Nakhon Ratchasima, popularly known as Khorat, is the biggest city in the Isaan region in eastern Thailand. It is also the district capital and provincial capital of Nakhon Ratchasima Province. The city has a population of 146,000 people.
Guide to Nakhon Ratchasima Hotels
It's never easy finding the hotel that's just right for your stay. Still, by taking a little time to do your research, you increase your chance of getting a good hotel at the best price. Go through the list of hotels in Nakhon Ratchasima which we've put together, arranged city by city, with full description, star rating, address, location map and evaluation. Pick the hotel of your choice and view the rates offered by different booking sites. Yes, we show you prices from different websites, so you don't have to visit them one by one.
Nakhon Ratchasima was originally two separate cities namely Khorakhapura (also called Nakhon Raj) and Sema. Being on the east part of Thailand near the border with Cambodia, the city was part of the greater Khmer empire until the 14th century.
The present city of Nakhon Ratchasima, whose name is a portmanteau of Nakhon Raj and Sema, was established by King Narai (1656-88) as the eastern frontier of his kingdom centred on Ayutthaya. Nakhon Ratchasima developed into a powerful city. After the fall of Ayutthaya, it acted as the frontier centre overseeing vassal kingdoms of Laos and the Khmers.
In more recent history, Nakhon Ratchasima was the base of the October 1933 uprising against the 1932 Revolution that ended the absolute monarchy of Siam. It was also used as a United States military base during the Vietnam War.
The city has little to offer tourists. Nonetheless there are a few sights that you might want to visit. Outside the city, however, is Prasat Hin Phimai, one of the most important ancient Khmer ruin outside Cambodia.
There are many buses between Bangkok and Khorat. The companies selling tickets to Khorat are at counter 49, 50 and 52 on the top floor of the terminal. The fare is around ฿200 one way.
Alternatively, you can take a train to Khorat from Hualamphong Railway Station. The first class ticket costs ฿230 while the second class costs ฿115.
Budget Travel within Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat)
The most ubiquitous form of transportation in Khorat are the tuk-tuks and motorcycle taxis. Another form of transport are the songthaews, or passenger pick-up trucks. The name "songthaew" actually means "two benches" - which are self explanatory as soon as you climb on board. Songthaews usually follow specific numbered routes like mini buses. A ride anywhere in town by tuk-tuk will cost you ฿50-100 while a ride on the motorcycle taxis will be around ฿40. If you find a reliable driver, negotiate to use him for the whole day.
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Places of Interest in Nakhon Ratchasima
Khorat Night Market A good place to try out the street food and buy some local products.
Maha Weerawong Museum Museum within the grounds of Wat Suthachinda with artifacts from Khorat's past.
Muang Sema Ruins of the ancient city of Sema dating to the 7th or 8th century AD.
Thao Suranaree Monument Monument commemorating the heroic woman Khunying Mo, who led a successful defence of Khorat against the Laotian army in 1826.
Wat Phra Narai Maharat One of the most famous temples in Khorat, this one has an ancient sandstone statue of the Hindu deity Vishnu.
Wat Sala Loi The name means "Monastery of the Floating Pavilion", this is a modern Buddhist temple on the banks of the Lam Takhong River.
Sights outside Khorat
Ban Prasat Archaeological Site Site where 3000-year-old artifacts were discovered.
Khao Yai National Park The first national park in Thailand, home to 3000 species of plants and 200 species of animals.
Prasat Hin Phanom Wan Ancient Khmer stupa outside Khorat City.
Prasat Hin Phimai Famous ancient Khmer ruins in Phimai town outside Khorat City.
Wat Dhammachaksemaram Ancient ruin with a 13-meter reclining Buddha statue in Sung Noen district of Nakhon Ratchasima.
Wat Khao Chan Ngam Temple where prehistoric remains were discovered.
Wat Thep Phitak Punnaram Temple with a large white Buddha statue overlooking the road.
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