There’s a complete planet of wonder in Thailand, the factor is, most persons get trapped following the exact same nicely-trodden route. That is not necessarily a terrible factor thoughts you, and if you are on a tight schedule, who wouldn’t want to see a “Best Of” itinerary replete with highlights of The Land of Smiles. At times although, it is the much less explored nooks and crannies of this nation that make for far more memorable experiences.
If you have been to any quantity of the far more preferred spots in Thailand, you know what to count on: crowded temples, crowded beaches, and endless touts — these vendors who hound you to take their tours, remain at their hotels, or acquire their wares. If you have had it up to your eyeballs with all that, could I present to you for your consideration the beautiful city of Nakhon Phanom, exactly where you will have zero crowds, and equally as essential — zero touts.
Plus, Nakhon Phanom is an absolute scream.
There are a lot of activities to do if you know exactly where to appear, and if you have identified right here reading this, nicely then I’d say you are off to a smashing start off. Right here are a handful of of the Finest Factors to Do in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand:
Go to Wat Phra That Phanom Temple
This is Thailand, so there are bound to be temples. Situated in nearby That Phanom, this temple is specific for a quantity of causes, initially and foremost simply because it is alleged to include the breastbone of Buddha. It is also a favourite pilgrimage spot for these born in the Year of the Monkey, and — get this — there are actually THOUSANDS OF PRICELESS BUDDHA STATUES INSIDE!! Golden Buddhas, wooden Buddhas, jade Buddhas, gold-leaf clad Buddhas — this temple has them all, in each shape, pose, posture, and size imaginable.
The kicker is, you cannot get in to see them. Only on specific occasions will the monks who run the spot enable specific guests to climb the somewhat treacherous five-story ladder inside the structure to get a appear, and even then, only males are permitted. (Sorry ladies, the guidelines are a bit out of the Dark Ages — some thing to do with menstrual cycles or some nonsense like that.) But hey, I do not make the guidelines, I just report on ‘em.
Nonetheless, it is a wonderful temple all the exact same, and nicely worth the trek as element of a day trip from Nakhon Phanom.
Get your Instagram-worthy photo taken along the Mekong River
Thais like postcard-worthy spots, and the Mekong River gives a lot. Appear for this giant postcard/photo frame close to the Friendship Bridge to get a fantastic photo opp for you and your travel companions.
Go to the 7-Headed Naga
Arguably the crown jewel of Nakhon Phanom, the magnificently ornate 7-Headed Naga acts as the epicentre of all activity in the town. It is a stellar spot to meet up with fellow travellers, and most tour groups will depart and finish their trips there. The coffee shop across the street also tends to make a imply iced latte and a devil’s meals cake that must come with an addiction warning. It is that superior.
Attempt some weird meals
If intense cuisine sometimes tickles (oryour palate, then Nakhon Phanom delivers it in spades. From crickets to slugs to nicely I’m not positive what other sorts of critters are on show at that stall there, but you will be spoiled for selection when it comes to Worry Aspect high quality cuisine. And considering that this is not Khao San Road in Bangkok, you will be paying the local’s price tag — not the inflated tourist price tag you will spend at most locations all through Thailand.
Attempt Some Not-so-weird (AKA Fantastic) Meals
If freaky meals ain’t your forté, then there’s a lot of “normal” eats to preserve your hunger at bay. Have you heard of Thai meals? Yeah, there’s lots of that stuff right here. In reality, it is everywhere. The Germans and the Brits have however to invade this spot with their schnitzel and bangers and mash, so neighborhood cuisine is the clear winner nonetheless.
Just choose any restaurant or street stall, and you will be fine. (Except for the aforementioned critter cuisine ones that is, steer clear of these unless you are cultivating a devil-could-care variety persona.)
Immerse Oneself Conventional Dance, Knife Creating, or Rice Planting
Any quantity of hotels or tour providers in Nakhon Phanom can arrange a day trip for you to go to a nearby village to see standard dancing (see above).
You can also attempt your hand at knife making…
…silk-worm farming, and even planting rice at a operating rice farm — as we did under at KHAO-KHUN-MAE.
Go to the Sun Tree Art & Culture Organic Market place
Situated along the Mekong River a prime piece of genuine estate just a brief stroll up from the 7-Headed Naga, the brand-spanking new Sun Tree Art & Culture Market place is nonetheless getting its legs, but it is going to be a culture-lover’s paradise when factors get into complete swing. Nearby artisans can sell their wares without having possessing to spend a stall charge, and everybody from farmers to weavers to foodies give demonstrations on their craft. These are not just plain demos although, this is a roll-up-your-sleeves and essentially find out how to do it your self variety dealio. You have never ever identified
Meander more than to the Friendship Bridge
“No man is a failure who has mates.” Says the guy who posts a photo of himself, alone, by a bridge appropriate for jumping.
Kidding, that is essentially a quote from It is a Great Life (Finest Christmas film EVER!) The Third Thailand-Laos Friendship Bridge blends as nicely as a bridge can, and gives some quite stellar vistas of the mountainous landscape across the Mighty Mekong. If you have a visa for Laos, you are permitted to cross the bridge for the greatest views. if you do not, you will nonetheless fall in like with the view of the bridge quicker than you can say, “Zuzu’s Petals.”
Bike Ride along the Mekong River
Image courtesy of Shayan Naveed from Dose of Life
Nakhon Phanom was named the happiest spot in Thailand a handful of years back, and judging by how match the people are right here, I can see why. There are miles of bike paths along the Mekong River, as nicely as other locations all through the city. You can ordinarily rent a bicycle from your hotel, or ask at the front desk. It is not difficult to discover bike rentals right here. There are also heaps of locals jogging their way to a much better version of themselves, as nicely as working out at the lots of outside health club stations scattered all through the town. Nakhon Phanom is match AF.
Mekong River Boat Ride
You do not need to have to be Einstein to figure out you actually must take a jaunt on the river right here — I imply, appear at that view! Our group took a cruise along the Mekong River with 1 of the neighborhood boat tour operators. I was impressed by how close we got to the Laos side of the Mekong — we even waved at some friendly Laotians out for a speed walking session, and you know what — they even waved back. Will have to have some thing to do with that Friendship Bridge. It is a fantastic way to pass an hour or two. PRO TIP: Attempt to schedule your boat tour for sunset — you will get a spectacular view of each sides of the Mekong and the best lighting to capture these low-hanging clouds hugging the Lao hills.
Take a Stroll Down Walking Street
There’s a sense of exploration about Nakhon Phanom. You discover the way as you go. As I pointed out, there are no endless touts hollering at you. There are no crowds of sun-kissed vacationers jockeying for selfie positions in front of monuments and temples. There’s no cash grab or heavy sales pitch right here. Nakhon Phanom grows on you like a comfy sweater. If spots like Krabi and Pattaya are “in-your-face” Thailand, this is Thailand behind-the-scenes. It is like you have got the spot to your self most days. If you are a seasoned traveller, and someplace along the road your travels have taken you from joyous to jaded, then a spot like Nakhon Phanom genuinely is a present — it ignites that travel spark once again.
It is as pleasant as pleasant can get. And if you are searching for an option to the mass tourism marring some locales in Thailand, than Nakhon Phanom must be on your radar — it actually is a sweet spot in a from time to time tangy Thailand.
Have you ever been to Nakhon Phanom?
NOTE: I was a guest of TEATA — the Thailand Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association in association with the Mekong Tourism Forum in the course of my time in Nakhon Phanom. The Mekong Tourism Forum aims to market tourism in nations along the Mekong River (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, and Myanmar) All views are my personal.
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