Nakhon Pathom is a small province located just 56 Kms. from Bangkok. The province features an ancient religious structure called "Phra Pathom Chedi”, the first religious landmark that signified the influx of Buddhism into Thailand. Nakhon Pathom is also renowned for its abundant fruits varieties and famous dishes.
Formerly situated by the sea, the city prospered during the Dvaravati civilisation. According to archaeological findings, Nakhon Pathom was the first city to possess influences of Buddhism and Indian civilisations. From the Phra Pathom Chedi and other remains discovered in the city area, it is believed that the city was a centre of civilisation in that era. People of different races settled in Nakhon Pathom. However, a change in the course of the river caused a draught that forced the people to migrate and settle on the banks of river, and these communities developed into towns. The new town was called "Nakhon Chaisi” or "Sirichai”, leaving Nakhon Pathom deserted for hundreds of years until the reign of King Rama IV. While His Majesty was in monk hood, he travelled to Nakhon Pathom and found the Phra Pathom Chedi that he regarded to be the largest pagoda of all. When King Rama IV ascended to the throne, he commanded that a bell shaped Chedi be built to cover the former Chedi. The surrounding area was also renovated and improved. He also commanded that a water canal be dug to facilitate commuting, which was called Chedi Bucha canal. During the reign of King Rama V, the construction of railways to the south began, at that time Nakhon Pathom was still a heavily forested area. King Rama V also commanded that the town be relocated from Tambon Thana, Amphoe Nakhon Chaisi, to the Phra Pathom Chedi area as it used to be. Nakhon Pathom has been there ever since.
During the reign of King Rama VI, a palace was built at Tambon Sanam Chan as a temporary residence on his travels and many roads were constructed. A large bridge was also built over the Chedi Bucha canal, which His Majesty named "Saphan Charoensattha”. Later, he commanded that the name of Nakhon Chaisi be changed to Nakhon Pathom , but the name of the prefecture was still called "Nakhon Chaisi” until the reign of King Rama VII when the calling of the prefecture was ended. Nakhon Chaisi is now one of the districts in Nakhon Pathom.
Nakhon Pathom covers an area of 2,168 square kilometres or 542,081.6 acres. It is divided into 7 administrative districts or Amphoe, they are: Amphoe Muang Nakhon Pathom, Amphoe Buddhamonthon, Amphoe Sam Phran, Amphoe Nakhon Chaisi, Amphoe Bang Len, Amphoe Kamphaeng Saen, and Amphoe Don Toom. Most of the areas are plains with no mountainous land, plateau are found in the west east of Amphoe Muang and Amphoe Kamphaeng Saen. The plains along the Tha Cheen River (Nakhon Chaisi River) are the location of Amphoe Nakhon Chaisi, Amphoe Sam Phran, and Amphoe Bang Len. These fertile lands provide agricultural area for people, thus most of the residents earn their living from agriculture; plantations, farming, growing food crops, and fruit orchards. Especially so of pomelo. Nakhon Pathom is well known for pomelo, some call the Nakhon Pathom the sweet pomelo town.
The province's highlight is the large Phra Pathom Chedi Ratchaworawiharn , which houses an equally large proportioned standing Buddha image. As one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Thailand, the original stupa (non-Thai chedi) is believed to have been built between the 2 nd century BC and 5 th century AD. It commemorates the arrival of the first Buddhist missionaries in Thailand sent here from India in the 3 rd century BC. The building fell into decay in the 11 th century and was not properly restored until the reign of King Rama IV in the early 19 th century. Beautifully adorned with golden tiles, the 127-m tall chedi dominates the town and is the tallest Buddhist monument in Thailand and in the world!
Two km west of the chedi is the Sanam Chan Palace built by King Rama VI in 1907 and completed 4 years later. Within an area of 355 acres, the compound houses a group of throne halls and pavilions with an unusual mixture of classical French, English Tudor and traditional Thai architectural styles. Opened to the public are 2 main buildings, the Phra Tamnak (royal residence) Chali Mongkhon At and the Phra Tamnak Mari Ratchabanlang. The former is a western-style building with a statue of "Ya Le', the king's favorite dog, while the latter displays an exhibition of the king's personal utensils, royal photographs, and writings. Nearby is the Thai-style house, ‘Tamnak Tahp Khwan', that once served as the king's temporary residence.
The Rose Garden is a well-manicured garden that is a part of the Rose Garden Country Resort. The chief attraction is the traditional Thai cultural performances conducted daily. The one-hour show features demonstrations of Thai classical dances, ancient sword fighting, a Thai wedding, the ordination of a monk, and Thai boxing. The model Thai village provides demonstration of fruit-carving, basket weaving and other craft skills.
Just 1 km north of the Rose Garden is the Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo featuring crocodile wrestling and elephant rides. The 22-acre park houses many different wild animals and thousands of crocodiles, including the world's largest albino crocodile.
On the way from Bangkok to Nakhon Pathom, you'll pass the Human Imagery Museum containing authentic looking, life-sized fiberglass statues of notable figures in Thai history, including the impressive Chakri dynasty kings (Rama I-IX), a number of renowned monks, and common scenes depicting historical, rural Thai life.
Phra Prathon Chedi is another ancient chedi and is second largest after Phra Pathom Chedi. Legend has it that the pagoda was constructed by Phraya Phan to dedicate to his grandmother who had raised and was killed by him as a token of atonement for his sinful deed.
Within the Wat Phra Ngam grounds, a short distance from the province's railway station, is a large molehill believed to be the base of a large ancient monument dating back to the same period as the Phra Pathom Chedi.
South of Phra Pathom Chedi is Wat Phra Men , another temple believed to have been constructed during the same period as Phra Pathom Chedi. Artifacts discovered here include different sized Buddha images and stucco reliefs from stupas , which are now housed at the Bangkok National Museum and at Phra Pathom Chedi National Museum.
Located on the bank of the Nakhon Chaisri River in Samphran District, Wat Rai Khing houses a highly revered, principal Buddha image of Luang Phor Wat Rai Khing. Legend has it that the image was found floated in the river and was requested to reside in the concrete pavilion at this temple. The temple is also renowned for its natural fish sanctuary inhabited by hundreds of thousands of fishes.
Phuttha Monthon is a Buddhist precinct and botanical garden covering more than 100 acres of land built to commemorate the Buddha's enlightenment more than 2,500 years ago. The compound houses many religious buildings and is dominated by a 15.8 m, bronze, walking Buddha image that is considered to be the world's tallest image in the world. The complex is a popular venue for large-scale celebrations of major Buddhist holy days.
Wat Phra Pathom Chedi Ratchavoraviharn this is a first class royal monastery. The temple houses Phra Pathom Chedi, the largest pagoda in Thailand. Phra Pathom Chedi is the official provincial symbol of Nakhon Pathom.The present Phra Pathom Chedi was built during the reign of King Rama IV in 1853, under his royal command, the new Chedi was constructed to cover the former Chedi of which the shape was of an upside down bell shape with a Prang top. It is assumed that the former Chedi dates back to the year 539 AD due to the fact that the upside down bell shaped Chedi has a similar style to the Sanchi Chedi in India which was built in the reign of King Asoka. The construction of the new huge Chedi was completed in the reign of King Rama V in 1870 AD. In all, it took 17 years to build.
The completed Chedi is a circular one that features an upside down bell shape Chedi (Lankan style). The height from ground to a top crown is some 120.45 metres, and a total diameter at the base is 233.50 metres. The sacred Chedi houses Lord Buddha's relics. During the reign of King Rama VI, Wat Phra Pathom was renovated and later the temple became the royal temple of King Rama VI. Within the monastery compound, there are various interesting historical items, including the Phra Ruang Rodjanarith ,an image of Buddha bestowing pardon, is enshrined in a vihara located to the North and in front of Phra Pathom Chedi. The casting of this Buddha image was casted during the reign of King Rama VI: the image's head, hand, and feet were brought from Muang Srisatchanalai, Sukhothai.
Under royal command, a wax sculpture of the Buddha image was moulded. The casting process was held at Wat Phra Chettuphon in 1913. Later, the Buddha image was enshrined in the vihara, located on the north side at the top of a huge staircase. The King granted the name of "Phra Rung Rodjanarith Sri-intharathit Thammamopas Mahavachiravuth Rachpuchaniyabopitr" to this Buddha image. At its base, the relics of King Rama VI are housed. Additionally, there are:
Wat Phra Pathom Chedi Museum The museum is located at a lower level in the east of the church. It houses artefacts and historical remains which were discovered during the excavations in Nakhon Pathom including the coffin and funeral ritual set that were used in Ya-Lei's cremation ceremony. Ya-Lei was a dog very dear to King Rama VI, that was shot and died. The King was much saddened and commanded to building of a monument for Ya-Lei as a token of his grief. The museum is open daily from 09.00-16.30 except Monday and Tuesday.
Then there is the National Museum of Phra Pathom Chedi This is also worth a visit. The National Museum of Phra Pathom Chedi is located to the south of the Pathom Chedi compound. It is a 2 storey modern Thai building that houses artefacts and historical remains, most of which dates back to Dvaravati period and were found during excavations in Nakhon Pathom. For more information, contact Khun Sunthorn, Pali Union Education Foundation tel: 257-745 or Khun Panom Taeng On, Phra Pathom Chedi Treasury and Preservation Office tel: 242-143. The museum is open daily from 09.00-16.00 except Monday, Tuesday and National Gazette holidays.
Nakhon Pathom Palace , located to the east and not far from Wat Phra Pathom Chedi. At present, it houses the Nakhon Pathom Municipality. Prince Damrong Rachanuphab mentioned the reason for building this palace in the book "Tamnaan Wang Gao" (or Tales of the Old Palaces) that during the renovation of Phra Pathom Chedi, it was inconvenient to come and go from Bangkok to Nakhon Pathom within a day, thus staying overnight was obligatory. Under the royal command of King Rama IV, the palace was built near the Phra Pathom Chedi, similar in concept to those palaces in the Ayutthaya period whereby the King commanded that a palace be built on the perimeter of the temple housing the Phra Buddhabat (Buddha's Foot Print). The palace was given the name " Phra Nakhon Pathom " and the canals of Mahasawas and Chedi Bucha were dug to facilitate commuting by boat between Bangkok and Nakhon Pathom.
Neun Wat Phra Ngam
Neun Wat Phra Ngam Situated at Phra Ngam temple, Tambon Nakhon Pathom, near Nakhon Pathom Railway Station. At this temple, during excavations, a large Chedi dating from Dvaravati era and artefacts including dilapidated sandstone Buddha images, Sema Dhama Chakra (Buddhist Wheel of Virtue used signify temple boundaries), statues of crouching deer, bronze Buddha images, and earthen Buddha images, which were made with unsurpassed craftsmanship. Prince Damrong Rachanuphab explained that the origin of the name "Wat Phra Ngam" (temple of magnificent Buddha images) was due to the beauty of the discovered earthen Buddha images, the temple was given such name.Some of them are housed at the National Museum and others at Phra Pathom Chedi. All of the discovered artefacts dates back to the Dvaravati period, which are the same age as those found around Phra Pathom Chedi.
Neun Dhamma Sala
Neun Dhamma Sala It is located at Dhamma Sala temple, Tambon Dhamma Sala, 6 Kms. to the east of Phra Pathom Chedi, on the South-side of Petchakasem Road. The physical appearance is that of a hill with a tunnel opening that is believed to connect Wat Phra Mayn to Wat Dhamma Sala. From hearsay, there are various valuable treasures like ancient pottery but which may not be taken out because there is a treasure guardian spirit watching over.
Wat Phra Mayn
Wat Phra Mayn is situated at Ananta Uttayan Park, Tambon Huai Chorakae, to the south of Phra Pathom Chedi. It is an abandoned temple that nowadays resemble a large hill. Also discovered here are other artefacts which include bronze Buddha images as well as arms, thighs, and hands from a laterite Buddha image, Yaksa Deva (Thai mythical giant gods), Lotus Lion Deva, and stucco reliefs from the stupa ruins. At present, they are exhibited at the Bangkok National Museum and Wat Phra Pathom Chedi. During the reign of King Rama VI, Prince Damrong Rachanupap brought two large pairs of the Buddha's Foot Print replica from Wat Phra Men and placed them on an outside corridor of Phra Pathom Chedi. During an excavation by the Fine Arts Department and the French archaeologists in 1938, remains which resembles an enormous stupa were discovered. It was a square-based stupa with very high-indented corners; the remains themselves were 12 metres high, with arched windows on four sides within which each houses a sitting laterite Buddha image. Later, the Buddha images were enshrined at Wat Phra Pathom Chedi. It is believed that these laterite Buddha images date back to the Dvaravati period, the same period as Phra Pathom Chedi, which is no less than 1,000 years old.
Phra Padhone Chedi Another historical site located in Wat Phra Padhone Chedi temple, Tambon Phra Padhone. It is located 2 Kms. to the east of Phra Pathom Chedi down Petchakasem Road. The former shape of Phra Padhone Chedi was an upside down bell like other Chedi that was built in Dvaravati period. As Wat Phra Padhone Chedi is located in the middle of the ancient city of Nakhon Chaisi thus several artefacts were discovered during excavations. Some of the discovered items include Buddha images, heads of Buddha images and Buddha images in terra cotta, as well as a bronze figure of a garuda gripping naga under it's claws, which is the official symbol of King Rama VI.
Neun Phra or Neun Yai Hom ,located in Tambon Don Yai Hom. Take the Petchakasem Road from Nakhon Pathom heading into Bangkok for about 5 Kms., you will arrive at a T-intersection, turn right onto Settakit 2 Road (Ban Paew-Don Yai Hom Road) and proceed for about 9 Kms.
Neun Yai Hom is on your left and another 150 metres into a side road, located in the middle of the rice fields. Amphoe Ban Paew is an ancient site. In 1936, Phra Dhamma Vathi Kanachan (Luang Pho Ngeun), the abbot of Wat Don Yai Hom, dug up broken bricks from the base of the hill to build a church. Digging down further, he found two square green laterite pillars both about 4 metres high with a unique carving at the crown of the pillars that resembled pillar doors of the Sanchi Chedi of King Asoka Maharaj, and a laterite statue of a crouching deer, another Dvaravati period Buddha image, and a broken stone Sema Dhamma Chakra (Buddhist Wheel of Virtue used signify temple boundaries). The laterite stone pillars had a gap at the top for placing the Sema Dhama Chakra. This is the same style as those found at Phra Pathom Chedi, Wat Phra Ngam, Wat Phra Padhone, and Sanam Chan Palace. Presently, the pillars are at Wat Don Yai Hom, the laterite crouching deer and the Buddha images are on exhibit at the Bangkok National Museum. These discoveries confirm that this area was once an ancient temple and that the hill must have been a large Chedi that was in the temple compound dating back to the Dvaravati period, or earlier, roughly about 1,000 years ago. It is a revered and important historical site.
Bang Len Province attraction
Wat Lampaya Floating Market , situated in front of Lampaya temple, on the Tha Cheen River. The floating market was initiated by the Tambon Lampaya Cultural Council and Lampaya temple. It is a centre of trade for fruits and vegetables as well as agricultural produces including rattan ware, woven cotton, dyed cotton, and inexpensive food. Local food like noodles with beef, Thai desserts, and steamed curried fish patty, are sold by local vendors who do their trade in their boats. In front of the temple is another haven for the various species of fish including big catfish-like fresh water fishes, black ear, and giant gourami. The cruise services along Tha Cheen River are also available. Several types of boats cater to the needs of the visitors, which include:
Ancient rowing boat : cruising along Tha Cheen River: leaving from Wat Lampaya, paying homage to Chao Mae Thabthim Shrine, the most revered shrine of Tambon Lampaya. The trip costs 20 Baht/person. It takes around 30 minutes;
Towed boat : a round trip along Tha Cheen River: departing from Wat Lampaya to Wat Sukvatanaram. Feeding fish can be done in front of Wat Lampaya. The trip costs 50 Baht/adult and 20 Baht/child.
Passenger boat: leaving from Wat Lampaya to Wat Bang Phra (Wat Luang Pho Pern). The trip takes two and a half hours. An adult fee is 50 Baht, a child fee is 20 Baht.
This floating market is open only on Saturdays and Sundays, from 06.00-15.00.
* By Car :
- Take the Pinklao-Nakhon Chaisi route, turn right onto a bridge that leads to Salaya, continue driving, passing Mahidol University, then take a left turn in front of Buddhamonthon District Office, and then take a right turn at Buddhamonthon Police Station for another 24 Kms. Wat Lampaya is on the left. The trip takes around 45 minutes;
- Take the Bangbuathong route, keep going for about 10 Kms., look for a sign that points to Bang Len, take a left turn there and proceed for 20 Kms., at the next intersection (before reaching the bridge crossing the Tha Cheen River), take a left turn and keep going for another 9 Kms. Wat Lampaya will be seen on the right.
* By Bus:
- The Transport Company operates a Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom bus. Get off at Nakhon Pathom Market and then take a Song Taew (public pick-up truck) of Nakhon Pathom-Lampaya line, and get off at Wat Lampaya. Take a Song Taew, route Lampaya-Thung-Noi, from a market in Nakhon Pathom town and get off at Wat Lampaya.
- There are also mini-van services available from the Southern Bus Terminal, near Kung Luang Restaurant. The van leaves every 30 minutes, from 05.00-18.00. A one-way fare is 40 Baht. For more information contact Wat Lampaya, Tambon Lampaya Cultural Council tel: 0-3439-1626, 0-3439-1985, 0-3439-2022.
Thai Soang village , located at Ban Ko Rad, Tambon Bang Pla, which is 9 Kms. south of Amphoe Bang Len, via the Bang Len-Don Toom route. The village is home to Thai Soang or Thai Soang Dum (Thai Soang usually wear black dresses) or Lao Soang, who migrated from Ban Nong Prong, Amphoe Khao Yoi, Petchaburi, who have a distinct culture and tradition of their own. The village also features interesting handicraft like weaving and rattan ware.
San am Chan Palace
Phrabat Somdej Phra Monkut Klao Chaoyuhua Museum (Sanam Chan Palace) Located in the town of Nakhon Pathom 2 Kms. west of Phra Pathom Chedi. It occupies an area of about 888 Rais (about 355 acres). The palace was constructed by command of King Rama VI in the year 1907 when he was the Crown Prince. Phraya Silprasit supervised the construction which, in the beginning, there were two halls: Phra Thinang Phiman Pathom and Phra Thinang Aphirom Reudi, both halls were granted names on August 27, 1911. Later, the Ratanasingh altar that was housed in Samakki Mukamat Hall was adorned with the royal umbrella on June 7, 1923.
The construction of this palace was inspired by the renovation of Phra Pathom Chedi which were to the satisfaction of King Rama VI. The King saw that Nakhon Pathom was an ideal place for a leisurely stay due to the magnificent landscape. Furthermore, King Rama VI also saw that Nakhon Pathom had the ideal terrain capable of deterring invasion by enemy forces using the river as their route. This resembles to the Rattanakosin Era year 112 incident, whereby French troops anchored their battleships at the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand blocking the way out and King Rama VI did not want this kind of incident to be repeated. He also intended to converted Sanam Chan Palace to be the heart of the second capital should a crisis again develop.
Sanam Chan Palace covers a vast area with a big court in the middle, surrounded by ring roads, with water canals on the outer perimeter. The beautiful halls that located in the middle of the Palace include:
Phiman Pathom Hall It is the first hall to be built in the Sanam Chan Palace. It is of European architecture, a 2-storey building in which King Rama VI resided before his ascension to the throne. There are several rooms in the hall including His majesty's bedroom, bathroom, dining room, and dressing-room among others. In this hall, on a 2-metre teak bench, King Rama VI saw a miraculous vision of the Phra Pathom Chedi, later this hall was called "Phra Thinang Pathihan Tassanai” (the hall in which the King saw the miracle). At present, the bench is located in front of the Phutthaisawan Hall, located in the National Museum. As for the Phiman Pathom Hall, it now house a part of the Nakhon Pathom City Hall.
Apirom Reudi Hall It is a 2-storey hall located to the south of Phiman Pathom hall. At present it houses the offices of the Nakhon Pathom City Hall.
Vatchari Romya Hall This is a 2-storey hall. It was built in Thai architecture: multi-layered roof with colourful tiles on the turret; with a swan-like finial on the roof ridge, representing the head of garuda and small finials jutting out of the 2 corners of the gable. When King Rama VI accessed to the throne, it was his temporary residence. Presently, it is a part of the City Hall.
Samakki Mukmat Hall This is a Thai style hall. The building is raised 1-metre above the ground with 2 staircases running down on both sides. This hall is connected to the Vatchari Romya Hall by a door. It was a meeting hall for King Rama VI and also where he holds court. Furthermore, the hall was also used as a Khone theatre (Khone is a kind of Thai play performed by dancers wearing masks). When the Khone was performed, the performers could stage their performances on the surrounding 3 terraces as well as on the stage. There are two other theatres which are similar: Suan Misakawan theatre and Vachiravut School's auditorium. At present, this hall is a meeting hall of Nakhon Pathom province; it is also used to hold other provincial ceremonies.
Phra Tamnak Chali Monkol-asna This is located nearby in the Southeastern direction. The 2-storey building is of European architecture, plastered in caramel-yellow, with roof tile in red. It was used as a temporary residence of King Rama VI when there were missions that involved with Suer Pah Unit.
Phra Tamnak Mari Ratchrat Banlang This is a 2-storey wooden building and painted in red The building is located opposite Phra Tamnak Chali Monkol-asna and are connected via a walk way. This walk way resembles a bridge with a roof, walls, and windowsThe path walk is similar to a bridge, decorated with roof, wall, and windows as tall as the entire height of the walls.
Phra Tamnak Tabkaeo This is a small building that used to be a temporary residence during winter time. At present, after a renovation it is a residence of the Palad Changwat of Nakhon Pathom. Within the building, there is a fireplace and on the wall is a black and white portrait of King Rama VI done on a slate of white marble. Around 450 Rais (180 acres) of land to the rear of the building is now the campus ground of the Silpakorn University.
Phra Tamnak Tabkwan This a teak building with a palm leaf roof. It is situated on the opposite side of the road from Phra Tamnak Tabkaeo, a little further away from Phra Tamnak Mari Ratchrat Banlang. Under the royal command of King Rama VI, the teak building was constructed to preserve traditional Thai architecture. It is also used for merit-making and some times classic Thai performances would also be held at this building.
Thevalai Kanaesuan or Phra Pikkanesh Shrine It was built to house the image of Phra Pikkanaesuan (or Ganesh), the Indian god of arts. The shrine is located in a large field, in front of the Sanam Chan Palace and is in the centre of the Palace compound. The shrine is deeply revered and is considered the sacred symbol of Sanam Chan Palace.
Ya-Lei Monument This is an actual size iron cast figure. The dog, Ya-Lei, was very close to the heart of King Rama VI. Ya-Lei was a hybrid dog born in the Nakhon Pathom prison. King Rama VI found it when he inspected the prison. Ye-Lei was very fortunate to have caught the eye of the King and was brought to the palace. Ya-Lei was a very smart and loyal dog. The King was very fond of Ya-Lei, so much so that Ya-Lei was envied, and was later shot by an envious person. King Rama VI was much saddened when Ya-Le passed away and commanded that a copper statue of Ya-Lei be cast and placed on a pedestal in front of Phra Tamnak Chali Monkol-asna. The King composed a poem for Ya-Lei that was inscribed below sculpture.
Additionally, there are residential buildings in the Sanam Chan Palace compound that housed the King's staff. Some of the buildings are run-down while others are still in good condition. Chao Phraya Ramrakop's residence, then called "Tab Charoen”, is one of the buildings still in good condition which, at present, houses the office of the Nakhon Pathom Public Health.
Sanam Chan Palace is the most favourite palace of King Rama VI, judging from his frequent visits to this palace. His stays at this palace are always at the same time as the military exercises of the Suer Pah Unit. The King would always inspect the Unit and also command the Unit's exercise. At present, the buildings that were built to serve the Suer Pah Unit, such as the living quarters of the Suer Pah Cavalry Unit and Ranger Unit, and a Suer Pah hospital, can still be seen.
Currently, part of Sanam Chan Palace is under the care and responsibility of Silpakorn University and Nakhon Pathom Province. It is open to the public from Thursday to Sunday, 09.00-16.00. Admission for Thais: an adult fee is 30 Baht, a child fee is 10 Baht. Admission for foreigners is 50 Baht. In case of a group visit, prior approval from Silpakorn Universityis required. Contact can be made at Silpakorn University, Sanam Chan Palace, Nakhon Pathom, tel: 0-3425-3840-4 ext. 103, 0-34 25-3845, 0-3425-5099, 0-3425-5789.
Buddhamonthon This is an important religious site. It is situated in Tambon Salaya and occupies an area of 2,500 Rais (about 1,000 acres). In the B.E 2500 or 1957, the site was built by the government and the people to commemorate the 2500 th year of Buddhism. A huge upright Buddha image, in walking attitude, measuring about 15.8 metres marks the centre of the area. King Bhumibhol Adulyadej granted the name "Phra Sri Sakkaya Thosapol Yan Phratan Buddhamonthon Sutas” to the splendid Buddha image. In all 4 directions of the Buddha's image, there stands 4 landmarks, representing Lord Buddha's birth, enlightenment, the first sermon, and Nirvana (demise). Other interesting places include a Buddhamonthon vihara, a patriarch temporary residence, a guest-monk residence, a religious ceremonies hall, meditation halls, a Buddhism museum, and ornamental flower gardens. At present, important Buddhist ceremonies and festivities are held here, such as the Visaka Bucha Day, Makabucha Day, Asanhabucha Day, and Loy Krathong Festival among others. For group visitors, please contact the Public Relations Section, Buddhamonthon, tel: 441-9012-3.
There are several routes from Bangkok. You can take the Petchakasem Road, and then take a right turn at Km. 22 mark to Buddhamonthon IV Road, and keep going for another 8 Kms. You can also take Pinklao-Nakhon Chaisi route, and turn into Buddhamonthon IV Road and go on for just a few kilometres. The, there is the Buddhamonthon III Road, where you turn to Uttayan Road (Aksa) proceed on Buddhamonthon Road. The Uttayan Road is a picturesque road, with lamp-posts adorned with bird goddesses (Kinnaree), decorations also include fountains and ornamental plants.
Don Whai Market ,situated in Tambon Bang Kratuek. Behind the Don Whai temple is a market that still retains an appearance of a market dating back to King Rama VI period. The old building is made of wood and located on the banks of the Tha Cheen River. Food vendors travel by boats to sell their goods here. Agricultural produce are sold daily from 07.00-18.00. Boats are available for rent for scenic river trips.
Getting there: you can get there via two routes:
+ From Bangkok , take the old Petchakasem Road route, the entrance to Don Whai market is opposite the Elephant Show ground and Sam Phran Crocodile Farm. Take the route to Wat Rai Khing, when you reach the Wat Rai Khing, go on for another 10 Kms. passing also Wat Tha Pud. Don Whai temple will be seen on the left.
+ From Pinklao-Nakhon Chaisi route (new route), take the Buddhamonthon V Road, there is a road sign to Wat Rai Khing, take that road, keep on going for another 4 Kms., you'll see the second sign to Wat Rai Khing, turn right here and go on for another 4.5 Kms, then take a left turn at the T-intersection that leads to Don Whai Market, it will on your left-hand side.
Cruising along the Tha Cheen River is available at Don Whai Market by riding a converted cargo boat and a passenger boat. There are 2 cruise lines: 1) from Wat Don Whai passing Wat Rai Khing, and Wang Pla. 2) from Wat Don Whai passing Wat Rai Khing, Wang Pla, Wat Sanpetch, Wat Decha, the police cadet academy, and the Rose Garden (Suan Sam Phran). For more information, contact Acharn Sawat tel: 0-34 32-1038, 0-1448-8876, 0-1659-5805.
Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo, located on the Petchakasem Road at Km.30 marker, 1 Km. before the Rose Garden. It occupies an area of 62 Rais (about 24.8 acres). There are various kinds of animals on display and show. There are daily elephant shows, elephant ride around the compound, elephant musical shows, crocodile-wrestling shows, and magic shows. It is open daily from 08.30-17.00. Admission for adult Thais is 60 Baht, child fee is 30 Baht. Admission for adult foreigners is 300 Baht, child fee is 200 Baht. For more information call 0-2284-0273, 0-2284-1873, 0-2295-2938-9.
Crocodile wrestling shows commence at 12.45 and 14.20 (Monday-Saturday), additional show times for Sunday are 10.30 and 12.05.
Magic shows commence at 13.15, 15.00 (Monday-Saturday), additional show- time for Sunday is 11.00.
Elephant musical shows commence at 13.45 and 15.30 (Monday-Saturday), additional show time for Sunday is 11.30.
Getting there : you can get there in 2 ways:
+ By Car : drive on Petchakasem Road to km.32, the Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo sign will be on the left:
+ By Bus: take a regular bus line number 123 from Tha Chang, get off at the Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo or take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (old route) on Petchakasem Road (Bangkok-Aom Yai-Sam Phran-Nakhon Pathom) or take a 2 nd class air-conditioned bus of Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok-Ratchaburi, Bangkok-Bang Li lines or take the non air-conditioned buses of Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok-Ratchaburi, Bangkok-Suphanburi lines.
Rose Garden This tourist attraction is located on Petchakasem Road 32 Kms. from Bangkok. It is located adjacent to the Nakhon Chaisi River and occupies an area of 137.5 Rais (about 55 acres). There are a multitude of beautiful floral displays of great variety. AThai-style houses; parts of the area are hotel, lodges, and golf course. It also features an attractive Thai cultural show that commences daily in the afternoon. It is open daily from 08.00-18.00. An entrance fee to the garden for adult is 10 Baht, a child fee is 5 Baht. Admission as well as shows' fee cost 300 Baht for all. For more information call 0-2295-3261-4.
Getting there : there are two ways:
+ By Car : take Petchakasem Road, drive to Km.32 marker, a sign of the garden will be on the left; + By Bus: take a non-air conditioned bus line number 123 from Tha Chang, get off at the Rose Garden or take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (old route) on Petchakasem Road (Bangkok-Aom Yai-Sam Phran-Nakhon Pathom) or take a 2 nd class air-conditioned bus of Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok-Ratchaburi, Bangkok-Bang Li lines or take a non air-conditioned bus of Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok-Ratchaburi, Bangkok-Suphanburi lines.
Wat Rai Khing
Wat Rai Khing is located in Tambon Rai Khing 32 Kms. from Bangkok. It is a civilian monastery built in 1791. Somdej Phra Phuttha Chan (Pook) named this temple after the district. When construction was completed, the Buddha image was brought from Wat Sala Poon and enshrined here, later the locals named the image "Luang Pho Wat Rai Khing”. The Buddha image is in the attitude of Buddha Subduing Mara. The Buddha image is of Chiang Saen style and is assumed to have been built by Lanna Thai and Lan Chang craftsmen. According to legend, this Buddha image was found floating in the river, so the townspeople lifted the Buddha image out of the water and enshrined the image at Wat Sala Poon.
Prince Vachirayan Varoros granted temple the name of "Wat Mongkol Chinda Ram” (with the words "Rai Khing” in parenthesis after the name) but the locals call the temple Wat Mongkol Chinda Ram Rai Khing, later it was shorten to Wat Rai Khing. The temple is well known among Thais, faithful Buddhists frequently pay a visit to Wat Rai Khing to pay homage to the sacred Buddha image. Every Saturdays and Sundays, food and fruits are sold in front of the temple. This temple is also renowned for its natural fish sanctuary, a habitat of hundreds of thousands of Sawai fish (big catfish-like freshwater fishes). Visitors can buy bread here to feed the fish.
Additionally, there is a museum that collects and displays various kinds of artefacts including ancient bowls, mural paintings, and old books, all of which were donated by the townspeople.
Getting there: there are 3 ways: From the intersection in front of Pho Kaew Police Station, from the intersection in front of the Rose Garden, and from the intersection at Phuttha-monthon V Road. For more information on the museum, contact tel: 0-3431-1384, 0-3432-3056
Nakhon Chaisi is a land of "sweet pomelo, white rice, and the beautiful daughter” (Som-o Wan, Khao San Kao, Luk Sao Suai), these unique characteristics, albeit old, still ring true even today. Besides pomelo and white rice, Nakhon Chaisi also offers grape orchards and vineyards.
Another interesting activity in Nakhon Chaisi is taking the river-boat cruises along the Nakhon Chaisi River (Tha Cheen River). Chartered boats are available at Nakhon Chaisi District Pier and restaurants by the river. Cruising to shrimp farms and fruit orchards take around 1-2 hours. For more information contact the Pier in front of Nakhon Chaisi District Office or the restaurants that provide such services.
Thai Human Imagery Museum , located at 43/2 Mu. 1, Pinklao-Nakhon Chaisi Road at Kms. 31, Tambon Kun Kaew. The museum displays life-like wax/fibreglass sculptures of vivid detail. It was created by Ms. Duangkaeo Thippayakonsilp and a group of Thai artists. These breath-takingly real-looking human figures of various characteristics and also replicas of important people are displayed in many sections such as the Great Buddhist Monks, former Kings of the Chakri Dynasty, and One Side of Thai Life: Thai Chess, Thai Family, and Abolishing of Slavery, among others.
The museum is open daily (Monday-Friday from 09.00-17.30, Saturday-Sunday, and national holidays from 08.30-18.00). Admission for adult Thai is 50 Baht, a child fee is 10 Baht. Admission for foreigners is 200 Baht. For more information contact tel: 0-3432-2061, 0-3433-2109, 0-3433-2607.
Wat Klang Bang Kaew is an old temple located in Tambon Nakhon Chaisi. The temple houses a chapel, a vihara, and a principal Buddha image, all of which are very old and assumed, archaeologically, to have been built in the Ayutthaya period. There is a Phra Phuttha Vithinayok museum, exhibiting historical remains, artefacts, as well as utensils of the late monks: Luang Poo Boon (Phra Phuttha Vithinayok Boon Kanthachoti) and Luang Poo Perm (Phra Phuttha Vithinayok Perm Punyavasano). Various Buddha images, amulets, and sacred talismans of both late monks are also on display. On another side of the museum, Thai medicines, herbs, and utensils of craftsmen are displayed. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays, and national gazette holidays from 09.00-16.00. For more information, call: 0-3433-1462, 0-3433-2182.
Thai Farmers' Lifestyle Museum is a house of Uncle Reungchai and Aunt Payom Chamniyom. It is located at Ban Lan Laem, Mu 4, Tambon Wat Lamud. The house-cum- museum displays equipment, utensils, and tools, used in rice farming. Also within the house compound is a handicraft-training centre that trains townspeople to make various products from Water Hyacinth (Pak Tob Chawa).
To visit, please contact tel: 0-3429-6086 in advance.
Fish Sanctuary , located at Mu 1, Tambon Haui Plu. The place is a natural fish sanctuary, which is the habitat of various species of fish typical to the Tha Cheen River. The Fish Sanctuary can be reached via an access road 11 Kms. from the intersection at Nakhon Chaisi District Office.
Herbal Grove, Wat Plug Mai Lai ,situated in Tambon Thung Khwang, 20 Kms. from Nakhon Pathom town on Malaiman road. An entrance to the temple can be seen on the left. More than 500 kinds of herbs abound in the grove which covers an area of 92 Rais (36.8 acres) and in a tranquil ambience. The temple offers various natural therapies including traditional massage, herbal sauna, herbal food, and meditation. For more information contact, Nakhon Pathom Sanitation Office tel: 0-3424-2029, 0-3425-1548 and Wat Plug Mai Lai tel: 0-3420-4044, 0-3420-4470.
Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus (Botanical Garden), located on Malaiman route or 21 Kms. from Nakhon Pathom town. In the university compound, there are number of projects to educate farmers and the general public that include scaled-down projects such as an agricultural technology project, an irrigation system initiated along with the Royal project, an Entomological Park where various species of butterflies are housed, a pilot vegetable plantation plot, and Suan Saen Palm (garden of a hundred thousand palms), which collects various kinds of ornamental palms. For more information contact Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus, Nakhon Pathom tel: 0-2942-8010 ext. 3104.
Ancient City of Kamphaeng Saen , this is an ancient town that is worth visiting. It is located at Mu 5, Tambon Thung Kwang. The ancient town dates back to the Dvaravati period and is believed be as old as Muang Nakhon Chaisi, but is smaller in size. Situated 24 Kms. north of Nakhon Pathom town on Malaiman road, it can be reached by car. At present, it is used as a Boy Scout's camp. The old town is believed to have been constructed by Nakhon Chaisi's former rulers to control a trading route along canals and rivers to promote the town into a seaport-trading centre. The development as well as the deterioration of the two towns must have been almost at the same time. The interesting attractions of Ancient City of Kamphaeng Saen include unchanged ditches and earth dikes surrounding the ditches. Within the Ancient City area, there are small earthern mounds, ponds, and large trees that are homes to various kinds of birds.
Nakhon Pathom possesses a number of interesting activities including site-seeing by boats: there are tours of canals, visiting fruit orchards and orchid farms, this includes:
Boat ride along Klong (canal) Mahasawat to see the fruit farmers at work on two sides of the canal. Touring orchards of pomelo, guava, sweet coconut, and orchid farms. The trip costs 600 Baht/boat. One boat can accommodate 6 persons and the trip takes around 2 hours. For more information, contact Buddhamonthon District Office tel: 0-2441-9830, 0-2441-9865 and Salaya Hospital tel: 0-3429-7067, Bangkok tel: 0-2889-2601-7.
Boat ride along Tha Cheen River ,departing Wat Don Whai with a cargo boat and a passenger boat to witness natural ambience along the river and conjoining canals. There are two routes available:
First: from Wat Don Whai, passing Wat Tha Pud, Wat Rai Khing, and Wang Pla. It runs from 9.30-17.00. The trip takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. An adult fee is 50 Baht, a child fee is 25 Baht.
Second: from Wat Don Whai, passing Wat Rai Khing, Wang Pla, Wat Sanpetch, Wat Decha, the Police Cadet Academy, and Rose Garden. The trip leaves twice daily: 11.00 and 14.00 and takes 2 hours. An adult fee is 80 Baht, a child fee is 40 Baht. For more information, contact Acharn Sawat tel: 034 321-038, 01 448-8876, 01 659-5805.
Boat ride to visit fruit orchards along Nakhon Chaisi River (Tha Cheen River) The fruit orchards are located in Tambon Bangchang, Tambon Klong Chinda, and Chinda Market, all of which are renowned for grapes, mangos, sweet coconuts, and rose apples, as well as floral gardens and other ornamental plant gardens. Plants and agricultural products can be bought directly from farmers. There are cruise services available at Samphran District Office (terminal of Bangkok-Samphran line bus), via Chinda canal and Bangchang canal, passing rose apple orchards, coconut orchards, and orchid farms. This boat ride operates on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, contact the Community Development Office, Amphoe Samphran tel: 0-1942-0836, Tambon Administrative Organisation tel: 0-3422-2698, 0-3431-1367.
Visiting pomelo orchards in Nakhon Chaisi
Touring of pomelo orchards can be done in Amphoe Nakhon Chaisi. For more information, contact the Provincial Agricultural Office tel: 0-3425-3992, 0-3425-9612 and Nakhon Chaisi District Office tel: 0-3433-1475, 0-3433-1827.
Visiting the Suan Thai Tawee pomelo orchard This orchard is located in Amphoe Samphran. Interested parties please call 0-34 31-1899, Bangkok tel: 0-288-94198.
Visiting Banchong Orchid Farm The orchid farm is also located in Amphoe Samphran. For more information, contact tel: 0-34 39-7364, 0-3439-7483.
Olan Lake Water Ski is situated on Buddhamonthon IV road, Tambon Klong Yong-Bang Pasi. It is the centre of various water sports including 5-pole cable ski as well as regular water ski. For more information, contact Olan Issara Enterprise tel: 0-3429-8059-60, Bangkok tel: 0-2234-2850-9 ext. 124,140, 144, 0-2234-4279, 0-2235-2358.
Nakhon Pathom Food and Fruits Fair is annually held during the Chinese New Year, around January-February, within the grounds of Phra Pathom Chedi to promote agricultural products and industrial products of the province. It aims to also promote the fruits that are grown in Nakhon Pathom such as pomelo, sweet coconuts, guavas, and bananas. Other food products like Chinese pork sausage, crispy sweet pork and shredded pork, are also sold at the fair. It also features Chinese buffet arrangement contests and fruit contests.
Songkran Festival is annually held from 13-17 April around Phra Pathom Chedi. During the festival, there are many activities such as the of Songkran procession floats, Chinese Dragon and Lion Dances, Bathing of the revered Phra Ruang Rodjanarit, sand Chedi building, Thai opera, and local entertainments.
Buffet for Elephant and Elephant Queen Pageant is annually held on a National Labour day (May 1 st) at the Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo to show gratitude to elephants living in the grounds. The Elephant Queen Pageant is held to find a rather plump lady who could interpret and display the elephant's gentle character.
Wat Rai Khing Festival is annually held from the 13 th day of the waxing moon to the 4 th day of the waning moon in the fifth month of the lunar calendar. There are many goods sold, from various government units and also from farmers. The fair also features fruit contests and there are many kinds of entertainment at night.
Phra Pathom Chedi Festival The fair takes place annually from the 12 th day of the waxing moon to the 4 th day of the waning moon in the 12 th month of the lunar calendar. It is held on the grounds of Phra Pathom Chedi. During the fair, there are countless stalls selling local products and produce. At night, various entertainment is provided.
Loy Krathong Festival is held annually on the 15 th day of the waxing moon in the 12 th month of the lunar calendar (November). The festival is held at Sanam Chan Palace, and features beauty pageants, Krathong contests, hanging lantern contests, and local entertainment, among others.
Hotels and accommodation
- Chuan Dee Bungalow : 216 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Muang [0 34242003-4, 0 3425 0835 Fax: 0 3421 9095] : 160-300 baht
- Ko Erawan Hotel : 11 Mu.1 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Muang [0 3425 3838-9, 0 3425 3871-4 Fax: 0 3425 3839] : 200-400 baht
- Mit Phaisan : 120/30 Phaya Phan Road Amphoe Muang [0 3424 2422, 0 3425 5444] : 250-400 baht
- Mit Samphan Hotel : 2/11-13 Ratchadamnoen Road Amphoe Muang [0 3424 1422, 0 3425 2010] : 250 baht
- Nakhon Inn : 55 Ratwithi Road Amphoe Muang [0 3425 1152-4, 0 3421 0489-93 Fax: 0 3425 4998] : 525-675 baht
- Panthong : 300/202 Ying Pao Road Amphoe Muang [0 3425 6775, 0 3425 4326] : 300-350 baht
- Piman Hotel : 266 Mu1 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Muang [0 3424 3555, 0 3425 3875-6, 0 3425 7892] : 200-400 baht
- River Hotel : 1156 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Muang [0 3425 0865, 0 3425 4126, 0 3428 0440-6 Fax: 0 3425 0865] : 180 rooms
- Siam Hotel : 2/1-5 Ratchadamnoen Road Amphoe Muang [0 3425 2230, 0 3424 1754 Fax: 0 3425 7317] : 220-340 baht
- Sunya Hotel : 101 Mu 1 Phetkasem Road,Tambon Lam Phaya Amphoe Muang [0 3424 1282, 0 3425 8601-2] : 150-250 baht
- Suthathip : 44/1 Thetsaban Road Amphoe Muang [0 3424 1940, 0 3424 2242] : 150-300 baht
- Tantawan Hotel : 1/2-9 Mu 1, Ying Pao Road Amphoe Muang [03425 6750, 0 3425 6517, 0 3421 0343-4 Fax: 0 3425 6754] : 350-400 baht
- Whale Hotel : 151/79 Ratwithi Road Amphoe Muang [0 3425 1020-4, 0 3424 3072 Fax: 0 3425 3864] : 450-1,500 baht
- The Royal Gems Lodge 2000 : Tambon Salaya Amphoe Phutthamonthon [0 3429 7723-6 Bangkok Tel: 0 2441 0300-3] : 2,000-3,200 baht
- Dream Hotel : 10/93 Mu 8 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Samphran [0 2420 0085, 0 2420 5114 Fax: 0 2431 2022] : 500 baht
- Rose Garden : 21 Mu 2 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Samphran [0 34322544-7, 0 34322588-93 Bangkok Tel: 0 2295 3261-4] : 500-15,000 baht
- Green House Bungalow : 63/43 Mu 3 Tambon Bang Krabao Amphoe Nakhon Chai Si [0 3433 1489] : 100-350 baht
- Sahamit Bungalow : 155 Mu 1 Sukhaphiban 8 Road, Tambon Kamphaeng Saen Amphoe Kamphaeng Saen [0 34351 164, 0 3435 1675] : 100-300 baht
- Amphoe Muang
Around the municipality market, there are many shops selling Hainan chicken & rice, noodles and other food dishes. Popular items of purchase are sticky rice in bamboos and a wide variety of fruits.
- Kalakrangnung Ror Sor 109 : Rajdamnoen Rd., San am Chan, Tel: 0-3425-0354
- Kittiwan : 6/15-16 Songpon Rd., Tel: 0-3424-3174
- Krua Pak Lak : Pipit Prasat Rd., Phra Pathom Chedi, Tel: 0-3424-3226, 0-3425-7215
- Son Ha Seng : 32-33 Phayakong Rd., Tel: 0-3424-2564
- Ton Muang : 9 Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3424-3035
- Ton Muang : 9 Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3424-3035
- Tung Ha Seng : 71/2-3 Tesa Rd., Tel: 0-3424-1703
- Tubkaew : 1/8-9 Na Wang Rd.
- Nakhon Inn Coffeeshop : Nakhon Inn, Rajwithi Rd., Tel: 0-3425-1152-4
- Ban Song San g : 83 Rajdamnoen Rd., Tel: 0-3425-4649
- Poo : 61/13 Rajthewi Rd.
- Amphoe Phuttha Monthon
- Bua Luang : 79/4 Moo 6, Salaya, Tel: 0-2441-9303, 0-2441-9186
- Amphoe Sampran
- Asuka : Suan Sampran, Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3432-2588-93
- In-chan : Suan Sampran, Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3432-2588-93
- Rim Nam : Suan Sampran, Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3432-2588-93
- Ruen Pae : Suan Sampran, Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3432-2588-93
- Wanta : Suan Sampran, Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3432-2588-93
- Sala Loy : Suan Sampran, Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3432-2588-93
- Charoenta Pochana : 91-92 Phetkasem Rd., Tha Talad
- Pae Pin Thong : Entrance to Amphoe Sampran
- Pin Thong Ruen Pae : Riverside, behind Amphoe Sampran district hall
- S and N Bakery : Phetkasem Rd.
How to get there
* By Car
From Bangkok, driving on the old route of Petchakasem Road (Highway No.4) passing Aom Noi, Aom Yai, Sam Phran to Nakhon Pathom or driving on a new route from Bangkok, passing Buddhamonthon, Nakhon Chaisi to Nakhon Pathom.
* By train
The State Railway of Thailand operates daily trains to Nakhon Pathom. For more information contact Bangkok's Hualampong Railway Grand Station tel: 1690, 0-2223-7010, 0-2223-7020 and the Thonburi Railway Station tel: 0-2411-3102.
* By bus
From the Southern Bus Terminal on Boromrajajonnani Road there are two lines of buses.
- Old Route (Bangkok-Aom Yai-Sam Phran-Nakhon Pathom), there are several lines of 2 nd class air-conditioned buses: Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok-Ratchaburi, and Bangkok-Bangli. There are 2 lines of non air-conditioned buses: Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok-Ratchaburi, and Bangkok-Suphanburi.
- New Route (Bangkok-Buddhamonthon-Nakhon Chaisi-Nakhon Pathom)
There are 2 lines of 1 st class air-conditioned buses: Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok Dan Chang (blue bus) or taking the 2 nd class of air-conditioned buses of Bangkok-Damnoen Saduak and Bangkok-Ratchaburi.
For more information, contact the Southern Bus Terminal on Boromrajajonnani Road. Non air-conditioned buses tel: 0-2434-5557-8 and Air-conditioned buses tel: 0-2435-1199.