Chaiyaphum (Land Of Victory) is a small town in northeast Thailand. The population is about 58,000 people. Laotians settled in this town in 1817, and that is one of the reasons why people here are ethnically Laos.
One of the best times to travel to Chaiyaphum is around 12-20 January because it is during this time the locals celebrate a procession to pay homage to Chao Phraya Lae who was killed when he defended the city against Anouvong’s army.
From 12-20 January every year, this festive session is a very lively and happy event in Chaiyaphum. You will find many stalls selling different kinds of products, including exhibitions and other activities like elephant parades.
In the evening, there is a huge area set up for funfair with stalls lined up, eateries, dances and songs, and lots of entertainment. You can feel the happiness all around. If you can, plan your visit for this festive event, and the weather during this time is also cooling.
This will make your trip a comfortable one. The truth of the matter is when the weather is not hot or rainy, your trip will be more enjoyable.
Flower lovers will love another feature of this town and that is its flowers. When you think of Chaiyaphum, you can immediately associate it with flowers. They are famous for that. Flower lovers will find this place captivating.
Oh yes, a Thai friend mentioned that he likes to listen to the way Chaiyaphum people speak. It seems it is a little different in their accent. I am not really sure about this because I can’t speak Thai, and can’t tell the difference in accent or the difference in the way northern and southern Thai speaks.
There is another thing that you will notice when you reach Chaiyaphum. You will notice there are relatively few tourists there. You may think there are not many tourists in Nakhon Ratchasima but the situation is worse in Chaiyaphum.
Also when you interact with the locals, you will notice the standard of English is generally poorer compared to Korat. Sometimes, this can be fun. Try your luck in sign language to get what you want. The locals are very patient with you and, in return, we as tourists should practice our utmost patience with them as well.
Getting To Chaiyaphum From Korat
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The bus to Chaiyaphum from Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) is about 2.5 hours, costing about 112 baht. The bus is air-conditioned, big and comfortable.
There is no stopping for food during the journey. However, light food and drinks are sold on the bus. In fact, free drinks are provided. It is a short journey that you will enjoy.
Which Hotel To Stay In Chaiyaphum?
There are numerous hotels here, but I would recommend Siam River Resort which is strategically located near the town. This hotel is quite big, and it is well maintained with beautiful rooms. It has a small swimming pool, a Thai massage center, and a fitness club. Breakfast is provided.
Walking out to the main road from the hotel will take you just under 5 minutes. Once you are on the main road, you will find food stalls and restaurants nearby. It is extremely convenient. Even at night, just walk around in that area, and you will be surprised to find nice bars where you can enjoy your beer, listen to some light music and relax.
Getting Around Chaiyaphum
This place is not big. You can actually go on foot if you feel energetic. Oh yes, before I forget, I must tell you about the dogs. There are many dogs on the streets, especially on the outskirts.
You don’t want to get into a fight with dogs. I am sure you will not win and probably end yourself in serious trouble. But that is only if you are exploring the outskirts, into the villages and residential areas.
Renting a motorbike as a mode of transport is the best but it is difficult to find such shops providing this service here. However, you may be able to rent a bicycle from your hotel — this is free at Siam River Resort. This is actually good enough as Chaiyaphum is not big at all.
If you can connect to GPS with your mobile phone, you can actually wander into the outskirts, deep into some of the villages. You will see many calm, quiet places with a traditional Thai flavor. The scenery is just awesome. Is very safe but, as I have mentioned, just beware of dogs!
Alternatively, as suggested earlier, you can go around on foot. The major advantage is that you will see almost everything. Given a choice, I won’t do that as it is actually quite tiring.
Tuk Tuk transport in Chaiyaphum
Maybe you like to consider hiring a tuk-tuk to take you around. A tuk-tuk will cost you anything from 60 to 120 baht for a short journey. The best way is to negotiate with a tuk-tuk and engage him for the entire day.
Compare to other modes of transportation, this is going to be more expensive. But that is not the point, right? If you refuse to ride a bicycle or go on foot, and still want to see more things, then what choice do you have but to spend a little more money.
Anyway, think about this positively. We need to spend some money. In this way, we can help the local economy albeit in a small way. It all adds up. And there is this economic principle of the multiplier effect of money. So it is all for the good of humanity. It’s going to be a win-win deal.
Massage In Chaiyaphum
Traditional Thai Massage In Chaiyaphum Northeast ThailandAfter a long day, you will wonder if there is someplace where you can just relax and do nothing. Yes, go for a great Traditional Thai massage to unwind.
As mentioned on my Korat page that it may be difficult to find a really good Traditional massage in the city of Korat but, here in Chaiyaphum, I am going to highly recommend you to visit a massage shop right in the heart of its town at Burapa Road.
For a high-quality massage, you are going to pay only 150 baht for an hour. Yes, an hour means an hour and you will not be cut short of that. I suggest you go for 2 hours because, in this way, they will be able complete a full course for you. You will be able to unwind and feel thoroughly relaxed.
Coffee In Chaiyaphum
Coffee addicts will fall in love with this place. Noncoffee addicts will immediately feel at home and relax here. The place is spacious, big, and beautifully decorated with a sense of up-market feel. You will get your high-quality coffee here.
It may even convert casual coffee drinkers to coffee lovers. And may I add that their homemade ice cream beat the biggest names you can think of! High quality and very delicious. The best part of this is that the owner can speak beautiful English, and the staff are friendly. You can ask the owner anything about Chaiyaphum and she will happily enrich you.
For travelers, this is probably another perfect place to unwind. It is also air-conditioned. You will be happy to know that the washrooms are very clean as well.
Here is another bonus. Wifi is there free for you. You can relax and take your time to check all your emails, messengers, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
Shopping In Chaiyaphum
There are no big malls here, unfortunately. Just Tesco Lotus and Robinson. I know some travelers are professional shoppers. To these people, I must say sorry. You will be disappointed.
However, as I have said, if you visit this place during the festive season in January, there are all kinds of local stalls set up on the roadside until late into the night to satisfy your shopping and eating urges.
Food, Band & Beer In Chaiyaphum
For dinner, check out the best duck noodles at Burapa Road, right in the heart of town. This is not a high-class restaurant, but it is a place where many locals visit. You will immediately know why it is so popular when you taste the food yourself. It is just super delicious!
Ok, now you had done all your shopping, coffee, massages, dinner, and completed all that you wanted to see in this cute town. So where else can you go at night? Why not pamper yourself with some beer, music and band, and a little more food at a restaurant not too far away from Burapa Road. The solo singer and band are just fantastic!
My Feelings On Chaiyaphum
If you are looking for some ancient architecture, the leftovers are few and far between. However, it has its own flavor and culture for you to explore, and you will not regret breaking your northeast Thai journey here.
I will agree this is a nice place for you to break your journey because if you go from Korat to Khon Kaen, it will be too tiring. By all means, stop by here. You will like this place. Two nights are more than enough. If you explore this place with a bicycle or tuk-tuk, then one night is sufficient.
This is a place to relax, get some great local food, try one of the best massages around, enjoy the beautiful flowers and taste some high-quality coffee and ice cream.
The most memorable thing here for me is that I can feel the culture and heritage of the Chaiyaphum people. This is a place where tradition is still very much intact, a place relatively untouched by tourism.
Visit WikiTravel’s page for a deeper dive into info for visiting Chaiyaphum on your next trip to Thailand.