Nakhon Ratchasima

Situated some 260km to the north-east of Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima is the capital of both the province and the district of the same name. Also known as Khorat, given that it lies on the Khorat Plateau, it has a population of around 166,000 and has throughout history been the main gateway to Thailand’s north-east region.

As an industrial and agricultural hub, the city plays a very important economic role at both regional and national level, with the production of rice, sugar cane, sesame and fruit to the fore. Also considered to be the ‘spiritual birthplace’ of Thai silk, for all these reasons and more Nakhon Ratchasima is Thailand’s second most important city.

In terms of tourist attractions, leading the way are the city’s zoo, which is one of Asia’s most modern; the Sala Loi temple, that dates back to 1827 and is a striking example of the architecture of the time; and the Khorat Royal Thai Air Force Base, which was used by United States’ forces during the Vietnam War. However, no visit to the area would be complete without taking in the Khao Yai National Park – Thailand’s second-largest of its kind – nor the diverse ruins to be found in the city’s surrounds, remains which pay testament to a region rich in history, cultural and wondrous scenery.

As for the city’s sporting scene, ‘His Majesty the King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary, 5th December 2007 Sports Complex’ is the standout attraction. A multi-purpose stadium named in honour of the 80th birthday of King Bhumbol Adulyadej, the complex hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2007 edition of the South-east Asian Games. It has also been the home of local side Nakhon Ratchasima FC since 2008, who are currently in Thailand’s Regional League Division 2 (the country’s third tier).