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.
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Text and/or map last updated on 30th October, 2013.