Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Region: Sakon Nakhon

Geographic Coordinates: 17.156400, 104.146000
Climate: Varies.
Population: 53618
Language: Thai

Sakon Nakhon is a captivating province located in the northeastern region of Thailand. Known for its rich cultural heritage, Stunning natural landscapes, And vibrant traditions, This province offers a unique and authentic Thai experience for visitors. One of the main attractions in Sakon Nakhon is Phra That Choeng Chum, A magnificent ancient stupa that dates back to the 9th century. This iconic landmark stands tall at 24 meters high and is adorned with intricate carvings depicting Buddhist stories. The stupa holds significant religious importance for locals who come to pay their respects and seek blessings.

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundance of natural wonders found in Sakon Nakhon. Phu Phan National Park is a must-visit destination, Offering breathtaking views of lush forests, Cascading waterfalls, And impressive limestone cliffs. Visitors can embark on hiking trails to explore its diverse flora and fauna or take a refreshing dip in one of the park’s crystal-clear streams. For those interested in learning about local culture and traditions, Ban Chiang Archaeological Site is an archaeological treasure trove that should not be missed.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases ancient artifacts dating back over 5, 000 years ago, Providing insights into prehistoric civilizations that once thrived in this region. Sakon Nakhon also hosts several vibrant festivals throughout the year that celebrate its cultural heritage. The Wax Castle Festival takes place annually during Buddhist Lent (July) where locals create intricate wax sculptures depicting mythical creatures and temples which are paraded through town before being offered at local temples. The province’s cuisine is another highlight worth exploring.

Sakon Nakhon boasts an array of delectable dishes unique to this region such as Kaeng Khae (spicy soup with vegetables), Yam Naem Khao Thot (crispy rice salad), Or Pla Som (fermented fish). Food lovers can indulge in these local delicacies at traditional markets or street food stalls, Immersing themselves in the flavors and aromas of northeastern Thai cuisine. When it comes to accommodation, Sakon Nakhon offers a variety of options ranging from budget guesthouses to luxurious resorts.

Visitors can choose to stay in the heart of the city for easy access to attractions and amenities or opt for a more tranquil setting near natural landmarks. Sakon Nakhon is an enchanting province that showcases Thailand’s rich history, Natural beauty, And vibrant cultural traditions. Whether exploring ancient temples, Hiking through national parks, Participating in colorful festivals or indulging in local cuisine – this hidden gem promises an unforgettable experience for every traveler seeking an authentic Thai adventure.

Important Landmarks

  1. Wat Phra That Choeng Chum: This iconic temple is known for its unique architecture and houses a highly revered Buddha image.
  2. Phu Phan National Park: A popular destination for nature lovers, this national park offers beautiful landscapes, hiking trails, waterfalls, and caves.
  3. Nong Han Lake: The largest natural lake in Northeast Thailand, it is famous for its pink lotus flowers that bloom during certain seasons.
  4. Ban Chiang Archaeological Site: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient village showcases prehistoric artifacts and provides insights into the region’s history.
  5. Rajabhat University Sakon Nakhon Campus: Known for its impressive architecture resembling a traditional Thai temple, it is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts.
  6. Sala Keoku Sculpture Park: Located near the border with Laos, this park features gigantic sculptures inspired by Buddhist and Hindu mythology.
  7. Wat Pa Suthawat Temple: Known as the Glass Temple, it stands out due to its intricate glass mosaics that cover almost every surface of the building.
  8. Phon Sawan Forest Park: A peaceful retreat with lush greenery, picnic spots, and a viewpoint offering panoramic views of Sakon Nakhon city.
  9. Tung Kula Rong Hai (Red Lotus Sea): During December to February each year, this area turns into a sea of red lotus flowers attracting visitors from all over Thailand.
  10. Sirindhorn Museum & Geological Park (Phu Kum Khao Dinosaur Excavation Site): This museum displays dinosaur fossils discovered in the region along with geological exhibits related to them.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Sakon Nakhon is known for its agricultural sector, with rice being the primary crop. Other crops grown in the region include cassava, sugar cane, and fruits such as durian and longan.
  2. Food Processing: The province has a significant food processing industry that includes rice mills, sugar mills, fruit processing plants, and fish sauce production.
  3. Handicrafts: Sakon Nakhon is renowned for its traditional handicrafts such as silk weaving and pottery making. These crafts contribute to the local economy through sales to tourists and exports.
  4. Tourism: The province has several tourist attractions like Phu Phan Mountains National Park, Wat Phra That Choeng Chum (a famous temple), Nong Han Lake (the largest freshwater lake in Northeast Thailand), and historical sites like Ban Chiang Archaeological Site.
  5. Retail Trade: Like any other city or town, Sakon Nakhon has a thriving retail sector with various shops ranging from small local stores to larger supermarkets and shopping malls.
  6. Education: The city is home to several educational institutions including universities, colleges, schools which contribute to the local economy by providing employment opportunities.
  7. Healthcare Services: With numerous hospitals and healthcare centers located in Sakon Nakhon province, healthcare services play a significant role in the local economy.
  8. Manufacturing Industries: There are also some manufacturing industries in Sakon Nakhon producing products such as textiles/clothing items or plastic goods.
  9. Transportation & Logistics Services: As a regional hub within northeastern Thailand (Isaan), transportation services including logistics play an important role due to its strategic location connecting different provinces of Isaan region.

It’s important to note that while these are some of the major industries/businesses found in Sakon Nakhom province; there may be other smaller industries and businesses that contribute to the local economy as well.

Noteable History

  1. Phra That Choeng Chum: This is an ancient Buddhist stupa located in Sakon Nakhon town. It is believed to have been built during the 9th century and is considered one of the most sacred religious sites in the region.
  2. The Great Rebellion of 1887: During this rebellion, led by Thao Suranari (Khunying Mo), the local people fought against French colonial forces who attempted to annex parts of northeastern Thailand. The rebellion was successful in preventing French expansion into Sakon Nakhon.
  3. Ban Chiang Archaeological Site: Located near Udon Thani province but significant for Sakon Nakhon’s history, Ban Chiang is an archaeological site that dates back over 5,000 years. It contains evidence of early Bronze Age civilization and has provided valuable insights into prehistoric Southeast Asia.
  4. Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera: One of the most revered Buddhist monks in Thai history, Ajahn Mun was born in Sakon Nakhon Province in 1870. He played a significant role in reviving traditional forest meditation practices (known as dhutanga) and had a profound impact on Thai Buddhism.
  5. Phra Maha That Kaen Nakhorn Stupa: Located within Wat That Choeng Chum temple complex, this stupa is another important religious site associated with Sakon Nakhon’s history.
  6. Silk Weaving Tradition: Sakol Nakorn Province has been renowned for its traditional silk weaving industry for centuries. The intricate patterns and high-quality silk products produced by local artisans have gained recognition both nationally and internationally.

These are just a few examples of notable historical events and people associated with Sakol Nakorn Province. The region’s rich cultural heritage and historical significance go beyond this list, making it a fascinating place to explore.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Phra That Choeng Chum: This is a significant Buddhist monument in Sakon Nakhon, featuring a large golden chedi and beautiful architecture.
  2. Sakon Nakhon National Museum: A museum that showcases the history, culture, and art of the region, with displays of ancient artifacts and traditional Thai art.
  3. Wat Phra That Narai Cheng Weng: Another important temple in Sakon Nakhon known for its stunning architecture and intricate details.
  4. Ho Chi Minh Memorial Park: A park dedicated to Ho Chi Minh, the former leader of Vietnam, who lived in Sakon Nakhon for several years during his exile.
  5. Ban Ta Rae Indigo-dyeing Village: Visit this village to learn about the traditional indigo dyeing techniques still practiced by locals. You can also purchase unique hand-dyed textiles as souvenirs.
  6. Wat Pa Sutthawat: A serene forest temple located on a hilltop offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  7. Song Dao Ceramic Village: Explore this pottery village where you can witness skilled artisans creating beautiful ceramics using traditional techniques passed down through generations.
  8. Bueng Khan Marine Fossil Museum: Discover an impressive collection of marine fossils found in the region dating back millions of years ago.
  9. Rajabhat University Art Gallery: An art center showcasing contemporary artworks by local artists as well as hosting rotating exhibitions from various disciplines.
  10. Phon Phisai Tower Viewpoint: Climb up this tower to enjoy breathtaking views of Phon Phisai District and its picturesque landscape along Mekong River.

Sports Teams

  1. Sakon Nakhon FC: This is a local football (soccer) team representing Sakon Nakhon province. They compete in regional leagues and occasionally participate in national tournaments.
  2. Sakon Nakhon Basketball Club: The basketball team represents the province of Sakon Nakhon and participates in various local and regional basketball competitions.
  3. Traditional Thai Sports: While not specific to Sakon Nakhon, traditional Thai sports like Muay Thai (Thai boxing), Takraw (a sport similar to volleyball but played with feet), and kite fighting are popular among locals.

It’s important to note that these teams may not have extensive histories or significant achievements at the national level compared to more prominent clubs from larger cities in Thailand.

Cultural Events

  1. Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival: This festival, held annually in May, is a traditional rocket launching ceremony that is believed to bring good luck and abundant rainfall for the upcoming rice planting season.
  2. Wax Castle Procession: Held during the Buddhist Lent period (July or August), this event showcases beautifully crafted wax castles made by local temples. The processions are accompanied by traditional music and dance performances.
  3. Sakon Nakhon Long Boat Races: Taking place in October, this event features thrilling long boat races on the Nong Han Lake. Teams from various villages compete against each other, creating an exciting atmosphere for spectators.
  4. Pong Lang Music Festival: Celebrated in November, this festival highlights the unique Pong Lang music of northeastern Thailand. It includes live performances of traditional music, dances, and cultural shows.
  5. Sakon Nakhon Food Festival: Held annually in December, this event showcases a wide variety of local dishes and delicacies from the region’s cuisine. Visitors can indulge in delicious street food while enjoying live entertainment.
  6. Phi Ta Khon Ghost Mask Festival: Also known as the Ghost Festival, it takes place around June or July based on lunar calendar dates (varies each year). This colorful event involves locals wearing ghost masks made from rice husks and parading through the streets to celebrate harvest season and bring good fortune.
  7. Silk Fair at Wat Pa Suthawat Temple: Organized annually around November or December, this fair displays beautiful silk products created by local artisans using traditional techniques passed down through generations.

These events offer visitors a chance to experience Sakon Nakhon’s rich cultural heritage while enjoying vibrant celebrations throughout the year.


  1. Kaeng kai pla: A spicy curry made with fish and chicken, cooked with local herbs and spices.
    • Recommended restaurant: Krua Rim Nam (ครัวริมน้ำ), known for their flavorful kaeng kai pla.
  2. Pla ra: Fermented fish served with fresh vegetables, herbs, and sticky rice.
    • Recommended restaurant: Pla Ra Chom Dao (ปลาร้าชมดาว), a famous spot for traditional Isaan-style pla ra.
  3. Sai krok Isan: Northeastern Thai sausage made from fermented pork mixed with herbs and spices.
    • Recommended restaurant: Sutthisan Sai Krok Isan (สุทธิสาร ไส้กรอกอีสาน), renowned for their authentic sai krok Isan.
  4. Lap moo: Spicy minced pork salad mixed with lime juice, chili peppers, mint leaves, and roasted rice powder.
    • Recommended restaurant: Lap Moo Yod Khao Noi (ลาบหมูยอดเขาน้อย), a popular place to enjoy this zesty dish.
  5. Jin som mok nua or som tam Isaan: A spicy papaya salad mixed with fermented fish sauce served alongside grilled beef.
    • Recommended restaurant: Som Tam Pochana (ส้มตำโภชนา), famous for its delicious som tam Isaan variations.
  6. Khao piak sen or sen yai nam sai sakon nakorn style noodles soup: Thick rice noodles served in clear broth topped with meat or seafood.
    • Recommended restaurant: Sen Noodle Soup Sakon Nakorn Style (เส้นน้ำซุปสกลนคร), a local favorite for this comforting dish.
  7. Khao tom moo: Steamed rice with minced pork, garlic, and ginger served with a flavorful broth.
    • Recommended restaurant: Khao Tom Moo Krua Nai (ข้าวต้มหมูครัวใน), known for their delicious khao tom moo.
  8. Grilled chicken and sticky rice: Tender grilled chicken marinated in traditional spices and served with sticky rice.
    • Recommended restaurant: Kai Yang Sakon Nakhon (ไก่ย่างสกลนคร), a popular spot for mouthwatering grilled chicken.

These are just a few examples of the local cuisine available in Sakon Nakhon. Exploring the local markets and street food stalls will also provide you with an opportunity to try various other regional delicacies.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Rajabhat Sakon Nakhon University Park: This park is located on the campus of Rajabhat Sakon Nakhon University and offers beautiful green spaces, jogging tracks, and sports facilities.
  2. Phu Phan National Park: Located just outside Sakon Nakhon city, this national park offers stunning natural landscapes with mountains, waterfalls, caves, and hiking trails. Visitors can also camp or enjoy picnics in designated areas.
  3. Bueng Boraphet Reservoir: This large reservoir is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts. Visitors can rent boats and fishing equipment to spend a relaxing day on the water.
  4. Wat Phra That Choeng Chum: This historic temple is known for its unique architecture and features a towering golden stupa that provides panoramic views of the city from its top.
  5. Suan Somdej Ya Public Park: Situated in the heart of Sakon Nakhon city, this park offers lush green spaces for leisurely walks or picnics. It also has a lake where visitors can rent paddleboats.
  6. Ban Ta Rae Ancient Community: Located near the Mekong River, this traditional Thai community showcases local culture through traditional houses, handicrafts workshops, and cultural performances.
  7. Wat Pa Sutthawat Temple Forest: This forest area surrounding Wat Pa Sutthawat temple is perfect for nature lovers who want to explore serene surroundings while enjoying meditation or walking trails.
  8. Tha Rae Hot Springs: Approximately 30 kilometers from Sakon Nakhon city center lies Tha Rae Hot Springs—a natural hot spring where visitors can relax in warm mineral-rich waters known for their therapeutic properties.

These are just a few examples of public parks and recreational activities available in Sakon Nakhon; there may be more options to explore in the area.


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