When we were invited to attend the MTF 2018 and explore the things to do in Nakhon Phanom, one of the lesser known cities in Thailand, how could we say no!
Where Is Nakhon Phanom
Nakhon Phanom is a little known town in North East of Thailand, bordering Laos, and rides right alongside the Mekong River.
With many temples, outdoor activities and cosy coffee shops on offer, we were surprised at how clean and modern this cute little town turned out to be!
How to get from Bangkok to Nakhon Phanom
Fly – 1h 20m – There are 4 flights that run daily from Bangkok to Nakhon Phanom with either Air Asia or Nok Air
Bus – 11h 30m – There are 2 buses that run daily from Bangkok Bus Terminal (Chatuchak) to Nakhon Phanom departing at 9am and 7.30pm
Drive – 11 h (737.3 km) – If you have access to a car or fancy a road trip then driving could be an option.
Our Top 7 Things To Do In Nakhon Phanom
1. Take A River Cruise Along The Mekong
The most popular of things to do in Nakhon Phanom.
If you’re heading anywhere near the Mekong then we recommend jumping on a boat and taking an hour cruise up and down the river.
It’s the opportunity to literally sit in between two countries and although it’s not the cleanest water in the world, it’s definitely an opportunity to add a big fat tick to the bucket list!
2. Rent Bicycles And Tour Yourself
If you don’t fancy river cruising then many of the guys on our trip recommended taking bicycles. So off we set with our helmets for an early morning ride on our penultimate day!
We got up at 5am and rode around the town, which is very popular for cycling among locals. There’s a bike lane that runs all the way along the promenade and matches the Mekong River for around 13km. Making for a beautiful way to start the day!
3. Wat Phra That Phanom
Wat Phra That Phanom is one of the most photogenic temples we’ve ever seen.
Of course it’s also a very old and sacred religious site that’s known for keeping the Buddha breast bone relic in the chedi – the central Buddhist stupa.
4. Visit The Night Market
Open from 5pm – 9pm on Fueang Nakhon Road, this was one of our favourite things to do in Nakhon Phanom!
Surprisingly enough this small town night market was HUGE! It was full of cheap foods, gifts and denim shorts…a lot of denim shorts!
Lauren managed to pick up a couple of cool character tees and Charlie got an amazing chocolate brownie so if you ask our opinion it’s well worth a visit.
5. Stand On The 3rd Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge
Ok so this one is kind of impossible, highly illegal and we don’t recommend it!
The Thai-Laos Friendship bridge is exactly what it says on the tin. A bridge built over the Mekong River connecting the neighbouring countries of Thailand and Laos.
The bridge is highly patrolled with security and works as an immigration check point for those crossing the boarder by land.
On the day we visited we were lucky enough to be travelling with members of the tourism board on our conference who granted us access to pop through (without any passports) and stand in the middle of the bridge to take photos.
Never the less it’s a cool monument and one that’s visible from the cycling lane along the river.
6. Experience A Local Massage
When we pulled up a chair to a lady covered in orange powder it wasn’t the kind of massage we were expecting.
A mixture of tamarind, coffee and lemon infused water was the most refreshing way to reward our feet and try out a local tradition at the same time.
7. And Don’t Forget To Mix With The Locals
One thing we love about visiting less toursity areas of Asia is seeing the reaction of the local kids.
9 times out of 10 they’re sooo excited to mess around and mix with the westerners so if you see a smiley kid make sure to stop and put the effort in. You may be the first non-thai person they’ve ever seen!
Luxury/Mid-Budget – The River Hotel – Nakhon Phanom is very new to tourism and doesn’t have any 5 star hotels yet. Although we were lucky enough to stay in the newly opened River Hotel and the place was ideal!
For other places to stay in Nakhon Phanom you can check the latest prices here.
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