What Living in Chaiyaphum is Like

During my 6 weeks living in Chaiyaphum, Thailand I got to know the district pretty well.

Teaching English at Anuban Chaiyaphum School was a great first experience.

The Chaiyaphum pronunciation is chai-ya-fum.

The word Chaiyaphum meaning ‘victory land’ comes from Sanskirt. Chaiya comes from the word jaya in Sanskrit meaning ‘victory’ and phum comes from bhumi in Sanskrit meaning ‘earth’ or ‘land.’

Most people speak the Isan language in Chaiyaphum, which is a dialect of the Lao language.

There are a few valuable crops that are grown in this area of Thailand. The main crops of Chaiyaphum include tapioca, rice, sugar cane, and taro root.

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What is Living in Chaiyaphum Like?

The month that I spent living there was great, hot, and filled with different adventures.

I’m not sure how it would be if I ended up living there for much longer. Although Chaiyaphum was a great first spot, it was too rural for my liking.

The locals are helpful, kind, and generous. However, from my experience, there is not too much to do, especially at night.

You have the option to rent a motorbike while you’re in Thailand but I would advise against doing so in the bigger cities. I think in Chaiyaphum it would be fine and even convenient. Even in Mahachai, Samut Sakhon, which is an hour away from Bangkok, it was dangerous driving there.

Many of the roads in the Chaiyaphum district are dirt roads so keep that in mind.

There are street dogs everywhere you look in Thailand but I found that there are more of them in rural areas as opposed to the cities. Either that or they just hide better in the cities.

I enjoyed my time in this part of Thailand but I don’t think I could spend a few years here because it was super rural. But hey, that is just my personal preference.

Where is Chaiyaphum?

Chaiyaphum province lies northeast of the country and is about 5 hours from Bangkok.

Within the province, there are 16 districts, called amphoes in Thai, including Mueang Chaiyaphum.

Chaiyaphum is located in Isan, also spelled Isaan or Esan. There are several more ways to spell it if you do a quick Google search.

Isan is the region located to the northeast of the country. It consists of 20 provinces and it borders Laos.

The four neighboring provinces of Chaiyaphum include Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Lopburi, and Phetchabun.

You can travel easily around Thailand. They offer transportation methods such as taxis, motorbike taxis, trains, buses, and vans, and you can always walk if you dare. I only say that cause the weather temp is usually pretty high in Thailand.

The buses going to and from Chaiyaphum are the most affordable options and they will make your life easier.

But if you are short on time then taking a plane might be the best option for you.

If you don’t want to take that long of a bus ride, you can take a bus to Buri Ram (BFV) or Udon Thani (UTH) airport and then fly to Bangkok, but it will require a lot of moving around and will be much more expensive.

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From Chaiyaphum to Bangkok

You can book a bus from one city to the next for less than USD 10.

In Bangkok, you will want to look for Mochit Station which is in Chatuchak, Bangkok.

If you’ve heard of the popular spot Chatuchak Weekend Market, it is close by.

In Chaiyaphum, you will land at Air Chaiyaphum Company Limited on Google Maps. It is located on Phromawad Wihan Alley and Non Muang Road.

From Chaiyaphum to Chiang Mai

If you are looking to visit the northern part of Thailand in Chiang Mai, you can grab a bus at Nakhonchaiair Bus Station in Chaiyaphum. This bus station is on Non Muang Road and near Rong Rian Thetsaban 1.

The bus can take around 10 hours and can cost between USD 10-20 so if you’re up for it, I recommend taking a night bus so you can be there by the early morning.

I recommend booking your tickets in advance to save you the headache and time. The buses and vans can fill up quickly in Thailand so you should never wait to plan for anything last minute.

Things to Do in Chaiyaphum

  • Visit the national parks
  • Go to the night Bazaar
  • Explore the bars/restaurants

National Parks

There are four national parks are within the province which includes Tat Ton National Park and Phu Laenkha National Parkin the northwest, Pa Hin Ngam National Park in the southwest, and Sai Thong National Park in the west.

Tat Ton National Park is about a half-hour drive and 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) away from Phromawad Wihan Alley. To get there, you will have to drive on Highway No. 2051. The national park has some of the Phu Laenkha mountain range and numerous waterfalls.

You can park at the national park and walk your way to the waterfalls. The name of the first waterfall is Tat Ton Waterfall.

The Night Bazaar

The Chaiyaphum Night Bazaar is located on Ongkan Sai 2 and it is open from 4 to 11 pm every day.

At the night market, you can get any type of Thai food. There are vendors for drunken noodles, pad Thai, and fried rice. You could even get some desserts, clothes, art, crafts, and beer also for a reasonable price.

There are plenty of tables to eat at throughout the night market so you can take a seat and enjoy your meal.

Bars/Restaurants

Across the street from the night market, you have One Bar. One Bar has western food and great drinks. The menu has a selection of both English and Thai food and you can play some pool while you’re there. I think that One Bar is one of the only western restaurants in this area so if you are a fan of western food check it out!

I used to love splurging and eating at Ghet which is on Phromawad Wihan Alley. The menu has western and Thai food so it is a nice mix-up. The owner was always kind and helpful.

The owner, who is also the cook has a library upstairs for kids to read books. He also had a few board games and card decks. It is an adorable setup.

Corner Bar is another great bar in the district. It is quite far from the night market and One Bar on Anan Takun and Nonthanakorn Road. They have a selection of beer and food and sometimes there will be live music.

There are several cafes in the area and around Thailand so you can just search on Google Maps and be on your way.

I recommend trying to get in contact with the bar or restaurant that you are heading to because Google Maps is not always accurate with the opening hours. If you find their Facebook page or Line ID you can always send a message just to save some time, especially if you walk around Chaiyaphum.

Karaoke time at a local bar.

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