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- Khao Yai National Park


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Wat Thammachak Semaram

Wat Thammachak Semaram is in Ban Khlong Khwang in Tambon Sema. The place used to be a religious site in the Dvaravati period. The important artefact here is a huge reclining Buddha image made of red sandstone that stretches from north to south. It is 13.30 metres long and 2.80 metres high. It dates from 657 AD. The head is south and faces east. The face is somewhat square and made of 4 sandstone slabs on top of one another. The body is composed of sandstone blocks stacked vertically. Moreover, there is an old sandstone Buddhist symbol in the form of a cartwheel. The bottom part is the face of a forest keeper. It is kept in a pavilion. Other artefacts include bronze Buddha images, fired clay images, glass beads, a fired clay loom, and a stone inscription tablet. They are on display in Phimai National Museum.

Wat Sala Loi

Wat Sala Loi is to the northeast of the city, 500 metres from Rop Mueang Road. Thao Suranari and her husband built the temple in 1827. The highlight is the convocation hall that was awarded the prize as the best avant-garde religious building from the Siam Architects Society in 1973. The hall is in an applied Thai style in the shape of a junk riding the waves. Local Dan Kwian clay tiles were used to decorate the building to tell the life of Lord Buddha. The door is made of metal with raised designs of the Buddhist tale. The hall houses a large standing white Buddha image. In front of the door is a plaster sculpture of Thao Suranari sitting praying in the middle of a pond. Beside the building is a small pagoda that used to house the ashes of Thao Suranari. A glass wall in the shape of heart-shaped temple boundary markers surrounds the hall.

Farm Chokchai

Location: 169 Mu 2 Thanon Mittaphap, Amphoe Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130. Tel. 0 4432-8485. Ext. 116, 0 4432 8386, 0 4436 1770-4. Head Office tel. 0 2532 2846 ext. 135, 0 2523 9103. Website: www.farmchokchai.com

Farm Chokchai is a fully integrated dairy farm perched on a vast stretch of plains amidst a scenic surrounding. An agro-tourism farm where visitors can learn about milking, making of fresh milk ice cream, animal feed plant, and several other activities. Superb tourist facilities provided.

The farm opens on Saturdays, Sundays and Official holidays.

Open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a group visit of at least 30 persons. There are 3-5 rounds of tours, each taking approximately 3 hours.

Prasat Phanom Wan

Prasat Phanom Wan is in Ban Makha, Tambon Pho, around 15 kilometres from the city on the Nakhon Ratchasima-Khon Kaen road. A sign on the right shows the way on a road 5 kilometres more. This is an interesting Khmer sanctuary. It is believed that it was built in the 15th Buddhist century. Later during the 18th-19th centuries, a stone building was built over it. From inscriptions found at the site, it is known that the sanctuary was used in the Hindu religion and later became a Buddhist site. Although most of it is in ruins, there is a clear form present, like the square main pagoda facing east and a tiered pagoda in front, as well as a path linking the two structures.

To the southwest is a building of red sandstone called “Prang Noi.” Inside is a large stone Buddha image. A roofed sandstone walkway and a laterite wall go around the sanctuary. A Gopura (a sanctuary doorway or porch) in the form of a tall tower is situated in all 4 directions. Around 230 metres east of the sanctuary are traces of a moat and an earth hill that was the site of another Khmer building called “Noen Oraphim.”

Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo

Covering an area of 545 rai (218 acres), the zoo is one of the most modern in Asia. The enclosures are large and landscaped by section to match the habitat of each animal most of which have come from Africa. The most popular animals are penguins, seals, African elephants, rhinoceros, cheetahs, lions, zebras, and giraffes. There is also a reptile building and a hornbill garden. In addition to being an ideal place to study biology, the zoo is a great place for relaxation as the grounds are decorated with lovely flowers. Other than the shuttle services that are provided to transport visitors around the zoo, there are bicycles available for rent. The zoo is open daily between 8.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. The fee is 10 baht for children, 30 baht for adults, and 30 baht for four-wheel vehicles. For information, call 0 4435 7355, 0 4421 6251-3 or visit www.zoothailand.org

The Zoo is located approximately 18 kilometers south of the city on Highway No. 304 (Nakhon Ratchasima-Pak Thong Chai), however, it is also accessible via Highway No. 2310 (approximately 1 kilometer drive). Visitors traveling by bus from the city can take air-conditioned bus No. 1415.

Rafting on Lam Takhong

This route takes you past homes, orchards and green trees. The difficulty level is at 1-2, which is not too hard for rafting novices. The area is good for family outing. The best time to come is during May-September because there is lots of water that can create some excitement that is not dangerous. There is too little water in the dry season to do rafting. Each rafting trip takes about 2 hours and tourists can add to their enjoyment by taking an elephant ride afterwards. For information, contact Pang Chang Khao Yai on Thanarat Road, Km. 19.5, tel. 0 4429 7183.

This route takes you past homes, orchards and green trees. The difficulty level is at 1-2, which is not too hard for rafting novices. The area is good for family outing. The best time to come is during May-September because there is lots of water that can create some excitement that is not dangerous. There is too little water in the dry season to do rafting. Each rafting trip takes about 2 hours and tourists can add to their enjoyment by taking an elephant ride afterwards. For information, contact Pang Chang Khao Yai on Thanarat Road, Km. 19.5, tel. 0 4429 7183.

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