Nakhon Phanom is situated on the bank of the Mae Khong opposite Muang Ta Kaek, Laos. It is where the Phra That Phanom, the most sacred and ancient religious monument of the Northeast, is located. For the Phra That is venerated by both Thais and Laotians living along the Mae Khong. Although it partially collapsed some time ago, it has been restored to its former glory. Nakhon Phanom is 740 kilometers from Bangkok.
Phra That Phanom is about fifty kilometers from the town proper. It has not been conclusively proven when it was built. However, according to archaeologists, it is about 1,500 years old. Fifty-two meters high, each of its rectangular bases measures 12.33 meters. Its decorative top is made of gold weighing 110 kilograms. The annual Phra That Phanom Fair is celebrated on the hill-moon evening of the 3rd Lunar month. Thousands of worshippers flock to Nakhon Phanom to pay homage to this most important religious shrine in the Northeast. Stalls and performances staged throughout the 7 day celebration.
That Phanom, Nakhon Phanom
Phra That Renu Nakhon, the main religious monument in Amphoe Renu Nakhon, is about fifty kilometers from town. It is similar to the Phra That Phanom but in a smaller scale. Renu Nakhon boasts a market place not unlike San Kamphaeng in Chiang Mai, with cotton, silk, dresses and quilted blankets as leading local products.
Prathat Tha Uten situated in Amphoe Tha Uthen is similar to Phrathat Phanom. Its was built in 1912 A.D. to store a relic of the Lord Buddha brought from Myanmar.
Tat Kham Forest Park Waterfall, 7 kilometers from amphoe Ban Phaeng, has been preserved in its natural beauty. It is where the rivers originating from Phu Langka mountain meet to form the Huai Kham River. The river cascades through 4 steps of the fall before continuing on its way to the Khong River.
Tat Pho Waterfall, 5 kilometers from Nam Tok Tat Kham, can he reached after a 2 hour walk. The waterfall is from a river originating fon Phu Langka mountain. The area has its own natural beauty especially in the rainy season.
Illuminated Boat Parade is held annually in October or November. The event represents a traditional Loi Krathong ceremony of northeasterners, marking the end of the Buddhist Lent. The illuminated boats are made of banana bark, bamboo or other floatable materials with a length of at least 6 meters. The boats are elaborately fashioned into various shapes. The procession is staged in the streets during the day while at night, religious rites are observed. Later, the boats will be illuminated and launched into Mekhong river.