Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat, the second largest city of the greatest history and background above any other town in the region due to its status as a first grade city controlling various subjected cities and towns, a place that houses Lord Buddha’s relics which is the most important statutory place of the south, being the center of Buddhism during Sivichaya period, is located some 861 kms. by railroad and 780 kms. by highway from Bangkok. It occupies an area of 9,942.5 square kilometers having high plateau with mountains and jungles in the west then sloping down towards the east and becoming basin along the coastline of the Gulf of Thailand. It borders Surat Thani to the north; Trang, Phattalung and Songkhla to the south; the Gulf of Thailand to the east; and Krabi to the west.
Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan is located on Ratchadamnoen Road in Tambon Nai Muang. This is one of the most important historical sites in southern Thailand. The pagoda, 55.78 meters high, has a distinctive Sri Lankan style. The top is entirely covered by pure gold. Inside the temple are many buildings of importance, especially the royal building which has beautiful architecture from the Ayutthaya period and the Sam Chom building where the Buddha image attired in royal wardrobe Phra Si Thamma Sokarat is housed. There are also the Phra Maha Phinetkrom (the equestrian image) building, the Thap Kaset building, while the Khian and Pho Lanka buildings are used to display artifacts donated to the temple by Buddhists.
Phra Phuttha Sihing is housed in the Phra Phuttha Sihing hall near the Provincial Hall. This sacred image was believed to have been ordered by the king of Lanka in 157 AD and was brought to Thailand during the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great. There are currently 3 similar images in Thailand which are at the National Museum in Bangkok, Wat Phra Sing in Chiang Mai and this image in Nakhon Si Thammarat
Ho Phra Isuan is on Ratchadamnoen Road. It is a historical site of the Brahman religion. It has on display the Shiva Linga which is the symbol of Shiva, the Brahman god. There are also several bronze images such as the Siwa Nattarat image, Phra Uma and Phra Phikkhanet. The bronze images in this hall are replicas of the real images that are in Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum.
Ho Phra Narai is also on Ratchadamnoen Road and another Brahman place of worship opposite Ho Phra Isuan. The original structure and design of this hall are unknown. However, a gray sandstone image of the god Narai wearing a hat and holding a conch in the right hand was discovered in the hall. It is estimated that it dates from the 11th-12th Buddhist century. This image is now in the National Museum in town. The only artifact on display in the hall is a replica of the Narai image discovered at an archaeological dig in Amphoe Si Chon.
Phra Wihan Sung or Ho Phra Sung is an important historical site located just outside the ancient city wall to the north in the area of Sanam Na Muang, on Ratchadamnoen Road. The site is so called because of its high location on a hill 2.10 meters above level ground. There is no exact historical evidence but it is believed that its architecture and wall murals are from the early Rattanakosin period. The building houses plaster images with a fat clay core. The images are either from the 23rd-24th Buddhist century or from the late Ayutthaya period.
City wall is alongside Ratchadamnoen Road. The wall was renovated in the early Rattanakosin period and once more in 1990. The wall runs parallel with the city moat from Chai Nua Gate or Chai Sak Gate to the east for 100 meters.
Wirathai Monument:Â is made of blackened copper. The monument features a soldier ready to fight with a bayonet. The locals call this monument Cha Dam or Chao Pho Dam. It was erected to honor Thai soldiers in southern Thailand who died fighting an invading Japanese force in World War II on December 8, 1941. The monument is on Ratchadamnoen Road in Fort Vajiravudh which is the headquarters of the Fourth Region Army. The fort compound itself has conference rooms, guesthouses, a golf course, a shooting range, and a souvenir shop.