Surin Introduction


Land and Nature

The Phanom Dong Rak Range demarcates Surin and other provinces on Korat Plateau from Cambodia. The plateau slopes up and then down into the valley. On which Buri Ram,Surin and Si Sa Ket provinces are located. These provinces were once collectively called “High Cambodia.” While the adjacent low plain in present-day Cambodia.” While the adjacent low plain in present-day Cambodia was called “Low Cambodia.” The peoples in these two neighboring countries visit the others via 35 passes in the Range. Notably Chong Prasat Ta Muean. Chong Prasat Ta Khwai. Chong Phrik and Chong Chom. The Kui people once crossed the border to round up wild elephants in adjacent Cambodia’s Udon Michai province. During the Khmer Empire. Surin lied right on the important pilgrimage route linking Khmer. Thailand and Laos.

The elevated southern part of the province gradually slopes down to the lowland and sparse forests in the north. The Mun River and a few streams enrich the province with fishes and jasmine rice-reputedly the best Thai rice. The swamp and sparse forests by the rivers are sources of mushrooms. Vegetables and rattan. In the past the Mun River was transportation route to Nakhon Ratchasima, and further to Laos. The Mun and Chi Rivers converge at Ban Ta Klang. Amphoe Tha Tum, the area where the Kui raised the elephants to be sent as a tribute gift to the capital.

Surin’s geographical and natural features enhance cultural amalgamation here for thousands of years. It once lied on the route linking the various kingdoms in this region, notably Lao’s Champasak and the Khmer Empire. The Kui people, attracted by the abundance of wild elephants here, added particularly colorful culture to the province. Surin today is charmed with splendorous Khmer ruins, peculiar with its Cambodian-influenced culture, and renowned for its highest number of domesticated elephants.

Turning Points in History

White terra cotta found in Chumphon Buri and forges verify the pre-historic settlement along the Mun River 3,000 years before the Buddhist Century. The descendants from the Munda tribe, who migrated along the Mekong River from the Himalayas, settied down around the Phanom Dong Rak Range. Given their skill in catching and training elephants, they are presumed to be the Kui who live in present-day Laos and Thailand.

1st Century

The small town of Surin, as well as the whole northeastern region in present-day Thailand, was part of the Funan Empire.

6th – 8th centuries

Chenla Empire defeated Funan and expanded its power over the northeastern region. Surin became and important border town adjacent to Vietnam from Hue to Saigon, Luang Phra Bang, Phetchaburi and Sukhothai. Remains include multilayered moats and city walls.

10th century

The flourishing Khmer Empire expanded its power to the middle of present-day northeastern region of Thailand. King Chaiyaworaman II adopted the concept of God-king and constructed the Ankor Wat, one of the miracles of the world. Many Khmer temples were erected to represent God’s abodes.

12th century

King Chaiyaworaman VII adopted the concept of Buddhist King. This Great King made merits by constructing numerous religious sites,hospitals, called arokaya san or the place without diseases, and hundreds of rest areas for travelers. Some remain today, notably Surin’s Prasat Ta Muean and Prasat Ta Muean Tot.

Late 13th century

During the Sukhothai period, the Khmer Empire declined while present-day Laos was divided into three independent states namely Luang Phra Bang, Vientiane and Champasak with their skills in catching and training elephants.


The Kui people, who had conflict with Champasak, migrated to Surin. One of their leaders, Chiang Pum, settled down at Muang Thi in present-day Amphoe Muang Surin. These people mastered in raising and training elephants as well as in assembling food from the forest.


In the late Ayutthaya period, the Kui re-caught the white elephant which ran away from the capital city. Upon returning the white elephant to King Ekathat of Ayutthaya, the village headman was promoted to be governor and the villages were promoted to town status accordingly, such as Chiang Pum village to Muang Surin; and Chiang Kha village became Muang Sangkha.


After his ascending to the throne in Bangkok, King Rama I pursued the policy to strengthen the area along the Mekong River as the buffer between Thailand and Vientiane and Champasak. Muang Prathai Saman was renamed Surin on this occasion.


Under the reign of King Rama III, Prince Anuwong of Vientiane attacked and defeated Muang Khukhan, Surin and Sangkha, Krom Phra Ratchawang Bovorn Maha Sak Phon Sep, the heir to the throne, led the army from Battambang to Surin, and defeated Prince Anuwong in Vientianed in 1827.


The administrative reorganization during the reign of King Rama V resulted in Surin being under the command of Hua Muang Lao Kao. The Surin people, and those from Si Sa Ket, Khukhan and other towns nearby, were conscripted to the armed confrontation during the Franco-Siamese conflict in 1894.


Surin gained provincial status from the administrative reform.


Local Cuisine

Unlike other Northeasterners, Surin people prefer plain to sticky rice, and grow the best Thai rice-the famed jasmine rice. Most of Surin’s dishes are made from local vegetables and fish. Given Cambodian culinary influence, some Surin dishes are cooked with less concentrated coconut milk than that in the central region. The use of turmeric and other spices suggests Indian influence, which has remained in Cambodia since the Khmer Empire.

Traditional meal of the Cambodian descendants in Surin is laid on flat basket called kradong. Plain rice is put in the middle of the basket, surrounded with small bowls or receptacles made with banana leaves, filled with soup, curry paste or nam phrik, and vegetables. Most of these dishes, including the curry paste, are dry, since Surin people traditionally eat with hands rather than spoons. This style of food arrangement is rarely seen today, except in special parties in local hotels or at Surin Ratchabhat Institute. The dishes, including koi kung, san lo chek, Khu kachao, sa gnon trai tala mit, lap tia, and others, can be tasted both in the morning and afternoon markets.

A number of popular dishes are made from snakehead mullet, which can be steamed, roasted, dried and deep fried, barbecued, and cooked in spicy soup.


Surin has always been influenced by the Cambodian and Thai cultures. Its strategic location in the Thai wars against Cambodia and Vientiane made it the assembly place for elephant army during the early Rattanakosin period.

Indigenous Surin people

The Kui, the Cambodian and the Laotians in Surin have formed a harmonious melting pot in Surin for hundreds of years. Cross-racial marriages are normal, and crosslanguage communications are smooth. The harmonious co-ex-istence in Surin entails the saying that the Surin people are prone to take risk like the Cambodians, loyal and devoted like the Laotians, and free-willed like the Kui.

Not many Chinese descendants live in Surin today.


The Kui are sometimes called Suai, which means tributary payment. This name probably comes from the historical fact that once some rural people paid in kind  to  the central government instead of being conscripted. The Kui paid with wild elephants. These people, however, prefer the name Kui, which means “human.”

The Kui played consequential role in the erection of Khmer temples, as their elephants transported laterite or huge sandstones to the construction sites.

Only 10 percent of Kui men raise elephants, while the rest are farmers. Kui women have never been part of this elephant culture, resorting instead to silk weaving.

At present the Kui live in hundreds of villages in almost all districts in Surin, particularly in Chom Phra, Tha Tum, Chumphon Buri, as well as in Buri Ram and Si Sa Ket provinces.


The Laotians in Surin were presumably descendants of those migrated from Champasak in the late Ayutthaya period. They mix with other local peoples in Rattanaburi, Sanom and Chumphon Buri. They can preserve Hit Sip Song Khrong Sip Si, a merit-making practices, including the rocket festivals.


The Cambodians were taken to Thailand in the aftermath of the Thai-Cambodian war in the early Rataanakosin period. At present, Cambodian descendants scatter around the province, and manage to preserve their folk culture, such as kantruem music, chariang singing, and other plays such as rueam an re or pestle dance.

Site Map: Surin

::: Surin

::: Surin Hotel Reservation:

  ::: City or Town

::: Thong Tarin Hotel New!

::: Surin Attractions:

::: Pilgrimage and Eco
::: Handicraft Village 
::: Land of Elephants 
::: History of Khmer

::: How to get to Surin


::: Surin Map

::: Surin Festival

Need a car rent to Surin, please contact us:

Car Rent by Thai-Tour.Com

Hotel Reservation

 Surin Town:

 Thong Tarin Hotel New!


Hotels & Resorts Index by Regions and Provinces

 North Chiangmai, Chiangrai, Kampaengpetch, Lampun, Lampang, MaeHongSon, Nakornsawan, Nan, Payao, Pichit, Pitsanulok, Prae, Sukhothai, Tak Utaradit
 Central Bangkok Bangkok Tour, Angthong, Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao, Chainat, Kanchanaburi, Lopburi, Nakornnayok, Nakornpathom, Nonthaburi, Pathumthani, Petchaburi, Prachinburi, Prachuabkirikhan Hua Hin Resort Hua Hin Hotels, Ratchaburi, Samutrprakarn, Samutsakorn, Samutsongkram, Saraburi, Singburi, Srakaew, Supanburi, Uthaithani
 East Chonburi, Pattaya Resort, Rayong Koh Samet , Chanthaburi, Trat/ Koh Chang Koh Chang Resorts
 Northern East Amnatcharoen, Buriram, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Khonkaen, Loei, Mahasarakham, Mukdaharn, Nakornphanom, Nakornratchasima, Nongbualampoo, Nongkai, Roied, Sakonnakorn, Srisakes, Surin, Ubonratchathani, Udornthani, Yasothorn, Buengkan
 South Phuket, Chumporn, Krabi Phi Phi Hotels, Nakornsrithammarat, Narathiwat, Pang-nga, Pattalung, Pattani, Ranong, Satun, Songkhla, Suratthani, Trang, Yala, Koh Tao, Samui Hotels, Koh Phangan



[ Thailand Tourist Information ]


[ Thai-Tour.Com ]


เกี่ยวกับเรา | นโยบายความเป็นส่วนตัว | การใช้เวปไซต์

TAT License

บริษัท ไทยทัวร์ อินโฟ จำกัด
46/26 ถนนเจริญราษฏร์ แขวงบางโคล่ เขตบางคอแหลม กรุงเทพฯ 10120
Office: โทร. 02-1641001 – 7  แฟกซ์ 02-1641010

All rights reserved by Thai-Tour.Com