Nakhon Phanom Destination Guide

Nakhon Phanom Airport

Nakhon Phanom (City of Mountains) is in the extreme north-east of Thailand. The Mekong River runs through the city marking the border with Laos, in the background, located on the opposite side of the river you can see the splendor of the tropical forest covered Laos mountains. For centuries groups of natives from Laos and other ethnic groups have migrated across the Mekong River, Laos’s natives have the most prominence and this is seen throughout the province in the local traditions, style and customs. Today, the population of Nakhon Phanom is made up of people of Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, and Chinese descent; the main languages spoken are Thai, Isaan and Vietnamese.

There are many ancient religious monuments in Nakhon Phanom. One of the most sacred and ancient is Phra That Phanom. The temple has a Lao-style, Chedi, which archeologists deem to be over 1,500 years old. The Chedi is greatly revered by Isaan people as a symbol of their Lao identity and for its ‘talismanic properties’. Thais and Laotians frequently make their pilgrimage to the site to ask for blessings. You can have some fascinating experiences here due to the unique mixture of Thai and Lao arts and culture, one such custom is the Bai-Sri-Su-Kwan welcoming ceremony and blessing ritual.

Overall, there is little to do in Nakhon really apart from visit the temples, go shopping at one of the numerous silver shops, take a cruise on the river or watch the sun rise from behind the mountains. It is a great place to just chill for a while, mix with the locals and let your thoughts wander.

If you have to be active then take a trip through some of the rural communities north along the Mekong River to Nong Khai, a pleasant small city to wander around and meet the friendly locals. It's also a good place to immerse yourself in the culture of Isaan in the nearby towns.