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Nakhon Sawan is where the mighty Chao Phraya originates at the confluence of the Ping and Nan Rivers. The province is dubbed the gateway to the North, and was a centre of transportation and trade by waterway. It is home to many ethnic Chinese groups who have successfully assimilated into Thai society, yet still maintained their core heritage and traditions. The province’s Chinese New Year celebration is one of the most spectacular of its kind in the country. Nakhon Sawan literally means “heavenly city” and is only some 200 km from Bangkok but usually overlooked by travellers. We promise it is worthy of a visit for 2 days and 1 night. This heaven is indeed reachable!

Day 1
1.Enjoy panoramic views of Nakhon Sawan town at Wat Khiriwong hilltop temple.
2.Ko Yuan
3.Nostalgic moments at the century-old Chum Saeng Market.
4.Making palm sugar with villagers at Ban Koei Chai.
5.A delicious supper by the side of the Nan River at Talat Tha Ruea Khlong Khang

Day 2
6.Boat tour on Bueng Boraphet freshwater lake.
7.A stroll through the fish tunnel at Bueng Boraphet Aquarium,
8.Chao pho Thepharak – Chao mae Thapthim Shrine
9.Capturing images of the sunn hemp fields, Thammachai Farm

Day 1
Nakhon Sawan is about a 3 and-a-half-hour drive from Bangkok. It is also easily accessible by bus and train.
Wat Khiriwong hilltop temple
Wat Khiriwong is an important religious monument of Nakhon Sawan, and highly revered by the local residents.

The third floor is enshrined with replicas of Thailand’s well-known Buddha images; such as, Phra Kaeo. You can also enjoy a good view of Nakhon Sawan town from this area or proceed to the fourth floor, which offers a 360-degree panorama of the city below.
Matuli Road, Tambon Pak Nam Pho, Amphoe Mueang, Nakhon Sawan
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tel. 056 221 633, 056 222 009

After visiting Wat Khiriwong, our next stop was Koh Yuan, an island near the origin of Chao Phraya River.

The area’s highlight is a 1-kilometer-long canal. The city municipality has redeveloped the canal originally used for delivering treated water into Chao Phraya River and then turned it into a beautiful place like the promenades in Paris or Seoul.

Today the area around Koh Yuan Canal is open as a place to relax, exercise or even as a tourist attraction. Moreover, there is a plan to improve the water quality in the canal to start breeding fish, to eventually make the area more attractive.

The century-old Chum Saeng Market
Chum Saeng, 40 km from Nakhon Sawan town, was a very prosperous district by the Nan River about a century ago. Chum Saeng Railway Station is the last stop in Nakhon Sawan for Northern-bound trains. The district used to be recognised as a prime centre for the rice trade before a reversal of fortune that saw the road network replacing water and rail transportation.

Along the rail track is a quaint little market that has been around as long as the community itself. You will see many old wooden houses and get some idea of how significant the market was in bygone days although today it is relatively quiet. Walk around its small alleys to see spirited aunties and grannies plying their trade, and buy something. 

This wooden house is the location of a Thai TV drama series and a favourite photo spot for fans of the series.

This gallery in the Market displays many interesting vintage photos and objects.

Its outside wall is also decorated with eye-catching graffiti. You will have many photos to shows friends back home after visiting this gallery.

The Chum Saeng community is home to a Chinese shrine built by locals of Chinese descent. The community holds an annual event to celebrate the shrine that features a spectacular procession.

If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss a famous Thai dessert called sarim — thin noodles made from mung bean flour in coconut milk syrup, served cold with crushed ice. You’ll find it served fresh by a vendor near the Chum Saeng Railway Station.

Palm Sugar of Ban Koei Chai
Some 7 km. on the way back to town, we recommend you visit Ban Paklong Koei Chai to learn how the villagers make their palm sugar.

Ban Koei Chai is a community-based destination famous for its palm sugar cottage industry. The villagers cultivate sizable palm plantations and have made a decent living from palm sugar for generations. You can see the entire process from picking the palm fruit to making sweets from the palm sugar.

Only a mature palm tree at least 20 years old will yield good quality sugar suitable for making Thai desserts. Many Thais still prefer palm sugar to cane sugar when making traditional desserts.

Please contact the community in advance if you want to join the palm sugar making. The palms are harvested all-year round, but the fruit season is January-July.

Palm Sugar of Ban Koei Chai
Tambon Koei Chai, Amphoe Chum Saeng, Nakhon Sawan
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tel. 08 1067 9646, 08 1786 7716

Talat Tha Ruea Khlong Khang – Weekend market
The market is organised at an old pier on the Ping Riverbank, behind Wat Khlong Khang.
An endless choice of sweet and savoury food is yours to enjoy at this weekend market. Dining by the river in the late afternoon is very enjoyable.
Tambon Bueng Senat, Amphoe Mueang, Nakhon Sawan
Open Saturdays and Sundays from 3:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Tel. 08 9643 9237

Day 2
Bueng Boraphet, or Boraphet Marsh
This is the largest freshwater swamp in Thailand covering an area of more than 200 square kilometres of land and earning it the name “Northern Sea” or “Great Lake”. Almost 200 species of animals and plants have been found in the area, among the rarest of which are the white-eyed river martin and the Siamese tiger fish.

We are at Bueng Boraphet for a sightseeing tour by boat. Arrive for the earliest sailing if you want to enjoy the sunrise.

The boat route will take you to see water lilies, which bloom between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m.

Along the route, you will also see a lot of teals as the marsh is home to more than 156 species of the bird. Many migratory birds will also be found here between November and March. It is a favourite place for birdwatchers.

The boat will stop at the deepest spot in the marsh for photo opportunities before heading to the crocodile habitat. The marsh was known as a crocodile den due to its hospitable environment for the reptiles.

The entire trip usually takes around 1-2 hours. It’s a truly relaxing and refreshing activity, and one that comes highly recommended. 

Boat tour schedule
First tour 6:30 a.m.
Last tour 5:00 p.m.

40-seat boat: 4000 Baht
12-seat boat: 600 Baht
Tambon Khwae Yai, Amphoe Mueang, Nakhon Sawan
Tel. 09 3237 1714

Getting up close and personal with fish in the underwater tunnel will amuse both kids and adults!
Tambon Khwae Yai, Amphoe Mueang, Nakhon Sawan
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tel. 056 274 522

Getting up close and personal with fish in the underwater tunnel will amuse both kids and adults!
Tambon Khwae Yai, Amphoe Mueang, Nakhon Sawan
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tel. 056 274 522

Chaopho Thepharak – Chaomae Thapthim Shrine is located in the area of Pak Nam Pho community on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River. The shrine is a place of worship and a spiritual center of the villagers in the area. Standing in front of the shrine is the huge Chaomae Thapthim Goddess which can be seen clearly when looking from the other side of the river.
Open daily from 08.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m

Inside the shrine, there is an altar which is used for paying homage to the God of Heaven and Earth. Also housed inside the shrine is Ban Tao Kong God, with Guan Yu God on the right and Chao Mae Thapthim Goddess on the left.

Travellers always visit the shrine to worship Chaomae Thapthim Goddess for good luck and prosperity throughout the year.

When looking out from the shrine, you will see PASAN, the memorial building which marks the origin of the mighty Chao Phraya River. This is the new landmark of Nakhon Sawan. From this point, the shrine also offers the best point for photo shoot.
This Friday, we will take you to PASAN in full version. Please stay tuned.

Sunn hemp fields at Thammachai Farm
If taking photos of flowers is your favourite pastime, Thammachai Farm is the place to be. The Farm is very popular with local Thais who can’t get enough of its vast flower fields. Sunn hemp is normally cultivated to improve soil quality. It blooms from November until December.

Ban Phu Lamyai, Amphoe Tak Fa, Nakhon Sawan
Tel. 08 7207 1718

For those who have missed the opportunity to see blooming sunn hemp flower fields this season, please wait until December 2021 and you will not be disappointed.

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