Yasothon is famous for its boisterous Rocket Festival every May,when giant home-made missiles are launched into the air in a symbolic rain-making gesture.
In the town at Wat Mahathat,Phra That Yasothon is a much-visited Lao-style chedi,said to be over 1,200 years old. It enshrines holy relics of Phra Ananda,one of Lord Buddha's chief disciples. That Kong Khao Noi is an ancient Khmer chedi with a much revered brick and stucco Buddha that is ritually bathed every April. The handicraft village of Ban Si Than is famed for the triangular pillows used in most Thai households.
Yasothon has an area of 4,161 square kilometres. It is divided into the following districts: Muang, Kham Khuean Kaeo, Maha Chana Chai, Pa Tio, Loeng Nok Tha, Kut Chum, Kho Wang, Sai Mun and Thai Charoen.
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 Yasothon via Borabue and Maha Sarakham and Roi Et, a total distance of 531 kilometres.
Bangkok-Yasothon 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 Yasothon. Visitors can take a train to Ubon Ratchathani, then continue the trip by bus to Roi Et. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20 for more information.
There is no direct flight to Yasothon. Visitors can fly from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani and continue the trip by bus to Yasothon.
Rocket Festival is held during the second weekend of May. The purpose is to promote group unity and ask holy spirits for seasonal rain. The festival is now a national event with a grand rocket procession, local dances and the launching of rockets at Phaya Thaen Park.
The most well-known product of the province is jasmine rice which is sold nationwide and is a quality export item. Local handicrafts include Khit pillows from Ban Si Than and basketry in the form of rice containers that are widely made at Ban Thung Nang Ok and Ban Na Samai in Muang district.
Chi River Beach
This is a natural beach formed by the receding water level in the Chi River in the dry season, which is never higher than 70 centimetres. The beach is nearly 2 kilometres long. Locals like to come here to relax and have a meal.
Phaya Thaen Public Park
Phaya Thaen is a rain god according to the belief of Isan people. Phaya Thaen Public Park is on Chaeng Sanit Road in the municipality. The large area is surrounded by a small waterway and is decorated with flowers and decorative plants. It also has a health park. The park is the venue of various provincial fairs like the Rocket Festival, the annual boat race and the Songkran Festival.
Phra That Kong Khao Noi
Phra That Kong Khao Noi is at Tambon Tat Thong. Take the Yasothon-Udon Thani route for 2 kilometres to get to the site. Built during the 23rd-25th Buddhist century in the late Ayutthaya period, the small, square brick pagoda has a distinctive top. The middle part has designs of doorways on all 4 sides. A brick wall surrounds the pagoda. A sacred Buddha image is behind the pagoda. Legend has it that it was built by a young farmer who was repentant after killing his mother because he was upset with hunger.
Wat Maha That
Wat Maha That is an important temple of the province in the town. The building of importance here is Phra That Yasothon or Phra That Anon, an ancient square pagoda with the top similar to that of Phra That Phanom. The architecture is in the Laotian style which was popular in the late Ayutthaya to early Rattanakosin periods. The pagoda houses the relics of Phra Anon. A state minister from Si Sattana Khanahut (Vientiane) who took migrants to settle here about 200 years ago constructed it around 1778.
Another historical site within the compound is the scripture hall that is in the Isan art style. The doorway and the door are beautiful carved woods with exquisite lacquer designs. The designs on the walls show a mixture of art from the Central Region. Built during the reigns of Rama IV and Rama V of the Rattanakosin period, the hall stores scriptures on dried palm leaves and art objects from Vientiane.
Ban Si Than
Ban Si Than is where typical pillows are made. The village is 20 kilometres from Yasothon on the way to Amnat Charoen. Villagers make Khit pillows and weave after the harvest is done. They are famous products of the province.