Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, the second largest province of the South and the land of predominant Buddhism during the Srivijaya Period, is 780 kilometres from Bangkok. In addition to its great history, Nakhon Si Thammarat boasts pristine verdant jungles abundant with luxuriant vegetation and is also noted for picturesque beaches and beautiful waterfalls.
The city of Nakhon Si Thammarat is the capital of the province. It is about 610 km (380 miles) south of Bangkok, on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. The city was the administrative center of southern Thailand during most of its history. Originally a coastal city, silting moved the coastline away from the city. The city has a much larger north to south extension than west to east, which dates back to its original location on a flood-save dune. The modern city center around the train station is located north of Old Town.
It is one of the most ancient cities of Thailand, previously Kingdom of Ligor, and contains many buildings and ruins of historical significance. With the fall of the Siamese capital of Ayutthaya in 1767 it regained independence, but returned to its allegiance on the founding of Bangkok. In the 17th century British, Portuguese and Dutch merchants set up factories there and carried on an extensive trade.
Take Highway No. 4 on the Bangkok-Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon route and then Highway No. 41 past Surat Thani-Thung Song until arriving in Nakhon Si Thammarat or Amphoe Phun Phin in Surat Thani, then take Highway No. 401 along the coast to Nakhon Si Thammarat, total distance of 780km.
There are rapid and express trains departing from Bangkok Railway Station to Nakhon Si Thammarat at 5:35PM and 7:15PM respectively. For more information, contact tel. 1690, 0 2223 7010, 0 2223 7020 or call Nakhon Si Thammarat train station at tel. 0 7535 6364, 0 7534 6129.
The train takes anywhere from 12-14 hours. Trains leave the NST Terminal for Bangkok daily at 1pm and 3pm. The NST is in the west, centre of the town. Nearby are hotels, restaurants and cafes.
Regular and air-conditioned buses of the Transport Co. and private companies depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal. The trip takes about 12 hours. Air-conditioned buses, varying in 3 types, leave Bangkok at the following times:
VIP Bus: 5:15PM and 7PM
Standard 1 Bus: 9AM, 6PM and 8.30PM
Standard 2 Bus: 6:40AM, 6PM, 8PM and 10PM
For more information, contact tel. 0 2435 1199-200 (air-conditioned buses).
Travel from Surat Thani can be made by a/c minibus, a/c bus or regular bus. Buses leave from Talat Kaset I (not Talat Kaset II).
Nakhon Si Thammarat Bus Station tel: 0 7534 1125. The provincial bus station lies just outside the town, to the west: 8.4358 99.9522. To get there, turn right from the train station, and walk until you come to the next road on your right. Turn into this and walk until you cross the railway line. The bus terminal is about 2km further along.
On the streets near the train station there are a number of bus company offices selling tickets for buses leaving for provinces north and south.
Travel within the province is easy with mini-bus service around the city. Transport to nearby provinces includes vans, taxis, buses, and trains.
Finding the relevant minibus stops can be difficult.
The one to Trang goes from Bohang (Boh Ang) Rd.
Go right from the train station and turn left into this street about one street along (it has a different name, (probably Klongha Rd) but becomes Bohang). The stop is two or three intersections further along, on the left hand side, you have to look hard or you may walk past it! It is inside a fenced yard. There is a sign outside, but written in Thai. They go every hour on the hour from 7am, and cost B130.
Minibuses to Phuket, Krabi and Hat Yai are on the corner of Maharat and Rachdamnoen Rd. Two streets across and to the right of the train station should be Rachdamnoen Rd, go left into it, about two blocks. There is a sign out front.
Nearby are three other minibus stops, all with signs in Thai.
There are no Tuktuks, but plenty of motorcycle taxis. An occasional meter taxi and samlor (pedal taxi) were noticed, but you will probably need to ask the fare first to where you are going. It is likely that you can hire an empty songteow as taxi hire, but agree on the fare first.
Wat Phra Mahathat (Thai: วัดพระมหาธาตุวรมหาวิหาร) is the most important temple of Nakhon Si Thammarat and southern Thailand. It was constructed at the time of the founding of the town, and contains a tooth relic of Buddha. The 78 m high chedi is surrounded by 173 smaller ones. While the chedi is now in Sri Lankan style, it is said to be built on top of an earlier Srivijaya style chedi. At the base of the chedi is a gallery named Viharn Tap Kaset, decorated with many Buddha statues and elephant heads emerging from the chedi. Viharn Phra Song Ma is the buildings which contains the staircase which leads to a walkway around the chedi above the gallery. At the bottom of the staircase are demon giants (yak) as guardians. Adjoining to the north is the Viharn Kien, which contains a small temple museum. South of the chedi is the large ubosot building, the Viharn Luang. The monk living quarters are located across the street in a separate temple, Wat Na Phra Boromathat. The chedi is the symbol of the Nakhon Si Thammarat province, present in the seal of the province. It is also displayed on the 25 satang coin.
The City Wall. The city chronicle already mentions a fortification when the town was refounded in 1278. Restorations were recorded at the time of King Ramesuan (14th century), as well as King Narai (1686). The latter one was supported by the French engineer M. de la Mare. The walls spread 456 m from East to West, and 2238 m North to South, thus enclosing an area of about one square kilometre. The northern wall had only one gate, called Prathu Chai Nua or Prathu Chai Sak, also the southern wall had only one gate. To the east there were three gates, which connected the town with the sea. To the west were five gates. Today only the northern gate still exists, together with a short stretch of the northern city wall.
National Museum Nakhon Si Thammarat. The museum was opened in 1974 and displays artifacts found in the 4 southern provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Surat Thani, and Chumphon. There is the management of the public service and education and good collection of rare books and important books sent by the National Library in Bangkok for locals to study. Visits to the National Museum Nakhon Si Thammarat fees for visitors to Thailand 30 Baht and Overseas 150 baht edit
Travel to the nearby 'Ban Khiri Wong (29km away from Nakhon Si Thammarat, 25฿ by Songtheaw) for an amazing glimpse at some of the Khao Luang national park and the mountain ranges.
The village is a community village, formed after several natural disasters (flash floods) in the 1980's. The village has a community hospital, and is supported by a fruit selling co-operative.
Yan Li Pao (ย่านลิเภา) is a Thai traditional basketry which originated from the southern part of Thailand, they are very nice but they might come in high prices so you must always bargain with the dealer.
The Big C supermarket is around 10 min walk from the train station within the city
Robinson is a shopping mall with a basement full of computer and mobile shops. The main mobile companies all have their support centers here.
Shadow Puppets are made from dried hide. The hide is pounded until it is almost clear, then cut into intricate characters. It is possible to visit "Suchart House" .
Yan Liphao is a clinging vine that grows in the area. It split into threads and woven into beautiful products. The Yan Liphao Centre ,at Ban Tha Rua (Route No. 4019), 11 km from the town.
Pha Yok is a rare cloth woven only in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The patterns and colours of the fabric are exquisite.
Handicraft of the Kajood (ผลิตภัณฑ์จากกระจูด) is a Thai traditional basketry and tinted which
originated from the southern part of Thailand. It’s OTOP products in Thailand. It has a many handicrafts from kajood. For example mat, basket , bag , shoes , vase, etc. There are several prices from 50-400 baht.
Other crafts include neilloware, silverware and bronzeware. There are a lot of souvenir shops along Tha Chang Road.
Kanom La Tod (ขนมลาทอด) is a crispy fried sweetened flour which is folded into small bite size pieces.
Kanom La Nim (ขนมลานิ่ม) is a ready-to-eat sweetened flour which comes in sheet, they cannot be preserved for more than a week.
JE Cafe and Restaurant, 1763/6-7 Rd, Jamruenwithee T.Thawang, ☎ 0 7535 6963. Small cafe and restaurant, with wifi. edit
Previously, someone had posted here that you should ask monks for alcohol. This is a deliberate insult, as one of the precepts of Buddhism is not consuming alcohol. You may freely buy alcohol at shops all over the city however. So enjoy.
There are street eats near the station on the road one removed in front and parallel, but they are closed down from about 7pm. There are not many restaurants within the centre of town, although a good breakfast of Kao Tom (boiled rice) can be obtained from a restaurant some two blocks from the Mueangthong Hotel on the left of the hotel. There are two restaurants on the right hand side, and the second one charges B25 for the above.
Panthip Restaurant, Boh Ang Road. This is about a block further along from the Trang minibus stop (see above for location). Is very good and very cheap. There is musical entertainment, and a main course, with steamed rice and a large bottle of beer will cost B160.edit
GoDood at Khanom. Rooms with air-cond, 400 baht/night.
Bua Long Hotel 1487/19 Chamroenwithi Rd, Tel: (075) 34 1002 Fax: (075) 34 3418, located near night market. The large rooms are clean and it's hard to beat at 170B for a single room with a bathroom. The owners are very genuine. It have 235 rooms. Sgl fan private b'room 170 THB, Dbl fan private b'room 240 THB, Sgl air-con private b'room 340 THB, Dbl air-con private b'room 420 THB
Siam Hotel 1403/17 Chamroenwithi Rd, Nakhon Si Thammarat Tel: (075) 35 6090, located both the train station & night market. The price for a single with fan is more expensive than other hotels. However, the price for an air-con room is very affordable. The bathrooms could use an upgrade. 60 rooms, Sgl fan private b'room 200 THB, Dbl air-con private b'room 300 THB
Phech Phai Lin 1835/38-39 Yommarat Rd, Tel: (075) 341 896, near to train station. The polite staff are the biggest asset here. Unfortunately, the rooms look more like a YMCA sans the Village People than a hotel and the appearance makes the hotel look run down. 78 rooms, Dbl air-con private b'room 360 THB
Montien Hotel 1509/40 Yommarat Rd, Tel: (075) 341 908 Fax: (075) 345 561, right beside the train station and opposite the night market. The rooms are average, the staff speak limited English and the hotel isn't even signposted in English. It's not worth spending the extra money especially when the Thai Hotel is just down the road. Total rooms: 80, Sgl fan private b'room 260 THB, Dbl fan private b'room 290 THB, Dbl air-con private b'room 450 THB
Muang Tong Hotel. 1459/7-8-9 Jamrernvitee Rd., Nakhon Si Thammarat. Well visible, newish looking hotel but inside the air smells of stale cigarrette. Very popular with Thais. Double A/C rooms for THB 350-400 (warm water, Thai TV, desk), fan rooms 250-300. Free wifi in rooms. Most uncomfortable pillows known to man, hard beds. Lots of street eateries and shopping options just outside. At March 2014, same as above. Is in the road parallel to the train station, one street removed, and quite close to the station.
Nakhon Hotel A cheaper version of the Bua Long, 1477/5 Yommarat Rd, Nakhon Si Thammarat Tel: (075) 35 6318. The rooms are large need decorating and the bathrooms are in dire need of a makeover, but at least the beds are comfortable. Rooms are clean and windows have mosquito nets. 5 min walk to train station. The staff speak a little English. Total rooms: 42, Dbl fan private b'room 200THB, Dbl air-con private b'room 350 THB
Thai Hotel. 1375 Ratchadamnoen Rd, Kahon Si Thammarat. Tel: (075) 34 1509. Centrally located, large clean rooms. Free wifi in rooms. Has a cafe that serves fresh coffee and a bar that stays open late. The night market is two blocks away. Looks like a more expensive hotel, but rooms are from 350 THB.
Silver Mansion. Not signposted in English, also no English spoken at reception. Light green 6-story building on an alley off Jamroenwitee Rd., Nakhon Si Thammarat, a stone throw south of Muang Tong Hotel. Wifi available in the lobby area. Rooms appear clean but have a problem with cockroaches. Tel: (075) 34 2888. Spartan rooms, but reasonably clean. Double A/C rooms THB 270 (cold water, Thai TV, no fridge, curiously no sink), fan rooms THB 200. No wifi. Has an inexpensive kiosk downstairs, lots of cheap foodstalls on Jamroenwitee Road in front.