Still relatively unknown compared to other popular destinations in Thailand’s southern region, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Khanom, and Phattalung are rich in both natural and cultural diversity and are ideal for getting off the well-worn tourist track.
Dating back to 13th Century and the founding of Buddhism of Thailand, the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat is considered as the cultural centre of Southern Thailand. Wat Phra Maha That Woramahawihan, located in the district of Nakhon Si Thammarat, is as sacred and important to the province as Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha) is to Bangkok. The Nang Talung Shadow Puppet Museum has a long tradition of storytelling using shadow puppets where guests have the chance to watch a rare shadow puppet performance or “Nang Talung”, or even to try crafting their own. Visiting Baan Laem Homestay not only supports the local community but also offers a natural mud spa at the mangrove forest; here guests can experience the way of local fishermen by using sea mud to nourish the skin and even treat diseases.
A 2-hour sea excursion by long-tail boat around Khanom Beach takes guests to the mineral water pond, pancake rocks, and to see the famous pink dolphins who live in the area. Nearby Baan Hed Kab Pak serves organic dishes using ingredients from their mushroom farm and fruit orchard. A new speedboat route running from Si Chon – just a 30-minutes’ drive from Khanom – to Koh Samui allows guests to reach the island in just 40 minutes.
The wetland area of Thale Noi Waterfowl Park in Phatthalung Province stretches over 457 sq.km and has become the home to over one hundred species of resident and migratory birds. Here guests can cruise among its signature red lotus blooms, visit its resident water buffaloes and rice plantation, and see locals conducting their daily activities.