Say hi to summer breeze and cooling rain!! I know that everyone may feel hot these days. During Songkran festival holiday (12-15 April 2015), I have the opportunity from Tourism Authority of Thailand to participate in "Let's go south", a trip on Songkran festival to the land of two Dham (Dharma and Nature (Dhammachart in Thai word), and travel to spectacular Hae Nang Dan festival at Nakhon Si Thammarat province which we have Nok Air to be a sponsor for this trip.
Nakhon Si Thammarat province, the land of two Dham (Dharma and Nature (Dhamachart in Thai word)), it is one of twelve cities which you must not miss as promoted by Tourism Authority of Thailand, it is the land which Dharma and Nature perfectly harmonized. As for Dharma, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, the golden tip stupa, the amazing of the stupa without a shadow which is renowned for many years, Moreover, during 2007, God Jatukam Ramathep has created a new phenomenon which makes Thai people in all circles add the power of faith in God Jatukam Ramathep like never before.
As to the nature of Nakhon city, there are plenty of kinds such as the charm of beautiful sea, mountains, trees and stream.
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On 12 April 2015 at 05.00 o'clock in the morning, we, bloggers meet at Don Mueng airport at 06.00 am. We will start travelling on flight DD7804 from Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat. On the walkway to the gate, Nok Air has provided Nok kids zone, it is the small playground for children to play during waiting to board the aircraft.
The refreshments served on board, the light meal just for lining my stomach. Waiting for the full course meal when arrive at Nakhon city.
The plane takes about one hour up in the air and then we reach the city of two Dham, the city that must not be missed, Nakhon Si Thammarat province.
At Nakhon Si Thammarat airport, there is a group of pink dolphins waiting to welcome us.
Fill the energy at Kopi restaurant for the morning meal.
We continue travelling in two vans; our first stop is having breakfast at Kopi restaurant, town hall branch. At the first moment I saw the people crowned in the restaurant, I feel stunned and think that if there are a lot people in there, this restaurant is surely is delicious.
This is the first dish, tastes delicious, sweet and fatty.
Following with Bak Kut Teh served with hot rice; this dish is taste wonderful to me, so I ate till I almost full, really delicious.
Newly deep fried giant twin dough sticks.
The attractive menu is Dimsum, there are many kinds of them. But I would say that some kind of Dimsum taste a little bit salty. Huh! Huh!.
Phra Tamnak Prathub Ram, Pak Phanang district
Phra Tamnak Prathub Ram was built in a project respectively for our King. This project for His Majesty the King is operated by the cooperation of the Thai people to express their loyalty and consciousness in the divine grace of the King. The purpose is to be the working place for the King when he comes to take a visit at Nakhon Si Thammarat province.
This royal residential hall is located in the area of Pak Phanang river basin royal development project, this project is initiated by His Majesty the King. The area consists with Chalerm Phra Kiat museum royal residential hall and Uthokvibhajaprasid barrage. Inside the museum exhibits about Royal initiatives, Water projects, project sources and including the story of Talumpuk cape which faced the disaster storm.
Uthokvibhajaprasid Water Gate
This water gate is the royal project which His Majesty the King offered advice to help Nakhon people who faced the serious water problem. From a once-prosperous in planting rice to the present with the popular in prawn farming makes everything changes, the rice farm becomes prawn farm and there is more and more invasion of mangrove forest. Later, when the price of prawn falls, prawn farm is deserted, there is acid soil and salinity intrusion which can not be back in use. The land becomes to be many abandoned farm. Thus, it is the reason to establish Pak Phanang river basin royal development project.
Swallow birds condos
In Pak Phanang district, we can see the buildings similar to human houses but these buildings were constructed for swallow birds in order to collect bird's nest for selling. The reason that a lot of swallow birds live in this area is because this area is close to the river and there is mangrove forest along the seashore which the environment is plentiful. Thus, this place is the source of small insects which is favourite food of swallow birds, that is why there are a lot of swallow birds settle in this area. In the present, Pak Phanang has swallow birds condos approximately 250 buildings, each building height is not more than 7 floors with a beautiful decorative design.
The one hundred years old market at Pak Phanang
The market is located on the east side of Pak Phanang River. It is one of the oldest market of Pak Phanang's local people. Our group walk into the market from the back of Pak Phanang river side, there are a lot of swallow birds condos at both sides of the river.
We walk along the waterfront market and there are lots of things for sell such as fresh seafood, many kinds of fish including fresh fish, dried fish or processed fish.
This is not over, there are still so much more to see.
I found these fishes in a drying process.
Moreover, there are various kinds of fruits. We enjoy walking and sighting things until outside to the roadway, there will be the market sign, and we continue to walk and watch the lifestyle of Pak Phanang local people.
This is the building in Chino-Portuguese architecture style, it is the old building but really classic. It is said that this house is the earlier house which swallow birds live in.
Now, let's go look at the making of nielloware at the Nielloware Promoting and Conservation Center, The Nakhon Si Thammarat College of Arts and Handicrafts. Nakhon nielloware is one of the famous crafts of Nakhon Si Thammarat province which renowned for more than 400 years. Nielloware work is a delicate work with intricate process of producing, at first the nielloware is the tribute gift for foreign kings, later has been modified to use on daily basis such as bracelets, necklaces, rings, pedestals, bowls, trays, all works is handmade.
Nakhon nielloware are made with real silver and are divided in to 2 types which are black niello and gold niello. Black niello has silver pattern design on black surface, and as for the gold niello is covered with golden pattern design which is made by applying real gold, mixed with mercury which is painted on niello surface and then placed over a fire so that mercury evaporates leaving the gold clinging firmly to the silver and leave it to be the required pattern design and as for the surface of niello is still in black color, It is said that nielloware of Nakhon Si Thammarat is a well known fine quality handicraft.
Khanom Golden Beach Hotel
We have been travelling all day long and finally it is time to check-in to our hotel. For the first day, we will stay at Khanom Golden Beach hotel which is the big hotel located next to Khanom beach. We arrive at the hotel during the evening and keep our luggage in the room. The room is a twin bed room with the sea view balcony.
Finish with the luggage and then I walk down to the beach, promenade and feel the sea breeze for a while and it is become a twilight time, so I enjoy taking photos.
The restaurant is located beside the hotel.
The sea during the twilight time, it is very magnificent.
I woke up and took photos again during the morning time, I vie for the sun rise on the beach but there is none, the sun at Khanom this morning does not rise up but the morning ambience in the summer time of April has a cooling breeze blowing and I could say that it is really worth to wake up and enjoy the morning time.
The Pink Dolphin
After feeling the sea breeze and watching the first light of the day, our morning activities plan will be go on pink dolphin watching cruise at Khanom bay. We use the service of Khanom Fishing and Tour; go on cruise during the morning time. Moreover, the Kanom bay ambience is gorgeous. Not taking too much time, we will arrive at the ping dolphin sightseeing point, the boat will steadily stop and observe that where the dolphin will show up. Anyway, we are all ready, the camera and lens are also ready but the dolphin still not yet ready. Ei ei ei
After a short while, the dolphin show up and greet us. It is spectacular and satisfies even though there are not many dolphins show up to the surface.
The sound of our group in the ship is continually louder, everyone is shouting to tell each other which points they have seen the dolphin so that we can take photos in the meantime.
There are 3 kinds of dolphins which are founded in Khanom Sea; Irrawaddy dolphin, Bottlenose dolphin and Humpback dolphin or Pink dolphin. Pink dolphin is considered to be the symbol of Khanom Sea, this specie of dolphin, newborn calves are black color, turn to gray color when they are in childhood, whereas the teenage will have the gray color with pink spots and the older dolphin will have brighter color to pink color, this pink color is the color of blood vessels which its responsibility is to prevent a crisis of high body temperature.
Typical behavior of the pink dolphin likes to live along the coast or the area which the water is not deeper than 20 meters, the area where the dolphin lives in is usually found that those coasts have mangrove forest but only in the shallow water area. This specie of dolphin like to steadily live at one place or have a little migration and normally do not live more than 1 kilometer away from the coast that is the reason why the tourists can easily find them, they can be found during the morning time, usually stay in the small group around 10 of them, slowly swim approximately 4.8 kilometers per hour and will dive into the water around 40-60 minutes before showing up to the water surface for breathing.
Bloggers all vie for the dolphins to show up and preoccupied with taking their photos.
Khao Hin Pub Pa
After watching the dolphin, we continue to travel on a boat.
We went to see the beauty of the nature, it is the geological phenomena which could be found at Khao Hin and some islands in Khanom Sea, Ta Led bay area which are Tha Lai Island, Khao Lak Sor and Ta Led bay coast, the description of the geological phenomena is seem like stone plates overlap and pile up in layers, there are many kinds of trees cover it.
Khao Hin Pub Pa is the phenomena which come from the sedimentary process; it is the sedimentary of the rocks which differentiate in component and hardness, the rocks pile up in layers underneath the sea, after the tilting and lifting of the Earth's crust which make the rock layers become a cliff, and the tides and wind gradually eroded the softer rock layers and leave only the hardness layer, so it seems like the stone plates pile up in layers like Khanom Chan (Layer Sweet Cake) or folding clothes which is the source of the name "Hin Pub Pa" (Hin means rocks and Pub Pa means folding clothes in Thai). When foreign tourists sightseeing this place, they all said that this kind of rock hill is seem like Pancake rock at Punakaiki city, New Zealand, so they called this Hin Pub Pa as "Thailand's Pancake rock".
Luang Poo Thuad at Koh Nui
We take the boat back to Koh Nui to pay obeisance to Luang Poo Thuad who step on the sea and turn it to fresh water. As you can see there are many tourist boats continuously come to visit here.
The legend tells that at that time, Luang Phor Thuad (or Luang Poo Thuad) takes a junk boat travelling from Songkhla province to Ayutthaya, during the journey, there is the strong wind and wave and the boat could not continue on, the boat had to remain afloat till the water is used up, Luang Phor Thuad has showed supernatural power by step on the sea water and turn it to the fresh water for drinking and lets the boatmen carry and keep the water to use during the journey.
The fresh water well is sunk below the water nowadays; as this time is the rising tide period. By the way, this picture I have taken while I visited this place when the tide is low. I even saw some tourists try to prove the taste of the water.
On the walkway, there are the souvenir shops selling the adorable pink dolphin dolls.
The story which has been told for more than 400 years, the incredible side of the story might be different but it is the story that the local people believed when they found the fresh water at Koh Nui which located in the middle of the sea.
After finishing paying obeisance to Luang Poo Thuad, it is time to take off as there are the nimbus clouds came and the sky is begin to get dark. After a while the rain was falling down hard, I could not keep the camera in time, it hits some rains but still can use.
Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawiharn
After facing the hard rain and get soaked, we continue to travel into the city to pay obeisance to Wat Prathat which is located on Ratchadamnoen road, Nai Mueng sub-district, Mueng district. The temple formerly named Wat Phra Borommathat.
According to the legend, in the period of Tambralinga kingdom, Prince Thanakuman and Queen Hem Chala took Buddha relics to Hat Sai Kaeo and built a small pagoda, the original pagoda has a distinctive Sri Lankan style.
Afterwards, King Si Thamma Sokarat established the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and built a new pagoda on it, the present pagoda also in the Sri Lankan style. It is 55.78 meters high, and inside Phra Borommathat stupa established the Buddha relics.
In 1995, the Fine Arts Department renovated the top, cover with gold by using ten percent of gold entirely covered the top. The height from the lotus base to the golden top is 6.80 meters. This first class royal temple is the important sacred site of the southern part and Thailand.
Inside Wat Phra Mahathat, there are many edifices, including the royal building which has beautiful Ayutthaya architecture style, Sam Chom building where Phra Si Thamma Sokarat, the Buddha image attired in royal clothes, is housed. Phra Maha Phinetkrom (the equestrian image) building where God Jaturakam Ramathep is housed.
Wat Phra Mahathat and Phra Borommathat stupa is the center of Buddhist faith, and not only just Thai people held the respect but also Chinese, Malaysian and Singaporean travel to pay respect to Wat Phra Mahathat especially on the important day like Makha Bucha day, Visakha Bucha day and also including in the Hae Pha Khuen That Festival and Festival of the Tenth Lunar Month. It is well believed that paying homage to Phra Borommathat stupa will bring good fortune and success. Moreover, if paying homage 9 times ( one time per year during February to April in every year) will bring the prosperity in the field of trading and businesses, have a good fortune and live in a peaceful lives.
Chai Talay Seafood Restaurant
After paying homage to Phra Bommathat stupa, it is time for having dinner. We went to Chai Talay Seafood restaurant to have dinner there and fortunately we arrive when there is a beautiful light. Therefore, I took a few photos of the waterside atmosphere.
We are having dinner, taking photos in a short time. I, Chaicatawan would recommend this restaurant; Seafood is really fresh and it has a delicious taste.
Ended our meal with the dessert, Coconut Milk Sticky Rice with Mangoes to fill up the energy and the weight, this plate is quickly served and eaten up in a short time.
After the Chai Talay Seafood restaurant, we continue to take photos at Wat Phra Borommathat because at night the temple will turn on the lights. The beautiful light and spectacular view of the temple is wonderful; it is a bit pity that I did not take photos of Wat Phar Boroammathat at the twilight time.
Roti Aunt Nom
It is the local culture in which Nakhon people like to drink tea and eat Roti. The first moment I saw Aunt Nom shop, I am feeling surprised again as there are a lot people in the shop. We do have to wait for the available table for such a long time; moreover, we have to cram up in a small table. During waiting for Roti and Black Iced Tea to be served, I ponder in mind that how would it be delicious? because I saw full-store customers and the cooking Roti style also looks interesting.
And finally the wait comes to an end as Roti and tea are gradually served, I tried and I would say that it is delicious but not that much delicious. After that we all head back to the hotel for taking some rests.
4 days 3 nights of Nakhon Si Thammarat trip still not end, please follow the next chapter soon. There will be full story of two Dham for you more. I have to say thank you to everyone for encouragement, even though you just only click to read my review, I am very glad for that but if everyone would press vote, like, share or leave comments to me, I would be more than happy. This is the good encouragement for the review writers. In addition, I have to thank you our sponsors Tourism Authority of Thailand and Nok air for their supported and including Readme page for the space to post my review .
Lastly, please remember that don't just only read and watch the review, you can go on travel by yourself. Thailand is a magnificent place and it ready to embrace us and give us some rests.
Travelling, Smiling, Our Thailand
From my heart..........Chaicatawan
Monday, June 8, 2015 2:30 PM