When one asks about this place, the first thing that comes to mind is its location. Located on the Northeast side of Bangkok, and a distance of 450 km from the Thai’s capital is the city of Khon Kaen. This town is one of the four major cities of Isan. It is also the capital city of Khon Kaen Province. This city is not only the center of education, financial institutions, government offices, transportation, but it is also a beautiful place to go for a vacation and get away from the hustles of life, even if for a short while. This little piece of heaven is worth the try. This city has a piece of everything one can possibly think of.
Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon
It was decreed as the royal-grade temple in 1984. It is not only known for its magnificent and modern Thai Buddhist art and architecture but it was also the place where boys were ordained as novice monks, a custom associated with bringing merit to the boys’ parents and showing them self-discipline. Here one can also get a chance to look at thousands of Buddha images and ancient bones of the Buddha and his chief disciples. As you go up the temple, you get a better view of the city especially at the top floor as you can comfortably see the Bueng Kaen Nakhon Lake and the city towards the north side. You can also meditate here!
Phu Wiang National Park and Dinosaur Museum
What is a city without its history? Well in Khon Kaen you don’t have to worry about that. This museum provides you with almost all answers about the urbane, its people and ancient times. This museum is located where bones of dinosaurs where discovered from a period of 210 million years back. Inside the museum there’s more explanation and displays of dinosaur bones. Outside the museum, there are paths that lead to the places where the bones were excavated from and have been preserved. This paths lead to some breezy pavilions where one can have a fine view of the half-circle rolling mountains that surround the park. Children will also enjoy this park as there is a room that has been dedicated to showing life-like recreations of the dinosaurs, which has been made complete with a waterfall and tropical forest.
Khon Kaen Hall of Culture and Heritage
Want a taste of the local culture? This hall is definitely the place to be. Located in a dim underground place just below the amphitheatre and near to the Bueng Kaen Nakhon Lake’s northern bank, this hall provides an introduction to the city’s history and their electric cultural makeup. For what you can’t learn at the National Museum, this is the place to learn more. It contains a number of beautiful exhibitions from the early Lao people preparing traditional food in their stilted houses, The Chinese immigrants sipping their teas, Indian immigrants selling brightly colored clothing to a series of scenes that show the Isaan village way of life before the inventions things like cars and washing machines. A visit here will leave you more knowledgeable about an Isaan’s way of life.
Non Mueang Ancient Town
Located an approximately one hour drive from the city, is this ancient town. Found by archaeologists was a sema sandstone boundary, in Dvaravati styke markers. This ancient city had a way of burying the dead, which included burying them with their utensils and their animals that dates back to the 2500 years ago. But their funeral style changed upon arrival of Buddhism.
This city has a number of festivals. Dok Khum Siang Khaen a festival that involves merit making, pouring of holy water to the Buddha Images, dramatic arts by the locals and a boat race. It’s held from April 13-15 every year.
One should definitely visit Khon Kaen as it is the only Isan city where you can experience the local people, their customs and traditions at a greater level. Make a point of visiting this place and you will not be the same.