Nakhon Phanom, once the center of the ancient Sri Kotrabun Kingdom,
lies adjacent to the majestic Maekhong River, 735 kms. northeast of
Bangkok. The lovely setting of the provincial capital is enhanced
by the rugged beauty of the jungled mountains which lie beyond the
Laotian town of Thakaek, on the opposite bank of the river. King Rama
I selected the name Nakhon Phanom, city of mountains, because of this
outstanding geographical feature.
During the centuries, Lao and other ethnic groups
migrated across the Maekhong River and this is reflected in the local
dialects, customs and cuisine of Nakhon Phanom. Many unique folk dances,
such as the Sri Kotrabun dance, regarded as the symbol of Nakhon Phanom's
long history and the Fon Phu Thai, Sek-Ten-Sak and So Tung Bung are
performed on special occasions. The custom of extending a generous
welcome to guests can be experienced during a Bai-Sri-Su-Kwan ceremony
when a potent brew of home-made liquor is usually served.
There are many ancient religious monuments in Nakhon
Phanom. The most highly revered is Pra Thad Phanom in Amphoe Thad
Phanom which dates back to the time of the Sri Kotrabun Kingdom.