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    Nakhon Si Thammarat Tourist Attractions

    Places of Interest in Nakhon Si Thammarat

    Nakhon Si Thammarat

    Amphoe Muang

    Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan (Bobcock at Wat Mahathat in Nakhon Sri Thammarat) is located on Ratchadamnoen Road in Tambon Nai Muang. This is a royal temple of the first class. Formerly named Wat Phra Borom That, this is one of the most important historical sites in southern Thailand and in all of Thailand. According to the legend of Phra Borom That Nakhon Si Thammarat, Prince Thonthakuman and Princess Hem Chala were the ones who took Buddha relics to Hat Sai Kaeo and built a small pagoda to mark the location. Later on, King Si-Thamma Sokarat established the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and built a new pagoda. The present pagoda has a distinctive Sri Lankan style. It is 55.78 meters high (measured by the Fine Arts Department during the renovation of the gold top in 1995). The height from the lotus base to the gold top is 6.80 meters. The top is entirely covered by pure gold. Inside the temple are many buildings of importance, especially the royal building which has beautiful architecture from the Ayutthaya period and the Sam Chom building where the Buddha image attired in royal wardrobe Phra Si Thamma Sokarat is housed. There are also the Phra Maha Phinetkrom (the equestrian image) building, the Thap Kaset building, while the Khian and Pho Lanka buildings are used to display artifacts donated to the temple by Buddhists.

    Phra Phuttha Sihing is housed in the Phra Phuttha Sihing hall near the Provincial Hall. This sacred image was believed to have been ordered by the king of Lanka in 157 AD and was brought to Thailand during the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great. There are currently 3 similar images in Thailand which are at the National Museum in Bangkok, Wat Phra Sing in Chiang Mai and this image in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The hall housing the image was originally the Buddha image hall of the palace of Chao Phraya Nakhon (Noi). The hall is divided into 2 parts; the front portion houses Phra Phuttha Sihing, Phra Lak Ngoen and Phra Lak Thong and the back portion houses the ashes of the ancestors of the Na Nakhon family.

    Ho Phra Isuan is on Ratchadamnoen Road. It is a historical site of the Brahman religion. It has on display the Shiva Linga which is the symbol of Shiva, the Brahman god. There are also several bronze images such as the Siwa Nattarat image, Phra Uma and Phra Phikkhanet. The bronze images in this hall are replicas of the real images that are in Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum.

    Ho Phra Narai is also on Ratchadamnoen Road and another Brahman place of worship opposite Ho Phra Isuan. The original structure and design of this hall are unknown. However, a gray sandstone image of the god Narai wearing a hat and holding a conch in the right hand was discovered in the hall. It is estimated that it dates from the 11th-12th Buddhist century. This image is now in the National Museum in town. The only artifact on display in the hall is a replica of the Narai image discovered at an archaeological dig in Amphoe Si Chon.

    Phra Wihan Sung or Ho Phra Sung is an important historical site located just outside the ancient city wall to the north in the area of Sanam Na Muang, on Ratchadamnoen Road. The site is so called because of its high location on a hill 2.10 meters above level ground. There is no exact historical evidence but it is believed that its architecture and wall murals are from the early Rattanakosin period. The building houses plaster images with a fat clay core. The images are either from the 23rd-24th Buddhist century or from the late Ayutthaya period.

    The Thai-style monks’ residence of Wat Wang Tawan Tok is on Ratchadamnoen Road in the area said to be opposite Wang Tawan Ok, the retreat of Chao Chom Prang. Formerly a park, Chao Phraya Nakhon (Noi) donated Wang Tawan Ok and the park opposite it to a temple, now known as Wat Wang Tawan Tok. In 1888, Phra Khru Kachat (Yong) and his disciples built a group of houses for monks. The 3 houses have a pointed roof connected to the other and there are exquisite Nakhon Si Thammarat designs on the walls, doors, windows, and vents. The Siam Architects Society named these houses the best conservation effort in the area of historical sites and temples in 1992.

    Wat Chai Na Meditation Center is on Phatthanakan Thung Prang Road. Meditation courses are held for Thais and foreigners. The famous monk Phutthathat Bhikkhu established the center as a branch of his monastery in Surat Thani. The center is peaceful with an abundance of shady trees.

    Chinese buildings at Wat Pradu and Wat Chaeng is on Ratchadamnoen Road near the provincial stadium. Built in the early Rattanakosin period, they house the ashes of Phraya Nakhon and believed to also have the ashes of King Taksin the Great.

    Chedi Yak is the province’s second-tallest pagoda after Phra Borom That pagoda. It is located near Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipality in the abandoned Wat Chedi area. It is said that the pagoda was built by Khotkhiri, a wealthy Mon, and his employees when they took refuge in the city in 1003.

    Residence of Ok Ya Sena Phimuk (Yamada Nagamasa) who was a Japanese volunteer soldier living in the Ayutthaya period during the reign of King Songtham. He was rewarded for his many contributions to the palace by being appointed Ok Ya Sena Phimuk and as the lord of Nakhon Si Thammarat in 1629. Traces of his home still exist in the area of the Thai restaurant on Nang Ngam Road (beside the provincial hall).

    Shadow play house of Suchat Sapsin is at 10/18 Si Thammasok Road, Soi 3. Suchat Sapsin received the 1996 Thailand Tourism Awards for the best cultural and historical site. The house has a shadow play museum, shadow play-making demonstrations and complete performances. Visitors can appreciate this fascinating art by calling tel. 346394.

    City wall is alongside Ratchadamnoen Road. The wall was renovated in the early Rattanakosin period and once more in 1990. The wall runs parallel with the city moat from Chai Nua Gate or Chai Sak Gate to the east for 100 meters.

    Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum in Tambon Nai Muang occupy the area of the old Wat Suan Luang Tawan Ok. The museum was opened in 1974 and has on display artifacts found in 4 southern provinces, which are Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Surat Thani, and Chumphon. Of interest are also the local handicrafts display room. The national library building opened to the public in 1976. There is a good collection of rare books and important books sent by the National Library in Bangkok for locals to study.

    Wirathai Monument is made of blackened copper. The monument features a soldier ready to fight with a bayonet. The locals call this monument Cha Dam or Chao Pho Dam. It was erected to honor Thai soldiers in southern Thailand who died fighting an invading Japanese force in World War II on December 8, 1941. The monument is on Ratchadamnoen Road in Fort Vajiravudh which is the headquarters of the Fourth Region Army. The fort compound itself has conference rooms, guesthouses, a golf course, a shooting range, and a souvenir shop.

    Arts and Culture Center of Nakhon Si Thammarat Rajabhat Institute is 13 kilometers from the city on the Nakhon Si Thammarat-Phrom Khiri Road (Highway No. 4016). It is the center of information on archaeological sites discovered in the province. On display are ancient local tools and utensils from the establishment of the community to the Sri Vijaya Empire. The center also preserves and revives local entertainment, as well as researches and collects works on languages, literature and anthropology. The most important artifacts here are the stone inscriptions found at Khao Chong Khoi and artifacts from the ancient community at Wat Mok Lan. These vital evidences tell when Nakhon Si Thammarat was built. The center is open daily during official hours.

    Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin 84 Park (Thung Tha Lat) is a large park with an area of over 490.23 acres. It is just behind the provincial stadium. Originally part of Ratcharudi Park in the time of King Rama V, the park has an open zoo, a bird park, a health park, and a lake which is home to waterfowls that migrate here during January to March every year.

    Bang Pu is 17 kilometers from the city and is at the Bang Pu intersection. This is where quality pottery is made. Only bricks and flowerpots used to be made here but villagers from Ban Mok Lan have now set up stores selling their handicrafts in this area. The products on sale have been improved in variety and quality to attract customers.

    Amphoe Lan Saka

    Khao Luang National Park covers Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Phipun, Amphoe Phrom Khiri, Amphoe Lan Saka, Amphoe Chawang, King Amphoe Chang Klang, and King Amphoe Nop Phitam. Having a land area of 597 square kilometers, it was declared a national park on December 18, 1974. The park has a winding mountain range, with the Khao Luang peak the highest of the peaks in southern Thailand at 1,835 meters above sea level. It is the watershed of more than 15 streams and rivers. The park’s rainforest is home to a multitude of tropical flora and fauna. There is a route that takes visitors around the park to see unspoiled natural scenery, the variety of wildlife and rare animal and plant species, some of which can only be found in the park. The beauty and completeness of the park, its fascinating nature, the park’s efforts to encourage the local community and tourists to be aware of the importance of nature, and its excellent tourist service system have all combined to help the park win the 1998 Thailand Tourism Award in the natural destination category. For more information and accommodation bookings, please contact Khao Luang National Park at Karom waterfall, Tambon Khao Kaeo, P.O. Box 51, Amphoe Muang, Nakhon Si Thammarat 80000.

    Karom waterfall is 9 kilometers from the city on Highway No. 4016 and then onto Highway No. 4015 on the left for 20 kilometers. The entrance to the waterfall is on the right. The waterfall originated in the Nakhon Si Thammarat mountain range and cascades down 19 levels with names like Nan Phung, Nan Nam Ruang, Nan Dat Fa, and Nan Soi Dao (the highest level at 1,300-1,400 meters). Kings and royal family members have visited this waterfall as evidenced by the initials of King Rama V and King Rama VI carved there.

    Ban Khiri Wong is an ancient community which settled at the foot of Khao Luang in Tambon Kamlon, a path up the mountain. This peaceful village is like one big, happy family. The main occupation is growing mixed fruits, such as mangosteen, rambutan, durian, and Sato. The village was faced with catastrophe on November 21, 1988 when a flash flood swept away some 100 houses. The local monastery and villagers still maintain the damaged convocation hall and houses as monuments to those who perished. Ban Khiri Wong is considered a prototype of eco-tourism management and the place won the 1998 Thailand Tourism Award in the city and community category. The village is a good example of local people co-existing with nature. Residents have developed tourism services to be a new business for the area. The services include trekking tours, porters and homestay programs through the Eco-tourism Club, a central organization that delegates responsibilities to groups in the community to create cooperation. Tourists can appreciate the way of life here all year round, with the most attractive time during July to September when fruits are on sale. Trekking up Khao Luang must start at Ban Khiri Wong. One can get to the village by taking a mini-bus from Talat Yao. Buses depart from 07.00-16.00 hrs. The fare is 17 baht. Alternatively, one can drive on the Amphoe Muang-Lan Saka route for 26 kilometers. The sign pointing to the village is at Km. 20 on the right. Please contact the Kamlon Administration Office at the President of club Khun Prachuab tel. 09-5012706 or (075) 309210

    Khao Luang peak features a trekking activity to enjoy nature on the Ban Khiri Wong-Khao Luang peak route. The normal trekking time is 2 nights and 3 days. Permission can be obtained from Khao Luang National Park and Kamlon Administration Office. They will facilitate the trek and provide eco-tourism services by the community. Treks are in groups of 10. The best time for this is from January to June.

    Amphoe Phrom Khiri

    Muang Nakhon reception house was built to receive His Majesty the King and H.R.H. Crown Princess Maha Chakri when they visited the city. It is located in an old fruit orchard of the Thongsamak family which built the house for the royal family on behalf of the city’s people. The area is covered with varied kinds of native fruit trees and has been decorated with beautiful and shady plants. The house is open to the public daily except Wednesday and when the royal family is there.

    Wat Khao Khun Phanom and the Khao Khun Phanom Scientific Study Center is in Mu 3, Tambon Ban Ko. From the city, use Highway No. 4016 to Km. 21 past Phrom Lok market and take a right-hand road for 2.5 kilometers. Wat Khao Khun Phanom is a temple of historical and archaeological importance. The temple has a cave lined with a brick wall and marked with heart-shaped stones marking the limits of the temple similar to those along the city wall. The front wall has plaster designs decorated with Chinese porcelain. In the cave are about 30 bronze Buddha images and a bronze Buddha’s footprint. Several smaller connecting caves branch out from the main cave like an elaborate fortress maze. Many believe this is where King Taksin the Great used to stay. Others say it was the rest stop of Princess Kesini, daughter of Chao Nara Suriyawong, the lord of Nakhon Si Thammarat during 1769-1776.

    On the way up Khao Khun Phanom is the Khao Khun Phanom Scientific Study Center that provides knowledge on science, technology, the environment, and eco-tourism to the public. The Khao Khun Phanom community is a cultural community. There is a training camp activity and a grouping called the Tourism to Study Fruit Orchards by Bicycle Club. Please call tel. (075) 345154.

    Phrom Lok waterfall is in Tambon Phrom Lok. It can be reached via Highway No. 4016 (Nakhon Si Thammarat-Phrom Khiri) to Km. 20, then turning left onto Highway No. 4132 for 5 kilometers. This is a large waterfall with wide and lovely rock platforms. The source is in Nakhon Si Thammarat mountain range and flows down 4 levels, which are Nan Bo Nam Won, Nan Wang Mai Pak, Nan Wang Hua Bua, and Nan Wang Ai Le. The water flows past many kinds flora before going to Khlong Tha Phae and ending in the Gulf of Thailand in Tambon Pak Phun.

    Ai Khiao waterfall (or Nai Khiao waterfall) is in Tambon Thon Hong. It is 30 kilometers from the city on Highway No. 4016 on the same route as Phrom Lok waterfall. However, it is at Km. 26 and then going on a left-hand road for 3 kilometers more. The source is also from Khao Luang. This waterfall has 9 levels, which are Nan Chong Sai, Nan Bang Bai, Nan Mai Phai, Nan Sua Phan, Nan Buppha Sawan, Nan Hin Kong, Nan Hua Chang, Nan Sai Kwat Lan, and Nan Fa Faet. The surrounding area is still a dense jungle. Both sides of the falls are covered with betel gardens. The locals call the betel Phlu Pak Sai because of its hot flavor and sweet scent. The view of Khao Luang is best viewed from here.

    Ban Plai Uan in Mu 5, Tambon Phrom Lok is at the foot of Khao Luang near Phrom Lok waterfall. Most residents tend fruit orchards. The Nature Conservation for Jungle Trekking Club is located here. One can trek 5 kilometers from the village to Phiman Mek waterfall which is 1,505 meters above sea level. Along the way there are interesting flora, fauna, caves, streams, and the gigantic red palm of the genus Caryota which is a plant with very unique features. For more information, please contact the Ban Plai Uan Nature Conservation Club, tel. (075) 338633.

    King Amphoe Nop Phitam

    Krung Ching waterfall is a beautiful and important waterfall of Khao Luang National Park. Located in Tambon Krung Ching, the waterfall derived its name from Ton Ching which is a kind of palm prevalent in the area. The waterfall has many levels, each with a different name, such as Nan Mut Phae, Nan Fon Saen Ha, Nan Plew, Nan Chon, Nan Chone, Nan Ton To, and Nan Wang Rua Bin. The most breathtaking level is Nan Fon Saen Ha where water drops off a sheer cliff 100 meters high, splashing down creating a mist covering the area like rain unlike other falls. This waterfall level is depicted on the back of Thailand’s 1,000 baht currency note. The waterfall is under the responsibility of the Khao Luang National Park Protection Unit. The waterfall can be reached by a road 3.8 kilometers long to Nan Fon Saen Ha. The area has a training center, accommodation and a campground. tel. (075) 309644-5

    To get to the falls, take the Nakhon Si Thammarat-Phrom Khiri road (4016). Upon reaching Na Reng intersection, turn left to King Amphoe Nop Phitam and turn right (4186). The total distance is 70 kilometers.

    Rafting on Khlong Klai can be done on rubber boats provided by Krung Ching Administration Office in Mu 3, Tambon Krung Ching, near Krung Ching waterfall. There are 2 ways of the rafting route, which are Pak Khlong Phitam-Lan Hin Dan which is 2.5 kilometers and takes 1 hour and Pak Khlong Phitam-Ban Thung Nai which is 6 kilometers and takes 3 hours. The fee is 250-350 baht/person. Please contact tel. 01-9790873.

    Hong cave is a medium-sized cave with a stream running through its center before going subterranean to another stream outside. Stalactites and stalagmites of strange shapes abound in the cave. The most distinctive characteristic of the cave is a waterfall that drops down 3 levels. Visitors in the cave must wade through water before emerging from the exit 300 meters away. The cave is under the responsibility of the Khao Nanthi National Park Protection Unit (Khlong Lamphaen). The cave is situated just before Krung Ching waterfall.

    Yot Luang waterfall or Muang Mai waterfall is to the south of Krung Ching waterfall in Mu 6, Tambon Na Reng. This medium-sized waterfall has 4 levels, which are Nan Toei, Nan Kradot, Nan Ya Kha, and Nan Plew. Swimming can be enjoyed here amidst the coolness of the jungle. To get to the waterfall, take the Nakhon Si Thammarat-Phrom Khiri route (4016) for 40 kilometers.

    King Amphoe Chang Klang

    Tha Phae waterfall is in Mu 14, Tambon Chang Klang. The waterfall can be accessed via the Nakhon-Chandi-Chawang-Ban Song route (Highway No. 4015) for 36 kilometers, then turning right at the sign for 2 more. This beautiful ten-level waterfall has 3 levels which are accessible to the public; Nan Phae Noi, Nan Nang Khruan and Nan Toei.

    Suan Ai waterfall is in Mu 5, Tambon Khlong La-ai, Amphoe Chawang. From Nakhon Si Thammarat, take the Nakhon-Lan Saka-Chandi route (4015) for 55 kilometers. Of its 5 levels, visitors can enjoy 3 which are Nan Chong Som Lot, Nan Ton Riang and Nan Laoka.

    Suan Khan waterfall is in Mu 3, Tambon Suan Khan. It can be reached by taking the Nakhon-Lan Saka-Chandi route (4015) for 55 kilometers and connecting to the Chandi-Phipun bus for 4 kilometers. The very beautiful nature here is conducive to trekking and exploring the flora of the area. Three levels of the waterfall can be accessed.

    Amphoe Tham Phannara

    Wat Tham Thong Phannara is in Mu 9, Tambon Tham Phannara, about 2 kilometers from the Asia Highway (No. 41) at Km. 192-193 and about 1 kilometer from the district office. Legend has it that two nuns named Pring and Prang came by sea with many followers and belongings to give valuables to build a pagoda entombing Lord Buddha’s relics. However, when they arrived at the port (Ban Pak Ra now), they found that the pagoda had already been completed, so they chose another suitable site to build which was Thong cave. They then built a reclining Buddha image in the cave. When the nuns died, their descendents placed their bones in 2 Buddha images that they built. It became tradition that on the first full-moon night of the 11th lunar month (October) people would pay homage to the reclining image and the images representing the nuns called Phra Pring and Phra Prang. This Khun Tham ceremony is attended by a great number of worshippers who bring with them desserts to make offerings and who tour the caves there which consist of both dark and bright caves.

    Amphoe Tha Sala

    Khao Nan National Park is 30 kilometers from Amphoe Tha Sala. The park covers areas in Amphoe Tha Sala, Amphoe Sichon and King Amphoe Nop Phitam. In addition, the park has areas in Pa Khao Nan National Forest Reserve and Pa Krung Ching National Forest Reserve. The total area of the park is 436 square kilometers. The main topography is a high mountain range extending from Khao Luang National Park. The park itself is a watershed of many waterways. Travel from the city can be by Highway No. 401 across Khlong Klai past Ban Sa Kaeo in Amphoe Tha Sala. Upon reaching Km. 110, turn left into Ban Pak Chao and drive 15 kilometers to the park office.

    The park’s main attraction is Sunantha waterfall which is a small but lovely waterfall. Water drops down a steep cliff to the pool below before flowing into Khlong Klai, the main waterway of Tha Sala. Rafting can be done in the canal when the water level is high.

    Ban Nai Thung handicrafts can be found 24 kilometers from the city. Ban Nai Thung is a Muslim Thai village near the sea. Aside from fishing, villagers use their spare time to make colored cloth kites in the shape of birds as well as birdcages for sale on both sides of the road. This village is well worth a visit for some quality products.

    Wat Mok Lan archaeological site is in Tambon Don Kha and is 10 kilometers from the district office. To get there, take Highway No. 401 to Ban Na Thap, turn left onto Highway No. 4022 and drive for 6 kilometers. Originally a religious place for Brahmans of the Sawai Nikai sect, the artifacts found here date from the 12th-14th Buddhist century. Items that can be seen here include traces of stone pillars, carvings around doorways, religious stones, an ancient pond, and statue bases. The Fine Arts Department declared this area an archaeological site in 1975.

    Pan Mo village is a handicrafts village is just 50 meters from Wat Mok Lan. The village still adheres to the old technique of making pottery by hand. The pots made here are large and thick and have little design.
    Amphoe Sichon

    Sichon beach, or Hua Hin Sichon as known to locals, is a well-known destination of the district. Rocks line the beach all the way to a curved sandy stretch where people can swim. There is accommodation and restaurants for tourists.

    Hin Ngam beach has a unique characteristic in that it is littered with round rocks of various striking colors. Hence, its name. There are no services here.

    Kho Khao beach (Piti beach) is a popular beach that connects to Hin Ngam beach. There are accommodation and restaurant facilities for tourists.

    How to get there Take Highway No. 401 from Amphoe Muang for 70 kilometers to Amphoe Sichon. Turn right to Ban Pak Nam for 3 kilometers to Sichon beach (Hua Hin Sichon) and from there it is 1.5 kilometers to Hin Ngam and Kho Khao (Piti) beaches. Piti beach is 2 kilometers from Hin Ngam beach.

    Si Khit waterfall is in Mu 2, Tambon Si Khit. It is 15 kilometers west of Sichon beach on Highway No. 4105. This small waterfall originates in the mountains to the west and flows down several levels amidst pristine natural surroundings. It is on the way to becoming a national park.

    Khao Kha archaeological site in Tambon Sao Phao. To get there, take Highway No. 401 from Si Phibun intersection to Km. 99, turn left onto Chinda Pracha Sawan Road for 7 kilometers. Khao Kha is a sacred religious place of the Sawai Nikai sect which worships Shiva as its highest god. Khao Kha is regarded as being like the mythical Khao Phra Sumen, a center of worship, that is surrounded by smaller, secondary historical sites. Many artifacts used in rites have been found here including phallic symbols, holy water pipes, ruins, and an ancient pond. The site dates from the 13th-14th Buddhist century. The Fine Arts Department completed its renovation in 1997.

    Amphoe Khanom

    Hat Khanom Mu Ko Thale Tai National Park has its headquarters on the Khanom-Rong Faifa Road. It is 100 meters from the road to the left. The park incorporates islands, mountains and coastal areas of Amphoe Khanom and some parts of Surat Thani. This park has many islands, such as Ko Noi, Ko Wang Nai, Ko Wang Nok, Ko Taen, Ko Rap, Ko Tha Rai, and Ko Phi. In addition, there are some bays like Ao Khanom, Ao Thong Tha Kham, Ao Thong Lang, Ao Thong Yi, and Ao Thong Yang. Mountains dot the park, like Khao Phlai Dam, Khao Phi Ngai, Khao Kho, Khao Phlao, and Khao Dat Fa.

    Ao Khanom is the largest bay in Khanom. It is 1.5 kilometers from the district office and can be reached by taking Highway No. 4014 which separates from Highway No. 401, drive for 17 kilometers, then 1 kilometer past Khanom Public Health Area Market, then turn right and drive along Khanom beach. Khanom beach is a long beach that connects to other beaches, as follows:

    Hat Nai Phlao is Khanom’s largest beach and the most popular tourist attraction. The beach curves along a mountain range. The overall scenery is one that features perfect nature, including a clean, white beach conducive to a day in the sun. Accommodation and restaurant facilities are available.

    Hat Na Dan is a long, palm-fringed white beach. From this quiet beach, one can see the beautiful aquamarine water of the Gulf of Thailand.

    Hat Nai Praet is a beautiful, long curved beach. This beach is between Hat Na Dan and Hat Nai Phlao and is rocky in some areas. This popular beach’s natural ambience has been impressing visitors for years.

    Ao Thong Yi is a beach that is very suitable for camping because of its complete natural surroundings. Ao Thong Yi is encompassed by Khao Phlao and Khao Klang, making it peaceful and removed from the outside world. Accommodation can be obtained by contacting the owner of the property.

    To get there, take a laterite road from Hat Nai Phlao near Khanap Nam Resort. The distance to there is 2.5 kilometers.

    Khao Wang Thong cave is 77 kilometers from the city and is one of the most awesome caves of the province. The cave has many large and small chambers, each with stalagmites and stalactites of odd sizes and shapes, like pagodas, dinosaurs, custard apples, and fried eggs. Some chambers can only be accessed by crawling or climbing, making it fun for visitors. To get there, start from Khanom district office, turn right at the intersection to Don Sak and take a left. The entrance has a bus stop called Sala Tansakun which is easily noticeable. Drive for 6 kilometers until you reach the cave. Visitors must first obtain the cave key from the keeper at the cave entrance.

    Khao Phlai Dam is a seaside mountain which borders Khanom and Sichon. The Khao Phlai Dam Wildlife Development and Conservation Office is here in Tambon Thung Sai. Hat Thong Yang in the area is a fine beach suitable for swimming. A number of herbivores inhabit the mountain, such as deer, mouse deer and a variety of birds.

    To get to the mountain, travel from Sichon to the north to Tambon Thung Sai for 12 kilometers.

    Wat Kradangnga is an ancient temple of Khanom that was probably built during the Ayutthaya period. The temple is about 200 meters from the Khanom-Nai Phlao road. Inside the convocation hall are exquisite murals of Lord Buddha’s life. There is also a magnificent Buddha image from the Ayutthaya period and interesting artifacts, particularly plates and bowls.

    Wat That Tharam or Wat Khao That is unique in that it has a pagoda made of coral located on Khao That. It is said that this pagoda was built by people from Chaiya who originally wanted to donate valuables to build Phra Borom That in Nakhon Si Thammarat but were too late in doing so, and diverted resources to this pagoda instead. The entire pagoda is made of coral in the shape of an inverted jar. It has a diameter of 5-6 meters. The pagoda is surrounded by Buddha images of red sandstone. The pagoda represents a period of Buddhism that flourished in this peninsula.

    Wat Chedi Luang is in Mu 4, Ban Tha Nai, Tambon Khuan Thong. This ancient community still shows numerous traces of mounds, ponds, stones from a sanctuary, statue bases, and phallic symbols.
    Amphoe Pak Phanang

    Museum Honoring the King for the Development of Pak Phanang Basin is a museum conceived by the Project to Develop Pak Phanang Basin of His Majesty the King that covers Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Songkhla. The museum is in the project itself and consists of His Majesty’s office, a meeting room and an exhibition room on Pak Phanang’s history. For information, please contact tel. (075) 517933, 517534.

    Pak Phanang coast and Talumphuk cape are the sites of a severe storm in Nakhon Si Thammarat in 1962. The coast of Pak Phanang is a long beach with the Talumphuk cape to the north jutting out into the Gulf of Thailand like a crescent moon. The part where it is connected to Nakhon Si Thammarat bay has some villagers, while the coast on the gulf has a beautiful, pine-lined beach. To get to both places, take Highway No. 4013 (Nakhon Si Thammarat-Pak Phanang) and then 16 kilometers on a road to Pak Phanang. Both sides of the road are shrimp farms and mangrove forests.

    Ban Rang Nok is famous for the nests made by swallows in the town. Several houses and buildings have been closed because of the immense number of swallows inhabiting them. These birds make the houses their homes just like living in caves and mountains. However, the nests are not easily accessible as they are in private properties.

    Wat Nantharam used to be called Wat Tai and currently houses Luang Pho Phut, a red sandstone Buddha image from the Ayutthaya period. Pak Phanang people worship this sacred image. In addition, the temple houses a giant phallic symbol found at Khao Kha archaeological site and is believed to be around 1,200 years old and from the 12th-14th Buddhist century. The symbol is carved from limestone and is the most complete in southern Thailand. The temple is at Chai Nam Road on the western side of Pak Phanang.

    Amphoe Ron Phibun and Amphoe Chulaphon

    Khao Chong Khoi stone inscription is at Ban Khok Sathon, Mu 9, Tambon Thung Pho, Amphoe Chulaphon. This is the oldest Sanskrit stone inscription found in southern Thailand and dates from the 11th-12th Buddhist century. It tells the story of people asking for shelter from Shiva and jungle spirits. It ends with the saying If a good person resides in a village, then that community shall find happiness and good results.

    Tham Phat Bai Kapho village is on Highway No. 403, 40 kilometers from Amphoe Muang to Amphoe Ron Phibun. The villagers here use their spare time to make Kapho fans for sale nationwide. This popular local handicraft is affordable and very useful.
    Amphoe Thung Song

    Nam Tok Yong National Park or locally known as Yong Sai Yai waterfall has a total area of 49,403.25 acres. It covers areas in Thung Song, Na Bon and Chawang. The area was proclaimed a national park on December 10, 1987. The park’s pristine nature includes the Yong waterfall where streams converge into one giant rope-like waterfall dropping from a high cliff to the large pool below. There is also the Plew waterfall at Pa Praek, a smaller waterfall 25 meters high. An ascent from Ban Nam Ron to the top takes about 1 hour. To get to the park, take the Nakhon Si Thammarat-Thung Song Road for 50 kilometers and turn right and drive for 3 kilometers to the park. Tents are available for tourists. For more details, please contact the park at Mu 2, Tambon Tham Yai.

    Talot cave is 500 meters from Thung Song district office. This is a small cave in Chai Chumphon mountain. The cave can be traversed from one exit to the other. Hence, its name of Talot or Lot cave. Inside is a huge reclining Buddha image stretching the length of the cave. This sacred image is decorated with murals of Lord Buddha’s life drawn by Mr. Naep Thichinnaphong, a famous artist of Nakhon Si Thammarat. The area around the cave has been developed into a park. There is a store selling food and drinks.

    Kuan Im goddess image is a large white plaster image. Its height of 19 meters makes it easily visible from afar. It is in the benevolence gesture, its left hand holding a vase containing magic water while its right holds a Lew branch. The image stands on a large lotus beside a boy and a girl. A big dragon is paying homage to the image. The image is situated in the middle of a large pond surrounded by fountains. You can find this spectacular piece of art at Sam Po Kong foundation (Luang Pho To), Mu Ban Phatthana Road, Tambon Pak Phraek, approximately 1 kilometer from Thung Song market.

    Amphoe Phipun

    Ranae waterfall is in Mu 6, Tambon Phipun. To get there from Nakhon Si Thammarat city, take the Nakhon-Lan Saka, Chandi road (Highway No. 4015) for 55 kilometers (the same route as to Suan Ai and Suan Khan waterfalls). Then continue on the Chandi-Phipun bus for 18 kilometers. Approximately 1 kilometer before you reach Phipun district office, there is a sign on the right pointing to the waterfall. Take that road for 10 kilometers. This beautiful ten-level waterfall is well worth a visit.

    Amphoe Na Bon

    Khlong Chang waterfall and trekking on Khao Men are must things to see and do in this district. The waterfall has 7 tiers and is one of southern Thailand’s most beautiful. The waterfall originates in Khao Men which is the third highest mountain after Khao Luang and Khao Nan (Nakhon Si Thammarat mountain range). The waterfall area is still a verdant forest. Trekking up the 1,235-meter-high Khao Men is recommended as a cool mist covers it the year round and it possesses more than 300 exotic plant species. To get there, take the Nakhon Si Thammarat-Thung Song road to Khuan Mai Daeng intersection. Turn right towards Na Bon on NS2001 Road for about 11 kilometers to the waterfall. The recommended time for trekking is 2 days and 1 night and the most suitable period is December to April. Please contact the 17th Volunteer Territorial Defence Company of Na Bon at tel. (075) 491244.

    Traditions and Festivals

    Hae Pha Khun That Festival is celebrated at Phra Borom That Chedi. The pagoda is considered to be the representative of Lord Buddha and is believed by locals to possess unsurpassed might of righteousness as it contains holy relics. Every year Buddhists pay homage to the pagoda by organizing a procession bearing a religious cloth to wrap around the pagoda to bring good fortune and success. This festival is held twice a year during Makha Bucha Day (the 15th full-moon night of February) and Wisakha Bucha Day (the 15th full-moon night of May).

    Festival of the Tenth Lunar Month is a grand event of the province and of southern Thailand. This festival is held from the 1st waning-moon night to the 15th waning-moon night every September. It is held to pay respect to deceased ancestors. According to Buddhism beliefs, the dead had many sins and was sent to hell to become a demon. The demons are allowed to come up to meet their relatives for 15 days in September, but must return to hell before sunrise of the 15th day. The living try to appease the spirits by taking food to temples to make merit. Beginning on the 13th day, people will go shopping for food to be given. The 14th day is spent preparing and decorating the food tray, and the 15th day is the actual merit-making day. The tray presented nowadays has elaborate designs but still retains traditional components. Contests to find the most beautiful tray are held. A magnificent procession proceeds along Ratchadamnoen Road on the 14th day.

    Chak Phra or Lak Phra Festival is influenced by Indian culture, which expanded into the province a long time ago. The festival signifies the joy that people had when Lord Buddha returned from a star and the Lord was invited to sit on a throne and carried to a palace. In practice, locals would bear a Buddha image holding a bowl in a procession around the city. This is a great way for escape from daily routine and it is a fun competition to find who is the most religious. Held in October, the festival is preceded by activities 7 days before, such as beating drums, playing castanets and decorating the ceremonial throne for the image. The actual ceremony is usually held only on the last day of the Buddhist lent. People would take the image from the temple in the morning and proceed to Benchama Rachuthit School in Amphoe Muang. This is also done in front of Ron Phibun district office. In addition, there is a water-borne procession on Pak Phanang River in Pak Phanang, which coincides with an annual boat race for a trophy from the Crown Princess.

    Local Sports

    Cow fighting is an identity of southern Thailand and is an ancient sport of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Many details are involved in staging a contest. Cows selected will have the best breeding and will be trained and carefully looked after. The contest itself is held weekly with districts not far from the city taking turn to host, which are Muang, Pak Phanang, Chawang, Thung Song, Hua Sai, and Ron Phibun.

    Handicrafts and Local Products

    Nakhon nielloware is a famous craft of the province and is well known since the old days. There are two types; black surface with white designs and black surface with gold designs. The Nakhon Si Thammarat College of Arts and Handicrafts teaches this craft. Nielloware of this province is popular for its durability and intricate designs by hand. The finished product is a bright, shiny black object with beautiful patterns. Items include rings, necklaces, bracelets, bowls, pedestals, and trays. The best shopping area is Tha Chang Road, behind Sanam Na Muang in the area of Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipality, and the Tha Wang market area.

    Brassware can be found at the Suan Maphrao Thai-Muslim village behind Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan. The only brassware product now available is a cylinder for making noodles.

    Necklaces have long been the work of local silversmiths who can create gold, silver and mixed (gold, silver and an alloy) necklaces. The center is at Tha Chang Road behind Sanam Na Muang.

    Shadow play making is an art that goes with the popular southern entertainment of shadow play. Thai shadow play figures have been transformed from those found in Java so that they are now very Thai. The hands and feet of the figures are fully movable during performances. The hide used can be either raw cow or goat hide. Designs are made by using chisels of various sizes to make small holes along drawn patterns. The price of each figure varies according to the delicateness and size of each one. Shadow play figures are now important products of Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung. Nakhon Si Thammarat city, in particular, has plenty of shops selling this unique product.

    Yan Liphao basketry is another famous product of the South, particularly in Nakhon Si Thammarat where people have been making it for over 100 years. Yan Liphao is a climbing plant that grows in damp places. It likes to exist among other plants. The trunk is very tough and durable, so locals found a way to make good use of it by making household goods such as handbags, tobacco boxes, tea utensils, etc. Some pieces are encased in silver alloy, gold alloy or gold. It takes around 10 days to a month to make one item, depending on the details of the design. The major Yan Liphao production spots are Ban Mon, Tambon Tha Rua and Ban Na Khian, Tambon Na Khian, both in Amphoe Muang, and families in Fort Vajiravudh.

    Kapho fans are made from a kind of palm called Ton Pho by locals. The villagers of Ban Khok Yang in Ron Phibun use their spare time to make the fans. The leaves are dried and then woven into fans. Some are dyed into bright colors and sold at reasonable prices. Kapho fans are well known and sold throughout the country. Fans in Nakhon Si Thammarat can be bought at stores at Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, souvenir shops on Tha Chang Road and in Bowon Bazaar in the Tha Wang market area.

  2. #2
    Newbie jickeyswhop's Avatar
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    13-09-2011 @ 01:45 AM
    nakhon si thammarat
    anyone got any car rental numbers for nakhon si im heading back over for a couple of months again next month to bring the kids back home and i need something safe to bring them round in cant be driving her brothers pick up anymore with no seatbelts in he back

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    Cow fighting is an identity of southern Thailand and is an ancient sport of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Many details are involved in staging a contest. Cows selected will have the best breeding and will be trained and carefully looked after. The contest itself is held weekly with districts not far from the city taking turn to host, which are Muang, Pak Phanang, Chawang, Thung Song, Hua Sai, and Ron Phibun.
    I've been a few times, unfortunately all my pics are in the UK. Every time I'm down there these days it's not on locally. I go to the stadium just near Cha Mao market or Hua 'Pan as it is known locally. Always get a fantastic welcome from the locals, usually end up sitting in the commentators box as guest of honour.

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    Member Mousepad's Avatar
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    02-11-2014 @ 09:45 AM
    DD, nice copy and paste ....

    Only one car rental place left .... not including me. jickeyswop, I'll try and find the number for you. Had it a couple of weeks ago but due to no interest threw it away.

  5. #5
    Newbie jickeyswhop's Avatar
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    13-09-2011 @ 01:45 AM
    nakhon si thammarat
    Quote Originally Posted by Mousepad View Post
    DD, nice copy and paste ....

    Only one car rental place left .... not including me. jickeyswop, I'll try and find the number for you. Had it a couple of weeks ago but due to no interest threw it away.
    iv been seraching on the internet and cant find anything im heading over on the 23rd and need something asap when i get ther thers afew in hat yai and songkla if all else fail thats wer il go

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