The Thailand Arrival & Survival Guide Get prepared

Nakhon Si Thammarat

Nakhon Si Thammarat (นครศรีธรรมราช) is a province rich in history and culture. Along with its luscious beaches, beautiful nature, picturesque waterfalls and fun activities, this is an ideal place to get an authentic taste of Thailand which is still very much untouched by tourists.

Today 33° 26°
Wed 22nd 30° 25°
Thu 23rd 34° 25°
Fri 24th 31° 25°
Sat 25th 32° 25°
Sun 26th 32° 26°
Mon 27th 34° 26°
Tue 28th 35° 26°

A brief history

Nakhon Si Thammarat has a strong history of trading amongst different nations. The province held good relations with Indian and Sri Lankan importers/exporters for many years. Factories were then set up in the 17th century by European merchants to expand the trading further afield.

King Rama IX’s Watergate Project

A watergate was built at the mouth of the Pak Phanang River. The former King of Thailand initiated the project as a way of helping out the agriculture and farming in the area. This watergate has helped to alleviate salt water, store fresh water and it has also helped with the problems of flooding.

Getting into Nakhon Si Thammarat

By plane

It is cheap, quick and convenient to travel here by plane. Flights depart Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport every day and will get you into the province in just over an hour. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a metered taxi into town.

By bus

Taking a bus is a common choice in Thailand. You will be able to take one from any major city into Nakhon Si Thammarat. If you are coming from Bangkok, head to the Southern Bus Terminal in Mo Chit and take a bus from there. It will take about 10 to 12 hours so I would advise taking a night bus. That way, you can sleep on the bus and wake up in Nakhon Si Thammarat, ready to go exploring!

By train

You may wish to take a sleeper train from Bangkok. This is a long journey but it can add a bit of adventure to your trip, especially if you plan on visiting some other destinations along the way. The price of this journey will often not be much cheaper than taking a flight – and can sometimes actually be more expensive – all though, you will be saving money on a night’s accommodation.

Getting around

By songthaew

Songthaews are a cheap and easy way to travel around the city. Look out for the blue-colored songthaews parked up, or flag one down as they drive past. It should cost you around 10 baht for each journey.

By motorbike taxi

You will often see these men in orange jackets hanging around next to their motorbike. If you don’t mind being on the back of one, tell them where you want to go, agree on a price and hop on.

Grab taxi

If you haven’t got the Grab app yet, this is something we always recommend you do. You can type where you want to go and you will be shown a price for the journey. Click accept and somebody will pick you up and take you to your destination.

Things to do in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Things to eat

. Dragon Fruit – The fresh water from the Pak Phanang river is in the soil that this fruit grows in, making it extremely delicious!

. Pomelo Fruit – This is also a province favorite that is worth trying while you are here, but it is not cheap as it is going to set you back around 500 baht just for one fruit.

Where to go next

Depending on which way you’re heading, there are plenty of interesting and exotic locations nearby. Neighboring provinces – Phatthalung, Trang, Surat Thani and Krabi all have something unique to offer.

Continue heading south to Phatthalung for a more local, unseen vibe. Similar to Nakhon Si Thammarat, it is rarely visited by tourists.

When to go

Most of Thailand falls in to the generic high and low season categories, including Nakhon Si Thammarat.

High season - begins in November and runs through to February, bringing cooler temperatures, lush greenery from the previous months of rain, good air quality, and less rain. The downside is larger crowds and sometimes higher prices for tours, flights and accomodation.

Low season - begins in July and runs through to October. During low season the temperatures are higher, the chance of rain and storms are higher. That doesn't mean it's a bad time to visit though, if you can be flexible, there are deals to be found on flights and accomodation.

While it's always hot in Nakhon Si Thammarat, the small change in temperature between high and low season can be just enough that the heat isn't unbearable when out and about.

Need more? Read our post discussing the best time to visit Thailand.

Where to stay

Instead of recommending hotels, we think it will be more useful to share our process so you can pick based on your own critera for location, budget and style.

We always start our search on either Booking.com or Agoda. They have an easy to user interface and have some extra benefits for "Genius" and "VIP" users. You can also sometimes pay with credit card in advance if you're playing the cashback or air miles game.

Process:

  1. Search for specific province, city or town.
  2. Apply rating filters for a minimum rating or either 7, 8 or 9.
  3. Apply other filters: budget, fitness, breakfast, etc.
  4. If you have a specific location in mind, use map view to browse and make a final selection.

If there are too many properties available to choose from, increase the rating filter for less, higher rated selections.

Final notes: Prices are dynamic. Check the same hotel on both Booking.com and Agoda to see which has the best deal at any given time (go through to checkout to make sure all VAT and service charges are factored in). You can go one step further by calling the hotel and checking the price for booking directly. In our experience this saves money 50% of the time but you have less guarantees.

Emergency contacts

Knowing an emergency number could save your own, or somebody elses life. Take a photo or save these numbers on your phone:

Police & emergencies - 191
The most important number to remember. If the operator is unable to speak English, call 1155 (below).

Tourist Police - 1155 or (+66) 2308-0333
This hotline is available 24 hours a day and they will all speak English. This is an important phone number to remember - They will help you out with any concerns or questions you have and can redirect you to the correct number you may need.

Public Ambulance - 1669
Dialing this number will connect you to a public ambulance service, which will dispatch a vehicle to your location. The average response time for urban areas is around 10 minutes, but may take up to 30 minutes in rural areas. English-speaking staff should be available to assist you.

Fire Department - 199
In case of an emergency such as a house fire, or forest fire, call 199 for the Fire Department to be dispatched to your location.

Highway Police - 1193
If you plan on driving in Thailand, then you may end up needing to use this number if you break down in an unsafe place etc.