Located in the eastern border of Thailand, facing Cambodia at Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo is a popular province known as a trading centre.
In the past, Sa Kaeo was a major civilised community. Its long history had dated back since the Suwannaphum and Dvaravati Periods. The archeological sites of Khmer arts and stone inscriptions are the outstanding examples of this civilisation.
Sa Kaeo has its border facing Cambodia of approximately 165 kilometres. Generally, the area varies from plains to highlands. Highlands and mountains are in the north where Pang Sida National Park is located, while the south is covered with wavy plains and hills. Also, there are evergreen forests along the Chanthaburi mountain range. In the central, there are plains and hills, with Amphoe Watthana Nakhon as the highest area when compared to the other Amphoe Mueang in the west, and Amphoe Aranyaprathet in the east.
The Sa Kaeo-Sa Kwan ponds, situated within the provincial city, are believed to contain holy water that was formerly used in the ‘Tue Nam Piphat Satthaya Ceremony' conducted in the Thonburi era. During that time, King Borom Mahakasutsuk stopped to rest by the 2 ponds. He used the water from the ponds for his personal use and for the ceremony, thus leading to the names ‘Glass Pond-Gift Pond'. Presently, both ponds were dugged up to provide more area for storing water for using during the dry season.
Covering 3 districts, the Pang Sida National Park consists of lush forests, mountains, and meadows. It is the source of origin of many water tributaries that eventually flow into the Bang Pakong River. Most interesting of all, it has a pond inhabited by freshwater crocodiles.
The park features many natural attractions, but the highlights include 2 waterfalls. The Pang Sida Fall is not that tall, but the cascade falling into the wide pool below is a spectacular sight. Downstream from the Pang Sida Falls, the waters cascade over the 10-m high Pa Takian (Lamp Cliff) Fall , the last waterfall of this tributary. The torrential cascade creates a thunderous noise as it hits the pool below.
H.R.H. the King initiated the establishment of the muddy Tha Krabark Reservoir under the Royal Project to develop the irrigational system in the flatland areas at the foot of the mountain.
Nearby is the 3-tiered Tha Krabark Waterfall , with each level having a pool and separated by a distance of 400-500 metres.
Pang Sida National Park Covering the area in Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Wattana Nakhon, Amphoe Ta Phraya of Sa Kaeo and Amphoe Na Di of Prachin Buri, the Park occupies an area of 844 square kilometres or 527,500 Rai. It has been declared a national park on February 24. 1982. The topography of the area consists of complex highlands with various and diversified forests, and an abundant of wild and rare animals. The area is the origin of many creeks which form the Bang Pakong River.
The major attractions in the park are:
Namtok Pang Sida (Pang Sida Waterfall) The waterfall is approximately 800 metres from the park office. With a large pond below the 10 metre waterfall, the surroundings are very shady, with much water during the rainy season.
Namtok Pha Takhian About 3 kilometres from the park office, and about 2.5 kilometres from Namtok Pang Sida, the 10 metre waterfall can be reached by 2 trekking trails which are suitable for nature study.
Tha Krabak Reservoir Built under H.M.the King's project to improve the irrigation, the reservoir is located in Moo 7 Tambon Tha Yaek, about 32 kilometres from town. It is a dam that is 17.50 metres high, and 720 metres long, surrounded by various kinds of forests. Its spectacular views are most suitable for relaxation.
Tha Krabak Waterfall This waterfall is near the reservoir, with 3 levels which are 400-500 metres apart.
Khwae Makha Waterfall Khwae Makha Waterfall is about 6 kilometres from the 40 th kilometre. It is approximately 70 metres high. The trail is suitable for trekking. Nearby, there are various waterfalls located at different distances from Kwae Maka Waterfall. These waterfalls are Rak Sai Yoi Waterfall (500 metres), Lan Hin Yai Waterfall (1.5 kilometres), Suan Man and Suan Thong Waterfalls (3 kilometres), Man Thara Waterfall (4 kilometres). To discover these waterfalls, you might need to spend 2-3 days because they are located deep into the forest.
Tham Khang Khao Waterfall The waterfall can be reached by a walking distance of about 10 kilometres from the 22th kilometre. There are many bats living in this area.
View Point Situated in the huge valley at the 25 th and 35 th kilometres, sunrise and sunset can be watched here at this view point.
Fresh Water Crocodile From the park office about 5 kilometres, to Moo Ban Khlong Phak Khom- Thung Pho for about 50 kilometres, this source in Huai Nam Yen Forest, has been surveyed since 1991.
Accommodation The National Park has house renting service at 500-600 Baht per night. Tent area is also available at the rate of 5 Baht/person/night. For more details, contact Pang Sida National Park, P.O.Box 55, Tambon Tha Yaek, Amphoe Mueang, Sa Kaeo 27000, Tel: (01) 947-5948 or National Park Div., Dept. of Forestry, Bangkhen, Bangkok at Tel: 0-2561-4292 ext. 724, 725, or 0-2579-5734, 0-2579-7223.
Traveling By Car: From town, heading north by using Highway No.3462 about 27 kilometres, the National Park is on the right. If tourists need to travel by public transportation, they can use mini-cab route Sa Kaeo – Ban Khlong Nam Khiao for about 27 kilometres to the park office. Another route is by train (Bangkok – Aranyaprathet), getting off at Sa Kaeo Station, then use mini-cab as mentioned above.
Sa Kaeo - Sa Khwan These two ponds are located in Tambon Sa Kaeo on the western side of town. Before approaching the city, turn right at 246 th kilometre. It is believed that these two ponds contain sacred water once used for the coronation ceremony. The name of the province (Sa Kaeo) had been derived from this venue, whereby Somdej Chaophraya Maha Kasatsuk (King Rama I later) went to fight with the Cambodians, and stopped at this site to use sacred water to swear for the fighting courage.
Phra Siam Thewathirat Located in front of Aranyaprathet Police Station, with the height of 1.29 metres, this is the imitation of the real Phra Siam Thewathirat, built by Phra Uthai Thammathari in 1975. The people of Aranyaprathet constructed a throne with four posts to house the image on December 20, 1985. This sacred image has been worshipped by the people of Aranyaprathet and nearby provinces.
Aranyaprathet Victory Gate Situated on the Thailand – Cambodia border at Ban Khlong Luek, Tambon Tha Kham, the gate was constructed in 1939. The shape of the gate consists of two octagonal 15 metre towers, with the base used as the guarding area. These towers were destroyed by war. In 1959, the left tower was reconstructed in the same shape to commemorate the dead and injured soldiers. The right tower was altered to a huge marble heart-shaped boundary stone facing Cambodia, with the Garuda (mythical bird-man) image on top, and the name "Thailand” below.
Ban Khlong Luek Border Market or Talat Rong Kluea is in Ban Khlong Luek, Tambon Tha Kham on Thailand – Cambodia border, east to Aranyaprathet town about 6 kilometres, on Highway No.33 (Sa Kaeo – Aranyaprathet). To get there from Aranyaprathet, a motored tricycle or tuk tuk can be hired at 20 baht. This market is a major business centre in trading goods from Cambodia and Vietnam such as clothes, brassware, ceramics, Russian electrical appliances, dried fish, etc. The market is open every day and it is crowded during weekend.
Traveling to Cambodia must apply for visa, which are divided into 2 categories:
Tourist Visa: US$ 20 per person for 30 days of staying, and can be extended once for another 30 days.Business Visa: US$ 25 per person for 30 days of staying, and can be extended once for another 1 year.
The Aranyaprathet international immigration control is 500 metres from Talat Rong Kluea. Passport bearers can pass and travel to the third country with approved visa from the Cambodian Embassy or Consulate. This is the shortest way to travel in Cambodia. There are vans, pick-up trucks for rental service to Poipet, Siam Riap
Wat Anu Banphot or Khao Noi This temple is located in Moo 2, Tambon Ban Mai Nong Sai. It is on Thana Withi Road (to Amphoe Ta Phraya) about 1 kilometre detour from Suwannason Road. It was built in 1925 during the reign of King Rama VI. The highlight of this temple is the beautiful chapel (ubosoth)which houses the imitation of Lord Buddha's footprint made from brass.
Prasat Khao Noi This site is situated in Wat Khao Noi Si Chomphu, Tambon Khlong Nam Sai, which is 12 kilometres to the south of the city. This ancient venue is on the 80 metre hill. With the stairs of 254 steps, this site is composed of three towers (prang). However, only the central one has been remained. It has been registered in year 1935 by the Department of Fine Arts as the national ancient site. Some sandstone lintels and statues were found, and they are now displayed at the Prachin Buri National Museum.
Chong Klam Bon Wildlife Breeding Station Located at Tambon Nong Mak Fai, this site has the area of approximately 430 Rai. The accessibility to this area is by using the same route to Pang Sida National Park, pass Tha Krabak Reservoir for about 500 metres, turn left for about 3 kilometres. Under Wildlife Sanctuary Bureau of Forestry Department, this sanctuary has been established in 1983, initiated by H.M.the Queen Sirikit to conserve rare and wild animals, such as wild birds and mammals. This sanctuary also conducts studies and researches on wild animals, and disseminates information, and knowledge in wildlife.
Phrasat Ban Noi Situated at Moo 4 Tambon Phakkha, this archeological site of the Khmer period has 2 walls. The exterior wall is made of clay, while the interior is made of laterite. The site faces to the east with only one entrance. At the northern corner, there is a pond. Also, there are ruins of the ancient buildings in the central part of the site on the west side.
This mountain is about 17 kilometres from the city, on highway no.317 (Sa Kaeo – Chanthaburi) between 131 st -132 nd kilometres. The highest point is about 240 metres. There are 72 interesting caves. On the foot of the mount, is the location of Wat Khao Chakan and a botanical garden. There are stairs to the top which is a good viewpoint.
Prasat Sadokkokthom This ancient archeological venue, with three temples, is located at Ban Nong Samet. Facing to the east, with 4-side moat, a group of sandstone towers (prang) stand inside the laterite walls. Two Khmer stone inscriptions were found and are now kept in the National Library. Tourists can use the road Aranyaprathet – Ta Phraya, turn right at Ban Nong Mek. It is about 36 kilometres from Aranyaprathet.
Prasat Khao Lon This temple is on Khao lon in Ban Charoen Suk, Tambon Thappharat. The architectural style of this site is similar to that of Prasat Khao Noi. There were four towers (prang). However, only the central one is still existed. To the northeastern part of the temple are two large ponds which are connected to the temple by an ancient roadway. Traveling to this temple is by using highway No.3068 (Ta Phraya – Buri Ram), and then turning left to Ban Charoen Suk. It is about 28 kilometres from Ta Phraya.
Lalu Located at Ban Khlong Yang, Tambon Thappharat, this venue is a large area of about 800 acres with many earth pillars in various shapes like the ones called Phae Mueang Phi in Phrae Province. They are indeed an amazingly beautiful site of nature wonder. At Ban Khlong Yang, home-stay trip is available
Eastern Cultural Fair and Sa Kaeo Red Cross Fair These fairs are held in the middle of February every year. There are many traditional displays, processions, exhibitions and cultural entertainments.
Sa Kaeo Establishment Commemoration Being held every year in December, this special fair has many delightful events to offer. There are cultural and arts processions, including exhibitions of the local goods of the province.
Cantaloupe Day Held in Aranyaprathet in early April every year, there are many activities in relation to cantaloupes for visitors to the province to experience
Hotels and accommodation
- Chantra : 299 Mu 16 Suwanason Road Amphoe Muang [0 3724 1711-3 Fax: 0 3724 1332] : 420-730 baht
- Kawi Hotel : 43 Mu 2 Suwanason Road Amphoe Muang [0 3724 1216] : 220-380 baht
- Kawi Villa : 557 Mu 2 Behind Sa Kaeo Health Centre, Sathani Rotfai Road Amphoe Muang [0 3724 1217] : 400 baht
- Pang Sida National Park : 27 kms. north of Sa Kaeo Town Amphoe Muang [01-947 5948 Bangkok Tel : 0 2579 5734, 0 2579 7223] : 500-600 baht
- Sa Kaeo Hotel : 206 Mu 2 Suwanason Road Amphoe Muang [0 3724 1024-5] : 230-350 baht
- Aran Chai Hotel : 40 Suwannason Road Amphoe Aranyaprathet [0 3723 1134] : 150-250 baht
- Aran Garden 1 : 59/1-7 Rat Uthit Road Amphoe Aranyaprathet [0 3723 1836, 0 3723 2588-9] : 150-200 baht
- Aran Garden 2 : 110 Rat Uthit Road Amphoe Aranyarprathet [0 3723 1070, 0 3723 1837, 0 3723 1905-7] : 160-400 baht
- Aran Park : 152 Suwannason Road, Tambon Ban Mai Nong Sai Amphoe Aranyaprathet [0 3723 2588-89 Fax: 0 3723 2115] : 500-950 baht
- Chai Suk Bungalow : Suwannason Road Amphoe Aranyaprathet [0 3723 1148, 0 3723 1175] : 250-500 baht
- Inter : 108/7 Soi Ban Aran, Chatasing Road Amphoe Aranyaprathet [0 3723 1291, 0 3723 1848 Fax: 0 3723 1848] : 400-1,000 baht
- Khao Noi Guest House : 273 Mu 2 Thanawithi Road, Tambon Ban Mai Nong Sai Amphoe Aranyaprathet [0 3722 3432-5, 0 3723 1637] : 250-550 baht
- Phon Sakun Resort : 15/1 Suwannason Road Amphoe Aranyaprathet [0 3723 2056] : 250-500 baht
- Chaloemphon Bungalow : 1182 Mu 10 Suwannason Road Amphoe Watthana Nakhon [0 3726 1215] : 150-300 baht
- Nakorn Inn : 1148/66 Mu10, Suwitphan Trade Centre Amphoe Watthana Nakhon [0 3726 1041, 0 3726 1305] : 250-800 baht
- Phuttharaksa Bungalow : 1186 Mu 10 Suwannason Road Amphoe Watthana Nakhon [0 3726 1425-6] : 350-500 baht
- Sri Wattana Hotel : 1130 Mu 10 Suwannason Road Amphoe Watthana Nakhon [0 3726 1002] : 150-350 baht
- Amphoe Muang
- San ya : Around Sa Kaeo market, Tel: 0-3724-1185 (Thai)
- Suan Aharn Chaweewan : Next to Dao Gas Station, Moo 15, Tel: 0-3724-1459 (Thai)
- Savoey : Chantra Hotel, 16/2 Suwansorn Rd., Tel: 0-3724-1711-3 (Thai & European)
- Amphoe Wattana Nakhon
- Nakhon Inn : Nakhon Inn Hotel, 2/F, Tel: 0-3721-2641 (Thai)
- Rung Wattana : 140/2-3 Prachin Thani Rd., Tel: 0-3721-1203 (Thai)
- Amphoe Aranyaprathet
- Khum Thong : 5-6 Jit Suwan Rd., Tel: 0-3723-1138 (Thai)
- Betiang : 127-129 Chao Phraya Badin Rd., Tel: 0-3723-1008 (Thai, Chinese, European)
- Ploern : 51/2-3 Jit Suwan Rd., Tel: 0-3723-1627 (Thai)
- Valentine House : 4 Suntiparb Rd., Tel: 0-3723-1157 (Thai, Chinese, European)
- Suan Aharn Tubtim Thong : 1/4 Raj Uthit Rd., Tel: 0-3723-1315 (Thai, Chinese, European)
How to get there
* By car: Traveling to Sa Kaeo can be accessed by three routes.
- From Bangkok, use Phahonyothin Highway to Rangsit , use overpass to Highway No.305, pass Amphoe Ongkharak, Nakhon Nayok, after that use Highway No.33, pass Amphoe Kabin Buri to Sa Kaeo. Total distance is 214 kilometres.
- From Bangkok, use Highway No.1 to Hin Kong , turn right to Highway No.33, pass Nakhon Nayok, Kabin Buri to Sa Kaeo. Total distance is 245 kilometres.
- From Bangkok, use Highway No.304, pass Min Buri, Chachoengsao to Amphoe Phanom Sarakham , turn right at 35 th kilometre, use Highway No. 304 to Kabin Buri. At 95 th kilometre, turn right again to Highway No.33 to Sa Kaeo.
* By bus: The Transport Co.,Ltd. provides bus services both ordinary and air-conditioned. Leave from Mo Chit Bus Terminal 2 everyday. For more details, please contact at Tel: 936-2852. There are two air-conditioned bus routes:
- Route Bangkok – Hin Kong – Nakhon Nayok – Sa Kaeo – Aranyaprathet First class bus leaves at 04:30 hrs., next bus at every 1 hour, last bus leaves 18:00 hrs. The fare is 135 Baht.Second class bus leaves at 05:00 hrs., next bus at every 1 hour, last bus leaves 18:30 hrs. The fare is 118 Baht.
- Route Bangkok – Ongkharak – Nakhon Nayok - Sa Kaeo – Aranyaprathet First class bus leaves at 04:45 hrs., next bus at every 1 hour, last bus leaves 18:30 hrs. The fare is 118 Baht. Second class bus leaves at 05:00 hrs., next bus at every 1 hour, last bus leaves 18:45 hrs. The fare is 95 Baht.
* By train:
State Railways of Thailand provides service from Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok to Sa Kaeo and Aranyaprathet twice everyday, leaving at 05:55 and 13:05 hrs. The fare is 48 Baht / person. For more details, please contact Travel Service Unit at Tel: 1690, 0-2223-7010, 0-2223-7020.