Located on the right bank of the majestic Mekong
River is Nakhon Phanom an ancient city with a name that literally means
of City of Hills . The lovely setting of the provincial capital is
enhanced by the rugged beauty of jungle covered mountains which lie
beyond the Laotian town of Tha Khaek , located on the opposite bank of
the river. Nakhon Phanom is renowned as a great place with beautiful
scenery and relaxing ambiance by the Mekong River .
With a history that dates back many thousands of years, the province is
a melting pot of diverse ethnic cultures and traditions. However, the
culture with the strongest influence on the architecture, customs and
cuisine of the province is the Lao culture.
Encompassing a total area of 5,512 square kilometers, most of which are
high hills and plains covered with lush and virgin forests, Nakhon
Phanom is where Phra That Phanom, the most sacred and ancient religious
monument of the Northeast, is located. Both Thais and Laotians usually
make their pilgrimage to this highly venerated site to ask for
blessings. In addition, visitors can experience the unique fusion of
Thai and Lao arts and culture through customs such as the Bai-Sri-Su-Kwan
ceremony (the extension of a generous welcome to guests when a potent
brew of home-made liquor is usually served).
History of Nakhon Phanom
One of the important cities of upper I-San, Nakhon Phanom was once known
as " Sri Kotrabun Kingdom ". Most historians believe that when King Rama
I ruled Vientiane , the area was named "Maruka Nakhon". It was later
renamed "Nakhon Phanom", because of its outstanding geographical feature
its location among many hills and mountains.
Throughout history, Laotians and people from other ethnic groups had
migrated across the Mekong River . This recurring pattern of migration
left its mark on the local dialects, customs and cuisine of Nakhon
Phanom. Some historic treasures include folk dances such as the Sri
Kotrabun dance, which is regarded as the symbolic dance of Nakhon Phanom's,
the Fon Phu Thai, Sek-Ten-Sak and So Tung Bung that are performed on
Todays Nakhon Phanom
Nakhon Phanom, which is 740 kilometers from Bangkok , covers an area of
5,512 square kilometers and is comprised of the following districts:
Mueang Nakhon Phanom, Pla Bak, Tha Uthen, Phon Sawan, Ban Phaeng, That
Phanom, Renu Nakhon, Na Kae, Si Songkhram, Na Wa , Na Thom and Wang
How to get there
Route 1: From Bangkok, take the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima route, then
proceed to Ban Phai along Highway No. 2, take Highway No. 23 and Highway
No. 213 to Sakhon Nakhon Province via Maha Sarakham and Kalasin
Provinces and continue the trip along Highway No. 22 to Nakhon Phanom
for a total distance of 740 kilometers.
Route 2: From Bangkok take Highway No. 1, Pahonyothin Road, to Saraburi.
At the main junction, kilometer 107 marker, turn right onto Highway 2 (Friendship
Highway) and proceed past Nakon Ratchasima Province to Ban Phai (a
district of Khon Kaen Province) and turn right onto Highway 23. Follow
the route to Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom
Provinces for a total distance of 735 kilometers.
Buses depart from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal)
to Nakhon Phanom Province every day between 6.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m.
There are different classes of bus services provided - regular, air-conditioned
and VIP with fares ranging from 360 baht to 579 baht). For more
information call Transport Co. Ltd. Tel. 0 2936 2852-66. Alternatively,
you can visit www.transport.co.th to find more up-to-date information on
schedules and fares.
To/From other neighboring provinces
Regular bus services operate between Nong Khai to Nakhon Phanom via
Sakon Nakhon at the rate of 79 bahts, while air-conditioned buse
services are provided hourly from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the rate of 143
From Udon Thani regular bus services are provided at the rate of 128
baht, while air-conditioned bus services are provided at the rate of 211
In addition, bus services between Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan Provinces
are provided on an hourly basis from 5.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily, while
air-conditioned buses services between Nakhon Phanom and Khorat
Provinces are provided 3 times a day at the rate of 264 baht.
PB Air provides daily flight services from Bangkok to Nakhon Phanom,
except Tuesdays and Saturdays. For more information, contact their
Bangkok office at tel. 0-2261-0220 5.
Thai Airways International provides daily flight services between
Bangkok and Nakhon Phanom with a flight time of 1.10 hours. In addition,
there are flights from Sakon Nakhon to Nakhon Phanom (25 minutes, 300B),
but not in the reverse direction. THAI Airways runs shuttle van between
the airport, 16 kilometers away, and the city centre. For more
information, contact the Bangkok office at tel. 0-2280-0060, 0-2628-2000
or visit its website at www.thaiairways.com.
A ferry boat across the Mekong River to Tha Khaek, in Laos, costs 40
baht per person; in both directions. Only travelers traveling with valid
Lao visas are permitted to cross to Tha Khaek.