Site logo

Category: Northeast Thailand Temples

Jun 09
Thailand’s Hidden Temples – Undiscovered Travel

Thailand is known for its majestic temples, like Wat Phra Kaew, which attract millions of visitors every year. However, Thailand has hundreds of relatively hidden temples, which remain undiscovered to even Thai tourists and are known only by nearby locals. I was reminded of hidden Thai temples, when I discovered a new one myself only […]

May 16
Visakha Bucha Day in Thailand (2024)

Visakha Bucha Day (วันวิสาขบูชา), also known as Vesak Day, is one of the most important Buddhist holidays celebrated in Thailand. It commemorates three significant events in the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha: his birth, his enlightenment, and his passing away, which are said to have all occurred on the same day: the full […]

Apr 12
Heet Sip Song: Isaan Thailand Merit Making Traditions

Heet Sip Song (ฮีตสิบสอง) are monthly merit-making events in the Isaan region of Northeast Thailand. The word “heet” in Isaan means “a time-honored tradition” — being related to the Thai word “jareet” (จารีต), which has the same meaning. Sip Song meanwhile means “twelve,” referring to each of the monthly merit making events throughout the year. […]

Apr 07
The Isaan Monks of Thailand’s Forest Tradition

Sakon Nakhon is considered by many to be the spiritual mecca of Northeast Thailand (Isaan). This is evidenced by the cave exhibition at the Phu Phan Museum, which features life-like sculptures of eight of the most revered forest monks, all of whom had deep spiritual ties to Sakon Nakhon province. The most influential member of […]

Apr 04
Wat Sawang Hua Na Kham – Kalasin Temples

Wat Sawang Hua Na Kham (วัดสว่างหัวนาคำ) is one of the most sacred temples of Kalasin province, with a history that stretches back to 1729. The new temple that sits on the grounds has been under development for about the past 15 years. The temple’s most striking feature is its new ordination hall, “Ubosot Isaan Mai […]

Mar 23
Wat Khao Tham Phra Photo Gallery (วัดเขาถ้ำพระ)

Located in the Phu Phan Mountains of Northeast Thailand, Wat Khao Tham Phra (วัดเขาถ้ำพระ) is one of the most interesting temples of “Undiscovered Thailand“. Built on a hilltop and surrounded by a forest of monkeys, this Sakon Nakhon temple is a true spiritual retreat, where visitors can practice meditation and mindfulness. Guests also will be […]

Mar 11
The Mythological Kala – Scary Faces at Khmer & Thai Temples

Seen above: A well preserved lintel with carved face of Kala, from an 11th century temple in Thailand (about the same time Phra That Dum was built). The demon-like figure Kala (กาล) is found in ancient Khmer temple art and Hindu-Buddhist iconography throughout Southeast Asia. However, it is one of the lesser known mythological figures […]

Mar 11
Wat Phra That Dum – Sakon Nakhon Khmer Ruins

Wat Phra That Dum (วัดพระธาตุดุม) is a Sakon Nakhon temple complex that contains the ancient ruins of the Khmer era stupa Phra That Dum. Around 1000 years old, it is one of several ancient Khmer ruins in Sakon Nakhon province — the most famous one being the mountaintop ruins of Phra That Phu Phek. New […]

Feb 23
Chao Pu (Phaya) Yommarat – Phra Yom Mantra

At Wat Pra That Phon Thong there is a small pavilion with a statue of an unusual figure not ordinarily seen at a Thai temple. It is a statue of Chao Pu Yommarat (เจ้าปู่ยมราช). This is not actually a specific historical figure but refers to the distinguished 14 Thai men who were awarded the Royal […]

Feb 21
Ajarn Fan Acharo & HM King Bhumibol the Great (Rama IX)

Seen Above: HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej (The Great) and Queen Sirikit of Thailand at the Funeral of Monk Luang Pu Fan Acharo King Bhumibol the Great (Rama IX) had a long relationship with the revered Isaan monk Ajarn Fan Acharo (pronounced “ajahn fun ajaro”). His Majesty would often visit Wat Pa Udom Somphon in Phanna […]

Dec 03
Thailand Lakeside Retreat: Nam Un Reservoir

One of the loveliest places in Northeast Thailand is the area around Nam Un Reservoir in Sakon Nakhon. Nong Han Lake, the largest natural lake in Northeast Thailand, tends to get all of the attention among tourists to Sakon Nakhon, but the beautiful Nam Un Reservoir, with rolling Phu Phan mountains clearly visible in the […]

Nov 18
Metal Bodh Gaya Chedi in Thailand w/ Baby Buddha Statue

Thailand is a Kingdom of Temples. It also is filled with sacred chedis (stupas), especially in the Northeastern province of Sakon Nakhon. Many chedis in Thailand are inspired by the famous Buddhist chedis of India. For example, Phra Chedi Sadaeng Pathom Thesana (พระเจดีย์แสดงปฐมเทศนา) is a replica of the Dhamek Stupa located in Varanasi, India, which […]

Nov 12
Wat Sawang Tek Somboon – Thai Temple Photo Gallery

Wat Sawang Tek Somboon (วัดสว่างเต็กสมบูรณ์) is a village temple in Sakon Nakhon. Its name means The Bright Temple of the Perfect Architect. This is an unusual name for a Thai temple, and its the only one with such a name in Thailand. The Thai word “tek” (เต็ก) is an abbreviation of the English word architect, […]

Oct 18
Wat Phutthamok Phalaram (Photo Gallery)

Wat Phutthamok Phalaram (วัดพุทธโมกพลาราม) is a vast complex of temple grounds currently being developed by the well-known and highly revered abbot Luang Pho Noon Suwichayo (หลวงพ่อหนุน สุวิชโย), also spelled Luang Phor Nun Suwichayo — who is a disciple of the famous Buddhist meditation master and mystic Luang Phor Lersi Lingdam (หลวงพ่อฤาษีลิงดำ) of Uthai Thani. Luang […]

Sep 01
The Thailand Tradition of Giving Flowers to Monks at Temples

In Thailand there is a tradition of giving flowers to monks (ประเพณีตักบาตรดอกไม้) at temples. But what are the origins of this tradition? According to Thai legend, the origin of the flower giving custom began in the era of King Bimbisara (544 -492) who reigned over Magadha, which today is located in Northeastern India. The king […]

May 28
Wat Tham Chao Phu Kha – Photo Gallery

Sakon Nakhon has several famous mountain cave temples, such as Wat Tham Kham and Wat Tham Pha Daen, where long ago Thai monks took shelter in caves while wandering the forests to meditate and practice the dharma. But there are also many lesser known cave temples around the Phu Phan Mountain range, such as Wat […]

May 05
Famous Monks in Thailand

Thailand was home to many highly revered monks during the 20th century, Buddhist monks whose renown spread throughout Thailand, as well as in neighboring countries such as Laos, Burma, and Cambodia. The most famous monk in Thailand during this period was Ajahn Mun, co-founder of the forest tradition of Thai Buddhism. The Northeast of Thailand, […]

May 03
Wat Phu Tok: Must See Temples in Northeast Thailand

If you were to make a bucket list of “must see” temples in Thailand, Wat Phu Tok (วัดภูทอก) in Bueng Kan should be on it. This legendary Isan temple is known for its stunning cliffside location and the challenging pilgrimage that devotees must take to reach the summit. Wat Phu Tok has been described as […]

Mar 24
Naked Thai Buddhist Monk Statues Without Robes

The Isan temples of Northeastern Thailand have some of the most curious histories, statues, and monks in all of Thailand. Previously we wrote about Sakon Nakhon’s Luang Pu Sorn Paphassaro, the only long-haired Buddhist monk in Thai history. Today, we introduce you to perhaps the only statues of revered Thai monks, where the monks have […]

Mar 16
Thailand Good Luck Temple in Ban Dan Koi

You know that you have stumbled upon a “good luck temple” in Thailand when you find a rural temple of unusual wealth relative to the surrounding community. Wat Si Sawat (วัดศรีสวัสดิ์) in the Sakon Nakhon village of Ban Don Koi (บ้านดอนกอย) is just such a temple, granting good luck via a special Buddhist chant and […]

Feb 12
Northeastern Thai Temples with a Sense of Humor

When people think of Thai temples, they don’t usually think of sacred places with a sense of humor. But indeed many Thai temples (and the monks who live there) do have a keen sense of humor. This is especially true in the village temples of Northeastern Thailand. We were recently reminded of this fact when […]

Nov 25
Wat Si Panyaram Photo Gallery

Check out our photo gallery of Wat Si Panyaram, a developing village temple with a beautiful variety of sacred statues and unusual Buddhist art. This temple is located about 30 minutes from the Sakon Nakhon airport in Tambon Nong Lat, with several other beautiful Thai temples within a 10 minute radius. To read our full […]

Nov 11
Nakhon Phanom Temples on the Riverfront

If you are visiting the Naga Monument in Nakhon Phanom, you don’t want to stop just there. If you head south down the tree-lined promenade (opposite the direction of the Nakhon Phanom Pier), you’ll find four beautiful Nakhon Phanom temples on the riverfront. The first temple directly across from the Mekhong River is Wat Pho […]

Oct 22
Wat Phra That Phanom

Wat Phra That Phanom (วัดพระธาตุพนม) is one of the most popular day trip destinations from Sakon Nakhon. It is located a little over an hour (45 km) from downtown Sakon Nakhon in the That Phanom district of the neighboring province of Nakhon Phanom (The City of Hills). Breaking down the famous temple’s name, it translates […]

Oct 21
Wat Pa Don Pradu Mongkhon Thip Photo Gallery

Wat Pa Don Pradu Mongkhon Thip (วัดป่าดอนประดู่มงคลทิพย์) is a Sakon Nakhon temple that flies under the radar of most people, even among the locals who live in the province. The architecture, statues, paintings, and design of the temple are all quite interesting and unique. In particular, the temple’s use of miniature reflective tiles and gold […]

Oct 08
Wat Tham Pha Daen Photo Gallery

Wat Tham Pha Daen is a gorgeous temple complex in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand. More than a Buddhist temple, Wat Tham Pha Daen is a museum of sacred art work, built into a mountainside. Artistic attractions include many different kinds of Buddha statues, made with different materials; beautiful carvings of the Buddha in stone and teak […]

Sep 19
Phra That Phu Phek Photo Gallery

Phra That Phu Phek are the ruins of an ancient Khmer temple in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand. The ruins are located atop a mountain that is accessible only by a long, and steep climb up an old cement staircase. However, the ancient ruins are not the only attraction at Phra That Phu Phek. At the bottom […]

May 18
Phanom Rung Historical Park

The Phanom Rung Historical Park, otherwise known as Prasat Hin Phanom Rung (ปราสาทหินพนมรุ้ง), is an ancient Khmer era temple complex in Buriram province. Built between the 10th and 14th centuries on the rim of an extinct volcano, it is larger and more impressive than the Khmer temple structures in Sakon Nakhon, such as Phra That […]

Apr 20
Wat Maha Phrom Phothirat – Photo Gallery

View our Wat Maha Phrom Phothirat (วัดมหาพรหมโพธิราช) photo gallery, a popular Sakon Nakhon temple on the banks of Nong Han Lake, which also is flanked by large rafts for rent, which makes day long excursions to the temple popular.

Apr 20
Wat Pa Eo Kan – Photo Gallery

View a photo gallery of Wat Pa Eo Kan Wipatsonwawat (วัดป่าเอวขันธ์วิปัสสนววาส), a beautiful lakeside Buddhist temple in the Ban Tha Wat community that is located on the banks of Nong Han Lake in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand.  

Apr 01
Wat Pa Phurithatta Thirawat – Photo Gallery

Browse a photo gallery of Wat Pa Phurithatta Thirawat (วัดป่าภูริทัตตถิราวาส), one of Sakon Nakhon’s most sacred temples. Learn more about this temple at the following link: Wat Pa Phurithatta Thirawat.

Mar 24
Wat Maha Puttharam

Wat Maha Puttharam (วัดมหาพุทธาราม) is one of Sisaket’s most scared temples, as it houses Luang Por Toh (หลวงพ่อโต) a large, gold Buddha image in the attitude of subduing Mara — the demon who tempted Gautama Buddha beneath the Bodhi tree, as he was seeking enlightenment. The statue stands almost 7 meters meters high and 3.50 […]

Mar 23
Phrathat Ruang Rong – Sisaket Temples

If you are flying to Ubon Ratchathani for a tour of the Northeast of Thailand, Sisaket province should be the 2nd leg of your journey and Phrathat Ruang Rong (วัดบ้านสร้างเรือง or พระธาตุเรืองรอง) a must-see temple. While Sisaket is known for its famous Temple of a Million Bottles (Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew), made from large […]

Mar 18
Wat Phra That Nong Bua

Wat Phra That Nong Bua (วัดพระธาตุหนองบัว) is one of Ubon Ratchathani’s most sacred temples, because of the Maho Pho Chedi, a massive Indian style chedi that was built in 1956 to celebrate 2500 years of Buddhism. The beautiful chedi stands 56 meters tall and resembles the Mahabodhi stupa in Bodh Gaya, India, where the Buddha […]

Mar 18
Wat Tai Phra Chao Yai Ong Tue

Wat Tai Phra Chao Yai Ong Tue (วัดใต้พระเจ้าใหญ่องค์ตือ) in Ubon Ratchathani is one of the most stunning temples in all of Thailand. Indeed, you would be hard pressed to find any temple, even in the Bangkok area, which matches its dazzling array of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures and murals. In addition to traditional sculptures of […]