Nakhon Sawan (นครสวรรค์), literally Heavenly City, is a city (pop. 90,000) in Lower Northern Thailand, near the confluence of the Ping, Nan, and other rivers, forming the Chao Phraya River. Historically, it has been a gateway to the north.
Records of the area and its importance to river traffic go back as far as the Sukhothai period (roughly 1238–1400). It was an outpost of the Sukhothai Kingdom close to the frontier with the Lavo Kingdom, which itself later came to dominate this area (and much more) as the Ayutthaya Kingdom.
The town sees few tourists, so English is not widely spoken.
Mini-buses (180 baht, 3 hr) run from Bangkok's Victory Monument (near the Pong Lee Restaurant) to Nakhon Sawan's Big C supermarket.
- Several regular air conditioned buses run daily from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal at Mo Chit (Tel. +66 2 2794484-7). The trip takes approximately 4 hr.
- Buses also run from Lampang (5 hr, 280 baht).
- 1 Nakhon Sawan Bus Station (To the west of the city centre).
Nakhon Sawan is on the Northern Line that runs from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, with about 7 trains a day from each terminus. The journey from Bangkok takes 3-4 hours and costs 96 baht for a 3rd class fan seat, 156 baht for a 2nd class fan seat (both on the normal 'rapid' train), and 416 baht for a 2nd class A/C seat on the 'special express DRC' train. For information an timetables, see online or call 1690 from within Thailand. English-speaking operators are available but tickets reserved over the phone must be paid for at a railway station in Bangkok only.
The train station is about 6 km out of town, but tuk-tuks complete the journey into town.
Songthaews are plentiful during the day, but it can be difficult to find a tuk-tuk in town. There usually are some waiting at the Big C and bus station.
Motorcycle taxis are plentiful, quick, knowledgeable, and cheap!
- Nakhon Sawan Tower. A large tower, the landmark of modern Nakhon Sawan.
The origin of the Chao Phraya River is formed by the Ping and the Nan rivers meeting in Nakhon Sawan.
Bueng Boraphet Aquarium, about 10km northeast of town, was built for the 80th anniversary of the king.
On the same hill as the Nakhon Sawan Tower, you can also visit Wat Kiriwong.
- Wat Worranatbanpot (Thammavitee Rd).
There are several cheap (70-100 baht) street stalls near the bus station. They also sell beer at a reasonable price. There is also a 7-Eleven opposite the bus station. The Big C contains a variety of small restaurants.
Thong Bai Bakery, just beside Romchat Hospital on Sawanvitee Rd, offers coffee, breakfast and bakery items. Open 7 days/week,8h00 to 20h00.
There is also a night market by the Ping River which near where it meets the Nan to form the Chao Praya.
- 1 Asia Nakhonsawan Hotel, 1017/4 Moo 9, Asia Rd (1 km N of Big C), ☏ +66 56 372222. Pleasant spot, reasonably priced, buffet breakfast included, Wi-Fi. 550 baht.
- Pa Ville.
- Pimarn (พิมาน) (As you exit the bus terminal, to the right at an angle across the road), ☏ +66 56 312222. The only hotel within a reasonable walking distance of the bus terminal. Look for the Thai sign. The front part will cost you 800 baht for a double room, but the back part (somewhat like a university multi dormitory and some 300 m to the right rear) will cost 500 baht for a twin room. Breakfast is included and is quite reasonable—it is in the back part of the hotel. All rooms have air conditioning, TV, and hot water. Pimarn 2 is behind the Pimarn and it is a little gem.
- P.A. Mansion Hotel on Sawanvitee Rd just before the P.A. Place Hotel: 240-260 (single-twin beds) baht fan rooms and 320 baht a/c rooms, which are clean and large. Wi-Fi is good. Their TVs show mostly Thai channels.
|Routes through Nakhon Sawan|
|Chiang Mai ← Phitsanulok ←||N S||→ Lopburi → Bangkok|
|Chiang Rai ← Kamphaeng Phet ←||N S||→ Chainat → Bangkok|