Travelling Nong Harn Lhuang, the traditional of Sakon Nakhon

Travelling Nong Harn Lhuang, the traditional of Sakon Nakhon

“Sakon Nakhon” is another travelling destination of the northeastern, Thailand. It was once called “Mueng Nong Harn Lhuang” which is an ancient city aged over thousands of years since Khmer era.  This city is full of sacred atmosphere, nature, and civilization. There are many interesting places around the province as the slogan “The city of Wat Phra That Cherng Chum, the beauty of Nong Han lake will be instilled in your mind, situated here is the Phu Phan Palace, the land is where beeswax castles are made, the town of beautiful codes make the folk people kind.”

Phra That Cherng Chum

Anyone that has a chance to go to Sakon Nakhorn, most of them will go directly to pay respect to Phra That Cherng Chum, the main sacred place of Sakon Nakorn. Phra That Cherng Chum is located in a temple named Wat Phra That Cherng Chum Worawihan. It is a lay-brick and cement-coating pagoda type. The base is a rectangular shape with a sacred umbrella and decorated with nearly 4 kilograms of gold. The height of this pagoda is 24 meters (78.7 feet). It was built to enshrine the widely-venerated footprints of Buddhism’s main figures, PhraKakusantha, PhraKonakhom, PhraKatsapa, and PhraKhodom. Due to this reason, this place is highly revered and sacred for Thai Buddhists.

Next to it is a chapel housing the province’s most sacred Buddha image, Luang Pho Ong Saen, who is the most sacred abbot in the province of Sakon Nakhon. It is an old chapel which was built as a combination of Thai – Laos art. The temple holds annual celebrations of Phra That Cherng Chum between the 9th and 15thdays of each January’s waxing moon. On the day before the end of Buddhist Lent day, Sakon Nakhorn people will hold a big festival which is Wax-Castle Festival, the parade comes with palace that made of bee’s wax to offering this palace to Phra That Cherng Chum.

Location: Charoen Mueang Road, Phra That Cherng Chum, The main district, Sakon Nakhon province

Wat Pa Sutthawat

This temple is Wat Pa (in-forest temple) which is not far from Sakon Nakhon downtown. In the past this temple was a staying-and-dying temple of Phra Archan Man Phurithatto or Lhuang Pu Man Phurithatto. There is a museum which built around the dying area of Phra Archan Man Phurithatto. It was built as a Modernize-Thai architecture but remains his basic daily life. Inside there is the meditation sitting as actual size model of Phra Archan Man Phurithatto and a display of his bone fragments which have inexplicably transformed into shiny opaque objects, his daily life things and Ajahn Man’s entire biography. This is for any people who interest in his basic daily life to come and pay respect for their prosperity of life.

In addition, Wat Pa Sutthawat also contains a shrine dedicated to another of Ajahn Mun’s students, the late Lhuang Pu Louis Chantasaro, another master abbot of the Northeastern Thailand and there is another Thai traditional beautiful chapel in the area. This temple usually holds an important religious ceremony. Once Lhuang Ta Maha Bua used to stay and meditated at this temple.

Location: Phra That Cherng Chum, The main district, Sakon Nakhon

Phu Phan Ratchanivet Palace

Phu Phan Ratchanivet palace is located in Phu Phan mountains which was built to serves as the royal residence of King Rama IX and Queen during their visits to Northeast Thailand. He chose this location from the air map by himself and explored surrounding path before making decision. In the past, this location belonged to Thailand Communist party (as we called “Red zone”). This is their most important stagey location.

All buildings in the palace are collectively called “Muu Phra Tam-nak” (a cluster of royal residences). There is an internal and external palace area. The design is a 2-story building with a modern architectural style instill the sense of classicism which surrounding by nature. There is a variety of plants, decorated flowers and a local plant species such as Dusita, Maneetewa, and TipKesorn which blooms in the winter season. This is a favorite place for nature lover. When this palace is not in use, the Bureau of the Royal Household allows general public to visit around the palace from 9am to 4pm daily.

Location: The main district, Sakon Nakhon province

Wat Tham Phae Daen

Wat Tham Phae Daen is sitting on Phu Phan and Phu Pha Yol mountains. This is another old temple aged over 100 years. It was built on the sandstone mountain and a golden pagoda on a large sandstone.

Inside the temple, there are brilliantly carved images of Phraphutthasihasaiyars, and other images. Also, there is the story life of The Buddha since born, enlightenment, and Nibbana. Also, there are a model of the Buddha’s footprint and many more images. In the past, there was a master abbot came to stay and meditate such as Phra Archan Man Phurithatto.

The current abbot has developed this temple to be a retreat and meditation place, and Dhamma travelling destination. Also, there is an area that is decorated to be a viewpoint and photo corner. This spot can see a panorama view of Sakon Nakhon and Nong Harn lake.

Location: Madong Fai, The main district, Sakon Nakhon province

Chalerm Prakiat Bua National Park

Chalerm Prakiat Bua National Park is located opposite Nong Harn lake in Kasetsart University Chalerm Prakiat Sakon Nakhon province branch. This is the largest lotus national park in Thailand, which cover 50 rais and was built in 2010. There are many lotus species with different color, the rarely found local and international species, and over 300 species of water plants.

It is not too hot in the morning and evening, but the most beautiful time is around 10am onward because all lotus will be blooming all over the place. It is a great view. Inside of the national park, there is a zone for each species and we can walk around on the wooden bridge to take a closer look of lotuses. If you are tired, there is a pavilion at the center of the lake for relaxation. You can enjoy the view and take a deep breath. Next is night lotus species which has a soil walkway. Or if you do not want to walk, there is a bicycle for rent. This national park is open 8:30am – 6pm daily for free.

Location: The main district, Sakon Nakhon province

Nong Harn Lake

Nong Harn Lake is another attractive place of this province, the largest freshwater lake of the Northeastern and the second largest of Thailand (The largest is Boraphet lake). Nong Harn Lake is directly connected to many rivers. So, there is plenty of food and it is a water supply resource.

This is a relaxed place for local Sakon Nakhon and surrounding area people. There are many local fisherman villages view which you can enjoy. There are over 30 small islands in the lake and the largest one is Koh Don Sawan which situated an ancient legendary church and due to nobody lives on this island, there is a full of abundant forest in each island together with many bird species.

You can see a golden seaweed and many fishes due to a very clear water. Nong Han Lake attracts tourists from various parts of the world, due to its natural scenery. Especially in the evening, you can see the sun slowly leave the sky and touch the water. This is very romantic view. For travelling in Nong Harn Lake, travelling by renting boat to each island or a bicycle around the lake are recommended.

Location: The main district and Ponna Kaew district, Sakon Nakhon province.

Ancient community; Tha Rae Village

Tha Rae village is Catholic Community which local people were Christians who migrated from Vietnam. It is best known for having the largest amount of population who are Christians in Thailand. There is the Saint Michael Cathedral which representing Noah's Ark in a memorial of Christians who migrated and settled in Tha Rae village. Near the church is an ancient community of Tha Rae people which the residences along the main road are built in French – Vietnamese style which is very beautiful.

The do not miss out thing is an over-100-years-old ancient house. The first mansion “Udomdej Watana”, the old house of Ong De or Mr.Kumsing Udomdej, next is another old house of Ong Luaen Treung Sorin which is French – Vietnamese style. It was built by lime, sand, Yang Bong and sugar cane juice instead of cement. Next is the old house of Mr.Noo Sriworakul and Mrs.Noona Ubpapong who are the children of PhrayaPrachanta Pratettanee, the Sakon Nakhon leader at that time. This house was burned and left since but its remaining is still beautiful. Other attractive shops are Raan Kuaytiew Rue Tuk Boraan behind the church, and a chic coffee shop called “Wara Café” which sell hot and cold beverage and some French bakery. This is a great spot for taking a classical picture in the evening. Especially on 25 th December every year, this community will hold Christmas star festival which is a very important festival of Tha Rae village.

Location: Tha Rae, The main district, Sakon Nakhon province

Phu Phan National Park

Talking of Sakon Nakhon, most people will think of Phu Phan Mountains Range. If you come to Sakon Nakhon, you should go to this mountain. This national park located very closely to the downtown.

This national park covers all Phu Phan mountain ranges together with Pannanikom district, The main district, Kudbak district, and Phu Phan district of Sakon Nakhon, also Somdej district, and Huay Pueng district of Kalasin.

This place has a stunning surrounding view which was created by nature. It is a place for nature lover. And, the mountain is a sandstone type which is a source of rivers and more. There are many interesting places such as Pha Nang Mern, the cliff that you can watch sunset and sunrise, Laan Sao Ae, a natural stone cliff, Phra That Peck, Namtok Kumhorm, Namtok Huay Yai, Namtok Preechasuksan, Namtok Kaeng Kraarm, Kong Ping Ngu, Cave, and flower garden with good air, and view.

Location: Huay Yang, The main district, Sakon Nakhon province

Salt Mine Village (Moo Baan Tam Kluer)

A salt mine village of Sakon Nakhon, another attractive place for anyone who interest in a local and traditional lifestyle. This is the largest salt-making place of the Northeastern Thailand. That is why local Sakon Nakhon people never imported any salt but only exporting around the country.

This salt-making process is a traditional which rarely see nowadays. The process is to suck salt water from underground which is about 150 meters depth then boil that water until it becomes Sin Tao salt (rock salt). This is an ancient process. In addition, these local people are making a weaving loom (weaving cloth machine) and weaving silk for part-time job.

Location: Kud Rue Kum, Wanorn Niwas district, Sakon Nakhon province

Baan Kut Na Kham Arts and Crafts Center

The beginning of Baan Kut Na Kham Arts and Crafts Center is becuase this village was always flooded in the raining season and usually droughty in the summer which made local people cannot do any agriculture. Then local people were asking for a reservoir so, King Rama IX agreed to build Huay Nok Kao reservoir to keep water for daily usage and agriculture.

In the same time, Her Majesty the Queen of King Rama IX heard about the collaboration of people in the village. She suggested that they should plant more forest to be the source of water which initiated the Pa Rak Nam Baan Kut Na Kham project and initiated the Arts and Crafts Center to offer training in arts and crafts for local peopleThis is a role community model of Sakon Nakhon province

Presently, the center is famed for being a high-quality producer of terracotta products and also includes wood carving, silk weaving, basketry and faux flowers. These are a handmade product from the delicate process. Their products became export products around Thailand and international.

Visitors can observe and participate in ceramic-making workshop and shopping your own selection. The center is open Tuesday-Saturday, from 8.00am - 4.30pm. For more information, please call 042-709-162.

Location: Charoensilp, Charoensilp district, Sakon Nakhon province

Pha Kram walking street

This street is located in an old city area of Sakon Nakhon, in front of Wat Phra That Cherng Chum Worawiharn. Pha Kram is the traditional creativity of local people which is to dye the cloth from a natural plant such as Ton Kram. Wearing a natural dyed cloth will give a better comfortable feeling and cooler than a synthetic cloth. These knowledges were transferring from an old generation to the next generation with a further development. It is recommended that anyone who likes dyed cloth must go to this street. There are many patterns which created from a dying expert of Sakon Nakhon which has a different unique pattern. Many products are selling such as scarf, blouse, skirt, trousers, bag, shoes, hat, notebook, and many more. The price range is ten to thousands Baht. This is local Thai products which should be patronized.

Besides, there is a cloth-dying demonstration and local music entertainment show. Pha Kram walking street is open on every weekend and started from 3pm till 8pm. But visitors may find these cloths in any shops in almost every village. Because almost every village in Sakon Nakhon does the cloth-dying. Some villages cloth has been exported to Japan because of its natural-made and delicate in every process. Pha Kram of Sakon Nakhon is very famous around the world.

Location: the main district, Sakon Nakhon province.

Recommended restaurant in Sakon Nakhon

Much More Cafe; The loft style cafe in Box Zone area near Kasetsart University, Sakon Nakhon branch. They serve many menus whether an omelette rice with great taste topping such as Tom Yum chicken, Tonkotsu pork, Pad Prik Kaeng. Or if you want a hot soup, there is Tom Zap Leng, and another do-not-miss-out menu which is Dinosaur bone steak, the signature fusion menu with special dipping sauce for foreigners.

For dessert, we recommended “Dark brownie with ice cream”, or if you like something creamy which is “Pang Yen Whip brownie” which serve with soft and smooth brownie. And also, there is Pang Yerm Lava, Pang Yang Noey Nom. Afterward, you can pay via SCB application by just scan Mae Manee QR code for the payment.

Operating hours: 11am - 9pm

Teaw Four Indy restaurant; This restaurant is located not far from a new bus station of Sakon Nakhon. Any noodle-lover must try this popular menu which is Fish-Ball-Yen-Ta-Four-Tom-Yum which is very full-flavored and a100% fishy fish ball from Yaowarat. Or if you are Tom Yum lover, there is a special Tom Yum menu. Also, there is Moo-Num-Tok noodle, Moo-Num-Tok Kaolao and an old dried Teaw-Moo-Yum. But if you cannot eat spicy, there are Kaolao-Four, Kaolao-Numsai, Kaolao-Tom-Yum. The side dish are a pork Satay and fish ball with dipping sauce.

Operating hours: 9am - 7pm

Baan Noi 2018 restaurant; A traditional local food whether Jim-Joom, grilled, Yum, stir-fried, Laab, Goi, and boiling. All are full-flavored type. The recommended menu is Jim-Joom Naam Samoonprai, Moo Kata, Taab Wan, and Sai Yang. All ingredients are high quality and newly fresh raw; Pon Yang Kham beef, Fore Shank, Silver shank and pork. All together with the special dipping sauce of tamarind or sesame sauce or Jim-Jaew-Khom sauce, the special recipe. Afterward, you can pay via SCB application by just scan Mae Manee QR code for the payment.

Operating hours: 5pm - 11pm