Roi Et is a province on the Khorat Plateau in the center of Isan, the North East of Thailand. The province is mostly rural, known for its silk and cotton fabrics.
The province’s name translates to “hundred and one”. At one point in history Roi Et was an important town; it had 11 satellite cities and 11 city gates. The name Roi Et probably derives from either an exaggeration of this number to make the town look more important, or from a different spelling of the number 11 (e.g. 10 plus 1).
For several centuries the area was under control of the Khmer empire from Angkor. The Khmer build several temples in Roi Et, the ruins of which still remain today in various states of preservation. During the Ayutthaya era people from Laos migrated to the Selaphum district in the East part of Roi Et province.
To do & see in Roi Et
Roi Et features a great number of Buddhist temples, historical sites and natural attractions.
Phra Maha Chedi Chai Mongkol
Roi Et hosts one of the largest and most beautiful pagodas in Thailand, the Phra Maha Chedi Chai Mongkol. The very elegant chedi measuring 101 meters tall is painted white and elaborately decorated in golden artwork. Visitors can climb a spiral stairway in the interior of the chedi to the top, which enshrines relics of the Buddha. The chedi is located on the grounds of the Wat Pha Namthip Thep Prasit Vararam temple in Nong Phok district, about 80 kilometers from Roi Et town.
Wat Klang Ming Muang temple
The Wat Klang Ming Muang is a small 18th century temple. The ordination hall dates from the late Ayutthaya period. Its walls are adorned with murals depicting scenes from the Jataka tales, the stories that tell about the previous lives of the Buddha. The temple is located on a small hill on Damrongrathwithee road near the old city moat in the center of Roi Et town.
The Wat Buraphaphiram is known for its huge Buddha image standing in front of the temple, dominating the area. The golden image named Phra Phuttha Rattana Mongkhon Mahamuni measures nearly 60 meters tall and another 8 meters for the platform on which it stands, making it considerably higher than the better known standing Buddha image at Wat Intharawihan in Bangkok. The temple is located North of Padungpanit road (road 2044), just West of the Nuea river.
Roi Et National Museum
Roi Et National Museum started out as the Isan textile museum. The museum consists of several exhibition rooms dedicated to archeology and history, arts and the geography and geology of the area. The museum exhibits objects from several era, including prehistoric pottery, Dvaravati era (8th - 10th century) Buddha images, models of old houses, dioramas depicting life in past times as well as locally made handwoven silk textiles.
The museum is located on Phloen Chit road in the South East part of the old city near the East moat. It opens daily from 9 am until 4 pm, closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Thai National holidays. Admission is 100 Thai Baht per person.
Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park & Bueng Phan Chai lake
Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park is a nicely kept public park in the center of Roi Et town, where local people come to relax and enjoy a picnic. Adjoining the park is Bueng Phan Chai, a large lake with an artificial island in the center. On the island are a shrine holding the Roi Et city pillar and a golden walking Buddha image on a high pedestal.
Getting to Roi Et
Roi Et is located about 510 kilometers North East of Bangkok. You can get there by plane, train or bus.
Roi Et airport is located about 10 kilometers North East of Roi Et town. Nok Air offers one flight daily from Bangkok’s old airport Don Mueang. Fares for the one hour flight start at 1,300 Thai Baht one way.
There is no railway connection between Bangkok and Roi Et. The nearest station is Khon Kaen, which is on the North East line of the State Railway of Thailand.
Ordinary and air con busses to Roi Et depart from Bangkok’s North Eastern bus terminal Mo Chit II on Kamphaeng Phet 2 road. The trip takes about 7 hours, fares are between 300 and 600 Thai Baht depending on the type of service. The Roi Et bus station is on Tawapiban road near Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park.