General Information Nonthaburi is over 400 years old, dating back to when Ayutthaya was the capital. The town was originally located at Tambon Ban Talat Khwan, a famous fruit orchard where the Chao Phraya River and various canals pass through.
King Prasat Thong ordered the digging of a canal as a shortcut from the south of Wat Thai Muang to Wat Khema because the old waterway flowed into Om River to Bang Yai then to Bang Kruai Canal next to Wat Chalo before ending in front of Wat Khema.
After the new shortcut was completed, the Chao Phraya River changed its flow into the new route that remains today. In 1665, King Narai the Great noticed that the new route gave enemies too much proximity to the capital. Therefore, he ordered that a fortress be built at the mouth of Om River and relocated Nonthaburi to this area. A city shrine still stands there.
Later during the reign of King Rama IV of the Rattanakosin period, he ordered the town moved to the mouth of Bang Su Canal in Ban Talat Khwan. King Rama V then had the provincial hall built there on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River. In 1928, the hall was moved to Ratchawitthayalai, Ban Bang Khwan, Tambon Bang Tanao Si. It is now the Training Division of the Ministry of Interior on Pracha Rat 1 Road, Amphoe Muang, on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. The building is of European architecture decorated with patterned woodwork. The Fine Arts Department has registered it as an historical site. The provincial hall is now on Rattanathibet Road.
How To Get There Boat
Take a Tha Chang-Bangkok Noi-Bang Yai ferry line from Chang Pier. It operates from 06.30 to 23.00 hrs. and leaves from the pier every 30 minutes. The best time for the visitors to ride a ferry is from 08.30 to 15.30 hrs.
From Phra Nang Klao Bridge turn left to Bang Kruai for 17 kilometres at Bang Bua Thong junction, turn right to Nonthaburi District Office at Wat Chalo, continue driving for 500 metres. Wat Bang O will be found on the right.
Giving Offerings to 108 Monks Festival
Giving Offerings to 108 Monks Festival is held to make merit and has been practiced for decades. The attractive festival is held along the Bangkok Noi Canal at many temples including Wat Thai Charoen, Wat Bang Krai Nok, Wat Utthayan, and Wat Bang Krai Nai. This festival is annually held on the 8th day of the waning moon in the twelfth month of the lunar calendar.
Mon Dance Festival
Mon Dance Festival is one of the oldest Mon dramatic arts. The current Mons have managed to retain the skills of their forefathers. In Pak Kret, Phra Pradaeng and Pathum Thani, many people can still perform the Mon dance and the Mon alto oboe.
Nonthaburi Fruits Fair
Nonthaburi Fruits Fair is an annual fair held during April-June to celebrate the abundance of such local fruits as durian, mangosteen, mango, and star fruit. It is held beside the dam in front of the old city hall in Muang district. Ornamental flowers are also available.
The Mon Songkran
The Mon Songkran is held for one week after April 13th. The event features the Mon procession and entertainment. It is held around Pak Kret district office, Ko Kret.
Flowers, notably orchids, are available on both side of the Taling Chan-Suphan Buri Road. This road is nicknamed the flower road and is a major plantation area of the province.
Fruits, most importantly long-branched and Mon Thong durian. During April and June, the province holds fruit festivals in front of the old city hall.
Pottery, available at Ko Kret. This tiny island in the Chao Phraya River is famous for its distinctive style of pottery which dates back many centuries. Ko Kret pots are known for their fine, red-black glazed surface and intricate design.
Wat Pho Bang O
Wat Pho Bang O is a charming old temple dating from the Ayutthaya period that is accessible via a 200-metre walk from the temples pier. It is in a dilapidated condition, but is being renovated by the Fine Arts Department. During the reign of King Rama III, Prince Seni Borirak (the founder of the Seniwong family) renovated the temple. The chapel that shares a similar style with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha has pillars which point to the same direction in order to maintain the balance. The upper part of the chapel has woodcarving with Chinese patterns. The sandstone temple boundary markers are located around the chapel and every corner of the chapel is surrounded by pagodas. The door frames are decorated with beautiful sculptures that are made from sugarcane cement.
Getting There :
By Boat Take a Tha Chang-Bangkok Noi-Bang Yai ferry line from Chang Pier. It operates from 06.30 to 23.00 hrs. and leaves from the pier every 30 minutes. The best time for the visitors to ride a ferry is from 08.30 to 15.30 hrs.
By Car From Phra Nang Klao Bridge turn left to Bang Kruai for 17 kilometres at Bang Bua Thong junction, turn right to Nonthaburi District Office at Wat Chalo, continue driving for 500 metres. Wat Bang O will be found on the right.
Wat Suan Kaeo
Wat Suan Kaeo is a Buddhism diffusion centre. An innovative monk named Phra Phisal Dhamma Phati or Phra Phayom Kanlayano has initiated several projects for the Suan Kaeo Foundation. The Foundation aims to upgrade living standards of the poor and to develop society. Successful projects include the Rom Pho Kaeo, the shelter for the elderly, the supermarket for the poor, and the Suan Kaeo nursery projects. For donation and tours, contact tel. 0 2595 1444.
Getting there: The temple is reached by driving over Phra Nang Klao Bridge, turn left at the second intersection for 2 kilometres. Taking no.63 bus from Victory Monument is also another way to the peaceful temple.
Wat Amphawan from the late Ayutthaya period was formerly called Wat Bang Muang. The most striking feature is a wooden scripture hall in the middle of a pond. This most complete example of Thai architecture has 2 rooms. Some of the features of the hall are wooden bars, a two-tiered roof covered with earthen tiles and woodcarving with exquisite designs.
The entrance door is primed with gold leaves, the mullion is crafted into flowers and gourds, above the doors are birds on each side, and beyond them the radiant sun and moon are depicted. At the rear, a tray on a pedestal and wooden Buddha images are housed.
- The 5-minute ride on a long tail boat from Bang Yai District Office can make the journey.
By Car Driving on Bang Bua Thong-Taling Chan outer ring road, turn left at Tambon Bang Muang.
is the first natural history museum of Thailand and was built in 1961. It is located behind the former City Hall and features exhibits on the evolution of plants, animals, human beings, and the earth. Artifacts include Buddha images as well as antique porcelains. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 08.30 to 16.30. It is closed on Sunday, Monday, and public holidays. Admission is free.
Getting there: Take non air-conditioned buses no. 63, 97, and 203 and air-conditioned buses no. 9 and 126. Contact tel. 184 for more information on buses. Boat passengers can get off at Nonthaburi Pier.
This public park is located beyond Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat. It covers an area of 40 acres. The park was built by the Treasury Department to mark the 50th anniversary of the accession to the throne of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and as a recreation spot for the public. The park has a fine collection of water plants, garden plants and underwater animals. The park is open daily from 06.00 to 18.00 hrs. Admission is free. The royal landing is near the reception pavilion. This is a walk-through pavilion with a four-corner tiered roof and surrounded by three traditional carved wooden pavilions.
The attractive three pavilions that are made of teak are primed with genuine gold leaves and decorated with colorful glass. They were used to hold many royal functions. Nearby, a group of teak Thai houses built in noble Thai style can be seen.
At the corner near the river is a former residence of Nonthaburi's governor and is the entry to the delightful ambience fruit farms include during, mangosteen, jackfruit, and sweet coconut. Getting There
By Car Drive along Bang Kruai-Sai Noi route, and turn to Nonthaburi Pier, road signs will be seen all the way. From Bangkok, cross over Phra Nangklao Bridge to Bang Phlu junction, turn left to Suan Kaeo temple, and then follow the road signs to Kanchanaphisek Park.
By Boat Take a regular long tail boat from Nonthaburi Pier along Bang Yai Canal. The boat departs every 20 minutes from Nonthaburi Pier. The trip takes around 5 minutes. The fare is 7 baht.
The Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine
The Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine (ITTM) was legally in the Office of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health located in Tiwanont Road, Amphoe Muang, Nonthaburi. ITTM bringing to develop and promote Thai traditional medicine and herbs more quality, standard, integrating into the national health care service system and alternative health for people taking care their health.
ITTM is open everyday 08.30 a.m. - 04.30 p.m. (please place the ticket before noon). Admission is 30 baht for Thai (adult), 15 baht for children and 150 baht for foreigner. Further more information, please contact 66 2591 1095 or www.ittm.or.th
Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat
This temple is a royal monastery located to the west of the Chao Phraya River. It was constructed under the royal command of King Rama III to dedicate to his mother and grandparents who resided in this area. The construction was completed in the reign of King Rama IV. The combination of Thai and Chinese-style ubosot (chapel) can be seen in an attractively peaceful temple compound. This unique architectural ubosot possesses an earthen mosaics roof of natural colors, which had been laid in a Chinese style and beautiful Chinese mosaics crafted into a striking flower on its upper part.
The chapel consists of a colorful mural painting of falling flowers, door and window panels have lacquered gold leaf designs, gables have raised plaster flower designs, the floor is decorated with mirrors, and the inside part of the door and window panels has drawings of lotuses, birds and aquatic animals.
The main Buddha image enshrined in this chapel is in the Sadung Man posture. It is made entirely of copper. According to legend, King Rama III commanded that copper be mined in Amphoe Chanthuk in Nakhon Ratchasima Province. A sizable quantity of high-grade copper was subsequently obtained. The king wished for the copper to be used in religious affairs and ordered the molding of Buddha images to be housed as main images within 2 new temples that were Wat Ratchanadda and Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat. He also ordered the molding of images in 34 other postures. The image at Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat was completed in 1846. However, misfortune accompanied the transfer of the main image to Wat Ratchanadda when the carriage carrying the image rolled over and killed Chao Phraya Yommarat (Bunnak) and 2 other officials. In the reign of King Rama IV, he named the image Phra Phutthamaha Lokaphinanthapatima to mark the tragedy.
In 1858, King Rama IV placed the main Buddha image in the royal chapel here. It is in the Man Wichai posture flanked by servants. It sits on a pedestal and is the only one of its kind.
Other interesting historical artifacts include a Lanka pagoda and Phra Si Maha Pho Phan Phothikhaya dating from the reign of King Rama IV can be seen in the temple.
Wat Chomphuwek is in Tambon Tha Sai on Sanambin Nam-Nonthaburi road. The temple was built in 1757 in the late Ayutthaya period by the Mon. The attractively old chapel features mural paintings of Lord Buddha's life as well as two Sukhothai standing Buddha images. In addition, there is a Mon pagoda called Phra Mutao built by Mon monks in 1917 and is believed to house holy relics of Lord Buddha.
Getting there: Take a non air-conditioned bus no. 69 or a local truck (Song Thaeo) from Phra Nang Klao station. For more information on buses contact tel. 184.
Wat Khema Phirataram Ratchaworawihan is located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River in Tambon Suan Yai, 2 kms. south of the town centre. The temple covers an area of 10.4 acres, its back facing Phibun Songkhram Road. The lovely temple was built during the Ayutthaya period and later in the reign of King Rama II, it was given the name Khema. Under Queen Srisuriyenthramats patronage, the temple was renovated.
In the reign of King Rama IV, it was renamed Wat Khema Phirataram as well as was refurbished.
Behind the ubosot lies the main 30-metre tall pagoda called Phra Maha Chedi containing Lord Buddhas relics and Ayutthaya-style Buddha images that were brought from Chan Kasem Palace. The Monthian Throne Hall and the Daeng Royal Residence can be seen in the temple compound.
Getting there: The temple is accessible by various buses. For more information on buses contact tel. 184. Alternatively, take a Rewadi-Pak Nam local truck (Song Thaeo) line or the Chao Phraya Express Boat, get off at Nonthaburi Pier, and then ride no. 203 bus or take a ferry from Bang Si Muang pier to Nonthaburi Pier, and then connect with another no. 203 bus.
Wat Prasatwas built in the reign of King Narai the Great (of the late Ayutthaya period). The ubosot possesses sophisticated craftsmanship: the upper part features a divine god riding garuda, the finial is decorated in Mon style while a royal lion is depicted beside the finial. The sampan-shaped ubosot base used no drilling during the construction. The reason behind the unusual shape of the building is that the shape would easily allow cool air to replace heat when it rises.
The mural paintings here from the late Ayutthaya period are the works of advanced artists of the province. They are currently the oldest paintings of Nonthaburi. This temple has correctly preserved buildings and art. It is, therefore, a place of study for both Thais and foreigners. On the education building is a pulpit that is as old as the chapel.
Getting there: It is located on the Bang Kruai-Sai Noi Road, Tambon Bang Krang.
If taking a boat, the temple is accessible by walking through fruit orchards for 2 kilometres or if taking a car (more convenient), from Nonthaburi Pier get a ferry then a Song Thaeo of the Bang Yai-Tha Nam line. The stop is near Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat.
Wat Sangkhathan was presumably called Wat Sarikho. It was built around the late Ayutthaya period to enshrine Luang Pho To, a Buddha image in the Sadung Man posture. Later the temple was abandoned, but villagers continued paying homage to the revered Luang Pho To, thus monks residing nearby the monastery were invited for Sangakhathan. The word Sangkhathan literally means to give offerings to monks. This activity has been continuously practiced by villagers, hence giving the temple the name. The temple offers peaceful ambience, which resembles a forested meditation centre. It is an ideal place for meditation amid a natural environment. Females who wish to practice the 8 precepts can join a special project of nunhood called Nek Khamma. For more information contact tel. 0 2447 0799.
Getting there: Drive along Rattanathibet road over Phra Nang Klao Bridge, turn left at the junction for 12 kilometres. Alternatively, take a ferry from Nonthaburi Pier to Bang Si Muang Pier and then take a local truck (Song Thaeo).
Khlong Khanom Wan
Khlong Khanom Wan and other canals have homes that specialize in making sweets for sale and demonstrations to tourists.
Getting there: Take a ferry from either Wat Sanam Nua or Wat Klang Kret. Boats operate between 05.00-21.30 hrs.
Ko Kret or Kret island in the Chao Phraya River was created from the digging of a canal around a cape of the Chao Phraya River. In 1722, during the reign of King Thaisa of Ayutthaya, the island was called Khlong Lat Kret Noi which means a shortcut to Kret canal. Later, the current diverted, making the canal larger and turning the cape there into an island.
Ko Kret has prospered since the Ayutthaya period as evident from the many temples on the island that are from that period. However, it may have been deserted when the Burmese sacked Ayutthaya. When Ayutthaya was reclaimed, King Taksin the Great relocated the Mon people who found religion here. The Mon people on the island came during the Thon Buri period and during the reign of King Rama II.
A bicycle is the best transportation mode on the island.
Attractions on Ko Kret :
Wat Poramai Yikawat or Wat Pak Ao has many interesting things to see. There is a small castle with a five-tiered roof at the temples landing. It used to house a Mon coffin of a former abbot.
The fascinating convocation hall is decorated with items imported from Italy, a style that was popular during the reign of King Rama V. The king wished to preserve some of the traditional ways and commanded that this temple have prayers in the Mon language. Nowadays this temple is the only one that keeps the Buddhist scripture in this language. The main Buddha image here is in the Man Wichai posture, the work of Prince Praditsathanworakan who also made the Siam Thewathirat Buddha image. King Rama V praised this images beauty because its face seems alive. Another Mon characteristic here is the Mon-style pagoda that is a replica of Phra That Chedi Mutao in Hongsawadi that is highly revered by all Mons and houses the holy relics of Lord Buddha.
The chapel enshrines a reclining Buddha of the late Ayutthaya period that is decorated with striking mural paintings of royal insignias drawn by Prince Prawit Xumsai. Behind the building is a Buddha image of the province called Phra Nonthamunin from the late Ayutthaya period in the meditation posture on a Mon pedestal (Chong Phara) made by local artisans. In front of the building is a marble Buddha image that Sang Sew Sun, a Burmese, presented to King Rama V. The building is open daily during 08.30-16.30 hrs.
The museum exhibits artifacts that include earthen Buddha image, glassware, porcelain, and the Hem in particular. The Hem, a Mon-style coffin, which was made by Colonal Chatwat Ngamniyom, is considered a masterpiece of art. Its superb design and aluminum plate carving have been delicately done. It is believed that the Mons had copied the coffin style of Lord Buddha, which had a straight base, wide top, and narrow sides. The drawing of this coffin is shown in the museum. The Hem usually contains a dry corpse. A monks Hem has a window for onlookers to see the corpse inside.
Wat Chonprathan Rangsarit
Wat Chonprathan Rangsarit is a peaceful temple located in the vicinity of Tambon Bang Talat, Amphoe Pak Kret on the Nonthaburi-Ha Yaek Pak Kret Road. Its multi-purpose bamboo shade compound is always popular with Buddhists who come to offer food to the monks and listen to the sermons given by the abbot, Phra Thep Wisutthi Methi (Panya Nandha Bhikku).
Wat Sao Thong Thong
Wat Sao Thong Thong was formerly called Wat Suan Mak .The temple was the first elementary school in Pak Kret. Behind the chapel lies the highest pagoda in Pak Kret. It is surrounded by two smaller pagodas. Beside the chapel, there are 2 large pagodas; one is a bell-shaped Lankan-style pagoda; another is a square-based pagoda. The chapel has beautiful gold-colored ceiling murals. The main Buddha image is a plaster image in the Man Wichai posture. The Mon people call this temple Phia A Lat.Wat Chim Phli consists of a small attractive chapel, which is still in good condition. The upper part of the chapel has woodcarving depicting an angel riding a chariot surrounded by floral patterns. The doorway has a pyramid (Mondop) shape). The windows are still lovely and the building base is in the shape of a junks hull. Wat Phai Lom was built in the late Ayutthaya period. A magnificent chapel features wood flower patterns. In front of the building are 2 small pagodas in the shape of a carambola fruit with a square base and plaster designs. Mons call this temple Phia To.