Nahkon Si Thammarat - by-passed on the way
"Nahkon - a city for local traveler"
Nahkon Si Thammarat is the largest province in south Thailand with a long coast line and well forested interior.
The territory is hilly, with high mountains of limestone. The environment was so conducive for living and hiding, that it was no wonder that until the late 1980's, many places in the province were still the hotbed for communist insurgents. This hilly terrain also gave the province a good share of forest with waterfalls and nature parks.
These conditions accounted for long history of inhabitation, the province can boast of having 9 ancient Buddhist temples, 3 Indian temples, 3 monasteries, pagodas, city walls, monument, 12 waterfalls [few in National Parks] and at least 3 stretches of beach.
As for the provincial capital Nahkon itself, it is a township in the shape of a long rectangle with the trunk road dividing the town into 2 parts, the historical section and the modern living quarters. Most of the population stays on the modern eastern half. There were several rural villages on the coast and prawn farming became a major industry for the province.
The resources of the Thai government were spent to enhance neighboring provinces like Songkla and Surat Thani which were already drawing in huge crowd. The way I like it that they left Nahkon alone to the locals. For those who has a preference for outdoor life, cultural and historical sites, I am sure will find this province an ideal place to spend some weeks.
Personally, I prefer staying in hotel located in the other half, the old part of town. Another long main street that runs parallel with the trunk road. My impression was that this place may looked like a one street town. Not really after all it was urban. Then all the interesting spots coincidentally located along this street were within walking distances. Life here, especially the northern section of this street was crowded, the rest of the section, traffic was tolerable.
Once out of town, there were the places with waterfalls that I like and the National park with a respectable level of birds life. Of lasting impression for me, was that the business here, catering for locals were not exposed to outside influences. That had kept living cost low.
This province had its traces of Srivijaya's influence, spread over from Surat Thani. Till today has a low Muslim population and traveler can be confident that the threat of unrest read about in the southern states less imminent.
Another personal reason why I favored staying in this city was the fact that once I crossed over from touristy Samui Island, this was one place I can get food I liked. One of many reasons that I developed a liking for this province.