Nakhon Phanom is in the northeastern region of Thailand, approximately 734 km northeast of Bangkok, and shares the border with Laos. The city has a beautiful landscape, with the Mekong River running adjacent to the city. The population of Nakhon Phanom is a diverse mix of Thais, Thai-Vietnamese, Thai-Chinese, and a few Thai-Indians.
Nakhon Phanom is a melting pot of diverse ethnic cultures and traditions. Laos has a lot of influence on the architecture, customs, and cuisine of Nakhon Phanom, including the Bai-Sri-Su-Kwan welcoming ceremony.
1. Things to Do in Nakhon Phanom
- Check out the Naga Monument
The Naga Monument is the central landmark of this city, located right on the Mekong river. There is a small museum in the base of this monument. Every day, local people come here to pray and make offerings. Not far from Naga Monument is a place with colorful murals painted on the ground. There are markings showing you where to stand to view them as 3D. Therefore, do not miss this place
Naga Monument, Nakhon Phanom
- Walk, Run or Bike Along the River
Nakhon Phanom is a riverside city where the weather is cool and suitable for any morning or evening exercise. You can walk, run, or ride a bike along the river, passing many temples, buildings, and landmarks. The third Thai-Laos Friendship bridge, which is about 12km from Naga Monument is among the popular stops for cyclists. Watching the sunrise across the Mekong river behind the dramatic limestone karsts on Laos is among the best things to do here.
Bike Along the River
- Visit Nakhon Phanom’s Wats
There are many beautiful wats located throughout Nakhon Phanom. Some can be found along the riverfront, including Wat Maha That, Wat Klang, Wat Pho Sri, and Wat Okat. You will not need to pay any fee to visit these wats, however, only some have English signs.
Wat in Nakhon Phanom
- Participate in Alms Giving
Every day, in the early morning, local people will offer sticky rice to the monks outside of some temples. People line up along the road when the monks walk by. The food is offered to the monks during almsgiving is generally all the monks will eat during the day. It is similar to other surrounding countries such as Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. If you want to join the alms, you can ask the hotel receptionists to arrange fresh sticky rice and transportation to wat.
- Shop at a market
Visit a market, either morning or night market can be a great experience. The morning market is the place where you can learn more about local life in this province. Coming here, you can buy fresh fish from the Mekong river, traditional clothing from Laos and Thailand. The night market in Nakhon Phnom is open from 5 pm to 10 pm where you can find a lot of reasonable clothing and delicious food.
The food at Nakhon Phanom market
- Take a Riverboat Cruise
Cruising along the Mekong river is one of the best ways to enjoy the peacefulness of this province. On the cruise, you will be able to see local fishermen from both Thailand and Laos casting their nets or working in the many fisheries located along the riverbanks, view the temples along the river. These temples are beautiful, especially at night when the lights are on.
River cruise in Nakhon Phanom
2. How to get there
You can fly to this province in Thai Air Asia. The airport is about 20 km from the city center. Taxi from the airport is about 200 Baht
The closest railway stations are about 4 hours away. They are Ubon, Udon or Nong Khai
From Bangkok, you can get on an 11-hour journey to this province on a 24 seater bus. The bus departs Bangkok at Mo Chit around 19:15 and arrives around 6:30