Nakhon Phanom on the bank of the
Mekong River, opposite Muang Tha Khaek in Laos, has been identified
as a preferred gateway to neighbouring Laos and has its own
Lao and Vietnamese communities who trade in the town. It has
also been selected as the site for the third bridge to span
the river. The first is already connection Laos with Nong
Khai while the second is under construction at Chiang Khan
in Loei province.
Best known for its panoramic views
of the Mekong River and the rugged mountains of Laos, it also
has religious heritage centering on the province's Phra That
Phanom, the most sacred religious structure in the Northeast.
Nakhon Phanom is 740 km from Bangkok, 242 km from Udon Thani
and 296 km from Nong Khai.
Nakhon Phanom Attractions: Phra That Phanom is estimated to be about 1,500 years
old. The pagoda collapsed in 1975 and has since been rebuilt.
The main body of the pagoda is supported by four square bases
12.33 metres wide. The spire is gold and weighs 110 kg. On
the full-moon night of the third lunar month (usually February-March)
a fair is held in honour of the 57-metre-high Phra That Phanom
and is attended by thousands of people from around the country.
The pagoda is in That Phanom district, 52 km from town on
Phra That Renu is a revered
shrine housing the "Tripitaka" (the Buddhist canon), gold
Buddha images and other religious objects. New the shrine
is a market selling local handicrafts. The people of Renu
Nakhon district still retain local traditions such as bai
sri, which involves offering food to welcome visitors. The
welcome also includes dinner, locally-made whisky and Renu-style
dancing. To get there, take Highway 212 for 44 km until reaching
the Renu turnoff; from there it's another 7 km.
Phra That Ta-Uthain
is located in Wat Phra that Ta-Uthain, 26 km north of town.
The pagoda contains shrines of several Buddhist saints brought
Phra That Sri Khoon bears
a resemblance to Phra That Phanom. However, the former is
supported by only two bases, both of which have decorative
stucco carvings. Phra That Sri Khoon, in Na Kae district,
it also not quite as tall as Phra That Phanom.
Wat Sila Mongkol in Phra
That district house the Museum of Phra Acharn Bua Temiyo.
The museum holds relics and various belongings of Phra Acharn
Bua Temiyo and Phra Acharn Mun Bhuritatto, both of whom were
highly revered by Isan residents. More