Sawadee Sakon Nakhon
#TraveltoSakon is one of the most popular Hashtag on social media right now. Almost everyone that opens the News Feed would see this Hashtag. When you talk about "Sakon" that is frequently mentioned in the Hashtag, some people would be curious what's so interesting about this province? What are the attractions there? And since I do not know anything about this small province at all, thus, it is interesting me as well.
Frankly, from the start when I book the flight from Thai AirAsia, I do not have any information of “Sakon Nakhon" province at all. Since the route to Sakon Nakhon province is the new route of Thai AirAsia, thus, I would like to try traveling this route. It kinds of book the ticket first and set a trip later. And this is how “Sakon Nakhon" trip started.
As I do not have so much time plus I'm not sure what does Sakon Nakhon have, hence, I booked one day round trip flight (At first, I am scared that there would be nothing to travel and no place to go that I need to wait until late evening flight back). Therefore, this trip is set as a short one-day trip to visit Sakon Nakhon province. The total travel time of the trip will be only 12 hours altogether. Moreover, the budget I spent is just around 500baht which I think it is very worthwhile to try visiting this province once in a life time.
One day before the trip begin, I do a little bit of research on Google and roughly collect and remember only the important information with me. Well, I will find the way when I get there at that time Lol. I set a loose plan as following details:
Morning – Trip to Tha Rae
Afternoon – Walk around the city and search for some delicious food
Evening – Visit temples in the city area
Night – Walk around Nong Han Lake before returning to Bangkok.
This one day (12 hours) trip to “Sakon Nakhon" with 500 baht budget is considered as a worthwhile experience gaining. Well, not to waste any more time and do not have to wait for anyone #TraveltoSakon. Now, I will take you guys there then.
Let's go to Sakon Nakhon then. Get your backpack ready and follow me!!!
“Sakon Nakhon Province" is a
province in the upper northeastern part of Thailand. It is an important old
town with diversity in many ways especially the spectacular natural environment
with an interesting history and culture. The province is located close to
Nakhon Phanom province and Mukdahan province. Moreover, these three provinces are
regarded as the “Three Fun Provinces" that tourist love to visit.
For anyone who love to travel at a low budget cost, you guys could come and say hello and follow me at
If you look at a map of Sakon
Nakhon province, you will see the highlight place to visit which is “Nong Han
Lake" that located next to downtown area and it is considered as the landmark
of this province as well. As for other places nearby to visit are temples to go
and pay some respect.
This trip would focus on the low budget journey which would start from book a low cost flight with AirAsia.
This route to “Sakon Nakhon" is
a new flight route of AirAsia. Even though it is not a popular tourist route,
however, it is one of the routes that frequently has a promotion price.
Moreover, the flight time is pretty good as well. I booked the early bird flight
at 06.55am in the morning (flight time is around one hour). For the trip back,
I booked flight time at 07.30pm which I would take approximately 12 hours for
the trip. I reserved 0 bath promotion ticket. And the round trip ticket costs me
150 baht in total.
At this point, when I minus 150baht of air ticket cost from the total budget, it would leave me the pocket money that I could spend at Sakon Nakhon only 500 – 150 = 350 baht.
I started the trip on Saturday morning at “Don Mueang Airport". At that time, the airport is rather crowded as it is the weekend morning that all the tourists would travel out of the town or go abroad. Therefore, you should come earlier to the airport to have a little extra time. Even though the air fare is just 150 baht, but missing flight is not funny at all. (I did miss the flight before so I fully understand the feeling)
I come to check-in pretty early in the morning, thus, there are not so many people here.
This morning, there is rain shower and I could see two rainbows
in the sky. The weather is rather fine. Very Good.
My departure gate is Gate72 that I guess it has to be a Bus Gate for sure.
Well, let's take off!!
The flight time from Don Mueang to Sakon Nakhon is approximately
an hour. Fast and convenient.
3Sixty Thailand Magazine June issue, the information inside is really suits this trip.
I take a nap for only a while and we now have reached our
“Sakon Nakhon Airport" is a small and attractive airport.
Well, how can I travel to the downtown from "Sakon Nakhon Airport"?
Sakon Nakhon Airport is about 8
kilometers away from downtown area. There is bus service to the city which
would cost around 80 baht per trip and you could tell the driver where to drop
you off within the downtown area. The service is pretty convenient or if you
would like to rent a car, there is car rental counter at the airport as well.
Bus service to the city 80 baht.
"Sakon Nakhon City Map"
" Sakon Nakhon City Map"
A = Sakon Nakhon Airport
B = Nong Han Chaloem Phra Kiat Park
C = Tha Rae
D = Sakon Nakhon Downtown
Upon arriving at "Sakon Nakhon Airport", then I would like to travel to Tha Rae first. From the map above, when leaving the airport (A), if turn right we will go to Tha Rae (C) and if turn left then we will enter the downtown city area (D). At first I would like to go to downtown area before, but it seems to located in different direction.
Then I walk out to wait for a bus in front of the airport at Sakon Nakhon – Nakhon Phanom Road. I have to walk out about 1.5 km and it seems a bit far for me to get some sweat. (I would recommend you guys to go to downtown first then catch a bus line Sakon Nakhon- Tha Rae, so you won't be tired but for this time I just would like to try walking first).
However, when I walk out for a
little while, there is a generous pick-up truck driver takes me along and drops
me off at the airport entrance which on the right side could go to Nakhon
Phanom (Pass Tha Rae, my destination) and if go to the left hand side will go
to Sakon Nakhon downtown.
After that, I get across the street to wait for the bus line Sakon-Tha Rae. It would be a red mini bus like this and it is very easy to notice. The bus frequently passes by as it runs every 10 minutes.
The atmosphere through the
The bus ride to Tha Rae will
take around 15 kilometers. On the way, there is one interesting attraction
before reaching Tha Rae 3 kilometers which is “Nong Han Chaloem Phra Kiat Park,
Sakon Nakhon Province". It is the largest Lotus Lake Park that has various kinds
of lotus flowers for tourist to watch.
I pay 15 baht for the bus fee and stop by at this place immediately.
The admission fee is free at
Nong Han Chaloem Phra Kiat Park, Sakon Nakhon Province. You could take a walk
inside or rent a bike at 10baht per one hour.
There is bicycle route to take
“Nong Han Chaloem Phra Kiat Park, Sakon Nakhon Province" was built in 2010.
It is a place that collects various kinds of
lotus plants around the world and displays them for farmer and those who
interest to learn about lotus plants. Additionally, this place is also a
tourist attraction and a relax place for the people in Sakon Nakhon Province.
The park area has been divided in to three sections which are:
First section is the collection of both domestic and international species of lotus plants in the pond. You could walk along the wooden bridge to have a closely watch.
Second section is the display area for rare species of lotus plants.
Last section is the exhibition area for giving the knowledge of
lotus plants including history of various lotus plants and there are also
various kinds of lotus selling for those who are interested.
wooden bridge walkway to walk along the lotus pond.
A small pavilion at the middle of the pond to sit and relax from the sun.
During the late morning time,
the lotus just faces the sunlight and starting to show their beautiful color.
Walking along the bridge during the early morning or late evening is the best time as the weather would not be very hot and the atmosphere around the pond is awesome.
There are many small pavilions around the pond area to avoid the sun. Take some relax and admire the atmosphere around the pond.
Some areas are full with the lotus flowers while the others have only one lotus flower.
There is collection of various
kinds of lotus plants for visitor to watch how beautiful they are (I apologize
as I could not remember the name of each species) Therefore, I just take some
beautiful lotus pictures for you all to see instead.
I prefer the wooden bridge to
walk around the pond. For those who love taking photos, you must not miss out
this place. ^^
During the walkway, there are many kinds of beautiful lotus greeting you all the way.
I think during the evening time
when the sun is about to set, the atmosphere must be really romantic.
Walking further inside, there
is an area calls "Night Lotus" (According to the data given from the
officer). There would be a walkway and a small pavilion to take a seat as
There are a pavilion to relax
and a connected walkway.
Tourists are taking some relax and admiring the beautiful of the lotus pond.
to a lotus pond,
there is a crocodile
cage and food to feed the crocodile provide at 20 baht.
Well, seems like they are sunbathing!
As I could see, some are sunbathing; some are floating on the water, there should be 20 of them altogether.
After enjoy the beauty of the lotus flowers, then I go out to wait for the same bus route to travel to "Tha Rae". As I have mentioned before, this minibus line runs frequently, thus, you do not have to wait for a long time. The bus ride is 3 kilometers away and you will reach Tha Rae. It's at the terminal stop!! (1)
“The Map of Tha Rae "
1 = Tha Rae (End of the minibus line)
2 = St. Michael the Archangel Cathedral
3 = Old Town area
When the bus reaches the last stop, you could cross the street and then walk about 100 meters back. You would see one alley in the front, then walk into the alley about 100 meters more and you could see “St. Michael the Archangel Cathedral" (2) ahead of you. The church is very stunning and you could see it markedly stands from the far distance.
"Tha Rae" is a Catholic Community which has the largest amount of Catholic population in Thailand.
The Christian here originally
emigrated from Vietnam around 1884. Thus, there is a creation of "
Michael the Archangel Cathedral"
which is a large church shaped
like a ship to commemorate the migration of Christian in Tha Rae.
Look really stunning.
The tranquil ambience around
the church makes everything looks calm and peaceful.
Walking through the church to the back and then turn right, you will find "The old town". It is about 100 meters away which is not far from the cathedral and then you could feel the atmosphere of the old community. The city plan of "Tha Rae" looks like a square checkerboard shape which is similar to the city in the western country. There are buildings and houses in French architecture style for visitor to promenade around.
In a walking distance, I see the first building ahead of me and there are people walk in and out which make me feel curious, thus, I walk closely to look inside.
It turns out that it's a Noodle Shop . It is the most classic decorative style noodle shop I have ever seen ohhh!!!
What are you waiting for??? Let's order something to eat. Eating noodle in French architecture building style is pretty awesome.
There are a great number of customers coming here during lunch time.
They are making us the original
“Tha Rae Noodle" and on the menu they have beef noodle and pork noodle in both
clear and thick soup. The rich taste of the soup is definitely awesome.
This is the atmosphere inside the cuisine. It is the simple Thai noodle cuisine with the mix of French and Vietnamese architecture style building which becomes to be the classic noodle cuisine in Tha Rae. I would highly recommend you all to take a visit. ^ ^
And this is the menu I have ordered, a big bowl of “Pork Noodle in Thick Soup". It comes along with vegetable and roasted chili. And if you added Shrimp Paste (Kapi) inside, it would taste much more delicious.
This bowl costs only 30 baht which is very cheap!! And it comes in a large portion (with free ice water). I would highly recommend you guys come here and have a try!!!!
From the classic noodle cuisine, continue walking straight approximately 100 meters and you will see two old buildings in French and Vietnamese architecture styles located next to each other. (Located behind the building in a walking distance is Nong Han Lake)
The first building is “Udomdech
Wathana Mansion". It is an ancient house of Ong De or Mr.Khamsing Udomdech
which was built in 1933. It was opened as a shop on the ground floor and
upstairs is a residence. Inside there is an altar which could be used to
perform religious ritual. Currently, the ground is kind of damage and it cannot
be assumed whether the ground was built with the cement or not.
The structure of the mansion was driven with the
wood wedge which is the old brilliant technique that made the building gets
much more stability.
The second building nearby is an ancient house of “Ong Luen or Mr.Truong Sorin" which was built in 1932. It is a European style building with a mix of architecture styles between French and Vietnamese. The mansion was not built with cement; however, the Vietnamese builder wisely compounded lime with sand together with local resins which are Yang Bong and sugarcane molasses instead of using mortar and plaster to attach the upper structure with the walls. Some equipment were ordered from France via sea freight to Bangkok and then transport by train to Korat respectively before loading in the wagon to deliver to Tha Rae.
At the back of the building.
here, continue walking around 300 meters and you will find the “Old Mansion".
It is a 90-100 years old ancient mansion of Mr.Nu Sriworakul (Hien Rien Dung
Dung) and Mrs.Nuna Uppaphong who are the descendant of
the ruler of Sakhon Nakon Province during that time.
Originally, it was built as a residence. However, by the time of
World War II the government had an order to close the church.
Therefore, the Christian who lived there had to find a place to perform the religious ritual and as the descendant of the owner of this mansion is a Roman Catholic priest, thus, they offer this mansion to use as the place to perform religious ritual.
Unfortunately, the house was ruined by fire and there
is no reconstruction, hence, the house was left to be covered by Bodhi Tree as you
could see in the present.
The house was damaged and now covered up by Bodhi Tree.
The remains of the house with a trace from the past.
After watching the old building and taking some pictures, now it is time to head back to downtown. On the way back, you could walk back and wait for the bus in the front of the classic noodle cuisine.
Minibus will ride pass in front of the noodle cuisine (until noon only). It is a same minibus line that we took when we traveled here. However, you could also walk to the entrance of the alley and wait for the bus at the main road. The bus comes very often; thus, you don't have to wait for long. The distance from Tha Rae to Sakon Nakhon downtown is approximately 20 kilometers and it takes only about half an hour to the destination.
Next destination is the “Paris Streamed Rice-Skin Dumpling", the famous dumpling of Sakon Nakhon province. Upon arriving at the downtown area, I am quite confused of the direction somehow. Luckily, on the minibus, I have a chance to have a chat with one guy who I realized that he graduated from the same university as me. When we reached our stop, he kindly walked me to the dumpling shop. I really appreciate his help. Thank you again.
Walk a little bit further
from the last stop of the minibus line and you will reach at “Paris Streamed
Rice-Skin Dumpling" shop, the menus would start from 35 baht.
They cook it fresh and hot.
The shop is located in the old Paris theater alley (opposite Dusit Hotel) that it's why they called it Paris Streamed Rice-Skin Dumpling. (It is not that the dumpling is made from Paris)
Normally, the shop would be really crowded during lunch time. Although, it is still crowded during afternoon when I arrived but luckily, there are some available seats left.
The delicious dumpling comes from its “Rice-Skin"^^
These are the menus that I and my friend ordered which are:
1) Vietnamese Pork Sausage (Mooyor), as an appetizer while waiting for Streamed Rice-Skin Dumpling. This menu costs 30 baht.
2) Folded Egg Streamed Rice-Skin Dumpling 35 baht
3) Regular Streamed Rice-Skin Dumpling 35 baht
4) Rolled Egg Streamed Rice-Skin Dumpling 35 baht
Total expense (135 + Soft Drink 15 = 150) divided by 2, thus, the total would be 75 baht per person and I am extremely satisfyingly full!!!)
(Actually, one portion of Dumpling for one person is quite enough)
After we are done with the meal, we will head to “Wat Pa Sutthawat" which is located approximately 1 kilometer from the downtown area. The temple is not far, thus, we could take a minibus there. You could take the minibus line Sukkasem Road and line Sakon Nakhon Road- Na Kae. It is just a short ride and costs about 10 baht. The minibus will stop at the front of the alley and then you could take a little walk to the temple. However, you also can walk from the downtown to the temple, if you prefer. (The distance is not far, thus, you could either walk or take a minibus)
Sakon Nakhon City Map
1 = Wat Pa Sutthawat
2 = Minibus terminal
are many minibus routes that ride around the town. Therefore, you could ask the
local people first so you would not get into the wrong line. The picture below is minibus line
Sakon - Tha Rae that we took this morning and we will take it again when
we leave the town to the airport.
get off from the minibus then walk a little bit more to
Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta Thera or Luang Pu Man Phurithatto.
Walk approximately 300 meters and you will reach the entrance
gate of the temple.
“Wat Pa Sutthawat" is a well-known temple by people in Sakon
Nakhon and the neighboring province including the entire Buddhist in Thailand
as the temple where
Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta Thera or
Luang Pu Man Phurithatto lived and passed away.
Walking inside and you could see the beauty of the chapel.
The outstanding chapel looks awe-inspiring and inside is enshrined the main Buddha statue of the temple.
The place is very important and spectacular and it is often used as a place to perform religious rituals.
There are many beehives above.
Inside Wat Pa Sutthawat, there is the exhibition that displays biography and history of or Luang Pu Man Phurithatto and other monks as well.
Moreover, inside the temple is also located the museum of Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta Thera.
In the museum, there is an actual size statue of Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta Thera for the Buddhist to pay a respect.
Additional to that, inside the museum also contains the ashes of
Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta Thera, the eight necessities of the Buddhist monk
and the exhibition displays the history of Luang Pu Man Phurithatto from the
moment he was born to the day he passed away.
Nearby, there is a pagoda that contains the ashes of Luang Pu Lui for Buddhist to pay a respect.
After that, we will head back to downtown. Since I have mentioned before that the distance is just about 1 kilometer back to downtown and it is not far at all, thus, this time I will try walking back to downtown (If you take a minibus, it would take only just a little while). Well! I did walk back and I feel alright with that.
And our next destination is "Willy Naem Nueang Restaurant".
Sakon Nakhon City Map
1 = Paris Streamed Rice-Skin Dumpling
2 = Willy Naem Nueang Restaurant
3 = Wat Phra That Choeng Chum Worawihan
4 = Phon Yang Kham Steak House
5 = Sa Phang Thong
After getting in the downtown area and walk a little further, you will find “Willy Naem Nueang Restaurant" (2). You could see the restaurant from the far distance from its orange eye-catching sign board.
Upon entering inside the restaurant, the first impression that I feel at once is the cooling weather from air-conditioner. It is very awesome when you walk in the burning hot weather and then you could immediately get some relax from the cooling air. Lol.
Actually, I think to myself that the restaurant must be an
ordinary open-air shophouse restaurant with some tables for service. Anyway, it
is beyond my thought, the restaurant is decorated with the bright tone color
that makes it seems really clean and the good thing is that the cooling fresh
“Willy Naem Nueang Restaurant" is a famous Vietnamese restaurant of Sakon Nakhon province. They offer authentic Vietnamese food and anyone who comes to Sakon Nakhon should come and have a taste. It is a healthy food served with various vegetable and there is also the souvenir selling inside the restaurant.
Now, it is eating time again (Actually, I am
still full from the last meal). I order small set of Naem Nueang (Vietnamese
Sausage) for having a taste. A small set of Naem Nueang combines with 3 of Naem
Nueang and it costs 100 baht (it comes with a lot of vegetable. Actually, there
is one more basket of vegetable but I didn't take a picture of that, Lol).
Look utterly delicious.
“If one would like to truly get the delicious taste of Naem Nueang, one must eat it with their own hands" - One of my trip fellows said.
The total expense of this meal is 150 divided by 2, thus, it is just only 75 baht per person(Naem Nueang 100 baht + Soft drink with Ice 50 = 150) Great!!
From “Willy Naem Nueang Restaurant", we will walk to “Wat Phra
That Choeng Chum". On the way, the beautiful archway of “Wat Chaeng Saeng Arun"
has caught my eyes, thus, I stop to take some photos.
The temple has a stunningly beautiful archway.
At this moment, it seems that it is going to rain as there are black clouds in the sky!!! We continue walking around 15 minutes and then we reach at “Wat Phra That Choeng Chum". Don't be worry that you will get lost as in the downtown area, there are many direction signs to Wat Phra That Choeng Chum.
The archway of the entrance.
“Phra That Choeng Chum" is a pagoda that was constructed by brick and lime with square shape base. The upper part of pagoda has a square lotus shape and the pagoda is roughly 24meters tall with no decorative design on the pagoda. Moreover, the pagoda is topped with a multi-tiered gilded umbrella which made of pure gold and there are 4 arches doorway in each side. It is regarded as an important sacred place of Sakon Nakhon province since the old times. Anyone who comes to visit Sakon Nakon must not miss out to come and worship this pagoda.
This is the atmosphere around which there are a lot of Buddhists
who come to visit and make a merit here.
The atmosphere in the front of Wat Phra That Choeng Chum.
Located near to Wat Phra That Choeng Chum is “Sa Phang Thong"
which is a large pond and public park of Sakon Nakhon people. It is considered
as a relaxation place and a place to hold many important events.
Moreover, during the evening time, it is the place where people come to do some exercise. There are many people jogging around and the weather is really nice.
Let's sit back for a while and watch the beautiful atmosphere at “Sa Phang Thong". ^^
During the afternoon, seem that it is going to rain; however,
there is no rain at all. On the contrary, the sun is shining strongly. Now, we
still have another attraction that we haven't visited yet which is “City Gate".
From “Sa Phang Thong" get across the road and you will find “City Gate".
Let's take a photo for keeping as a good memory that I once have visited “Sakon Nakhon". ^^
And the last attraction of this trip that I intend to visit in
the evening time would be “Nong Han Lake".
“Nong Han Lake" is a large natural water source which combines from many rivers, thus, it is the important food source of local community around here.
Apart from that, the lake is the relaxation place of Sakon Nakhon people as well. During the evening time like this, the atmosphere around Nong Han Lake is considerably great.
I sit back and breathe in the fresh air during the evening time. Let's take a photo of a good atmosphere before heading back. ^^
It is time to say goodbye to "Sakon Nakhon" now. I walk to the City Gate to wait for a minibus to the airport. (Turn your back against the City Gate and wait for the minibus at the road on your left hand side).
There will be a minibus line Sakon-Tha Rae passes by this way (The one that we took to Tha Rae in the morning). The last bus would be around 06.00pm or you could get on the bus at its terminal.
Well, I do arrange my time very well as I come to wait for the last bus at 06.00pm and I wait only just a while for the bus to come. You could ask the driver of a minibus to send you at the airport, thus, you don't have to get off at the entrance and continue walking to the airport. Just tell the driver in advance, the minibus fare to the airport costs 50 baht which is in a reasonable price.
Upon arriving at “Sakon Nakhon Airport", I go to check-in
preparing for the journey back.
And this is the end of "One Day Trip in Sakon Nakhon" #TraveltoSakon. I have to admit that before I came here, I really don't have any idea that this province will have the interesting attraction to visit. However, that idea has been changed already.
I will come back here for sure as there are still many interesting places that I haven't been to (outside the town). This “Tour Sakon Nakhon in 12 hours with 500 Baht Budget" trip has been considered as one day relaxing trip and I did learn a lot experiences from this trip.
I hope that this review would be useful for everyone and I would recommend you guys to travel there once (Most people might already have 0baht promotion air ticket or redeem the Big Point for air ticket or about to reserve the ticket. Anyway, I would recommend this route to you guys as another choice of attraction. The ticket of this route has been on promotion frequently)
Total estimated expense of this trip
Round trip air ticket = 150 baht
Food = 75+75+30 = 180 baht
Minibus fare whole day+ return to the airport = 105 baht
Snack+Drink at 7-11 convenient store = 50 baht
Total expense around 485 baht
Lastly, I would like to thank you everyone for reading this review. I hope that this review will give you guys some useful travel information. And I have to apologize if there is anything wrong with the information in this review. See you guys in the next trip. You could follow my travel journey at FanPage : CHAILAIBACKPACKER.
Good bye to all and Sawasdee.(-/\-)
Twitter : @chailaibackpack / goo.gl/VIBXC9