the Thai monarch. They settled in Baan Nam Khun Nong E Chan in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, but soon abandoned it in favor of Ban Luang (today's city of Chaiyaphum). In 1826 Anouvong rebelled against the Thai King Rama III, seeking to gain complete independence. Nai Lae, by then made a chao praya by the Thai monarch, supported the Siamese troops. Chao Phaya Lae was killed defending his city against Anouvong's army, but it was totally defeated by the Thai forces weeks later and Anouong taken in chains to Bangkok. King Rama III remembered Chao Phraya Lae for his loyalty and awarded him the tile Phraya Phakdi Chumpon. He is still a local hero and his statue has become a symbol of the province.
Agriculture and Industry
The provincial seal shows a triangular flag, a symbol of victory in war.
The provincial slogan เมืองโบราณ บ้านนักสู้ ภูเสียดฟ้า ป่าช้างหลาย ทุ่งไพรรก น้ำตกใส ผ้าไหมดี สตรีงาม แดนธรรมแดนทอง translates to "Enchanted city, home to heroes, mountain peaks, elephant forests, waterfalls, beautiful silk, lovely ladies, conscientious Buddhists".
||This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (May 2008)|
||This section may stray from the topic of the article. (March 2015)|
Phraya Phakdi Chumphon (Lae) Monument (อนุสาวรีย์พระยาภักดีชุมพล (แล)): The people of Chaiyaphum built the monument in 1975. It is dedicated to the first governor of Chaiyaphum called "Chaopho Phraya Lae" by the locals.
Chaopho Phraya Lae Shrine (ศาลเจ้าพ่อพญาแล): Every year, a ceremony to pay respect to the shrine is organized during the 6th lunar month prior to Visakha Puja Day. Also, ceremonies to give propitiatory sacrifice to the spirit through a Phi Fa dance are conducted regularly.
Tat Ton National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติตาดโตน): Forest national park 21 km north of Chaiyaphum.
Wat Phra Phutthabat Phu Faet (พระพุทธบาทภูแฝด) is a small rise with the Buddha's footprint on a stone similar to that in Saraburi.
Wat Sa Hong (วัดสระหงษ์): This temple is on a stone rise. There is a natural rock in a swan, Hong or Hamsa, shape. Behind the temple's hall is an ancient pond with a width of approximately 10 metres, filled of water all year round.
Wat Sila At Phu Phra (วัดศิลาอาสน์ ภูพระ): Within the compound of this temple is a rock shelter with engraved bas-relief Buddha images. It is the source of the name Phu Phra and has been respected among the locals for a long period of time.
Prang Ku (ปรางค์กู่) is a stone sanctuary from the Khmer period with a plan characteristic of "Arogayasala", a nursing home, constructed in the 12th to 13th century. There is an annual fair in the 5th lunar month of each year.
Bai Sema Ban Kut Ngong (ใบเสมาบ้านกุดโง้ง): These are sandstone boundary markers in the Dvaravati style of approximately the 7th to 8th century CE which were discovered near the village. Most of them are big with a bas-relief in the front, while some were also inscribed on the back as well.
Phu Laen Kha National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติภูแลนคา): The geographic condition of this area is a complex mountain range with both dense jungle and timber forest which are the watershed of streams that run into the Chi River.
- Pa Hin Ngam Chan Daeng (ป่าหินงามจันทร์แดง) is a large stone terrace with many rocks in bizarre shapes. There are distinguished and unique Chan Daeng (Dracaena Loureiri Gagnep) trees growing on a large boulder.
- Phu Khi (ภูคี) is the highest summit of the Phu Laen Kha National Park where the scenery and surroundings of Phu Yuak, Phu Taphao, the Phu Khiao Range, Kaset Sombun District, and Phu Khiao District can be seen.
- Phu Kaset (ภูเกษตร) is the second highest summit after Phu Khi in this same national park. Geographically, it is cold and dry because of deforestation and shifting cultivation, leaving behind a large abandoned field on the Phu Laen Kha mountain range.
- Dok Krachiao Field in Pa Hin Ngam Thung Khlong Chang (ทุ่งดอกกระเจียวบริเวณป่าหินงามทุ่งโขลงช้าง) is a deciduous dipterocarp forest where Krachiao - curcuma - bulbs with pink and white blossoms grow on a rocky terrain together with various types of other plants. There is also a large rock resembling an elephant.
- Mo Hin Khao (มอหินขาว) is a plateau of large rocks scattered in strange and rare shapes resembling mushrooms, boats, elephants, turtles and chedis. Moreover, there are large stone columns standing in a line.
- Viewpoint of Lan Hin Rong Kla (จุดชมวิวลานหินร่องกล้า) is a large stone plateau with various deep cracks and distinguished cliffs. It is approximately 700–800 metres above sea level.
- Viewpoint of Pa Hin Prasat (จุดชมวิวป่าหินปราสาท) the location of a unique large rock similar to a prasat and a nature sightseeing spot.
Pha Phae (ผาแพ) is a stone cliff which occurred from the lifting of stone layers and the movement of ores. Therefore, the colours of the ores' pigments are obviously different.
Pratu Khlong (Natural Stone Archway)(ประตูโขลง(ซุ้มประตูหินธรรมชาติ)) is a large stone similar to a gate (bratu) whereas in the surrounding area are many stones in bizarre shapes alternated by deciduous dipterocarp forest.
The Pha Kluaimai or Orchid Cliffs (ผากล้วยไม้) are high cliffs of many heights stretching horizontally and connected to one another. There are many kinds of rare orchids scattered on the cliffs.
Tham Phra and Tham Kluea (ถ้ำพระและถ้ำเกลือ) are white sandstone caves created by water erosion running through the stone crevices, causing a chemical reaction over a long period of time as well as the alteration and natural change of the sandstone layers causing large holes.
Namtok Tat Ton Noi (น้ำตกตาดโตนน้อย) is a waterfall created by the confluence of flows from small and big creeks originating from the Phu Kaset mountain range.
Khao Khat and the Chi River (เขาขาดและแม่น้ำชี) is a natural characteristic of the mountain range created from the sinking and uplifting of the Phu Laen Kha and Phang Hoei mountain ranges, causing a pass through the mountains and creating many legends that have been passed on for a long time.
Pha Koeng (ผาเกิ้ง) is a part of the Phu Laen Kha mountain range. The locals call it "Pha Koeng" meaning a moon cliff in the Isan language.
Ban Khwao (บ้านเขว้า) is a village famous for silk weaving. It is particularly well known for its "Mudmee" silk which is popular among those who favour Thai traditional fabrics.
Ku Daeng (กู่แดง) is an ancient Khmer ruin. At present, the ruin is only a square base made of laterite with recessed corners and a staircase on each of its four sides. This ruin was, estimating from the pattern on its lintel, constructed in the 11th century in the period of the Baphuon art of the ancient Khmer Empire.
Sai Thong National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติไทรทอง): It is the source of many rivers and creeks which are tributaries of the Chi River. It has deciduous dipterocarp and dry evergreen forests combined with a mixed deciduous forest.
- Namtok Sai Thong (น้ำตกไทรทอง): At the front of the waterfall is a large basin for swimmers called Wang Sai. Also, above the waterfall is a deep body of water called Wang Ngueak whose water runs along the crooked and steep stone plateau towards Namtok Sai Thong for a distance of 150 metres.
- Namtok Chuan Chom (น้ำตกชวนชม): This waterfall is along a nature study route of 2 kilometres above Namtok Sai Thong. The 20 metre high waterfall is surrounded by abundant trees.
- Thung Bua Sawan or Thung Dok Krachiao (ทุ่งบัวสวรรค์ หรือทุ่งดอกกระเจียว): From the end of June to mid-August, curcuma or Krachiao blossoms will bloom in this field in both pink and white colours.
- Pha Pho Mueang (ผาพ่อเมือง) is a cliff along the west side of the Phang Hoei mountain ridge along the route leading upward to the Bua Sawan Field, a total distance of approximately 3 kilometres and 700–908 metres above sea level.
- Pha Ham Hot View Spot (จุดชมทิวทัศน์ผาหำหด) is the summit of the Phang Hoei mountain range, 864 metres above sea level. It is cold throughout the year.
- Tham Kaeo (ถ้ำแก้ว): The cave is similar to a hall, located deep inside the mountain and chilly and humid throughout the year. From the entrance, there is a path leading to a lower level where a Buddha image is enshrined.
- Khao Phang Hoei Viewpoint (จุดชมทิวทัศน์เขาพังเหย): It is a rest area and sightseeing spot for motorists. Along the road lie various shops offering local products. The panoramic view of the sunset from this point is admirable.
Bueng Waeng (บึงแวง) is a swamp in front of Khon Sawan District Office, covering an area of approximately 350 rai with a path around the swamp. At dusk, teal, a species of duck, usually fly as a flock covering the sky, creating a splendid contrast of colours between the flock and the beams of the sunset.
The Grand Buddha Image of the Dvaravati Period (พระพุทธรูปใหญ่สมัยทวารวดี): It is a laterite Buddha image in a standing posture, representing Dvaravati art.
Ban Khae Topiary Centre (ศูนย์รวมไม้ดัดบ้านแข้) is on Highway 201, 76 kilometres from the centre of Chaiyaphum or 1 kilometre prior to Phu Khaio District.
Phrathat Nong Sam Muen (พระธาตุหนองสามหมื่น) is a beautiful and perfect chedi with recessed corners on a square base with a height of 45.30 metres and stairs on its 4 sides.
Non Salao Khit Cloth Weaving Village (แหล่งทอผ้าขิตบ้านโนนเสลา): It is the biggest source of Khit cloth weaving in Chaiyaphum. The locals of Non Salao have passed on the process of Khit weaving from their ancestors. Nearly every house makes their own handmade fabric.
Chulabhorn Dam / Nam Phrom Dam (เขื่อนจุฬาภรณ์/ เขื่อนน้ำพรม): It is a rockfill dam with a core of clay packed with stones and pebbles. It was built to generate electrical power and for irrigation and agricultural purposes during the dry season. Attractions within the Chulabhorn Dam are as follows:
- The Replica of Phra Phutthasiri Sakkharat (Luangpho Chet Kasat) (พระพุทธสิริสัคคราชจำลอง (หลวงพ่อเจ็ดกษัตริย์)) is a revered Buddha image enshrined at the left side of the dam, opposite Chulabhorn Dam’s Park.
- Chulabhorn Dam Park (สวนเขื่อนจุฬาภรณ์) covers an area of approximately 41 rai, designated as a preserved forest with various kinds of plants. The path through the park is paved with natural stones.
- The 325-Million-Years Ancient Plants (พืชโบราณ 325 ล้านปี) are in the similar category of grass, comprising two main species, namely, Son Sam Roi Yot (Lycopodium) and Son Hang Ma or Ya Thot Plong (Horsetail or Equisetum).
Lup Khuan View Pavilion (ศาลาชมวิวหลุบควน) is a viewpoint with a height of more than 800 metres.
The Waterfront Ground by the Royal Residence (สนามริมน้ำข้างพระตำหนัก) is surrounded by a serene atmosphere.
Phu Khiao Wildlife Reserve (เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่าภูเขียว): It is to preserve, breed and propagate wildlife such as Siamese firebacks, peacocks, barking deer, deer, and hogdeer. They are let free in this natural habitat and are able to conduct their own reproduction. Interesting destinations within the reserve are as follows:
- Thung Kramang (ทุ่งกระมัง) is a large area of grassland in the middle of the reserve, an important source of food for herbivores. On top of the hill over Thung Kramang lies a royal residence overlooking the reservoir.
- Phrom River (ลำน้ำพรม) On its east lies Huai Dat or Lam Dok, the main brook shifting the water from the lower part of Chulabhorn Dam to produce the electricity. It also directs the flow into the Lam Su Brook which has water throughout the year. Above the Phrom River is Lan Chan, consisting of a rock terrace and a deep crooked pool within a serene and shady atmosphere.
- Lan Chan and Tat Hin Daeng (ลานจันทร์และตาดหินแดง): Lan Chan is a large rock terrace along the Phrom River with water throughout the year. It is a shady area full of various kinds of big and small trees due to it being surrounded by evergreen forests with moss, fern, rattan, betel-vine and various kinds of medicinal plants growing there.
- Bueng Paen (บึงแปน): It is grassland similar to Thung Kamang, but it lies in a lower plain which floods during the rainy season. In the dry season, there is a swamp in the middle of the plain.
- Namtok Tat Khro (น้ำตกตาดคร้อ) is a large and high waterfall to the south of Thung Kramang near the Phu Khiao Forest Safeguard Centre in Nong Bua Daeng District. The water from this waterfall will run down to the Saphung River.
- Namtok Huai Wai (น้ำตกห้วยหวาย) is a 3-tiered waterfall. Each of its levels is 20 metres high. The location where it runs through the mountain is the pass in between Khao Phu Noi and Khao Phu Khiao Yai.
- Namtok Nakkharat (น้ำตกนาคราช): The width of this waterfall is approximately 5 metres with 3 tiers of different height. Nearby the waterfall one finds and abundance of Phaya Nakkharat (Polynesian foot fern) and it is therefore that the waterfall is called "Namtok Nakkharat".
- Pha Thewada (ผาเทวดา) The rocks at this cliff are white - similar to limestone - with a water flow passing through called "Chi Phut". It is the origin of the Chi River with a width of 10–15 metres running through the south of the mountain and down to the Chi Yai River at Ban Lon.
- Phu Khing (ภูคิ้ง) is the summit of the Phu Khiao mountain range with a height of 1,167 metres above sea level. It is considered as the 5th highest one of the northeast and is in the Phu Khiao Wildlife Reserve.
- The Phu Khiao Wildlife Breeding Research Station (สถานีเพาะเลี้ยงสัตว์ป่าภูเขียว): There are many kinds of wildlife to see, particularly sambar deer and brown-antlered deer.
Pa Hin Ngam National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติป่าหินงาม) There are many kinds of wild flowers in the same species of Dusita, En A, and orchids, as well as various species of wildlife, comprising more than 56 kinds of birds, 21 types of mammals, and 10 categories of reptiles. Destinations within the national park are as follows:
- Lan Hin Ngam (ลานหินงาม) It was caused by the erosion of the soil and rocks into different shapes, which can be imagined as many kinds of objects and animals such as nails, radar, hens, etc.
- Dok Krachiao or Bua Sawan Field (ทุ่งดอกกระเจียว หรือ ทุ่งบัวสวรรค์) Krachiao, a kind of curcuma, is an annual plant in the same species as ginger-galingale, scattered generally from Lan Hin Ngam to the Sut Phaendin viewpoint.
- Sut Phaendin (สุดแผ่นดิน) is a steep cliff and the highest point of the Phang Hoei mountain range, 2 kilometres from the Office of the National Park and 846 metres above sea level. It is the cliff connecting between the central and northeastern regions.
- Namtok Thep Phana (น้ำตกเทพพนา) is a medium-size waterfall originating from Huai Krachon flowing from the Phang Hoei mountain range. It can be divided into 3 different tiers. There is water only during the rainy season.
Namtok Thep Prathan (น้ำตกเทพประทาน) is in Ban Rai Sub-district, 7 kilometres from the Office of the National Park. It is a medium-size waterfall but quite flat. There are different low tiers of large rock terraces and a steep highland with a large amount of water during the rainy season.
Phra Phutthabat Khao Yai Hom (พระพุทธบาทเขายายหอม): It is a red Buddha's left footprint, stamped onto the rock terrace with a width of 75 centimetres, length of 180 centimetres, and depth of 45 centimetres, surrounded by 3 holy ponds.
Chaiyaphum‘s local products are Mudmee silk, cotton cloth, Khit cloth, triangular pillows and other woven cloth products. Also delicate basketry and various local dishes such as Mam, Som Wua, fish cake, and Isan sausage can be found in this province.
The Chaopho Phraya Lae Festival (งานฉลองอนุสาวรีย์เจ้าพ่อพระยาแล) is held from the 12–20 January each year in front of Chaiyaphum City Hall and the Chaopho Phraya Lae Monument Intersection.
The Chaopho Phraya Lae Worship Ceremony (งานประเพณีบวงสรวงเจ้าพ่อพญาแล) is held at the Nong Pla Thao Shrine on the first Monday of May every year (It lasts for 3 days and 3 nights). The locals will pay respect to Chaopho Phraya Lae's spirit and perform traditional dances in front of the old shrine. There is a contest of local food, folk sports competition and a "Bai Si" procession contest.
The Candle Festival (งานแห่เทียนพรรษา) is a festival organised by the Chaiyaphum Municipal Office on the full moon day of the 8th lunar month (around July). There is a candle contest. This event is widely popular and similar to the candle procession of Ubon Ratchathani.
The Ram Phi Fa Tradition (ประเพณีรำผีฟ้า) is a ceremony worshipping certain sacred objects and the "Phrachao Ong Tue", a Buddha image engraved out of sandstone with a height of 2 metres. The locals consider this Buddha image as very holy. Many people will participate in this ceremonial dance. The ceremony is organised twice a year on the 13th to 15th day during the waxing moon of the 5th lunar month (in April) and the first day during the waning moon of the 3rd lunar month within the area of Khao Phu Phra, Ban Na Kai Sao and Na Siao Sub-district in Mueang District.
The Bun Duean Si Festival (งานบุญเดือนสี่) is a festival of the people of Khon San, comprising merit-making on the dark moon day of the 4th lunar month (Duean Si) and a "Saba" competition on the 1st to 3rd day of the waxing moon during the 5th lunar month (around March). The Saba competition is challenged for the winner prize creating amusement within the compound of Wat Chedi, Khon San District. It is the only Saba competition performed in northeastern Thailand.
The Dok Krachiao Blossom Festival (งานวันดอกกระเจียวบาน) is held at the end of June to July at Pa Hin Ngam National Park, Thep Sathit District. It is during the rainy season when the blossoms of the wild Krachiao flowers, in a purplish pink colour, are widely found in the area. Therefore, this area is known as Dok Krachiao Field. During the festival, there is a nature tour around the national park and local performances.
- "Population of the Kingdom" (PDF). Department of Provincial Affairs (DOPA) Thailand (in Thai). 2014-12-31. Retrieved 19 Mar 2015.
- http://www.chaiyaphum.go.th Official website (Thai)
||Phetchabun Province||Khon Kaen Province|
|Lopburi Province||Nakhon Ratchasima Province|