City of the Revered Phrathat Phanom, Cultural Diversity,
Beautiful Phu Thai Ladies, Brilliant Illuminated Boat Procession,
and Picturesque Mekong River.
Phanom, once the center of the ancient Sri Kotrabun Kingdom, lies
along the western bank of the majestic Mekong River, although over
the centuries it has moved back and forth across the river. The
lovely setting of Nakhon Phanom town is enhanced by the rugged beauty
of the jungle covered mountains that lie beyond the town of Thakaek
on the Laotian side of the river. King Rama I chose the name Nakhon
Phanom, city of mountains, because of the remarkable mountains found
in the province.
a result of its long history, Nakhon Phanom is a melting pot of
diverse ethnic cultures and traditions, particularly represented
by the Lao, who have lent a strong influence to the architecture,
customs, and cuisine of Nakhon Phanom, including the Bai-Sri-Su-Kwan
with both high hills and low lying, forest covered plains, Nakhon
Phanom is the site of Phra
That Phanom, the most ancient and sacred religious monument
in Northeastern Thailand. Thais and Laotians are both common pilgrims
to this highly venerated Buddhist shrine where they come to ask
the history of Nakhon Phanom, Laotians and people from smaller ethnic
minority groups migrated across the Mekong River giving modern Nakhon
Phanom a distinctive cultural fusion that is apparent in the local
language, customs, and cuisine. Visitors can appreciate this culture
during the Bai-Sri-Su-Kwan ceremony or by witnessing one of the
region’s folk dances, such as the Sri Kotrabun, Fon Phu Thai, Sek-Ten-Sak,
and So Tung Bung, some of which are only performed on special occasions.
to its rich culture, Nakhon Phanom, which literally means “city
of hills” is an area with great natural beauty and which features
a number of opportunities for visitors to participate in outdoor
activities, including trekking in the national park or shooting
a round of golf.
TO NAKHON PHANOM
in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand
As a province somewhat
off the typical tourist route, Nakhon Phanom is best reached via
private car or public bus. Once there, it may be easier to get around
with your own car, as the there is no local bus service and the
only chartered vehicles available are ‘Skylabs’, a local form of
to and from Nakhon Phanom
Route 1: From Bangkok, take the Bangkok-Nakhon
Ratchasima route, then proceed to Ban Phai along Highway No.
2; take Highway No. 23 and Highway No. 213 to Sakhon
Nakhon Province via Maha
Sarakham and Kalasin
Provinces and continue along Highway No. 22 to Nakhon Phanom; the
total distance is 740 kilometers.
2: From Bangkok take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road) to Saraburi.
At the main junction located at the kilometer 107 marker, turn right
onto Highway No. 2 (Friendship Highway) and proceed past Nakon
Ratchasima Province to Ban Phai (a district of Khon
Kaen Province) and turn right onto Highway 23. Follow the route
and Nakhon Phanom Provinces; the total distance is 735 kilometers.
Buses depart from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2 Bus
Terminal) to Nakhon Phanom Province every day between 6.00 a.m.
and 8.00 p.m. There are different classes of bus services provided
- regular, air-conditioned and VIP with fares ranging from 360 baht
to 579 baht. For more information call Transport Co. Ltd. Tel. 0
2936 2852-66. Alternatively, you can visit www.transport.co.th
to find more up-to-date information on schedules and fares.
other neighboring provinces:
Khai: Regular bus services operate between Nong
Khai and Nakhon Phanom via Sakon
Nakhon; air-conditioned bus services are provided hourly from
6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Thani: Regular bus and air-conditioned bus services make trips
to Nakhon Phanom daily.
Bus services between Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan
Provinces are provided on an hourly basis from 5.00 a.m. to 5.00
Rat: Air-conditioned bus service between Nakhon Phanom and Khorat
are provided 3 times a day.
across the Mekong River to Tha Khaek, Laos costs around 40 baht
per person. Only travelers with valid Lao visas (not available on
site) are permitted to cross to Tha Khaek.
Around Nakhon Phanom
is no bus service to get around the city. The only chartered vehicles
available are ‘Skylabs’, a local form of tuk tuk. The fare ranges
from 10-60 baht, depending on the distance.
Because of its rich natural beauty, Nakhon Phanom has a number of
activities for visitors to participate, particularly those related
to the natural and cultural attractions around the province. Such
Because of its rich culture and natural beauty, Nakhon Phanom has
a wealth of attractions, ensuring that visitors with any interest
will find something to keep them entertained on their Nakhon Phanom
holiday. The following are some of the most popular attractions
in Nakhon Phanom:
Culture & Heritage
Phra That Phanom is located 50 kilometers from Nakhon Phanom town
on Highway No. 212. It is the most important Buddhist site in
the province. A 53-meters tall square-shaped pagoda, it was believed
to have been built before the 12th century. The pagoda, which
is believed to have originally been of Khmer design, was renovated
through the years to its present Laotian design. The pagoda enshrines
the holy relics of the Lord Buddha. On August 11, 1975 at 7 p.m.,
the entire pagoda collapsed after many days of rainstorm. The
Thai public subsequently made considerable donations to rebuild
the pagoda to its original splendor. People placed many valuables
inside and placed a 110-kilogram solid gold spire on top of the
to Get There:
It is located 50 kilometers from Nakhon Phanom town on Highway
Air-conditioned coaches and buses regularly leave the provincial
bus terminal for the stupa.
Located in amphoe Mueang, the stupa is designated as a holy place,
expecially for one born on Saturday. It is believed to grant the
wish of being a respectful leader.
That Maha Chai
Phra That Maha Chai is located at Wat Khosadaram, Tambon Maha
Chai, some 40 kilometers from Nakhon Phanom town on the Nakhon
Phanom-Sakon Nakhon (Highway No. 22). The monastery is easily
accessible via a 2-kilometer road that leads directly to the temple.
The chedi enshrines the holy relics of Lord Buddha. Inside the
convocation hall is Thailand's largest wooden Buddha image. The
hall also features exquisite murals depicting the life of Lord
Buddha that are regarded as one of the finest and rarest murals
of the Northeast.
That Tha Uthen
Phra That Tha Uthen is located opposite Hin Bun town in Laos.
It is situated approximately 26 kilometers north of the city on
Highway 212. Similar in style to Phra That Phanom, Phra That Tha
Uthen is 66 meters high. Constructed in 1912, the chedi (pagoda)
houses the relics of the Lord Buddhas' disciple brought from over
from Yangon, Myanmar.
Achan Bua Temiyo Museum
Phra Achan Bua Temiyo Museum is situated at Wat Sila Mongkhon
in Ban Lak Sila, only 5 kilometers from Amphoe That Phanom. The
museum houses the remains of the famous monk Phra Achan Man Phuritatto
and the religious items of another monk, Phra Achan Bua Temiyo.
The well-preserved body of the latter monk is kept here and is
highly revered by locals.
That Renu Nakhon
Phra That Renu Nakhon is located 52 kilometers south of Nakhon
Phanom town on Highway No. 212. Upon reaching the kilometer 44
marker, turn right and proceed for another 7 kilometers. The pagoda,
which is 35 meters high, was built in 1918 and is a scaled down
replica of Phra That Phanom. Inside the pagoda are a Buddhist
scripture and a gold Buddha image. Renu Nakhon is home to many
Phu Thai ethnic minorities who retain their culture, especially
their dances and the custom of the Bai-Si-Su-Kwan ceremony. This
indigenous group excels weaving cotton and their products that
are highly sought after by tourists.
Located in Amphoe Na Wa, the stupa is designated as a holy place,
especially for one born on Thursday. It is believed to grant the
wish of working successfully.
This monastery is located on Sunthon Wichit Road, on the bank
of Mekong River. The compound includes Phra That Nakhon a sacred
pagoda highly worshipped by Buddhists. With a square base of 5.8
meters wide and a height of 24 meters, the pagoda was built by
Phraya Ammat (Pom), the army commander-in-chief from Vientiane
who built Nakhon Phanom City.
Okat (Wat Okatsibuaban)
The temple, which is located along the bank of the Mekong River,
on Sunthon Wichit Road is an ancient monastery that has not been
dated. The temple was built before the provincial town was established
and houses many highly-revered old Buddha images such as Phra
Teaw and Phra Tiam. Additional attractions at the temple are its
Wat Si Thep is situated on Sunthon Wichit Road and houses the
highly revered Phra Saeng, which is said to have been built along
with Phra Suk and Phra Sai, two other Buddha images. In addition,
the ordination hall features exquisite murals.
A riverside temple located in Tha Uthen District where the 15th
century, 80-inch tall Phra Bang image with an octagon base surrounded
by 8 elephants is enshrined. It is believed that a procession
with the image during the dry season will bring rainfall.
Anna Nong Saeng Church
Saint Anna Church is located on Sonthornvijit Road which runs
parallel to the dame in front of the city of Nakhon Phanom. The
church was built in 1926 by a Catholic priest. The church stands
as a symbol of an international city that welcomes inhabitants
from all walks of life. Before Christmas eve, Christians will
make different styles of stars and put them together in the church.
Langka National Park
This park is in the Langka Mountain Range, 6 kilometres from Ban
Phaeng district and comprises 2 waterfalls. Namtok Tat Kham is
located near the park office. This small 4-tiered waterfall is
superb for relaxation. Namtok Tat Pho, which can be seen from
the highway paralleling the Mekong River, is located 11 kilometers
from Ban Phaeng and 5 kilometers from Tat Kham Waterfall. Equally
beautiful, Tat Pho is best visited during the rainy season. A
trail to the waterfall allows visitors to enjoy the beauty of
both sides of the falls while walking a little over 1 hour.
Thai Mueang Beach is a freshwater beach that appears only during
the dry season from February to April when it extends to the middle
of the Mekong River almost reaching the river bank on the Laos
side. This beach is another excellent place from which to enjoy
the river view from dusk to dawn.
Kratae Golf Club
Located in the compound of Nakhon Phanom Technical School, Nitayo
Road, Nakhon Phanom 48000, golf lovers may call 042 511177 for
reservation or more details.
Nong Chan Old Town
This is the only site where it is possible to see the brick ruins
and a number of large trees that are over a hundred years old.
Archeological evidence reveals that the place was formerly the
camp site of Phraya Chiangsa who led his troops from Vientiane
to assist Tao Kumsing in the fight to liberate Tao Kumsing's Kingdom
from Tao Gugnews control. This old town is located about 5 kilometers
from the city.
Fancy a walk along the mighty and famous Mekong River? Visitors
can stroll along the riverside promenade parallel to the Mekong
River and enjoy the view across the river of Tha Khaek City against
the mountainous backdrop. The view is spectacular in the evening
as the sun sets over the mountains on the other side of the river.