Introduction

Nakhon Phanom, once the center of the ancient Sri Kotrabun Kingdom, lies adjacent to the majestic Maekhong River, 735 kms. northeast of Bangkok. The lovely setting of the provincial capital is enhanced by the rugged beauty of the jungled mountains which lie beyond the Laotian town of Thakaek, on the opposite bank of the river. King Rama I selected the name Nakhon Phanom, city of mountains, because of this outstanding geographical feature.

During the centuries, Lao and other ethnic groups migrated across the Maekhong River and this is reflected in the local dialects, customs and cuisine of Nakhon Phanom. Many unique folk dances, such as the Sri Kotrabun dance, regarded as the symbol of Nakhon Phanom's long history and the Fon Phu Thai, Sek-Ten-Sak and So Tung Bung are performed on special occasions. The custom of extending a generous welcome to guests can be experienced during a Bai-Sri-Su-Kwan ceremony when a potent brew of home-made liquor is usually served.
There are many ancient religious monuments in Nakhon Phanom. The most highly revered is Pra Thad Phanom in Amphoe Thad Phanom which dates back to the time of the Sri Kotrabun Kingdom.

How to get there

There are three direct flights a week to Nakon Phanom.

Flight Dep. Arr. Duration Effective dates Days
Thai
TG 084
11:30 12:45 1h15min Sunday, 1 July 2001
Sunday, 21 October 2001
 Sunday
Thai
TG 076
12:00 13:15 1h15min Friday, 29 June 2001
Friday, 26 October 2001
 Friday
Thai
TG 080
12:40 13:50 2h05min Tuesday, 18 September 2001
Thursday, 25 October 2001
 Tuesday
 Thursday

There are frequent daily buses from the North eastern Bus Terminal.

Bangkok to Nakhon Phanom

Fare
(Baht)
Distance
(Kms.)
Time
(Hours.)
Departure
(Bangkok)
274 817 9.56 19.00 / 19.30 / 20.00 / 20.30
310 727 11 08.30 / 19.30 / 20.00 / 20.05

Nakhon Phanom to Bangkok

Fare
(Baht)
Distance
(Kms.)
Time
(Hours.)
Departure
(Khon Kaen)
421

817

9.56 17.30
420

817

9.56 17.30
376

727

11 08.00 / 18.15 / 18.25 / 18.30

The distance from Bangkok to Nakhon Phanom is 735 kms. if you are driving, leave Bangkok on Highway No. I, Pahonyothin Road, to Saraburi. At the main junction, 107th Km stone, turn right onto Highway No. II. Follow Highway 2, (Friendship Highway) pass Korat to Ban Phai (a district of Khon Kaen) and turn right onto highway 23. Follow the route for Mahasarakham, Karasin to Sakon Nakhon and then to Nakhon Phanom.

Festivals & Events

Prathat Phanom Festival
Febuary Phra That Phanom Temple, Nakhon Phanom
This Festival, which last for about one week, takes place during the period of the full moon in February or early March. It is one of the biggest and most important festival for the people of the Northeast, both Thais and Laotians.

Annual Illuminated Boat Festival
October - November Mekong River, Nakhon Phanom
The most important festival for the people of Nakhon Phanom, takes place around October 31 - November 4, during the period of the full moon, and marks the end of the Buddhist Rains Retreat. This festival celebrates the time when the Lord Buddha returned to Earth, after spending the Buddhist Rains Retreat in Heaven. This day is called as "Wan Chao Lok" which means "The day the Buddha blessed the World". The people marked their showing of respect by illuminating their boats. This then became a local custom. During this week, there are Dragon Boat racing on the Maekhong River, and the end of the festival is marked by Illuminated Boats being paraded down river for all the people to see. These boats are made from bampoo and decorated with hundreds of lights.

Information provided by Tourism Authority of Thailand

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