Khon Kaen is a unique part of Thailand in the northeastern Isaan region and is the most notable city of the area. Khon Kaen is an invigorating contradiction to the well-worn visitor paths elsewhere in the country. Khon Kaen is a travel destination that is coming into its own with its impressive scenery, the variety of fascinating animal parks, the ever-present temples of the region, and the awesome lakes and reservoirs. Read on to learn about the best things to do in the area!
1. Bueng Kaen Nakhon
Bueng Kaen Nakhon is located southeast of the center of Khon Kaen. The lake is one of the main features in Khon Kaen. The length around the lake is approximately 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) long.
It is a great family attraction. You can rent bicycles to go on a family ride or enjoy a leisurely stroll in the park or just let your kids enjoy their time in the playground. You can also enjoy some time fishing, rent fishing rods and purchase some bait, and remember that fishing is allowed only on the southeast section of the lake.
Bueng Kaen Nakhon
Address: Khon Kean
Website: Kaen Nakhon Lake, Khon Kaen
2. Phu Wiang National Park
Images of the Phu Wiang National Park are currently unavailable.
A geologist discovered a giant patella bone here in 1976 and the paleontologists who were sent to investigate then discovered a fossilized 15-meter (49-foot) long herbivore. It was later named Phuwianggosaurus Sirindhornae after Thai Princess Sirindhorn. A feverish interest in dinosaurs followed as more remains were uncovered and Phu Wiang National Park came to fruition.
Secured excavation sites, including a site with a partial skeleton of Siamotyrannus Isanensis, an ancient ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, can be easily accessed by trails from the visitor center. Phu Wiang Museum, located just prior to entering the park, has full-size paleontology and geology displays, including animatronic figures of the dinosaur species that once lived in the area. Children, as well as adults, will love it.
Phu Wiang National Park
Address: Phu Wiang, Thailand
Access: 48 kilometers (30 miles) by car from Khon Kaen
Contact: +66 43 358 073
Website: Phu Wiang National Park
3. Khon Kaen City Museum
In northeastern Thailand, the translation of Hong Moon Mung means ‘a treasure hall.’ Therefore, in Khon Kaen, the Hong Moon Mung Khon Kaen City Museum is a treasure hall where the historical articles of this region and the country are preserved. The museum is situated beside Kaen Nakhon Lake in the town. It is the center for research and study where the historical data of Khon Kaen from the past to the present are exhibited independently in five zones according to their contents; from the prehistoric era to present day. The exhibitions are presented through modern designs and contemporary interactive media.
Khon Kaen City Museum
Price: from 0.30 USD
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Duration: around 3 hours required
Contact: Tel: 043-27 1-173, 043-224-031 ext. 1603, during office hours.
Website: Khon Kaen City Museum
4. Hat Sawan Beach
Had Sawan (Hat Sawan) “Heaven Beach” is located in Ubonratana District, Khon Kaen. It is close to Ubonrat Dam in Khon Kaen. The “beach” itself is only visible during the dry season. Most people go there for a meal with family and friends and to enjoy a day out.
Having lunch in one of the “elevated” restaurants (bamboo structures) by the water gives you direct access to the “beach.” During the wet season, the water can be just meters away from your seat. At Had Sawan (Hat Sawan), you can hire floats, choose to ride the banana boat, go for a swim or just enjoy the beautiful scenery while having a nice meal.
Hat Sawan Beach
Address: Amphoe Ban Fang, Khon Kaen
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Duration: All day
Website: Hat Sawan Beach
5. Wat Thung Setthi
While in Khon Kaen, you must visit the Buddhist temple called Wat Thung Setthi because it is somewhat different from the typical temples. Its exterior is white with gold and blue accents, which is somewhat different from the typical gold and red colored temples. Throughout the temple, you will see many gorgeous white statues. There is a calming and peaceful atmosphere that seems to radiate over you as you walk up the white entry stairs of Wat Thung Setthi Temple.
Wat Thung Setthi
Address: Phra Lap, Mueang Khon Kaen District, 40000 Khon Kaen, Thailand
Contact: +66 80 184 2827
Website: Wat Thung Setthi
6. Dino Water Park
The biggest water park in northeastern Thailand, its attractions are assembled and maintained by professional staff members from Polin, a water park attraction’s manufacturer in Turkey and Atlantis Pool, a manufacturer and installation of water park water systems in Turkey. It is the only water park in the northeastern region, which has many huge and exciting water park attractions. Currently, only some attractions are available, as the water park is in phase one of construction. However, more attractions will be available in each new phase.
Dino Water Park
Address: 456 12 ตำบล เมืองเก่า Mueang Kao, Mueang Khon Kaen District, 40000 Khon Kaen, Thailand
Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
Duration: Typically 3.5 hours
Contact: +66 85 002 6565
Website: Dino Water Park
7. Phu Pha Maan National Park
This park covers areas in Amphoe Phu Pha Man and Amphoe Chum Phae of Khon Kaen, as well as Amphoe Phu Kradueng in Loei Province. The natural landmark of this park is the towering limestone cliff that looks like a huge curtain. The attractions in this national park include inhabited caves with spacious chambers, massive caves accessible by car, impressive waterfalls, caves with ancient paintings on the cave walls, and many towering cliffs. You will find the scenery throughout this park to be absolutely magnificent.
Phu Pha Maan National Park
Address: Tambol Nanhongtum, Amphur Chum Phae Khorn Kaen Thailand
Opening Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day
Contact: +66 2562 0760
Website: Phu Pha Maan National Park
8. King Cobra Village
Some of the most deadly snakes in Thailand can be found at King Cobra Village near Khon Kaen. Snakes, including the infamous King cobras, have been bred in Ban Khok Sa-Nga for many decades. The cobras have been a tourist attraction since 1951 as they are included in the legendary snake shows. It has been said, although not confirmed, that some visitors have even been killed during the shows. Seemingly, the cobras haven’t been ‘milked’ (the regular emptying of the venom from the poison glands), nor have their fangs been removed!
King Cobra Village
Address: Ban Kok Sa-Nga, Khon Kaen, Thailand
Sadly, it's time to leave this wondrous, magnificent part of Thailand
Although Khon Kaen might be the educational, administrative and commercial center of Northeast Thailand, some of the attractions that are included in this list are the most unforgettable in all of Thailand.
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