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All you need to know to visit Nakhon Ratchasima

Home > Destinations in Thailand > Nakhon Ratchasima
Northeastern Thailand
256 km from Bangkok
Province of Nakhon Ratchasima

Recomm. stay
1 à 3 jours


Practical guide to go and visit Nakhon Ratchasima

Still commonly known as Khorat, Nakhon Ratchasima city is often the first step in the discovery of Isan (Northeast Thailand). Large vibrant city during the day, it becomes calmer and more attractive by night. Do not expect to find here the exciting nightlife of major tourist destinations in the South or Bangkok. But still its two little night markets and especially the very attractive Talat 100 Muang Pee Ya, we strongly recommend for dinner as long as you are not afraid to speak by gestures or you want to try to speak Thai) will seduce you. Here tourists are relatively few, very rare during low season. But there are farangs who settled in nakhon Ratchasima, their Thai girlfriend or wife being from Khorat. Isan region is the least visited of Thailand. However, it hides many treasures, including Khmer temples, especially the most prestigious ones, Phimai and Phanom Rung, whiche are not very far from Nakhon Ratchasima. Attractions in the city itself are not so attractive. Temples are quiet numérous but can lack of interest comparing to those of other destinations. Note anyway Wat Payap and its artificial cave temple, Wat Sala Loi and its traditional architecture revisited or Wat Salawan a little more in the nature and the pond behind him with a white wooden terrace restaurant, another good spot to have dinner. Those who have already visited many temples, will probably find Korat ones disappointing. Still, you might like to extend your stay here attracted by the ambience and very good value for money accommodation and restaurants.
The city also has one of the most famous Zoo in the country. Note that during peak season, there is a tram city tour to discover the main monuments and attractions of Nakhon Ratchasima that departs from Thao Suranaree Monument.
nakhon ratchasima

Accommodations in Nakhon Ratchasima

To sleep in Khorat (or Nakhon Ratchasima, it is the same), there are very friendly small cheap hotels, on Suranaree Road where our favorite address is for instance. There is not here a specific area where guest houses are concentrated as in many popular tourist cities in Thailand. The accommodations are scattered throughout the city. The city is not very touristy but has some great hotels.

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My recommandations

People often ask me what accommodations I recommend in Thailand, here are my recommandations in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Hotel in Nakhon Ratchasima

Nakhon Ratchasima

Hotel in Nakhon Ratchasima

Nakhon Ratchasima

See all accommodations in Nakhon Ratchasima

Practical information about Nakhon Ratchasima

It is very easy to find its way in Khorat, dual main street formed by Ratchadamnoen Road and Road Chumphon is with the square formed by fortifications walls and doors or what's left of them are major markers. In the median between the two streets, stand the Thao Suranaree monument, a heroine of the city still revered today and Chumphon Gate. Our favorite hotels (rooms around 500 THB) focus on a few meters on Suranaree Road near the Korat Chef pastry.

To get to Nakhon Ratchasima, you can take one of the very numerous bus leaving Bangkok Mochit Terminal or take the train (4-5 hours, online booking available HERE).

How to go to Nakhon Ratchasima ?

Nakhon Ratchasima or Khorat has two bus terminals, the largest and most active one is terminal 2. From there you can go to Nakhon Ratchasima from almost everywhere in the North and Northeast of Thailand. And even from Hua Hin, Rayong, Pattaya, there are direct buses to Ratchasima. Another option to come here: the train (4-5 hours, online booking available HERE).. A dozen of trains per day.

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How to get around in Nakhon Ratchasima ?

To get around in Nakhon Ratchasima, you can take the local bus network. These are actually numbered songthaews which each have a defined route. Line 1 goes to the railway station, lines 2 and 11 go to the Old Bus Terminal (on Burin Road) and line 7 to Nakhon Ratchasima Main Bus Terminal (on Mittraphap Road). It cost around 10 THB per trip. Of course, there also are tuk-tuks, motorcycle taxis and samlaws (rickshaws) and even some taximeters in Nakhon Ratchasima. Depending on where your accommodation is located, you can also visit the most interesting part of the city by walking. You can also use GRAB app (similar to UBER but UBER does not operate in Southestern Asia any more) to order a transportation.

Must-visits in Nakhon Ratchasima

Phimai temple

My opinion :
at 60 kilometers from Nakhon Ratchasima, the city of Phimai has one of the most beautiful Khmer temples in Thailand. The Prasat Hin Phimai (in Phimai Historical Park) has much in common with Angkor Wat even if it is much smaller.

Khao Yai National Park

My opinion :
The most famous of the country, among the most beautiful national parks in the world and UNESCO listed, it is a rendezvous for nature, flora and fauna lovers. About hundred kilometers far, it is not very practical to visit it and come back to Nakhon Ratchasima on the same day. It is better to settle down in Pak Chong, the nearest city.

Wat Simalai Songtham

My opinion :
This quite unique temple built on several floors on a mountain 12 kilometers from the northern entrance to Khao Yai National Park is especially interesting for its very astonishing architecture loaded with a lot of details and small atypical and varied elements.

Ban Tha Chang Spring

น้ำพุธรรมชาติบ้านท่าช้าง (น้ำผุดปากช่อง)
My opinion :
This small shaded stretch of river near Khao Yai National Park is a great spot for swimming in a natural pool. The water here is crystal clear with an intense sapphire blue. This is due to a natural phenomenon as the one found at Krabi's Emerald Pool.

Wat Ban Rai

My opinion :
This temple has one of the most amazing and striking architecture in Thailand. Its very photogenic hall, all in mosaic, built on a pond in the shape of a giant elephant, has made it a tourist hotspot in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Other places to see in Nakhon Ratchasima

Wat Phayap Nakhon Ratchasima
Wat Phayap

this temple has a completly artificial but still suprising cave temple. The boat shape main buiding is also interesting to see.
Wat Sala Loi Nakhon Ratchasima
Wat Sala Loi

probably the most famous temple in Nakhon Ratchasima city for its architecture, which revisits the traditional building codes
Wat Phra Narai Nakhon Ratchasima
Wat Phra Narai

in two parts, this is especially the temple over the pond and the Khmer sculpture of Vishnu that gives it its name, which makes its charm.
Wat Pa Salawan Nakhon Ratchasima
Wat Pa Salawan

a little on the outskirts, behind the train station and more in nature, it is one othe the most important Buddhist places in the city. It houses the ashes of three highly revered monks.
Wat Isan Nakhon Ratchasima
Wat Isan

small temple which has of little interest except for the statues around a tree in the yard
Thao Suranaree Monument Nakhon Ratchasima
Thao Suranaree Monument

statue in honor of the heroine who may have rallied around her villagers to fight back the invader Chao Anuwong
Chumphon Gate Nakhon Ratchasima
Chumphon Gate

just behind the Thao Suranaree Monument, it is the only one among the four gates of the city that still stands. Others have been rebuilt.
City Pillar Shrine Nakhon Ratchasima
City Pillar Shrine

Chinese style, it consists of a small altar and a large wall carving
Wat Pa Phuphachan Nakhon Ratchasima
Wat Pa Phuphachan

Not a must see, especially since it's a little in the middle of nowhere. But if on a road trip between Khao Yai and Nakhon Ratchasima city, you pass nearby, go visit it and discover its Buddhas carved on the walls of the mountain.
Phu King Fah Monastery Nakhon Ratchasima
Phu King Fah Monastery

This forest temple in height does not lack charm even if it is not a must and is a bit lost so requires a lot of road to reach it and the last stretch is a dirt track. It offers a friendly setting with lovely views of the surrounding area.
100 Years Old Wooden Bridge Nakhon Ratchasima
100 Years Old Wooden Bridge

The 100 Years Old Wooden Bridge is a long wooden bridge that is said to be at least a century old and crosses the rice fields. In my opinion, it's nice to go and see it at the beginning of the rice crop, when the rice is transplanted and there is a lot of water in the fields, but after that it's much less photogenic.
Wat Khao Wan Chainawarat Nakhon Ratchasima
Wat Khao Wan Chainawarat

This temple has become more touristy since 2006, when its unique sandstone hall, set on a blue water basin, was finished. A very photogenic element for a temple not far from Pak Chong railway station, the arrival train station for visiting Khao Yai National Park.

Weather & climate in Nakhon Ratchasima

In Nakhon Ratchasima, there are usually three seasons: a warm season (February - May), a rainy season (May - October) and a cold season (October - February). During the cold season, the minimum temperatures in Korat, the other name of Nakhon Ratchasima, fall around 18 °C and even 12 °C in some rural areas.

The best time to come to Nakhon Ratchasima is from November to April, the least advised moment is in September which remains much less rainy than in the southern provinces.

See weather forecast in Nakhon Ratchasima

When to go to Nakhon Ratchasima ?

quand partir à Nakhon Ratchasima

How to ask in Thai to go to Nakhon Ratchasima ?

I want to go to Nakhon Ratchasima / Yak paï ti Nakhon Ratchasima.
Where is Nakhon Ratchasima ? / Nakhon Ratchasima you ti naï ?
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