Wat Song Pracharam (วัดสอนประชาราม) is located only 8km from downtown Sakon Nakhon. It is one of the most gorgeous temples in the city area, with its tall white Chedi, beautifully ornate Ubosot, and dazzling Naga dragon. And yet surprisingly it doesn't get many tourists, which makes the temple even nicer to visit.
Like so many Sakon Nakhon temples, Wat Song Pracharam has a curious spelling in English. The 2nd Thai word สอน (which means to teach) is written as "Song" when it should be written as "Son" (and pronounced as "sawn"). The entrance to the temple is quite unique in that the Thai giant figure known as Yak is accompanied by a rather joyful looking Ganesha elephant and fat Buddha, seeming to symbolize the abundance and splendor of this beautiful temple.
The striking white Chedi was built in 2005 and contains holy relics which can be viewed if you climb the staircase. At the base of the Chedi is a large nine-headed Naga dragon, curled around Phra Phrom — the Thai version of the Hindu creator God Brahma. The four faces represent love, compassion, joy, and charity. They also are positioned to face the four cardinal directions, each responsible for luck in a different area. Going clockwise, the first face oversees career and life; the second, relationships and family; the third, money; and the fourth, wisdom and health.
The 2nd floor of Ubosot at Wat Song Pracharam is lined with Kinnaras, celestial beings that are part human and part bird. They are also talented musicians and said to watch over the well-being of humans in times of trouble or danger. They are featured in Buddhist texts, such as the Jataka tales and Lotus Sutra, and can be seen also at the famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.
Wat Song Pracharam isn't far from the popular Sakon Nakhon steakhouses Farm Hug and Pon Yang Kham Steakhouse, so if you are in that area enjoying a steak, be sure to drop by Wat Song Pracharam after your lunch or dinner. You can also drop by Wat Phon Ngam, which is not far away, to view the interesting Mom sculptures they have guarding their sacred bell tower.