Sisaket Province

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Sisaket
ศรีสะเกษ
Province
Official seal of Sisaket
Seal
Map of Thailand highlighting Sisaket Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Sisaket Province
Country  Thailand
Capital Sisaket
Government
 • Governor Raphi Phongbupphakit (since May 2009)
Area
 • Total 8,840.0 km2 (3,413.1 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 21st
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,452,203
 • Rank Ranked 9th
 • Density 160/km2 (430/sq mi)
 • Density rank Ranked 20th
Time zone Thailand Standard Time (UTC+7)
ISO 3166 code TH-33
This article is about the province. For other uses, see Sisaket (disambiguation).

Sisaket (Thai: ศรีสะเกษ), is one of the north-eastern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from west clockwise) Surin, Roi Et, Yasothon and Ubon Ratchathani. To the south it borders Oddar Meancheay and Preah Vihear of Cambodia.

Geography[edit]

The province is located in the valley of the Mun river, a tributary of the Mekong. The Dângrêk mountain chain, which forms the border with Cambodia, is in the south of the province.

Khao Phra Wihan National Park covers an area of 130 km² of the Dângrêk mountains in the southeast of the province. Established on March 20, 1998, it is named after a ruined Khmer Empire temple Prasat Preah Vihear (anglicised in Thailand as Prasat Khao Phra Wihan), now located in Cambodia, which had been the issue of boundary dispute. The temple faces north and was built to serve the Sisaket region. Earlier maps had shown it as belonging to Thailand. However, a boundary survey conducted by the French for the Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 deviated from the agreed upon international divide by mountains' watershed and placed the temple on the French (Cambodian) side.

The Thai government ignored the deviation and regarded the temple as belonging to Sisaket province. In the 1950s, newly independent Cambodia protested the Thai "occupation". In 1962 the Thai government agreed to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice. To their dismay, the court voted 9 to 4 to confirm the 1907 map and awarded the temple to Cambodia. Access is principally from the Thai side, as the site is difficult to reach from the Cambodian plains far below. The Cambodian government has expressed interest in building a cable car to carry tourists to the site, though this has yet to happen, pending resolution of the Cambodian–Thai border dispute.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Sisaket (1961-1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31
(88)
33
(91)
35
(95)
34
(93)
34
(93)
33
(91)
32
(90)
31
(88)
31
(88)
30
(86)
30
(86)
30
(86)
32
(89.6)
Average low °C (°F) 16
(61)
19
(66)
22
(72)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
22
(72)
20
(68)
17
(63)
21.4
(70.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 2
(0.08)
18
(0.71)
43
(1.69)
67
(2.64)
208
(8.19)
223
(8.78)
180
(7.09)
260
(10.24)
213
(8.39)
167
(6.57)
37
(1.46)
8
(0.31)
1,426
(56.15)
[citation needed]

History[edit]

The many Khmer ruins found in the province show it must have been important to the Khmer empire at least by the 12th century, although probably sparsely populated. According to local tradition, it was known Sri Nakorn Lamduan (ศรีนครลำดวน.) It was later called Khukhan, after a town built in the late 15th century A.D. during the reign of the King Boromaratcha III of Ayutthaya. Ethnic Laos settled the northern portion of the province, and in 1786 the town Sisaket was formed, subject to Khukhan. In 1904, Sisaket was renamed Khukhan, while the original town was designated Huai Nua. Monthon Udon Thani was created in 1912, assuming the administration of the most of area. In 1933 the monthon system was ended, and the province of Khukhan was directly administrated from Bangkok. The name of the town and province was restored to Sisaket in 1938, with the district containing Huai Nua being called Khukhan. (Thai: ศรี transcribed Sri in Sri Nakorn Lamduan and Si in Sisaket is the Thai honorific Si/Sri.) The Rasi Salai Dam built here in 1994 was unofficially decommissioned in July 2000 following devastation of local farming villages.

Demographics[edit]

Sisaket is one of the provinces where there is a sizable Northern Khmer population. In the 2000 Census it was reported that 26.2% of the population are capable of speaking Khmer. This is down from the 1990 Census when it was reported that 30.2% of the population were capable of speaking Khmer.[1] The majority are Lao language speaking people.

Symbols[edit]

The provincial seal shows the Prasat Hin Ban Samo, a Khmer temple about 1000 years old, located in the Prang Ku district.

The symbol flower and tree of the province is the White Cheesewood (Melodorum fruticosum). The six leaves of the flower refer to the six original districts of the province - Khukhan, Kantharalak, Uthumphon Phisai, Kanthararom, Rasi Salai and Khun Han.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map of Amphoe

The province is subdivided into 22 districts (Amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 206 subdistricts (tambon) and 2411 villages (muban).

  1. Mueang Sisaket
  2. Yang Chum Noi
  3. Kanthararom
  4. Kantharalak
  5. Khukhan
  6. Phrai Bueng
  7. Prang Ku
  8. Khun Han
  9. Rasi Salai
  10. Uthumphon Phisai
  11. Bueng Bun
  1. Huai Thap Than
  2. Non Khun
  3. Si Rattana
  4. Nam Kliang
  5. Wang Hin
  6. Phu Sing
  7. Mueang Chan
  8. Benchalak
  9. Phayu
  10. Pho Si Suwan
  11. Sila Lat

Tourism[edit]

Khmer ruins[edit]

Sisaket province is famous for its ruins dating to the Ancient Khmer Era. These include:

Tamnaksai Khmer Ruins (Tamchan Khmer Ruins) ปราสาทตำหนักไทร (ปราสาททามจาน) This is a single stupa of brick on a sandstone base. The stupa is rectangular. There is door on the east, while the other three sides have entrances with a door frame carved into the brickwork.

Bas relief - Carved on the red sandstone cliff, this depicts three gods in Khmer style. Khmer craftsmen probably practised here first before doing the actual carving for Preah Vihear Sanctuary.

Sra Trao or Huay Trao - This stream runs through rock at the foot of Preah Vihear Mountain, before entering a subterranean tunnel strengthened by rock walls. It is assumed that the lowland was once used as a Barai (Khmer reservoir).

Phra That Ruang Rong (พระธาตุเรืองรอง) - The temple's architecture is a blending of art from four ethnic groups in Lower Northeast: Lao, Suay, Khmer, and Yer. The Phra That Or stupa is 49 metres high.

Sra Kampaeng Noi Khmer Ruins (ปราสาทสระกำแพงน้อย) - These Khmer ruins include a laterite stupa and chapel with a big pond at front, all within a laterite wall. In the 13th century, additions were made in the Bayon architectural style. It once contained a community hospital known as the ‘Arokaya Sala’.

Sra Kampaeng Yai Khmer Ruins (ปราสาทสระกำแพงใหญ่) - This is the largest and most complete Khmer complex in the province. The site includes three stupas on the same base lined in a north-south direction and facing east. It was originally a shrine dedicated to Shiva, but was converted to a Mahayana Buddhist temple in the 13th century.

Huay Tap Tan Khmer Ruins or Ban Prasart Khmer Ruins (ปราสาทห้วยทับทัน หรือ ปราสาทบ้านปราสาท) - This consists of 3 brick stupas on laterite base aligned in North-South direction. They stand inside laterite walls with arch gates. The carved lintels depicting the churning of the sea of milk lies in front of the southern stupa.

Plang Ku Khmer Ruins (ปราสาทปรางค์กู่) - The Stupa of this Khmer ruin complex was built in gigantic-size. In front of Plang Ku is a big pond which is home to Anatidae species which gather from February onwards.

Ban Samor Khmer Ruins (ปราสาทบ้านสมอ) - This small Khmer ruin is located in Moo 2 Ban Tamchan, Tambon Samor. Built in the 13th Century, its stupa houses a carved statue.

Taleng Khmer Ruins (ปราสาทตาเล็ง) - This features a single stupa standing on a rectangular base. The stupa's base faces east. Only the front wall and some side walls remain.

Preah Vihear Sanctuary (ปราสาทเขาพระวิหาร) - The famous cliff-top Khmer sanctuary is near a disputed area between Thailand and Cambodia which drew much attention. It was listed as an antique architectural site by the Royal Thai Fine Arts Department, with an announcement in the Royal Gazette on October 11, 1940. The ruins are claimed by Thailand to be on the Thai side of the natural watershed which, according to the agreed determination between France and Siam in 1907, would place them inside the borders of Thailand. However, on July 15, 1962, a majority of the International Court of Justice ruled that the Hindu sanctuary belongs to Cambodia citing Thailand's acceptance of the map of the 1907 determination which clearly showed the temple to be on Cambodian soil.[2] Access must still be made through Thailand, since it is difficult to reach from the Cambodian plains 100 meters below. An area of 4.6 square kilometers adjoining the temple is claimed by both countries and has been the scene of sporadic clashes between Thai and Cambodian border patrols.

Wat Maha Buddharam (วัดมหาพุทธาราม) - This Buddhist temple’s vihara houses ‘Luang Por To’ the sacred icon of Sisaket. Dating back to the Khmer era over a thousand years ago, the statue was carved from stone and later later at unknown time.

Phra Viharn National Park[edit]

View of the Dongrek Mountains at Phra Viharn National Park.

Khao Phra Viharn National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาพระวิหาร) - The park features dry evergreen forest, mixed dipterocarp forest, and deciduous dipterocarp forest with tree species like Pterocarpus macrocarpus, Shorea siamensis and Xylia xylocarpa var. kerrii. It is home to numerous wildlife which roams between two countries such as wild hog, deer, barking deer, rabbit, squirrel, gibbon and civet. Phra Viharn National Park features interesting sights including:

Double Stupas - Two sandstone stupas, or ‘Phra That’ for the local people, in cube shape and round top are situated west or Mo E-Dang Cliff. The stupas house items that mirror the prosperity of the Khmer period.

Don Tuan Khmer Ruins - Built during the 10th -11th Century, the Khmer Ruins in Ban Phume Sarol is located 300 metres from Thailand-Cambodia border. Legend tells that in the past a lady known as Nang Nom Yai or Nieng Non dor (in Khmer), stopped to rest here on her way to visit a king.

Mo E-Dang Cliff - One of the best bird’s eye view point of Northeast, the red-colour rock cliff is situated right on Thailand-Cambodia border.

Namtok and Tham Khun Sri - The three-tiered waterfall, above the cave, is situated west of Sra trao close to trail to Phreah Vihear. Khun Sri Cave is of gigantic proportions and was believed to have been the accommodation of Khun Sri, a noble man who controlled rock cutting at Sra Trao at the time of the construction of Preah Vihear Sanctuary.

Namtok Phu La-Ō (น้ำตกภูละออ) - Situated in Phanom Dongrak Wildlife Sanctuary, Tambon Sao Thongchai, the small waterfall turns vibrant during September to February.

Other sights[edit]

Somdet Sri Nagarin Park (สวนสมเด็จศรีนครินทร์) - With landscape of rolling hills, the park is nourished by two streams, Huay Poon Yai and Huay Poon Noi that meet north of the park. Here is rich of ‘Lamduan’ or Lamdman Tree, making it a nice place for botanical excursion.

Fruit Orchard of Sisaket (เส้นทางเที่ยวชมสวนชิมผลไม้ศรีสะเกษ) - Some 5 km from Amphoe Kantaralak, on the right of highway 226 (Kantaralak-Pha Mor E-Dang) there is a 20-km (16 km on asphalt road) cutting through villages. These villages are significant fruit producers of Sisaket. Their major products include rambutan, durian, longan, mangosteen, stink bean and rubber.

Khun Ampai Panich Building (ตึกขุนอำไพพาณิชย์) - The beautiful building belongs to Sisaket nobleman Khun Ampai Panich (In Naga-siharat). It is well renovated and preserved, and eventually won gold medal in the project of conversing urban architecture in 1987.

Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew (Wat Larn Kuad) (วัดป่ามหาเจดีย์แก้ว [วัดล้านขวด]) - The Buddhist temple is remarkable with architectures made from million of colourful glass bottles donated by the people. Its architecture is interesting, particularly the pavilion called ‘Sala Thansmo Maha Jedikaeo’ Ubosoth located mid of the pond.

Namtok Samrong Kiat (Namtok Pisad) (น้ำตกสำโรงเกียรติ [น้ำตกปีศาจ]) - Originating in Kantung Mount in the Bantad Range, this medium-sized waterfall turns vibrant from late rainy season to winter, from September to February.

Namtok Huay Chan (Namtok Kantrom) (น้ำตกห้วยจันทร์ [น้ำตกกันทรอม]) - Originated from Phu Salao Mount on Bantad Range, the waterfall cascades beautifully before meeting with Mun River. The falls is vibrant from September to February.

Sisa Asoka (ศีรษะอโศก) - is a community model in self-sufficiency, showcasing people who prefer Buddhism-devout lifestyle. Its remarkable success attracts organizations from nationwide to study its story.

Namtok and Tham Khun Sri - The three-tier waterfall, above the cave, is situated west of Sra trao close to trail to Phreah Vihear. And Khun Sri Cave in gigantic size was believed once was accommodation of Khun Sri, noble man who controlled rock cutting at Sra Trao for constructing Preah Vihear Sanctuary.

Chong Arn Ma - The border check point between Thailand and Cambodia is in Tambon Song, Amphoe Nam Yuen, Ubon Ratchathani.

Local Products[edit]

Sisaket is famed for silk and cotton cloths woven in ‘Khit’ pattern, which are mainly produced in Amphoe Bung Boon and Uthumporn Pisai. Delicate basketry and wooden works such as water holder, replica cart are available on Rachakarn Rodfai Rd.

Saltened egg from Amphoe Prai Bung, red onion, garlic, and preserved garlic in honey are generally available. Sisaket is also famed for its tropical fruits. Fruit orchards in Amphoe Kantaralak bear fruit, such as durian, rambutan, and mangosteen, from May to July. The quality of the fruit here is as good as in the rest of Thailand.

Culture[edit]

Festivals[edit]

Dok Lamduan Festivals (งานเทศกาลดอกลำดวน) - Held annually between March 15–17 at Somdet Sri Nagarin Park when lamdman trees in the park are in full bloom, The fair comprises cultural performance of four local ethnic groups namely Khmer, Suay, Lao, and Yer. Fair goer can enjoy selecting handicrafts, local products, and watching performance of Sisaket’s history.

Sisaket’s Rambutan and Durian Fair (งานเทศกาลเงาะทุเรียนศรีสะเกษ) - The fair is held every June at the field before Amphoe Kantaralak or Amphoe Khun Harn. Fair goer can enjoy the big sales of fruits from Sisaket such as rambutan, durian, lanson, mangosteen, stink beam and rubber, flower floats, documentary exhibition, and fruit tasting caravan.

Half and Quarter Marathon to Mor E-Dang (การแข่งขันวิ่งฮาล์ฟและควอเตอร์มาราธอนสู่ผามออีแดง) - Held annually on the third Sunday of December, the half and quarter marathon will start from Ban Phume Sarol to Mor E-Dang Cliff, on the way to Preah Vihear. This uphill and foggy route to the border is a quite challenging route which attracts lots of runners.

See also[edit]

Rasisalai dam

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "(Si Sa Ket) Key indicators of the population and household, population and housing census 1990 and 2000." Population and Housing Census 2000.(retrieved 14 July. 2009)
  2. ^ International Court of Justice

Coordinates: 15°7′12″N 104°19′18″E / 15.12000°N 104.32167°E / 15.12000; 104.32167