The Northeastern Thailand - Suggested Itinerary

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Northeastern Thailand
    The sprawling northeast plateau is bordered to the north of the Mekong River and Laos, and to the south largely by Kampucha. The Northeast is a distinctive region its topograph of forested mountains and rolling farmland, its colourful inhabitants, and because of archaeo- logically significant excavations and shrines -- such as' Ban oldest Bronze Age civilisation Chiang, where the world's prasat Hin (stone flourished some 5,600 years ago, and castle) temples, legacy of the Angkor-centred Khmer empire.


     Major places of interest include Khao Yai National Park some 200 kilometres northeast of Bangkok; Nakhon Ratchasima, 256 kilometres northeast of Bangkok; the 11th century prasat hin temple at Phirnai; Khon Kaen, a university town some 450 kilometres from Bangkok and famous for its Mat Mi silk; Loei province's Phu Kra Dung National Park, a crisply beautiful forested plateau between 1,000 and 1,350 metres where night-time temperatures often approach freezing point; the scenic Si Chiangmai to Nongkai road which largely parallels the Mekong River; Udon Thani's Ban Chiang village and museum which houses priceless Bronze Age jewellery and pottery excavated from local burial mounds; Nakhon Phanom's Phra That Phanom, the most revered Northeast shrine; Ubon Ratchathani, 647 kilometres from Bangkok, which introduces the annual Buddhist Rains Retreat with a lovely Candle Festival; Yasothon, where each summer, homemade rockets are launched to "ensure" bountiful rain; Surin. a site of the world-famous Elephant Round-Up each November; and Buriram's Prasat Hin Phanom Rung, a lovely Khmer sanctuary formerly connected by road with Angkor.
Major Regional Events

JANUARY
Agricultural Fair.......................................Maha Sarakham

FEBRUARY
Cotton Blossom Fair................................................ Loei
Phra That Phanom Fair........................... Nakhon Phanom

MARCH
Bird Fair...................................................... Chalyaphum
Thao Suranari Fair............................ Nakhon Ratchasima

MAY
Bang Fa! Rocket Festival.................................. Yasothon

JUNE
Phi Ta Khon Fair...................................................... Loei

JULY
Candle Festival..............
...................... Ubon Ratchathani

OCTOBER
Wax Castle Festival Et Boat Races ............Sakon Nakhon
Illuminated Boat Procession.....................Nakhon Phanom
Boat Races...................................... Nakhon Ratchasirna

NOVEMBER
Elephant Round-Up................................................. Surin

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1
Morning departure. scenic drive to Khao Yai National Park. Lunch. Afternoon: leisure/golf. Evening: wildlife "safari" with spotlight-equipped trucks. Overnight stay.
Day 2
Morning: visit Khao Yai waterfalls. Afternoon: drive to Nakhon Ratchasima. Check-in to hotel. Evening leisure / nightlife.
Day 3
Morning departure to visit Phimai's Khmer sanctuary Proceed onwards to Khon Kaen, visiting en route Chonnabot Silk Village. Overnight stay in Khon Kaen.
Day 4
Morning departure for Udon Thani. After checking-in to hotel, proceed to Nongkhai. Enjoy scenic drive beside the Mekong River to Si Chiangmai. Overnight stay in Udon Thani.
Day 5
Morning departure to visit Ban Chiang museum and excavations. After lunch, proceed to Nakhon Phanom for an overnight stay.
Day 6
Morning visit to Phra That Phanom and Renu Nakhon before journeying onward to Ubon Ratchathani via Mukdahan. Overnight stay in Ubon Ratchathani.
Day 7
Full-day trip east of Ubon Ratchathani to visit the Kaeng Saphu rapids, Kaeng Tana National Park and scenic Pha Taem. Overnight stay in Ubon Ratchathani.
Day 8
Morning departure for Surin, visiting en route the community of forest-dwelling bhikkhus at Wat Pa Nanachat. Evening: Pha Khao Laeng Northeast dinner and folk dances. Overnight stay in Surin
Day 9
Early-morning visit to Ban Tha Klang Elephant Village where elephants are trained for Round-Up. Visit Buriram's Prasat Phanom Rung before late-afternoon arrival in Nakhon Ratchasima. Overnight stay.
Day 10
Return to Bankok by air/rail/road.


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