Shadow puppet shows and a lot of nature: A hidden gem in Thailand

Are you planning a Thailand trip and still looking for the perfect destination? The province Nakhon Si Thammarat in Southern Thailand is an absolute insider tip. Here, you will find everything that makes Thailand worth visiting: welcoming people, a vibrant culture and the breathtaking natural beauty of Khao Luang National Park. Due to the perfect combination of culture and nature – including a wonderful beach in Kanom – Nakhon Si Thammarat is one of Thailand’s hidden gems and the ideal place for summer holidays during the time from March until September.

On the traces of the past

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Nakhon Si Thammarat, the capital bearing the same name as the province, was an influential trading port for centuries attracting merchants from China, India, Sri Lanka and Europe. On a walk along the city’s main Ratchadamnoen Road you can discover the manifold traces which these people from so many different cultures and religions left here. The city walls from the 12th century will give you an impression of how significant this city has once been, and you can also marvel at the wood carvings on the façade of the monks’ residences Wat Wang Tawan Tok.

A very characteristic temple

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The buddhist temple Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan attracts pilgrims from all over Asia. Everyone in Thailand knows its characteristic bell-shaped chedi, because it is represented on Thailand’s 25 Satang coin. The 149 smaller pagodas are fascinating as well and make the temple complex a nice place to walk around. During the annual “Hae Pha Khuen That” festival the 78-metre chedi is completely wrapped in cloth, which is an impressing experience.

The province’s tranquil side

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Ban Khiriowong is said to be the village with the purest air in Thailand – this is not surprising, since ancient fern forests and orchards surround it. The area has specialized in sustainable tourism; for example you can visit a typical farm, make traditional batik clothing or have a picnic at one of the many rivers among Thai families.

Traditional culture: Shadow puppet shows

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When was the last time you listened to a good story? In Thai shadow puppet shows the stories are literally brought to life. To keep this traditional art form alive, the national artist Suchart Subsin established a museum in Ban Tang Talung. Here, you can see the leather puppets being made, discover some of the most famous characters from Thailand’s shadow puppet theater – and of course see one of the fascinating shows

Orchids and spectacular waterfalls

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Khao Luang National Park is known for its spectacular waterfalls and if you are in good shape, you can enjoy a fantastic view from one of the highest mountains of Southern Thailand. A less demanding hike is recommendable as well, due to the remarkable fauna with more than 300 kinds of orchids and a type of fern that is known to exist for 180 million years.