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Nakhon Pathom Travel Tips นครปฐม

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Sanam Chan Palace, Nakhon PathomSanam Chan Palace, Nakhon Pathom
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authorshipGuido Johannes Joerg
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Nakhon Pathom นครปฐม is the main town and the provincial capital of Nakhon Pathom Province. It is located 56 km to the west of Bangkok. Most people come here to visit the Phra Pathom Chedi, the biggest stupa in Thailand.

Phra Pathom Chedi, Nakhon PathomPhra Pathom Chedi, Nakhon Pathom
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Nakhon Pathom is a very ancient city and is believed to be the site where Buddhism and Indian influences first took root in Thailand. Archaeological excavations under George Coédes in the early 20th century led to the discovery that it was at the center of the Mon Davaravati civilization which prevailed from the 7th to the 10th century.

Nakhon Pathom originally stood close to the shore, but over the centuries, the shoreline has extended outwards. For a period of a few centuries, the population also relocated to a settlement named Nakhon Chaisi or Sirichai, following a severe drought. During that period, the area around the Phra Pathom Chedi was deserted.

The deserted Nakhon Pathom was visited by King Mongkut when His Majesty was in monkhood. Upon ascending the throne as Rama IV, he commanded that a new chedi be built to encase the old one. The Chedi Bucha canal was also dug to facilitate transportation and irrigation in Nakhon Pathom.

Under King Rama V, a railway line was built from Bangkok to the southern part of Thailand, passing through Nakhon Pathom. His Majesty also commanded the population of Nakhon Chaisi to resettle at Nakhon Pathom, and eventually the province was also called by that name. Nakhon Pathom is also the site of a royal palace built by King Rama VI as his temporary residence on his travels. Parts of the Sanam Chan Palace is now open to the public.

Sanam Chan Palace, Nakhon PathomSanam Chan Palace, Nakhon Pathom
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Travel to Nakhon Pathom

You can reach Nakhon Pathom by bus from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal, also called Sai Tai Taling Chan. As of December 2007, the terminal is now located at Phutthamonthon Soi 1, in the Taling Chan district, in northern Thonburi, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. From the Victory Monument (which you can reach by Skytrain) in Bangkok, you can take the pale orange bus No. 515 to Sai Tai Taling Chan.

Travel within Nakhon Pathom

The town is small enough for you to walk around. The Phra Pathom Chedi looms over everything else, providing a good landmark for your navigation.

Places of Interest in Nakhon Pathom

  1. Phra Pathom Chedi
    The largest brick stupa in the world and the main attraction of Nakhon Pathom.
  2. Sanam Chan Palace
    Royal palace in Nakhon Pathom, part of it open to the public.
  3. Wat Sisathong
    Temple dedicated to Phra Rahu, the god of darkness, where worshippers offer eight black offerings.
  4. Wat Songdhammakalyani
    The only Buddhist temple of the Bhikkhuni order of nuns in Thailand.

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