Khon Kaen National Museum
Khon Kaen National Museum is located in the University area in the northern part of town. Established in 1972, it is focused on the history of the Isaan provinces and displays artifacts left by the civilizations that have been living in the northeastern Thailand over the last 3000 years. A collection of tools from the prehistoric excavation site of Baan Chiang is probably the most interesting part of the exhibition, but a lot of items from the Deravati and Khmer periods can be seen as well. Pottery, old musical instruments, building tools and much more are just a part of the extensive collection. Some dinosaur fossils found in Phu Wiang National Park are displayed, too.
The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9.00am to 12.00am and from 1.00pm to 4.00pm. Admission is free during the week and THB20 during the weekends. To get there you can take the songthaew 8 (THB10) heading north.
Hong Mun Mang Museum & Bueng Kaen Nakhon Lake
Also known as Khon Kaen City Museum tis museum focuses primary on the history of the city and the related province. It features 5 different zones displaying statues, images, pictures, handicrafts and tools of all different cultures that made their contribution in creation of Khon Kaen of today during the last 2 centuries. English boards with clear explanations are everywhere and they will make your visit more interesting and insightful.
The museum is open every day except Monday from 9.00am to 5.00pm. Admission fee is THB90. It is located on the northern bank of the Bueng Kaen Nakhon Lake which is worth a visit even if you’re not interested in the museum. It is a relaxed and quiet spot not far from the city centre and it’s the favourite place for the city inhabitants for jogging, exercising and just relaxing. It can be quite busy during the weekends since it is a popular picnic destination among locals. You can walk around the lake in half an hour – and it is a good idea as during your walk you will pass a couple of temples, several shrines and many restaurants where you can have a pleasant lunch break.
To get to the lake you can either take the songthaew 8 going south or simply walk for 20 minutes.
Wat Nong Waeng
Wat Nong Waeng is a Buddhist temple sitting on the western bank of the Bueng Kaen Nakhon Lake. It’s one of the most important religious sites in Khon Kaen and it’s easily recognizable by its spectacular nine floor chedi which is one of the symbols of the city. Visitors are allowed to walk up to the top floor from where you can have a nice view of the lake. On your way up you will see Buddha’s images, murals and paintings, a collection of old scriptures and several decorated doors and windows. On the 9th floor the central throne enshrines Lord Buddha’s relics, and for this reason this temple is one of the most revered in the whole province. The chedi is 80 meter high and at night it is beautifully illuminated.
Phra That Kaen Nakhon as the chedi is called was built in 1996 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the King’s ascension to the throne, but the temple is actually one of the oldest constructions in Khon Kaen. Founded in 1793, if features several chambers, a lot of statuary, a community centre and a market.
The temple can be visited every day from 7.00am to 5.00pm.