Nakhon Si Thammarat is located some 861 kms. by railroad and 780 kms. by highway from Bangkok. There is a place that houses Lord Buddha's relics which is a most important statutory place of the South, being the center of Buddhism during Sivichaya period. It With an area of 9,942.5 square kilometers, Nakhon Si Thammarat sits on a high plateau with mountains and jungles in the west, then slopes down in the east, becoming a basin along the coastline of the Gulf of Thailand. It borders are Surat Thani to the north; Trang, Phattalung and Songkhla to the south; the Gulf of Thailand to the east and Krabi to the west.
Nakhon Si Thammarat is administratively divided into 18 Amphoes and 2 King Amphoes: Muang, Cha-uat, Chawang, Chian Yai, Hua Sai, Khanom, Lan Saka, PakPhanang, Phipun, Ron Phibun, Sichon, Tha Sala, Thung Song, Thung Yai, Na Bon, Phrommakhiri, Bang Khan, Chulaphon, King Amphoe Tham Phannara and King Amphoe Phra Phrom. There are four important rivers: Tapi, Pak Phanang, Pak Phun and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Wat Phra Mahathat was originally an old monastery of Nakhon Si Thammarat situated in the heart of the city. It is believed to have been constructed during Sivichaya period. An extensive complex is centered on the 77-metre pagoda which houses Buddha relics brought from Sri Lanka some 1,700 years ago. There are other important archaeological sites, such as, Vihara Luang, Vihara Khien, Vihara Khot, Vihara Pho Lanka and museum.
Old City Wall was first constructed during the period of Phraya Si Thamma Sokarat and later rebuilt twice during the periods of King Ramesuan and King Narai the Great of Ayutthaya. The total width is 460 meters and length is 2,230 meters.
Chedi Yak is a giant pagoda located near the Municipality Office. Its size is second to the one at Wat Phra Mahathat. The pagoda is assumed to have been built in 1003 by a Mon millionnaire and his followers who lived there.
Ho Phra Buddha Sihing houses Phra Buddha Sihing Image located near the Provincial Hall (Sala Klang).
Giant Swing and Brahman Temple is in the heart of the city on the side of Ratchadamnoen Road. The current structures are replicas of the ones in Bangkok but smaller in size. They are important places of Brahman Religion which was first introduced to Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Hat Khanom is located 1.5 kilometers from Amphoe Khanom, approximately 100 kilometers north of the provincial capital. It is comprised of 3 sandy beaches: Nai Praet, Nai Phlao and Pak Nam. Accommodation is available.
Tham Khao Wang Thong is one of the most beautiful caves in Thailand. The cave is located in Amphoe Khanom. It can be reached by a 90 kilometer journey from the provincial capital along Highway 4014, then on Highway 4142 for 5 kilometers and a left turn for a another 6 kilometers.
Hat Hin Ngam is a rocky beach located 4.5 kilometers from Amphoe Sichon, 66 kilometres north of the provincial capital. Accommodation is a available.
Khao Kha Archaeological Site is on a mountain in Tambon Sao Phao, Amphoe Sichon. It can be accessed by traveling along the Highway No. 401 and turning to Chinda Prachasan Road at km.99, then driving on for another 5 kms. There is an ancient city over 1,500 years old with architectural ruins scattered in the area. The remains of a laterite shrine are found on top of the mountain.
Laem Ta Lum Phuk, located in Amphoe Pak Phanang, is 40 kms. from Amphoe Muang. It is a long sandy cape jutting out into the Gulf of Thailand. The fishing village was settled on its western beach. On the eastern beach where there are pine trees along the coast line. A lot of different seashells can be found on the white clean sand.
Hat Pak Phanang is a long white beach located 28 kms. from Pak Phanang township.
Hat Pak Pha-ying is located in Amphoe Tha Sala, 20 kms.from the towns. There is a fishing village with beautiful beach there.
Khao Luang National Park covers an area of 570 sq.kms. in Amphoe Lan Saka, Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Phrommakhiri, Amphoe Chawang and Amphoe Phipun. Main attractions in the national park area are waterfalls as follows:
Karom Waterfall is about 1,300-1,400 height with 19 levels. It is located in Amphoe Lan Saka, by highway, 4016,9 kms. from the city,( turn left to highway 6015 for 15 kms. then turn right for another 3 kms).
Phrommalok Waterfall is a large and high falls with 3 levels. It can be reached by highway 4016 and turn left at km. 21 to highway 4132 for another 5 kms.
Ai Khieo (or Nai Khieo) Waterfall is located in Tambon Thonhong, Amphoe Phrommakhiri, 29 kms. pasted Phrommalok Waterfall.
Krung Ching Waterfall is very big and has many levels. The most beautiful level is called "Nan Fon Saen Ha" (which means plenty drops of rain) because it looks like rain drops falling down from the cliff. It is located about 70 kms. from Provincial City on the highway no.4016, then walk for another 3.8 kms. Accommodations and food are available. Contact the National Park Division, Royal Forestry Department, Tel: 5790529, 5794842.
Other attractions in the national park are: Tha Pae Waterfall, Tambon Chang Klang, Amphoe Chawang; Khlong Tha Ngiu Waterfall, Tambon Khlong Tha Ngiu, Tambon Nop Phi Tam, Amphoe Tha Sala and a cave, (called Tham Kaeo Surakan), on km. 12 highway no.4015.
Yong National Park Waterfall
is accessible by traveling on the Highway no. 403 (Nakhon Si Tham-marat-Thung Song route). With its area being a virgin forest, there are beautiful waterfalls such as Yong (Lao), Nam Pliu, and Khlong Kui. Traveling to Yong Waterfall can be don by car but the rest only accessable on foot. Accommodation is not available. Tourists have to bring their own tents for an overnight stay.
Hae Pha Khun That (Homage-Paying Fair) This festival falls in February every year
During the event, the people of Nakhon Si Thammarat pay homage to locally enshrined relics of the Buddha. There are a number of religious ceremonies, among them a traditional merit-making procession. This parade brings a Phra Bot-a cloth painting of the Buddha's life story-to be placed over the relics.
Festival of the tenth Lunar Month The festival falls in September - October every year.
This ceremony is celebrated locally during the fifteen nights of the waning moon period in the tenth lunar month. To bring merit to the souls of ancestors, Buddhists offer a variety of foods and other gifts to monks. There are also numerous cultural performances, exhibitions, contests and other entertainments.