Journey through Isaan and discover an ancient land filled with a rich tapestry of history and culture. Visit national museums for an insight into a different era and travel across the landscape dotted with temples from the Khmer empire. See traditions handed down through the generations as artisans reproduce fine silks and ceramics.
ITINERARY BY DAY
Day 1: Bangkok Arrival
On arrival into Bangkok you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day will be free to relax or explore the city at your leisure.
Day 2: Bangkok - National Museum
Unlock the secrets of Thai history and culture at the Bangkok National Museum. Situated in the grounds of the 18th century Wang Na Palace, the museum houses the largest collection of Thai art and artefacts in the country. Other exhibits of interest include a funeral chariot hall, featuring carriages used for royal cremations, and many fine examples of Thai architecture.
Day 3: Bangkok – Lop Buri – Nakorn Ratchasima
Start your discovery of Isaan’s heritage with the ancient temple ruins at Lop Buri. A collection of Khmer and Hindu shrines dot the area dating back to the 12th century. Prang Khaek is the oldest monument of Lop Buri and the oldest Khmer-style Hindu Shrine to be found in Thailand’s central region. See Phra Prang Sam Yot, a three towered Hindu shrine and the four-armed Vishnu figure of San Phra Kan. Continue on to Nakorn Ratchasima, also known as Korat arriving mid afternoon.
Day 4: Ancient Civilizations - Prasat Hin Phanom Wan - Phi Mai Khmer Temple - Korat
Explore the ruins in the Phimai Historical Park. Within the park is Phimai Sanctuary, one of the grandest and most important Khmer historical sites in Thailand. From stone inscriptions and the Baphuon architectural style, the sanctuary was most likely built at the end of the 11th century, however some characteristics are similar to that of Angkor Wat. Then pop into the museum where collection of artifacts date back many centuries, and includes the stone statue of King Jayavarman VII of Angkor Thom which was found in Prang Bhramadhatta.
Day 5: Ancient Civilizations - Dan Kwian Pottery Village - Pak Thong Chai Silk Weavinge - Korat
Watch local artisans at the Dan Kwian Pottery Village, produce pottery and ceramic pieces. For generations, the local people have made different types of bowls and jars for preserved fish, and mortar and pestles for grinding spices. The rust-coloured clay is considered highly durable and is used for reproductions of classic designs. Next it is the silk weaving village of Pak Thong Chai a village entirely dedicated to the production of fine silks and silk products. It is a little known fact that the bulk of silk produced in Thailand is spun by hand in silk villages using traditional techniques.
Day 6: Korat - Phanom Rung & Muang Tham Khmer Temples - Surin
Travel to an extinct volcano and the site of Phanom Rung, a grand and majestic Khmer temple complex over a thousand years old. The complex is built from laterite and sandstone, with elaborate designs depicting stories of Hindu deities. Next is Prasat Meuang Tam, another Khmer temple similar to Phanom Rung but on a lesser scale. The highlight of the temple is the four large pools with serpent designs.
Day 7: Surin
The symbol of Surin province is Prasat Sikhoraphum, a five tower temple similar to Angkor. Influences of Hinduism can be seen in the carved lintel of the central tower, depicting Shiva performing a cosmic dance. Around the 15th century the temple was renovated and became a Buddhist stupa. Then head to Sawai a village known for its silk weaving, where Cambodian influenced patterns are produced using natural colours from spices and flowers.
Day 8: Surin - Srisaket - Prasat Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai - Ubon Ratchathani
Today visit Prasat Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai, an 11th century Khmer temple built in honour of the Hindu god Shiva, and reconverted to Theravada Buddhism in the 13th century. The temple comprises of three stupas the main which is made from sandstone and brick, and houses an intricately carved lintel depicting the Hindu deity Indra and Erawan, the elephant god.
Day 9: Ubon Ratchathani - National Museum - Wat Thung Si Muang
Spend the morning wandering the Ubon Ratchathani National Museum with its vast collection of artefacts. See a 2,500 year old Dong Son bronze drum and historical Ubon textiles. The museum's most prized possession is a 9th-century Ardhanarisvara, a half-man, half-woman statue of Shiva and his consort Uma. Next up is Wat Thung Si Muang, constructed in 19th century to house a replica of Buddha’s footprint. One of its most beautiful features is the wooden library that contains the palm scrolls of Buddhist canons, sitting on stilts in a pond.
Day 10: Ubon Ratchathani - Khong Jiam - Pha Taem Historical Park - Khong Jiam
Explore the natural beauty of Pha Taem National Park, where plateaus and hills dominate the landscape and sheer cliffs have formed due to earthquakes. See numerous prehistoric cave paintings that date back more than 3,000 years that reflect the life and times of the people who once lived in the area. Descend to the tribal village of Bru, before boarding a boat to cruise along the river to Khong Jiam.
Day 11: Khong Jiam - Ubon Ratchathani airport
Your heritage tour of Isaan ends at Ubon Ratchathani airport for your onward flight.
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