Khon Kaen City Museum
In northeastern Thailand, the translation of Hong Moon Mung means ‘a treasure hall.’ Therefore, in Khon Kaen, the Hong Moon Mung Khon Kaen City Museum is a treasure hall where the historical articles of this region and the country are preserved.
The museum is situated beside Kaen Nakhon Lake in the town. It is the center for research and study where the historical data of Khon Kaen from the past to the present are exhibited independently in five zones according to their contents; from the prehistoric era to present day. The exhibitions are presented through modern designs and contemporary interactive media.
Walking Street Market
In the spirit of Chiang Mai's weekend street markets (but not touristy like them), hundreds of vendors take over Th Na Sunratchakan. Many of them sell handbags, T-shirts, postcards, picture frames and other handmade products. Dancers, musicians and other buskers work strategic corners, and the whole place is festooned with Chinese-style lanterns, adding to the festive atmosphere.
Wat Thung Setthi
While in Khon Kaen, you must visit the Buddhist temple called Wat Thung Setthi because it is somewhat different from the typical temples. Its exterior is white with gold and blue accents, which is somewhat different from the typical gold and red colored temples. Throughout the temple, you will see many gorgeous white statues. There is a calming and peaceful atmosphere that seems to radiate over you as you walk up the white entry stairs of Wat Thung Setthi Temple.
Wat Nong Wang
Do you ever feel like “if you have seen one Wat, you have seen them all”? Well, do not let that deter you from paying a visit to Wat Nong Wang in Khon Kaen. As you climb the 9 increasingly smaller tiers, stop and admire the beautiful relics and learn about the history and culture of the temple, and Buddhism. The observation deck on the 9th story has magnificent panoramic views of the town, especially Lake Kaen Nakhon. Stop by after dark to see the temple lit up, that is a sight to see in itself!
Phu Wiang National Park
A geologist discovered a giant patella bone here in 1976 and the paleontologists who were sent to investigate then discovered a fossilized 15-meter (49-foot) long herbivore. It was later named Phuwianggosaurus Sirindhornae after Thai Princess Sirindhorn. A feverish interest in dinosaurs followed as more remains were uncovered and Phu Wiang National Park came to fruition.
Secured excavation sites, including a site with a partial skeleton of Siamotyrannus Isanensis, an ancient ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, can be easily accessed by trails from the visitor center. Phu Wiang Museum, located just prior to entering the park, has full-size paleontology and geology displays, including animatronic figures of the dinosaur species that once lived in the area. Children, as well as adults, will love it.
Slove U Coffee
Khon Kaen's youthful population has spawned many good coffee shops, but this friendly, attractively cluttered, front-terrace cafe will be your favorite thing. It roasts its own beans (grown in Chiang Mai) in a traditional roaster shipped over from Turkey, has a couple of bikes for rent and runs a hostel upstairs.