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Go off the beaten track and experience Thailand at its exotic best in Khon Kaen, a place where you can mingle with the locals and gain an insight into their rich culture and traditions. Historically the town may be new, but it can trace its origin to the pre-historic times, a fact that was reinforced ever since remains of the dinosaurs were unearthed in Phu Wiang National Park.
Today Khon Kaen is a town of contrasts: buffaloes share road space with the Mercedes and the BMWs; people in their formals hurry past the orange-robed Buddhist monks; the street vendors sell their sticky rice cakes in front of McDonalds. It is precisely this peaceful coexistence between the old and new that gives Khon Kaen a charm that is impossible to ignore.
Khon Kaen boasts of a wide array of vacation villas for a comfortable stay. You can find a vacation villa, cottage or studio depending on your taste and budget. Facilities vary from the luxurious to the comfortable but what all have in common is that they are within easy distance of the attractions and are located amidst spectacular surroundings.
Take a step back into the pre-historic times and discover the dinosaur fossils at the Phu Wiang National Park. Visit the Dinosaur Park which showcases nine excavation sites packed with a newly found species of dinosaur fossils dating back approximately 160 million years. Besides the fossils, other attractions include waterfalls, wildflowers, Red Palm Cave, and towering above all, the statue of the reclining Buddha on the cliff.
The pagoda is considered to be one of Khon Kaen's major historical sites. It was built to enshrine the holy relics of the Lord Buddha.
The nine-storey stupa houses an impressive collection of relics of the Lord Buddha and important Buddhist scriptures, as well as murals that feature the town's history. The temple's doors and windows have beautiful carving depicting the life and former reincarnations of the Lord Buddha, sixteen classes of visible deities in the Brahmas world, and Buddhist rites.
Khon Kaen is a great place to savour Thai cuisine. While in Khon Kaen, you must try the Isaan sausage, kai yang (grilled chicken), som tam (hot and spicy papaya salad), and mu phaeng (marinated grilled pork). The prices here are considerably cheap, whether it is street food or food in hotels.
The avid golfers can head to the Khon Kaen Golf Service, an exquisite sprawling golf course.
After a fun-filled day exploring the many attractions of Khon Kaen there is nothing like relaxing your tired muscles and pampering your body in this spa. The spa specializes in Thai massage and that is not all. You can also enjoy wellness and beauty treatments at reasonable prices.
The nightlife in Khon Kaen is not loud and raunchy as in Pattaya and Phuket but if you are looking for something subdued and a friendly atmosphere, you will not be disappointed. Khon Kaen has an interesting collection of bars, beer gardens, night plazas and even a gay bar.