Nakhon Nayok Expat Travel Guide
Nakhon Nayok (นครนายก) is a city in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand. Understand Nakhon Nayok is a tourism destination not far from Bangkok. The city and surrounding province come alive during the holidays with tourists. Nakhon Nayok is renowned for its refreshing waterfalls and abundant varieties of fruit. Historically, it is believed that […]
Nakhon Nayok (นครนายก) is a city in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand.
Nakhon Nayok is a tourism destination not far from Bangkok. The city and surrounding province come alive during the holidays with tourists. Nakhon Nayok is renowned for its refreshing waterfalls and abundant varieties of fruit.
Historically, it is believed that the area of Ban Dong Lakhon, to the south of Nakhon Nayok town, was a Dvaravati settlement, dating back for more than a thousand years. As for the name of “Nakhon Nayok”, records going back to the Ayutthaya’s period indicated that it was an eastern frontier town during the reign of King U-Thong. In 1894, under the royal command of King Rama V, Nakhon Nayok was designated as a part of Prachin Buri Province. Eventually, it became a separate province.
In the past, Nakhon Nayok was called “Ban Na” (village of the rice field). From hearsay, during Ayutthaya period, Nakhon Nayok was just forested highland, on which farming or planting was fruitful. Jungle fever was everywhere, thus the townspeople migrated elsewhere, leaving the place deserted. News of the plight of people reached the king. Subsequently, the king commanded that paddy field taxes be lifted to encourage the people to stay on, which worked, and also enticed the people around the area to migrate to the town. After that, it became a large community and the town was renowned as “Mueang Nayok” (the town where the paddy tax was lifted).
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The city is a less than a two hours drive from Bangkok. It can be reached in two ways:
- Drive Hwy 305, along Rangsit canal passing Ongkharak. This route is about 107 km.
- Take Hwy 1, take a right turn at Hin Gong, and then drive along Suwannason Road (Hwy 33). This route is about 137 km.
The Transport Co., Ltd. (“baw kaw saw”) operates daily non-air conditioned and air conditioned buses from the Northern Bus Terminal on Kamphaengphet 2 Road.
There are two routes: Bangkok-Hin Kong-Nakhon Nayok and Bangkok–Rangsit-Ongkharak-Nakhon Nayok. For more information, contact Phone: +66 2 5378055 or +66 2 9362841. Additionally, there are specially-run second-class air conditioned buses from Bangkok-Ongkharak-Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy (by-passing Nakhon Nayok town) available.
There are tuk-tuks available for chartering around Nakhon Nayok town. They can mostly be found at the town bus terminal. For more information, contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Nakhon Nayok office, in city hall.
San Lak Mueang (City Pillar Shrine) (ศาลหลักเมือง) at one time it was a shrine housing a one metre wooden column topped with a carving in the form of a lotus bud, near the old city wall. Later the shrine was rebuilt into an elegant four-cornered pavilion. Today, City Pillar Shrine is the most revered shrine of the townspeople.
Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy (โรงเรียนนายร้อยพระจุลจอมเกล้า) A training centre for Thai military cadets.
Attractions in the Chulachomkloa Royal Military Academy include:
- King Rama V Monument (พระบรมราชานุเสาวรีย์พระบาทสมเด็จพระจุลจอมเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว) It was built in honour of and reverence to King Chulachomkloa (King Rama V) who was the founder of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.
- Circular Pavilion (ศาลาวงกลม), historically, under the command of Field Marshal Crown Prince Pitsanulok Prachanat, the circular pavilion was built as a recreation area for cadets. It enshrines a statue of King Rama V.
- 100 Year Royal Military Academy Museum (อาคารพิพิธภัณฑ์โรงเรียนนายร้อย จปร. 100 ปี) exhibits biographies of the graduates who performed public services and also displays history of wars, weapons that were used in wars in the past, various uniforms of soldiers of all forces as well as a wax sculpture of King Rama V.
- Shrine of Chao Pho Khun Dan (ศาลเจ้าพ่อขุนด่าน) is a revered shrine of the Thais. Historically, Khun Dan was a commander in Nakhon Nayok during the Ayutthaya period. His heroic deed was the expulsion of the Khmer rebels in the year 1587, during the reign of King Naresuan Maharat.
- Phra Phutthachai or Wat Phra Chai (พระพุทธฉายหรือวัดพระฉาย) was formerly named “Wat Khao Cha-ngok”. In 1942, the army’s map department built a marble quarry at the foot of the hill and restored and enhanced the Buddha images. Phra Phutthachai is sacred to the townspeople.
Luang Pho Sian Nakhon (หลวงพ่อเศียรนคร) the revered Buddha image of the townspeople is enshrined at Bunnak Rakkitaram temple (Wat Tam). It is assumed that this sacred Buddha image dates back to Phra Ruang Era of the Sukhothai period.
Buddha’s Footprint Replica at Khao Nang Buat (รอยพระพุทธบาทจำลองเขานางบวช), housed in a square structure with four arches and a pyramidal roof (mondop) on top of Nang Buat hill. The festivity to worship the Buddha’s Footprint Replica at Khao Nang Buat is held annually in the middle of the fifth month of the lunar calendar.
Ban Dong Lakhon Archeological Site (แหล่งโบราณคดีบ้านดงละคร) It is the site of the old town during the Khmer period. Artefacts discovered here include; an elaborate gold head of a Buddha image about the size of a fingertip, crab and elephant ring-stamps, bronze ring, glass beads, rock beads, and bronze ear-rings.
37th Quartermaster Infantry of Japanese Military Memorial (อนุสรณ์สถานกองพลทหารญี่ปุ่นที่37) The Friends of Asian Alliance War Association built the memorial in 1992 to honour the 7,920 Thai soldiers who were recruited into the Japanese 37th Quartermaster Infantry and died in the war.
Namtok Sarika (น้ำตกสาริกา) is the most famous waterfall of Nakhon Nayok. The waterfall cascades down 9 levels, of which the top level is 200 metres up. Each level (of 9 levels) of the falls has a large basin, which could hold a large amount of water in the rainy season, but is dry in dry season. Nearby, there is “Sarika Cave” where the revered monk “Luang Pu Man” resided on his religious missions from 1917-1920.
HM King Bhumibol Royal Jazz Composition
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