Nakhon Si Thammarat - The Land of Buddhism in the South of Thailand

Nakhon Si Thammarat – The Land of Buddhism in the South of Thailand

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Nakhon Si Thammarat is a well-known province located in the southern region of Thailand. It is also the second largest province in its region and it has been dominated by Buddhism culture since the period of Srivijaya. There are ruins and significant buildings throughout the province from the time when it was a part of the Kingdom of Ligor and the province finally gained its independence on the fall of Ayutthaya. With this, ones can recognize the province as one of the most ancient cities of Thailand.

General Information about Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand

Other than its amazing culture that it clearly has, the province has one of the most abundant nature and vegetation in the southern region. You will be able to see many beautiful features in the province such as the amazing waterfalls and beaches.

To get to Nakhon Si Thammarat

The distance from the capital of Thailand to Nakhon Si Thammarat is about 610 kilometers or 380 miles and there are quite a few options you can choose to travel here.

The first most obvious choice to take a car as it is the second fastest option. The fastest option has to be the plane itself. There are two airlines that has Nakhon Si Thammarat as their destination which are Nok Air and Air Asia. Be sure to check the flight carefully when booking.

The slower approach to the province is by taking the train. It could roughly take you around 12 to 14 hours to get here, so sit back and enjoy the view while you are at it. However, the most convenient choice to travel on the ground would be the bus. You can take the bus from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal which will take you about 12 hours. Relax and you will be here in no time.

 

The famous attractions in Nakhon Si Thammarat

In this province, there are three main places that you must visit if you want to feel the sensation of the province itself.

Kanom National Park

Beach at Kanom National Park (หาดที่อุทยานแห่งชาติหาดขนอม)
Beach at Kanom National Park (หาดที่อุทยานแห่งชาติหาดขนอม)

The first place is called Kanom National Park. This place contains many beaches with white soft sand accompanied by pine trees across the beaches. The water is clean and clear which is suitable for relaxation in various ways such as sun bathing, swimming, and sleeping under the shade. You can also dive to see the amazing and rich coral reefs.

However, the most famous beach in this province is Nai Pela Beach which is a beach that curves with the mountain like a crescent moon with a distance of 18 kilometers.

Dolphin at Kanom National Park (ปลาโลมาที่อุทยานแห่งชาติหาดขนอม)
Dolphin at Kanom National Park (ปลาโลมาที่อุทยานแห่งชาติหาดขนอม)

You might also meet pink or white-gray or pacific humpback dolphins near the shore and when you are on the boat to visit nearby Kanom islands.

 

Baan Khiri Wong

Baan Khiri Wong (บ้านคีรีวง)
Baan Khiri Wong (บ้านคีรีวง)

Next stop is Baan Khiri Wong which is a community role-model that has been awarded with eco-tourism management and village tourism in the home stay category. This place is located at Khao Lung Mountain ridge with a large river that cuts through the city. It is one of the places with the freshest air in Thailand. You will see the culture of the community in the way that they do their fruit farms.

You can also join them in making those natural painted fabrics or other activities such as basketry, processed fruit, and goods that are produced from coconut shells. You can rest at a homestay to experience the forest and mountain very closely.

 

Wat Phra That Wora Wiharn

Wat Phra That Maha Wora Wiharn (วัดพระธาตุมหาวรวิหาร)
Wat Phra That Maha Wora Wiharn (วัดพระธาตุมหาวรวิหาร)

This is the last place on the list that has a Chedi with a relic of the Buddha inside which is recognized as the symbol of the province. It is also one of the three holy special structures of the south in which the other two are located at Surat Thani and Yala. One of the important things in the province is the bell-shaped Chedi in which the end point of the Chedi is actually made of real gold. The Chedi itself is surrounded by 149 small Chedis. As the Chedi is famous for its holiness, people from every part of Thailand will come to pay their respect during Makabucha Day in March and Visakabucha Day in June. There will also be a parade to put some kind of fabric on top of the relic which is a big event of this province. If you have a chance to visit during those times, you are invited to come and make merit for yourself and families.

 

Local Tells

Let us move on to the recommended places by the locals which are not quite famous for tourists, but the locals sure love them a lot.

Khao Luang National Park

Khao Lung National Park
Khao Lung National Park

The first place to be recommended is Khao Luang National Park which has the highest mountain in all of the southern region of Thailand with a height of 1,835 meters. This national park is filled with abundant nature to the maximum, including various plants and wild animals.

Orchids at Khao Lung National Park (กล้วยไม้ที่อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาหลวง)
Orchids at Khao Lung National Park (กล้วยไม้ที่อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาหลวง)

Because of these characteristics, this place has been awarded as the natural tourism place of the year in 1998. There is also a natural pathway to the top of mountain which is considered as one of the best natural pathways in Thailand.

In this path, you will be able to observe many ancient ferns that will surely take you back to the dinosaur age. Also, this is the place that contains quite a lot of orchids and one may consider this place to have the most orchids in the southern region. You will find more than 300 species of orchids here, including some rare species of the world!

Krung Ching Waterfall

Krung Ching Waterfall (น้ำตกกรุงชิง)
Krung Ching Waterfall (น้ำตกกรุงชิง)

The next place that you should visit in Khao Luang National Park is Krung Ching Waterfall which is a very famous waterfall in this province. It is a large waterfall with seven levels that you can take a picture. However, the highlight of this waterfall is its second level which is called as Nan Fon San Ha. It is considered to be the most beautiful level out of all of them. Because of its beauty, this waterfall has been published on the 1,000-baht bank note of Thailand during King Rama IX reign.

 

Ban Nung Talung

Ban Nung Talung
Ban Nung Talung

If you want to see the culture of this province, Ban Nung Talung is the place to go. Nung Talung is the performing art and culture that is very famous in the southern region of Thailand.

This kind of performance uses the shadow from the Nung Talung or puppets to create a story which is combined with the singing of well-written poems in local accent and dialect. At this place, Uncle Suchart, as the people called him, is an artist that perform Nung Talung and he is considered to be the best artist in creating the picture of Nung Talung in the entire province! He is also the one who inherit the art of Nung Talung and perform it. His career in the performance of Nung Talung has also been recognized in both domestically and internationally.

Other than that, you can see the showcases of Nung Talung from many generations, eras, and nationalities in a museum located here. You can also watch some performances, including the demonstration in making Nung Talung.

Ban Nung Talung
Ban Nung Talung

 

If you feel like you want to take one of them home, you can buy one at a souvenir shop! However, if you want to buy more souvenir in this province, you can feel free to do so and there are many goods for your selection. Hand-crafted goods are very famous as a souvenir in this province. There is also something called Krueng Thom which consists of many types of goods such as rings, necklaces, bracelets, bags, and many more tools. Every details on the goods are handcrafted entirely as well!

 

Other Interesting Information of Nakorn Si Thammarat

The motto for this province is “The Historical Town, The Golden Phra That, Plentiful Minerals, Three-Metal Nielloware, Numerous Arts and Temples, and Abundant Shrimps and Crabs.

To get around this province,

there are plenty of motorcycle taxis for you to take. There are also meter taxis and pedal taxis as well, but be sure to ask for the fare first before you get in. You can probably hire a songthaew to take you around for the day, but again, you must ask for the price beforehand!

For accommodation,

there are quite a lot of hotels you can choose to stay which are ranging from budget to luxury resorts or hotels. A budget hotel could cost you around 400 baht per night while the mid-range to luxury hotels is priced at 1,000 baht or more per night. Enjoy your stay!

 

Suggested Cities

Bangkok – The Capital City of Thailand

Surat Thani – The Largest Province in the Southern Region of Thailand

Phang Nga – The Center for Islands in Thailand

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