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Khon Kaen

Attractions > Northeast > Khon Kaen

Attractions in Khon Kaen province in Thailand

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Lying in the geographical heart of the Northeast, Khon Kaen is a major regional development and communications centre and a university city. The provincial capital is 449 km. from Bangkok, covering an area of 10,886 sq. km., and the fourth largest in the country. In spite of its modern status, Khon Kaen has an interesting history dating back to prehistoric times, as witnessed in the fact that the first dinosaur fossils in Thailand were discovered here. The city of Khon Kaen, amid its modern amenities, boasts a fascinating cultural heritage, good hotels and restaurants make it an ideal place to take a break from travel through the less developed parts of I-san.




Phrathat Kham Kaen




Bueng Kaen Nakhon




Khuean Ubolratana




Non Mueang Ancient City




Non Mueang Ancient City




Wat Sa Bua Kaeo




Dok Khun Siang Khaen Festival





City attractions in Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen Museum

Located on Lang Sun Rachakan Road, this major museum has excellent exhibits on ancient civilisations and artefacts found in the Northeast, including the prehistoric civilisation of Ban Chiang, bas-reliefs of the Dvaravati period from Fa Daet Song Yang in Kalasin, and Khmer-period art objects found in the Northeast. It is open daily except public holidays from 9.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. Tel. 0 4324 6170

Bueng Kaen Nakhon

A city focal point and recreational area, it is especially attractive at sunset and is an excellent place for an evening stroll. A road circling the lake is lined with numerous restaurants, while at the northern end is the Chao Phia Mueang Phaen monument built to honour Khon Kaen's founder.

Wat Chai Si

Located at Mu 8, Ban Sawati, Amphoe Mueang, along Highway No. 2 and 21 km. from Khon Kaen, this is an ancient temple with an l-san architectural style Sim or main chapel. Its interior and outer walls have murals illustrating local culture.


Out ot city attractions
in Khon Kaen

Phrathat Kham Kaen

This is a I9-metre stupa at Wat Chetiyaphum, Amphoe Nam Phong, about 26 km. northeast of Khon Kaen. According to legend, King Moriya, a ruler of Cambodia, ordered revered monks to carry the Lord Buddha's ashes to be enshrined in Phrathat Phanom of Nakhon Phanom Province. On their way stood a dead tamarind tree, the sun was setting, they settled for the night there. In the morning, the monks continued their journey. Unfortunately, when they arrived, Phrathat Phanom had already been built, so they decided to head home. Once again passing the tamarind tree, but this time the tree stood vivaciously alive, sprouting its branches and leaves as if to convey that the ashes should be situated here. Therefore, the monks advised the local villagers to build a stupa on the spot, which was obviously sacred.

Mu Ban Ngu Chong-ang

The villagers of Ban Khok Sa-nga, Amphoe Nam Phong, some 50 km. from town, have traditionally caught cobras for a living and put on occasional shows to supplement their income . There is also a king cobra breeding house at Wat Si Thamma in the village.

Khuean Ubolratana

Located about 50 km. northwest of Khon Kaen, this is the largest multi-purpose dam in the Northeast, generating electricity for eight neighbouring provinces. A reservoir-side restaurant and opportunities for boat trips make the dam a popular weekend destination.
Tel. 0 2436 6046-8 , 0 4344 6231

Non Mueang Ancient City

This archaeological site, situated 80 km. from Khon Kaen, is believed to have been inhabited from prehistoric time s until the 10th century AD. Human skeletons and 3,000-year-old bronze tools have been discovered at the site.

Tham Pha Phuang Forest Park

Located at Ban Dong Lan, Amphoe Chum Phae, 123 km. from Khon Kaen, this huge limestone cave features a large chimney-shaped rock and lovely stalagmites and stalactites. Contact the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department for more details.
Tel. 0 2562 0760  Website:

Phu Wiang National Park

The park, located some 60 km. northwest of Khon Kaen along Highway No. 2038 and with an area of 325, contains a number of important archaeological sites with evidence of l-san's earliest inhabitants seen in prehistoric rock paintings. Fossil remains of a dinosaur may be seen at the park headquarters. For more information, contact the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.

Phu Pha Man National Park

Covering an area of 350 sq. km., the Park extends over a verdant forest spanning Khon Kaen and Loei. Features include cliffs, caves and waterfalls. Take Highway No. 12 via Amphoe Chum Phae, then Highway No. 201. Contact the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department for more information.

Pha Nok Khao

This impressive outcrop of strangely shaped rocks lies 125 km. west of Khon Kaen along Highway No. 201 in a mountainous area that extends into Loei.

Amphoe Chonnabot

Located some 60 km. southwest of Khon Kaen, this district has Sala Pha Mai (Silk Exhibition Hall) and is famous for the excellence of its silk, most notably the distinctive tie-dyed silk known as Mat Mi.

Prasat Pueai Noi

Located 76 km. from Khon Kaen, this is the largest Khmer sanctuary in the upper Northeast, comprising three brick pagodas built on the same laterite base and each with carved lintels.

Wat Udom Khongkha Khiri Khet

This extensive hillside forest temple in Amphoe Mancha Khiri, 67 km. from Khon Kaen on Highway No. 2149, is ideal for meditation. Noteworthy among the architecture is a gold-roofed shrine with lavishly decorated doors.

Wat Sa Bua Kaeo

Located at Ban Wang Kun, Amphoe Nong Song Hong, along Highways No. 2 and No. 207, the temple is decorated with murals illustrating villagers' way of life, the Jakata tales, stories of heaven and hell, and local fables. Unlike any other murals in I-san, paintings here are more like western works of the impressionism era.

Mu Ban Tao

Take Highway No. 2 from Khon Kaen 10 km. and turn left onto Highway No. 2062 for 54 km. to Ban Kok (2 km. before reaching Amphoe Mancha Khiri), then turn left 50 metres to Ban Tao for a further 50 metres. Visitors will be amazed with the land turtles called Tao Phek". They mingle and live with villagers; some are found under the basement and some are wandering along the streets.

Wat Ban Lan

Located at Tambon Ban Ban, Amphoe Ban Phai, along Highways No. 2, No. 23, and No. 2301, this temple has a distinguished Sim (main chapel) and Hup Taem, which are murals painted on the outer wall illustrating the story of Lord Buddha's tenth incarnation as Vessantara.

Wat Sa Thong Ban Bua

Located in Amphoe Mancha Khiri and one kilometre from town, this temple has a 170-year-old l-san-architectural Sim (main chapel). Hup Taem or murals on the outer wall received the 2002 Award of Merit from UNESCO, as they were painted with two natural colours, which were green from leaves and yellow from curcumas.


Special events in Khon Kaen

Dok Khun Siang Khaen Festival

Held at Bueng Kaen Nakhon in April and coinciding with Songkran (the Thai New Year), the Festival features merit-making, pouring of holy water over Buddha images, a floral procession, performances of I-san folk music and dances, and shops selling a variety of local products.

Silk Festival and Phuk Siao Tradition

Staged in front of Khon Kaen Provincial Hall in late November, the Festival promotes silk weaving and silkworm culture with displays and Contests. Phuk Siao, an l-san tradition promoting close friendship between people of similar ages, is also celebrated at this time.


Shopping in Khon Kaen

There are many souvenir shops in Khon Kaen selling quality local products such as silk, cotton, Khit pillows and silverware.




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