Khon Kaen (Thai: ขอนแก่น) is one of the four major cities of Isan, Thailand. Many Buddhist temples are found in the city, notably Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon, also known as Wat Nong Wang, by the lake Bueng Kaen Nakhon. The Khon Kaen National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ ขอนแก่น) displays a diverse selection of antiques, precious art pieces, and archaeological finds from the region.
Dating back to 1793, Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon (The Great Buddha's Relics or The Nine Story Stupa) is a royal temple established to celebrate the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej's accession to the throne and to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Khon Kaen province's establishment. Its base is a square shape of 50 meters on each side and 80 meters in height, where are situated the four-mini-Buddha's relics in each corner sheltered by a seven-head-nāga crystal wall. There are murals inside the temple depicting the history of Khon Kaen.
Bueng Kaen Nakhon is a big lake in the centre of Khon Kaen. A monument to Chao Phia Mueang Phaen, founder of Khon Kaen, can be seen by the lake. Surrounding the lake are tree-lined parks, sculptures, temples and restaurants. It is a relaxing place for a walk, a jog or a picnic.
Hong Mun Mang or Khon Kaen City Museum was established to strengthen local identity and serve as a study centre. The City Museum exhibits the history and culture of Khon Kaen dating back over 5000 years, as well as the Khon Kaen lifestyle in the past and at present.
Built in 1972, the Khon Kaen National Museum has an extensive collection on history, art, and archaeology, most of which are from archaeological sites within North and Eastern Thailand (in particular, finds from Ban Chiang in Udon Thani province, which has been given UNESCO heritage site status). The artifacts include marble slabs, ancient bas relief, stuccos and ancient tools. Amongst its other exhibits are dinosaur fossils, human skeletal remains, ancient musical instruments, pottery and Buddha images.
Tambon Ban Phue, Tambon Sawathi, Khon Kaen
Nam Phong National Park is a mountainous national park that encompasses part of the Ubol Ratana Dam reservoir and is named for the Nam Phong River. The park features rock formations, cliff-top viewpoints, views over the reservoir, forested landscapes, waterfalls and prehistoric rock paintings. It also hosts a wide variety of animal and plant life.
Wat Chai Si is a temple deemed to be of archaeological, historical, and cultural importance and it was declared a national ancient monument in 2001. The ordination hall—Sim or Ubosot—of this temple houses magnificent mural paintings, both inside and outside. The building originally had a northeastern roof style with an extended roof on each side. It was later replaced by a new roof in the Rattanakosin (a kingdom founded in 1782) style. There is also a folk museum nearby where rare folk artifacts of the Northeast are exhibited.
Ton Tann Market is a popular outdoor mall and market for both locals and visitors. Not only does it offer food stalls that can be found in any other Thai night market, it also has upscale boutiques, restaurants, and live entertainment.