Nakhon Si Thammarat Thailand Hotels and Resorts - Online Reservation Nakhon Si Thammarat is an ancient city in Southern Thailand with evidences of civilization in religion, arts and culture. Archaeological objects include stone weapons, indigenous grotto wall painting and one-faced bronze drum confirm the belief that human settlements in this land date back in thousands of years. Nakhon Si Thammarat become a province under the central administration but local merchants kept on having their trade relationsmostly with Singapore, Malaysia and Penang.

Nakhon Si Thammarat Information


Wat Phra Mahathat is the most important temple of Nakhon Si Thammarat and southern Thailand. It was constructed at the time of the founding of the town, and contains a tooth relic of Buddha. The 78 m high chedi is surrounded by 173 smaller ones. While the chedi is now in Sri Lankan style, it is said to be built on top of an earlier Srivijaya style chedi. At the base of the chedi is a gallery named Viharn Tap Kaset, decorated with many Buddha statues and elephant heads emerging from the chedi. Viharn Phra Song Ma is the buildings which contains the staircase which leads to a walkway around the chedi above the gallery. At the bottom of the staircase are demon giants (yak) as guardians. Adjoining to the north is the Viharn Kien, which contains a small temple museum. South of the chedi is the large ubosot building, the Viharn Luang. The monk living quarters are located across the street in a separate temple, Wat Na Phra Boromathat. The chedi is the symbol of the Nakhon Si Thammarat province, present in the seal of the province. It is also displayed on the 25 satang coin.

The City Wall The city chronicle already mentions a fortification when the town was refounded in 1278. Restorations were recorded at the time of King Ramesuan (14th century), as well as King Narai (1686). The latter one was supported by the French engineer M. de la Mare. The walls spread 456 m from East to West, and 2238 m North to South, thus enclosing an area of about one square kilometre. The northern wall had only one gate, called Prathu Chai Nua or Prathu Chai Sak, also the southern wall had only one gate. To the east there were three gates, which connected the town with the sea. To the west were five gates. Today only the northern gate still exists, together with a short stretch of the northern city wall.

Activities

Most of the activities are centred on Khao Luang National Park, which contains the highest peak in the South, Khao Luang. The area owes a lot of its new found international fame to the people of Khiriwong village, who led the way in community-based eco-tourism.

The hike to Khao Luang (1,835 metres above sea level) starts at Khiriwong village at the foot of the mountain and takes about two days. The trail spans four vegetation zones and leads through the natural habitat of numerous species including, Malaysian black bear, tigers, elephants, leopards and 200 species of bird, plus turtles, lizards and insects.

Khiriwong Village’s Eco-tourism Club offers biking tours of Suan Somrom, or fruit orchards that are grown in the forest alongside indigenous trees. This innovative and eco-friendly growing method is unique to the village. Local tour operators offer treks that comprise rafting down Khlong Klai, which forms the northern border of the park, and elephant riding through surrounding forest.

Festivals

Hae Pha Khuen That Festival is celebrated at Phra Borom That Chedi. The pagoda is considered to be the representative of Lord Buddha and is believed by locals to possess unsurpassed might of righteousness as it contains holy relics. Every year Buddhists pay homage to the pagoda by organizing a procession bearing a religious cloth to wrap around the pagoda to bring good fortune and success. This festival is held twice a year during Makha Bucha Day (the 15th full-moon night of February) and Wisakha Bucha Day (the 15th full-moon night of May).

Festival of the Tenth Lunar Month is a grand event of the province and of southern Thailand. This festival is held from the 1st waning-moon night to the 15th waning-moon night every September. It is held to pay respect to deceased ancestors. According to Buddhism beliefs, the dead had many sins and were sent to hell to become a demon. The demons are allowed to come up to meet their relatives for 15 days in September, but must return to hell before sunrise of the 15th day. The living tries to appease the spirits by taking food to temples to make merit. Beginning on the 13th day, people will go shopping for food to be given. The 14th day is spent preparing and decorating the food tray, and the 15th day is the actual merit-making day. The tray presented nowadays has elaborate designs but still retains traditional components. Contests to find the most beautiful tray are held. A magnificent procession proceeds along Ratchadamnoen Road on the 14th day.

Chak Phra or Lak Phra Festival is influenced by Indian culture, which expanded into the province a long time ago. The festival signifies the joy that people had when Lord Buddha returned from a star and the Lord was invited to sit on a throne and carried to a palace. In practice, locals would bear a Buddha image holding a bowl in a procession around the city. This is a great way for escape from daily routine and it is a fun competition to find who is the most religious. Held in October, the festival is preceded by activities 7 days before, such as beating drums, playing castanets and decorating the ceremonial throne for the image. The actual ceremony is usually held only on the last day of the Buddhist lent. People would take the image from the temple in the morning and proceed to Benchama Rachuthit School in Amphoe Mueang. This is also done in front of Ron Phibun district office. In addition, there is a water-borne procession on Pak Phanang River in Pak Phanang, which coincides with an annual boat race for a trophy from the Crown Princess.

Cow fighting is an identity of southern Thailand and is an ancient sport of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Many details are involved in staging a contest. Cows selected will have the best breeding and will be trained and carefully looked after. The contest itself is held weekly with districts not far from the city taking turn to host, which are Mueang, Pak Phanang, Chawang, Thung Song, Hua Sai, and Ron Phibun.

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