Si Thammarat is a southern Thai coastal province edging the Gulf of Thailand.
The province covers some 9,942 sq. km. Provincial capital is some 780km
south of Bangkok.
This province has
Surat Thani to the north, Trang, Phatthalung and Songkhla to the south,
Krabi to the west and the east. Nakhon Si Thammarat is divided into 16
districts and 2 sub-districts.
The province is historically
important. In as much as that from the late 1200s, trade was firmly established
between Nakhon Si Thammarat and Southern India, including Sri Lanka. Intermarriage
between local women and foreign merchants resulted in the import of certain
Indian beliefs and customs, including Brahmanism and shadow plays, influences
that were to have profound effects on the Siamese courts of the Ayutthaya
period (1350 - 1767). Besides that, Nakhon Si Thammarat was also a major
center of Buddhism some 1,700 years ago, during the Sri Vijaya period.
The town which bears
the same name as that of the province is a natural stopover for travelers
heading north to Ko Samui. The town was once known as Ligor and contains
many archeological sites. History is found in abundance here, but, so
also are sandy beaches, national parks and picturesque waterfalls. Silverware,
brassware and fine-weave lacquered basketry are specialties of the province.
is one of the most revered temples in southern Thailand, and is by far
the most prominent city landmark. The original pagoda was built some 1,700
years ago to house Buddha relics brought from Sri Lanka. The 77m high
pagoda dominates a complex of lesser yet nevertheless interesting structures
which include the Viharn Luang and the Viharn Pra Ma. Viharn Luang - this
chapel to the left of the pagoda is a perfect example of Ayutthayan architecture
and contains an intricately painted and decorated ceiling. Viharn Pra
Ma on the other hand lies to the right and contains two national artistic
masterpieces, namely 'bas relief' depicting the life of the Lord Buddha
in India before his enlightenment, and a carved door, dating back hundreds
of years, depicting the Hindu gods Brahma and Vishnu.
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