Nonthaburi (นนทบุรี) is Thailand's second largest city, being a part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region.
Due to its close proximity to Bangkok the city is a suburb of the national capital, and is generally considered a part of Greater Bangkok - had it not been for the signposts you'd hardly notice where one ends and the other begins. Officially, however, Nonthaburi is one of the five neighbouring provinces of Bangkok. Covering an area of 622 square kilometres and separated into 2 parts by the Chao Phraya River, Nonthaburi is administratively divided into six districts: Mueang Nonthaburi, Pak Kret, Bang Kruai, Bang Yai, Bang Bua Thong and Sai Noi.
The history of Nonthaburi dates back 400 years to the era of Ayutthaya Kingdom. Firstly known as Tambon Ban Talad Khwan, and noted for its fertile soil and plentiful water where a lot of orchards nest alongside the Chao Phraya River, this tambon was promoted to Nonthaburi City in 1549 under the reign of King Mahajakrapat.
In 1665, King Narai the Great had noticed that the river has changed its own route and it might consequently have a negative effect to the city’s security. Hence, the fortifications have been established at the delta of Om River where the city pillar has been built as the symbol of the new foundation of Nonthaburi.
At the time of Rattanakosin Kingdom, King Mongkut has had Nonthaburi moved to the entrance of Bang Sue Canal in Tambon Ban Talad Khwan where later in the reign of King Chulalongkorn, the city hall has been founded and lasted till 1928. In the same year, King Pokklao has initiated the idea of building a new city hall at Rajawitthayalai Ban Bang Khwan, Tambon Bang Tanowsri on Pracharaj I road alongside the Chao Phraya River which nowadays belongs to the Ministry of Interior Affairs. The building, constructed in a European style, has become a relict of Thailand while the current city hall is situated on Rattanathibet Road.
- Phibun Songkhram Road, between the foot of Rama VI Bridge and Sri Phon Sawan Theatre intersection
- Pracharat I Road, between the city hall and Sri Phon Sawan Theatre intersection
- Tiwanon Road, between Wat Lanna Bun triangle and Patumthani Pier
- Ngamwongwan Road, between Khae Lai intersection and Kasetsart University intersection
- Nonthaburi I Road, between the city hall and Tiwanon Road
- Bang Kruai-Sai Noi Road, between Rama VI Bridge and Amphoe Sai Noi
- Krungthep-Nonthaburi Road, between Tao Pun triangle and Wat Lanna Bun triangle
- Rattanathibet Road, between Khae Lai intersection and Bang Bua Thong-Taling Chan Road
Several public buses operated by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) connect Bangkok with Nonthaburi.
- Number 69 (Victory Monument – Sanambin Nam)
- Number 104 (Victory Monument – Pak Kret)
- Number 166 (Victory Monument – Pak Kret)
- Number 63 (Victory Monument-Nonthaburi)
- Number 30 (Southern Bus Terminal -Nonthaburi)
- Number 203 (Sanam Luang - Nonthaburi)
- Number 33 (Sanam Luang - Pathum Thani)
- Number 64 (Sanam Luang - Pra Athit - Samsen - Nonthaburi Road)
- Number 114 (Lam Luk Ka intersection - Nonthaburi)
- Number 117 (Huai Khwang-Wat Khema)
- Number 128 (Krungthon Bridge - Bang Yai)
- Number 32 (Wat Pho - Pak Kret)
- Number 51 (Wat Pho - Pak Kret)
- Number 65 (Tha Tian – Wat Pak Nam)
- Number 97 (Monks' Hospital - Nonthaburi)
- Number 522 (Rangsit - Victory Monument)
There are also daily express boats that run along the Chao Phraya River from Wat Ratcha Singh Khon Pier, Amphoe Yanawa and Wat Toei Pier, Amphoe Pak Kret District. Service operates from 06:00 to 18:00, leaving the pier every 20 minutes. For more information, contact Chao Phraya Express Boat Co. Ltd. (Tel: 0 2222 5330 or 0 2225 3003 or 0 2623 6001-3 or www.chaophrayaboat.co.th)
If you're planning to cover large distances on foot - don't. As is the rule in Bangkok, the multilane roads are made for drivers rather than pedestrians.
The island of Ko Kret (Koh Kred), floating in the Chao Phraya river, is easily accessed from Bangkok.
- IMPACT Exhibition Centre (ศูนย์นิทรรศการอิมแพ็ค), ☎ . Mueang Thong Thani, 99 Popular Road, Pak Kret, Nonthaburi. or
Wat Khemaphirataram Rajaworawiharn
Situated on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, in Tambon Suan Yai, Wat Khema was built in the early Ayutthaya period. The monastery underwent restoration during the reigns of Rama II and Mongkut and for a while enjoyed royal patronage. Its large pagoda houses the Buddha’s relics as well as a centuries-old icon of the Buddha which dates to the period of the Wat Khema's founding. Other attractions within the monastic compound include the Tamnak Daeng Building and Phra Thinang Monthian Hall.
How to get there: The monastery can be easily reached by bus. Taking the minibus Rewadi-Wat Pak Nam is also a good option. For those travelling by Chao Phraya express boat get off at Tha Nam Non Pier and from there hop on bus number 203.
- Royal Irrigation Department Golf Course (สนามกอล์ฟชลประทาน) Tivanon Road, Pak Kred, Nonthaburi Tel: +66 2 583 6060-9 ext. 269, +66 2 9623686 (9 holes)
- A large prison in Nonthaburi which houses death row inmates.
- Hong Seng (Rimnam) (Pak Kret Pier). Open till 14:00 on Tu-Th, 18:00 on F-Su. This restaurant serves some of the best freshwater cooked Thai food. It's been given a 5-star rating on the taste of the food, 4-stars on service, and 3-stars on pricing. When getting there, try ordering koong pla (shrimp in sour and spicy sauce), Kung To Kratiem Prik Thai (shrimp fried in garlic and pepper), Tom Yum Pla Kang (Kang fish in hot and spicy soup). A reservation is required as the restaurant gets filled up quickly, especially during weekends.
There are few accommodation options in Nonthaburi. This is largely due to the lack of foreign tourists, as well as its proximity to Bangkok.
- Nonthaburi Palace, 3/19 Moo 1 Nonthaburi 1 Rd, Muang Nonthaburi, ☎ , fax: . An obscure establishment more familiar to locals as a venue to host wedding banquets. Rooms from 1,200 baht with breakfast. 1,200-4,000 baht.
- Riverine Place Riverside Service Apartments, 9/280 Moo 7 Phibulsongkhram Rd, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. As its name suggests, this 27-story luxury service apartment is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and has a wide range of facilities. 2,800-5,200 baht.