Key Takeaways

Tat Ton National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติตาดโตน)


Tat Ton National Park is a renowned national park located in Chaiyaphum province, Thailand. It has been awarded the Thailand Tourism Award (Kinnaree Award) three times, in the years 2013, 2015, and 2017, for its exceptional natural and ecotourism attractions. The park is celebrated for its stunning waterfalls, including Namtok Tat Ton, Namtok Tat Fa, and Namtok Pha Iang. Visitors can also explore the revered Chaopho Tat Ton (Pu Duang) Shrine, which holds significant religious importance for the people of Chaiyaphum and neighboring provinces.

Waterfalls of Tat Ton National Park

Namtok Tat Ton is the most prominent waterfall in the park, known for its grandeur and picturesque beauty. The cascading waters create a mesmerizing sight, surrounded by lush greenery. Visitors can enjoy swimming in the clear pools formed by the waterfall, providing a refreshing and rejuvenating experience.

Namtok Tat Fa is another enchanting waterfall within the park, offering a serene and tranquil atmosphere. The waterfall is smaller in size compared to Namtok Tat Ton but is equally captivating. The crystal-clear waters gently flow down the rocks, creating a soothing ambiance.

Namtok Pha Iang is a hidden gem nestled within the park. This waterfall is relatively less explored, providing a secluded and peaceful retreat. The waterfall is surrounded by dense foliage, adding to its allure. Visitors can enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings and immerse themselves in the untouched beauty of nature.

Chaopho Tat Ton (Pu Duang) Shrine

Located at Namtok Tat Ton, the Chaopho Tat Ton (Pu Duang) Shrine holds great religious significance for the local community. The shrine is dedicated to Chaopho Tat Ton, also known as Pu Duang, who is revered as a guardian spirit in the region. Many locals and tourists visit the shrine to pay their respects and seek blessings. The shrine is adorned with colorful decorations and offers a peaceful place for prayer and reflection.

Phu Laen Kha National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติภูแลนคา)

Geological Wonders

Phu Laen Kha National Park is renowned for its fascinating geological attractions. The park is home to various unique rock formations that have been shaped over millions of years. One of the most prominent attractions is the Hin Rong Kla Viewpoint, which offers a panoramic view of a large rock terrace with cracked rocks and a rock cliff towering at an altitude of 700-800 meters above sea level.

Another geological wonder in the park is the Pa Hin Prasat Viewpoint, where visitors can witness a rock formation resembling a castle. The natural rock archway, known as Pratu Khlong, adds to the charm of this viewpoint. The park also features large rock piles shaped like gates, surrounded by peculiar stones, creating a surreal landscape. Visitors can explore Pha Hua Nak Viewpoint, which offers breathtaking vistas, and Mo Hin Khao, also known as the Stonehenge of Thailand, consisting of five large white sandstone pillars.

The geological formations in Phu Laen Kha National Park provide valuable insights into the Earth’s history. A survey conducted by the Department of Mineral Resources and Chaiyaphum province in 2002 revealed that the rock layers and fossils found in the park are approximately 195-175 million years old. The shifting of Earth’s plates and natural processes of compression, folding, and erosion have contributed to the formation of these remarkable rock structures.

Ban Khwao Silk Village (หมู่บ้านผ้าไหมบ้านเขว้า)

Silk Cloth Production

Ban Khwao Silk Village is a renowned hub for sericulture and silk cloth production. Visitors to the village can witness the intricate process of silk cloth making, which showcases the local people’s traditional craftsmanship and wisdom. The process includes various stages, such as drawing the silk, cleaning and dyeing, ikat (matmi) weaving, color painting, and ironing silk cloth.

The silk cloth produced in Ban Khwao Silk Village has gained recognition and accolades. It was the national winner of the OTOP (One Tambon One Product) competition organized by the Community Development Department, Ministry of Interior. The village’s most exquisite design is the “Mi Khan Kho Nari” pattern, which is considered unique and unparalleled in the world.

Visitors can explore the village and interact with local artisans, who passionately continue the legacy of silk cloth production. The village offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Chaiyaphum province and provides an opportunity to appreciate the intricate artistry involved in silk weaving.

Chulabhorn Dam (Nam Phrom Dam) (เขื่อนจุฬาภรณ์) (เขื่อนน้ำพรม)

A Multi-Purpose Dam

Chulabhorn Dam, also known as Nam Phrom Dam, is a significant landmark in Chaiyaphum province. This multi-purpose rockfill dam, with a clay core packed with stone and pebbles, spans across the Phrom River on the Khun Phai Range. It stretches for 700 meters on the dam’s ridge and has a width of 8 meters.

The primary purpose of Chulabhorn Dam is to generate electrical power and provide irrigation for agricultural activities in the region. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) oversees the operation and maintenance of the dam.

Attractions Near Chulabhorn Dam

Apart from the dam itself, there are several attractions in the vicinity that offer unique experiences for visitors:

– The Replica of Phra Phutthasiri Sakkharat (Luangpho Chet Kasat): Situated at the left side of the dam, this revered Buddha image attracts pilgrims and devotees. It serves as a spiritual landmark and a place for contemplation.

– Chulabhorn Dam’s Park: Covering an area of 41 rai, the park is classified as a preserved forest. It boasts a diverse range of plant species and provides a serene environment for relaxation. Visitors can find Sala Phrom Phitsamai, a pavilion where they can unwind and enjoy the natural surroundings. The park features a path paved with natural stones, adding to its charm.

– Ancient Plants: Within the park, there are 325-million-year-old ancient plants belonging to the grass family. The two main species are Son Sam Roi Yot (Lycopodium) and Son Hang Ma or Ya Thot Plong (Horsetail or Equisetum). These plants offer a glimpse into the prehistoric era and the evolution of plant life on Earth.

– Lup Khuan View Pavilion: Located at an altitude of over 800 meters, this viewpoint provides breathtaking panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can capture stunning photographs and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

Phrathat Nong Sam Muen (พระธาตุหนองสามหมื่น)

An Ancient Monument

Phrathat Nong Sam Muen is an ancient monument of great historical and cultural significance. It is considered one of the most beautiful and well-preserved stupas in Chaiyaphum province. The name of the monument is derived from a nearby swamp located to the northwest of the temple.

The architectural style of Phrathat Nong Sam Muen is believed to be a combination of Lanna, Lan Xang, and Ayutthaya styles. It was constructed during the 16th-17th centuries, in the reign of Phra Chai Chetthathirat of the Kingdom of Lan Xang.

Every year, during the Songkran Festival, a Phrathat Bathing Ceremony takes place at the monument. The festival, held from 13th to 15th April, is a significant event for the local community and attracts visitors from far and wide. The ceremony involves the cleansing and blessing of the stupa, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere.

Pha Koeng/Wat Chaiyaphum Phithak (ผาเกิ้ง/วัดชัยภูมิพิทักษ์)

Pha Koeng and Wat Chaiyaphum Phithak

Pha Koeng, also known as the Moon Cliff, is a prominent cliff formation located in Chaiyaphum province. Its unique shape resembles a crescent moon, hence the name given by the locals. Atop the cliff stands Wat Chaiyaphum Phithak, a temple that houses the Chaiyaphum Phithak Buddha image.

The Chaiyaphum Phithak Buddha image is a remarkable 14-meter-high structure made of brick and cement. The entire surface of the image is covered in golden mosaics, giving it a majestic appearance. The Buddha image is depicted in the gesture of giving a blessing, radiating a sense of peace and serenity.

From the temple grounds, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the expansive paddy fields, creating a picturesque backdrop. The temple compound also includes Phra Borommathat Pha Koeng, a sacred relic pagoda, and a museum that showcases a collection of antiques.

Phraya Phakdi Chumphon (Lae) Monument and Chaopho Phraya Lae Festival (อนุสาวรีย์พระยาภักดีชุมพล (แล) และงานเจ้าพ่อพญาแล)

Historical Monument and Festival

The Phraya Phakdi Chumphon (Lae) Monument, located at the Government Complex Circle, commemorates the first governor of Chaiyaphum, known as Chaopho Phraya Lae. This historical figure played a pivotal role in the development of Chaiyaphum and was appointed by King Rama III as the first governor when the town was granted the status of Ban Luang.

The Chaopho Phraya Lae Festival is an annual celebration held from 12th to 20th January. The festival takes place at the field in front of Chaiyaphum City Hall and the Chaopho Phraya Lae Monument Intersection. The event features various parades, including a monument worshipping parade and an elephant offering procession. Districts from across the province participate in the festival, showcasing their agricultural products and holding exhibitions. The festival offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Chaiyaphum and provides entertainment and enjoyment for both locals and visitors.

Hae Nak Hot Festival (งานประเพณีแห่นาคโหด)

A Unique Merit-Making Festival

The Hae Nak Hot Festival is a traditional festival held annually in May at Ban Non Salao-Non Than, Tambon Nong Thum, Amphoe Phu Khieo. This grand event is deeply rooted in Buddhist traditions and serves as a significant merit-making ceremony for those who have faith in Buddhism.

The festival revolves around the idea that before becoming a monk, one must go through various obstacles and tests. The procession begins with parading around the village, starting from the house of the person who is about to be ordained. Young men from each village carry a bamboo carriage with a person to be ordained on top, known as “Nak.” As the procession moves, the participants shake the carriage vigorously, testing the patience and determination of the person inside. If the person falls from the carriage, they are disqualified from ordination.

The procession covers a distance of over 3 kilometers and takes approximately 4 consecutive hours. After completing the village route, the procession continues to walk three times around the ordination hall. This tradition has been practiced for over a century and holds great significance in the local community.

Komgrish Ancient Textile Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์ผ้าโบราณชัยภูมิ KOMGRISH)

Preserving Ancient Textiles

The Komgrish Ancient Textile Museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the ancient textiles of Chao Phraya Lae’s descendants. The museum displays prototypes of the Khit design, an intricate pattern, and various ancient silk textiles. These textiles feature beautiful patterns such as Mi Ieo Yieo Khwai, Fong Nam, Kho, Thon Son, Soi Dok Mak, Mak Chap, Hang Krarok, Mak Chap Wan, Lai Mak Chap Chum, Khao Lam That, Kho Yai, Mi Khan Kho Nari, and many more.

The museum provides visitors with a deeper understanding of the rich textile heritage of Chaiyaphum province. It showcases the exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into creating these intricate designs. The ancient textiles are not only a testament to the artistic skills of the local community but also a reflection of their cultural identity.

Hom Bun Ok Phansa or “Hae Krathup” Festival or End of Buddhist Lent Festival (งานประเพณีโฮมบุญออกพรรษา “แห่กระธูป”)

Celebrating the End of Buddhist Lent

The Hom Bun Ok Phansa, also known as the “Hae Krathup” Festival or the End of Buddhist Lent Festival, is a significant religious event held three days before the End of Buddhist Lent Day. The festival takes place in front of the Nong Bua Daeng District Office and is considered the most important ceremony for the people of Nong Bua Daeng.

The festival involves the lighting of “Krathup,” which represents a Jambolan tree, a symbol of the tree of Jambudvipa. The festival is based on a Buddhist scripture called Phra Malai Sut, which describes the scent of the Krathup tree spreading in all directions, bringing delight and happiness to those who smell it.

The Krathup tree is created using local materials, including Om leaf and Niam leaf, which are herbal plants mixed with coconut peat. The long-shaped Krathup is wrapped in colorful paper and decorated with bamboo fly rod stars resembling fishing rods. The Krathup is then pierced into a bamboo trunk resembling an umbrella shape. The procession carries the Krathup, and it is lit for worshiping Buddha images in different spots in the temple compound in Amphoe Nong Bua Daeng, Amphoe Kaset Sombun, and Amphoe Phu Khieo.

The Hom Bun Ok Phansa Festival is a vibrant and joyous celebration that brings the community together. It showcases the devotion and faith of the local people and allows visitors to witness and participate in the cultural traditions of Chaiyaphum province.

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