Roi Et (ร้อยเอ็ด) is a town in Isaan.
Roi Et is both a city and a province located in the mid-northeast Thailand. Established over 200 years ago, it used to be a very large and glorious city named Saket Nakhon having 11 city gates and 11 satellite cities or subordinated communities under its rule.
Roi Et occupies an area of 8,299.50 square kilometres.
The recorded history of Muang Roi Et began during the late Ayutthaya period, when a king of Laos and his people migrated from Champasak City to settle down in the area which is currently Suwannaphum. Later, during the reign of King Taksin of Thon Buri, Roi Et was moved to its present site. Suwannaphum is still at its original location.
Take Hwy 1 (Phahonyothin Rd) from Bangkok, turn onto Hwy 2 (Mittraphap Rd) at Saraburi Province heading toward Korat, passing Ban Phai district, Maha Sarakham, until reaching Roi Et. The total distance is about 512 km and takes about 7 hours.
From Bangkok’s Mo Chit Bus Terminal there are several ordinary and air conditioned buses going to Roi Et. There is also a bus route from Rayong via Pattaya-Nakhon Ratchasima-Buriram-Roi Et to Mukdahan on the Lao border. From Khon Kaen, air-con bus to Roi Et, pink colour.
Take a samlor (“three wheels”) to get around. You will find samlors near markets, hotels, the bus station and in the city centre. Prices are normally between 20-50 baht.
- Ban Wai Luen (On Hwy 23, around the km145 marker). Villagers here earn their living by making silk cloth under a cooperative set-up for joint marketing. The products from this village have won several awards for their quality.
- Phalanchai Lake. The lake, in the heart of Roi Et township, is regarded the symbol of the province. It features an island in a large lake occupying an approximate area of 200,000 square meters. It boasts a large flower garden shaded by various species of trees. There are fish in the lake and rowboats are available.
- Inside the area:
- City Pillar Shrine which is highly revered by locals.
- Large Walking Buddha image located in the garden.
- Pedestal in the form of a long legged bowl, containing a constitution book and floral clock.
- Phu Phalan Chai featuring an zoo and artificial waterfall.
- Health corner where people exercise.
- Children’s playground.
- 1 Roi Et National Museum, Pleonjit Road, Mueang Roi Et District, ☎+66 43 514456. W-Su, 09:00-16:00. Museum tour and bookshop. Thais, 30 baht; foreigners, 100 baht.
- 1 Roi Et Somdet Phra Srinakharin Park (สวนสมเด็จพระ ศรีนครินทร์ ร้อยเอ็ด), Mueang Roi Et District (In the heart of the town in front of the provincial administrative building (Sala Klang)). A public park of about 225 rai (36 hectares). The park is dotted with floral gardens and shade trees. The centerpiece of the park is the fountain springing up high in the middle of the park. The white clock tower in the center of the park is graceful and beautiful. There is a library for the public at this tower too. It’s used for various festivals and entertainment activities of the province.
- Wat Buraphaphiram (E of Phadung Phanich Rd). This monastery houses Thailand’s tallest Buddha image in the attitude of blessing, called “Phra Phuttha Ratana Mongkhon Maha Muni”. The image is built of reinforced concrete and under its base there are several museum chambers. The height of the statue from the foot to the top of the finial is 59 m 20 cm.
- Wat Klang Ming Muang. This monastery is very old and is presumed to have been built before the foundation of Roi Et. Its main shrine hall was built in the late Ayutthaya period. It was used for oath taking ceremonies in the past. At present, this monastery is utilized as a Buddhist school and as a place where annual examinations on Buddhist faith takes place. There are beautiful and valuable mural paintings concerning the Lord Buddha’s biography on the inside walls of main shrine hall.
- Wat Pha Nam Yoi (About 70 km from Roi Et on Hwy 2044 and 2136). A huge, beautiful temple on a small mountain with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.
The Monument of Phra Khattiyawongsa (Thon) (อนุสาวรีย์พระขัติยะวงษา (ทน)): Phra Khattiyawongsa (Thon) was appointed the first ruler of Roi Et. He was considered a great ruler who developed the city until Roi Et became one of the most prosperous cities in the region.
Mueang Roi Et Municipality Aquarium (สถานแสดงพันธุ์สัตว์น้ำเทศบาลเมืองร้อยเอ็ด): One of its twin buildings includes an auditorium, lecture room, exhibition room, office, and ticket booth. The next building features an aquarium displaying fresh water fish. The highlight of the exhibition is the underwater tunnel through which one can view the movements of marine animals from any direction.
Wat Sa Thong (วัดสระทอง): The temple houses Luangpho Phra Sangkatchai (Kaccayana), a sacred Buddha image highly revered locals. Phraya Khattiyawongsa (Thon), the first founder of Roi Et, discovered this image.
Prang Ku or Prasat Nong Ku (ปรางค์กู่ หรือ ปราสาทหนองกู่): A complex of buildings with a plan that resembles the Khmer nursing home known as ‘Arogayasala’. It comprises the main prang, a library, wall and entrance pavilions, and a pond outside of the wall. The ruins are in good condition, especially the roof structure of the main prang.
Wat Pa Non Sawan (วัดป่าโนนสวรรค์): A huge temple built from the abbot’s omen. It was embellished and decorated with local earthenware, so it looks strikingly eye-catching. The entrance of the multi-tiered chedi represents Hanuman’s mouth.
Bo Phan Khan Rattanasophon (บ่อพันขันรัตนโสภณ): The park was set up to commemorate the 50th anniversary celebrations of the king’s accession to the throne. It is also the site of an image of Phra Phuttha Sahatsakhantha Mahamuninat.
Ku Ka Sing (กู่กาสิงห์): A temple with Khmer-style architecture, including three prangs on the same laterite base, and rectangular library buildings in front. All of them are surrounded by a wall, with entrance pavilions known as “gopura” at the four cardinal points. Outside is a U-shaped moat surrounding the wall.
Tung Kula Rong Hai (ทุ่งกุลาร้องไห้): The legend of Thung Kula Ronghai had it that, in ancient times, there were Kula people who travelled around trading. They were known for being strong and tolerant. But when they reached this field, the hardship made even them cry (“ronghai”) because there was not a single drop of water or trees in sight.
Ku Phra Kona (กู่พระโกนา): Three east-facing brick prangs lying in the north–south direction, standing on a single sandstone base. They are surrounded by a boundary wall, with entrance pavilions or gopuras in four directions. All are made of sandstone.
Sim Wat Traiphum Khanachan (สิมวัดไตรภูมิคณาจารย์): The architectural structure suggests that it is a traditional small “sim”, local dialect for ubosot, of the northeast with a low boundary wall. Sim Wat Traiphum Khanachan was awarded for outstanding architecture by the Association of Siamese Architects.
Sim Wat Chakkrawan Phum Phinit or Wat Nong Muen Than (สิมวัดจักรวาฬภูมิพินิจ หรือ วัดหนองหมื่นถ่าน): It features a small “sim” in traditional northeastern-style. Its gable and “rang phueng” (decoration underneath the lower tie beam) features fine woodcarving with a wooden shingle roof. Outside is decorated with mural paintings.
Literature Botanical Garden (สวนพฤกษศาสตร์วรรณคดี): It is the regional literature botanical garden of the northeast. It covers a total area of about 1,000 rai, featuring plants mentioned in Thai literature.
Tham Pha Nam Thip Non-hunting Area (เขตห้ามล่าสัตว์ป่าถ้ำผาน้ำทิพย์): A steep and complex undulating sandstone mountains with abundant dry evergreen forest, deciduous forest, and deciduous dipterocarp forest. Fauna found in this area include boars, barking deer, foxes, monkeys, squirrels.
Pha Mok Mi Wai (ผาหมอกมิวาย): Inside the Pha Nam Thip Non-hunting Area, it is the best viewpoint and is covered with mist all year round due to its high humidity.