Nakhon Ratchasima Province
||This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (January 2015)|
|Nakhon Ratchasima Province|
Statue of Lady Mo in Khorat city centre
Map of Thailand highlighting Nakhon Ratchasima Province
|Capital||Nakhon Ratchasima City|
|• Governor||Rapee Phongbupakit (since October 2010)|
|• Total||20,494 km2 (7,913 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 1st|
|• Rank||Ranked 2nd|
|• Density||130/km2 (330/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 34th|
|Time zone||ICT (UTC+7)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-30|
Nakhon Ratchasima (Thai: นครราชสีมา), often called Korat (RTGS Khorat, โคราช), is one of the northeast provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (clockwise, from north) Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Buriram, Sa Kaeo, Prachinburi, Nakhon Nayok, Saraburi, and Lopburi.
The capital of the province is the city of Nakhon Ratchasima in Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, also called Korat or Khorat. The Khmer name for the province is Nokor Reach Seima, the Malay name is Negara Raja Sima.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Climate
- 3 History
- 4 Korat Cat
- 5 Symbols
- 6 Administrative divisions
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Tourism
- 9 Local culture
- 10 Education
- 11 Facilities
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The province is at the west end of the Khorat Plateau, separated from the Chao Phraya river valley by the Phetchabun and Dong Phaya Yen mountain ranges. Two national parks are in the province: Khao Yai in the west and Thap Lan in the south. Both parks are in the forested mountains of the Sankamphaeng Range, the southern prolongation of the Dong Phaya Yen mountains
Nakhon Ratchasima, or "Khorat," is a large province on the northeastern plateau and acts as a gateway to other provinces in the northeast. It is 259 kilometres (161 mi) from Bangkok and has an area of around 20,494 square kilometres (7,913 sq mi), making it the largest Thai province. The province is rich in Khmer culture and has a long history.
|Climate data for Nakhon Ratchasima(1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.7
|Average low °C (°F)||18.5
|Rainfall mm (inches)||8.2
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||1||2||5||8||15||13||15||16||19||12||4||1||111|
|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)|
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2013)|
The area around Khorat was already an important center in the times of the Khmer empire in the 11th century, as can be seen by the temple ruins in the Phimai historical park. Still, Nakhon Ratchasima Province is one of the provinces where there is a sizable Northern Khmer population.
A new walled-city with a surrounding moat, designated as Nakhon Ratchasima, was built in the seventeenth century by order of the King Narai, as the easternmost 'command post', guarding the Kingdom's border and supervising its Lao and Cambodian 'vassals'. It continued this duty during the Bangkok Period, although it was seized by deceit during Chao Anuwong of Vientiane's 1826 revolt against the King Rama III of Siam.
Nakhon Ratchasima has long been the most important political and economic center in the northeastern region. In the late nineteenth century, the railroad reached Khorat became the junction of two main rail lines in the Northeastern, Isan, region. In 1933 it was the stronghold of the royalist troops in the Boworadej Revolt, as they fought against the new ostensibly democratic government in Bangkok. In the 1950s, the Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base was built in Nakhon Ratchasima; from 1961 until 26 February 1976, this facility was also used as a base by the United States Air Force.
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.
A monument to Thao Suranari (real name: Khun Ying Mo; 1771–1852) stands in front of the old Pratu Chumpon gate. Also called "The Great Heroine of Khorat", Kun Ying Mo was the wife of the Siamese-appointed deputy governor of Khorat during the reign of King Rama III. In 1826, Khun Ying Mo managed to repel the Laotian army led by Prince Anouvong of Vientiane who tried to reinstate control over the Khorat plateau. King Rama III conferred the title of Thao Suranari on Khun Ying Mo, as well as additional ones honouring her bravery.
The provincial tree is the sa-thorn (Millettia leucantha Kurz)
The provincial motto is "Land of brave women, fine silk material, Khorat rice noodles, Phimai Historical Park, and Dan Kwian ceramics".
- Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima
- Khon Buri
- Soeng Sang
- Ban Lueam
- Chok Chai
- Dan Khun Thot
- Non Thai
- Non Sung
- Kham Sakaesaeng
- Bua Yai
- Pak Thong Chai
- Huai Thalaeng
- Chum Phuang
- Sung Noen
- Kham Thale So
- Pak Chong
- Nong Bun Mak
- Kaeng Sanam Nang
- Non Daeng
- Wang Nam Khiao
- Mueang Yang
- Phra Thong Kham
- Lam Thamenchai
- Bua Lai
- Chaloem Phra Kiat
- As of May 15, 2007, the Government has upgraded all those 81 King Amphoe to Amphoe in order to facilitate the administration.
Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima
Dan Khun Thot
Pak Thong Chai
Kaeng Sanam Nang
Wang Nam Khiao
Phra Thong Kham
Kham Thale So
Chaloem Phra Kiat
Roads Highway 2 (Mittraphap Road) is the main route that connects 9 districts in Nakhon Ratchasima including Muang district. This route also connects Nakhon Ratchasima to Saraburi and Khon Kaen Provinces. Hwy 24 links Si Khio district from Hwy 2 to Pak Thongcha, Chok Chai, and Nong Bunnak districts and to Buriram Province.
Rail systems The railway system in Nakhon Ratchasima is on both northeastern routes from Hua Lampong central terminal. Nakhon Ratchasima Province has 8 main railway stations.
Bus service Minibus and bus routes operate in the city and nearby areas. There are non air-conditioned buses from the provincial town which go to every district. As for travel to nearby provinces, there are both air and non air-conditioned ones.
Songthaew Songthaews are the most popular mode of public transportation in all the town districts. These run on fixed routes.
Taxi Taxis are plentiful, clean, safe, and inexpensive in Khorat. They can be found at taxi stands in the city areas or hailed on the streets. There are also certain taxis that can be requested by phone, however, the fare is slightly higher than regular taxis. An increasing number of taxi drivers nowadays speak some English which may prove extremely useful for first-time visitors. The fare system is based on both distance and time. Fares begin at 30 baht for the first 2 kilometers.
Motorbike-taxi Motorbike taxis are found mainly in the town areas and are used mainly for short distances.
Airport Nakhon Ratchasima has one airport, but as of June 2007, it had no scheduled flights. The nearest airport is in Buriram and has flights to and from Bangkok.
Nakhon Ratchasima is Thailand's largest province and the "gateway to Isan" (gateway to the northeast region). It has beautiful national parks, with many forests, mountains, waterfalls, and reservoirs. It is well known for a variety of quality handicrafts.
Most visitors to the province are Thai nationals. Foreigners who visit the northeast largely view Khorat as just a stepping stone and merely pass through it.
- Thao Suranari Monument (อนุสาวรีย์ท้าวสุรนารี) is a memorial to the Thai heroine called Ya Mo by locals. Built in 1934, it is in the city's centre. Thao Suranari was originally Khun Ying Mo, the wife of the assistant governor of Nakhon Ratchasima. In 1826, Chao Anuwong of Vientiane wanting to stop Siamese influence over Vientiane principalities over the Issan region which historically were given to the Prince of Vientiane attempted to rid the region of Siamese appointed governors. After his forces rounded up families in Khorat who themselves were forced to relocate closer to Siam from Vientiane during the first sacking of Vientiane, began sending them back toward Vientiene, Khun Ying Mo according to legend rallied villagers to fight against their captivity, enticing the Lao soldiers with rice wine and sex. They first confused and then overcome their captors in actions that introduced the first blunt against the Lao "incursion" into Siam, although Khorat was never Siamese. In honor of this King Rama III promoted Lady Mo to 'Thao Suranari'. Every year during 23 March to 3 April, people who respect Thao Suranari hold a festival to honor her bravery. There is, however, a great deal of disagreement, including between official government historians in Bangkok and local tellers, as to whether Lady Mo (or Miss Boonleu) even existed. Most historians believe Thao Suranari was a creation by the palace in Bangkok as an attempt to suppress Laotian identity in the region, apart of a nationwide policy of ethnic cleansing. Thao Suranari would become a perfect symbol for such efforts. Translation of a book that details accounts of Lady Mo, the events at Tung Samrit and important historical references to Chao Anuwong is currently under draft, as of 2 June 2009, by Frank G Anderson. The translation also contains the first-ever English language detailed description of the Thao Suranari statue, as well as references to the Italian sculptor who first created the model for casting, Corrado Feroci.
- Northeastern Museum of Petrified Wood and Mineral Resources (พิพิธภัณฑ์ไม้กลายเป็นหิน และทรัพยากรธรณีภาคตะวันออกเฉียงเหนือ ), at present, this area has a collection of over 10,000 petrified wood pieces. Some are displayed in the garden. Within this compound, petrified wood was unearthed just beneath the surface to 8 metres underground. The wood discovered is of various sizes from pebbles to rocks are aged from 1 to 70 million years old.
- Khao Yai National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาใหญ่) is in the Sankamphaeng Range. It covers 4 provinces; Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Nayok, Saraburi, and Prachinburi. The jungle here divides the central region and the northeast. Khao Yai became Thailand's first national park on 18 September 1962 and is an ASEAN World Heritage because of its variety of flora and fauna. The general terrain of Khao Yai National Park consists of mixed forest.
- Mueang Sema Historical Site (โบราณสถานเมืองเสมา) The Sema city plan is egg-shaped, 3 kilometres wide and 4 kilometres long. The city flourished during the Dvaravati period and was built around the 12th Buddhist century. It grew until the 16th-17th Buddhist centuries when it came under Khmer influence. In the area are ruins made of laterite and sandstone and many artefacts have been unearthed here. The most interesting one is the reclining sandstone Buddha image and an old religious relic that is now in Wat Thammachak Semaram.
- Wat Thammachak Semaram (วัดธรรมจักรเสมาราม) The place used to be a religious site in the Dvaravati period. The important artefact here is a huge reclining Buddha image made of red sandstone that stretches from north to south. It is 13.30 metres long and 2.80 metres high. It dates from 657 AD. There is an old sandstone Buddhist symbol in the form of a cartwheel. Other artefacts include bronze Buddha images, fired clay images, glass beads, a fired clay loom, and a stone inscription tablet. They are on display in Phimai National Museum.
- An Ancient Town in Tambon Khorat or Ancient Khorat (เมืองโบราณที่ตำบลโคราชเก่า หรือ เมืองโคราช) is considered as the beginning point of the ancient Khmer civilization in Nakhon Ratchasima. There are overall 3 remaining ancient sites; namely, Prasat Non Ku, Prasat Mueang Khaek, and Prasat Mueang Kao.
- Prasat Non Ku (ปราสาทโนนกู่) In 1991–1992, a lot of archaeological evidence was excavated, creating an assumption that this place might possibly be a Hindu shrine.
- Prasat Mueang Khaek (ปราสาทเมืองแขก) It comprises a main sanctuary, 2 structures of Bannalai (library), gallery, entrance archways, pond, boundary wall, and a small brick building.
- Prasat Mueang Kao (ปราสาทเมืองเก่า) It can be noticed that the entrance of the temple was constructed similar to the city gate of old Khorat Town and there is a replica Monument of Thao Suranari (Khunying Mo or Ya Mo).
- Dan Kwian Pottery Village (หมู่บ้านทำเครื่องปั้นดินเผาด่านเกวียน) The area used to be a rest area for caravans trading between Khorat and Cambodia. The Mun River flows through it. Villagers use clay from the river banks to make pottery and have continued doing so for many generations. Nowadays Dan Kwian is known as a crafts center most noted for the production of ceramics in a great variety of designs.
- Ban Prasat Home Stay (โฮมสเตย์บ้านปราสาท) was formally introduced in 1996 and now Ban Prasat is the prototype of home stay programs in other villages around the country. Ban Prasat villagers are like other villagers in the region in that most are farmers. Rice farming is done once a year. Villagers use their free time to create handicrafts to supplement their income. Crafts include weaving reed mats and hats, using some trees to make shoes and bags, breeding silkworm, and making Thai stringed musical instruments like So U and So Duang.
- Phimai National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ พิมาย) The museum collects archaeological artefacts and has exhibits on the past cultural prosperity of the Northeast, especially artefacts found in the lower part of the region. The exhibition is allocated to three different sections, which displays Isan culture and civilization affected from different periods from pre-historic period till the present day.
- Phimai Historical Park (อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์พิมาย) in Phimai District, has one of the grandest and most important Khmer historical sites in Thailand that is the Phimai sanctuary. The word Phimai appears in an inscription on a stone slab at the front doorway of the building as well as in many other structures. It is believed that the word Phimai meant a religious figure or site. It consists of structures made of sandstone and laterite, all ornately carved with designs.
- Farm Chokchai (ฟาร์มโชคชัย) is one of the largest dairy farms in Asia. The farm offers agro-tourism activities with the guide showing the facilities, including the production of raw milk, raising milk cows, milking cows, horse-riding, touring horse stables, dog farms, and a zoo.
- Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo (สวนสัตว์นครราชสีมา) The zoo is one of the most modern in Asia. Most of the animals here are from Africa. Of note are penguins, seals, African elephants, rhinoceros, cheetahs, lions, zebras, and giraffes. The zoo is ideal for biology study and relaxation. Beside, inside the Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo, there sections called the Children Zoo. The purpose of setting these sections is to provide children, youth or people the chance to have a close study about animals’ predicament and the new Water park Khorat is in around the northeast.
There are plenty of activities in Khorat, which includes swimming at the Olympic sized Waterslide Park, horse racing at the Second Army Area and learning military history, bird spotting at Khao Yai and mountain climbing, go carting, horse riding, ATV driving, scenery viewing by mini golf vehicle at Thong Sombun Club. Available golf courses at Khorat are:
- Friendship Meadows Country Club
- Mission Hills Golf Club Khao Yai
- Khorat Country Club Golf & Resort
- Voyage Panorama Resort and Golf Club
- Mountain Creek Golf Resort and Residences
Spa service is available at some of the leading hotels.
Nakhon Ratchasima has a wide variety of local goods that tourists can buy from city markets or production centres. Famous handicrafts are Dan Kwian earthenware, silk and Mat Mi silk from Pak Thong Chai. Products of housewives can be bought from the Khorat Goods Centre near the provincial hall.
Food products include sausages, fermented sausages, Chinese sausages, minced pork that is found everywhere in the city and in Pak Chong, and Khorat noodles that are sold everywhere. The largest fruit market is Klang Dong Market before going up Khao Yai. This is where produce from Nakhon Ratchasima and nearby provinces is sold. The most famous fruit of Klang Dong is custard apple that is sold all year round.
Khorat is traditionally an agricultural province where most of the population works in farming such as: rice, sugar cane, tapioca, corn, jute, peanuts, sesame and fruits. In this day and age however, many of Khorat’s younger generation are moving to nearby Bangkok to work.
Since Khorat used to be a former US Airbase during the Vietnam War, there is quite a significant amount of war veteran retirees in Khorat. They simply never did go back ‘home’.
The people of Khorat are a mixed-breed. There are those of Khmer ancestry, Laotian ancestry and Chinese ancestry. In the town areas, most of the people speak standard Thai but in the more rural areas, they speak ‘Khorat’ which is a dialect half way between Thai and Isaan (Laotian).
Festivals and Fairs
Thao Suranari Memorial Fair (งานฉลองวันแห่งชัยชนะของท้าวสุรนารี) is an annual event of the province and is held during 23 March-3 April, the period Khunying Mo was victorious over her enemy. The fair features arts and culture, shops and exhibitions of public and private offices.
Phimai Boat Races (งานประเพณีแข่งเรือพิมาย) is held yearly by the people of Amphoe Phimai on the second weekend of November. Apart from the races of boats in Phimai and nearby districts, this interesting event has boat decorations for royal ceremonies and boat chants.
Phimai Festival (งานเทศกาลเที่ยวพิมาย) is organised to promote tourism activities in the province’s main tourist destination of Phimai Historical Park that is held in conjunction with Phimai Boat Races. Activities include long boat racing, cultural performances, religious processions, and a light-and-sound show.
Pak Thong Chai on the other hand is famed for its high quality hand-woven traditional silk and it is the industry of one whole village there. Then there is Dan Kwian where pottery has been the local’s way of life for centuries.
In Dan Kwian however, the folk have traditionally been working in the field of pottery for centuries.
People can learn about how to make traditional pottery at Dan Kwiang and learn about making hand-woven silk at Pak Chong.
There are 4 universities in the area.
- Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University
- Rajamangala University of Technology Isan
- Suranaree University of Technology
- Vongchavalitkul University
- Ratchasima Wittayalai School 1
- Ratchasima Wittayalai School 2
- Saint Mary's College Nakhon Ratchasima
- Suranaree Witthaya 1
- Suranaree Witthaya 2
- Boonwatthana 1
- Boonwatthana 2
- Phimai Witthaya
- Assumption School Nakhon Ratchasima
- Fort Surathamphithak School
- Phoowittaya school (Lab school project)
- Plookpanya school
- Koratpittayakom school
- St.Stephen's International School (SIS) (Khao Yai Campus)
- Adventists International Mission School (AIMS) (Nakhon Ratchasima Campus)
- Anglo Singapore International School (Korat Campus)
- Maharaj Nakhon Ratchasima General Hospital
- Nakhon Ratchasima General Hospital (Khok Kruad sub-district)
- Bangkok-Ratchasima Hospital
- Fort. Suranari General Hospital
- St.Mary Hospital
- Khorat Memorial
- Por-Phat Hospital
- The Golden Gate Hospital
- Wing 1 Hospital
- Hua Ta Lae Hospital (Hua Ta Lae sub-district)
Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima
- Big C Supercenter. Located on Mittraphap-Nong Khai Road.
- Klang Plaza Asadang. Located on Asadang Road.
- Klang Plaza Jomsurang. Located on Jomsurangyatr Road.
- IT City. Located on Mittraphap Road.
- Makro. Located on Mittraphap-Nong Khai Road.
- The Mall Department Store including Home Pro, EGV Cinema and Fitness First. Located on Mittraphap Road.
- Tesco Lotus Hypermarket. Located on Mittraphap Road.
- Central Plaza Nakhon Ratchasima (opening in early 2016)
- Terminal 21 Nakhon Ratchasima (opening in early 2015)
- Tesco Lotus
- Outlet Village Khao Yai (Pak Chong)
- Landlines provided by TOT and TT&T
- IDD phones provided by CAT
- Mobiles provided by AIS GSM, DTAC, TRUE and HUTCH
- Internet / High-speed internet (ADSL) provided by TOT, CAT and TT&T. Internet cafes can be found everywhere in the town/markets
- Post offices are available in every district of Nakhon Ratchasima.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nakhon Ratchasima Province.|
- Nakhon Ratchasima travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Province page from the Tourist Authority of Thailand
- Official website
- Nakhon Ratchasima provincial map, coat of arms and postal stamp[dead link]
- Khao Yai National Park
||Lopburi Province||Chaiyaphum Province||Khon Kaen Province|
|Saraburi Province||Buriram Province|
|Nakhon Nayok Province||Prachin Buri Province||Sa Kaew Province|