Map of Thailand highlighting Nakhon Sawan Province
|Capital||Nakhon Sawan city|
|• Governor||Kawi Kittisathaphon (since October 2009)|
|• Total||9,597.7 km2 (3,705.7 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 20th|
|• Rank||Ranked 15th|
|• Density||110/km2 (290/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 42nd|
|Time zone||Thailand Standard Time (UTC+7)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-60|
Nakhon Sawan (Thai: นครสวรรค์) is one of the provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are (from north clockwise) Kamphaeng Phet, Phichit, Phetchabun, Lop Buri, Sing Buri, Chai Nat, Uthai Thani and Tak.
The word Nakhon originates from the Sanskrit word Nagara meaning city, and the word Sawan from Sanskrit svarga meaning heaven. Hence the name of the province literally means City Heaven, but more likely it is meant Heavenly City.
Nakhon Sawan was a city since Dvaravati era. While part of the Sukhothai kingdom, it was called Mueang Phra Bang, the southern frontier city of Sukhothai. Later within the Ayutthaya kingdom it was an important trade center because of its location at the two major rivers from the north. It also was the common meeting point of Burmese troops before moving to attack Ayutthaya. In the reign of King Taksin the Great, Phra Bang became a Siamese military base to prevent further Burmese attacks.
When King Mongkut signed the Bowring Treaty with Britain the glorious time of Nakhon Sawan began, as it became the main rice and teak trading centre. However the opening of the Northern railway in 1922, the economic crisis before 1932 revolution, and finally the opening of Dejativongse bridge and Phahonyothin highway in 1950 each decreased the importance of water transportation and thus made Nakhon Sawan less important.
The 4th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Area Army is based in Nakhon Sawan. It is in charge of the northwestern border with Burma, from Mae Hong Son in the north to Kanchanaburi in the south.
The Ping and Nan rivers merge near the city of Nakhon Sawan to form the Chao Phraya River. The Mae Wong National Park on the border with Khamphaeng Phet province was created in 1987 to preserve the Mae Wong-Mae Poen jungle.
Bueng Boraphet is the largest freshwater wetland in Thailand, in total covering 212 km². The swamp is located directly east of the town Nakhon Sawan and extends into the districts Tha Tako and Chum Saeng. During the winter months many waterfowls migrate there. Parts of the swamp (covering 106 km2) are protected as a non-hunting area.
|Climate data for Nakhon Sawan (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||32.9
|Average low °C (°F)||19.3
|Rainfall mm (inches)||4.3
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||1||2||3||5||12||14||16||18||18||14||4||1||108|
|Source: Thai Meteorological Department (Normal 1981-2010), (Avg. rainy days 1961-1990)|
The provincial seal shows a Wiman, a mythological castle located in heaven. This relates to the name of the province which translates to Heavenly City.
The provincial tree as well as the flower is Lagerstroemia loudonii (Loudon's crape myrtle).
Bung Boraphet (บึงบอระเพ็ด) is the largest freshwater swamp in Thailand. Some parts of the swamp have been declared the Bung Boraphet Non-Hunting Area under the care of the Wildlife Conservation Division. Bung Boraphet is also a fish breeding ground where the Department of Fisheries has set up the Bung Boraphet Fishery Development Station.
Wat Woranat Banphot or Wat Khao Kop (วัดวรนาถบรรพต หรือ วัดเขากบ): The peak has a replica of Lord Buddha’s Footprint and a pagoda encasing the relic of Lord Buddha built when Sukhothai was the country’s capital. The temple was praised by the Department of Religious Affairs as the best development temple of 1966.
Utthayan Sawan (อุทยานสวรรค์) is a beautiful public park in Nakhon Sawan Municipality beside the Asian Highway. It was originally a large swamp with an area of 502,400 square meters called Nong Som Bun. The middle of the park is an island with an area of 6,400 square meters.
Wat Chom Khiri Nat Phrot (วัดจอมคีรีนาคพรต): The most interesting objects here are a replica of the Lord Buddha’s Footprint and a convocation hall that locals call "Bot Thewada Sang".
Wat Si Sawan Sangkharam or Wat Thu Nam (วัดศรีสวรรค์สังฆาราม หรือ วัดถือน้ำ) is an old temple that was used as the site for government officials to pledge allegiance to the king. Wat Si Sawan Sangkharam is regarded as an old temple with immense historical value.
Chao Pho Thepharak-Chao Mae Thapthim Shrine (ศาลเจ้าพ่อเทพารักษ์-เจ้าแม่ทับทิม): The shrine is revered by locals and is the spiritual magnet of the people in the area as well as passers-by using the river.
The Origin of the Chao Phraya River (ต้นแม่น้ำเจ้าพระยา) is the point where the Ping and Nan rivers converge. Here, one can clearly distinguish the difference between the two rivers. The Nan River is reddish in colour while the Ping River is somewhat green.
Wat Kriang Krai Klang (วัดเกรียงไกรกลาง): Inside is a Sukhothai-style bronze Buddha image in the Man Wichai posture and an old hall of over a hundred years of age. There is also a replica of Lord Buddha’s Footprint and a mural of Lord Buddha’s life.
Tham Bo Ya (ถ้ำบ่อยา): The cave itself has 3 sections. The first has a large main Buddha image. The second, further in, is a dead end with a pond called Bo Nam Thip that is believed by locals to be sacred. The third section is an exit out the other way.
Nakhon Sawan Provincial Cultural Building (หอวัฒนธรรมจังหวัดนครสวรรค์) is the centre of historical, archaeological and cultural information of the province. The building has an exhibition room displaying cultural development and various archaeological sites.
Chan Sen Ancient City and Chan Sen Museum (จันเสนเมืองโบราณ และ พิพิธภัณฑ์วัดจันเสน): A number of artifacts have been discovered in the ancient city; earthenware items, stone items, metal objects and bronze objects. All of the objects are now kept at Chan Sen Museum in Chan Sen Temple.
Wat Tham Phon Sawan (วัดถ้ำพรสวรรค์): At the rear of the temple is Phon Sawan Cave which is divided into 2 sections. The first section is a small room while the second section is a larger room with Buddha images and various structures such as a replica waterfall with a stream in the cave’s centre.
Wat Bang Pramung Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำวัดบางประมุง) is on the bank of Bang Pramung Canal in front of Wat Bang Pramung, about 14 kilometres from the city on the Nakhon Sawan-Krok Phra road.
Wat Bang Mafo (วัดบางมะฝ่อ): The most striking aspect is the main hall that has unique doors and windows designed by the monk Luang Pho Sun. The main Buddha image in the Man Wichai posture is strange in that it also holds a palm-leaf fan. Under the multi-tiered roof is a lovely replica of Lord Buddha’s Footprint.
Khao Tham Phra (เขาถ้ำพระ): Inside are stalactites, stalagmites and Buddha images. During the Songkran Festival locals will take flowers, candles and incense sticks up the 100 steps from the foot of the hill to pay homage to the images.
Khao No-Khao Kaeo (เขาหน่อ-เขาแก้ว) is a limestone mountain that has Wat Khao Lo at its foot. There are numerous monkeys at the foot of the mountain and you can see plenty of bats that live in the cave flying out to feed in the evening, making a long black line in the night sky.
Khok Mai Den Ancient City (บ้านโคกไม้เดน): Traces of the old city wall remain and an artefact in the form of a sculpture of the elephant Phaya Chatthan was discovered here. It is over 1,000 years old. The word "Khok Mai Den" refers to a kind of tree.
Mae Wong National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติแม่วงก์): The area consists of winding mountains and is the source of several waterways, including the Mae Wong River and some parts of Khlung Canal. Attractions in Mae Wong National Park Kaeng Pha Khoi Nang-Kaeng Nam
Bon Kaeo Hin (แก่งผานางคอย-แก่งน้ำบนเขาหิน) is on the Khlong Lan-Um Phang road and 1.4 kilometres from the park headquarters and another 400 meters on a secondary road. This is a large brook that Khlung Canal flows through.
The View point (จุดชมวิว) is on the Khlong Lan-Um Phang road at the 81 km marker. At the 93 km marker, about 28 kilometres from the headquarters, is an area between mountains that is perpetually breezy with an average temperature below 20 degrees Celsius.
Namtok Nang Nuan (น้ำตกนางนวล): This waterfall is located amidst the lush jungle. It has 4 levels.
Namtok Mae Krasa (น้ำตกแม่กระสา) is a large 9-level waterfall about 900 meters high. The waterfall is formed by streams from high-altitude jungles on the Thanon Thong Chai Mountain Range.
Namtok Mae Riwa (น้ำตกแม่เรวา) is a waterfall located around 21 kilometres from the headquarters.
Mokochu Peak (ยอดเขาโมโกจู) is the highest peak in the park. It is 1,964 meters above sea level and is located about 50 kilometres from the headquarters.
Kaeng Lan Nok Yung (แก่งลานนกยูง) is a brook with a wide rock plateau. Mae Wong River, which originates in Mae Wong Forest flows through it. It is about 800 meters from Mae Rewa Forest Protection Unit.
Chao Pho-Chao Mae Pak Nam Pho Procession Festival (งานประเพณีแห่เจ้าพ่อ-เจ้าแม่ปากน้ำโพ) is a festival of the Thai Chinese who live in Nakhon Sawan. This festival has been held since ancient times. It takes place during Chinese New Year (around the beginning of February every year) to bring good fortune. It features various processions such as lion parade, dragon parade, angel procession, the goddess Guan Yin procession and others going along the main roads in the municipality. The festival is famous among Thais and foreigners.
Boat Races for His Majesty’s Trophy (ประเพณีการแข่งเรือยาวชิงถ้วยพระราชทาน) are held annually at the end of the Buddhist Lent on the Chao Phraya River in front of the Provincial Hall. There are also races at temples along the river such as Wat Ko Hong and Wat Takhian Luan. The races show the unity of the people, as well as the skill of paddlers and boat owners participating.
- Province page from the Tourist Authority of Thailand
- The Official Website of Nakhon Sawan from the Governor Office
- Nakhon Sawan provincial map, coat of arms and postal stamp
- Information and Pictures about Nakhon Sawan
||Kamphaeng Phet Province||Phichit Province|
|Tak Province||Phetchabun Province|
|Uthai Thani Province||Chainat Province||Lopburi Province