Quite a few travellers come to explore the splendid limestone mountains rising beyond the Mekong River town of Tha Khaek in southern Laos. Across the river in Thailand, Nakhon Phanom has no mountain peaks — and virtually no foreign travellers. But it does have one thing that Tha Khaek lacks: a multi-kilometre riverfront walkway and bike lane that takes you past century-old architecture and a ... Read more about The Nakhon Phanom riverfront .
Known as the “Thai-Vietnamese Friendship Village”, Baan Na Chok hosted a young Ho Chi Minh during the mid to late 1920s. Now owned by grandchildren of the folks who owned the property at the time, the small and humble house where he stayed has become a pilgrimage site for ... Read more about Ho Chi Minh's house .
If strolling or bicycling along the riverfront isn’t enough for you, take a ride in the “Happy Cruising” boat to get a closer glimpse of the Lao side. Closely resembling the public river ferries that ply the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, the white boat with red trim departs from an easy-to-find pier across from the Indochine Market. It cruises close to the Thai bank all the way up to St ... Read more about River boat cruise .
Established in 1859, Wat Si Thep is our favourite of Nakhon Phanom town’s temples thanks to its atmospheric grounds shrouded in often-blossoming trees. The ordination hall houses Phra Saeng, a famous bronze Buddha image thought to have been crafted at the same time as Nong Khai’s Phra Sai image by Lao artisans during the days of the Lan Xiang kingdom. Placed high on a twinkling gold and ... Read more about Wat Si Thep Pradittharam .
Known as Wat Okat for short, Nakhon Phanom town’s most important temple occupies a relatively small piece of land near Indochine Market and across from the riverfront. Locals hold the resident twin Buddha images close to their hearts, even if outsiders might find them to be of minimal interest. The older of the two 60 centimetre-tall seated Buddha images, Phra Tio, is named after the type ... Read more about Wat Okat Si Bua Ban .
Rising along the riverfront road towards the south end of town, Wat Maha That was supposedly established in the year 607 CE by a general from Vientiane. It’s not worth going out of your way for unless you’re keen to see all of Nakhon Phanom province’s sacred chedis, but certainly it’s worth a quick stop during a day of cycling along the riverfront. The highlight is a 24-metre-tall ... Read more about Wat Maha That .
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 ... Read more about Old Governor’s Residence .
The furthest north of Nakhon Phanom town’s riverside sights, St Anna’s Church was built in 1926 and continues to serve as a centre of the Catholic faith that was first brought to the area by Vietnamese immigrants. Two tall towers topped by twin steeples and connected by a high footbridge define an architectural style reminiscent of Bangkok’s Assumption Cathedral, which was constructed ... Read more about St Anna’s Church Nong Saeng .