Arts and Culture Centre of Nakhon Si
Thammarat Rajabhat Institute is 13 kilometres from the city on the
Nakhon Si Thammarat-Phrom Khiri Road (Highway No. 4016). It is the
centre of information on archaeological sites discovered in the
province. On display are ancient local tools and utensils from the
establishment of the community to the Srivijaya Empire. The centre
also preserves and revives local entertainment, as well as
researches and collects works on languages, literature and
anthropology. The most important artifacts here are the stone
inscriptions found at Khao Chong Khoi and artifacts from the ancient
community at Wat Mok Lan. These vital evidences relate when Nakhon
Si Thammarat was built. The centre is open daily during official
Bang Pu is 17 kilometres from the city
and is at the Bang Pu intersection. This is where quality pottery is
made. Only bricks and flowerpots used to be made here, but villagers
from Ban Mok Lan have now set up stores selling their handicrafts in
this area. The products on sale have been improved in variety and
quality for greater marketing appeal.
Chedi Yak is the province’s second tallest
pagoda, after Phra Borom That pagoda. It is located near Nakhon Si
Thammarat Municipality in the abandoned Wat Chedi area. It is said that
the pagoda was built by Khotkhiri, a wealthy Mon, and his employees when
they took refuge in the city in 1003.
Chinese buildings at Wat Pradu and Wat
Chaeng is on Ratchadamnoen Road near the provincial stadium. Built
in the early Rattanakosin period, they house the ashes of Phraya
Nakhon and is believed to also have the ashes of King Taksin the
City wall is alongside Ratchadamnoen
Road. The wall was renovated in the early Rattanakosin period and
once more in 1990. The wall runs parallel with the city moat from
Chai Nua Gate or Chai Sak Gate to the east for 100 metres.
Ho Phra Isuan is on Ratchadamnoen Road.
It is a historical site of the Brahman religion. On display is the
Shiva Linga , the symbol of the Brahman god Shiva. There are also
several bronze images, such as the Siwa Nattarat image, Phra Uma and
Phra Phikkhanet. The bronze images in this hall are replicas of the
real images that are in Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum.
Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum
occupies the area of the former Wat Suan Luang Tawan Ok. The museum
was opened in 1974 and displays artifacts found in the 4 southern
provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Surat Thani, and
Chumphon. Of interest are the local handicrafts display room. The
national library building opened to the public in 1976. There is a
good collection of rare books and important books sent by the
National Library in Bangkok for locals to study.
Phra Phutthasihing is housed in the Phra
Phuttha Sihing hall near the Provincial Hall. This sacred image was
believed to have been ordered by the king of Lanka in 157 AD and was
brought to Thailand during the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great.
There are currently 3 similar images in Thailand. One is housed at the
National Museum in Bangkok, another at Wat Phra Sing in Chiang Mai and
this image in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The hall housing the image was
originally the Buddha image hall of the palace of Chao Phraya Nakhon
(Noi). The hall is divided into 2 parts; the front portion houses Phra
Phuttha Sihing, Phra Lak Ngoen and Phra Lak Thong and the back portion
houses the ashes of the ancestors of the Na Nakhon family.
Phra Wihan Sung, or Ho Phra Sung, is an
important historical site located just outside the ancient city wall to
the north in the area of Sanam Na Muang, on Ratchadamnoen Road. The site
is so called because of its high location on a hill, 2.10 metres above
level ground. There is no exact historical evidence but it is believed
that its architecture and wall murals are from the early Rattanakosin
period. The building houses plaster images with a thick, clay core. The
images are either from the 18th-19th century or from the late Ayutthaya
Residence of Ok Ya Sena Phimuk (Yamada
Nagamasa) Yamada Nagamasa was a Japanese volunteer soldier who lived
in the Ayutthaya period during the reign of King Songtham. For his
many contributions to the palace, he was rewarded by being bestowed
the title of Ok Ya Sena Phimuk and appointed lord of Nakhon Si
Thammarat in 1629. Traces of his home are still visible in the area
of the Thai restaurant on Nang Ngam Road (beside the provincial
Shadow play house of Suchat Sapsin is
at 10/18 Si Thammasok Road, Soi 3. Suchat Sapsin received the 1996
Thailand Tourism Awards for the best cultural and historical site.
The house has a shadow play museum, shadow play-making
demonstrations and complete performances. Visitors can appreciate
this fascinating art by calling tel. demonstrations and complete
performances. Visitors can appreciate this fascinating art by
calling tel. 0 7534 6394.
Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin 84 Park is a
large park with an area of over 490.23 acres. It is just behind the
provincial stadium. Originally part of Ratcharudi Park during the
time of King Rama V, the park has an open zoo, a bird park, a health
park, and a lake which is home to waterfowls that migrate here
during January to March every year.
The Thai-style monks’ residence of Wat
Wang Tawan Tok is on Ratchadamnoen Road, in the area said to be
opposite Wang Tawan Ok (Eastern Palace), the retreat of Chao Chom
Prang. Formerly a park, Chao Phraya Nakhon (Noi) donated Wang Tawan
Ok and the park opposite it to a temple, now known as Wat Wang Tawan
Tok(Western Palace Temple). In 1888, Phra Khru Kachat (Yong) and his
disciples built a group of houses for monks. The 3 houses have a
pointed roof connected to the other and there are exquisite Nakhon
Si Thammarat designs on the walls, doors, windows, and vents. The
Siam Architects Society named these houses the best conservation
effort in the area of historical sites and temples in 1992.
Wirathai Monument is made
of blackened copper. The locals call this monument Cha Dam or Chao
Pho Dam. It was erected to honor Thai soldiers in southern Thailand
who died fighting an invading Japanese force in World War II on
December 8, 1941.
Wat Chai Na Meditation Centre is on
Phatthanakan Thung Prang Road. Meditation courses are held for Thais and
foreigners. The famous monk Phutthathat Bhikkhu established the centre
as a branch of his monastery in Surat Thani. The centre is peaceful with
an abundance of shady trees.
Wat Phra Mahathat
Woramahawihan is located on Ratchadamnoen Road in Tambon Nai Mueang.
This is a royal temple of the first class. Formerly named Wat Phra
Borom That, this is one of the most important historical sites in
southern Thailand and in all of Thailand. According to the legend of
Phra Borom That Nakhon Si Thammarat, Prince Thanakuman and Queen Hem
Chala brought Buddha relics to Hat Sai Kaeo and built a small pagoda
to mark the location. Later on, King Si-Thamma Sokarat established
the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and built a new pagoda. The present
pagoda has a distinctive Sri Lankan style, measuring 55.78 metres
high (measured by the Fine Arts Department during the renovation of
the gold top in 1995). The height from the lotus base to the gold
top is 6.80 metres. The top is entirely covered by pure gold. Inside
the temple are many buildings of importance, especially the royal
building which has beautiful architecture from the Ayutthaya period
and the Sam Chom building where the Buddha image attired in royal
Phra Si Thamma Sokarat , is housed. There are also the Phra Maha
Phinetkrom (the equestrian image) building and the Thap Kaset
building, while the Khian and Pho Lanka buildings are used to
display artifacts that were donated to the temple by Buddhists.