General Information Nakhon Sawan Province, also known as Pak Nam Pho is where the rivers of Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan converge and form the Chao Phraya River, the most important waterway of Thailand.
Nakhon Sawan is in the lower northern part of the country between the North and the Central Region. It is regarded as the doorway to the North and it is the hub of transportation in the Lower North. How To Get There
Boundary Nakhon Sawan is situated on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. It has a total area of about 9,597 square kilometers and is 237 kilometers from Bangkok. It borders the following provinces:
North borders Kamphaeng Phet and Phichit
East borders Phetchabun and Lop Buri
West borders Tak
South borders Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, and Lop Buri
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 (Phahon Yothin Road) to Km. 52 then Highway No. 32 (Asian Highway) past Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Sing Buri, Chai Nat, and Uthai Thani into Nakhon Sawan. The total distance is about 240 kilometers.
There are several regular and air-conditioned buses running daily between Bangkok and Nakhon Sawan. For more information, please contact the Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit), tel. 66 2279 4484-7 (air-conditioned).
The Northern Line runs many times a day from Bangkok through Nakhon Sawan and ends in Chiang Mai. For more information, please contact the Travel Service Division at tel. 66 2223 7010, 66 223 7020
Boat Races for His Majesty's Trophy
Boat Races for His Majesty's Trophy is held annually at the end of the Buddhist Lent on the Chao Phraya River in front of the Provincial Hall. There are also races at temples along the river, such as Wat Ko Hong and Wat Takhian Luan. The races show the unity of the people, as well as the skill of paddlers and boat owners participating.
Chao Pho-Chao Mae Pak Nam Pho Procession Festival
Chao Pho-Chao Mae Pak Nam Pho Procession Festival is a festival of Thais' Chinese ancestry who lived in Nakhon Sawan. The festival has been continued since ancient times. It is held during Chinese New Year (around February every year) to bring good fortune. The festival features various processions such as lion parade, dragon parade, angel procession, the goddess Kuan Im procession, and others going along main roads in the municipality. The festival is famous among Thais and foreigners.
Khao No-Khao Kaeo
Khao No-Khao Kaeo is a limestone mountain that has Wat Khao Lo at its foot. A stairway leads to the cave at the peak where a large Buddha image sits in front. When King Rama V visited here via the Ping River, he stayed overnight on the mountain. The province later built a monument to commemorate the occasion. There are numerous monkeys at the foot of the mountain and you can see plenty of bats that live in the cave flying out to feed in the evening, making a long black line in the night sky. Khao Kaeo nearby also has a number of bats flying out at night.
Getting There : The mountain is beside the Asian Highway along the Nakhon Sawan-Kamphaeng Phet section in Tambon Ban Khaen. It is around 45 kilometers from the city and about 18 kilometers from the district center.
Khao Tham Phra
Khao Tham Phra is at Mu 8 in Tambon Noen Sala. Inside are stalactites, stalagmites and Buddha images. During Songkran Festival locals will take flowers, candles and incense sticks up the 100 steps from the foot of the hill to pay homage to the images. A great view of Amphoe Krok Phra can be seen from the peak.
Getting There:Take the Nakhon Sawan-Krok Phra road for about 16 kilometers, then turn right onto the Krok Phra-Thapthan road for about 10 kilometers and a left into the cave for about 4 kilometers. The road is a laterite road. The total distance from the city is approximately 30 kilometers.
Wat Bang Mafo
Wat Bang Mafo is an old temple built in the late Ayutthaya period. The most striking aspect is the main hall that has unique doors and windows designed by the monk Luang Pho Sun. Inside is an image of Rachathipok that was given by the king. The inner walls have murals of a Buddhist tale, while the hall directly opposite has murals of the life of Lord Buddha. They are the works of ancient artisans. The main Buddha image in the Man Wichai posture is strange in that it also holds a palm-leaf fan. Under the multi-tiered roof is a lovely replica of Lord Buddhas Footprint. An annual temple fair is held on the 9th and 10th crescent-moon nights of October.
Getting There: Use the Nakhon Sawan-Krok Phra route. It is about 3 kilometers from the district office. The route goes past Ban Hua Hat, which is a handicrafts village that makes basketry of Tambon Dong Chaphlu. Basketry items are made of bamboo because it is easy to find in the area.
Wat Bang Pramung Floating Market
Wat Bang Pramung Floating Market is on the bank of Bang Pramung Canal in front of Wat Bang Pramung, about 14 kilometers from the city on the Nakhon Sawan-Krok Phra road. Locals will paddle to the market to sell goods and agricultural produce every weekend during 07.00-16.00 hrs. In addition, there are other services like traditional Thai massage, boat tours of Bang Pramung Canal, tours of orchid farms, and boats and water bicycles for hire. For more information, please contact Krok Phra District Office at tel. 0-5629-1006.
Getting There: Take the Nakhon Sawan-Krok Phra road for around 9 kilometers, then turn right for about 7 kilometers into Wat Bang Pramung. The total distance from the city is around 16 kilometers.
Mae Wong National Park
Mae Wong National Park is on the Thanon Thong Chai Mountain Range. The area consists of winding mountains and is the source of several waterways, including the Mae Wong River and some parts of Khlung Canal. The waterways flow into the Ping River and the Chao Phraya River.
Mae Wong National Park is in Amphoe Pang Sila Thong in Kamphaeng Phet (446.4 square kilometers) and in Amphoe Mae Wong-Mae Poen in Nakhon Sawan (446.48 square kilometers), totaling 892.88 square kilometers. The north borders Khlong Lan National Park of Kamphaeng Phet, the south borders Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Reserve of Uthai Thani, the east borders villages in Kamphaeng Phet and Nakhon Sawan, and the west borders Um Phang Wildlife Reserve in Tak. The area was proclaimed a national park on 14 September 1987 and was the 55th national park of Thailand. The park headquarters are at No. 65, Khlong Lan-Um Phang Road, Amphoe Pang Sila Thong, Kamphaeng Phet.
Attractions in Mae Wong National Park :Kaeng Pha Khoi Nang-Kaeng Nam Bon Kaeo Hin is on the Khlong Lan-Um Phang road and 1.4 kilometers from the park headquarters and another 400 meters on a secondary road. This is a large brook that Khlung Canal flows through. From here, you can walk around 350 meters to Pha Khoi Nang Waterfall that has 4 levels.
Viewpoint is on the Khlong Lan-Um Phang road at Km. 81, around 16 kilometers from the park headquarters. At Km. 93 about 28 kilometers from the headquarters is the area between mountains that is perpetually breezy with an average temperature below 20 degrees Celsius. It is 1.34 kilometers above sea level.
Nang Nuan Waterfall can be reached by getting to Km. 93 and going on foot for about 6.4 kilometers. The waterfall is located amidst the lush jungle. It has 4 levels. It takes about 1 day to make a return trip to the waterfall.
Mae Krasa Waterfall is a large 9-level waterfall about 900 meters high. The waterfall is formed by streams from high-altitude jungles on the Thanon Thong Chai Mountain Range. It is about 18 kilometers from the park headquarters. The trip on foot takes 3-4 days.
Mae Riwa Waterfall is around 21 kilometers from the headquarters. It is a large waterfall that has 5 levels and takes about 3 days for a return trip on foot.
Mokochu Peak is the highest peak in the park. It is 1.964 kilometers above sea level and is 50 kilometers from the headquarters. The return trip on foot takes 5-7 days.
Kaeng Lan Nok Yung is a brook with a wide rock plateau. Mae Wong River, which originates in Mae Wong Forest flows through it. It is about 800 meters from Mae Rewa Forest Protection Unit. The area is suitable for training programs and group camping. The distance from the unit to the brook is about 1.5 kilometers and it is accessible by car.
Moreover, there is accommodation in the park. For information, please contact Mae Wong National Park, Khlong Lan-Um Phang Road, Km. 65, Amphoe Khlong Lan, Kamphaeng Phet, tel. 0-5671-9010-1 or the National Parks Division, National Resources Conservation Office, Royal Forest Department, Bang Khen, Bangkok 10900, tel. 0-2579-0529, 0-2579-4843.
Getting There : There are 2 main routes:
1. Bangkok-Nakhon Sawan-Lat Yao-Khlong Lan route into the park on Highway No. 1117 (Khlong Lan-Um Phang) at Km. 65.
2. Bangkok-Nakhon Sawan-Khong Wilai-Khlong Lan route into the park on Highway No. 1117 (Khlong Lan-Um Phang). The total distance from Bangkok to the park is about 386 kilometers.
Bo Ya Cave
Bo Ya Cave is Hin Kon Village in Tambon Nong Krot, around 30 kilometers from the city on the San Nakhon Sawan-Lat Yao road. Another 6-kilometer road leads to Wat Tham Bo Ya (Wat Thep Nimit Song Tham). A stairway at the foot of the hill leads up to the cave. The cave itself has 3 sections. The first has a large main Buddha image, the second further in is a dead end with a pond called Bo Nam Thip that is believed by locals to be sacred and the third section is an exit out the other way. Apart from the sacred pond, the cave has beautiful stalagmites and stalactites.
Getting There :Use Highway No. 32 (Asian Highway) from Nakhon Sawan to Kamphaeng Phet for about 15 kilometers, then turn left at the intersection into Road No. 1072 (Nong Ben-Lat Yao) for about 1 kilometer. From there, take a left turn at the sign into Wat Si Uthumphon for about 6 kilometers and turn right at the sign into Wat Thep Nimit Song Tham (Wat Tham Bo Ya). The road is a laterite road. It is altogether about 22 kilometers from the city.
Bung Boraphet is the largest freshwater swamp in Thailand. It has an area of around 212 square kilometers. It covers parts of Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Tha Tako and Amphoe Chum Saeng. In the past Bung Boraphet was called the northern sea or Chom Bung as there was an abundance of aquatic animals and plants. According to surveys, there are still some 148 species of animals and 44 species of plants here. Rare animals include white-eyed river-martin and tiger perch.
During November to March a large number of waterfowls migrate here. Some parts of the swamp have been declared the Bung Boraphet Non-Hunting Area under the care of the Wildlife Conservation Division. Bung Boraphet is also a fish breeding ground where the Department of Fisheries has set up the Bung Boraphet Fishery Development Station.
Getting There: Bung Boraphet can be reached by many ways.
By Boat From the Nakhon Sawan Municipal Pier Market, go north along Nan River for about 6 kilometers to the mouth of Bung Boraphet that is called Khlong Nong Duk. Go under the train bridge into the swamp.
Bung Boraphet Fishery Development Station Take the Nakhon Sawan-Chum Saeng route (Highway No. 225) for about 9 kilometers, then turn right for 2 kilometers to Bung Boraphet Fishery Development Station. Inside is a crocodile breeding pond and a freshwater aquarium. There are boats that you can charter on tours in the area at 400 baht per hour. The capacity is 15 persons per boat
Bung Boraphet Non-Hunting Area or Waterfowls Park Take the Nakhon Sawan-Tha Tako route (Highway No. 3001) for about 20 kilometers and turn left for 4 kilometers to the park. The park has an exhibition in the form of a nature study center, a garden and accommodation. For more details, please contact the Bung Boraphet Non-Hunting Area or the Bung Boraphet Wildlife Conservation Promotion and Development Station, tel. (056) 227874. In addition, there are long-tail boats to take visitors around Bung Boraphet at 200 per boat.
Chao Pho Thepharak-Chao Mae Thapthim Shrine Chao Pho Thepharak-Chao Mae Thapthim Shrine is in the area of Pak Nam Pho Community on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River. The shrine is revered by locals and is the spiritual magnet of the people in the area as well as passersby using the river. The shrine also offers the best view of the beginning of the river.
Getting There :Take the Nakhon Sawan-Chum Saeng road (No. 225). It is about 3 kilometers from the city on the left.
Nakhon Sawan Provincial Cultural Building
Nakhon Sawan Provincial Cultural Building is in the Nakhon Sawan Rajabhat Institute. This two-story building is in the contemporary Thai style and has a beautiful front porch. It is the center of historical, archaeological and cultural information of the province. The building has an exhibition room displaying cultural development and various archaeological sites. It was completed in June 1992 and was opened by H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on 17 August 1992.
Sawan Park is in Nakhon Sawan Municipality beside the Asian Highway. It was originally a large swamp with an area of 502,400 square meters called Nong Som Bun. It was later made into a sizable public park with 2 ring roads encircling it. The middle of the park is an island with an area of 6,400 square meters. The park has a garden, lawn, fountain, outdoor stage, waterfall, and rose garden.
The Origin of the Chao Phraya River
The Origin of the Chao Phraya River is the point where the Ping and Nan rivers converge at Tambon Pak Nam Pho in front of the dam in the city. Here, one can clearly distinguish the difference between the two rivers. The Nan River is reddish in color while the Ping River is somewhat green. They flow to form the Chao Phraya River, the most important waterway of the country. The Chao Phraya flows past several provinces before going through Bangkok and ending into the Gulf of Thailand in Samut Prakan. It is about 370 kilometers long. The best place to view its origin is at the Chao Pho Thepharak-Chao Mae Thapthim Shrine.
Tourists can take boat rides to view the scenery on both banks and pay homage to Luang Pho To Buddha image at Wat Pak Nam Pho (Wat Thong Thammachat Nua). Boats can be hired from Chao Phraya Pier.
Wat Chom Khiri Nat Phrot
Wat Chom Khiri Nat Phrot is on the peak of Khao Buat Nak between the foot of Dechatiwong Bridge and Chiraprawat Fort. Legend says that when Burmese troops sacked Ayutthaya for the second time, they built this temple to show that they also hold the Buddhism faith. The most interesting objects here are the replica of Lord Buddhas Footprint and a convocation hall that locals call Bot Thewada Sang. There is a fair to pay homage and attach gold leaves to the footprint in November. Boat races are held in conjunction with the fair.
Getting There :Take Highway No. 32 (Asian Highway) to before the foot of Dechatiwong Bridge and turn left into the temple. It is about 1 kilometer from the city.
Wat Krieng Krai Klang
Wat Krieng Krai Klang is at Mu 5, Tambon Kriang Krai, on the bank of Nan River. Inside is a Sukhothai-style bronze Buddha image in the Man Wichai posture and an old hall over a hundred years old. There is also a replica of Lord Buddhas Footprint and a mural of Lord Buddhas life. The area in front of the temple is inhabited by many monkeys and it is where a crocodile farm can be found.
Getting There :Take the Nakhon Sawan-Chum Saeng road (Highway No. 225) for around 10 kilometers. Then turn left at the direction sign for about 2 kilometers into the temple. It is approximately 12 kilometers from the city. Alternatively, you can charter a boat from Chao Phraya Pier along the Nan River and disembark at Wat Kriang Krai Klang Pier.
Wat Si Sawan Sangkharam
Wat Si Sawan Sangkharam (Wat Thu Nam) is at Tambon Nakhon Sawan. It is an old temple that was used as the site for government officials to pledge allegiance to the king. Evidence from the period remains in the form of spear blades, oars, knives and swords, a gold Buddha image in the Pathom Thetsana posture, and a silver Buddha image. The main image in the old convocation hall is over 100 years old. In 1976, His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen and their 2 princesses came here to open the new hall. Now there is also the pagoda built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of His Majesty. Wat Si Sawan Sangkharam is regarded as an old temple with immense historical value.
Getting There :Take Highway No. 32 (Asian Highway) then turn left towards Chiraprawat Fort (Highway No. 3001) for around 2 kilometers. Signs along the way point to Wat Thu Nam. The total distance from the city is about 3 kilometers.
Wat Woranat Banphot
Wat Woranat Banphot (Khao Kop) is an old temple of the province on the peak of Khao Kop 185.5 meters above sea level. There are 2 ways up; a stairway of 439 steps and an asphalt road 3 meters wide. The peak has a replica of Lord Buddhas Footprint and a pagoda encasing the relic of Lord Buddha built when Sukhothai was the countrys capital. The temple was praised by the Department of Religious Affairs as the best development temple of 1966. A nearby hill is the site of some television relay stations.
Getting There : Use Highway No. 32 (Asian Highway) and turn right onto Highway No. 117, then another right onto Highway No. 1 (old highway) into Nakhon Sawan Municipality. Turn left before reaching the municipality up Khao Kop. It is about 1 kilometer from the city.
Khok Mai Den Ancient City
Khok Mai Den Ancient City is in Tambon Tha Nam Oi. The city is quite expansive. Traces of the old city wall remain and an artifact in the form of a sculpture of the elephant Phaya Chatthan was discovered here. It is over 1,000 years old. The word Khok Mai Den refers to a kind of tree. People in the old days called Ban Khok Mai Den Muang Bon. The city was founded in the Thawarawadi period around 11th-16th Buddhist centuries (457-957 AD). The city is similar to Nakhon Pathom and is around 250 meters long and 600 meters wide. It is very much alike the city wall of Nakhon Pathom, Muang Sema of Nakhon Ratchasima and Muang Phaya Rae of Chon Buri.
Getting There : The city is 32 kilometers from the city on the Nakhon Sawan-Bangkok route (Asian Highway), then turn left into Khok Mai Den for 3 kilometers.
Chan Sen Ancient City and Chan Sen Museum Chan Sen Ancient City and Chan Sen Museum is in Mu 2 in Tambon Chan Sen. It is believed that in the Thawarawadi period, the city was surrounded by a moat with an earth mound. The city had a square shape but with rounded corners almost like a circle. The moat was about 20 meters wide. The area is now a waterlogged valley but traces of the moat can still be seen. The city is about 800 meters long and 700 meters wide with an area of about 480,000 square meters. As the part within the moat is higher than that outside, locals call it Khok Chan Sen.
A number of artifacts have been discovered in the ancient city; earthenware items like amulets, dolls, lamps; stone items like pedestals, Buddhism wheels, and axes; metal objects like earrings made of lead or tin, spearheads, and iron; and bronze objects like Buddha images in the Man Wichai posture. All of the objects are now kept at Chan Sen Museum in Chan Sen Temple. It is open on weekends. Those wishing to visit the site on weekdays can request permission from the temple. Youth volunteers from Chan Sen School can guide you around the city and take you on a tour of the museum. For more details, please contact tel. 66 5633 9116.
Getting There : There are several routes, as follows:
From Bangkok, use the Asian Highway and turn left into In Buri (Highway No. 11), then turn right into Road No. 3196. From there, turn left at the Wat Chan Sen sign for about 1 kilometer, go across the railroad and turn left into Wat Chan Sen. Chan Sen Museum can be seen inside the temple compound.
From Nakhon Sawan, take Highway No. 32 (Asian Highway) to Chai Nat for about 52 kilometers and turn left onto Highway No. 1 to Amphoe Takhli for 7 more kilometers. Then turn right into Road No. 3196 for about 28 kilometers and turn right at the Wat Chan Sen sign for about 1 kilometer and go across the railroad into Wat Chan Sen.
Wat Tham Phon Sawan
Wat Tham Phon Sawan is in Tambon Lamphayon. An asphalt road of 105 kilometers from the city leads to the temple. It is around 10 kilometers from Tak Fa District Office on the Tak Fa-Khok Samrong road. The temple has a modern three-story pavilion. At the rear of the temple is Phon Sawan Cave that is divided into 2 sections. The first section is a small room while the second section is a larger room with Buddha images and various structures like a replica waterfall with a stream in the caves center. The cave is cool and cozy and has electricity and waterworks.
Getting There: From Nakhon Sawan, take the Asian Highway to Chai Nat for about 52 kilometers and turn left into Highway No. 1 past Amphoe Tak Fa for about 46 kilometers. Then turn left into Wat Tham Phon Sawan. It is around 98 kilometers from the city.