Nakhon Si Thammarat walking tour

Lots to see

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

What we say: 3.5 stars

Many of the tourist sights are located in the older part of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Check out the TAT office near the park where the friendly staff can provide you with helpful information. Make sure to pick up a copy of their free map. There are some interesting handicraft stores in the small street behind the TAT office and on Tha Chang Rd. Nakhon Si Thammarat specializes in high quality handicrafts made with gold and white motifs on black niello. Products include necklaces, rings, bracelets, bowls and trays.

Continue down Ratchadamnoen Rd and cross over the canal to see the remnants of the city wall and the old northern gate. There is a 100m stretch of the impressive city rampart remaining, dating originally back to the 14th Century. This wall, once stretching over 400m from east to west and over 2km from north to south, reveals the size and importance of Nakhon Si Thammarat during that time.

Walking south for another kilometre and you'll reach Wat Phra Mahathat, which is the most famous landmark in Nakhon Si Thammarat. This wat is particularly impressive because it is one of the most prestigious wats south of Bangkok. The beautiful courtyard area contains a 77m high chedi dating back to 555 AD. It was restored during the Srivijaya Period. The marbled courtyard contains numerous smaller chedis, Buddha filled cloisters and a 12m whale skeleton. There is also an interesting museum housed in a beautiful old temple building. For only 20B, an incredible range of objects are on display. Unfortunately, there are no explanations in English and very few in Thai so it becomes a bewildering array of religious items, weaponry, household objects, pottery and everything else under the sun strewn around or piled up in dingy corners collecting dust. This is a crazy museum comparable to an ancient Egyptian tomb which has been untouched for thousands of years.

Continue down Ratchadamnoen Rd for another kilometre or so and you will reach a second, larger but more conventional museum; the Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum. It is more organised than the wat museum. This museum contains an equally large number of exhibits from various historical periods plus a large folklore and handicraft section. The museum was opened in 1974 and its exhibits artifacts from the provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Chumphon and Phattalung. The museum is open Wed to Sun from 09:00 to 16:00 and admission is 30B. Contact the museum at (075) 34 1075 for more information.

The older area of Nakhon Si Thammarat is packed with other interesting wats and temples.

Last updated: 24th November, 2006

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Sights in Nakhon Si Thammarat