The capital of the province is The City of Nakhon Ratchasima located in Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, also called Korat or Khorat. It is one of the north-eastern provinces. The province is located on the western end of the Khorat Plateau, separated from the Chao Phraya river valley by the Phetchabun and Dong Phaya Yen mountain ranges. Two national parks are in the province - the Khao Yai in the west and the Thab Lan in the south. Nakhon Ratchasima, or "Khorat," is a large province on the northeastern plateau and acts as a gateway to other provinces in the Northeast. It is 259 kilometres from Bangkok and has an area of around 20,494 square kilometres, making it the biggest province in Thailand. The province is rich in Khmer culture and has a long history.
The area around Korat was already an important center in the times of the Khmer empire in the 11th century, as can be seen by the temple ruins in the Phimai historical park. The new walled- city with moat, Nakhon Ratchasima, was built in the seventeenth century by order of the Ayutthaya King, Narai, as the easternmost 'command post', guarding the Kingdom's border, and supervise it's Laotian and Cambodian 'vassals'. It took over this duty during the Bangkok Period, and became the stronghold against the Laotian incursion in the nineteenth century, although it was first seized. Even from the creation of Siam as a 'nation' at the end of nineteenth century, Nakhon Ratchasima continued to be the most important political and economic center in the northeastern region. In the late nineteenth century, the railroad first arrived and Korat became the junction of two main rail lines in the Northeastern, Isan, region. In 1933 it was the stronghold of the royalist troops, leading the abortive attempt, known as Boworadej Revolt, rebelling against new democratic government in Bangkok. In the seventies, the city was again the site of US bases operating in the Vietnam War.
Provincial seal A monument of Thao Suranaree or Khun Ying MO (1771 - 1852) situated in front of the old gate of "Prau Chumpon". The Great Heroine of Korat; Thao Suranaree, wife of the Deputy Governor of Korat during the reign of King Rama III. In 1826s Khun Ying Mo, managed to save the city from the invasion of the Laotian army led by Prince Anouvong of Vientiane. King Rama III conferred the title of Thao Suranaree on Khun Ying Mo, as well as conferring additional titles honouring her bravery.
Sa-Thorn (Millettia leucantha Kurz)
Land of brave women, Fine Silk material, Khorat Rice noodle, Phimai historical park, and Dan Kwian Ceramics.
Nakhon Ratchasima or Khorat, is Thailand’s largest province and the ‘Gateway to Isaan’ (Gateway to the North-East). It also has beautiful National Parks, with many forests, mountains, waterfalls, and reservoirs. Furthermore, it is well known for a variety of quality handicrafts that visitors can choose from. Regarding tourism, locals Thais make up the majority. Most foreigners who visit the north-east view Khorat as just a stepping stone and pass right through without taking the opportunity to tour this province with it's interesting and diverse history, architecture and natural beaury.
Nakhon Ratchasima has a wide variety of local goods that tourists can buy from city markets or production centres. Famous handicrafts are Dan Kwian earthenware, silk and Mat Mi silk from Pak Thong Chai. Products of housewives can be bought from the Khorat Goods Centre near the provincial hall.
Food products include sausages, fermented sausages, Chinese sausages, minced pork that is found everywhere in the city and in Pak Chong, and Khorat noodles that are sold everywhere. The largest fruit market is Klang Dong Market before going up Khao Yai. This is where produce from Nakhon Ratchasima and nearby provinces is sold. The most famous fruit of Klang Dong is custard apple that is sold all year round
Khorat is traditionally an agricultural province where most of the population works in farming such as: rice, sugar cane, tapioca, corn, jute, peanuts, sesame and fruits. In this day and age however, many of Khorat’s younger generation are moving to near-by Bangkok to work.
The people of Khorat are a mixed-breed. There are those of Khmer ancestry, Laotian ancestry and Chinese ancestry. In the town areas, most of the people speak standard Thai but in the more rural areas, they speak ‘Khorat’ which is a dialect half way between Thai and Isaan (Laotian).
The city of Bangkok is the capital, largest urban area and primary city of Thailand. Known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or Krung Thep for short, it was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom and came to the forefront of Thailand when it was given the status as the capital city in 1768 after the burning of Ayutthaya, the former kingdom seat and capital of the Ayuthaya province. It was also ranked by "Travel and Leisure" as the best city in the world for the year 2008.
However, the current Rattanakosin Kingdom did not begin until 1782 when the capital was moved across the river after being sacked by the Burmese. The Rattanakosin capital is now more formally called "Phra Nakorn", pertaining to the ancient boundaries in the metropolis' core and the name Bangkok now incorporates the urban build-up since the 18th century which has its own public administration and governor.
In the span of over two hundred years, Bangkok has been the political, social and economic center of not only Thailand but for much of South East Asia and Indochina as well. Its influence in the arts, politics, fashion, education and entertainment as well as being a business, financial and cultural center of Asia has given Bangkok the status of a global city.
Bangkok is the world's 22nd largest city by population with approximately 8,160,522 registered residents (July 2007), but due to large unregistered influxes of migrants from the North East of Thailand and of many nations across Asia, the population of greater Bangkok is estimated at nearly 15 million people. This has in turn shifted the country from being a rather homogenous Thai population to increasingly a more vibrant mix of Western, Indian and Chinese people. The capital is part of the heavily urbanized triangle of central and eastern region of Thailand which stretches from Nakhon Ratchasima along Bangkok to the industrialized eastern seaboard.
Bangkok is the economic center of Thailand, dominating the country's economy and dwarfing other urban centers. Development continues to pour in to Bangkok mostly neglecting the rest of the nation. Tourism is a significant contributor to Thailand's economy, providing about 5 percent of GDP. Bangkok is Thailand's principal international gateway and a destination in its own right.
Income inequality of Bangkok's residents is significant, especially between relatively unskilled lower-income immigrants from rural provinces in Thailand and neighboring countries and middle class professionals (45% of registered residents), business elites, and retired and working foreign expats. About 7 percent of Bangkok's population (excluding illegal immigrants who constitute about 5-8 percent of population) lives below the poverty line compared to the national average of 9 percent.
Bangkok is considered to be one of the world's top tourist hotspots. According to Travel and Leisure magazine it is Asia's best tourist destination, the third in the world in 2006 and overall best city in the world in 2008, though it is prone to confidence tricksters, so much that google lists 1.8 million hits for the words thai scams. It is also voted the best city in Asia according to Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Bangkok is Thailand's major tourist gateway, which means that the majority of foreign tourists arrive in Bangkok. The Tourism Authority of Thailand hopes to draw 15 million tourists in 2007, up from 11.6 million in 2005. The city boasts some of the country's most visited historical venues such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. There are numerous projects to maintain Bangkok's historic sites in the Rattanakosin area and river districts. Bangkok is known as Orient's most cosmopolitan city and until now preserves its cultural heritage which makes it an irresistible place to visit.
The town of Bangkok was a small Khmer trading post on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River before the establishment of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, the precursor of modern Thailand which existed from 1350 to 1767. The etymology of the town's name is unclear. Bang is the Central Thai name for a town situated on the bank of a river. It is believed that "Bangkok" derived from either Bang Kok, kok being the Thai name for one or more olive-bearing fruits (olive in Thai is makok); or Bang Koh, koh meaning "island," a reference to the area's landscape which was carved by rivers and canals.
Wat Phra Kaew was constructed as part of the Grand Palace complex at the founding of the capital.
After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese Kingdom in 1767, the newly declared King Taksin established a new capital in the area of then-Bangkok, which became known as Thonburi. When Taksin's reign ended in 1782, King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke reconstructed the capital on the east bank of the river and gave the city a ceremonial name (see below) which became shortened to its current official name, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (which, like "Los Angeles", means "city of angels"). The new city, however, also inherited the name Bangkok, which continued to be used by foreigners to refer to the entire city and became its official English name, while in Thai the name still refers only to the old district on the west bank of the river. The city has since vastly modernized and undergone numerous changes, including the introduction of transportation and utility infrastructure in the reigns of King Mongkut and King Chulalongkorn, and quickly developed into the economic center of Thailand.
The Royal Chitralada Agriculture Projects
Having visited his subjects in all the regions of the Kingdom, His Majesty the King is acquainted with their many problems and struggles especially in agriculture occupations that are respected as the backbone of the country. Determined to solve the problems, His Majesty the King initiated the “Royal Chitralada Agricultural Projects” within the compound of his residence, Chitralada Villa. Since 1961, the RoyalChitralada Projects have been implementing a diverse range of agricultural activities for experimentation and demonstration purposes. In addition, the projects
operate on a non- profit basis.
In the implementation of the Royal Chitralada Projects, emphasis is placed on implementing His Majesty the King's initiatives called “Sufficiency Economy” that encourage the villagers to become self-sufficient and improve their long-term quality of life. Moreover, issues regarding optimal utilization of the natural resources and agricultural input available in Thailand as well
as agricultural byproducts and wastes are also emphasised. The projects rely on scientific and technological progress in conducting studies, research and experimentation. They are fully operational in order to promote and disseminate the knowledge by demonstration of simple methods suitable for individual farmers and all people who are interested.
The projects can be divided into two types:
Non-profit projects: They are undertaken to implement His Majesty the King's initiatives for increasing efficiency of the agricultural activities. Main focuses are improving the long-term quality of life of the villagers especially encouraging them to become self-sufficient. In addition, issues regarding natural resources conservation are also emphasised. The activities are supported by government agencies as well as private sectors.
Non-profit projects include
+ Experimental Rice Fields
+ Demonstration Forest
+ Culture of Nil Fish
+ Wind Mill
+ Cold Water Production by Means of Heat Energy from Husk
+ Solar Energy House
+ Solar Cell-Powered Water Pumping System
+ Electricity Generation by Wind Power
+ Sa Mulberry Paper Production
+ Plant Tissue Culture
Semi-profit projects: They aim to promote public consumption of good quality but inexpensive products produced in Thailand. According to profit-oriented basis, the profit earned is used to sustain and develop the projects.
Semi-profit projects include
Dairy Farm and Dairy Products aim to study and experiment with all aspects regarding dairy farming to find the most suitable operation for the condition of Thailand. In addition, there are activities regarding processing diary products to promote dairy consumption to Thai people.
+ Suan Chitralada Dairy Farm
+ Milk Collection Centre
+ Suan Dusit Milk Powder Plant
+ Suan Dusit Milk Tablet Plant
+ Cheese Plant
+ Suan Chitralada UHT Milk Plant
Agro-Technologies focus on studying and demonstrating how to preserve and process agricultural products. In addition, there are studies regarding how to use byproducts from agricultural activities efficiently.
+ Suan Chitralada Experimental Rice Mill
+ Rice-Husk Grinding Plant
+ Organic Fertiliser Plant
+ Suan Chitralada Fruit Juice Pasteurisation Plant
+ Cannery Fruit Juice Plant
+ Dried Fruit and Bakery Production
+ Culture of Spirulina species
+ Mushroom Culture Plant
+ Honey Plant
+ Drinking Water Plant
+ Royal Candle Factory
Experimental Fuel Production Units aim to study and experiment to find an alternative source of oil.
+ Ethyl-Alcohol Production
+ Gasohol and Diesohol Production
+ Biodiesel Production
According to the main aim of the Royal Chitralada Projects to be a demonstration project, there are on-going activities on research and development to improve the quality of the products as well as to produce new products.
Research and Development Unit was established, in 1983, for undertaking research on developing new products for the Royal Chitralada Projects. The unit also investigates the benefits of utilising agricultural wastes as raw materials for various products. Examples are research on producing pasteurised fruit juice, cannery fruit juice, dried fruits, processed fruits, spilurina crackers, granule instant drinks, cannery rice porridge, organic fertiliser and scented candles.
Quality Control Unit is responsible for monitoring and regulating the quality of raw materials and products of the Royal Chitralada Projects, to obtain products with consistent quality in compliance with standard specifications (the Thai Food and Drug Administration standards). There are three types of tests to analyse and measure quality factors i.e. physical tests, chemical tests and microbiological tests.
Quality Assurance Unit takes responsible for inspecting raw materials, controlling production processes, inspecting the sanitation of plants and personnel hygiene, storage of raw materials prior to production, and storage of finished products as well as logistics storage prior to reaching consumers. The unit also coordinates with plants to improve facilities in adherence to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) policies for food products. This is to assure that products of the
Royal Chitralada Projects have consistently good quality according to product specifications.
GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) Unit is responsible for all documents and procedures regarding GMP in food production.
This palace has an area of 218,400 sq. metres and is surrounded by walls built in 1782. The length of the four walls is 1,900 metres. Within these walls are situated government offices and the Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha besides the royal residences.
When Siam restored law and order after the fall of Ayutthaya the monarch lived in Thonburi on the west side of the river. Rama I, on ascending the throne, moved the centre of administration to this side of the Chao Phraya; and, after erecting public monuments such as fortifications and monasteries, built a palace to serve not only as his residence but also his offices--the various ministries, only one of which remains in the palace walls. This palace came to be known as the Grand Palace, in which the earliest edifices contemporary with the foundation of Bangkok were the two groups of residences named the Dusit Maha Prasat and the Phra Maha Monthian.
The Chapel Royal of The Emerald Buddha
Just north of the Royal Residence of the Maha Monthian from which there is a connecting gate lies The Chapel Royal of The Emerald Buddha. It consists of all the architectural features of the monastery without however the residential quarter, for monks do not live here. The Assembly Hall, or Ubosoth, serves as the monarch's private chapel. Hence the partition on either side of the main altar intended as a retiring room,which is never to be found anywhere else but the only other chapel royal, that of the King of Thonburi, which serves now as the Assembly Hall of the monastery of Arun within the former grounds of the palace of that king. The "Emerald Buddha" is carved from a block of jade. It is an object of national veneration and crowds come to pay respect to the memory of the Buddha and His Teachings on certain days of the weeks when it is open to the public.
3. Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya is one of the central provinces of Thailand. Ayutthaya one of the major tourist attraction and was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong. It was the capital of Thailand (then called Siam) for 417 years from 1350 until it was sacked by the Burmese army in 1767. During this era Ayutthaya had 33 kings of different dynasties ruling the kingdom This period of Thai (Siamese)history is now usually referred as the Ayutthaya period or Ayutthaya kingdom. The Bowring Treaty (1855), signed by King Mogkhut between Siam and Britain, was the first of its kind and successfully opened up Siam to Western influence and trade.
The ruins of the old capital in the Ayutthaya historical park are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and have been so since December 1991. The province is also home to the Bang Pa-in summer palace complex.
Originally named Krung Kao, the province was renamed to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya in 1919.
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, covering 2,556 square kilometres, is located in the flat river plain of the Chao Phraya river valley. The presence of the Lop Buri and Pa Sak River make the province a major rice farming area.
According to legend King Ramathibodi I found a beautiful conch buried in the ground, and chose the site as the place for his future capital. He then placed the conch on a pedestal tray and built a pavilion around it. The seal shows this pavilion with the provincial tree behind it.
The provincial flower is Sesbania aculeata, and the provincial tree is the Fragrant Manjack (Cordia dichotoma). The provincial slogan can be translated as "Old capital city, food larder of the country, poet laureates galore, and national heroes".
Bang Pa-In Royal Palace in Bang Pa-In district
Ayutthaya is 76 kilometres north of Bangkok and boasts numerous magnificent ruins. Such ruins indicate that Ayutthaya was one of Indo - China’s most prosperous cities. There is Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park which is a vast stretch of historical site in the heart of Ayutthaya city.
There were three palaces in Ayutthaya: Grand Palace, Chantharakasem Palace or the Front Palace, and Wang Lang or the Rear Palace. In addition, there were many other palaces and buildings for royal visits located outside the city area of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, such as Bang Pa-In Palace at Amphoe Bang Pa-in and Nakhon Luang Building at Amphoe Nakhon Luang.
Ayutthaya Tourism Centre (ATC): The centre is established by the Fine Arts Department and developed to be a tourist information centre by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) with high reliefs of 6 great kings and queens from the Ayutthaya Kingdom on the facade of the building remain in their original positions. The center is home to TAT information center, an exhibition on Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya’s tourism and a contemporary art gallery.
Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre is a national research institute devoted to the study of Ayutthaya, especially during the period when Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam. The Centre is responsible for the museum of the history of Ayutthaya, which exhibits reconstructions from the past. The Centre also supports an information service and a library containing historical materials about Ayutthaya.
Chao Sam Phraya National Museum The construction of this museum was funded by the proceeds from the sale of votive tablets discovered in the underground crypts of the principal Prang tower of Wat Ratchaburana. Since the temple was built by King Borommarachathirat II (Chao Sam Phraya), the museum was named after him. The opening ceremony of this museum was held in 1961 and was presided over by Their Majesties the King and the Queen. It was the first museum in the country to present a new form of exhibition, displaying artefacts unearthed from the archaeological excavations as well as restoration of ancient monuments.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet: This important and most impressive monastery is located in the Grand Palace compound like Wat Phra Si Rattanasatsadaram (Wat Phra Kaeo) of Bangkok. Used as a residential palace, it became a monastery in the reign of King Ramathibodi I. When King Borom Trai Lokanat commanded new living quarters built, this residential palace was given to be a temple area, thus originating Wat Phra Si Sanphet: The royal chapel does not have any monks and novice inhabitants.
Grand Palace Currently called “Ancient Palace”. The residential palace of every king was located close to the city wall of Ayutthaya. Important buildings inside the Grand Palace compound are Wihan Somdet Hall, Sanphet Prasat Hall), Suriyat Amarin Hall, Suriyat Amarin Hall, Chakkrawat Phaichayon Hall Trimuk Hall and Banyong Rattanat Hall.
Palm Leaf Fish Mobile Weavers of the palm leaf fish mobile, and other palm leaf products, in this province are Thai Muslims. The skills have been inherited for over 100 years. It is assumed that Thai Muslim spice traders who sailed their houseboats along the Chao Phraya River in the olden days were the first to have woven fish mobiles from palm leaf, out of inspiration from their affectionate bond with water and their surroundings, referring to a Thai barb with which they were familiar and using leaves from various species of palm grown locally. Originally, each woven fish mobile was not as colourful nor numerously composed as in the present, using only a mixture of natural pigment and varnish for the final touch. The fish mobile, mostly in red, is usually hung above a baby’s cradle so that Thai children are familiar with it since their babyhood.
Bamboo Fan Bamboo fan weaving in Amphoe Ban Phraek, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, has been inherited from the olden days. Formerly, the fans were woven with a quite simple technique into a rough design. The border was usually trimmed and sewn by hand with plain white cloth. Later, its form changed to imitate that of a Bodhi leaf or a heart shape. The border is trimmed with gold cloth while the weaving techniques and designs have become more complicated.
Palm Leaf Hat A handicraft that has been inherited since ancient times. Weaving a palm leaf hat requires no less craftsmanship than any other kinds of basketwork. The weavers have to be skilled and patient as the crafts will have to undergo a number of weaving steps. The palm leaf hat is now an OTOP product of Tambon Bang Nang Ra, Amphoe Bang Pahan, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. It has gained popularity among Thais and foreigners and is available in various provinces around the country.
Roti Sai Mai A snack composing of candyfloss (Sai Mai) wrapped with flat bread (Roti) was thought up by Thai Muslim vendors.
Ayutthaya, due to its history as a previous capital of Thailand, the former base of Thai Buddhism and home to tens of kings; it is soaked in original Thai-Thai culture.
Ayutthaya’s current palaces though, due to King Rama V close connection with Europe, do have a distinctive European cultural influence. Ayutthaya was the first destination of any foreigner coming to Siam way back in the days of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. It was also the location of the first treaties ever signed between powerful European nations and Siam.
The people of Ayutthaya are certainly proud of their heritage; a place of beautiful temples, palaces and art. Besides royals, royal sub-ordinates and monks, the people of Ayutthuya were originally farmers who worked in the fields.
BANGSAI ARTS AND CRAFT VILLAGE
Bangsai Arts and Crafts Center of H.M. Sirikit of Thailand
59 Moo 4, Bangsai Distric, Ayutthaya Province
The Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre was founded by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on December 7, 1984, in an effort to preserve the Thai art and cultural heritage and craftsmanship and to enable farmers to earn supplementary income during the period after the annual harvest. The Centre is under the supervision of the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques (SUPPORT) Foundation, established under Royal Patronage on 21 July 1976.
Each year at an annual fair, the unique products produced under this cottage industry project are on display and presents the opportunity for visitors to view exhibitions of local products and enjoy shopping. Folk entertainment creates a lively ambience.
The Bangsai Arts and Crafts Village, located within the Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre, was built and donated by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The Village consists of traditional Thai-style houses representing the country's 4 main regions and serves as a permanent site for the demonstration and display of folk arts and crafts, and other exhibits on Thai culture and the local way of life.
The Training Centre
consists of workshops where the visitors are able to observe the skills involved in the making of various forms of Thai crafts.
The Freshwater Aquarium
is the largest freshwater aquarium in Thailand featuring a variety of freshwater organisms that live in the Chao Phraya River ecosystem, the main artery of the northern and central plains of the kingdom. Fierce carnivorous freshwater species found in Thailand can also be seen.
The Bird Park
consists of two large aviaries with many species of rare birds. A cable bridge enables visitors to view the birds at close range.
The Royal Lodge
is a central Thai-style structure, the form and detail of which reflect the simple beauty of the traditional Thai dwelling. This serves as the royal residence of Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the royal family during visits to the Centre. The Royal Lodge is surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens.
The Bangsai Arts and Crafts Village and Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre is located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River - the 'river of kings'. The Centre in the Bangsai District of Ayutthaya Province is within 10 minutes drive from the exit of the Northern Expressway or approximately 50-minutes drive for Bangkok. There is ample parking space at the Centre.
About the Royal Folk Art & Crafts Center at Bangsai
Situated on an area of 285 rai or 14 acres, the Centre is located in Bang Sai Province. Farmers from Ayutthaya as well as other nearby provinces undergo training in folk arts and crafts at the Centre.
The Centre offers a glimpse of the way of life in the 4 regions of Thailand, with special handicraft demonstrations. The Centre is under the supervision of the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques (SUPPORT) Foundation, established under Royal Patronage on 21 July 1976.
An extensive range of products and activities which can be seen here are : various forms of basketry, the production of artificial flowers, hand-woven silk and cotton and silk dyeing, wood carving, miniature hand-made Thai dolls, furniture making, products made from fabrics and much more. All of these products are sold at the Centre and at all branches of the "Chitralada Store", all over Thailand.
296 Phayathai Road, in front of
Ratchathewi SKYTRAIN Station,
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel : +66(0)2 217 0808
Fax : +66(0)2 217 0109
The Asia Bangkok is located closely to the BTS Station "Ratchathewi Station" It takes only 3 minutes by walk from the hotel to the BTS Station, then you can comfortably ride to many famous tourist attractions such as Shopping Center, Parks, Hopital, Sites and Monuments.