:: NONTHABURI

Nonthaburi is over 400 years old, dating back to when Ayutthaya was the capital. The town was originally located at Tambon Ban Talat Khwan, a famous fruit orchard where the Chao Phraya River and various canals pass through.

King Prasat Thong ordered the digging of a canal as a shortcut from the south of Wat Thai Muang to Wat Khema because the old waterway flowed into Om River to Bang Yai then to Bang Kruai Canal next to Wat Chalo before ending in front of Wat Khema.

After the new shortcut was completed, the Chao Phraya River changed its flow into the new route that remains today. In 1665, King Narai the Great noticed that the new route gave enemies too much proximity to the capital. Therefore, he ordered that a fortress be built at the mouth of Om River and relocated Nonthaburi to this area. A city shrine still stands there.

Later during the reign of King Rama IV of the Rattanakosin period, he ordered the town moved to the mouth of Bang Su Canal in Ban Talat Khwan. King Rama V then had the provincial hall built there on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River.

 

In 1928, the hall was moved to Ratchawitthayalai, Ban Bang Khwan, Tambon Bang Tanao Si. It is now the Training Division of the Ministry of Interior on Pracha Rat 1 Road, Amphoe Muang, on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. The building is of European architecture decorated with patterned woodwork. The Fine Arts Department has registered it as an historical site. The provincial hall is now on Rattanathibet Road.

:: Attractions

The tiny island of Koh Kret (Kret Island) in the Chao Phraya River was first inhabited by a community of Mon people towards the end of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The Mon craftsmen managed to retain the traditional skills of their forefathers passed down through generations in producing the famous, distinctive style of pottery that dates back many centuries. Koh Kret's pots are known for their fine, red-black glazed surface and intricate designs.

The royal temple of Wat Chalerm Phra Kiat , situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, was built on the site of a 17th century fortress by King Rama III in the 19 th century in honor of his mother, a native of that vicinity. Built with a mix of Thai and Chinese architectural designs, the most striking feature is the intricate detailing on the doors and window frames of the bot. King Rama IV later added a chedi to the attractive temple grounds.

 

The European-style Old City Hall was constructed during the reign of King Rama VI and decorated with fine carved teakwood. The front area facing the Chao Phraya River now serves as a public rest area.


The Humanity Museum located adjacent to the Old City Hall is the first museum of its kind in Thailand. Built in 1961, the top floor contains important historical artifacts, such as a collection of Buddha images from different eras and collection of antique potteries. The ground floor displays the evolution of earth, plant life, animal life, human life, artworks and tools and utensils dating from the past to the present.

Wat Ku was constructed during the period that Phra Cheng moved his entire Mon family into Thailand during the period of the Thonburi Kingdom. The temple contains oil-painted murals drawn by Mon artists. Later, a royal palace was built on the grounds to commemorate and temporarily house the ashes of King RamaV's Queen Sunantha Kumarirat who drowned in a capsized boating accident.The ethnic Mon-style temple of Wat Poramaiyikawat is situated on Koh Kret and features a large, marbled, Mon-style reclining Buddha, wall paintings, and marbled carvings within the bot. Originally called ‘Wat Pak Ow', King Rama V commissioned a restoration of the entire temple, the construction of a new Mon-style chedi, and bestowed upon it its present name. Since the temple displays many Mon artworks, the locals commonly refer to it as ‘Wat Mon'.

Located in Pakkred District, the popular compound of Wat Chonlaprathan Rangsarit is always crowded every Sundays and Buddhist religious holidays with worshippers offering food to monks and listening to sermons as part of their merit making activities.

The riverside Wat Khema Phirataram features a main pagoda, called ‘Phra Maha Chedi ', containing Lord Buddha's relics and Ayutthaya-style Buddha images enshrined in the ubosot.

Located by Klong (canal) Om, the late Ayutthaya-style Wat Amphawan houses an intricately designed, wooden ‘ Hor Trai Klang Nam' , a hall for keeping Buddhist Scriptures located in the middle of a pond.

A traditional floating market convenes at the mouth of the Klong Ban Khu Wiang every morning with farmers paddling boats laden with fruits and produce. It provides a glimpse of a rapidly disappearing traditional way of life.

h fruits and produce. It provides a glimpse of a rapidly disappearing traditional way of life.