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
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 special
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
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
Buses depart from Bangkoks 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 bahts to 579 bahts). 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
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 bahts.
From Udon Thani regular bus services are provided at the rate of 128 bahts, while air-conditioned bus services are provided at the rate of 211 bahts.
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
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 runs a 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
A ferry boat across the Mekong River to Tha Khaek, in Laos, costs 40 bahts per person; in both directions. Only travelers traveling with valid Lao visas are permitted to cross to Tha