Roi Et town is built around a large artificial lake,Bung Phlan Chai,where a large,walking Buddha statns on a small island in its centre. Tall Buddhas are popular in Roi Et as Wat Buraphaphiram features a 68-metres walking Buddha,with a staircase that enables visitors to climb to knee-high level. Sixty kilometres outside of town, Ku Kasing is a large Khmer sanctuary dating from the 11 th century,and under restoration.
Handicrafts are the province's main product,particularly the Isan khaen, a kind of panpipe made from wood and reeds. These are best made in the small village of Si Kaew. Thanon Phadung Phanit is a good place to buy silk and cotton fabric.
Roi Et has an area of about 8,299 square kilometres, consisting of the following districts: Mueang, Thawat Buri, Selaphum, Phon Thong, Nong Phok, At Samat, Phanom Phrai, Chaturaphak Phiman, Kaset Wisai, Suwannaphum, Pathum Rat, Pho Chai, Mueang Suang, Phon Sai, Moei Wadi, Si Somdet, Changhan, Chiang Khwan, Nong Hi and Thung Khao Luang.
How To Get There
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 to Saraburi and Highway No. 2 to Ban Phai, then take Highway No. 23 to Roi Et via Borabue and Maha Sarakham, a total distance of 512 kilometres.
Bangkok-Roi Et buses depart from Mochit 2 Bus Terminal every day. Contact Transport Co.Ltd at Tel: 0 2936 2852-66 or visit www.transport.co.th for more information.
There is no direct train running to Roi Et. Visitors can take a train to Khon Kaen, then continue the trip by bus to Roi Et. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20 for more information.
Thai Airways flies from Bangkok to Khon Kaen, which is 113 kilometres from Roi Et. Call 1566, 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 for more information
Khao Pun Bun Phawet Fair
This fair is held every March 1-2 at Bung Phlan Chai. Many Buddhists attend this merit-making ceremony. The main activity is the sermon by monks on Maha Wetsandon Chadok. A procession on the tale is a must-see event, as are the cultural performances. There are shops selling local products, particularly Khao Pun (or Khanom Chin as known in the Central region).
Ban Wai Luem in Thawat Buri is a centre for silk with colorful and exquisite patterns. The source for Khaen (a northeastern musical instrument) is Ban Si Kaeo in Amphoe Mueang. These products can be purchased from the local handicrafts sales centre in front of the provincial hall or city stores.
Ku Ka Sing
Ku Ka Sing can be reached by taking a branch road off the Kaset Wisai-Suwannaphum road for 10 kilometres. The other way is by taking the Roi Et-Surin route to Ku Phra Ko Na and then a right-hand road for 18 kilometres. Ku Ka Sing is a large Khmer structure built in the 16th Buddhist century. It consists of 3 pagodas on the same base. This base has elaborate designs. Many statues and lintels are kept in the provinceís museum.
Bung Klua is in Tambon Muang Phrai, 10 kilometres east of the district office. This large lake has a white beach popular with locals.
Ban Wai Luem
Ban Wai Luem is 25 kilometres from Roi Et on the Si Sa Ket-Yasothon route. This silk-weaving village has a housewife group selling village products.
Prang Ku is at Ban Yang Ku, Tambon Ma-I. To get there, take the Roi Et-Phon Thong road (Highway No. 2044) for 8 kilometres. This medical centre of the Khmer period was built in the 18th Buddhist century and comprises a main pagoda, a wall, a doorway, and a pool outside the wall. The artefacts displayed here include a sandstone lintel that was once above the doorway of the main pagoda, door columns and a lotus-shaped top part of the pagoda.
Bueng Phlan Chai
This is a large lake with an island in the middle. The lake is regarded as the symbol of Roi Et. The area has a public park and is the site of the city shrine.
Wat Burapha Phiram
This temple is situated in town and has the tallest Buddha image in the giving blessing posture in Thailand. This is another provincial symbol. The image is called Phra Phuttha Ratta Mongkhon Maha Muni, or called Luang Pho Yai by locals. The 67-metre-high image is concrete with reinforced steel. The base is a museum. To the west is an old city moat where the revered Chao Pho Mahesak Shrine is located.
Wat Klang Ming Mueang
This is an old temple on a hill in the town. The convocation hall was built in the late Ayutthaya period. The outer wall has a mural on the life of Lord Buddha. In the old days the temple was the site of a pledge of allegiance to the king.
Wat Sa Thong
The Luang Pho Sang Katchai Buddha image is located in this temple. This revered Buddha image was discovered by Phraya Khattiya Wongsa, the first lord of Roi Et, in 1782. He then brought the image to the temple and made it the provinces main image. Government officials were once obliged to swear in front of the image every year.
Ku Phra Ko Na
Ku Phra Ko Na is in Tambon Sa Khu, 60 kilometres from Amphoe Mueang on the Roi Et-Suwannaphum-Surin route. The site is 3 brick pagodas on a sandstone base lined from north to south. A wall and a doorway are also present. Estimated to have been built in the 16th Buddhist century, much of the pagoda had been altered. There used to exist a lintel, a Naga bridge and a sheltered walkway leading to the pool nearby.
Northeastern Botany in Literature Park
This is in Tambon Pha Nam Yoi, 85 kilometres from Yasothon. Plants here are from Thai literature like Phra Wetsandon and Lilit Phra Lo. There are also herbs categorised according to their medicinal attributes.
Pha Nam Yoi Forest Park
This forest park is at Ban Khok Klang, northeast of Nong Phok district office. To get there, take Highway No. 2044 and 2136 for 62 kilometres. The park has a steep cliff that rises about 200 metres. Water seeps down the entire year. The area is a thick jungle teeming with wildlife.
Thung Kula Rong Hai
This land used to be an expansive, dry, harsh place in the middle of the region. It covers 5 provinces which are Roi Et, Surin, Buri Ram, Yasothon, and Maha Sarakham. One-third of the area is in Roi Et. There is a legend that says the Kula people were traders in ancient times who were also great fighters with excellent stamina. However, they cried when they got to Thung Kula Rong Hai because it was such a desolate place without water and big trees. Nowadays the area is fertile due to the efforts of the government to develop it and is suitable for agriculture. The development centre is 6 kilometres from the district office, a bit past Ku Phra Ko Na.