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Korat, or Nakhon Rachasima, is one of the large cities in northeastern Thailand, also called Isan (or Esan). It is a good starting point to explore Isan. The town has enough sights to explore, and still is relatively quiet,compared to cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
The two pictures above show the impressive city wall and the phenomenon of "Khorat song".
Khorat song (typical exclusively for Khorat) can be heard in several places in the city. Artists (mostly in groups of four) sing improvised songs in the streets. They are being paid by somebody, who mostly wants to remain anonymous. Hiring these artists is done in order to show gratitude to some spirit, who apparently fulfilled a wish from the supporter.
Khorat still has bearable traffic. The standard means of public transport for tourists is the Bangkok-style tuk-tuk. Taxis are unknown in Khorat! So be prepared only to find tuk-tuks when you arrive at the railway station.
As you can see from the two pictures above, markets and streets are as you can expect them anywhere in Thailand. I must add, however, that apart from the usual shopping centers, of which one is shown on the right hand side picture, Khorat has a gigantic shopping center (no picture), that seems to be the sixth largest in the world! Why do I not have a decent picture of that mega shopping center? Simply because for some reason or another I only was there in the evenings, when the photography light is gone already!
You will find some fine Temples (Wats) in Khorat. The left hand side one is a Forest Temple, called Wat Pa Salawan, situated quietly outside the city. The right hand side one is in the city, called Wat Sakae. It is the largest Temple in Khorat and has several interesting items, like murals and four statues of the four stages of our existence.
Another fine Temple, very close to the center of Khorat, is Wat Sutchinda. I could not enter it when I was there. The exterior with the two statues at the entrance of the grounds and the fine standing Buddha Image just outside the main building were impressive enough, though, to place this picture on my site.
One place, not so far outside Khorat, that I can recommend warmly, is Khorat Zoo. Go there by bus. It is roughly a 30 minutes' ride. It is a fine and modern zoo with large living quarters for the animals.
You can travel through the park on foot (not recommended, given the size of this zoo), by bicycle or by a special "train" that stops at all places of interest. The right hand side picture tries to give you an impression of the spacious character of this zoo. Of course, at every stop of the "train" you can buy food or drinks.
Reckon with a full day to explore this fine and modern zoo completely. Elsewhere on this site I have a page, devoted mainly to the extensive gibbon islands in Khorat Zoo.
Around Khorat, like everywhere in Isan, you will find silk weaving. Several of the factories can be visited freely. Ask a travel agency to take you there. Don't miss it!
Two other popular destinations around Khorat (also to be visited by tour) are some ancient Khmer remains and a large Reclining Buddha. The two pictures above will give you a first impression of these tourist attractions.
The main attraction near Khorat, however, is Prasat Hin Phimai, to which I devoted a separate page of this site.
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