Nakhon Ratchasima

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This article is about the city. For the province, see Nakhon Ratchasima Province. For the cat breed originating from this city, see Korat.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
นครราชสีมา
Korat City
City Municipality
Nakhon Ratchasima City
Downtown of Nakhon Ratchasima
Downtown of Nakhon Ratchasima
Nickname(s): Khorat / Korat
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand is located in Thailand
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Coordinates: 14°58′50″N 102°6′00″E / 14.98056°N 102.10000°E / 14.98056; 102.10000
Country Thailand Thailand
District Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima
Province Nakhon Ratchasima
- Settled AD.1656 (Ayutthaya Period)
- as Sanitary districts January 3, 1908
- as Municipality December 7, 1935
Government
 • Type City Municipality
 • Mayor Surawuth Cherdchai
 • Municipal Clerk Arlom Tangtaku
Area
 • City Municipality 37.5 km2 (14.5 sq mi)
 • Land 37.4 km2 (14.45 sq mi)
 • Metro 767.98 km2 (296.52 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • City Municipality 166,217
 • Density 4,432.45/km2 (11,480.0/sq mi)
 • Metro 444,023
 • Metro density 578.17/km2 (1,497.5/sq mi)
 • Demonym Korat
Time zone Thailand (UTC+7)
Area code(s) 044

Nakhon Ratchasima (Thai: นครราชสีมา, pronounced [náʔkʰɔːn râːt.tɕʰa.sǐː.maː]) or (Khmer: នគររាជសីមា) is one of the four major cities of Isan, Thailand - also known as "Big 4 of Isan". The city is also commonly known as Korat (RTGS Khorat, โคราช), a short version of the full name. It is the capital of the Nakhon Ratchasima Province and Nakhon Ratchasima district. Nakhon Ratchasima is also the center of the Nakhon Ratchasima Metropolitan Area.

It is located at the western edge of the Khorat Plateau and historically marked the boundary between the Lao and Siamese territory, however now is considered a gateway to the Northeast (Isan). Its geographical location is 14°58.5′N 102°6′E / 14.9750°N 102.100°E / 14.9750; 102.100Coordinates: 14°58.5′N 102°6′E / 14.9750°N 102.100°E / 14.9750; 102.100. As of August 16, 2010,[1] the municipal area has a population of 142,645.

Etymology[edit]

Archeological evidence suggests that in Sung Noen district, 32 km west of present-day Nakhonratchasima (Korat), there were two ancient towns called Sema ("Bai sema" (ใบเสมา) are notable artifacts of the Khorat plateau)[2] and Khorakhapura. (Pali púra becomes Sanskrit puri, hence Thai บุรี, บูรี (buri) all connoting the same as Thai mueang: city with defensive wall.) Noting that, the real names of the two ancient towns are not known and the names "Sema" and "Khorakhapura" were only assigned in the 20th century. The latter name was shortened to Nakhon Raj. (Nakhon (นคร) derives from Sanskrit nagara (नगर), "city"; Raj (ราช), from Sanskrit Raj, "sovereign.") The present city name is a portmanteau of Nakhon Raj and Sema.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The 'Ya Mo Entrance Gate' at the junction of Ratchadamnoen Rd and Hwy 224

Prior to the fourteenth century, the area of Nakhon Ratchasima was under the Khmer empire suzerainty and known in Khmer as Nokor Reach Seyma / Nokor Reach Borei, and Koreach, while Phimai to the north was probably more important.

King Narai of Ayutthaya in the 17th century, ordered a new city built on the site to serve as a stronghold on Ayutthaya's northeastern frontier. Nakhon Ratchasima was thereafter mentioned in Siamese chronicles and legal documents as a 'second-class' city of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. A royal governor ruled the city in a hereditary position.

Ater the final phase of the Ayutthaya kingdom ended with its complete destruction by the Burmese in 1767, a son of King Boromakot attempted to set himself up ruler in Phimai, holding sway over Korat and other eastern provinces. King Taksin of the Thonburi Kingdom (1768–1782) sent two of his generals, brothers Thong Duang and Boonma to defeat the prince, who was executed in 1768. Thong Duang later became King Rama I of the kingdom, and Korat became his strategic stronghold on the northeastern frontier to supervise the Lao and Khmer tributary states.

Statue of Lady Mo in Khorat city centre.

In 1826, Vientiane King Chao Anouvong perceiving Siam as weakened, attacked Korat in the Laotian Rebellion against King Rama III that was to rage on for two years.[3] Lady Mo, the wife of the deputy governor at the time, is credited with having freed the city from Anouvong's army, and has been honored with a statue in the center of downtown Korat. A full account of the war and its impact on Laos and Siam, is well-detailed in the book, Lady Mo and Heroism at Tung Samrit, written by Frank G Anderson. The city's old wall, east of the monument was designed and built by a French engineer who is believed to be the one who also built Naraimaharaj Palace in Lopburi. The French-based design is reflected in the moat system that surrounds the innermost portion of the city.

Nakhon Ratchasima continued to be an important political and economic center in the northeastern region under the Monthon administrative reforms of the late nineteenth century. In November 1900, the Royal State Railways of Siam began operation of the Nakhon Ratchasima Line from Bangkok with Korat Station as its terminus. The Ubon Ratchathani Line to the town of Warin opened 1 November 1922. The Thanon Chira Junction to Khon Kaen opened on 1 April 1933. Korat station was changed to Nakhon Ratchasima Railway Station in 1934.

In October 1933, after the Siamese revolution of 1932 had ended the absolute monarchy, the city became the headquarters of the Boworadet Rebellion, an abortive uprising against the new government in Bangkok.

In April 1981 during another attempted coup, the government, together with the royal family, took refuge in Korat.

From 1962 - 1976, during the Vietnam War, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base hosted the components of the Royal Thai Air Force, the United States Air Force, and a complement of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). After the US withdrawal in 1976, the Thai Air Force assumed full control. During the 1980s and early 1990s, the airfield was jointly operated as a civil airport for Nakhon Ratchasima. This was ended with the opening of Nakhon Ratchasima Airport in the early 1990s.

In August 1993, Thailand's worst hotel disaster happened in the city, the collapse of the Royal Plaza Hotel, killing more than 130 people.[citation needed]

Korat City Panorama view from Fort Suranaree Hospital

Transportation[edit]

Songthaew Rte 4129 waits on Ratchadamnoen Rd. This one goes to Korat Zoo via The Mall

Nakhon Ratchasima is connected with the northeastern railway line, connecting Bangkok with Ubon Ratchathani and Nong Khai. Also passing the city is Mittraphap Road (Thailand Route 2).

26 km east of the city is the Nakhon Ratchasima Airport. As of 30 November 2006, however, the airport does not handle passenger traffic, and shipping has not been seen as a major commercial possibility. Passenger service has been attempted many times with financial failure (charges were as low as 99 baht to fly to Bangkok), and authorities are still discussing ways to make the 400 million baht investment a paying venture. Happy Air (HPY) planned to fly from Nakhon Ratchasima to Chiang Mai and Bangkok with the 33-seat Swedish built Saab 340 with services intended to begin on August 19, 2010. However, there are still no scheduled air services operating from the airport.[4]

Major Points of Interest[edit]

Klang Plaza department store dominates the central Korat skyline
Main Gate of Korat

Korat has becoming increasingly attractive to foreigners over the last five years, with growing numbers from mostly North America and Europe moving to the province. Still rustic, with cheap housing and land prices, the province is located only three hours' drive from Bangkok, (by bus or train) and as its Gateway to the Northeast moniker suggests, Korat connects the other 18 NE Thailand provinces with the central region by rail and highway.

Korat Cat[edit]

Korat Cat (Si-Sawat)

(Thai: โคราช, มาเลศ, สีสวาด, RTGS: Khorat, Malet, Sisawat)

The Korat is a natural breed, and one of the oldest stable cat breeds. Originating in Thailand, it is named after the Nakhon Ratchasima province (typically called "Korat" by the Thai people). In Thailand the breed is known as Si-Sawat, meaning "color of the sawat seed". They are known colloquially as the "good luck cat" and are given in pairs to newlyweds or to people who are highly esteemed, for good luck. Until recently, Korats were not sold, but only given as gifts.

Korats first appeared in Britain under the name "Blue Siamese" in 1889 and 1896, but as these solid blue cats did not conform to the cat show judges' perception of a Siamese cat they disappeared by 1901. One early import, "Dwina", owned by Russian Blue breeder Mrs Constance Carew-Cox and mentioned in Frances Simpson's The Book of the Cat (1903), reputedly produced a large number of "Siamese" kittens; the other, Mrs B. Spearman's Blue Siamese male, "Nam Noi", was disqualified as a Siamese, but accepted in the Russian or Any Other Blue class in which he placed first (WR Hawkins, "Around the Pens" July 1896). Spearman tried unsuccessfully to import more of these "Blue Siamese".

Korats first appeared in America in the 1950s. In 1959, Cedar Glen cattery was the first to import a pair of Korats to the US for breeding: a male named Nara and a female named Darra. The Korat was introduced to the UK by Betty Munford of the High Street, Hungerford.

Climate[edit]

There are generally three seasons in the region: Hot (February - May), Rainy (May - October), Cold (October - February). In the cold season, minimum temperatures in Korat proper will drop to about 18 °C (64 °F), and in rural areas, down to about 12 °C (54 °F).

Climate data for Nakhon Ratchasima(1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30.7
(87.3)
33.6
(92.5)
35.6
(96.1)
36.5
(97.7)
35.0
(95)
34.4
(93.9)
33.8
(92.8)
33.2
(91.8)
32.2
(90)
31.0
(87.8)
30.1
(86.2)
29.3
(84.7)
32.95
(91.32)
Average low °C (°F) 18.5
(65.3)
21.0
(69.8)
23.2
(73.8)
24.9
(76.8)
25.0
(77)
25.1
(77.2)
24.7
(76.5)
24.5
(76.1)
24.0
(75.2)
23.2
(73.8)
21.1
(70)
18.3
(64.9)
22.79
(73.03)
Rainfall mm (inches) 8.2
(0.323)
16.1
(0.634)
37.1
(1.461)
72.2
(2.843)
154.1
(6.067)
104.5
(4.114)
120.9
(4.76)
157.2
(6.189)
228.3
(8.988)
146.3
(5.76)
23.9
(0.941)
2.7
(0.106)
1,071.5
(42.186)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 1 2 5 8 15 13 15 16 19 12 4 1 111
 % humidity 64 62 61 65 73 72 73 75 80 78 71 66 70
Mean monthly sunshine hours 284.2 245.1 253.8 248.1 237.5 208.6 194.6 187.3 169.0 233.4 257.3 282.0 2,800.9
Source: Thai Meteorological Department (Normal 1981-2010), (Avg. rainy days 1961-1990)

Education[edit]

Universities[edit]

There are 4 universities in the area.

Schools[edit]

International Schools[edit]

Facilities[edit]

Hospitals[edit]

Bangkok-Ratchasima Hospital
  • Fort Suranaree Hospital
  • Saint Mary's Hospital
  • Korat Memorial Hospital
  • Bangkok-Ratchasima Hospital
  • Po-Pat Hospital
  • Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital
  • The Golden Gate Hospital

Shopping Center & Department Store[edit]

Local media[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

  • The Korat Daily. Thai language.
  • The Korat Post. English-language monthly.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Department of Provincial Administration, Ministry of Interior, Royal Thai Government. As of August 16, 2010
  2. ^ "Sema Hin Isan, the Origin of the Temple Boundary Stones in Northeast Thailand". The Social Sciences (Medwell Journals) 4 (2): pp. 186–190. 2009. Archived from the original on 2013-07-31. "Abstract: Sema Hin stones, or Temple Boundary Markers have their origin in megalithic culture from a prehistoric community in Southeast Asia...." )
  3. ^ Chandler, David P.; Roff, William R.; Smail, John R.W.; Steinberg, David Joel; Taylor, Robert H.; Woodside, Alexander & Wyatt, David K. (1987) [1971]. "13 Siam, 1767–1868". In David, Steinberg. In search of Southeast Asia (Revised ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. pp. 113–117. ISBN 0-8248-1110-0. OCLC 500095794. Lay summary (Jan 8, 2008). 
  4. ^ "Nakhon Ratchasima Airport". Flightstats.com. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 

External links[edit]