:: NAKHON PATHOM

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.

:: Attractions

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.