Nakhon Pathom

Nakhon Pathom (นครปฐม, also Nakorn Pathom) is in Bangkok Metropolitan Area, around 56 km from Bangkok. It is home to the world's tallest stupa.

Understand

The town's main attraction is Phra Pathom Chedi, a 127 m stupa, which marks the approximate location of the region's first exposure to Buddhism and Indian civilisations.

Nakhon Pathom was formerly situated by the sea but the shifting coastline now places it about 50 km inland. Archaeological findings date back to the 4th century and the first mention of a stupa was in the year 675.

While Nakhon Pathom was a prosperous city during the pre-Angkorian Dvaravati period; it was the Angkorian Empire that left a greater mark in the 11th century. However, shifting landscape and the altering of the river course caused drought that led to the abandonment of Nakhon Pathom in favour of the new riverside settlement of Nakhon Chaisi.

The ruins of the Angkorian stupa inspired King Rama IV to build the current giant, which was completed in 1870. He also commanded that the Chedi Bucha canal be dug to facilitate transport.

During the reign of King Rama V, the construction of railways led to more changes. The population of Tambon Thana, Amphoe Nakhon Chaisi, was relocated to Nakhon Pathom.

Get in

By bus

BKS public buses (lines 83 and 997) leave from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal. The trip costs 40 baht in first class and takes about an hour in good traffic. Buses go every 10 minutes from 04:10 until 21:30.

There are also 2nd class buses to Kanchanaburi every 15–30 minutes.

In addition there is a non-stop minibus service between Bangkok's Victory Monument and the Big C Superstore in Nakhon Pathom. You can also ask to be dropped off directly in front of Phra Pathom Chedi. The Victory Monument is far more convenient than the Southern Bus Terminal, and is on the skytrain light rail system. But the departure point from Victory Monument is hard to find, being located under the expressway, about 50 metres north of the roundabout, on Phahon Yothin Road (look up and around for the huge advertisement screen for the direction). At the other end, Big C is on the main road through Nakhon Pathom, and has plenty of four-wheel and two-wheel taxis to take you to your final destination. Cost is 60 baht each way.

By train

Nakhon Pathom is at an important rail junction. It is where the line to Kanchanaburi/Nam Tok diverges from the main north-south line. Therefore long distance trains that connect Bangkok's Hualamphong station to the south stop there, as do the trains from Bangkok's Thonburi station to Kanchanaburi and the bridge over the River Kwai. Connections to and from Thonburi are quicker than those to Hualamphong.

By car

From Bangkok, driving on the old route of Petchkasem Rd (Hwy 4) passing Aom Noi, Aom Yai, Sam Phran to Nakhon Pathom or driving on a new route from Bangkok, passing Buddhamonthon, Nakhon Chaisi to Nakhon Pathom. The new route is Rte 338 and originates on Pinklao Road. The elevated part from Pin Klao Bridge to Buddhamonthon 2 Rd is toll-free and cuts down travel time considerably.

See

Phra Pathom Chedi

Eat

Sleep

An easy day-trip from Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom won't leave you feeling the need to stay the night. But if you want a slow trip, there are plenty of provincial style hotels: designed for Thais, and straight out of the 1970s. At the Nakhon Inn, for example, they haven't changed their brochure since the early 1980s, and the photos of the rooms still match exactly to the rooms, but they are comfortable and prices are very reasonable.

Go next

Routes through Nakhon Pathom

Bangkok  N  S  Ratchaburi Butterworth
Bangkok  N  S  Kanchanaburi Nam Tok
Bangkok  N  S  Ratchaburi Sadao


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, June 24, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.