The city of Nonthaburi in Thailand dates from the 16th century. The 1946 established central province of Nonthaburi, on the Chao Phraya river, is surrounded by the provinces of Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
Try visiting this area during one of the local festivals, when the inhabitants wear their most flamboyant and colourful traditional dress. Dances like the classical Mon Dance, which is accompanied by the Mon gamelan (a musical ensemble featuring vocalists and instruments like gongs, kendang drums, xylophones, metallophones and bamboo flutes) can be seen at Phra Pradaeng, Pathum Thani or Pak Kret.
Several temples (e.g. Wat Bang Krai Nok, Wat Bang Krai Nai, Wat Utthayan and Thai Charoen) participate in the ancient traditional November Tham Bun Tak Bat Phra Roi Paet ceremony. The Amphoe Pak Kret festival near the end of April features traditional entertainment and shows. The April-June Nonthaburi Fruits Fair at the old city hall celebrates local plants, flowers and fruits (mango, mangosteen and durian). Pack your camera for the beauty pageants including “Miss Durian”, the decorated floats parade and the various exhibitions.
There are many major tourist sites in Nonthaburi and you really need the time to enjoy them properly. A selection might include the 40 acre Chaloem Kanchanaphisek Park featuring the flamboyant Thai style ‘Wimansarannawamin’ building in the middle of a pond and the Wat Prasat King Narai the Great Mon-style monastery from the Ayutthaya period which features ancient murals. The Wat Sao Tong Thong temple has a large Ayutthaya style pagoda.
The Thailand Museum of Anthropology and the Museum and Thai Traditional Medical Training Centre, illustrate how medicine evolved in tandem with Thai philosophy. The Horn Museum contains exhibits dating up to 16 million years ago, including a 2 metre long mammoth ivory tusk.
The Wat Saeng Siritham Floating Market in Tambon Tha is quite an experience. Finally, for some relaxation, stroll through the 41 acre park dedicated to King Rama IX’s mother Srinagarindra and have a cool drink by its huge, peaceful pond.
Posted : Monday, June 18th, 2012 at 10:00
As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save