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Travel Thailand, Sakon Nakhon

Sakhon Nakhon is well-known amongst Thais for its association with two of the counry's most famous Buddhist monks. Achan Man Bhuritatto and Achan Fan Ajaro both attained  a high level of meditation while living in this peaceful province. A museum is dedicated to Achan Man at Wat Suthawat Achan Fan Ajaro established a cave hermitage at Tham Kharm on Phu Phaan mountain. A museum commemorating his works is found at Wat Pa Udom Somphon, a monastery linked to his early ministry, located 37 km from the town.

The province is also home to Phra That Choeng Chum Sanctuary, Nong Han, Thailand's largest fresh-water natural lake, and culture of Phu Thai tribe. It is 647 km from bangkok and 207 km north-east of Khon Kaen. Just 85 km to the east, at the banks of the Mekong River, Nakhon Panom has emerged as an important gateway to Laos.

Sakhon Nakhon Attractions:
Somdej Phra Srinakarin Park, near Nong Han, has 50 acres of lawns and gardens surrounding a pond named Sa Pang Pong.

Wat Phra That Choeng Chum, near Nong Han, has a prominent Lao-style chedi. The 25-metre-high chedi was built in the Ayutthaya period over a 11th century Khmer prang. An annual celebration is held at the temple in January.

Wat Pa Suthawat, opposite the government service centre in town, has a small museum displaying the belongings and relics of one of Isn's most revered monks, Phra Achan Man Bhuritatto.

The Phra That Narai Cheng Weng Castle was built by Phra Nang Cheng Weng, the wife of a 10th-11th century Khmer ruler. Local people now call it "Phra That Na Weng". Originally part of a Khmer Hindu complex, the prang has exquisitely carved lintels portraying Shiva and a reclining Vishnu.

Nong Han, the largest fresh-water lake in Thailand, is located in the town's eastern suburbs. Boat races are held on the lake at the end of the Buddhist Lent. It is not safe to swim in the lake or eat the snails that breed here due to the presence of parasites known as liver flukes, that can cause the liver infection opisthorchiasis.

Sakon Nakhon Cultural Centre is located at Sakon Nakhon Teacher's College, 6 km from town. The centre focuses on the art and culture of Sakon Nakhon from its earliest days to the present. There are also exhibits on the culture of several of the province's minority peoples.

Phu Phan Ratchanivet is a Royal Palace located in the Phu Phan mountains, 14 km from town on Highway 213. When the Royal Family is not in residence, the palace is open to visitors who must obtain written permission from the Bureau of the Royal Household. Contact the Bureau's office at Na Phra Lan Road, or call (042) 711-550.

Phu Phan National Park covers parts of Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom and Kalasin. Monkeys, bears, elephants and several species of wild fowl inhabit the park. Tigers have been spotted there. Tad Ton and Kham Hom are two of the park's more attractive waterfalls.

Pre-historic rock paintings, estimated to be 3,000 years old, can be seen at Phu Pha Yont in Muang district. The paintings depict humans, animals and various patterns and shapes.

Wat Pa Udom Somphon, located in Phanna Nikhom district, 37 km from town , was the residence of Phra Achan Fan Acharo, a prot? of Phra Achan Fan Acharo, a prot? of Phra Achan Man and a revered monk in his own right. In the temple there is a wax figure of the monk and an exhibition of his monastic possessions.

Nam Un Dam is one of the larger dams in the region. Many species of water brids can be found at the upper reservoir. Boats can be chartered for fishing, cruises around the lake or excursions to Mae Un Waterfall.

Huai Huat National Park in Tao Ngoi district, 35 km from Sakon Nakhon, is the latest park established under a royally sponsored project to promote tourism.

The Thai so Culture Centre is dedicated to the preservation of the culture of the Thai So, a minority people who migrated from Laos to Kusuman district in 1842. The Thai So still retain their unique language, custom and culture. The centre is located in Kusuman, 39 km from Sakon Nakhon.

Festival
Sakhon Nakhon is well-known for its Wax Castle and Boat Racing Festivals, which take place in November at the end of Buddhist Lent. A procession of miniature was prasat (religious buildings with spires) is organized by local temples.

The elaborate prasat is painstakingly crafted as a tribute to the Lord Buddha. There is also a contest to determine the most outstanding exhibit. The boat racing is held at Nong Han.

Sakon Nakhon Fair is held annually to preserve the culture of minority groups. The So Festival showcases many of the customs of the So people. It includes rites involving contact with spirits and a traditional musical play.

 
 
 

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