Si Sa Ket is 571 kilometres from Bangkok. This is another province in the lower Northeast that received Khmer influence. Several interesting Khmer historical sites are in the province. Si Sa Ket has an area of 8,840 square kilometers.
Built in honor of the H.R.H. Princess Mother's 60th birthday. The Somdet Phra Sri Nakarin Park is the only natural forest in Thailand with a dense concentration of fragrant, yellow Lamduan flowers, regarded as being the provincial flowers. The forest is especially aromatic during February to April. The forest is used for botanical and ecological studies, as well as wildlife preservations.
The 11th century Khmer-style Prasat Prang Ku (Ku Tower stone temple complex) consist of three prangs (towers) built of large bricks on a single platform. Remarkable highlights include a well-preserved lintel (pediments over the entrances) showing the Vishnu God standing on his garuda mount in the center. In front of the sanctuary is a 1-km long man-made Khmer reservoir, the Phrai Bung Waterfowl Pond , which commonly attracts birds for feeding during the dry season.
Sa Kamphaeng Yai Sanctuary is located within the wat of the same name, which was built afterwards. Being the province's largest Khmer stone sanctuary, it has 3 brick and sandstone prangs situated on the same platform. The northern and southern prangs have lintels depicting major Hindu and Buddhist deities. The 12th century sanctuary compound was transformed into a Buddhist monastery in the 14th century.
Another important historical site is the 10th century Ban Prasat Sanctuary , a Khmer-style building that was later modified. Like the others, it has 3 brick prangs on the same base, with the central prang being slightly larger. The Prangs have retained their perfect square forms and has a lintel with human figures over the eastern entrance.
The Ban Samo Stone Sanctuary has several important components which include a large prang, a chapel and a laterite wall with a doorway in the shape of an "X”.
The beautiful Phrom Wiharn Waterfall is set amidst wonderfully lush jungle surroundings with water all year round. A high cliff near the fall provides a scenic, panoramic view of the area.
The unique Ta Leng Sactuary houses the remains of a single prang facing east, believed to have been built around 1017-1087. The Prang's door columns are elaborately carved and has several lintels lying around the doorway floor.
An ideal swimming spot is located at the medium-sized Samrong Kiat Waterfall , where water cascades down through many levels of the 8 meters high fall to a clear pool below.
A single brick prang sits on the sandstone base of the beautiful Tamnak Sai Sanctuary surrounded by extensive landscaping. Built during 967-1017, religious Brahman ceremonies were formerly conducted here.
A vantage point to view Khao Phra Viharn is the Mo I Daeng Cliff , located 1 km away. The cliff is accessible by ascending on a 200-meters trail from the foot of the mountain.
The southern face of the cliff contains the oldest bas-relief in Thailand dating back to the 5th century.
Somdet Phra Si Nakharin Park is a large public park inside an agricultural college 2 kilometres from the provincial hall. At the park, one can see flowering shrubs called Lamduan that are the official plants of the province. Lamduan is a pale yellow Thai flower, that is at its most enchanting when it blooms from March to April and gives off a sweet fragrance that covers the whole area.
City Pillar Shrine is near the provincial hall. This square structure is decorated with marble and stained glass.
Si Sa Ket Zoo is in Rama IX Chaloem Phra Kiat Forest Park in Non Nong Kwang, 4 kilometres from the provincial hall. It is a good place to relax and to see wild animals in the zoo.
Phra That Ruang Rong is 8 kilometres away on the Si Sa Ket-Yang Chum Noi Road. The site has a traditional design. The area is used for religious ceremonies and as a museum to display the life of Isan tribes such as Lao, Khmer, Suai, and Yoe.
Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai Sanctuary is at Ban Kamphaeng, 22 kilometres from Amphoe Muang and 2 kilometres before Uthumphon Phisai District Office. This large Khmer sanctuary has 3 pagodas on the same base. The main pagoda, with its beautiful shape still intact, is the middle one and was built of sandstone and bricks. Lintels, Buddha images, fired clay Buddha image prints, and bronze artwork have been found here. This sanctuary was built in the 11 th century as an offering to the god Shiva. It was later transformed into a Buddhist temple in the Mahayana sect in the 13 th century.
Wat Sa Kamphaeng Noi Sanctuary is at Ban Klang, 14 kilometres from the district office on the road to Si Sa Ket. The site consists of a pagoda, a building made of laterite and a pool. Built in the 11 th century as a religious place, it received extensions in the 13 th century to also become a community medical centre.
Huai Thap Than
Ban Prasat Sanctuary is 39 kilometres from Si Sa Ket town and 7 kilometres on a road on the right. The original Khmer structure was renovated after it was finished. The site now comprises 3 square pagodas with a pointed top all situated on the same laterite base. All were built in the 11 th century.
Prang Ku Sanctuary is 10 kilometres from the district office. Prang Ku is a small Khmer site built of large laterite slabs. It is over a thousand years old. The front part has a large pool that is the habitat of waterfowls in the dry season.
Ban Samo Sanctuary is 10 kilometres southeast of Prang Ku. A laterite wall surrounds this small Khmer site. The square pagoda has a lintel above a fake doorway facing the south. An ancient pool lies beyond the wall.
Ta Leng Sanctuary is at Ban Prasat, Tambon Kanthrarom, 20 kilometres from the district office. A square pagoda adorns the site. The front doorway still has clear, beautiful designs. The sanctuary was built around the 11 th -12 th century.
Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaeo, or Wat Lan Khuat, is about 70 kilometres from Amphoe Muang. The temple is wonderfully decorated with numerous colored bottles.
Tamnak Sai Sanctuary is 19 kilometres from the district office on the way to Samrong Kiat Waterfall. This site is a single square pagoda made of brick while the lintel and the doorway are made of sandstone. A Narai Banthom Sin lintel was discovered here. Two stone Singha (lions) guard the entrance.
Samrong Kiat Waterfall is 20 kilometres from the district office. This medium-sized waterfall originates from a stream in the Banthat mountain range. Above the fall is a rock plateau. It is at its most beautiful in the rainy season.
Huai Chan Waterfall is 24 kilometres from the district office on the Kanthrom-Ban Samrong Kiat Road. The fall drops down several rock levels, and has water the year round.
Chong Don Tuan Pagoda is on a steep cliff in the Phanom Dong Rak mountain range near the Thai-Cambodian border, 8 kilometres from Ban Phumisaron or 38 kilometres from the district office. This small Khmer site has a square pagoda built of brick, a doorway of stone and a lion guarding the entrance.
Pha Mo I Daeng is at the end of Highway No. 221, 36 kilometres south of the district office and 98 kilometres from Si Sa Ket town. The area is a wide rock plateau on a high cliff on the Thai-Cambodian border. This is a good spot to view the Phanom Dong Rak range and Khao Preah Vihear Sanctuary 1 kilometre away in Cambodia. A chapel here houses the Nak Prok Buddha image and the oldest Khmer-style bas-relief in Thailand from the 10 th century.
Khao Preah Vihean Sanctuary is a grand historical site and the centre of a Khmer community on the highlands of Cambodia. The site was built during the 11 th -12 th century and is more than 600 metres above level ground. Though physically in Cambodia, the sanctuary is easier to reach from the Thai side. From Pha Mo I Daeng, there is a 2-kilometre footpath with historical sites lined all the way to the mountaintop. The sanctuary offers a spectacular view of the Cambodian lowlands.
Phu La-O waterfall is a medium-sized waterfall at its loveliest in the rainy season. It is on the Ban Phumisaron-Ban Samrong Kiat Road. A 2.5-kilometre road on the left then leads to the waterfall. One can find interesting flora along the way that makes for fine nature study.
Si Phao Thai Si Sa Ket Festival is held every March 15-17 at Somdet Phra Si Nakharin Park when the Lamduan flowers in the park are in full bloom. Shows include cultural performances by 4 tribes, which are Khmer, Suai, Lao, and Yo. There are shops selling handicrafts and a light-and-sound show about the city's construction.
Pha Mo I Daeng Half and Quarter Marathon is held on the third Sunday of August between Phumisaron village and Pha Mo I Daeng in Amphoe Kantharalak. Runners like this uphill marathon because it goes through a misty area in the rainy season.
Hotels and accommodation
- Amarin : 235 Thetsabon 1 Road Amphoe Muang [0 4451 1328] : 130-180 baht
- Erawan : 370 Krung Si Nai Amphoe Muang [0 4451 1328] : 80-150 baht
- Kanthrarak Palace : Sin Prasit Road Amphoe Kantharak [0 4561 1085, 0 4563 5157] : 230-550 baht
- Ket Siri : 1102-05 Khukhan Road, Tambon Muang Tai Amphoe Muang [(Tel: 0 4561 4006-7, 0 4561 2578 Fax: 0 4561 2144, 0 4561 4008] : 850-1,600 baht
- Khwan Yun : Wirathep Road Amphoe Kanthrarak [0 4566 1126] : 150-300 baht
- M.K. : Anantaphakdi Road Amphoe Kanthrarak [0 4566 1171] : 250-400 baht
- Phrom Piman : 849/1 Lak Muang Road Amphoe Muang [0 4561 2677, 0 4561 2696, 0 4561 2150 Fax: 0 4561 2271] : 300-490 baht
- San tisuk : 0373 Si Sa Ket Road, Soi Wat Phra To, In front of Railway Station Amphoe Muang [0 4561 3478] : 100-200 baht
- Si Sa Ket : 3084-5 Si Sa Ket Road Amphoe Muang [0 4561 1846, 0 4561 2582] : 120-300 baht
- Thai Soem Thai : Si Sa Ket Road Amphoe Muang [0 4560 0458] : 140-280 baht
- Local Cuisine
- Bupha : Klang Muang Rd., Tel: 0-4561-2398
- Green House : Kasikam Rd., adjacent to the provincial hospital
- Ketsiri : Ketsiri Hotel, Kukan Rd., Tel: 0-4561-4006-7
- Lan Lumduan : Near Somdet Park intersection, Si Sa Ket-Kukan Rd.
- Mitrapab : Palad Monthon Rd., near the railway station
- Pairat : Ratchakan Rot Fai Rd., near the railway station, Tel: 0-4561-1876
- Perm Phon : Tepa Rd., Tel: 0-4561-1675
- Prom Phiman : Prom Phiman Hotel, Lak Muang Rd., Tel: 0-4561-2677, 0-4561-2696
- Si Kiew : Si Wiset Rd., Tel: 0-4561-1589
- Som Kai Mun : Ubon Rd., Tel: 0-4561-3091
How to get there
* By car
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 to Saraburi and Highway No. 2 to Nakhon Ratchasima, then use Highway No.226 to Si Sa Ket via Buri Ram and Surin, a total distance of 571 kilometres.
* By bus
Buses depart from Bangkok's Mochit 2 Bus Terminal to Si Sa Ket every day. Contact Transport Co.Ltd at Tel: 0 2936 2852-66 for more information.
* By train
Regular trains depart from Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Railway Station to Si Sa Ket every day. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20 for more information.
* By plane
Visitors can fly from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani and continue the trip by bus to Si Sa Ket. Call Thai Airways at Tel: 1566, 0 2628 2000.