Beautiful old house
Published/Last edited or updated: 8th February, 2021
In 2006, Nakhon Phanom’s authorities began to renovate the dilapidated old governor’s house alongside the riverside road, and their efforts paid off. While it fails to impress like a good provincial museum, the stately structure now stands as a fine example of early 20th-century French-Indochinese architecture.
Built around 1915 by a Vietnamese architect, the two-storey brick-and-cement house sports tall-and-narrow windows with elegant ocean-blue louvred shutters punctuating cream-yellow exterior walls. Inside visitors are met by a glossy varnished wood antique desk placed on orange-and-white star-pattern tile floors and surrounded by framed photos of Nakhon Phanom’s governors dating back to when the town first came under the sway of the Thai kings.
Restored teakwood stairs take you up to a bedroom where Thailand’s previous (and much loved) king, Bhumibol, stayed during his visit to Nakhon Phanom in the 1950s. Though it’s more of a historical house than a museum, a couple of the old meeting rooms present info boards covering limited history of the area and the various ethnic groups that make up the modern community.
Upstairs, you’ll find some stunning baisri, spire-shaped Thai offerings made of flowers and husks. The grounds also include modest gardens, a coffee shop and the restored old kitchen in a separate building out the back. Along the way here you’ll pass several other heritage houses that were built during the same time period; some have also been restored but most are crumbling.
Address: Soonthornvijit Rd, just north of the TAT office, Nakhon Phanom
Coordinates (for GPS): 104º46'48.34" E, 17º24'57.5" N
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David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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