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Historical evidence points out that the city was first established during the Rattanakosin period in 1793. Thao Somphamit and his troops escaped from the left bank of the Mekong River and settled on the bank of the Pao River, which was called ‘Ban Kaeng Samrong.’ Then, he sent tribute to King Rama I the Great who later promoted Ban Kaeng Samrong as a city and renamed it ‘Kalasin’ or ‘Mueang Nam Dam’ (a black water town), which later became an important city. ‘Kala’ means ‘black’; ‘sin’ means ‘water’, so Kalasin means ‘black water.’ The king also appointed Thao Somphamit as ‘Phraya Chaisunthon’ who became the first ruler of Kalasin.
Kalasin is 519 kilometres from Bangkok. Take the route Bangkok – Saraburi – Nakhon Ratchasima (Highway No. 2) until you reach Amphoe Ban Phai of Khon Kaen province. Continue on Highway No. 23 and 213 and Highway No. 209 (Maha Sarakham - Kalasin).
The Transport Co., Ltd. provides air-conditioned and ordinary bus services daily from Bangkok to Kalasin. More details can be obtained at the Northeastern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2), Tel. 0 2936 2841-48, 0 2936 2852-66 or www.transport.co.th.
Take the train from Bangkok to Khon Kaen, then catch a bus from Khon Kaen to Kalasin, a distance of 75 kilometres. The State Railway of Thailand has rapid train, express train and air-conditioned sprinter train services. For more details, call SRT at Tel. 1690, or 0 2220 4334, 0 2220 4444, Khon Kaen Railway Station, Tel. 0 4322 1112, or browse www.railway.co.th.
Thai Airways International has no direct flight from Bangkok to Kalasin but you can get a flight from Bangkok to Khon Kaen and catch a bus to Kalasin. For details, call Tel. 1566 or 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 and www.thaiairways.com.
PB Air also operates daily flights from Bangkok to Roi Et. Then, continue by bus to Kalasin. For details, call Tel. 0 2261 0221-5 and 0 4351 8572 www.pbair.com.
Visitors can get around Kalasin by rickshaws or skylabs (local 3-wheeled vehicle). There are also public bus services from Amphoe Mueang to other districts.