Nakorn Ratchasima Khorat The Gateway to Issan, its people are hospitable and generous enjoy their own dailect, thier own folk culture and traditions, festivals and cuisine, Issan pronounced Essan is generally accepted as the worlds oldest Bronze Age Civilization that flourished over 5000 years ago.
Khorat is the largest province in Issan. about 260 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, the city originally established in the 17th century, home of a American Air Force Base during the Vietnam war, has developed into a modern industrial city and shares much of Bangkok’s features, there’s not a lot of historic value in the city but the province has much to offer visitor’s to Thailand.
All cities have their heros, Khorats hero was a woman called Khunying Mo who was the wife of the assistant governor, during the reign of King Rama III Khunying Mo led the villagers in a battle against Chao Anuwong from Vientiane who was apparently on his way to attack Bangkok, Khunying Mo’s leadership led the villagers to victory, Khunying Mo is referred to as Thao Suranari and a monument to her stands at Chumphon Gate, the main gate to the old city, from March 23th through to April 3rd a festival honors her bravery.
Maha Wirawong National Museum Artefacts found in Nakorn Ratchasima and nearby provinces. Stone Buddha images from the Khmer and Ayutthaya periods, pottery of different sizes, bronze Buddha statues, utensils and woodcarvings.
Khao Yai National Park covers 4 provinces, Nakorn Ratchasima Umphur Pak Chong Nakorn Nayok, Saraburi, and Prachin Buri, just 15 kilometers from Korat, this 2,000 sq kilometers natural park features mountains covered in virgin forests and vast expanses of grasses, wild elephants, deer, monkeys, hornbills and more, stop at the tourist center to take a trek on one of the nature trails, with 20 waterfalls, tents for those who want to stay over night, the park is a blessing for the nature lover.
Dan Kwian ceramics are famous for their unique look only 15 kilometers from Korat in Umphur Chok Chai, once the caravan stop between Korat and Cambodia, the black bronzed clay from the Moun river creates the unique look.
Ban Prasat Archaeological Site 45 kilometers north of the city is Khorats answer to Ban Chiang, estimated to be 3,000 years old, the burial pit in Umphur Non Sung has human skeletons and red clay pottery with a distinctive rope design, alloy and shell ornaments suggest it was a community from the Dvaravati period.
Phimai may not be as important of a site as Angkor Wat, the 900 year old city in Umphur Phimai, 60 kilometers north of Korat is certainly important enough to be a World Heritage site, the Khmer city was built as an important regional center of the Khmer Empire and was connected to Angkor by road the site features a large and striking main pagoda built of white sandstone with elaborate designs, the sanctuary is the largest built of stone in Thailand, Phimai also has a museum with relics, skeletons, tools and stone ornaments and is certainly worth a visit.