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Khon Kaen Province Page 2, History and Administrative Districts

Khon Kaen is a regional centre for education, financial institutions, government offices and transportation. The city is also an industrial centre, especially for the region's silk trade, as well as an agricultural hub Khon Kaen has played host to several regional conferences, such as the Asean Regional Forum and United Nations meetings. It is also the home of Rajamangala University  and Khon Kaen University—the largest university in the Northeast, with a student population of around 20,000. Presently Khon Kaen is one of the major cities under Thailand's National Economic and Social Plan, along with Chiang Mai, Songkhla, Nakhon Ratchasima and Chonburi.


Strategically important for the Isan region's infrastructure, Khon Kaen Airport was raised to international standards in 2005 with the opening of a new terminal. However despite efforts to expand services as off April 2010 only two airlines use the airport.Thai Airways operate three flights a day to Bangkok with a Airbus and Nok Air run a twice weekly service to Chiang Mai using a ATR turboprop. The city is bisected by the Mithraphap Highway also known as Friendship Highway or Highway 2, the road linking Bangkok with Laos. A modern, multi - lane by - pass enables through traffic to avoid the city centre to the west and connects to the airport and to the main roads to Kalasin and Mahasarakham in the east and Udon Thani in the north.


The city can be easily navigated by driving along either of the two north-south main roads Na Muang and Klang Muang, which are located East and parallel to the Friendship Highway. In addition, there are two main east-west roads Srichan Road and Prachasamosorn Road, leading East to the city of Kalasin, and West to the airport, as well as to other small villages.


Khon Kaen has some noteworthy Buddhist temples. On the south side of the city and East of the Friendship highway, there is a beautiful lake Bueng Kaen Nakhon, with a diverse range of places for entertainment. The lake offers paddle boats for rent on the Northwest side and at night there is a lively night market buzzing with activity where you can buy an assortment of food, clothing and various souvenirs. The lake has a paved running path, which many people use during the evening. Also, there are free outdoor aerobics classes at various points around the lake for any age group, as well as ping pong tables ( table tennis ), and other recreation areas. A new shopping complex, Central Plaza, opened in early 2010.


The Khon Kaen National Museum was opened by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the 20th of December, 1972. It has a diverse selection of antiques, precious art pieces and archaeological finds from the region. The museum is not overly large, having two floors, but the exhibits range from the pre-historic to historical periods, including ancient relics. One of the many highlights includes a skeleton of the New Stone Age man and tools from that period, most of the archaeology being conducted at Muang Fa Daet Song Yang excavation site and Ban Chiang.

Khon Kaen Province Page 4, Getting to Khon Kaen, Ubolratana Dam,