Nakhon Sawan has held many names over the years as a vassal city paying tribute to nascent Thai kingdoms like Sukhotai and Ayutthaya. Born at the confluences of tributaries that gather here to make the Chao Phraya River, the city served as one of most important trading hubs in Thailand until modern rail and roads significantly reduced the importance of river shipping.
Not far from town, the Chan Sen Ancient City and Museum is a top draw for travelers on luxury tours of Thailand. The thousand-year-old city ruins rest on a man-made island ringed by a moat, and is believed to be one of the earliest occupied areas in the region.
Mae Wong National Park’s borders contain some of the best bird watching in Southeast Asia thanks to its hundreds of avian species. The park’s mountains, jungles, and canals make for excellent hiking, and wild elephants and occasionally a tiger can be spotted prowling the foliage.
June through October rains are light, lower the day-time temperatures, and make the greenery lush. The highest temperatures in the area fall between March and May, and the beast weather is from November to January.
There’s an off-the-beaten-path feel to this quiet town that cultural enthusiasts lap up during their tours of Thailand. Quiet and relaxing, and with several great sights to view, Nakhon Sawan is a great stop while heading north to Chiang Mai from Bangkok.
Appropriate Attire :
Western wear is fine in town or the ruins of Chan Sen, but if you should visit any of the temples in the area remember to cover shoulders to knees in keeping with Thai Buddhist tradition.