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To many visitors, Northeastern Thailand or Isan is the most difficult region to travel around. That, however, is changing. The biggest region in Thailand, Isan has a wealth of attractions and traditions, especially in Sakon Nakhon. Now served by daily flights from Bangkok, you can fly to the upper northeastern city in just about an hour.
Situated in the densely forested Phu Phan mountain range area, Sakon Nakhon has always been an ideal place for those seeking tranquility. The Northeast is the birthplace of the Thai Forest Tradition, a highly disciplined lineage of Theravada Buddhism. In addition to visiting forest temples and learn more about some of Thailand's most prominent monks, you can visit one of the strongest Christian communities. The city also hosts some of the most spectacular Buddhist and Christian festivals in Thailand.

Best time to visit

In Sakon Nakhon, the wet season is oppressive and overcast, the dry season is humid and partly cloudy, and it is hot year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 16°C to 34°C and is rarely below 12°C or above 38°C.

Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Sakon Nakhon for warm-weather activities is from mid November to late February.

Check the below table for the general idea of Sakon Nakhon weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 28.5 21.6 15.7
Feb 31.8 24.9 19.1
Mar 33.8 27.4 22
Apr 35.1 29.1 24.1
May 33.9 28.8 24.9
Jun 33.1 28.5 25.3
Jul 32.1 27.8 24.9
Aug 31.7 27.6 24.6
Sep 31.8 27.4 24.4
Oct 31.4 26.7 22.7
Nov 31.1 25.2 20.2
Dec 29.2 22.6 16.9

Sakon Nakhon’s current weather and 7-day forecast

SAKON NAKHON WEATHER

Combining with natural attractions and historic Khmer ruins as well as local ways of life and cuisine, this Isan city can surely cater for all tastes. Check out these top things to do in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand, and enjoy authentic local experiences before the rest of the world catches on.

1. Pay respect to the city’s most sacred temple, Wat Phra That Choeng Chum

A great way to start your trip. Wat Phra That Choeng Chum is also the city’s most iconic temple. After admiring the 24 meter-high stupa, pay respect to Luang Pho Ong Saen (the city’s most important Buddha image) and footprints of 4 Buddhas.  

2. Gaze at a parade of wax masterpieces at Wax Castle Festival

Well-known for their strong faith, the local Buddhists celebrate the end of Buddhist Lent (Ok Phansa) grandly. Every year in October, they handcraft Buddhist temples and castle-like structures out of beeswax. These magnificent artworks are homage to Wat Phra That Choeng Chum and paraded around the city.    

3. Walk among lotuses and watch the sunset over Isan’s largest lake

The biggest lotus park in Thailand. A red bridge zigzags around the lake and you can also sit back and relax in one of the many Thai-style pavilions. Love cycling? You’re welcome to rent a bike.

The lotus park is located just across from Nong Han Lake, so make the most of your visit by visiting both. Nong Han Lake is the biggest lake in the Northeast and also the second largest freshwater lake in Thailand. Stunning sunset aside, Nong Han Lake is dotted with islets and you can take a boat to them while observing local fishermen at work.

4. Admire Buddhist arts amid nature at Wat Tham Pha Daen

Situated on Phu Phan mountain and surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers, Wat Tham Pha Daen is a great temple even for those who are feeling templed out. Its golden pagodas gleam on the enormous rocks and Buddhist motifs are carved into the rocks. Thanks to its location, the temple offers sweeping views of the city and Nong Han Lake.

5. Explore the century-old largest Christian community in Thailand at Tha Rae

Tha Rae Village is home to more Christians than anywhere in Thailand and the community has a long history. Over 100 years ago, Catholic Christians from Vietnam took refuge in Thailand and finally settled in Tha Rae. The village has a unique atmosphere with old French-Vietnamese-style buildings and Noah's Ark-like Saint Michael the Archangel Cathedral. Plus you can also try Vietnamese cuisine.

6. Have yourself a Merry Starry Christmas at Christmas Star Festival

Since Tha Rae is a dominantly Christian community, this is one of the few places in Thailand where you can enjoy grand Christmas festivities. What’s more, Christmas Star Festival is arguably one of the most colorful Christmas celebrations in the world. At Christmas time, the village is decked out with star lanterns and when the night falls, everything is illuminated. Be dazzled by more than 200 cars parading the big star lanterns around the village. Watch the story of Jesus unfold in a stage play. Meet Santa Claus, angels and many more Christmas characters.       

7. Glimpse into the world of the Thai Forest Tradition

With the aim of training the mind to enlightenment, the monks Ajarn Sao Kantasilo and Ajarn Mun Bhuridatto retreated into the secluded forests and caves of the Northeast for intense meditation practice and from then on lived a highly ascetic life. A rigorous practice that’s the closest to Buddha’s.

The Thai Forest Tradition has gained a large following. Since Ajarn Mun and his notable students trained and were laid to rest in Sakon Nakhon, you can retrace their footsteps in the city. Take these following places for example:

1) Wat Pa Sutthawat and Ajarn Mun Bhuridatto Museum

Wat Pa Sutthawat is Ajarn Mun’s final resting place and in the temple grounds is a museum and shrine dedicated to his life and work. The highly revered monk’s objects are displayed in the museum along with his bronze statue and his bone shards, which have unexplainably turned into crystals.  

2) Wat Pa Udom Somphon and Ajarn Fan Archaro Museum

Ajarn Fan was one of Ajarn Mun’s students and he went on to become one of Thailand’s most revered monks like his teacher. Wat Pa Udom Somphon was Ajarn Fan’s training place and the beautiful lotus-shaped museum exhibits his history as well as his ashes, tools and life-size statue.

8. Visit the Khmer-style sanctuaries, Phra That Narai Cheng Weng and Phra That Phu Pek

Though both Phra That Phu Pek and Phra That Narai Cheng Went fell into ruin, these historic temples are surrounded by intriguing legends. Phra That Narai Cheng Weng is believed to have been built entirely by women and its Khmer-style stupa still remains.

Constructed by men, Phra That Phu Pek stands at the top of a mountain in Phu Phan mountain range and you have to clamber up 491 steps to reach the temple. The ancient solar calendar, which was indispensable for rituals and agriculture, is still housed inside the temple. You can also enjoy the view from the top, especially of Nong Han Lake.  

9. Wear the locals’ pride and joy, indigo-dyed clothes

The craftsmanship of handwoven, natural-dyed indigo clothes has been passed down for many generations. The village Ban Non Rua is especially famous and the locals are still developing their techniques.

However, you can find these indigo-dyed clothes all over the city. There are a lot of shops and even an indigo walking street near Wat Phra That Choeng Chum on weekend evenings. The clothes have been transformed into fashionable wear as various other items.

10. Indulge with Thailand’s best beef, Pon Yang Kham

You’ve probably heard of Pon Yang Kham beef before since you can taste it at many restaurants in major cities. Guess what, Thailand’s best beef actually originated in Pon Yang Kham Village. Time to treat yourself to premium steak and other mouthwatering dishes.      

Budget options

Hop Inn Sakon Nakhon 

Add: 1912 Tor Phatthana rd., Phra That Choeng Chum, Mueang, 47000 Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Set in Sakon Nakhon, 8 km from Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University, Hop Inn Sakon Nakhon offers accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking.

At the hotel, the rooms are fitted with a balcony. At Hop Inn Sakon Nakhon all rooms are fitted with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.

Languages spoken at the reception include Thai and English, and guests are invited to request information on the area when needed.

Mid-range options

@Sakon Hotel 

Add: 287/17 Kumuang Rd., Tambon That choeng chum, Ampur Muang, Sakon Nakhon, 47000 Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Situated in Sakon Nakhon, 8 km from Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University, @Sakon Hotel features accommodation with a restaurant and free private parking. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk as well as free WiFi throughout the property.

The rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, free toiletries and a desk. At the hotel rooms have a wardrobe and a private bathroom.

An Asian breakfast is available each morning at @Sakon Hotel.

Hug Sakhonnakhon Hotel 

Add: 88/8 Liang muang Rd. Muang, Sakonnakhon 47000, 47000 Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Set in Sakon Nakhon, Sakon Nakhon Province region, Hug Sakhonnakhon Hotel is located 6 km from Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University. Featuring a restaurant, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom. There is free private parking and the property offers paid airport shuttle service.

At the hotel, all rooms are fitted with a balcony with a garden view. The units in Hug Sakhonnakhon Hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV and a hairdryer.

The accommodation offers a buffet or à la carte breakfast.

Staff speak Thai and English at the 24-hour front desk.

Deluxe options

NK Residence Sakon Nakhon 

Add: 41 ถนนนิตโย ตำบลธาตุเชิงชุม อำเภอเมืองสกลนคร, 47000 Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Set in Sakon Nakhon, 700 m from Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University, NK Residence Sakon Nakhon offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking and a shared lounge. This 4-star hotel offers valet parking. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, a shuttle service, room service and free WiFi.

At the hotel, all rooms come with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. The units will provide guests with a fridge.

Metha Palace 

Add: 942 Sakonthawapii Road, 47000 Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Situated in the heart of Sakon Nakhon, Metha Palace features free WiFi throughout the property. Featuring a shared lounge, this 5-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom. Big C Supercenter is a 3-minute drive from the property.

Furnished with Lanna decorations, each room includes a desk and a flat-screen TV. The units feature a wardrobe.

Most restaurants on Sakon Nakhon serve a variety of cuisines, including Thai and international foods. Most guesthouse and resorts have restaurants that serve both. The following are some of the restaurants on Sakon Nakhon.

Sabannga

Thai food.

Cuisine: Thai

Restaurant Type: Children/Family, Supper/Night Dining

Address: Ratthaphattana Road, Amphoe Mueng, Sakon Nakhon

Suan Luek

Thai food

Cuisine: Thai

Restaurant Type: Children/Family

Address: 241/8 ถนนต.พัฒนา อำเภอเมือง จังหวัดสกลนคร

Besthouse

Thai food.

Cuisine: Thai

Restaurant Type: Children/Family, Supper/Night Dining

Address: Prempreeda Road, Amphoe Mueng, Sakon Nakhon

Sanom Ake

Thai food

Cuisine: Thai

Restaurant Type: Children/Family

Address: บริเวณหนองสนม อำเภอเมือง จังหวัดสกลนคร

Green Corner

Thai food a la cart.

Cuisine: Thai

Restaurant Type: Children/Family, Supper/Night Dining

Address: 1173 Ratphatthana Road, Amphoe Mueng, Sakon Nakhon

Get in

Sakon Nakhon is in the upper Northeast. It is on the Phu Phan mountain range and has many forest temple retreats for meditation. Sakon Nakhon is 647 kilometers from Bangkok and has an area of 9,605 square kilometers. Sakon Nakhon consists of the following districts: Muang Sakon Nakhon, Waritchaphum, Kutbak, Kusuman, Ban Muang, Phanna Nikhom, Sawang Daen Din, Wanon+ Niwat, Phang Khon, Akat Amnuai, Songdao, Kham Ta Kla, Tao-ngoi, Khok Si Suphan, Nikhom Namun, Charoen Sin, Phon Na Kaeo and Phu Phan.

By car

From Bangkok, take highway 2 to Saraburi and turn right into highway 2, via Nakhon Ratchasima, Amphoe Ban Phai of Khon Kaen to Ban Tha Phra. Get onto highway 23 via Maha Sarakham and Kalasin, then use highway 213 to Sakon Nakhon. (7-9 hours at local speed limits) - Kalasin 128 km south east - Nakhon Phanom 93 km north east - Nongkhai 210 km north west - Udon Thani 159 km west

By bus

Transport Co, and private bus service providers operate daily services from Bangkok to Sakon Nakhon. Buses leave Northeast Bus Terminal (Mor Chit 2) daily.

Buses travel from the old bus terminal at Udon Thani to here for B110 (about 3hours). Buses eastbound to Nakhon Phanom run frequently (1-2 per hour).

The new bus terminal (Bus Terminal 2) is well out of town, and only motorcycle taxis were seen there. As an alternative small clapped-out yellow local buses wheeze frequently into the town centre for B10. Heading out, the same buses return to the bus terminal westbound along the south side of Thanon Sukkasem opposite the Wet Market.

The old bus terminal (Bus Terminal 1) now only serves local routes which are unlikely to be of much interest to visitors.

We recommend you check the latest bus schedule and price via rome2rio.com

By train

State Railway of Thailand operates a daily train service from Bangkok to Udon Thani, where tourists can catch a bus to Sakon Nakhon, 159 km away(3-4hours, buses going to nakhon phanom and mukdahan can stop in sakon nakhon). The night train from Bangkok/Khrung Thep usually leaves at 8PM, is supposed to reach Udon Thani around 6AM (more likely 9AM). Fare is around 1000 baht for a soft bed in a 2 bed cabin first class with air con.

By plane

Nok Air operates flights from Bangkok to Sakon Nakhon.

Contact us for the latest flight schedule and price. Or you can check via some online platform such as SkyScanner.com or Kayak.com

Here you can find some tips to book the cheapest flight

Get around

You can get around by bus, tricycle and motored tricycle that available in the city. Fare depends on your negotiation. There is no real rental shop for tourists, but you can arrange in almost any motorcycle shop or in most guesthouses.

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International travelers to Thailand will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or ATK test results from October 1st, 2022 onward.

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Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced these changes on Thursday after the National Communicable Diseases Committee (NCDC) had a meeting on Wednesday.

Instead of isolating those who have contracted the disease would be required to wear a mask, socially distance themselves from others and wash their hands frequently for the first five days. They also need to stay away from those who are immunocompromised and vulnerable.

Dr. Sophon Iamsirithaworn, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control, informed that since the present Covid-19 mutation doesn’t cause serious symptoms in most people, disease control measures can be relaxed.

National Security Council secretary-general Supoj Malaniyom added that the new measures are being put in place to help improve the economic conditions of the country.

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