Khon Kaen is a hub for tourists, be it work or otherwise, and if you want to know how to have the perfect trip in this part of Thailand, read on.
About Khon Kaen
Civilisations settled here thousands of years ago, and later, further cultures came in and settled too. After the Khmer empire ended, the place remained untouched until King Rama the first decided to take over and create a new town here. The Vietnamese, Indians and Chinese have been trading silk for more than 200 years now, and when you are exploring the town, you will be able to see the influences of these cultures everywhere.
The monsoon in this part of Thailand happens during July, August and September. These are the worst months in terms of being unable to explore the town freely. April is a good time to visit the area since the Songkran, which is the Thailand New Year, happens then too.
Getting around in Khon Kaen
Khon Kaen is quite a big place, and the public transport system here is great. You can also rent your own set of wheels to have more flexibility in terms of getting around. Tuk-tuks are found almost in every corner of Khon Kaen and it is a cheap and fast way of getting around.
Located in northeastern Thailand, Khon Kaen offers plenty to discover and here are some of the main attractions to include on your itinerary.
To gain insights into Thailand’s religious heritage, amongst the best things to do in Khon Kaen is to visit some of its temples. The relatively new Wat Thung Setthi with its striking design of blue and gold is not to be missed; also visit the remarkable Wat Nong Wang that has nine levels you can climb to enjoy amazing lakeside views.
Dino Water Park
To have fun with the whole family, head to Dino Water Park. Situated within easy reach of properties like Avani Khon Kaen Hotel & Convention Centre, this huge water park features thrilling rides and slides; highlights include the Looping Rocket and Windigo, while it also has water play areas for kids, a wave pool and more.
There are lively local markets to visit both for finding great bargains and trying Thai food. The Saturday Walking Street Market held from 5:00pm onwards is well-known and features buskers as well. Other hotspots include Ton Tann Night Market that has live entertainment and the more traditional Fairy Plaza Night Market.
Bueng Kaen Nakhon
One of the most popular attractions in Khon Kaen is the lake known as Bueng Kaen Nakhon which offers an idyllic backdrop for relaxation and recreation. There’s a playground for kids nearby, while you can rent bikes and enjoy cycling, go on leisurely strolls, head out on paddle boats or at one section, try some fishing.
If you’re planning on seeing the wondrous sights of Thailand on a sightseeing tour, be sure to make a trip to the city of Khon Kaen. This is an ancient settlement with plenty of history and culture for you to absorb and immerse yourself in – so, let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer.
Wat Nong Wang
If you’re looking for things to do in Khon Kaen, you should definitely start with a visit to Wat Nong Wang. This is one of the country’s most famous and spectacular temples, most notable for being 9 floors tall!
Wat Thung Setthi
The brilliant gold and blue exterior have come to characterise the Wat Thung Setthi – another beautiful temple found within the city. If you’re staying at a centrally-located hotel – for instance, the Avani Khon Kaen Hotel & Convention Centre – this is a fairly quick visit too – approximately just 15 mins from your hotel!
Bueng Kaen Nakhon
This is a lake found right at the heart of Khon Kaen. This is a great place if you want to enjoy a calm and tranquil atmosphere that’s removed from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. A number of distinct shrines can also be found along the length of the lake.
Shrine of City Pillar
Found near the city’s flourishing shopping centre, the Shrine of City Pillar is another important religious site found in Khon Kaen. It is believed that a famous monk once placed an inscribed stone at the site of the shrine.
Thailand is a paradise for all sorts of travellers, especially for the backpackers out there! It’s famous for many great reasons. Here are a few of them.
Forget about the unreadable names of Thai dishes, just enjoy their unique tastes. Thailand is a paradise for those who love street food and even seafood. Diverse kinds of noodles, meat, and spices, you find it all there.
The main religion of the Thais is Buddhism. This is why you find many Buddhist Temples (pagodas) and statues that are over a thousand years of age. There are also monasteries that you can visit when you are in Thailand.
Constructed in the mid-15th century, this old temple, Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong is popular among all travellers who visit Chiang Mai. It houses one of the sacred Buddha Relics as well.
The temple has two viharas. The larger one out of these two is a two-storied building and this houses the Buddha Relic. This relic is said to be the sacred skull of the Lord Buddha.
The Ku is also known as the Buddha Throne. It’s where hundreds of Buddha statues and images are kept for public display. The smaller vihara also houses many Buddha images.
It’s a great place to engage in meditation
The temple also conducts meditation classes. Even if you are a foreigner, you have the opportunity to learn meditation as they instruct in English as well. You can either choose the Samatha meditation practices or the Vipassana approach.
While those who do not speak Thai can fully enjoy a holiday in Thailand, it always helps to know some local phrases to use with the people you meet.
“Khap” and “Kha”
Before getting into phrases to use be it in Bangkok or at a hotel Khon Kaen has to offer, you need to differentiate between “Khap” and “Kha”. They are used at the end of sentences and denote a sign of respect; the main thing to keep in mind is that “Khap” is only used by male speakers and “Kha” only by females.
From meeting locals to interacting with staff at properties like Avani Khon Kaen Hotel & Convention Centre, the greeting you should learn is “Sawasdee”, which is the equivalent of “hello”. As mentioned, depending on the gender, the ending will differ; males will say “Sawasdee Khap” and females, “Sawasdee Kha”.
Also learn phrases such as “Sabai Dee Mai?” which is like asking “how are you?”, “Khop Khun Khap / Kha” the equivalent of “thank you” and “Mai Pen Rai” when you need to say “you’re welcome”. This phrase can also come in handy; say “Haawng Naam Yuu Tee Nai?” when you need to find the bathroom!
Here are some other phrases that can be useful on your travels in Thailand; keep in mind, a big part of conversing here is to be polite and non-confrontational too.
• Ni Tao Rai? – How much is this?
• Paeng – Too costly
• Mai Khao Jai – I don’t understand
• Aroy – Delicious
• Kor Tot – Excuse me
Located in north-eastern Thailand, Khon Kaen is a key city in Isan and is a captivating destination for work, rest and play. Check out these insights which will help those planning a trip here.
Before getting into sightseeing find a suitable hotel Khon Kaen has to offer. Ideally, choose a property within easy reach of city centre attractions as well as the main airport and train station. Added features to look for would be onsite conference and function venues, free Wi-Fi, a spa, gym and dining options too.
Those looking to learn more on the region’s heritage can visit the National Museum located within easy reach of Avani Khon Kaen Hotel & Convention Centre. Family fun awaits at the Dino Water Park, while Wat Thung Setthi, Ban Khok Sanga King Cobra Village and the day and night markets are worth visits too.
Escape to Nature
Offering both relaxation and recreation, Bueng Kaen Nakhon is a picturesque lake area home to idyllic parks and temples, while being popular for riding bikes and fishing. For more nature-based excursions in Khon Kaen, one can explore the Phu Kao-Phu Phan Kham and Phu Wiang national parks, the latter known for its dinosaur graveyard!
When to Visit
Generally, November to April is the best time to visit Khon Kaen; it’s also an ideal place to witness the water-filled New Year festival of Songkran (in April). From May to October the monsoon brings with it rains, though do keep in mind the rates and crowds at these times will be less too!
Thailand is one of the most popular countries to visit in South East asia, especially If you’re planning a vacation with the whole family. Here there’s adventures and excitement to be had for people of all ages – here are some of the top family experiences you can have in Thailand.
Elephant Nature Park
A visit to Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park is the chance to spend a day with some of the most magnificent and gentle creatures on the planet. All the elephants here were either rescued or orphaned individuals. You can interact and get close to these placid giants – but not too close! Here at the sanctuary, it’s all about maintaining a comfortable distance for both the people and the animals.
If your family is of the adventurous type, consider an exhilarating jungle adventure in the wilds of Thailand. There are plenty of activities to try out from thrilling mountain bike rides to kayaking along the region’s pristine rivers.
Cycling in Thailand
If you’re staying at a hotel Khon Kaen has to offer – say, for example, the Avani Khon Kaen Hotel & Convention Centre – you might want to consider a cycling tour through Central Thailand. This provides the opportunity to explore some of the region’s most fantastic attractions and the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture.
A Walking Food Tour
Thailand is famous for its local cuisine, renowned for its unique flavour combinations and delectable aromas. So, why not take a walking tour through the streets of Thailand with the family, tasting all kinds of different dishes along the way.
Touching a monk is forbidden in Thailand. You can have friendly conversations with them, but you should know your limits. Even when you need to take a picture together, you should first ask for permission and do it.
Do not criticize the royal family
Since you do not know about the King or his family, it’s always wise to avoid any conversations about them. Criticizing them is a serious offense in Thailand.