Thailand’s Hidden Gem: Surin

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Welcome to Surin a charming small town in northeastern Thailand next to Cambodia.
My first time in Surin couldn’t be more fullfilled without my local friends ‘Por’. She is so glad that her friends from Thailand or other countries come to visit her hometown.

Prasat Sikhoraphum

Prasat Sikhoraphum was built in the 12th centuries by King Suryavarman II who also built Angkor Wat. What is special here because in Surin we have a lot of castles of the sandstone castles just like in Cambodia. This one is very complete one. We can see that they’re five structures there and on the top of the main structure you can see kind of square things called ‘lintel’. So it’s the carving of Hindu God. It was built for Hinduism worship by King Suryavarman II.

The door frame over there at the main sanctuary the Apsaras look like those in Angkor Wat which is whole castle  in Thailand; they don’t have the Apsara except here. It’s more special that the city made Apsara to be real. The high school here selected beautiful and nice girls to become Apsara. They teach Apsara dance to the community and next generation. We can see Apsara dance only in special ceremonies or the welcoming ceremony of the city. Shiva in dance position on lintel that you can see the same at Panomrung castle.

Satom organic farm

 

In During, the main occupation for people is farmer. I think you have many kinds of rice. The famous one is Jasmine rice. It’s always popular and export around the world. There’s the one people don’t know yet and it’s popular is black or red Jasmine rice. There are many words of rice from Khmer because people living near the border,  they always move in and out Thailand all the time in the past.

There are 7 rice types; each with 4 different milling degrees depends on how many outter layers take off after putting them in rice machine. If you wanna be more healthy, you should eat the one that have more outter layers calls ‘Khao Klong’ in Thai. Green black Jasmin rice is very tasty and delicious that was the popular vote from people in the rice festival. Pka Um-Ple Rice is the recommended one and Red Jasmine Rice is good for your skin.

Moreover, they have rice wine. Different color has different taste.

Kunchaing 5 Dao Shop
When you come to Surin and you’re looking for the souvenir back home, I recommended this one for you ‘Chinese sausage’. They have many flavors and textures but their taste are totally different from other provinces when you eat. With the red label is like less fat and the fish one is very popular.
Surin Silk
Surin is very famous for silk. There are different types of slik because many ethnic groups in Surin. Like you ware now is mixed Surin with Khmer style or called Kui style. Hole Pattern is the original style of Surin Silk. Hole means water. The pattern like steam water. Surin Silk is a handmade product by local community that  reflects beautiful ancient
traditions.
Learning Thai boxing with Buakaw
Surin is a birthplace of international boxing star Buakaw or Sombat Banchamek. I think this is a good opportunity to visit his home and learn basic Thai boxing. I was fortunate to have my local friend ‘Por’ who introduces me to this place. She has never been here
before.
It’s so great and I was impressed with all the kids to learn Thai boxing here. The children in this village can do Kickboxing because they practice here every day after school. It’s good exercise for them. Some of them can earn money from do the real boxing on stage.
Elephant Study Center, Baan Ta Klang
Another international star who was born and brought up in Surin is Tony Ja or Jaa Phanom as Thai people called him. He plays an important role in making Thai boxing a global phenomenon from his role in finding his own elephant friend in the blockbuster Tom Yum Goong. The whole world started to fall in love with Thai elephants from Surin.
We are in Elephant Study center is the biggest one in Surin. This elephant village is the biggest one in the world because it has several thousand Rai of area. The villagers in this area are elephant keepers. They can control the elephant because they were born with elephants for generations around two hundred years ago.  Pra Kru Pakam is the master of Mahouts. He can catch up 100 of wild elephants.
Biking around Town 
Apart from serious activity Thai boxing there is also light activity morning biking around town called ‘Surin bike trip’. The first place to visit is the temple  ‘Wat Buraparum’. It was the temple of a very famous monk in Thailand and he tough about mind stubbornness in the meditation. Our late king King Bhumibol visited him at this temple.
After that we went to see the statue of the first governor of Surin; Praya Surin Phakdi Si Narong Changwang. This is the monument to honor him. You can see the pair of big ivory here that someone call ‘Ivory statue’.
And later on you can ride to see Surin City Pillar Shrine. This place adapted style of Surin and Bayou style of Cambodia.
And we ride pass Surin Railway Station. This is another way to come to Surin. The traffic in the city always busy because the school opened. If you want to avoid the traffic, you should ride earlier and be careful.
Sray Athitaya
Sray means rice field and Athitays is name of princess. They mix Thai and Khmer style in this resort or homestay. They grow tomatoes, rambutan, durian. If you come here and stay, you can eat fruits that they grow. Surin people is very bonded with rice. At here, they have a center for smart farming.
Smart farming means they don’t grow rice in traditional way but have something to help like how to use machine to adjust the rice quality and mobile application from the government of Thailand like how rich is the soil, the nutrition, the fertilizer and the last thing that the back can help farmer.
Being here you can close to the nature and learning something about local communities as well.

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