Sakon Nakhon Province
||This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (May 2015)|
Map of Thailand highlighting Sakon Nakhon Province
|• Governor||Boonsong Techamanisatit (since October 2012)|
|• Total||9,605.8 km2 (3,708.8 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 19th|
|• Rank||Ranked 17th|
|• Density rank||Ranked 43rd|
|• HDI (2009)||0.705 (medium) (62nd)|
|Time zone||ICT (UTC+7)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-47|
Sakon Nakhon (Thai: สกลนคร) is one of the northeastern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Kalasin, and Udon Thani. The capital is Sakon Nakhon.
The word sakon originates from the Sanskrit word sakala (Devanagari: सकल) meaning "entire", "whole", or "total", and the word nakhon from Sanskrit nagara (Devanagari: नगर) meaning "town" or "city". Hence the name of the province literally means "city of cities". In the Khmer language the province would be Sakor Nokor.
The province is on the Khorat Plateau, not far from the River Mekong. The Nong Han lake, the biggest natural lake of northeast Thailand, near the city of Sakon Nakhon, is a popular resort of the local people. The Phu Phan Mountains delimit the province to the south.
|Climate data for Sakon Nakhon (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||29.2
|Average low °C (°F)||16.3
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||4.7
|Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||1||3||5||9||18||21||20||23||18||8||2||1||129|
|Average relative humidity (%)||67||65||63||66||76||80||82||84||83||76||70||68||73.3|
|Source: Thai Meteorological Department (Normal 1981-2010), (Avg. rainy days 1961-1990)|
The provincial tree is the banaba or Queen's Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia speciosa).
- Phra That Choeng Chum (พระธาตุเชิงชุม) - It is built to cover footprints of four Buddhas, namely Phra Kakusantha, Phra Konakom, Phra Kassapa, and Phra Kodom or Phra Sri Ariyametrei (The present Lord Buddha). Next to Phra That is the chapel that houses Luang Por Ong Saen, a sacred Buddha statue of the province. It is featured on the reverse of the ten-satang coin.
- Nong Harn (หนองหาร) - With a depth of 3 to 8 metres, the lake supports agriculture, livestock farming, and a fishery. There are more than 20 islets in the lake such as Ko Don Sawan, the biggest islet where a deserted temple and ancient Buddha images are found.
- Somdej Phra Srinagarindra Park (สวนสมเด็จพระศรีนครินทร์) - The park's compound includes an ancient pond, called Sra Pangthong. The park includes beautiful flowers and trees, jungle, water park, rock garden, exercise area, and a 69 metre high fountain.
- The 60th anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen Park (สวนเทิดพระเกียรติ ๖๐ พรรษา มหาราชินี) - The park comprises botanical garden, pavilion, fountain, viewpoint, and bird sanctuary.
- Freshwater Fish Aquarium (สถานแสดงพันธุ์ปลาน้ำจืด) - On Sai Sawang Rd, the Freshwater Fishery Station aquarium features different species of freshwater fish native to Isan.
- Sakon Nakhon Cultural Centre (ศูนย์วัฒนธรรมจังหวัดสกลนคร) - The centre features tools, belongings, history, and documents of different ethnic groups.
- Phra That Dum (พระธาตุดุม) - The lone stupa is built with laterite in the same period as Phra That Narai Jeng Veng, but the stupa is smaller and without a base. The lintel featuring God Vishnu in reclining position is placed on the northern arch. There are carvings depicting gods riding different animals over the Rahu.
- Archan Man Purithattha Thera Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์บริขารอาจารย์มั่น ภูริทัตตเถระ) - The museum houses a bronze statue of Archan Man Purithatto and the glass case that houses his ashes that turned into crystal. The display, including his tools, is placed on a marble altar and his life history is shown nearby.
- Sapan Khom or Sapan Hin (สะพานขอม หรือสะพานหิน) - It is considered as an ancient bridge to link Sakon Nakhon and the countryside as this area once was swamp. The present bridge is made from laterite, replacing the old one that was removed for road construction.
- Phra That Narai Jengveng Stupa (ปราสาทพระธาตุนารายณ์เจงเวง) - The lone stupa is built from sandstone on a laterite base and carved beautifully. Its lintel features Lord Krisna killing a lion in Bapuan Khmer art. The art appearing on this stupa is quite similar to many other Khmer ruins found in Isan.
- Phu Phan Rajanivet Palace (พระตำหนักภูพานราชนิเวศน์) - The palace is the royal residence of the king, queen, and royal family during their missions in northeast Thailand.
- Phu Phan National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติภูพาน) - The park features limestone mountains and different forest such as deciduous dipterocarp forest, jungle rain forest, or mixed deciduous forest. Wildlife found in the park include langur, civet, and slow loris.
- Phra That Phu Pek (พระธาตุภูเพ็ก) - this ancient Khmer Ruin was built from sandstone, standing on a laterite base.
- Tham Seri Thai (ถ้ำเสรีไทย) - During WWII, Seri Thai used this cave for arms and food storage as it is well camouflaged by lush vegetation.
- Phu Phan Mountain Range (เทือกเขาภูพาน) - The range is quite well known, but remote, at the border of Sakon Nakhon and Kalasin.
- Namtok Kham Hom and Kong Ping Ngu (น้ำตกคำหอม และ โค้งปิ้งงู) - The entrance to Namtok Kham Hom winds like a grilled snake, or Kong Ping Ngu in Thai.
- Pha Nang Mern and Lan Sao E (ผานางเมิน และลานสาวเอ้) - It is quite a nice place for camping and for watching the sunset view. Below the cliff, there is a track leading to Lan Sao E, literally, "the place for the lady to show beautiful attire".
- Pha Savoey (ผาเสวย) - In Kalasin, the cliff heading south is the place where the king once visited and ate lunch.
- Namtok Huay Yai (น้ำตกห้วยใหญ่) - The falls are 12 km from park headquarters. It cascades via several steps amid dense jungle.
- Namtok Preecha Sooksan (น้ำตกปรีชาสุขสันต์) - The 12 metre-wide falls cascade down the mountain.
- Stone Arch (Thang Pi Pan) (สะพานหินธรรมชาติ [ทางผีผ่าน]) - The stone arch, 1.5 metres wide and 8 metres long, bridges two groups of rocks together creating a shelter underneath it.
- Phu Thai ethnic group at Ban None Hom (ชาวภูไท บ้านโนนหอม) - have immigrated from the left side of Mekong River to settle down here over a century ago.
- Cliff carving at Phu Pha Yon (ภาพรอยสลักผาสามพันปีที่ภูผายล) - Phu Pha Yon, the mountain in the compound of meditation centre houses cliff carvings featuring lifestyles of the local people in the pre-historical period.
- Phra That Phu Pek (พระธาตุภูเพ็ก) - Phra That Phu Pek is believed to have been built in the 11th century to serve as a Hindu temple. It was adapted to serve Buddhism later.
- Wat Tham Kham or Phu Kham (วัดถ้ำขาม หรือ ภูขาม) - The temple once was a meditation place of Archan Fan Archaro. The temple also houses ashes of Phra Archan Tet Tetrangsi, now a pilgrimage site.
- Archan Fan Archaro Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์อาจารย์ฝั้น อาจาโร) - The museum, in the shape of a pagoda and three folds of lotus, houses a life-size statue of Archan Fan in a sitting posture with a stick in his hand. The other exhibits include ashes in glass box and tools, as well as his history.
- Wat Kham Pramong (วัดคำประมง) - This temple served as a meditation place for Phra Kru Santi Worayan (Luang Pu Sim Buddharo).
- Nam Oun Dam (เขื่อนน้ำอูน) - The clay dam, managed by the Royal Irrigation Department, is built to preserve water from the Nam Oun, a tributary of the Songkram River which originates in the Phu Phan Range.
- Prasart Ban Panna (ปราสาทบ้านพันนา) - The Khmer ruin has a lone stupa with a rectangular laterite base and baray around. It is believed to have been built in the same period as Phra That Phu Pek.
- Phra That Sri Mongkol (พระธาตุศรีมงคล) - The rectangular pagoda is decorated in modern design and stucco. Its base contains decorations in terracotta featuring history of Lord Buddha. The modern design is a renovation of the old pagoda which had only a laterite core.
- Tham Phra Buddha Saiyard (Tham Phra Thong or Phu Pha Thong) (ถ้ำพระพุทธไสยาสน์ [ถ้ำพระทอง หรือภูผาทอง]) - The cave is at Tambon Kor Kiew, 9 km from Amphoe Warich Phume.
- Phu Ang Sor (ภูอ่างศอ) - The mountain is in Tambon Kham Bor, 18 km from Amphoe Warich Phume.
- Wat Tham Apai Damrong Tham or Wat Tham Phuang and the Museum of Archan Wan Uttamo (วัดถ้ำอภัยดำรงธรรม หรือวัดถ้ำพวง และพิพิธภัณฑ์อาจารย์วัน อุตตโม) - The temple has a four-gabled marble pavilion with a double roof. Its ground floor features paintings of the history of the famous monk Archan Wan.
- Phu Pha Lek National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติภูผาเหล็ก) - The park encloses part of the Phu Phan Range with Phu Ang Sor as its highest peak. Most areas are covered with deciduous dipterocarp forest, mixed dipterocarp forest, dry evergreen forest, various kinds of bamboo and herbs. Wild hogs, barking deer, mouse deer and various birds are found. Attractions in the park include:
- Pha Suriyan (ผาสุริยันต์) - The towering cliff on the top of Phu Pha Lek offers nice view point and sun rise view.
- Pha Dong Kor (ผาดงก่อ) - The cliff is on the peak of Phu Pha Lek, part of Phu Phan range. It is special with a huge rock at the cliff edge.
- Pha Nam Joke (ผาน้ำโจ้ก) - This high cliff on the peak of Phu Pha Lek offers views of Huay Huad Reservoir and a panorama of Udon Thani and Khon Kaen.
- Pha Pak Wan Pre-historical Painting (ภาพเขียนก่อนประวัติศาสตร์ผาผักหวาน) - The 3,600 year-old painting is on a big rock at Ban Phu Takham. It features women standing in line and holding each other's shoulders.
- Lan U-sa Sawan (ลานอุษาสวรรค์) - The plateau, covering 1,550 rai in area, is on top of Phu Pha Lek. It comprises forest, mountain, rock and grassland, and looks like a man-made garden.
- Dinosaur graveyard (สุสานไดโนเสาร์) - Many fossils have been found in the middle of the Phu Pha Lek Mountain and at the forested edge of Phu Phan. Fossils of plant and petrified wood have also been found.
- Hor Song Dao (หอส่องดาว) - The observatory is at 700 metres elevation on Phu Pha Lek's peak. With a full panoramic view, it is a good place to observe the stars and meteor showers.
- Nam Phung Dam (เขื่อนน้ำพุง) - The first rockfill dam in northeast Thailand is 1,720 metres long and 40 metres high. The dam generates electricity for Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom.
- Thai So Cultural Centre (ศูนย์วัฒนธรรมไทยโส้) - The centre features tools of Thai So, an ethnic group that migrated from the left side of the Mekong River.
- Phu Pha Yon National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติภูผายล) - It features plateau and sandstone mountain, blanketed by deciduous dipterocarp forest, dry evergreen forest, hill evergreen forest. The trees found in the park include thingar, Lagerstroemia calyculata Kurz, Irvingia malayana. Wildlife found includes barking deer, sambar deer, Asiatic wild dog. Attractions in the park include:
- Huay Huad Reservoir (อ่างเก็บน้ำห้วยหวด) - It is created by the irrigation dam at the initiative of the king. There is a strangely shaped rock, by the pavilion on the right side of the reservoir.
- Namtok Kham Sang (น้ำตกคำน้ำสร้าง) - With a height of 25 metres, these are the highest falls in the park. The falls are 1.8 km from park headquarters.
- Phu Pha Yon (ภูผายล) - The mountain has beautiful scenery. Its cliff houses carvings which can be dated back to over 3,000 years ago.
- Pha Paya Tao Ngoy (ผาพญาเต่างอย) - There is a rock in "ngoy tortoise" shape which is going towards Phung Stream. Locals believe that the tortoise represents fertile land and named the village Ban Tao Ngoy.
- Lan Dusita (ลานดุสิตา) - The vast rock plain turns colourful in late rainy season when various tiny flowers are in full bloom.
Ban Kud Na Kham Arts and Crafts Centre (ศูนย์ศิลปาชีพบ้านกุดนาขาม) - In Ban Kud Na Kham, Tambon Charoen Sil, Amphoe Charoen Sil, the centre is production hub of ceramics, wood carving, silk weaving..
Ban Charn Arts and Crafts Centre (ศูนย์ศิลปาชีพบ้านจาร) - At Ban Charn, Tambon Mueng, Amphoe Ban Muang, the centre is a production base and training hub for weaving silk and local textiles, as well as blacksmithing and wood carving.
Ban Pan Mor (บ้านปั้นหม้อ) - The pottery village Ban Chiang Krua is in Tambon Chiang Krua, Amphoe Muang, 15 km from Sakon Nakhon city via Hwy 22. The farmers here receive additional earnings through the pottery business.
Wha Yai and Ban Don Daeng Weaving Village (หมู่บ้านทอผ้าบ้านวาใหญ่ บ้านดอนแดง) - In Amphoe Arkat Amnuay, the villages are well known for woven cotton, silk dyed in Khit-style. All textiles are dyed with natural dyes.
Ruam Nam Jai Tha iSakon Fair and Red Cross Fair (งานรวมน้ำใจไทสกลและงานกาชาด) - Held at the beginning of each year by the city hall, the fair comprises floats showing cultures and tradition of different ethnic groups in the province such as Phu Thai, So, Yor, Saek, Ka Lerng, Kula, Vietnamese, and Chinese. The float parade starts from Ming Muang Field at 14:00 and travels via Sukkasem Rd to city hall. The other entertainments include a folk culture contest, a traditional dinner, and stage performances.
So Ram Luk Festival (งานเทศกาลโส้รำลึก) - The festival to commemorate the So ethnic group is held annually on the 4th waxing moon of March at Amphoe Kusumal. Traditional rites conducted by a number of So people start in late morning.
Boon Mahachart Festival and Boon Bangfai or Rocket Festival, Amphoe Phang Kone (งานบุญมหาชาติและบุญบั้งไฟ อำเภอพังโคน) - The festivals are held annually in the first week of May. Its activities include the local rocket contest, Mahachart Preying, Phang Kone Cuisine Festival, and the local rocket parade.
Wax castle procession (งานประเพณีแห่ปราสาทผึ้ง) - Held during the 12th-15th days of the waxing moon in October to mark the end of Buddhist Lent. On the night of 13th day, people join to decorate wax castles at Ming Muang Field. On the 14th day, wax castles from different temples will join the procession, roaming the municipality to Wat Phra That Cherngchum Woravihara. Isan people believe that the wax will welcome Lord Buddha who comes back from heaven to help all creatures on earth.
Boat race (งานประเพณีแข่งเรือ) - Held at the same time as the wax castle procession, the ancient boat race takes place at Phang Thong Pond or Tha Nang Arb, Ban Tha Wat.
- "Population of the Kingdom" (PDF). Department of Provincial Affairs (DOPA) Thailand (in Thai). 2014-12-31. Retrieved 19 Mar 2015.
- Sakon Nakhon travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Provincial page from the Tourist Authority of Thailand
- Website of province (Thai only)
||Nong Khai Province||Bueng Kan Province|
|Udon Thani Province||Nakhon Phanom Province|
|Kalasin Province||Mukdahan Province|