Khon Kaen province occupies an area of 10,885 square kilometers and is located in the heart of Isan (Northeasterm Thailand). The Isan is named after Isana, a manifestation of Shiva. The city of Khon Kaen is Thailand’s fourth largest city with a population of over 200,000. It is about 449 km north of Bangkok, 219 km from Nong Khai, 219 km from Korat, 295 km from Nakhon Phanom, 292 km from Ubon Ratchathani.
Historically, the area was ruled by dinosaurs million years ago and more recently other cultures including the Khmer Empire occupied the plateau. Finally Khon Kaen was established in 1783 during the reign of King Rama I. Compared to other parts of Thailand, the Northeast has retained many traditional Thai customs as well as Lao and Khmer influences.
Geographically, Khon Kaen is the educational, government, commercial, administrative and transportation center of Thailand's Northeast region. Khon Kaen houses the Rajamangala Institute of Technology and the Khon Kaen University; one of the Thailand’s best universities with a student population of around 20,000. Many infrastructural projects have been implemented in Khon Kaen such as Ubolrat Dam, Northeastern Railway, Khon Kaen Airport, Mithraphap Highway (also known as Friendship Highway) and a branch of Tourism Authority of Thailand. Khon Kaen works as the headquarters for most development organizations working in the Isan.
The province is well known for its high-quality silk industry; in fact Queen Sirikit of Thailand orders hers from Amphoe Chonnabot where excellent Mudmee Silk is delicately woven by hand using the die-dye technique. Every December the city hosts a Silk Fair, when all the best materials are on sale.
Bueng Kaen Nakhon, located in the centre of town, is a beautiful lake with a diverse range of places for entertainment, excellent for picnic and dining, there are boats for rent, markets, ping pong tables, and a road circling the lake is lined with numerous restaurants providing tasty dishes. The northern end of the lake is a monument of Chao Phia Mueang Phaen, founder of Khon Kaen.
Khon Kaen National Museum houses objects from the Dvaravati period, relics from Khmer Culture, bronze sculptures from Ban Chiang, Buddha images and local art. Visitors can see unusual animals around the province, with the cobra and the turtle villages (such as Mu Ban Tao) popular among tourists.
Phu Wieng National Park is located some 90 km northwest of Khon Kaen and 15 km from Amphoe Phu Wiang. Remains of herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs and prehistoric paintings were discovered there. Khmer ruins can be found 76 km from town at Ku Puai Noi
Laos and Vietnam have located consulate offices in the city to process visa applications. Additionally, Khon Kaen is the home of the famous tennis player Paradorn Srichaphan.
Khon Kaen National Museum
Address: Lang Sun Ratchakan Road
Telephone: (043) 246-170
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