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NAKHON RATCHASIMA
Map of Nakhon Ratchasima
Phimai historical park
Nakhon Ratchasima, also known as Khorat, is located 250 km from Bangkok and serves as the gateway to the Northeast. As such, the town has become an important transportation hub; this is where the roads and train lines from Udon, Ubon, and Bangkok meet Khorat Province is famous for its pottery and silk, sold in shops around the town.
 
 
The main focal point of the town is the Suranari memorial shrine, built in honour of a courageous woman who led locals against a Lao invasion. Here, one can also see renditions of the traditional Khorat folk song usually performed by singers hired by those whose wishes have been granted by Suranari's spirit.
 
Just 60 km northeast of Khorat is Phrasat Hin Phimai, an Angkor period Khmer shrine. The temple, which predates the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, was originally begun in the 10 th century when much of northeastern Thailand was part of the Khmer empire. The lintels of the main prang are particularly impressive and depict scenes from the Ramayana epic as well as Hindu deities. Other examples of Khmer sculpture can be found in Phimai's open air museum.
 
Khao Yai National Park, established in 1961, was Thailand's first national park. With five different vegetation zones, the park contains some of the most striking scenery in the country. The natural environment of thickly forested hillsides, rushing streams, and cascading waterfalls provides a haven for numerous species of flora and fauna including elephants, bears, tigers, leopards, and tropical birds. In recognition of its unique natural character, Khao Yai has recently been declared a World Heritage Park.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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