The people of Surin province have been famous for centuries thanks to their adeptness at capturing and training elephants. Since 1960, they have celebrated their special relationship with elephants every year in November, when elephants and mahouts show off their tricks at the annual elephant festival. Although the festival officially lasts for 10 days, the main events are held during the ... Read more about Surin elephant festival .
The ancient Khmer ruins known as Ta Muan are situated on the Cambodian border in Phnom Dong Rak district, far southwestern Surin province. The historical site actually consists of three separate temples: Ta Muan, Ta Muan Toch (or Tot) and Ta Muan Tom. Ta Muan, the first you will come across and the smallest of the three, is a 13th century, Jayavarman VII period, laterite chapel thought to ... Read more about Prasat Ta Muan .
As Angkor period temple sites in northeastern Thailand go, Phanom Rung, Phimai and Muang Tam are the three big ones, but the entire southern part of Isaan is littered with ancient Khmer temples and some of the lesser sites are well worth a look if you happen to be in the area. One of our favourites is the charming little temple of Sikhoraphum in Surin province, just a few kilometres from the ... Read more about Prasart Sikhorapum .
Located in the far northwestern corner of Surin province, the tiny village of Baan Ta Klang was historically home to a small ethnic group known as the Kui, who were employed by Ayutthaya kings thanks to their skills at capturing and taming wild elephants. Their legacy lives on in what is now one of Thailand's largest elephant centres. In the village you’ll find a large elephant training ... Read more about Baan Ta Klang elephant village .
Wat Burapharam is a royal grade temple that was established by the founder of Surin in the late 19th century. The centrally located meditation monastery houses Luang Phor Phra Chi, the most sacred Buddha image in Surin. Seated in the subduing Mara posture, the medium-size Buddha image sits in a majestic ordination hall sporting a slight European style thanks to crystal chandeliers hung from a ... Read more about Wat Burapharam .
It was unclear to us whether Baan Tha Sawang has been producing silk for centuries or is a more recent development aimed at bringing in tourists (we received mixed info in the village itself), but it's a pleasant place to spend an hour regardless. A handful of places put on traditional silk weaving displays, but the best are in gorgeous open-air wooden buildings surrounded by gardens down a ... Read more about Baan Tha Sawang silk weaving village .
Aside from Ta Muan and Sikhoraphum, there are numerous other smaller Khmer ruins in Prasat and Sangkha districts, and many are hard to find. Indeed some of the more interesting ones have no signs whatsoever whereas some of the best signposted ones are of little or no interest such as Prasat Muang Thi on the way to Sikoraphum and Prasat Trapaeng Tia in Lamduan district. Some of these sites can ... Read more about Minor Khmer ruins and other attractions .