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Amnat Charoen : Travel Guide, with Info on Nightlife, What to See & Covid-19 Report

Amnat Charoen (อำนาจเจริญ) is in a town, the capital of a Amnat Charoen Province, in the Isaan region of Thailand. Understand Although it is a small and tranquil town, Amnat Charoen has various attractions. Visitors to Charoen can view sacred Buddha images, picturesque rice paddies and fruit orchards, rocky rapids of Mekong River in dry […]

Wolfgang Holzem

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Amnat Charoen (อำนาจเจริญ) is in a town, the capital of a Amnat Charoen Province, in the Isaan region of Thailand.

Understand

Although it is a small and tranquil town, Amnat Charoen has various attractions. Visitors to Charoen can view sacred Buddha images, picturesque rice paddies and fruit orchards, rocky rapids of Mekong River in dry season, and excellent handicrafts, particularly silk.

The people of Amnat Charoen attach their lifestyle to local traditions and festivals that are held throughout year such as the festival to mark the end of Buddhist Lent, the Rocket Festival, Loy Krathong and Songkran. Moreover, they practice 14 moral precepts such as cleaning feet before entering a home, donating food to monks, avoiding stepping on a monk’s shadow, paying respect to parents, paying homage to Buddha images with flowers, candles, and joss sticks and learning Dhamma every day.

Most people in Amphoe Chanuman are descendants of the Phu Thai ethnic group who migrated from Laos. They specialise in weaving “khit” cloth, preserving its unique patterns. Their traditional musical performance “mor lam” always supports the democratic constitutional monarchy. Amnat Charoen people try to retain the “long khuang” tradition which consisted of teenagers meeting up for communal activities such as weaving or silk spinning accompanied by lively traditional music.

Stay with our Hotel Partners near Amnat Charoen

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Get in

Travel by car to Amnat Charoen

From Bangkok, head north via Hwy 1, then Hwy 2 to Korat. After that, take Hwy 226, Nakhon Ratchasima-Surin, then Hwy 214, Surin-Suwannaphum. Turn right onto Hwy 202 via Yasothon and Pa Tio to Amnat Charoen. This route is 585 km. Or motorists can take Hwy 1, 2, then Hwy 226, Nakhon RatchasimaUbon Ratchathani, and Hwy 212 to Amnat Charoen. This route is 704 km.

Travel by bus to Amnat Charoen

Scheduled buses and air conditioned coaches leave the Northeastern Bus Terminal, Mo Chit 2, Kamphaeng Phet Road, for Amnat Charoen daily.

Tourists who travel by plane or train can head for Ubon Ratchathani first, then take bus to Amnat Charoen, 75 km away.

Get around

What to see in Amnat Charoen

  • Buddha Utthayan and Phra Mongkhon Ming Mueang (พุทธอุทยาน และพระมงคลมิ่งเมือง): This base rock area is shaded and contains different kinds of vegetables decorated under the theme of “Buddha Park”. Inside the park, a huge northern Indian-style Buddha image, Phra Mongkhon Ming Mueang or Phra Yai, is placed in front of the temple. This Buddha image is now the logo of Amnat Charoen Province.
  • Chidsakol Farm (สวนเกษตรชิตสกนต์): Close to Chidsakol Resort, this well-known farm features flowers and plants. Its huge plantation of African marigold always turn the whole field into a bright yellow hue when in full bloom.
  • Wat Tham Saeng Phet (วัดถ้ำแสงเพชร): On a spacious sandstone plain, the cave temple features a viharn, a pagoda and a huge reclining Buddha. This cave is named Saeng Phet or “diamond’s glitters” due to its glittering rock. Wat Tham Saeng Phet is a meditation centre for those who honour Achan Cha Suphatto, a monk from Wat Nong Pa Phong. Many foreign monks visit it to meditate.
  • Morlam Village (หมู่บ้านหมอลำ): The cultural attraction of Amnat Charoen, mor lam is a famous traditional musical performance of northeast Thailand. Performances feature dance and traditional music. and is the biggest mor lam village of Thailand with 20 mor lam bands living in the village. The mor lam performance of Ban Pla Khao village was awarded Amnat Charoen’s OTOP (One Tambon One Product).
  • Boat Race Festival (ประเพณีการแข่งเรือยาว): is held in October and November each year. The race is a big tournament for boats from Amphoe Khemarat, (Ubon Ratchathani Province), Amphoe Chanuman (Amnat Charoen Province), and Laos. The race takes place on the Mekong River in front of the Amphoe Chanuman office.
  • Ban Kham Phra Handicraft Centre (ศูนย์จำหน่ายหัตถกรรมบ้านคำพระ) (Amphoe Hua Taphan). The centre offers various home made handicrafts made by the women of the area. (updated Feb 2016)
  • Ban Chang Tho Royal Folk Arts and Craft Training Centre (ศูนย์ศิลปาชีพบ้านสร้าง) (Amphoe Hua Taphan). The centre offers training course on various local crafts such as weaving and gem cutting. The centre here produces world-class gems cutting technicians. (updated Feb 2016)
  • Wat Phra Lao Thep Nimit (วัดพระเหลาเทพนิมิตร) (Amphoe Phana). This temple has a Lanna-style chapel which houses the principal Buddha image “Phra Lao Thep Nimit”. Built in 1720, the Buddha image, in the form of subduing Mara and decorated with gold leaf, is considered the most beautiful Buddha image of the northeast region. The style mirrors Laotian art from Vientiane which was influenced by Lanna during the 16th-17th centuries. (updated Feb 2016)
  • Don Chao Pu Botanical Park (วนอุทยานดอนเจ้าปู่) (Amphoe Phana). The park is home to various wildlife, particularly crab-eating macaques, many of which can be easily spotted. The park houses a sacred shrine as well as a Buddha images showing his birth, enlightenment, the first sermon, and a reclining pose. (updated Feb 2016)
  • Phu Sa Dok Bua (ภูสระดอกบัว) (Amphoe Senangkhanikhom). On the mountaintop are 11 stone pools, each a few metres wide. All of them are occupied by different species of colourful lotus plants which normally are found only in swampland. Locals insist that no one planted the lotus and that they occur naturally. So, they named these pools “phu sa dok bua”, literally “mountain lotus pool”. Nearby is a huge cave which can accommodate hundreds of people. It once served as a stronghold of the Communist Party of Thailand. (updated Feb 2016)
  • Mekong River scenery (ทิวทัศน์ริมฝั่งโขง) (Amphoe Chanuman). In front of the Amphoe Chanuman office, a long footpath running side by side with the river allows people to enjoy the view. In the dry season, from February to May, water in the Mekong River is much lower and allows islands such as Kaeng Tanglang and Kaeng Hin Khan to surface. (updated Feb 2016)

Charoen/ Where to stay in Amnat Charoen

  • Faikid Hotel, 449 Moo 12 Soi Samran Rat, Arun Prasert Road, Tambon Bung (From Ming Mongkhon intersection, drive towards Yasothon for 1 km then turn left onto Soi Samran Rat. Continue straight about 50 m, Faikid Hotel will be on your right.). Sixty-one rooms from economy to suites. City centre. Meeting facilities. 450-1,200 Thai Baht. (updated Jan 2016)

Former founder of Asiarooms.com and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu.

Central Thailand

Hua Hin Cha-am : Travel Guide, with Info on Nightlife, What to See & Covid-19 Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Hua Hin Travel Guide

Hua Hin is a district in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province of Thailand, 295 kilometers from Bangkok and 90 km from the provincial capital. It is the oldest and most traditional of Thailand’s beach resorts combining the attractions of a modern holiday destination with the charm and fascination of a still active fishing port. Beaches are located in the east of the province, including a 5km stretch of white sand and clear water. Although it has developed to cater for tourists from all over the world, the resort which began its development over 70 years ago, remains popular with Thais too, a good sign for those looking for an authentic experience.

The resort was originally founded in 1830s, when farmers, moving south to escape the results of a severe drought in the agricultural area of Phetchaburi, found a small village beside white sands and rows of rock, and settled in. The tranquil fishing village was turned into a ‘Royal resort’ becoming popular among Siam’s nobility and smart-set.

Accessibility was greatly enhanced by the construction of the railway from Bangkok, which brought visitors from wider social groups, and kick-started the industry which would bring tourists from other countries. The first hotel – The Railway Hotel – was built in 1921 and it still stands today continuing to serve tourists as the Sofitel Central.

Hua Hin was made famous in the early 1920s by King Rama VII, who decided it was an ideal getaway from the steamy metropolis of Bangkok. He built a summer palace and this was echoed when King Rama VII ordered the construction of the Palace of Klaikangwon (“far from worries”). The latter is still much used by the Thai Royal Family today.

The resort continued to develop slowly, protected to some extent by its Royal reputation. Its fishing port grew alongside golf courses and all the big hotel chains are now represented. Many of Bangkok’s rich and famous and a growing number of expats have built their own summer homes along the bay, making the resort more cosmopolitan every year.

Development has taken over much of the prime government land, so the coast road suffers from obstructed views of the sea these days, but Hua Hin is trying hard to retain its beach-side atmosphere. Compared to Pattaya, the resort remains relatively serene and attracts families and older travelers. The beach has a gradual slope, into clear warm water which so far has escaped pollution of any kind.

Further afield, the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province is a charming region, where limestone cliffs and islands, bays and beaches, are home to a national park, and several temples, and travelling through this area will be a welcome experience for those hoping to avoid the tourist traps found further South. Driving from Bangkok through Prachuap Khiri Khan takes around three hours, a journey punctuated by summer palaces, huge temples, beautifully kept gardens and salt flats.

Visitors head to Hua Hin all year round. The area has one of the lowest rainfalls in the country, and there’s usually a gentle sea breeze to punctuate the heat, particularly welcome in the summer season between March and September.

Stay with our Hotel Partners in Hua Hin

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Flights to Hua Hin

Things to see and do in Hua Hin

Dive In
As you would expect with a resort boasting a 5km clean white beach, sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling are popular pastimes. Swimming is safe, and with one of the driest climates across Thailand, there’s plenty of opportunity to dry off in the sun afterwards.

Tee Off
Possibly due to its noble history and elegant clientele, Hua Hin has the highest density of world class golf courses anywhere in Thailand, although it has yet to be discovered by the international golf tournament circuit. Green-fees and other costs are surprisingly low, given that course maintenance and services are superb. The Royal Hua Hin course is one of many, but considered to be the best.

Shop till you drop

Chatchai Market is colourful and inexpensive and is one of Hua Hin’s major attractions. Vendors gather nightly in the centre of town, where they cook fresh gulf seafood for hordes of hungry Thais and provide a spectacle for visitors. As well as plentiful food shops, it offers much that will appeal to souvenir hunters too.

Royal Palace

Klai Kangwon (which means ‘Far From Worries’ ) is the Royal Palace built by King Rama VII in 1928. It was designed by Prince Iddhidehsarn Kridakara, an architect and the Director of the Fine Arts Department at the time, and officially opened in 1929. Further structures have been added over time, including a mansion ordered by King Bhumibol (Rama IX) for Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and accommodation for the royal entourage, built in the style of the original buildings so as to preserve the harmony of the palace. Although Klai Kangwon is still in regular use by the Royal family, it is also open to the public.

Hop on a train
Or more importantly, visit the railway station. Built in the reign of Rama IV, the brightly painted wooden buildings somehow combine traditional Thai ideas with a Victorian feel, and in 2009 Hua Hin made it onto NewsWeek’s Best Stations list, in great company such as New York’s Grand Central, and London’s St Pancras.

Take off
Although one of the joys of Hua Hin is its serenity and calm, if you’re keen to take in more, its fairly easy to find trips which will take you to many of the other southern beach destinations such as Koh Nangyaun, Koh Toa, Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi  and Koa Sok. You may find however that some of these legendary destinations have suffered more at the hands of the global tourist industry than Hua Hin has.

Monkey about
Khao Takiab is referred as Monkey Mountain, but as well as the mischievous residents, it also boasts a hilltop temple with sensational views of Hua Hin, a pagoda-style shrine and a giant golden Buddha which faces the sunrise.

Walk in the Park
The region boasts several parks, and natural attractions, such as the Kangajan National Park, and the Koa Sam Roi Yod Marine Park. You’ll find miles of good walking, amongst lakes, caves and waterfalls, and you’ll be in the company of as elephants, tigers, wild dogs and leopards.

Eat, drink and sleep in Hua Hin

As more affluent ex-pats from all over the world gather to weather the winter, or snap up beachfront properties in Hua Hin, the restaurant scene becomes more cosmopolitan. French, Italian, German and Scandinavian restaurants are all here, in case anyone feels homesick. However, there are also rustic seafood restaurants, especially on the pier, and at several of these you can choose your own fish from the fish market right outside and waiters will bring you the finished result.
There are plenty of simpler local restaurants both inside and out on the streets where you can sample authentic Thai food too.

If you want to try to cook your own Thai food in Hua Hin, the very best place to buy your ingredients, not because it’s the cheapest, but because it is a fabulous experience, is the night market. Right in the centre of town, it opens at 18:00. It’s also a terrific place to buy handicrafts, souvenirs and clothing.

The Chatchai market is a great day market and the place to go for the best street food, as vendors grill, fry, boil and dress the fabulous local fish and shellfish, but don’t forget to leave room for a real local speciality. Roti Hua Hin is a delicious dough-based snack filled with strawberries, custard or raisins.

In a side street just off the market is the Hua Hin Thai Show, a pagoda-style restaurant which combines great food with a nightly musical performance, where you can sample folk with your fish or classical over your clams.

Unlike many Thai resorts, here you will also find more elegant dining, including Thai and Vietnamese food with a more upmarket touch for a real treat. Monsoon is the most romantic and expensive, but it’s worth it for the wine list and the elegant atmosphere. If your budget doesn’t run to dinner, you can enjoy afternoon tea on its teak-decked terrace.

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Central Thailand

Ko Si Chang : Travel Guide, with Info on Nightlife, What to See & Covid-19 Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Ko Si Chang (เกาะสีชัง) is a small island, population 4,500, near Si Racha and near Pattaya.

Understand

In the Gulf of Thailand, Ko Sichang’s proximity to the shipping lanes has made it a convenient anchorage for dozens of barges which transship their cargoes to lighters for the trip up the Chao Phraya to Bangkok. Ko Si Chang makes a nice weekend outing for local tourists.

While the beaches are not as enjoyable as those on islands further east and south, such as Ko Samet, tourists can explore the remains of a former royal palace which was built as a summer retreat for King Chulalongkorn. The royal residence was abandoned in 1893 when the French occupied the island during a conflict with Thailand over who would control Laos.

The island has many places of religious interest and value. Be respectful of the local culture and wear modest clothes when visiting the temples and religious shrines. Always remove your shoes and cover your shoulders when entering a holy area. Refrain from topless or nude sunbathing/swimming.

Visit our Hotel Partners in Ko Si Chang

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Get in

By bus You can catch a government bus from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) or Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai). Both stations have buses that leave everyday, on the hour. The trip to Si Racha takes about 2 hours. At Mo Chit, go to Window 54 to purchase your ticket. Tickets are 92 Thai Baht from Mo Chit, 88 Thai Baht one-way from Ekamai and there is no discount for buying a return fare.

By boat Upon arrival in Si Racha, take a tuk-tuk for 50 Thai Baht to the pier. Boats to Ko Sichang leave hourly (every two hours in low season) from the pier on Ko Loy. The ferry takes about 40 minutes and is 50 Thai Baht per person each way (July 2019).

The information counter at the pier in Ko Sichang provides useful information and a brochure identifying five important locations on the island, written in Thai and English. This counter may not be open in low-season.

When leaving the island, be careful. The ferry may leave from a pier different from the one you came in on (eg. the one north of the marina or the one near the 7-11). It’s best to ask a local motorbike taxi driver when you are close to the piers, and he will direct you.

Get around

Motorcycle buffs will be intrigued by the strange motorcycle samlors peculiar to Ko Sichang, three-wheeled motorized rickshaws with outrageously powerful car or Harley Davidson engines. These once roamed the streets of Bangkok, but were banished to Si Racha years ago. They can be hired for about 60 Thai Baht an hour to take visitors on a tour of the island.

For groups of tourists, a one-day around-the-island transport package can be arranged at the pier. The charge for the three-wheeled motorized tuk-tuk, which can accommodate 5 persons, is around 250 Thai Baht, and the pick-up truck, which can accommodate 10 persons, is around 500 Thai Baht. Tourists can spend however long they wish at each location, and the pick-up time for the next location can be agreed as you get off at each location or you can call the driver’s mobile phone when needing pick-up.

By motorbike By far the most popular way to get around the island is by renting a motorbike, usually priced at around 300 Thai Baht/day. As there are few steep hills, the island is easily navigated by novices. Motorbikes can be rented at the pier, or at many guest houses or rental facilities along the main road

By foot For travellers who have more time or want to see the island at a slower pace, the island is easily navigated on foot. All of the island’s main attractions can be seen in one day, and you can walk to most places in less than an hour.

What to see and do

  • Buddha’s Footprint and LookoutAccessible from the main road, or from San Jao Phaw Khao Yai, this lookout offers amazing views of both the island and the small lake known as Buddha’s Footprint. The lookout has a shrine and a bell. If you wish to notify the spirits that you are visiting, ring the bell three times.
  • Rama IV Summer Palace and Gardens (Halfway down the east coast). The remains of the 19th century palace. You can spend an hour or two wandering around the old buildings, gardens, the pier, and the small beaches.
  • San Jao Phaw Khao Yai (Northeast of the piers). This venerable multi-level Chinese temple is perched high on a cliff and has a spectacular view back toward the mainland. The temple has many rooms and caves to be explored. To the right, just before entering the main hall, you will see stairs leading up to Buddha’s footprint.
  • Wat Tham Yai PrikThis large temple on the hill includes a giant golden Buddha visible from the ferry, as well as many other Buddha statues. The temple has a great view, caves and many buildings to explore. The local monks will be happy to show you around and offer a blessing, although as with anything related to monks in Thailand this will cost. Please note that any legitimate Buddhist Monk is forbidden from handling money, donations are always welcome at Wat (temples) but it is never expected or asked for. Payment for any legitimate blessing would be given in a donation box, anything else is a tourist scam.

What to do

  • CavesOf interest is the large cave known as Tham Saowapha which is said to extend over a kilometre into the limestone interior of the island. Another cave, the chimney-like Tham Chaprakong gives access to the view from the top of the hill. Other caves on the island are home to meditating hermits, so visitors should take care not to cause any disturbance. Many of the temples on the island also have caves used for worship which can be explored as long as you are being respectful.
  • Taam Pang BeachThe only real beach on the island offers nice swimming and good snacks. Beware of rubbish which can find it’s way onto the beach when the tide comes in. The island offers beautiful sunsets seen off Taam Pang Beach or Chom Kao Kard.

Eat

The cafe on the beach is very good, with reasonable prices.

  • Pan and David’sA good mix of Western and Thai food.
  • Tiew Pai Park Resort Restaurant. Reasonably priced, mostly Thai food.

Sleep

  • Ban Khun Ning Sichang Resort ,   A nice place to stay. Built in Thai residence style, it offers guests large and comfortable rooms. Air-con, hot showers, free Wi-Fi, coffee/tea, and cable TV. 600+ Thai Baht.
  • Charlie’s BungalowsA centrally-located guest house. Air-con, hot showers, and cable TV. 900 Thai Baht.
  • Jeff BungalowsSpotless rooms with DVD, cable TV, free coffee/tea/soft drinks. 600 Thai Baht.
  • Malee Blue HutBuilt in an old Moroccan-style mansion called “Dracula’s Castle” by the locals. Air-con rooms go for 1,200 Thai Baht, including cable TV and breakfast.
  • Tham Phang Beach Resort.  Not the cleanest or cheapest accommodation, but it is on the island’s only real beach.

Stay safe

Be careful at night. As you move away from the more popular areas, the street lighting is poor or non-existent. If you are planning on walking around the island, a torch would be helpful.

Where to go next after Ko Sichang

Be careful when leaving the island. Your departure pier may not be the same as your arrival pier.

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Central Thailand

Nonthaburi : Travel Guide, with Info on Nightlife, What to See & Covid-19 Report

Nonthaburi (นนทบุรี) is Thailand’s second largest city, being a part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region. Understand Due to its close proximity to Bangkok the city is a suburb of the national capital, and is generally considered a part of Greater Bangkok – had it not been for the signposts you’d hardly notice where one ends […]

Wolfgang Holzem

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Nonthaburi (นนทบุรี) is Thailand’s second largest city, being a part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region.

Understand

Due to its close proximity to Bangkok the city is a suburb of the national capital, and is generally considered a part of Greater Bangkok – had it not been for the signposts you’d hardly notice where one ends and the other begins. Officially, however, Nonthaburi is one of the five neighbouring provinces of Bangkok. Covering an area of 622 square kilometres and separated into 2 parts by the Chao Phraya River, Nonthaburi is administratively divided into six districts: Mueang Nonthaburi, Pak Kret, Bang Kruai, Bang Yai, Bang Bua Thong and Sai Noi.

History of Nonthaburi

The history of Nonthaburi dates back 400 years to the era of Ayutthaya Kingdom. Firstly known as Tambon Ban Talad Khwan, and noted for its fertile soil and plentiful water where a lot of orchards nest alongside the Chao Phraya River, this tambon was promoted to Nonthaburi City in 1549 under the reign of King Mahajakrapat.

In 1665, King Narai the Great had noticed that the river has changed its own route and it might consequently have a negative effect to the city’s security. Hence, the fortifications have been established at the delta of Om River where the city pillar has been built as the symbol of the new foundation of Nonthaburi.

At the time of Rattanakosin Kingdom, King Mongkut has had Nonthaburi moved to the entrance of Bang Sue Canal in Tambon Ban Talad Khwan where later in the reign of King Chulalongkorn, the city hall has been founded and lasted till 1928. In the same year, King Pokklao has initiated the idea of building a new city hall at Rajawitthayalai Ban Bang Khwan, Tambon Bang Tanowsri on Pracharaj I road alongside the Chao Phraya River which nowadays belongs to the Ministry of Interior Affairs. The building, constructed in a European style, has become a relict of Thailand while the current city hall is situated on Rattanathibet Road.

Stay with our Hotel Partners in Nonthaburi

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Get in

By car

  1. Phibun Songkhram Road, between the foot of Rama VI Bridge and Sri Phon Sawan Theatre intersection
  2. Pracharat I Road, between the city hall and Sri Phon Sawan Theatre intersection
  3. Tiwanon Road, between Wat Lanna Bun triangle and Patumthani Pier
  4. Ngamwongwan Road, between Khae Lai intersection and Kasetsart University intersection
  5. Nonthaburi I Road, between the city hall and Tiwanon Road
  6. Bang Kruai-Sai Noi Road, between Rama VI Bridge and Amphoe Sai Noi
  7. Krungthep-Nonthaburi Road, between Tao Pun triangle and Wat Lanna Bun triangle
  8. Rattanathibet Road, between Khae Lai intersection and Bang Bua Thong-Taling Chan Road

By bus

Several public buses operated by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) connect Bangkok with Nonthaburi.

  1. Number 69 (Victory Monument – Sanambin Nam)
  2. Number 104 (Victory Monument – Pak Kret)
  3. Number 166 (Victory Monument – Pak Kret)
  4. Number 63 (Victory Monument-Nonthaburi)
  5. Number 30 (Southern Bus Terminal -Nonthaburi)
  6. Number 203 (Sanam Luang – Nonthaburi)
  7. Number 33 (Sanam Luang – Pathum Thani)
  8. Number 64 (Sanam Luang – Pra Athit – Samsen – Nonthaburi Road)
  9. Number 114 (Lam Luk Ka intersection – Nonthaburi)
  10. Number 117 (Huai Khwang-Wat Khema)
  11. Number 128 (Krungthon Bridge – Bang Yai)
  12. Number 32 (Wat Pho – Pak Kret)
  13. Number 51 (Wat Pho – Pak Kret)
  14. Number 65 (Tha Tian – Wat Pak Nam)
  15. Number 97 (Monks’ Hospital – Nonthaburi)
  16. Number 522 (Rangsit – Victory Monument)

By MRT

The Purple Line of the Bangkok xMRT (รถไฟฟ้ามหานคร). connects Bangkok to Nonthaburi since 2016. The line starts at Tao Poon station connects to the MRT Blue Line. Going west the first station in Nonthaburi is Yeak Tiwanon. Soon the line starts following Rattanathibet Road across the Chao Phraya River until it turns north to follow Hwy 9 before terminating at Khlong Bang Phai north of Kasemrad Hospital Rattanathibet.

Fares range from 16 to 42 Thai Baht and are based on number of stations. The ticket vending machines accept coins and banknotes. Pre-paid cards of up to 1,000 Thai Baht are also available. For single ride fares, a round plastic token is used. It is electronic: simply wave it by the scanner to enter; deposit it in a slot by the exit gate leave. Children and elderly are issued tickets at half price but you must go to the ticketing counter.

The stations have escalators going all the way up and down in addition to lifts so the metro is easier than the Skytrain for people with reduced mobility or heavy baggage. Note that bag-checks take place at the entrance of each station (usually nothing more than a quick peek inside). The stations have public toilets and some staff can provide assistance in English.

By boat

The xChao Phraya Express Boat. is a water bus service that can take you from Bangkok to Nonthaburi. All the boats going upriver except the blue flag Tourist Boat stop at least at Nonthaburi pier near the Nonthaburi Market, but all piers north of Rama 7 Bridge are in Nonthaburi. Enter the express boat at a pier and pay the conductor for the trip. She will approach you bearing a long metal ticket dispenser. At some bigger piers you can buy the ticket before boarding. When the metal cylinder lady approaches you, just show her the ticket you bought on the pier.

The different boat lines are indicated by the colours of the flags at the top of the boat. These flags can be confusing; don’t think the yellow king’s flag corresponds to the yellow line flag! The orange flag line (14 Thai Baht, every day 06:00-19:00) is your best bet, as it is fairly quick with the ride from Sathorn pier to Nonthaburi pier which takes around 1 hour. The yellow flag line (19 or 29 Thai Baht, Monday to Friday 06:15-08:10 and Monday to Friday 15:30-18:05) is faster with fewer stops before Nonthaburi. The green flag line (10, 12, 19 or 31 Thai Baht, Monday to Friday 06:10-08:10 and Monday to Friday 16:05-18:05) terminates at Pakkred which is the closest pier to Ko Kret.

The signposting of the piers is quite clear, with numbered piers and English route maps. Sathorn (Taksin) pier has been dubbed “Central” station, as it offers an quick interchange to Saphan Taksin BTS Station. The orange flag boats run every 5–20 minutes from sunrise to sunset (roughly from 06:00-19:00), so ignore any river taxi touts who try to convince you otherwise.

Get around

By foot

If you’re planning to cover large distances on foot – don’t. As is the rule in Bangkok, the multilane roads are made for drivers rather than pedestrians.

See

The island of Ko Kret (Koh Kred), floating in the Chao Phraya river, is easily accessed from Bangkok.

  • IMPACT Exhibition Centre (ศูนย์นิทรรศการอิมแพ็ค). Mueang Thong Thani, 99 Popular Road, Pak Kret, Nonthaburi. or

Wat Khemaphirataram Rajaworawiharn

Situated on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, in Tambon Suan Yai, Wat Khema was built in the early Ayutthaya period. The monastery underwent restoration during the reigns of Rama II and Mongkut and for a while enjoyed royal patronage. Its large pagoda houses the Buddha’s relics as well as a centuries-old icon of the Buddha which dates to the period of the Wat Khema’s founding. Other attractions within the monastic compound include the Tamnak Daeng Building and Phra Thinang Monthian Hall.

How to get there: The monastery can be easily reached by bus. Taking the minibus Rewadi-Wat Pak Nam is also a good option. For those travelling by Chao Phraya express boat get off at Tha Nam Non Pier and from there hop on bus number 203.

Do

  • Bang Kwang Central Prison (เรือนจํากลางบางขวาง) (Main entrance 0.4 km (0.25 mi) east of Nonthaburi pier of Orange flag Chao Phraya Express Boat). A large prison that houses prisoners including death row inmates. The scene of some autobiographical books like The Damage Done by Warren Fellows. Visiting a specific inmate is possible with some advance preparation using charity websites. Most foreign prisoners are happy to get a break from the daily monotony and a chance to hear news from their own country in their own language even from a stranger. (updated Mar 2017)
  • Royal Irrigation Department Golf Course (สนามกอล์ฟชลประทาน), Tivanon Road, Pak Kred, Nonthaburi. 9 holes (updated Mar 2017)

Buy

  • CentralPlaza Westgate (300 m south from MRT Talad Bang Yai exit 4). 10:00-22:00. A huge modern shopping mall nesting at the junction of Kanchanapichek Road (Hwy 9) and Rattanathibet Road near a MRT Purple Line station. (updated Feb 2017)
  • Wat Takhian Market (วัดตะเคียน), Bang Khu Wiang, Bang Kruai District, Nonthaburi. daily. A local floating market with somewhat bizarre decorations ranging from giant tiger heads to mecha statues. (updated Mar 2017)

Eat

  • Hong Seng (Rimnam) (Pak Kret Pier). Open till 14:00 on Tu-Th, 18:00 on F-Su. This restaurant serves some of the best freshwater cooked Thai food. It’s been given a 5-star rating on the taste of the food, 4-stars on service, and 3-stars on pricing. When getting there, try ordering koong pla (shrimp in sour and spicy sauce), Kung To Kratiem Prik Thai (shrimp fried in garlic and pepper), Tom Yum Pla Kang (Kang fish in hot and spicy soup). A reservation is required as the restaurant gets filled up quickly, especially during weekends.

Sleep

There are few accommodation options in Nonthaburi. This is largely due to the lack of foreign tourists, as well as its proximity to Bangkok.

Mid-range

  • Nonthaburi Palace, 3/19 Moo 1 Nonthaburi 1 Road, Muang Nonthaburi, fax: +66 2 9690150. An obscure establishment more familiar to locals as a venue to host wedding banquets. Rooms from 1,200 Thai Baht with breakfast. 1,200-4,000 Thai Baht.

Splurge

  • Riverine Place Riverside Service Apartments, 9/280 Moo 7 Phibulsongkhram Road, fax: +66 2 6606313, ✉ enquiry@visitamanta.com. As its name suggests, this 27-story luxury service apartment is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and has a wide range of facilities. 2,800-5,200 Thai Baht.
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Thai Covid-19
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35
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84
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541
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In Thailand, the health authorities reported 35 new corona infections by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration within 24 hours. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CFCSA has counted a total of 26,108 infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Thailand. The number of deaths related to the virus rose 0 to a total of 84.

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