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A Guide to Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand

A Guide to Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand

Nakhon Ratchasima a.k.a. Korat isn’t as popular as Chiang Mai or Phuket, but it’s certainly worth the trip, especially if you’re up for small town vibes that offer big city creature comforts.

Aside from being the gateway to Isan (Northeast Thailand), Korat is the third largest city in the country, and we think that should be a hint that tons of fun and adventure await you here—from nature trail hiking, temple hopping, and animal spotting.

And to help you explore Korat to its fullest, we crafted this guide that’s jam-packed with insider info on what you can expect while you’re there. Let’s get started!

Things to Know

Time Zone:

Indochina Time (UTC/GMT+7)

Currency: Thai Baht
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: Thai (Central Thai)

Calling Code: (+66)

Location: Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

Nearest Airport: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport

Operating Hours: 24/7

Best Time to Visit Nakhon Ratchasima

For optimal weather, it’s best to visit Nakhon Ratchasima between December and February. During these months, you’ll encounter little to no rain, so you’ll enjoy numerous activities in the province to the fullest.

You can also explore the province all day since these months have cool and dry weather. 

How to Get to Nakhon Ratchasima

Plane: Flying to Nakhon Ratchasima Airport is the fastest way to reach this northeastern province. Boarding a plane makes it accessible from key locations in Thailand like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, and Phuket.

Bus: Public buses are also good options to get to Nakhon Ratchasima. You can find buses that go to this province from bus terminals in places like Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hua Hin, Krabi, Lop Buri, Phuket, Udon Thani, and more.

These buses should drop you off at Nakhon Ratchasima’s Bus Terminal 2. It’s in the city center so you’ll be close to most hotels.

Train: Train is by far the cheapest option to reach Nakhon Ratchasima. However, it’s also the slowest so we don’t recommend it unless you have time to kill or want to see more of the beautiful countryside.

The trains in Bangkok, Ubon Ratchathani, and Nong Khai will stop at Nakhon Ratchasima’s Korat Station. A train ride will only run you back between 120 to 150 baht depending on your starting location.

What to See and Do in Nakhon Ratchasima

Enjoy animal spotting activities at Khao Yai National Park

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Khao Yai National Park is arguably the best place for animal activities in Nakhon Ratchasima. Our team particularly enjoyed birdwatching while hiking the park’s numerous nature trails.

Here, you can spot over 490 local and migratory bird species, and that’s more than most national parks in Thailand offer. This includes rare birds like the Austen’s Brown Hornbill, Banded Kingfisher, and Wreathed Hornbill.

It’s also home to 72 mammal species, 32 lizard species, 58 snake species, and 26 amphibian species, so there’s plenty to see during your visit. 

Admire Wat Ban Rai’s giant elephant temple

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Wat Ban Rai, also known as Luang Por Koon, is one of the most impressive temples in Nakhon Ratchasima. 

It’s well-known for its massive elephant temple packed with a colorful mosaic of ornaments and carvings, appealing to mixed crowds, from locals to pilgrims and tourists. 

Aside from that, this lakeside temple has other notable sights like the seven-headed Naga statues and numerous paintings of Lord Buddha’s life and ministry. 

Explore Wat Phra Narai Maharat’s temple complex

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Wat Phra Narai Maharat is a quintessential Buddhist temple, so expect to see monks, golden Buddha images, ordination halls, and prayer halls. That also means you must behave and dress appropriately when exploring the temple’s sacred grounds.

This tranquil temple has some gorgeous chedis, murals, and shrines that we think are worth checking out. If you enjoy taking photos of temple architecture and relics, this place is definitely a must-visit.

Walk around Night Ban Koh and sample the local specialties

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For avid foodies, Night Ban Koh is an excellent night market with plenty of food options. The local vendors here sell a diverse selection of street food and local specialties that will keep you coming for more.

Think seafood, finger foods, desserts, smoothies, and fresh fruits. You’ll also find shops selling affordable clothes, accessories, souvenirs, and knick-knacks, so there’s plenty more to do after you’ve eaten your fill.

Tour the temple ruins of Prasat Hin Phanom Wan

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This is a great place to learn about the Nakhon Ratchasima’s ancient temples, and it’s definitely worth the 23-minute commute from the city proper. It’s one of the province’s most important sites for good reason—it’s packed with history and unique structures.

Prasat Hin Phanom Wan consists of numerous torn-down Khmer-style pagodas, shrines, and Buddha images. It used to be a Hindu temple, so it had multi-tier pagodas instead of the typical dome-shaped chedis in Buddhist temples.

Thailand’s Fine Arts Department manages this historical site, so expect to see a museum, visitor’s center, car park, and several toilets within the temple grounds.

Watch the animal shows at Korat Zoo Lagoon and Water Park

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Korat Zoo Lagoon and Water Park, also known as Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo, is a great spot for family outings during the weekend. The animal lovers on our team particularly enjoyed watching the animal shows in the zoo.

The animal show features performing African fur seals, otters, monkeys, and birds. For a more exciting experience, we also recommend watching the tiger feeding show.

Though it’s a tiger feeding show, it actually includes other predators like the Indochinese Leopard and the endangered Black Panther.

See Maha Weerawong National Museum’s collection of ancient relics

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Though Maha Weerawong National Museum is a small venue, its collection of ancient relics is nothing to scoff at. Going here lets you see the treasured antiques and relics of the late Somdej Phra Maha Weerawong.

He’s one of the most revered monks in Nakhon Ratchasima, so expect to see interesting items from various provinces. If you’re an art fanatic, you’ll be pleased to know that the collection includes rare art pieces and Buddhist paintings.

Check out the ancient temples and carvings at Phimai Historical Park

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If you crave more of Nakhon Ratchasima’s ancient history, there’s Phimai Historical Park. It’s a historical site, so expect to see numerous temple ruins, intricate rock carvings, and stone sculptures within its sacred grounds.

For only 100 baht, you can enjoy at least 50 minutes of exploration to see all the sights in the temple. If you want to learn more about the park, there’s a visitor’s center by the entrance with information written in English.

Book a tour of Farm Chokchai

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For fun seekers, a tour of Farm Chokchai in Pak Chong District is a must when you’re in Nakhon Ratchasima. Here, you can meet, feed, and play with charming farm animals like horses, sheep, and cows. 

Plus, they offer horseback riding classes for kids and adults. There are also rental buggies on-site for visitors who want to explore the massive farm area. 

Moreover, Farm Chokchai is a popular tourist destination, so expect to see an on-site steakhouse serving excellent farm-to-table food. They even have a shop selling fresh milk and curry puff which are the farm’s best-selling souvenir items.

Where to Eat in Nakhon Ratchasima


Media from chakafair

Address: Changphuak Road, Nai Mueang, Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 96 256 3778


Prices: ฿

ChaKaFair is a solid breakfast and lunch spot in Nakhon Ratchasima. This alfresco Thai restaurant serves affordable traditional breakfast options like khai grata, fried rice, porridge, pork bone soup, and dim sum.

They also have a nice selection of coffee and tea drinks, so it’s a great place to start your day.

Yong Poo Ob

Media credit: guide_nana_thailand

Address: 1844/1 มิตรภาพ ซอย 6 Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Monday – Saturday)

Contact Number: +66 95 806 5243


Prices: ฿฿

This Michelin-star restaurant is the place for excellent seafood in Korat. Yong Poo Ob’s signature baked glass noodles is a top pick.

It’s a noodle dish served with fresh hot pot crab and rich herb sauce. Aside from that, their grilled tiger prawns and tom yum goong are must-tries.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even get a red ant egg omelet and curry. They only serve authentic Thai food, so expect most dishes to be rich and spicy.

Larb Nua Ratchasima

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Address: Ban Ko, Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 97 341 4751


Prices: ฿

If you want affordable Isan food in Nakhon Ratchasima, go to Larb Nua. Here, you can get traditional dishes like pork namtok, som tum, sundried beef, and catfish larb.

They make authentic Isan dishes, so it’s the best place to try these local specialties for the first time. If you can’t handle spicy food, ask the waiter to tone down your order because Isan cuisine is typically served spicy.

Where to Stay in Nakhon Ratchasima

Centara Korat

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Address: 880 Thanon Mittraphap, Nai Mueang, District Muang, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 3 p.m. (Check-in) & 12 p.m. (Check-out)

Contact Number: +66 4 425 1234


Prices: ฿฿

This mid-range hotel in Nakhon Ratchasima is great for all kinds of travelers. It offers a good balance of price and amenities, so you can stay comfortably without breaking the bank.

Moreover, Centara Korat is well-known for its excellent breakfast options and clean, spacious rooms. It’s also in the heart of Nakhon Ratchasima, making it an excellent gateway to all the attractions in the province.

Centre Point Hotel Terminal21 Korat

Media from centrepoint_t21korat

Address: 99 Thanon Mittraphap, Tambon Nai Mueang, Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 2 p.m. (Check-in) & 12 p.m. (Check-out)

Contact Number: +66 4 449 8880


Prices: ฿฿

For avid shopaholics, there’s no better accommodation than the Centre Point Hotel. It’s above the Terminal 21 Korat shopping mall, so you’ll have quick access to the most notable shops in the city.

Since it’s in the city center, you’re also close to transportation hubs and terminals going to the key attractions in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Qlosest Hotel

Media from qlosest_hotel

Address: Nai Mueang, Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 3 p.m. (Check-in)

Contact Number: +66 61 425 4289


Prices: ฿

Qlosest Hotel is the ideal budget-friendly hotel for long vacations in Nakhon Ratchasima. Aside from the affordable price, it has cozy, spacious rooms so you’ll definitely be comfortable when staying here.

The only issue is the hotel doesn’t serve breakfast. However, it’s not a huge deal breaker since it’s close to numerous restaurants around the city.

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