Amphoe Muang Si Saket
Wat Maha Buddharam. (วัดมหาพุทธาราม) Located in the heart of Sisaket City, the Buddhist temple’s vihara houses ‘Luang Por To’ the sacred icon of Sisaket. The gigantic Buddha image in attitude of subduing Mara is 6.85 metres high and 3.50 metres wide. Built during Khmer era over a thousand years ago, the statue was originally carved from stone and decorated later at unknown time.
Somdet Sri Nagarin Park. (สวนสมเด็จศรีนครินทร์) Located in Agricutural Collage Sisaket, Kasikam Rd., Tambon Nong Krok, a couple kilometres from the city hall, the park acquires 237 rais area. With landscape of rolling hill, the park is nourished by two streams, Huay Poon Yai and Huay Poon Noi that meet north of the park. Here is rich of ‘Lamduan’ or Lamdman Tree, making it a nice place for botanical excursion. The lush forest of Lamdman always fills up the air with fragrance every March. As Sisaket was also formerly called Sri Nakhon Lamduan, Lamdman tree is used as logo of the province. Zoo, beautifully landscaped garden, and big pond in the park make it nice place for relaxing.
Khun Ampai Panich Building. (ตึกขุนอำไพพาณิชย์) Located in Muang Municiplaity, Ubon Rd., the beautiful building belongs to Sisaket nobleman Khun Ampai Panich (In Naga-siharat). Built by Chinese and Mon technicians in 1925, the Chinese style building was gracefully decorated with stucco. It is well renovated and preserved, and eventually won gold medal in the project of conversing urban architecture in 1987. The Fine Art Department has registered the building as ancient building already.
Phra That Ruang Rong. (พระธาตุเรืองรอง) Situated at Ban Sangruang, Tambon Yaplong, the temple’s architecture is the gracefully blending of art from four ethnic groups in Lower Northeast namely Lao, Suay, Khmer, and Yer. The 6-storey Phra That or stupa is 49 metres high. Its ground floor is for religious rites, the 1st -2nd floor is the museum of 4 Thai ethnic groups, the 3rd floor is the chapel for Buddha images, the 4th floor is meditation room, and the top floor is the view point. Relic of the lord Buddha is housed here. How to get there: Phra That is 7.5 km from Sisaket City via highway 2373 (Sisaket-Yang Chum Noi).
Amphoe Uthumporn Pisai
Sra Kampaeng Noi Khmer Ruins. (ปราสาทสระกำแพงน้อย) Situated in Wat Sra Kampaeng Noi, Ban Klang, Tambon Kayung, The Khmer Ruins comprises laterite stupa and chapel with a big pond at front, all are in the embrace of laterite wall. Once it had a stone carved lintel depicting ‘the Varun God’, the god of rain, siting on the throne above three swans. The carving was placed over kirtimukha. The Khmer Ruins in Bapuan is dated back to the 11th Century. At the first place, it was used for religious purpose. In the 13th Cenutry, under the reign on King Chaya Varama VII, Bayon Architectural style was added. During such time, the ruins was called ‘Arokaya Sala’ to be served as community hospital. How to get there: The Khmer Ruins is 8 km from Sisaket City, on the right of highway 226 (Sisaket-Uthumporn Pisai).
Sra Kampaeng Yai Khmer Ruins. (ปราสาทสระกำแพงใหญ่) Located in Wat Sra Kampaeng Yai, Ban Kampaeng Yai, Tambon Sra Kampaeng Yai, it is the biggest and most perfect Khmer Ruins in the province. The Khmer Ruins comprises three stupas on the same base lining in North-South direction and facing east. The main stupa, at the middle, made from sandstone and bricks in some part, houses carved lintel depicting God Indra on the back of Erawan Heavenly Elephant above the kirtimukha. Other two stupas are made of brick with sandstone decorations such as lintel, gable frame and door frame. Behind the southern stupa is another brick stupa. Before all are two brick vihara surrounded with walls made from laterite and sandstone and 4 Gopuras at all directions.
Brick vihara at north houses a carved lintel depicting Reclining Vishnu. The southern brick vihara houses a lintel depicting God Shiva and Goddess Uma seated on Nonthi Cow. Presently, this Khmer Ruins belongs to the division of Archeology, Fine Arts Department. Many antiques are found from this site such as lintels depicting Shiva God, Krissna God fighting Vattana Cow, Buddha statue in the attitude of meditation under naga, Buddha statue in attitude of meditation, and terra cotta Buddha images.
By the style appearing on gables, lintels, and antique, particularly inscription at the doorframe of Sra Kampaeng Yai Khmer Ruins, this ruins was probably build in the 11th Century with Bapuan Art style of Khmer. It was served as shrine for God Shiva before changing into Mahayana Buddhist temple in 13th Century.
How to get there: The Khmer Ruins is 26 km from Sisaket City and 2 km from Amphoe Uthumphon Pisai, via highway 226.
Amphoe Huay Tap Tan
Huay Tap Tan Khmer Ruins or Ban Prasart Khmer Ruins. (ปราสาทห้วยทับทัน หรือ ปราสาทบ้านปราสาท) Located in Wat Prasart Panaram, Ban Prasart, the Khmer ruins was adapted in later era like Sri Korphum Khmer Ruins in Surin. Huay Taptan Khmer Ruins has very similar roof, but quite higher. It comprises 3 brick stupa on laterite base in North-South direction standing in the laterite walls with arch gates. It might have 4 gates in the past, but today only southern gate remains.
The main stupa at the middle is a bit bigger than other two, but its roof, in rectangular shape, is shorter. It has only gate at the east with sandstone frame decorated with unfinished carved lintel depicting a man standing above the kirtimukha with flower frame.
The second stupa on another side has the same size but different style. The stupa is filled up with bricks, it has fault doors with sandstone door frame. There are carved lintel depicting the churning sea of milk lies in front of southern stupa. Assumed from art style of the lintel, this Khmer Ruins may be built in the 11th Century with blending art style of Khlang and Bapuan, before being adapted later.
How to get there: From Sisaket City, use highway 22 for 39 km, turn right at Amphoe Tap Tan and keep going for other 8 km.
Amphoe Plang Ku
Plang Ku Khmer Ruins. (ปราสาทปรางค์กู่) Located in Ban Plang Ku, stupa of this Khmer Ruins was built from gigantic-size brick like Sri Koraphum Khmer Ruins in Surin which can be dated back over a thousand years ago. In front of Plang Ku is a big pond which is home to Anatidae which gather from February onwards. How to get there: The Khmer Ruins is 70 km from Sisaket City and 10 km from Amphoe Plang Ku. It can be reached via two routes. Motorist can use Sisaket-Surin Rd. and turn left into highway 2234 or Sisaket-Ku Kan Route, then turn right into highway 2167.
Ban Samor Khmer Ruins. (ปราสาทบ้านสมอ) The small Khmer Ruins is located in Moo 2 Ban Tamchan, Tambon Samor. Built in the 13th Century, its stupa houses a carved statue. How to get there: From Sisaket City, use highway 220, and 2167 for 52 km. The ruins is 8 km before Amphoe Plang Ku.
Amphoe Ku Khan
Taleng Khmer Ruins. (ปราสาทตาเล็ง) Located in Moo 6 Ban Prasart, Tambon Kantararom, Taleng Khmer Ruins features a single stupa standing on the base. The stupa has rectangular base facing east. Presently, only the front wall and some side walls remain. The front door is the real door while the other three are fault doors. Pillars by the front door are delicately carved. The ruins was built in 11th-12th Century.
Many lintels are found scattering. The lintel at the northern gate depicts God Indra on Erawan Heavenly Elephant in the frame over kirtimukha. God Indra encarved in that lintel just took garland out of his mouth and holding it with both hands. Other lintels feature the same depiction except one depicting 7 hermits sitting in line during practicing meditation. From such architecture and art style, Taseng Khmer Ruins was built in Bapuan style during the year 1017- 1087. How to get there: From Sisaket City, use highway 220 to Amphoe Ku Khan, turn right at police station and keep going for three km. Turn left at the intersection and keep going for 300 metres, turn right and continue for other 8 km. Turn right at Ban Prasart, the Khmer Ruins is on the right.
Amphoe Khun Han
Namtok Samrong Kiat (Namtok Pisad) น้ำตกสำโรงเกียรติ (น้ำตกปีศาจ) The falls is situated at Ban Samrong Kiat, in Dongrak Wildlife Sanctuary. Originated from Kantung Mount in Bantad Range, the medium size waterfall turns vibrant from late rainy season to winter, or September to February. Visitor can admire the fall from the upper level first, until climbing down the trail, one can see falls cascading down the 8 metre-high cliff. How to get there: The falls is 81 km from Sisaket City. Use highway 2111, get off the main road at Amphoe Khun Harn and keep going for 20 km.
Namtok Huay Chan (Namtok Kantrom). น้ำตกห้วยจันทร์ (น้ำตกกันทรอม) Originated from Phu Salao Mount on Bantad Range, the waterfall cascades beautifully before meeting with Moon River. The falls is vibrant from September to Frebruary. With shady vegetable, around the waterfall is a nice place for picnic. How to get there: The waterfall is 24 km from Amphoe Khun Harn and 85 km from Sisaket City via highway 2236 (Kantrom-Ban Samrong Kiat).
Dok Lamduan Festivals. (งานเทศกาลดอกลำดวน) Held annually between March 15-17 at Somdet Sri Nagarin Park when lamdman trees in the park are in full bloom, The fair comprises cultural performance of four local ethnic groups namely Khmer, Suay, Lao, and Yer. Fair goer can enjoy selecting handicrafts, local products, and watching performance of Sisaket’s history.
Sisaket’s Rambutan and Durian Fair. (งานเทศกาลเงาะทุเรียนศรีสะเกษ) The fair is held every June at the field before Amphoe Kantaralak or Amphoe Khun Harn. Fair goer can enjoy the big sales of fruits from Sisaket such as rambutan, durian, lanson, mangosteen, stink beam and rubber, flower floats, documentary exhibition, and fruit tasting caravan.
Half and Quarter Marathon to Mor E-Dang. (การแข่งขันวิ่งฮาล์ฟและควอเตอร์มาราธอนสู่ผามออีแดง) Held annually on the third Sunday of December, the half and quarter marathon will start from Ban Phume Sarol to Mor E-Dang Cliff, on the way to Preah Vihear. This uphill and foggy route to the border is quite challenging route which can attracts lots of runner.
Long Kwuang and Mini Light & Sound at Sra Kampaeng Yai Khmer Ruins. (กิจกรรมการลงข่วงวัฒนธรรมศรีสะเกษ และ Mini Light & Sound ปราสาทขอมวัดสระกำแพงใหญ่) Held at Wat Sra Kampaeng Yai, the local activity welcomes group of tourists to visit community and join various activities for two hours at dusk. Tourist can see local people Long Kwuang or landing hands for welcoming tourist in traditional way, performing local music and dances, visiting handicraft producing demonstration, and enjoying dinner in traditional style. Moreover there is light & sound performance featuring the legends of Sra Kampaeng Yai Khmer Ruins. For more information, call Sra Kampaeng Yai Tambon Adminsitration Organisation at 0-4536-8322.
Local products and souvenirs
Sisaket is famed for silk and cotton cloths woven in ‘Khit’ pattern, which are mainly produced in Amphoe Bung Boon and Uthumporn Pisai. Delicate basketry and wooden works such as water holder, replica cart are available on Rachakarn Rodfai Rd. Saltened egg from Amphoe Prai Bung, red onion, garlic, and preserved garlic in honey are generally available. Sisaket is also famed for its torpicla fruit. Fruit orchards in Amphoe Kantaralak always bear fruit, such as durian, rambutan, and mangsteen, from May to July. And quality of the fruit here is as good as from the east of Thailand.
Recommended tour programmes
Programme 1: Khmer culture (Ubon Ratchathani-Sisaket)
Leave Ubon Ratchathani for Amphoe Kantaralak of Sisaket, visit Don Tuan Khmer Ruins. Go to Mor E-Dang Cliff and witness the cliff-side Khmer bas relief. Visit the cliff-top sanctuary of Preah Vihear before leaving for Samrong Kiat Falls in Amphoe Khun Harn and enjoy picnic lunch by the falls. Visit Tamnaksai Khmer Ruins, Wat Maha Jedi Kaeo or Wat Larn Kuad. Get back to Ubon Ratchathani to visit museum of Luang Pu Cha at Wat Nong Pa Pong, Amphoe Warin Chamrap. Enjoy shopping, dinner, before getting back to Bangkokor stay in Ubon Ratchathani.
Programme 2 : Preah Vihear Sanctuary (Sisaket)
Starting from Ban None Du, Amphoe Prai Bung of Sisaket, visit Wat Larn Kuad in Amphoe Khun Harn, enjoy lunch picnic by Samrong Kiat Falls. Visit Mor E-Dang Cliff, Khao Phra Viharn National Park, agrarian community of Sisa Asoka, and get back to Sisaket.
Programme 3: Getting around Sisaket
From Sisaket City, go to pay homage at Phra That Ruang Rong and visit the museum of 4 Thai ethnic groups. Visit Mud Mee Silk weaving proves and enjoy shopping at Amphoe Bung Boon. Visit Khmer Ruins and pay homage to Luang Pu Kruang at Wat Sra Kampaeng Yai. Lunch at Amphoe Uthumporn Pisai, visit Wat Sra Kampaeng Noi Khmer Ruins, Khun Ampai Panich Building, and enjoy nature of Lamdman forest in Somdet Sri Nagarin Park. Then go shopping dining, before getting back to hotel or else.
Programme 4: Surin-Sisaket
From Surin City, head to Amphoe Tha Toom for Jumbo Village Ban Ta Klang, then leave for Mud Mee Silk Cloth in Amphoe Bung Boon. Enjoy lunch in Amphoe Uthumporn Pisai. Visit Khmer Ruins and pay homage to Luang Pu Kruang at Wat Sra Kampaeng Yai, visit Wat Sra Kampaeng Noi Khmer Ruins, Phra That Ruang Rong. enjoy nature of Lamdman forest in Somdet Sri Nagarin Park. Then go shopping dining, before getting back to hotel or else.
Programme 5: Sisaket-Yasothon
From Sisaket City, go to visit Phra That Ruang Rong, the continue to Amphoe Uthumporn Pisai for Khmer ruins of Wat Sra Kampaeng Noi, and Wat Sra Kampaeng Yai. Leave for watching demonstration Mud Mee Silk Cloth production and enjoy shopping in Amphoe Bung Boon. Lunch at Amphoe Rasi Salai, go to Yasothon and pay homage to Yasothon’s Lord Buddha Foot Print in Amphoe Mah Chana Chai. Visit Phra That Kong Khao Noi, Boon Yarat Buddha Image and Phra That Arnon at Wat Maha That. Enjoy dinner, stay in Yasothon or get back.
--globe-trotter 17:01, 14 February 2010 (EST)