Phimai National Museum is in Phimai, about 60 kilometers from Nakhon Rachassima, on the road to Khon Kaen. The museum display a collection of arte-facts and information on the cultural prosperity of ancient Isaan. Arte-facts found in the lower North eastern Thailand are displayed here, including pre-historic items like pottery, tools and stone ornaments. Arte-facts from later periods include stone temple boundary markers from the Dvaravati period, Khmer building parts, and a bas relief of King Jayavoraman VII found at Phimai Sanctuary, the museum’s most outstanding exhibit. The Phimai museum is open 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. daily.
The Museum exhibitions are divided into 3 parts: Part 1 : Second floor exhibition. This exhibition shows the development of communities in the lower part of northeast Thailand from prehistoric to recent periods.
Part 2 : Ground floor exhibition. This exhibition shows the archeology and history of the town of Phimai. It includes the town environment, the construction of Prasat Phimai during the 11th – 13th centuries, and evidence of the flourishing religion, culture and economy of the time.
Part 3 : Outdoor exhibition. This displays sandstone objects used in the construction of Khmer temples such as Prasat Phimai. These includes lintels, door columns, motifs, lotus bud-shaped crowns (the apex of the tower) and miniature tower.
Cultural Center of Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat Institute is at Saranarai Road. The center has a good collection of images and history of historical sites, as well as information on ancient arts, tools and currency. It is open during government office hours.
Maha Wirawong National Museum is opposite the Provincial Hall in Khorat. The Maha Wirawong museum has on display artifacts found in Nakhon Ratchasima and nearby provinces such as stone Buddha statues from the Khmer and Ayutthaya periods, earthenware, bronze Buddha statues and woodcarvings from an ancient temple. It is open during 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday. It is closed on Monday, Tuesday and public holidays.
Old Khorat City is 32 kilometers from the present city. The old city of Sema is a city from the Dvaravati period that is 37 kilometers from Nakhon Ratchasima city. Only a wall-like earth ridge remains. However, an important artifact stored at Wat Thammachak Semaram is the reclining red sandstone Buddha image that is the largest and oldest in Thailand. The image is 13.30 meters and 2.80 meters high. It was built around 657. There is also a Buddhism wheel sculpted from a large boulder.
Useful links:Thailand museums