Sakon Nakhon is in the upper Northeast. It is on the Phu Phan mountain range and has many forest temple retreats for meditation. These temples are also where famous monks well known in meditation circles reside.
Sakon Nakhon is 647 kilometres from Bangkok and has an area of 9,605 square kilometres. Sakon Nakhon consists of the following districts: Muang Sakon Nakhon, Waritchaphum, Kut Bak, Kusuman, Ban Muang, Phanna Nikhom, Sawang Daen Din, Wanon Niwat, Phang Khon, Akat Amnuai, Song Dao, Kham Ta Kla, Tao Ngoi, Khok Si Suphan, Nikhom Nam Un, Charoen Sin, Phon Na Kaeo and Phu Phan.
How To Get There
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 to Saraburi and Highway No. 2 to Ban Phai which connects Highway No. 23 to Maha Sarakham, then continue the journey along Highway 213 via Kalasin to Sakon Nakhon, a total distance of 647 kilometres.
Bangkok-Sakon Nakhon buses depart from Bangkoks 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 from Bangkok to Sakon Nakhon. Visitors can take a train to Udon Thani and continue the journey by bus to Udon Thani. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20 for more information.
Thai Airways flies from Bangkok to Sakon Nakhon every day. Call 1566, 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 or visit www.thaiairways.com for more information.
Wax Castle Procession
Held in Amphoe Muang at the end of the Buddhist lent for 3 nights around the middle of October. The second night features a beautiful procession, an ancient boxing dance (a folk play indigenous of Sakon Nakhon) and boat races. Visitors to the festival can continue on to the Illuminated Boats Procession in Nakhon Phanom that is held immediately after.
Sakon Nakhon handicrafts
Sakon Nakhon handicrafts include earthenware, woodcarving from Ban Kut Na Kham, cotton clothes, silk products, and hand-woven Khit clothes with natural bark dye.
Attractions Ban Kut Na Kham Arts and Crafts Centre
Ban Kut Na Kham Arts and Crafts Centre is 120 kilometres from Sakon Nakhon town on Highway No. 22 and No. 2280. The centre produces earthenware for utensils and home decoration. The designs are varied and are of the finest craftsmanship. A store displays and sells the products on the premises.
Huai Huat National Park
Huai Huat National Park has many interesting spots. The park can be accessed via either taking the Sakon Nakhon-Kalasin road for 5 kilometres and then Highway No. 2339 on the left for 35 kilometres, or taking the Sakon Nakhon-Na Kae road for 14 kilometres and then a road on the right for 18 kilometres. The park is noted for the visual beauty of the reservoir, the waterfall and the rock plateau covered with flowers at the end of the rainy season. There are also prehistoric cave drawings.
Isan Freshwater Aquarium
This aquarium is at the Sakon Nakhon Fishery Station on Sai Sawang Road. The centre has on display freshwater fish and animal species found in the Northeast.
Namtok Pricha Suksan
This waterfall is on Phu Phan mountain range, 17 kilometres away on the Sakon Nakhon-Udon Thani route and 10 more kilometres on the left. The waterfall is a rock plateau with water coming down like a slide. It is suitable for swimming.
Nong Han is a large freshwater lake with an area of 123 square kilometres. It is where many waterways converge and is also a major agricultural and fishery centre of the province. Nong Han's shorefront has been developed into a public park. In addition, there is Sa Phang Thong, an ancient pool believed to have been constructed at the same time as Phra That Choeng Chum.
Phra Archan Man Phurithatto Museum
This museum is opposite the Provincial Government Centre on Suk Kasem Road in Wat Pa Sutthawat. The museum is built of fired clay tiles. On display are a wax figure of Phra Achan Man who was a famous monk, his personal items and his biography.
Phra That Choeng Chum
Phra That Choeng Chum is an historical site that has always been with Sakon Nakhon. This plaster-covered brick pagoda has a square base and is 24 metres high. The chapel houses the holy Luang Pho Ong Saen.
Phra That Dum
Phra That Dum is at Tambon Ngew Don, 3 kilometres from town on the way to Phatthana Suksa School. There were originally 3 brick Khmer pagodas on the same laterite base but only one stands today. The pagodas were built in the 16th Buddhist Century.
Phra That Narai Cheng Weng This khmer sanctuary is 5 kilometres from town on the way to Udon Thani. The sandstone pagoda is on a laterite base. Ornate designs adorn the lintel, doorway and windows. It is believed the site was entirely constructed by women who competed with the men who built Phra That Phu Phek. It dates from the 16th-17th Buddhist century.
Sakon Nakhon's pottery village is at Ban Chiang Khrua, 15 kilometres away on the way to Nakhon Phanom. Products made here are jars, pots, containers, and flowerpots. All are sold to tourists at reasonable prices.
Sakon Nakhon Cultural Centre
Sakon Nakhon Cultural Centre is in Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat Institute, about 6 kilometres from town on the Sakon Nakhon-Udon Thani Road. Exhibits include utensils of various tribes in the province and information on Sakon Nakhon in the old days.
Saphan Khom is just before entering the town on the Sakon Nakhon-Udon Thani Road. It is believed to have been a route of the Khmer people.
Nam Un Dam
Nam Un Dam is 57 kilometres from Amphoe Muang en route to Udon Thani and a left for 6 kilometres en route to Waritchaphum. The dam is at its loveliest at sunset over the reservoir.
Phra That Si Mongkhon
Phra That Si Mongkhon at Tambon Ban That is 2 kilometres from the district office. This pagoda has a square base and is decorated with fired clay designs. The present pagoda encases the original one which is made of laterite.
Achan Fan Acharo Museum
Achan Fan Acharo Museum is at Wat Pa Udom Somphon in Tambon Phanna Nikhom en route to Udon Thani. The museum has a wax figure of the famous monk, as well as his personal items and biography.
Phra That Phu Phek
Phra That Phu Phek is on a mountain in Tambon Na Hua Bo. To get there, take the Sakon Nakhon-Udon Thani road for 22 kilometres and take a road on the left for 14 kilometres, then ascend 491 steps. The laterite pagoda is on a square base. Seemingly unfinished because it has no roof or pagoda top, it was built in the 16th-17th Buddhist century.
Wat Kham Pramong
Wat Kham Pramong is at Ban Kham Pramong in Tambon Sawang, 40 kilometres from Amphoe Muang on Highway No. 22, then take Highway No. 2355 to Akat Amnuai. The temple is the meditation centre of the famous monk Luang Pu Sim.
Wat Tham Kham
Wat Tham Kham used to be where the famous monks Achan Fan and Luang Pu Thet meditated. A pagoda housing the relics of the latter is here.
Khong Ping Ngu
Khong Ping Ngu is 14 kilometres from Amphoe Muang. It is part of the Sakon Nakhon-Kalasin route. This snake-like road is interesting for the largest kilometre marker in Thailand. Many waterfalls like Heo Sin Chai, Tat Ton and Kham Hom, are nearby with easy access.
Phu Phan National Park
Phu Phan National Park covers a wide jungle area in the upper Northeast. The park headquarters is on Highway No. 203 on the way to Kalasin, 25 kilometres from the district office. Tourist spots in Kalasin include Pha Nang Moen, an observation point 700 metres by foot from the park office, and Lan Sao E, a natural rock plateau on a cliff 2 kilometres away.
Phu Phan Ratchaniwet Palace
Phu Phan Ratchaniwet Palace is on Phu Phan mountain range on the Sakon Nakhon-Kalasin road, 13 kilometres from the district office. It is the residence of Their Majesties when they visit the Northeast.
Achan Wan Uttamo Museum
Achan Wan Uttamo Museum is on Phu Pha Lek. To get there, take the Sakon Nakhon-Udon Thani road for 84 kilometres to Sawang Daen Din, then a road on the left to Song Dao for 32 kilometres. The museum features paintings of the monk and his personal items.
Phu Pha Lek
Phu Pha Lek is a mountain in the Phu Phan range. Some parts of the area are rock plateaus that are covered with flowers toward the end of the rainy season. Tourist spots here are the observation point on the high cliff, Kaeng Kula waterfall, Kao Chan waterfall that has water only in the rainy season, and prehistoric drawings at Phak Nam cave that are over 3,000 years old.