Founded in 1782, Roi Et literally means ‘one hundred and one', believed to be an exaggeration of the number 11 since the prosperous town once ruled 11 vassal states. The town was abandoned because of the natural disaster of flooding, but is now a steadily growing province. The province is part of the 200,000 plus rais of the famous Tung Kula Rong Hai (Kula Crying Fields), once a wasteland that was transformed into growing high-quality rice. The daily life in Roi Et is influenced by a conservative population with strong Buddhist traditions. The simple way of life in this mostly rural province in the lower Northeast is reflected in its arts and crafts, especially in the weaving of textiles. Roi Et has an area of about 8,299 square kilometers.

:: Attractions

The provincial symbol is the mid-sized island in the middle of the large Bung (Lake) Phalanchai that is centrally located within town. Various festivals are staged here throughout the year.

The city's modern skyline is dominated by an immensely tall, brown-colored Buddha image of Phra Buddha Rattana Mongkon Mahamani situated in Wat Buraphaphiram. Measuring 68-m tall, this gigantic standing image is reputed to be one of the tallest images in the world. Climb up the stairs along the side of the image and get a breathtaking view of the city and surrounding areas.

Nearby is Wat Sa Thong , or Wat Phalanchai, that houses the highly revered Luang Phor Phra Sangkatchai (Happy Buddha), the town's prized treasure. The town's first ruler discovered the Buddha image and placed it in the temple, naming it the town's principal temple. In the past, government officials had to swear in front of the sacred image to work honestly and be loyal to the town/ province.

The complex of Ku Phra Kona contains a Khmer-style prang (tower) encircled by a red earthen wall built atop an elevated plateau. Within the prang are 3 Buddha images believed to date back from the Lopburi era.

The ancient, red sandstone Prang Ku , or Nong Ku Stone Sanctuary, was built in the 14th century, near the end of the Khmer Empire. The central prang (tower) has a distinguished 3-tiered roof.

The well-preserved Ku Kasing is another Khmer structure that is rather large in size and consists of 3 prangs (towers) located on the same sandstone platform. The artistic designs, layout patterns and archeological objects discovered here suggested that Ku Kasing was built in a Khmer style of art called " Bapuan Style ", dating between 1017-1087 A.D., built to worship Shiva, the highest ranking divine god in Brahminism. At present, the Fine Arts Unit is working on excavations and renovations.

Similar to Suwannaphum, the district of Phanom Prai was once a prosperous town in ancient civilization, evident by its many historical structures and numerous chedis.

Pha Nam Yoi (Isan Buddhist Park) is a large stone cliff on Phu Khao Khiew (Green Mountain) with water and small springs flowing out from the cliff all year round. Various kinds of valuable hardwood trees grow in the forest and it is home to several kinds of wildlife. Perched atop the hill are a temple with a very large, multi-purpose pavilion and the nation's largest pagoda, Phra Maha Chedi Chaimongkon , with a height of 101 meters.

The Roi Et National Museum started out as the Isan Textile Museum since the region's simple ways of life is reflected onto their woven textiles. Nowadays, exhibits on the area's geography, geology and historical events have been added, as well collections of local arts and handicrafts depicting the daily life of the people Roi Et.

Silk fabrics may be purchased at the Ban Wai Lum village.

:: City attraction

Wat Klang Ming Muang is an old temple on a hill in the town. The convocation hall was built in the late Ayutthaya period. The outer wall has a mural on the life of Lord Buddha. In the old days, the temple was the site of a pledge of allegiance ceremony to the king.

Bung Phlan Chai is a large lake with an island in the middle. The lake is regarded as the symbol of Roi Et. The area has a public park and is the site of the city shrine.

Wat Sa Thong houses the province's sacred Luang Pho Sang Katchai. This revered Buddha image was discovered by Phraya Khattiya Wongsa, the first lord of Roi Et, in 1782. He then brought the image to the temple and made it the province's main image. Government officials were once obliged to swear in front of the image every year.

Wat Burapha Phiram in town has the tallest Buddha image in the giving blessing posture in Thailand. This is another provincial symbol. The image is called Phra Phuttha Ratta Mongkhon Maha Muni, or called Luang Pho Yai by locals. The 67-metre-high image was made from concrete with steel reinforcements. The base serves a museum. To the west is an old city moat where the revered Chao Pho Mahesak Shrine is located.

:: Thawat Buri

Prang Ku is at Ban Yang Ku, Tambon Ma-I. To get there, take the Roi Et-Phon Thong Road (Highway No. 2044) for 8 kilometres. This medical centre of the Khmer period was built in the 13 th century and comprises a main pagoda, a wall, a doorway, and a pool outside the wall. The artefacts displayed here include a sandstone lintel that was once above the doorway of the main pagoda, door columns and a lotus-shaped top part of the pagoda.

Ban Wai Lum is in Tambon Maba, 25 kilometres from Roi Et on the Si Sa Ket-Yasothon route. This silk-weaving village has a housewife group selling village products.

:: Selaphum

Bung Klua is in Tambon Muang Phrai, 10 kilometres east of the district office. This large lake has a white beach popular with locals.

:: Kaset Wisai

Ku Ka Sing can be reached via 2 ways. One way is by taking a branch road off the Kaset Wisai-Suwannaphum Road for 10 kilometres. The other is by taking the Roi Et-Surin route to Ku Phra Ko Na and then a right-hand road for 18 kilometres. Ku Ka Sing is a large Khmer structure built in the 11 th century. It consists of 3 pagodas on the same base. This base has elaborate designs. Many statues and lintels are kept in the province's museum.