Surrounded by lush mountains and secluded temples, Sakon Nakhon is a Buddhist city dating back more than 3,000 years to when the Khmer ruled the region. If you’re an intrepid traveller and want to veer off South East Asia’s “Banana Pancake Trail”, Sakon Nakhon is a worthy detour.
Things to do in Sakon Nakhon
In downtown Sakon Nakhon you’ll find bustling streets lined with fruit stalls and friendly street-food vendors. Sakon Nakhon is also a great place to pick up colourful souvenirs, from handwoven silks to intricate wood carvings.
Once an ancient Khmer monastery, Wat Phra That Choeng Chum is one of Sakon Nakhon’s most iconic landmarks. It was built on top of four Buddha footprints and is a sacred pilgrimage site for Thai Buddhists.
The largest body of water in the region, Nong Han Lake is eternally popular with locals. You can spend the afternoon relaxing by the water or chatting to local fishermen. The area is dotted with islands, such as Ko Don Sawan, which harbour deserted temples and ancient Buddha imagery.
Just 25 kilometers outside the city, Phu Phan National Park is a wonderland of limestone mountains and tumbling waterfalls. Whether you camp out under the stars or rent a rustic bungalow, it’s a fantastic way to experience the wilderness of Thailand. You might even spot a roaming elephant.
Getting around Sakon Nakhon
While local buses run in and around the city, the easiest way to get around is usually by taxi or tuk tuk. If you want to visit attractions further afield, it’s best to hire a private driver for the day.