Nakhon Pathom Province
||This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (May 2015)|
Map of Thailand highlighting Nakhon Pathom Province
|Capital||Nakhon Pathom city|
|• Governor||Chidpong Ritthiprasat (since 2010)|
|• Total||2,168.3 km2 (837.2 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 65th|
|• Rank||Ranked 26th|
|• Density||410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 8th|
|Time zone||ICT (UTC+7)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-73|
Nakhon Pathom (Thai: จังหวัดนครปฐม, pronounced [náʔkʰɔ̄ːn pā.tʰǒm], (Pronunciation)) is one of the central provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Suphan Buri, Ayutthaya, Nonthaburi, Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, Ratchaburi, and Kanchanaburi. The province is renowned for its many fruit orchards.
Mahidol University is in Nakhon Pathom. Originally known as a leading medical university, it now teaches all major subjects, and has grown to rival Chulalongkorn University (in central Bangkok) as the premiere university in Thailand. Mahidol also has a high place among universities in Southeast Asia. Its Salaya (local geographical area name) Campus includes an all-English language international college and it has branch campuses in many other central Thailand locations.
Nakhon Pathom is a small province 56 km from Bangkok. It is in the alluvial plain of central Thailand and is drained by the Tha Chin River (sometimes called the Nakhon Chai Si), a tributary of the Chao Phraya river. The capital city of Bangkok has grown until it actually encompasses the provincial border of Nakhon Pathom.
The name derives from the Pali words "Nagara Pathama", meaning "first city", and Nakhon Pathom is often referred to as Thailand's oldest city. Archaeological remains have been linked to the (pre-Thai) Dvaravati kingdom, dating to the 6th through 11th centuries.
Nakhon Pathom Province centuries ago was a coastal city on the route between China and India; due to sedimentation from the Chao Phraya River, the coast line moved much farther to sea. When the Tha Chin River changed its course, the city lost its main water source and thus was deserted, the population moving to a city called Nakhon Chai Si (or Sirichai). King Mongkut (Rama IV) ordered the restoration of Phra Pathom Chedi, which was then crumbling and abandoned in the jungle. A city gradually formed around it, bringing new life to Nakhon Pathom. A museum presents the archaeological record of the city's history.
Major settlement of the province included emigration beginning in the reign of King Buddha Loetla Nabhalai (Rama II), which included Khmer villages (e.g., Don Yai Hom), the Lanna populated (Baan Nua), and Lao Song villages (e.g., Don Kanak), as well as a major influx of southern Chinese in the late-1800s and early-1900s. Today Nakhon Pathom attracts people from all over Thailand, most notably from Bangkok and the northeast, plus Burmese migrant workers. The province includes industrial zones, major university towns, government offices relocated from Bangkok and agricultural and transport hubs.
The provincial seal shows the Phra Pathom Chedi, at 120.45 meters one of the tallest pagodas in the world. It is in Nakhon Pathom city centre, and has been an important Buddhist center since the 6th century. The current building was created by King Mongkut in 1860. On the pagoda a royal crown is depicted, the symbol for King Mongkut's work on reconstructing the pagoda.
The province is subdivided into seven districts (amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 105 communes (tambon) and 919 villages (muban). There is one city (thesaban nakhon) and 14 townships (thesaban tambon). There are also 102 tambon administrative organizations (TAO).
Wat Phra Pathom Chedi Ratchaworaviharn is one of the main royal temples. Belonging to this temple is the Phra Pathom Chedi, one of the tallest pagodas in the world. The nearby branch of the National Museum displays mostly items of the Dvaravati times, most of them found within Wat Phra Pratone Chedi.
Phutthamonthon is a large park in the east of the province devoted to Buddhism.
Suan Sam Pran is a big garden. Nearby is the Sam Pran Crocodile farm, which includes a zoo and has elephant and crocodile shows.
The Jesada Technik Museum is on the eastern edge of Nakhon Chai Si and has a large collection of old cars, trucks, and planes.
Paya Kong, said to be a former ruler of Nakhon Chai Si, fathered Paya Pan who is said to have built the pagoda at Pra Pratone for his father and the Phra Pathom Chedi at Nakhon Pathom for grandmother Hom who reared him. Historical evidence is not clear. Nevertheless, Paya Kong's statue near the central market of Nakhon Pathom is much revered.
Wat Phra Pathom Chedi Ratchavoraviharn (วัดพระปฐมเจดย์ราชวรวิหาร) 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 chedi was commissioned by King Mongkut (Rama IV) and completed by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1870. The chedi is evidence of the long vanished Dvaravati civilization that once flourished here and by tradition Nakhon Pathom is where Buddhism first came to Thailand.
Nakhon Pathom Palace (พระราชวังนครปฐม) 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).
Neun Wat Phra Ngam (เนินวัดพระงาม) 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. All of the discovered artefacts date back to the Dvaravati period, which are the same age as those found around Phra Pathom Chedi.
Phrabat Somdej Phra Monkut Klao Chaoyuhua Museum (Sanam Chan Palace) (พิพิธภัณฑ์พระบาทสมเด็จพระมงกุฏเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว) The palace was constructed by command of King Rama VI in the year 1907 when he was the crown prince. 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 halls in the middle of the palace include:
- Phiman Pathom Hall (พระที่นั่งพิมานปฐม) It was 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. As for the Phiman Pathom Hall, it now houses part of the Nakhon Pathom City Hall.
- Apirom Reudi Hall (พระที่นั่งอภิรมย์ฤดี) 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 (พระที่นั่งวัชรีรมยา) 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 two corners of the gable.
- Samakki Mukmat Hall (พระที่นั่งสามัคคีมุขมาตย์) This is a Thai-style hall. 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). At present, this hall is a meeting hall of Nakhon Pathom Province.
Phra Tamnak Chali Monkol-asna (พระตำหนักชาลีมงคลอาสน์) This 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 (พระตำหนักมารีราชรัตบัลลังก์) This is a 2-storey wooden building and painted in red. The building is opposite Phra Tamnak Chali Monkol-asna and is connected via a walk way.
Phra Tamnak Tabkaeo (พระตำหนักทับแก้ว) 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. Around 450 rai (180 acres) of land to the rear of the building is now the campus of Silpakorn University.
Phra Tamnak Tabkwan (พระตำหนักทับขวัญ) This a teak building with a palm leaf roof. 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 classic Thai performances.
Thevalai Kanaesuan or Phra Pikkanesh Shrine (เทวาลัยคเณศวร์ หรือ ศาลพระพิฆเณศวร์) It was built to house the image of Phra Pikkanaesuan (or Ganesh), the Indian god of arts. The shrine is in a large field, in front of the Sanam Chan Palace.
Ya-Lei Monument (อนุเสาวรีย์ย่าเหล) The dog, Ya-Lei, was very close to the heart of King Rama VI. 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 died and commanded that a copper statue of Ya-Lei be cast and placed on a pedestal in front of Phra Tamnak Chali Monkol-asna.
Neun Dhamma Sala (เนินธรรมศาลา) 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.
Wat Phra Mayn (วัดพระเมรุ) It is an abandoned temple that nowadays resembles 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 relief from the stupa ruins.
Phra Padhone Chedi (วัดพระประโทณเจดีย์) As Wat Phra Padhone Chedi is in the middle of the ancient city of Nakhon Chai Si 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 its claws, which is the official symbol of King Rama VI.
Neun Phra or Neun Yai Hom (เนินพระหรือเนินยายหอม) 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.
Buddhamonthon (พุทธมณฑล) 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. At present, important Buddhist ceremonies and festivities are held here, such as the Visaka Bucha Day, Makabucha Day, Asanhabucha Day, and Loy Krathong Festival.
Open Study Centre or College in the Palace (ศูนย์การศึกษานอกโรงเรียน หรือ วิทยาลัยในวัง) The centre mobilises an ancient school of Thai arts called "Chang Sib Mu" or "The Ten Master Crafts", the Thai arts that stem from local wisdom and expertise that Thais managed to retain from their forefathers.
Misiem Yip Intsoi Arts Garden (สวนศิลปะมีเซียมยิบอินซอย) The garden houses masterpieces of arts created by Madam Misiem Yip Intsoi for educational purposes.
Don Whai Market (ตลาดดอนหวาย) Behind the Don Whai temple is a market that still retains an appearance of a market dating back to the Rama VI period.
Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo (ลานแสดงช้างและฟาร์มจระเข้สามพราน) There are daily elephant shows, elephant rides around the compound, elephant musical shows, crocodile-wrestling shows, and magic shows.
Rose Garden (สวนสามพราน) There are a multitude of beautiful floral displays of great variety. A Thai-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.
Thai Human Imagery Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์หุ่นขี้ผึ้ง) The museum displays lifelike wax/fibreglass sculptures of vivid detail. These breath-taking 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.
Wat Klang Bang Kaew (วัดกลางบางแก้ว) 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).
Thai Farmers’ Lifestyle Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์วิถีชาวนาไทย) 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).
Fish Sanctuary (อุทยานปลา) The place is a natural fish sanctuary, which is the habitat of various species of fish typical to the Tha Cheen River.
Wat Lampaya Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำวัดลำพญา) 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 produce.
Thai Soang village (หมู่บ้านไทยโซ่ง) 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.
Herbal Grove, Wat Plug Mai Lai (สวนป่าสมุนไพร วัดปลักไม้ลาย) 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 rai (36.8 acres).
Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus (Botanical Garden) 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.
Ancient City of Kamphaeng Saen (เมืองเก่ากำแพงแสน) this is an ancient town that is worth visiting. It is used as a Boy Scout camp. The interesting attractions of Ancient City of Kamphaeng Saen include unchanged ditches and earth dikes surrounding the ditches.
Sight-seeing by boats there are tours of canals, visiting fruit orchards and orchid farms, including:
- Klong (canal) Mahasawat (ล่องเรือเที่ยวคลองมหาสวัสดิ์) A boat ride to see the fruit farmers at work on two sides of the canal, touring orchards of pomelo, guava, sweet coconut, and orchid farms.
- Tha Cheen River (ล่องเรือแม่น้ำท่าจีน) is the place to witness natural ambience along the river and conjoining canals.
- Fruit orchards along Nakhon Chai Si River (Tha Cheen River) (ล่องเรือเที่ยว ชมสวนผลไม้ แม่น้ำนครชัยศรี (แม่น้ำท่าจีน)) 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.
Pomelo orchards in Nakhon Chai Si (ชมสวนส้มโอนครชัยศรี) Touring of pomelo orchards can be done in Nakhon Chai Si
Suan Thai Tawee pomelo orchard (ชมสวนส้มโอสวนไทยทวี) This orchard is in Samphran.
Banchong Orchid Farm (ชมสวนกล้วยไม้ บรรจง ออร์คิดฟาร์ม) The orchid farm is in Samphran.
Sweet pomelo (ส้มโอหวาน) Though this has been talked about for a long time, their quality is still worth a try. They are major products of Nakhon Chai Si district.
Fragrant coconut juice (มะพร้าวน้ำหอม)
Khao lam (ข้าวหลาม) is sticky rice mixed with coconut milk and grilled in a bamboo stalk.
Nakhon Pathom Food and Fruits Fair (งานเทศกาลอาหาร และผลไม้นครปฐม) is annually held during the Chinese New Year, around January–February, on the grounds of Phra Pathom Chedi to promote the agricultural and industrial products of the province. It aims to promote the fruits that are grown in Nakhon Pathom such as pomelo, sweet coconuts, guavas, and bananas. It also features Chinese buffet arrangement contests and fruit contests.
Songkran Festival (ประเพณีสงกรานต์) 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 (งานเลี้ยงบุฟเฟ่ต์ช้าง และประกวดราชินีช้าง) is annually held on Labour Day (1 May) at the Samphran Elephant Ground and 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 (งานนมัสการปิดทองหลวงพ่อวัดไร่ขิง) is annually held from the 13th day of the waxing moon to the 4th 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 (ประเพณีนมัสการองค์พระปฐมเจดีย์) The fair takes place annually from the 12th day of the waxing moon to the 4th day of the waning moon in the 12th month of the lunar calendar. It is held on the grounds of Phra Pathom Chedi. At night, various entertainments are provided.
Loy Krathong Festival (งานประเพณีลอยกระทง) is held annually on the 15th day of the waxing moon in the 12th 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.
- "Nakhon Pathom". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Mahidol University". Mahidol University. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Ranking Web of Universities: Southeast Asia". Mahidol University. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Phra Pathom Chedi". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Nakhon Pathom". THAILEX Travel Encyclopedia. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Jesada Technik Museum". Jesada Technik Museum. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
||Kanchanaburi Province||Suphanburi Province||Ayutthaya Province|
|Ratchaburi Province||Nonthaburi Province|
|Samut Sakhon Province||Bangkok|