Sakon Nakhon: The Low-Key Isan Destination


Sakon Nakhon is a peaceful town located in upper Isan, between the famous Nakhon Phanom and bustling Udon Thani. Unlike other touristy places in Thailand, Sakon Nakhon may not offer traveler-oriented hotels or impressive tourism infrastructure. However, spending a few days here can be a rewarding experience if you want to step off the typical tourist tracks and get a slice of real Isan.

Exploring Sakon Nakhon

1. Nong Harn Lake

One of the highlights of Sakon Nakhon is Nong Harn Lake. This huge freshwater lake spans nearly 8,000 acres and serves as a significant water source and lifeline for the province. From October through March, the lake comes alive with the vibrant red blossoms of water lilies. The beauty of the lake is truly mesmerizing, and visitors can enjoy recreational activities from dawn until noon during the flowering season.

2. Wat Phra That Choeng Chum

Situated in the heart of Sakon Nakhon is Wat Phra That Choeng Chum, one of the town’s landmarks. This ancient temple houses an 80-feet high stupa with a history dating back to the 11th century. The stupa was built on top of four Buddha footprints, adding to its religious significance. Visitors can explore the temple grounds, admire the intricate architecture, and learn about the rich cultural heritage of Sakon Nakhon.

3. Phu Phan Royal Development Study Center Project

For those interested in agricultural practices and the livelihood of the Northeastern farmers, a visit to the Phu Phan Royal Development Study Center Project is a must. Here, you can learn about the “Black Magic of Phu Phan,” which refers to three kinds of livestock: black chickens, black pigs, and black cows. These livestock play a significant role in improving the lives of farmers in the region. The center provides educational tours and workshops, allowing visitors to gain insight into sustainable agricultural practices.

4. Indigo Dyeing Villages

To delve deeper into the local culture of Sakon Nakhon, a visit to the indigo dyeing villages is highly recommended. These villages are known for their traditional indigo dyeing techniques, which have been passed down through generations. One of the best places to explore the region’s indigo culture is the Kram Sakon Shop. Located in a peaceful garden, this modest outlet in wooden houses offers a wide range of fashion items inspired by Sakon Nakhon’s indigo art, including local style shirts and contemporary designs of bed sheets. Visitors can witness the intricate process of indigo dyeing and even purchase unique souvenirs.


In conclusion, Sakon Nakhon may not be the typical tourist destination in Thailand, but it offers a unique and authentic experience for travelers seeking to explore the lesser-known parts of the country. From the serene Nong Harn Lake to the historic Wat Phra That Choeng Chum, there are plenty of attractions to discover. Additionally, the Phu Phan Royal Development Study Center Project and indigo dyeing villages provide insights into the local culture and livelihoods of the people in this region. By venturing off the beaten path, visitors can truly immerse themselves in the charm and beauty of Sakon Nakhon.

How to Get There

Sakon Nakhon is located 404 miles northeast of Bangkok, accessible via Highway 2. For more information about attractions in Sakon Nakhon, you can contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand office in Udon Thani at 042-325-406 to 7.

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