Located between the Mun River in
the north and Dongrek Mountain Chain in the South, Surin Province is an ancient
historical province from the Khmer period. This province is world famous for
its annual elephant show. Apart from these, there are several ancient Khmer sites
that are worth a visit.
Surin province contains two
beautiful national forests called the Phanom Sawai National Forest and the Nong
Khu National Forest. Phanom Sawai is considered as a sacred place with a
natural mixed deciduous forest covering a small mountain. Wat Phanom Sawai
temple is located at the top of the mountain. This temple houses the famous Phra Buddha Surinthara Mongkhon, a huge
brick-concrete image of Lord Buddha. There are short trekking routes and other
recreational activities for the entertainment of tourists visiting these
Huai Sa-neng reservoir is a popular picnic spot. Adventure lovers can
take the pleasure of mountain bike riding and fishing while visitors can relax
their souls in these serene environs. Several bird species such as wagtail, pipit and kingfisher
migrate to this reservoir.
There are numerous ancient Khmer
sanctuaries present in the region that testify its historical significance.
Some of the prominent ones include Prasat
Si Khoraphum, Prasat Yai Ngao, Prasat Phumpon, Prasat Ban Prasat Sanctuary,
Prasat Ban Phluang and Prasat Ban Phlai. All these structures are built in
exemplary Khmer-style of architecture. Apart from these, quite a number of
sacred Buddhist temples and shrines are present that are worth a visit.
Surin province is known for its
fine silk and notable silver beads produced in Khwao Sinaring Handicraft
Village. This silk is woven with unique patterns. People of Ban Khwao Sinaring
and Ban Chok produce beautiful silver ornaments such as belts, necklaces,
bracelets, rings and watches that are put on sale. Bam Bathum village is popular for its rattan baskets.
Internationally acclaimed Annual
Grand Elephant Round Up is held during November where around 100 trained elephants
are assembled. In order to have a glimpse of these magnificent beasts, visitors
from around the world flock to this place. Capturing elephants, a tug-of-war between elephant and men, an elephant
soccer match, elephant dances, a parade, elephants at war, and cultural
performances are some of the spectacular events organized during this fair.
Surin province is 457 kilometers
away from Bangkok. Regular bus services and trains are available from Bangkok’s
Mochit 2 Bus Terminal and Hua Lamphong Railway Station respectively.
Alternatively, tourist can even hire a car from Bangkok to reach Surin.