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Nakhon Ratchasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009
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    Nakhon Ratchasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009

    Nakorn Rachasima Part 1 :7 FEB 2009
    http://www.thailandqa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26850

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    Re: Nakorn Rachasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009

    Nakhon Ratchasima, generally known as " Khorat ", is Thailand’s largest province situated on sprawling northeast plateau. Located approximately 260 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, the city itself serves as the gateway to the lower northeastern region.

    Covering an area of 25,494 square kilometers that is mainly plateaus and mountainous terrain, Khorat has fascinating traditions, charming hospitality, splendid natural scenery and awesome historical sites.

    Some of the main attractions in Khorat are Khmer ruins. Scattered around the province, these products of ancient wisdom shines through time. One of the Thailand’s finest Khmer ruins can be seen here next to Mon and Lao sites. In addition, Khorat has an abundance of natural attractions in its forests, hills, wildlife and waterfalls that are easily accessible in locations such as Khao Yai National Park .

    Apart from the famous statue of Khun Ying Mo or Thao Suranari , Khorat is most well known for silk weaving (in Pak Thong Chai) and a variety of top-notch quality handicrafts such as clay pottery products of Dan Kwian .

    Geographically, Nakhon Ratchasima borders on Chiyaphum and Khon Kaen Provinces in the north, Buri Ram Province in the east, Chiyaphum and Saraburi Provinces in the west and Nakhon Nayok and Prachin Buri Provinces in the south.

    Khorat is also the largest northeastern province. Inhabitants of the province are mainly engaged in agricultural activities that include farming of rice and other crops such as sugar cane, tapioca, corn, jute, peanuts, sesame and fruits. There are more than 100 savings and agricultural cooperatives in the province, 35 irrigation projects and 7,122 industrial factories. Most of the factories are rice mills, tapioca product manufacturers, and industrial factories.

    Khorat’s most popular annual event is the Thao Suranari Festival, a celebration of Thao Suranari’s victory over the invader. It’s held from late March to early April and features parades.

    Looking back

    Khorat used to be the site of several ancient prehistoric communities. Little is known about the early history of Khorat, except that it used to be part of a kingdom called Sri Janasa an empire that extended its power to the entire Khorat Plateau.

    Initially the predominant cultural influence in the city was that of the Dvaravati culture, however, it was later replaced by the Khmer culture. The prehistoric site of Ban Prasat is an evidence of this occurrence while traces of both the Dvaravati and Khmer cultures are scattered throughout the province, particularly at Amphoe Sung Noen and Amphoe Phimai .

    Once an administrative and cultural center, Khorat ’s role today remains unchanged as it is currently the main transportation, industrial and economic hub of the Northeast.

    How To Get There
    Car
    Route 1: Take Highway No. 1 (Phahon Yothin) from Bangkok to Saraburi and then take Highway No. 2 (Mitraparp Highway) from Saraburi to Nakhon Ratchasima. The total distance is 259 kilometers.

    Route 2: Take Highway No. 304 from Bangkok and proceed past Min Buri, Chachoengsao, Phanom Sarakham, Kabin Buri, Pak Thong Chai, to Nakhon Ratchasima. The total distance is 273 kilometers.

    Route 3: Take the Bangkok-Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok route then take Highway No. 33 to Kabin Buri and Highway No. 304 past Wang Nam Khiao, Pak Thong Chai to Nakhon Ratchasima.


    By Bus
    Ordinary buses leave the Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) in Bangkok every 15 or 20 minutes from 5 a.m. to 10.15 p.m. Air-conditioned buses leaving for Bangkok arrive and depart from the Korat's air-conditioned bus terminal on Mitraparp Highway.

    The Transport Co., Ltd. (known as Bo Kho So) has both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses departing from the Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal) daily. Air-conditioned buses depart from Bangkok every 10 minutes all day, traveling time is 3.20 hours and the fare is 157 baht. Non air-conditioned buses depart from Bangkok every hour from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., traveling time is 4.30 hours and the fare is 87 baht. For information, call 0 2936 2852-66 or get more updated information at www.traco.motc.go.th.

    Private companies that offer bus services are Ratchasima Tour Co., tel. 0 4424 5443, Bangkok tel. 0 2936 1615 and Air Khorat Co., tel. 0 4425 2999, Bangkok tel. 0 2936 2252.

    Buses running to other provinces leave from Bus Terminal 2 in Khorat. There are services to the northeastern provinces of Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon, Kalasin, Ubon Ratchathani, Buri Ram (the old route goes past Nang Rong and the new one past Huai Thalaeng), and Surin (past Nang Rong-Ban Tako). In addition, there are buses to Bangkok, Chon Buri, Pattaya, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Lop Buri, Sing Buri, Nakhon Sawan, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai (up to Mae Sai). All depart from the Bus Terminal 2 in Khorat.

    Getting around Korat
    Traveling within the province is easy, with many mini-bus and bus routes operating in the city and nearby areas. The fare on each route is 3 baht. Comfortable air-conditioned bus services are also provided for route No. 2 at the rate of 5 baht.

    A more convenient way to get around is to take the Tuk-Tuk or Samlor in the city. Samlors around the city costs 20 baht; while tuk-tuks cost 40 baht to most places around town (30 baht for a short hop) and 50 to 60 baht for longer trips. The rate for motorbike taxis is within the same range. Please note that the price must be agreed upon before a trip.

    If traveling to another district, it is possible to take either a bus or mini-bus at Bus Terminal 1 on Burin Road. At Bus Terminal 2, only provides bus services to Amphoe Phimai and Dan Kwian-Chok Chai.

    For information, call Bus Terminal 1 on Burin Road, tel. 0 4424 2899 and 0 4426 8899 and Bus Terminal 2 on the Mitraparp-Khon Kaen Road, tel. 0 4425 6006-9 ext. 175, 176 (air-conditioned), 178 (regular).

    By Rail
    An express train bound for Ubon Ratchathani departs Bangkok's Hualamphong Station at 9 p.m. and arrives in Khorat at 2.03 a.m.
    Rapid trains on the Ubon railway depart at 6.50 a.m., 6.45 p.m. and 10.45 p.m., arriving in Khorat at 11.48 a.m. and 11.51 p.m. and 4.07 a.m. respectively. especially the morning arrival, which leaves plenty of daylight time to explore the city.

    There are also two ordinary trains (3rd class only) that depart Bangkok at 3.25 and 11.25 p.m., arriving in Khorat about 5 1/2 to 6 hours after departure.
    The 1st class fare (express train only) is 230 baht, while the 2nd class and 3rd class fares are 115 baht and 50 baht respectively. An additional fee of 40 baht is charged for rapid trains, 60 baht for the express and 80 baht for the special express train. The train passes through some great scenery on the Khorat Plateau, including a view of the enormous white Buddha figure at Wat Theppitak on a thickly forested hillside. Visit www.railway.co.th or call 1690 for more up-to-date schedules and fares.

    Quote from TAT
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    Re: Nakorn Rachasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009

    Monument of Thao Suranari

    Thao Suranari Monument is a memorial to the Thai heroine called Ya Mo by locals. Built in 1934, it is located in the city centre. People from other provinces who visit Khorat and locals usually come to pay homage here and ask for blessings. The statue is made of black copper. It is 1.85 metres high and is dressed in regalia in a standing posture. The right hand holds a sword and the statue faces west towards the capital of Bangkok. The monument base holds her ashes.

    Thao Suranari was originally Khunying Mo, the wife of the assistant governor of Nakhon Ratchasima. In 1826, Chao Anuwong of Vientiane had Khorat under siege but Khunying Mo rallied villagers to fight against Chao Anuwong. After the battle was over, King Rama III promoted her to Thao Suranari. Every year during 23 March to 3 April, the people would hold a festival to honour her bravery.

    Interesting events: Khorat songs (phleng Khorat) is sung in the evenings on a stage near the shrine. They are traditional folk songs worth listening.
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    Re: Nakorn Rachasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009

    Phimai Historical Park
    Within the Park is the Phimai Sanctuary, one of the grandest and most important Khmer historical sites in Thailand.

    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 referred to a religious figure or site.

    The Phimai Sanctuary is rectangular in shape and is 565 meters wide and 1,030 meters long. It consists of ornately carved sandstone and laterite structures. The most special characteristic of the sanctuary is that it is the only one that faces south while the others usually face east. This is probably because it was built to face the route that the Khmers traveled from the capital of the empire, to the south of Phimai.

    From stone inscriptions and the architectural style, the Phimai Sanctuary was most likely built at the end of the 11th century during the reign of King Suriyaworaman I. The architectural style is that of the Baphuon style that prospered at the time. However, some characteristics are similar to that of Angkor Wat, which became popular at a later period. Some additions were made to the site in the early 18th Buddhist century during the reign of King Chaiworaman VII when Phimai had close relations with the Khmer Empire. The sanctuary was always a religious site of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism because King Suriyaworaman I and King Chaiworaman VII were followers of the sect.
    Important Structures in Phimai Sanctuary:

    The Naga Bridge is the first part you pass when visiting the site. The bridge and lion figures stand in front of the Gopura (porch) south of the main pagoda. The intention may have been to build a link between earth and heaven according to both Hindu and Buddhist beliefs concerning the universe.

    The Gopura was adapted as the wall around the sanctuary and the four entering porches. There is a large corridor connecting the outer and inner areas of the main sanctuary. Above each porch is a lintel of various designs.
    The Main Prang or pagoda is on an open area in a curved walkway. It is the centre of the site and is made entirely of white sandstone and is different from the porches and walls that are made primarily of red sandstone. This is because white sandstone is more durable than red sandstone. The pagoda is 28 meters high, has a square base, a portico and stairways and doors in all 4 directions.

    The pagoda consists of a base, outer walls, columns, and porches with beautiful designs. Of vital importance are the lintels that mostly recount the tale of Ramayana from Hinduism and tales of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism. The lintels above the 4 doorways of the main pagodas inner chamber, the most important room of the pagoda, are all about Buddhism reflecting the Buddhist influence that eventually surpassed that of Hinduism. The carvings are of the Baphoun style and the Angkor Wat style leading to the belief that the main pagoda was built at the end of the 12th century.

    There are other pagodas, which are Prang Brahmadat in front of the main pagoda, Prang Hin Daeng and Ho Phram (Brahma Hall) to the right.

    The park is open daily from 7.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The admission is 40 baht. There are youth guides available to provide visitors with information about the site for free.

    Historical Sites Outside Phimai Sanctuary:

    The Phimai City Gate and City Walls were built during the reign of King Chaiworaman VII. Of the 4 gates, the south gate is the most important because the road from the ancient Khmer capital to Phimai runs through it. The sanctuary can be seen when looking straight through the gate.

    The Men Brahmadat is southeast of the walls and is made entirely of bricks. Its present form is a huge and round earth hill that is about 30 meters high. The site is believed to have been the place where a king was cremated. However, the style of construction suggests it was built in the late Ayutthaya period.

    Other sites to the south are Tha Nang Sa Phom, Kuti Rusi and Arokhayasan.

    Phimai National Museum

    The museum houses collections of archaeological artifacts especially those found in the lower part of the region and has exhibits on the past cultural prosperity of the Northeast. There are several sections as follows:

    Local Northeastern culture

    Daily utensils like mortars, cotton chests, carts and monk items lintels from sanctuaries in Nakhon Ratchasima and the Northeast prehistoric artifacts such as ancient pottery, skeletons, tools, and bronze and stone ornaments.

    The history of Phimai

    Early history that includes Dvaravati-style temple boundary markers and Khmer-style items like columns and parts of buildings, as well as sculptures like Buddha images, god figures and a figure of King Chaiworaman VII made of sandstone found at Phrommathat Pagoda in Phimai sanctuary.

    The second floor is devoted to the past cultural glory of the Northeast, early Northeastern communities and Khmer cultural influence.

    The Museum is located at the base of Tha Songkran Bridge just before Phimai Sanctuary. From Nakhon Ratchasima, take Highway No. 2 for 50 kilometers, then turn on Highway No. 206 and proceed for 10 kilometers. If taking a bus from Nakhon Ratchasima, visitors can take a bus from Bus Terminal 2 in the city. The museum is open from Wednesday - Sunday during 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The entry fee is 30 baht. For information, call 0 4447 1167.

    Sai Ngam
    Sai Ngam is on the bank of the Mun River near Phimai Dam. Cross Tha Songkran Bridge into the town and take a branch road to the dam for 2 kilometres. The place is so named because of the abundance of banyan trees here, all originating from a single tree, which is about 350 years now. The tree gave birth to many smaller ones covering the entire area. Nearby are souvenir shops and several restaurants. The most popular dish for tourists is Phimai noodles.

    Thung Samrit Memorial
    This wide field was a battleground between Khorat people and Lao soldiers during the reign of King Rama III. A shrine was constructed by villagers in 1988 to pay homage to the fighters. The memorial is located at Moo 1, Ban Samrit Tawan Ok, Tambon Samrit, 46 kilometers from the city. Take Highway No. 2 (Nakhon Ratchasima-Khon Kaen) to the 43-44 kilometer markers (opposite the entrance to Ban Prasat), turn right and proceed for about 3 kilometers.
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    Re: Nakorn Rachasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009

    Phimai Historical Park Photos
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    Re: Nakorn Rachasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009

    Sai Ngam The Bayan Tree ( Golden Fig, Ficus Benjamina Linn)

    The Bayan Tree covers an area of over 35,000 square feet and more than 350 years of age

    Her Royal Highness the 5th Queen Prasipracharintara visited the Phimai Villeage for sightseeing and saw the beautiful bayan tree in SAI-NGAM on the 21st of January in 1911
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    Re: Nakorn Rachasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009

    I remember seeing Phimai and Sai Ngam for the first time 10 years ago. I never tire of seeing pictures or visiting them, always amazing.
    Thanks oeshidez.
    " The present is an outcome of the past which will have bearings on the future."
    Bhuddhadasa Bhikku 1906-1993

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    Re: Nakorn Rachasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by oeshidez View Post
    Monument of Thao Suranari

    Thao Suranari Monument is a memorial to the Thai heroine called Ya Mo by locals. Built in 1934, it is located in the city centre. People from other provinces who visit Khorat and locals usually come to pay homage here and ask for blessings. The statue is made of black copper. It is 1.85 metres high and is dressed in regalia in a standing posture. The right hand holds a sword and the statue faces west towards the capital of Bangkok. The monument base holds her ashes.

    Thao Suranari was originally Khunying Mo, the wife of the assistant governor of Nakhon Ratchasima. In 1826, Chao Anuwong of Vientiane had Khorat under siege but Khunying Mo rallied villagers to fight against Chao Anuwong. After the battle was over, King Rama III promoted her to Thao Suranari. Every year during 23 March to 3 April, the people would hold a festival to honour her bravery.

    Interesting events: Khorat songs (phleng Khorat) is sung in the evenings on a stage near the shrine. They are traditional folk songs worth listening.
    These pictures of Ya Mo really make me homesick. Is Phleng Khorat the same as Morlum ?
    " The present is an outcome of the past which will have bearings on the future."
    Bhuddhadasa Bhikku 1906-1993

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    Re: Nakorn Rachasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by mangomike View Post
    Is Phleng Khorat the same as Morlum ?
    No. Pleng Khorat are songs without musical accompaniment, no instruments are used.

    David
    My new travel blog: https://www.weekender.blog/

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    Re: Nakorn Rachasima Part 2: 9 AUG 2009

    Can moderator(s) correct the title "Nakhon Ratchasima" PLEASE?

    Thanks in Advance.
    Oeshidez

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