Surin Province

Surin Province

Infobox Thai Province
name = Surin
thai = สุรินทร์
capital = Surin
area = 8,124.1
arearank = 24th
population = 1,375,257
population_as_of = 2006
populationrank = 10th
density = 169
densityrank = 16th
isocode = TH-32
governor = Phunsak Pranutnoraphan
governor_since = November 2006

Surin ( _th. สุรินทร์) is one of the north-eastern provinces ("changwat") of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from west clockwise) Buriram, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et and Sisaket. To the south it borders Oddar Meancheay of Cambodia.


The word "Sur" originates from the Sanskrit word "Sura" (Devanagari: सुर) meaning "God", and the word "In" from Sanskrit is "Indra" (Devanagari: इन्द्र). Hence the name of the province literally means "Lord Indra".


In the north of the province is the valley of the Mun river, a tributary of the Mekong. To the south of the province is the Dongrek mountain chain, which also forms the boundary to Cambodia.


Surin was originally an important part of the Khmer empire (its center at Angkor in present day Cambodia), only the temple ruins from that time remain. In 1763 a village was moved to the location of the modern city of Surin, and was upgraded to a city with the name "Mueang Prathai Saman". At that time there was a man named Chiangpum who gave a white elephant in tribute to Rama I of Bangkok before he became king. In return he received the honorary name Luang Surin Phakdi and was assigned as the village leader. Later he became the first governor when Rama I became king. In 1786 the town was renamed in honor of its first governor to its current name, Surin.


Administrative divisions

The province is subdivided into 17 districts ("Amphoe"). The districts are further subdivided into 158 subdistricts ("tambon") and 2011 villages ("muban").



"City Pillar Shrine of Surin. ศาลหลักเมืองสุรินทร์" The shrine is a sacred icon of the city. At first, the shrine did not house any pillar. In 1968, the Fine Arts Department has designed a new city shrine and got golden cassia log from Mr. Prasith Maneekan, and made it the city pillar.

"The Monument of Phaya Surin Phakdi Si Narong Changwang (Pum). อนุสาวรีย์พระยาสุรินทรภักดีศรีณรงค์จางวาง (ปุม)" The statue of Surin’s first mayor was built to honor Phaya Surin. The antique brass statue is 2.2 metres high with curve-blade pike in right hand, mirroring his excellent skill in controlling war elephant and prosperity of elephant in Surin since ancient time.

"Wat Burapharam. วัดบูรพาราม" the ancient Buddhist temple was built by Surin’s first mayor Phaya Surin Phakdi Si Narong Changwang. The city houses principle Buddha image Luang Pho Phra Chi which was built at the same time with the temple.

"Surin National Museum. พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ สุรินทร์" The museum features five areas namely geography, archeology, city history, ethnology, and heritages of the province.

"Lower Isan Art and Crafts Centre. ศูนย์ศิลปาชีพอีสานใต้" Located on bypass road, close to Tambon Nok Mueang Administration organization, southeast of Surin City, the centre displays art and culture exhibits of Lower Isan.

"Huai Saneng. ห้วยเสนง" Huai Saneng Reservoir has high and steep crest which is served as asphalted road. Its southern area is rich of water lily which colonies of various birds. The palace of Mother Princess is located in the headquarter

"Phanom Sawai Forest Park. วนอุทยานพนมสวาย" The park has a hill with three peaks. The first peak, Yot Khao Chai, or the man peak, is where Wat Phanom Sawai is located on. The second peak, Yot Khao Ying, or the lady peak, houses a medium-size Buddha image. The third peak, Yot Khao Kok, houses octagon pavilion.

"Mueang Thi Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทเมืองที" Built from brick and cement, the Khmer ruins comprised 5 stupas on the same base, with the biggest one at the middle and the rest at 4 corners. Today, one stupa at the corner has completely damaged.

"Ban Buthom Basketry Village. หมู่บ้านจักสานบ้านบุทม" The village is famed for its rattan basketry which is extra earning for villager after harvest season. Villager would not paint lacquer on finished products which may cause fungus later, but soak their basketry with lemon, carambola, or kaffir lime to make it grossy.

"Village of Chansoma Golden Brocade, Ban Tha Sawang. หมู่บ้านทอผ้าไหมยกทองจันทร์โสมา บ้านท่าสว่าง" The village is highly recognised for its 1,416-heddled, gold-brocaded silk, being offered to Her Majesty the Queen. The outstanding performance of the village is that it was selected by the government to weave cloth for the shirts of 21 APEC leaders and the shawls of their spouses.

"Khwao Sinarin Handicrafts Village. หมู่บ้านหัตถกรรมเขวาสินรินทร์" The community is famed for local-style silk cloth called ‘Hol’ which is considered the best silk sloth. Ban Chok village is the first village to produce silver buttons called ‘Luk Pa Kueam’ which is used as decorations for lady.

"Ban Phlai Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทบ้านไพล" Three brick stupas in the same line are surrounded with moat except on the east. Although Shiva Linga and some lintels are missing, the remaining artifacts are kept at Phimai National Museum indicate that the Khmer Ruins was built in 11th Century.

"Ban Phluang Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทหินบ้านพลวง" is a small sanctuary but its stone carving is very excellent. Facing east, the single stupa stands on big rectangular laterite base. The main door is only real one while other three are fault doors. The stupa is built from laterite, sandstone and brick.

"Ta Muean Group of Khmer Ruins. กลุ่มปราสาทตาเมือน" The Khmer Ruins comprises three stupas in the same area.

"Ta Muean Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทตาเมือน" The sanctuary in Bayon Art style is built from laterite, like other architectures of King Chaya Varaman VII found in Thailand. A few Buddha images in the attitude of meditation in the niche are found here.

"Ta Muean Tot Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทตาเมือนโต๊ด" The sanctuary comprises principle stupa, made from laterite and sandstone, in square shape with front balcony. Like other Khmer hospital’s shrine, there is a pond outside the wall.

"Ta Muean Thom Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทตาเมือนธม" The biggest sanctuary in the group comprises three stupas with the biggest at the mid and smaller ones by each side.

"Chong Chom Check Point Border market. ตลาดการค้าชายแดนที่ด่านช่องจอม" The market has long been playing significant role of border market between Thailand and Cambodia and finally it was upgraded into official border check point.

"Huai Thap Than - Huay Samran Wildlife Sanctuary. เขตรักษาพันธ์สัตว์ป่าห้วยทับทัน-ห้วยสำราญ" It is a lush jungle between Thailand and Cambodia. With proper service standard, today, the sanctuary has opened its learning and training centre for public and private body. From October to December, wild flowers will be in full bloom and add colours into vast grassland, making it perfect time for nature study.

"Si Khoraphum Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทศีขรภูมิ" The Khmer Ruins comprises 5 stupas. The middle one is the principle stupa with minor stupa surrounding on the same base. All are built from sandstone and laterite. The lintel depicting Dances of Shiva is considered the most beautiful one among those found in Thailand and Cambodia.

"Tapiang Tia Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทตะเปียงเตีย" The rectangular stupa has 5 lotus-shape peaks. The brick stupa was adapted in Laotian style during late Ayutthaya period (Tapiang Tia means duck pond).

"Phum Pon Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทภูมิโปน" The Khmer ruins comprises 4 stupas, 3 made from bricks and one made from laterite. The biggest and the northern stupas are the oldest Khmer ruins found in Thailand, around the 8th Century.

"Yai Ngao Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทยายเหงา" The Khmer ruins comprises two stupas facing east and standing in north-south direction. The brick stupas stand on laterite base and decorated with carved brick gable depicting ‘Makorn’, the fairy animals mixed from lion, elephant, and fish, holding five-headed naga in its mouth.

"Pa Son Nong Khu Forest Park. วนอุทยานป่าสนหนองคู" There is a clue showing that this area used to be very abundant forest in the past. There are Pinus mergusii grown all over the area, mixed with the Dry Deciduous Dipterocarp Forest. Presently, there is only small animal available such as squirrel, Malayan flying lemur, wild rabbit, snake, dove, coucal and myna. Hornbill has been found sometimes.

"Chom Phra Khmer Ruins. ปราสาทจอมพระ" Like majority of shrine of Khmer’s hospital, it comprises square-shape stupa with balcony and a library at front. Significant antique found include a head of Bodhisattva Avalokitesavara statue and statue of Vajrasattva.

"Surin’s elephant village. หมู่บ้านช้างจังหวัดสุรินทร์" Located in Ban Ta Klang. Ta Klang villager is descendant of Suay, or Kuay Ethnic group, who has gift in capturing, training and keeping elephant. Unlike northern Thailand where elephant is kept for labour, Ta Klang people consider elephant as their friends who can share the same house.

Local Products

Surin is famed for high quality silk cloth which is unique by delicate weaving process, outstanding pattern and dye. Moreover, the province is famous for its food.



"Surin Jasmine Rice and Silk Cloth Fair. งานวันข้าวหอมมะลิอินทรีย์และมหกรรมผ้าไหมสุรินทร์ "Held every January, the fair features contest of agricultural products, silk cloth, and performances of public bodies.

"Thai Elephant Day (งานวันช้างไทย)" The light and sound show about the legend of Thai elephants and traditional entertainment will be annually held on 13th march.

"Going up Phanom Sawai Mountain Festival (งานประเพณีขึ้นเขาพนมสวาย)" This annual festival is the parade of traditional art and culture to Phanom Sawai mountain in order to pay respect to Phra Yai, the intimate Buddha’s footprint, Luang Phu Dun, and Wat Phanom Silaram. It will be held on March of every year.

"Si Khoraphum Khmer Ruins Celebration and Loi Krathong. งานฉลองปราสาทศีขรภูมิและงานประเพณีลอยกระทง"The annual celebration is held every third weekend of November at Si Khoraphum Khmer Ruins. The celebration features performance, lifestyle of ethnic people (Khmer, Lao, and Suay), local performances, souvenir market, beauty contest, Krathong contest and float.

"Elephant Round-Up and Surin Red Cross Fair. งานช้างและกาชาดสุรินทร์" The annual fair is held every third week of November at Si Narong Stadium. Since ancient time, Surin is rich of elephant. Suay ethnic people has turned wild elephant into their vehicles and their talent in elephant controlling has made debut for Thailand. The Round-up features contest of elephant’s dining table, elephant welcome float, the world’s biggest dining event of the elephant, and performance such as elephant capture, tug of war between elephant and men, elephant football match, war elephant, and local performances such as Ruam An-re and Kantrum.

"Eel Festival. เทศกาลงานปลาไหล" The fair is held at the field of Amphoe Chumphon Buri every third week of December, after the harvest when eel is big enough for the catch. Farmer normally can catch lots of eel at that time, and it turns yellow and not smells fishy.

"Ordination parade on elephant’s back. งานประเพณีบวชนาคแห่ช้าง "The vibrant tradition is held mostly on the 13th-15th day of waxing moon of May (around mid of May) at Wat Chaeng Sawang, Ban Ta Klang, Amphoe Tha Tum. Khmer, Laotian, and Suay speople are all Buddhist. All families wish their sons to enter monkshood and study dhamma before wedding. Ordination of many monks at the same time and parade on elephant’s back in long distance means great merit for all families. As all participants always dress up beautifully with mat-mi silk, the tradition earns lots of interest and inherited for generations. The parade comprises big parade of more than 50 elephants crossing Moon River. The men entering monkshood will have their heads shaved, pay homage to Chao Pho Wang Thalu Shrine before starting the ordination.

"Long Boat Racing Festival (งานประเพณีชิงถ้วยพระราชทาน)" To be Organized in October every year. Four types of racing for the royal trophy and the contest of boat beauty parade will be organized on Maenam Mun in front of Wat Pho, Amphoe Tha Tum.


Further reading

* Childress, Vance Ray. "Proposal: The Complete Excavation of Prasat Ban Pluang Prasat District, Surin Province, Thailand". Tulsa: Soday Research Foundation, 1975.

External links

* [ Province page from the Tourist Authority of Thailand]
* [ Website of province]

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