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nakhon phanom
Introduction
Nakhon Phanom, once the center of the ancient Sri Kotrabun Kingdom, lies adjacent to the majestic Maekhong River, 735 kms. northeast of Bangkok. The lovely setting of the provincial capital is enhanced by the rugged beauty of the jungled mountains which lie beyond the Laotian town of Thakaek, on the opposite bank of the river. King Rama I selected the name Nakhon Phanom, city of mountains, because of this outstanding geographical feature. During the centuries, Lao and other ethnic groups migrated across the Maekhong River and this is reflected in the local dialects, customs and cuisine of Napkhon Phanom. Many unique folk dances, such as the Sri Kotrabun dance, regarded as the symbol of Nakhon Phanom's long history and the Fon Phu Thai, Sek-Ten-Sak and So Tung Bung are performed on special occasions. The custom of extending a generous welcome to guests can be experienced during a Bai-Sri-Su-Kwan ceremony when a potent brew of home-made liquor is usually served. There are many ancient religious monuments in Nakhon Phanom. The most highly revered is Pra Thad Phanom in Amphoe Thad Phanom which dates back to the time of the Sri Kotrabun Kingdom. By Car
Route 1 : From Bangkok, take the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima route, then proceed to Ban Phai along Highway No. 2, take Highway No. 23 and Highway No. 213 to Sakhon Nakhon Province via Maha Sarakham and Kalasin Provinces and continue the trip along Highway No. 22 to Nakhon Phanom for a total distance of 740 kilometers.

Route 2 :From Bangkok take Highway No. 1, Pahonyothin Road, to Saraburi. At the main junction, kilometer 107 marker, turn right onto Highway 2 (Friendship Highway) and proceed past Nakon Ratchasima Province to Ban Phai (a district of Khon Kaen Province) and turn right onto Highway 23. Follow the route to Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom Provinces for a total distance of 735 kilometers.

By Bus
Buses depart from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) to Nakhon Phanom Province every day between 6.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. There are different classes of bus services provided - regular, air-conditioned and VIP with fares ranging from 360 baht to 579 baht). For more information call Transport Co. Ltd. Tel. 0 2936 2852-66. Alternatively, you can visit www.transport.co.th to find more up-to-date information on schedules and fares.

To/From other neighboring provinces
Regular bus services operate between Nong Khai to Nakhon Phanom via Sakon Nakhon at the rate of 79 bahts, while air-conditioned buse services are provided hourly from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the rate of 143 baht.From Udon Thani regular bus services are provided at the rate of 128 baht, while air-conditioned bus services are provided at the rate of 211 baht.In addition, bus services between Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan Provinces are provided on an hourly basis from 5.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily, while air-conditioned buses services between Nakhon Phanom and Khorat Provinces are provided 3 times a day at the rate of 264 baht.

By Plain
PB Air provides daily flight services from Bangkok to Nakhon Phanom, except Tuesdays and Saturdays. For more information, contact their Bangkok office at tel. 0-2261-0220 5.

Thai Airways International provides daily flight services between Bangkok and Nakhon Phanom with a flight time of 1.10 hours. In addition, there are flights from Sakon Nakhon to Nakhon Phanom (25 minutes, 300B), but not in the reverse direction. THAI Airways runs shuttle van between the airport, 16 kilometers away, and the city centre. For more information, contact the Bangkok office at tel. 0-2280-0060, 0-2628-2000 or visit its website at www.thaiairways.com.

By Boat
A ferry boat across the Mekong River to Tha Khaek, in Laos, costs 40 baht per person; in both directions. Only travelers traveling with valid Lao visas are permitted to cross to Tha Khaek. Prathat Phanom Festival
February
Phra That Phanom Temple, Nakhon Phanom This Festival, which last for about one week, takes place during the period of the full moon in February or early March. It is one of the biggest and most important festival for the people of the Northeast, both Thais and Laotians. nakhon phanom
Prathat Phanom Festival
October - November
Mekong River, Nakhon PhanomThe most important festival for the people of Nakhon Phanom, takes place around October 31 - November 4, during the period of the full moon, and marks the end of the Buddhist Rains Retreat. This festival celebrates the time when the Lord Buddha returned to Earth, after spending the Buddhist Rains Retreat in Heaven. This day is called as "Wan Chao Lok" which means "The day the Buddha blessed the World". The people marked their showing of respect by illuminating their boats. This then became a local custom. During this week, there are Dragon Boat racing on the Maekhong River, and the end of the festival is marked by Illuminated Boats being paraded down river for all the people to see. These boats are made from bamboo and decorated with hundreds of lights.
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