Thailand Travel Guide

Chanthaburi

25

Nov
2021

Khorat

Posted By : chauthihoaithuong/ 4 0

In former times, Khorat, or Nakhon Ratchasima, was two separate towns, Khorakhapura and Sema; they were joined during the reign of King Narai (1656–88). Today Khorat is a rapidly expanding business center. Its development stems from playing host to a nearby US airbase during the Vietnam War. At first sight Khorat appears to the visitor as a sprawl of confusing roads and heavy traffic. The city center has little of interest save for the Night Market that sells good-value street foods and local handicrafts. At the city’s western gate, Pratu Chumphon, is the Thao Suranari Monument, built in memory of Khunying Mo, a woman who successfully defended Khorat against an attack by an invading Lao army in 1826. While her husband, the deputy governor of Khorat, was away on business in Bangkok, Prince Anuwong of Vientiane seized the city. Khunying Mo and her fellow captives allegedly served the Lao army with liquor and were then able to kill them in their drunken stupor with whatever weapons were at hand. The Lao invasion was therefore held at bay until help arrived. Khunying Mo was given the title of Thao Suranari or “brave lady” from which the monument, built in 1934, derives its name. It shows Khunying Mo standing, hand on hip, on a tall pedestal. The base of the statue is adorned with garlands and ornamental offerings made by local people in their respect for her; a week long festival, including folk performances of dancing, theater, and song is also held in her honor each year.

Located in the grounds of Wat Suthachinda is Khorat’s Maha Weerawong National Museum. The artifacts on display here range from skeletal remains of human corp ses, Dvaravati and Ayutthaya Buddha images, ceramics, and wood carvings, and were donated to Prince Maha Weerawong, from whom the museum derives its name. Though quite a modern city, Khorat has a number of other Buddhist temples. In the wihan of Wat Phra Narai Maharat is a sandstone image of the Hindu god Vishnu, originally found at Khmer ruins near to the city. One of the most strikingly innovative, modern Buddhist temples in northeast Thailand is Wat Sala Loi, or the “temple of the floating pavilion,” on the banks of the Lam Takhong River. Designed in the form of a Chinese junk, the main wihan of this wat has won architectural awards. It was constructed entirely from local materials, including distinctive earthenware tiles made only at the nearby village of Dan Kwian. The original site on which Wat Sala Loi now stands dates back to the time of Khunying Mo, and her ashes are still buried here, a fitting resting place for the heroine without whom presentday Khorat would possibly not exist.

Just outside Khorat, Wat Khao Chan Ngam, is the site of prehistoric finds, while at Wat Thep Phitak Punnaram, a large white Buddha overlooks the road

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