Nakhon Si Thamarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat, The second largest province of the South and the land of predominant Buddhism during the Srivijaya Period, is 780 km from Bangkok. It occupies an area of 9,942 sq km consisting of high plateau and mountains in the west then sloping down towards the east and becoming a basin along the coastline of the Gulf of Thailand. In addition to its great history, Nakhon Si Thammarat boasts pristine verdant jungles abundant with luxuriant vegetation and is also noted for picturesque beaches and beautiful waterfalls.
North : Surat Thani and Gulf of Thailand
South : Phatthalung and Songkhla
East : Gulf of Thailand
West: Trang and Krabi
Festivals & Events
Hae Pha Khuen That Festival
When : 28th February
Location : Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan
Hae Pha Khuen That Festival is celebrated at Phra Borom That Chedi. The pagoda is considered to be the representative of Lord Buddha and is believed by locals to possess unsurpassed might of righteousness as it contains holy relics. Every year Buddhists pay homage to the pagoda by organizing a procession bearing a religious cloth to wrap around the pagoda to bring good fortune and success. This festival is held twice a year during Makha Bucha Day (the 15th full-moon night of February) and Visakha Bucha Day (the 15th full-moon night of May).
Chak Phra or Lak Phra Festival
When : November
Location : Amphoe Mueang
Chak Phra or Lak Phra Festival is influenced by Indian culture, which expanded into the province a long time ago. The festival signifies the joy that people had when Lord Buddha returned from a star and the Lord was invited to sit on a throne and carried to a palace. In practice, locals would bear a Buddha image holding a bowl in a procession around the city. This is a great way for escape from daily routine and it is a fun competition to find who is the most religious. Held in October, the festival is preceded by activities 7 days before, such as beating drums, playing castanets and decorating the ceremonial throne for the image. The actual ceremony is usually held only on the last day of the Buddhist Lent. People would take the image from the temple in the morning and proceed to Benchama Rachuthit School in Amphoe Muang. This is also done in front of Ron Phibun district office. In addition, there is a water-borne procession on Pak Phanang River in Pak Phanang, which coincides with an annual boat race for a trophy from the Crown Princess.
Festival of the Tenth Lunar Month
When : October
Festival of the Tenth Lunar Month is a grand event of the province and of southern Thailand. This festival is held from the 1st waning-moon night to the 15th waning-moon night every September. It is held to pay respect to deceased ancestors. According to Buddhism beliefs, the dead had many sins and was sent to hell to become a demon. The demons are allowed to come up to meet their relatives for 15 days in September, but must return to hell before sunrise of the 15th day. The livings try to appease the spirits by taking food to temples to make merit. Beginning on the 13th day, people will go shopping for food to be given. The 14th day is spent preparing and decorating the food tray, and the 15th day is the actual merit-making day. The tray presented nowadays has elaborate designs but still retains traditional components. Contests to find the most beautiful tray are held. A magnificent procession proceeds along Ratchadamnoen Road on the 14th day.