An interesting and off beat destination, Nakhon Si Thammarat (Nakhon Si to its friends) is definitely worth taking the time to check out.
The provincial capital, Nakhon Si Thammarat, was traditionally one of southern Thailand's commercial and transportation hubs. This role has now been taken over by the city of Hat Yai further to the south. As a result of this shift in influence, Nakhon Si Thammarat, while remaining Thailand's fourth largest city, is a more captivating, unadulterated place to visit.
Quite well set up for tourism, the city has an excellent transportation network, some good, cheap hotels, plenty of religious sites and loads of great food along with a large and helpful TAT office. The only thing missing is the tourists. The city is 780km from Bangkok and it has a population of around 85,000.
The province sits on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand and is bordered by Surat Thani to the north, Phattalung and Songkhla to the south and Krabi to the west.
Yet despite its proximity to the Don Sak and Khanom piers from where the ferries run out to the gulf islands of Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan, Nakhon Si Thammarat sees but a trickle of foreign tourists.
Predominantly mountainous with substantial forest areas including the outstanding Khao Luang National Park, Nakhon Si Thammarat also has a selection of beaches along its long, largely undeveloped coastline. There are loads of attractive coastal villages great for camping and as already mentioned, downtown Nakhon Si Thammarat is a good, and very local, place to spend a couple of days.
Downtown Nakhon Si Thammarat consists of four long and narrow parallel streets that stretch from north to south for several kilometres. The newer and busier part of town with most of the hotels, shops and restaurants is situated to the north around the train station. The older, more historical part of town is located to the south and it contains the famous wats and museums.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has an office in Nakhon Si Thammarat at Sanam Na Muang Park off Ratchadamnoen Rd. T: (075) 346 5156, F: (075) 34 6517.
Nakhon Si Thammarat has a good hospital with English-speaking staff at Maharat Nakhon Si Thammarat Hosptial Ratchadamneon Rd. T: (075) 34 0250.
The Tourist Police can be contacted anytime, anywhere in Thailand by telephoning 1155. The Nakhon Si Thammarat police station is located on Phaniad Rd between Yommarat Rd and Ratchadamneon Rd. The police can be reached at (075) 35 6500. The highway police can be reached at (075) 34 1175.
The post office is on Ratchadamneon Rd between Pratukhao Rd and Phaniad Rd. It's open 08:30 - 16:30 weekdays and 09:00-12:00 on Saturday. E-mail and international telephone services are available 08:00-23:00 on the second floor.
There are a few internet cafes located on Ratchadamneon Rd and Yommarat Rd. The best bet is to use the Internet at the post office. Rates are affordable at 20-40B per hour.
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Text and/or map last updated on 29th October, 2015.
Last reviewed by: Stuart McDonald
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org
with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel
by Alain de Botton.