Chaiyaphum is a province in the centre of Thailand. It is
well known in tourism terms because it has beautiful
flower fields. Chaiyaphum was founded over 2 centuries
ago during the early Rattanakosin period by a group of
Vientiane people led by Nai Lae.
Chaiyaphum is 342 kilometres from Bangkok and has an area
of 12,778 square kilometres. It consists of the
following districts: Mueang
Chaiyaphum, Khon Sawan, Kaeng Khro, Ban Thaen, Phu Khiao,
Kaset Sombun, Khon San, Nong Bua Daeng, Ban Khwao,
Chaturat, Bamnet Narong, Thep Sathit, Nong Bua Rawe,
Phakdi Chumphon, Noen Sanga and Sap Yai.
Pho Phraya Lae shrine
shrine is on the bank of Nong Pla Thao, 3 kilometres from
the city, on the way to Ban Khwao. There is a large tamarind
tree on the bank, which is said to be where Chao Phraya Lae
died fighting Vientiane soldiers in 1826.
is at Ban Kanaisa, Tambon Na Sieo. It is a small
mountain with drawings of Buddha images from the U Thong
period on the face of a cliff. They date from the
18th-19th Buddhist century, around the early Ayutthaya
period. There is a fair to pay homage to the drawings
every April for 3 days. To get there, take Highway No.
201 (Chaiyaphum-Phu Khiao) for 13 kilometres, then turn
left onto the Na Sieo-Huai Chan road and drive for 6
khmer sanctuary is at Ban Nong Bua, Tambon Nai Mueang, 3
kilometres from the city. Prang Ku is a Khmer-style
ancient site built in the 18th Buddhist century. The
main pagoda is square with a length of 5 metres on each
side. A stone Buddha image in the meditation posture
from the Dvaravati period that was moved from elsewhere
is beside it. A building is situated in front of the
pagoda surrounded by a wall. Everything is made of
laterite except for the door and window frames, the
lintel and columns that are made of sandstone. Outside
the wall is a pool in perfect condition.
The Tat Ton National Park covers some parts of Phu
Laen Kha mountain range. To get there, take Highway
No. 2051 for 21 kilometres. Tat Ton waterfall is an
important tourist spot. The water here cascades down
wide rock plateaus, creating breathtaking scenery,
especially in the rainy season when there is plenty
of water. The park also has Pha Iang waterfall,
which is 32 kilometres from the city on the
Chaiyaphum-Nong Bua Daeng road, and Tat Fa
waterfall, which is 25 kilometres from the city on
the Chaiyaphum-Kaeng Khro road.
Khwao district is famous for silk weaving and cotton
of good quality and lovely designs. It is
particularly well known for its Mat Mi silk that is
popular among those who favour traditional fabrics.
The district is 13 kilometres from Amphoe Mueang on
Highway No. 225. Another attraction here is the
large swamp that is home to waterfowls, which
migrate here during October to January.
Sai Thong National Park covers 340 square kilometres
of Phang Hoei mountain range.
The park headquarters is at Tambon Wang
To go to the park, take the
Chaiyaphum-Nakhon Sawan road (Highway No. 225) to
Km. 121-122, turn right and drive for 7 kilometres.
The most important attraction of the park is Sai
Thong waterfall, 1 kilometre from the park office.
Water falls smoothly down rocks, about 100 meters
from top to bottom. There is also a wide field of
Dok Krachiao that rivals the flowers in Pa Hin Ngam
in Amphoe Thep Sathit. The field can be reached only
on foot and visitors should stay there overnight.
Narinthawat Farm is at Km.
on the Chaiyaphum-Phu Khiao road. The farm has
shelters decorated with an assortment of flora. A
distinctive feature is the many carts from the
regions of Thailand, some over a century old with
beautiful woodcarving designs.
cliff is part of Lankha Mountain, 36 kilometres from
the city on Highway No. 2159. Along the road there
is large rock jutting out. At the top is the
Chaiyaphum Phithak Buddha image that 14 feet high.
The cliff offers a good view of the area.
Decorative trees can be found at Ban Khae, which is
about 1 kilometre from Amphoe Phu Khiao on Highway
No. 201. The trees are sought after for garden
decoration and they constitute the main occupation
of the village. Several trees are taken and bent
into interesting shapes, then sold to visitors.
Chaiyaphum, take Highway No. 201 past Phu Khiao to
Ban Nong Song Hong for 75 kilometres, then turn left
onto Highway No. 2055 and drive for 9 kilometres to
Ban Kaeng. There, turn left and drive for a further
5 kilometres. This ancient square-based pagoda is 32
meters wide and 45 meters high. It is one of the
most complete and most beautiful pagodas to be
found. Incorporating art from the Lanna, Lan Chang
and Ayutthaya periods, it is believed to have been
built during the 21st-22nd Buddhist century.
present site of the pagoda used to be the site of an
ancient city from the Dvaravati period that
flourished during the 12th-16th Buddhist century.
Traces of a moat and buildings remain. Many
artefacts have been discovered here such as
sandstone temple markers and Khmer-style sculptures.
This national park can be
reached via the Bangkok-Saraburi-Chai
Badan route, then connecting to Highway
No. 205 (Chai Badan-Thep
Sathit-Chaiyaphum). Then take a
left-hand road just before the district
for 29 kilometres. The park is littered
with large rocks of unusual shapes, some
resembling a nail, a serpent’s head and
an ancient castle. In the early part of
the rainy season in July, Dok Krachiao,
a jungle flower with an underground
bulb, will sprout pink blooms all over
the area. With winter come orchids
emerging from rock cracks and
innumerable types of jungle flowers. Sut
Phaen Din is a steep cliff that connects
the Northeast to the Central Region.
Visitors can get a panoramic view of the
surrounding area from here. Tents can be
set up for overnighters in the park.
Thep Prathan and Thep
Phanom waterfalls are medium-sized
waterfalls at their loveliest in the
rainy season. They are 34 kilometres and
48 kilometres from Thep Sathit district,
Chulabhorn Dam is at Tambon Thung Phra and dams the Phrom
River. It is a rock-filled dam with an earth core. The
dam is 700 metres long and 70 metres high. It is used to
generate electricity and irrigation. Boat rentals are
available to view the sights of the reservoir. To get to
the dam, take the Chaiyaphum-Chum Phae road (Highway No.
201) to Nong Song Hong junction, then turn left onto
Highway No. 2055, a total distance of 120 kilometres
wildlife reserve is on the same way as Chulabhorn Dam
between Km. 24-25. It has an area of 1,560 square
kilometres. The geography consists of a sandstone
mountain range with high cliffs. The verdant jungle is
the watershed of an important river of the Northeast
called the Chi and is home to an abundance of wild
animals, as well as over 350 bird species. The reserve
is ideal for studying flora and fauna. The most
interesting spot is Thung Kamang, a grass field that is
the grazing ground for many animals. The reserve is open
only to persons wishing to study nature. Permission must
be obtained from the reserve chief by writing to P.O.
Box 3, Chum Phae Post Office, Khon Kaen or contact the
Wildlife Reserve Section, Royal Forestry Department,
Bang Khen, Bangkok.