1-Day Nakhon Pathom Itinerary – All the best places to visit first!

Are you planning on traveling to Nakhon Pathom but don’t know where to go and what to do?

Well, don’t worry because this article presents you with a one-day itinerary of all the best attractions in Nakhon Pathom! But what makes Nakhon Pathom so special?

Nakhon Pathom is believed to be the first city in modern-day Thailand (‘Siam’ in the old times) to house Indian civilizations and be influenced by Buddhism. Because of the rise of Buddhist beliefs, the Phra Pathom Chedi was built and became Nakhon Pathom’s most iconic structure. This was once a lively and prosperous city but was later abandoned because of the river’s change of course which resulted in drought.

Today, Nakhon Pathom is considered to be one of the most visited places in Thailand due to its proximity to the capital, Bangkok. There are many attractions here that you can go to and visit! So, don’t miss out on all the fun with our 1-day Nakhon Pathom Itinerary!

Full-Day Nakhon Pathom Itinerary Map Overview

Full-Day Nakhon Pathom Itinerary

7:00 AM: Take a bus or train from Bangkok to Nakhon Pathom

For your trip to Nakhon Pathom, you must start early. If you’re staying in Bangkok and want to tour around Nakhon Pathom, you can take the bus or train to get there.

If you want to take the bus, you can go to Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai). If you prefer to take the train, you can get on one at Thon Buri Railway Station (Bangkok Noi) and you’ll arrive at Pathom Railway Station. Travel time for both modes of transportation is about an hour.

8:00 AM: Arrival in Nakhon Pathom

When you arrive at Nakhon Pathom Bus Station or Railway Station, you can ride a Tuk Tuk or a Songthaew to your first stop which is Sanam Chandra Palace.

8:30 AM: Visit Sanam Chandra Palace

The Sanam Chandra Palace is a beautiful palace complex that was built during the era of King Rama VI and was completed in four years. The area offers a beautiful set of gardens that you can walk at. This is especially great when the sun is not yet too scorching!

Note: The actual Palace might be closed at the moment because it is going through renovations and is expected to be completed by 2024 but the gardens are open and visitors are still allowed.

9:00 AM: Visit the historic Phra Pathom Chedi

Street view of Phra Pathom Chedi
Street view of Phra Pathom Chedi, credit: Kittipong khunnen

The next stop is the beautiful Phra Pathom Chedi which is one of the most visited temples in Thailand. Its popularity might be because of the fact that it is the tallest temple in the country and it’s simply quite an astonishing sight. And if you’re looking for a quick snack or a meal before going to Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo, there are stalls that sell food here.

We recommend you eat a meal here because you’ll need the energy for the next activity! One food stall we can recommend is the Nai Hua Thai Chicken Noodle (นายฮั๊ว ก๋วยเตี๋ยวไก่ไทย @นครปฐม) where Thai-style chicken noodles are sold! The chicken is soft and chewy and they also serve Tom Yum too! Most importantly, food at this stall is affordable and cheap as well as in other stalls. Aside from the food, other products are also sold here like clothes and other basic needs.

Chicken noodles at นายฮั๊ว ก๋วยเตี๋ยวไก่ไทย @นครปฐม
Chicken noodles at นายฮั๊ว ก๋วยเตี๋ยวไก่ไทย @นครปฐม, credit: attpoca

Travel time from Phra Pathom Chedi to Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo takes around 30 minutes so you must now linger for too long here.

10:30 AM: Meet the gentle giants at Samphran Elephant Ground And Zoo

Elephants are truly majestic and quite special in Thailand. That is why, you must not miss going to Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo and meeting the gentle giants there! It takes about 30 minutes to travel from Phra Pathom Chedi to the Elephant Zoo and the entrance fee costs 600 Baht for foreigners.

This is a great place to visit if you’re traveling with your kids because there are a ton of activities here. There is even a magic show and different other entertaining shows with elephants and crocodiles!

You might also like: 7 Best Night Markets in Chiang Mai You Should Visit!

12:30 PM: Greet the dragon at Wat Samphran!

The Dragon at Wat Samphran
The Dragon at Wat Samphran, credit: हरीश टावरी

Dragons are iconic symbols all throughout the Asian continent and at Wat Samphran, you’ll find one so big that it will make you feel as if it’s going to fly away! This unique temple features a big dragon that hugs the actual temple. There is no entrance fee here but donations are accepted.

2:30 PM: Check out the floating market in front of Wat Lam Phaya

Some of the vendors on boats at Wat Lam Phaya Floating Restaurant
Some of the vendors on boats at Wat Lam Phaya Floating Restaurant, credit: Kanit Sunchatavirul

The Wat Lam Phaya Floating Market is heaven for all the foodies! There are vendors selling food on boats but there are some that are not, and if you’re craving fresh seafood, then fresh seafood is what you’ll get! They also have other meat options as well as vegetable dishes, so you have so much to choose from! If you’re feeling hungry, then there’s no need to buy food outside since there is a ton of food here already!

While you’re here, you can check out Wat Lam Phaya itself. It is a beautiful Buddhist temple that is worth a quick visit.

4:30 PM: Marvel at the wood carvings in Woodland Museum & Resort if you have time

Intricate wood carvings at Woodland Museum & Resort
Intricate wood carvings at Woodland Museum & Resort, credit: Panupong Yokyongsakul

If you still have time to go to Woodland Museum & Resort, you can check out their 1000+ awesome wood carvings that are just amazing to see. And no, these are not just simple bear carvings, most of the wood carvings here are life-sized and intricate, and showcase different religious themes from Buddhism to Christianism as well as carvings of Thailand’s royalties.

How do I get to Nakhon Pathom from Bangkok?

By Bus

The first way we recommend to get to Nakhon Pathom from Bangkok is by bus. This is the cheapest option and the best one for budget travelers. Buses start to depart from Bangkok to Nakhon Pathom at 4:30 AM and continue every 10 minutes until 9:30 AM. The fare costs 40 Baht and travel time takes around 2 hours.

By Train

The train to Nakhon Pathom is the most comfortable option. Trains that go to Nakhon Pathom have two classes, second and third classes. The second-class train has air conditioning, so it is very comfortable and relaxing. While the third-class train only has a fan but it’s still comfortable too. Fare prices between the two range from 80 Baht to 250 Baht and travel time usually takes 2 hours.

Transportation in Nakhon Pathom

How to get around Nakhon Pathom?

Nakhon Pathom is a big city which means that going from one place to another place will take time, energy, and effort.

Generally, Songthaews and Tuk Tuks are quite popular all over Thailand and you can use these modes of transportation to get around Nakhon Pathom. However, the downside to these is that it might be a hassle to negotiate prices with drivers or to even find a driver who would agree to take you around. Also, attractions are scattered and far away from each other, which means you’ll have to use a combination of transportation to get to a certain place. That is why, we recommend you rent a car to get around!

Renting a car is one of the easiest ways to get around a place in Thailand! The only thing is that there are not a lot of places to rent cars in Nakhon Pathom. But don’t worry because you can rent a car in Bangkok before coming to Nakhon Pathom. Rentals usually start at $25 for the whole day which is already reasonable especially if you’re traveling in a group!

What to Eat and Drink in Nakhon Pathom?

Luckily, there are tons of places to eat near the attractions that we’ve included in this Nakhon Pathom itinerary. The Wat Lam Phaya Floating Market, for example, has tons of food stalls and food options that you won’t find in any other place. But if you want to try out restaurants that are not included in the itinerary, here are some of our picks!

BaanBusaya Cafe and Restaurant

Delicious food at BaanBusaya Cafe and Restaurant
Delicious food at BaanBusaya Cafe and Restaurant, credit BaanBusaya Cafe and Restaurant

If you’re looking for authentic Thai food in Nakhon Pathom, then the BaanBusaya Cafe and Restaurant is the best place to go. Locals and tourists love this place for their authentic taste of Thai cuisine. Most of the recipes here have been passed on from generation to generation while some have been developed by the owner. These are signs of authenticity and innovation in one!

This restaurant is close to Sanam Chandra Palace and Phra Pathom Chedi, so you can grab an early lunch here too before heading out to Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo!

Location: 91 หมู่ 4 ตำบลวังตะกู Mueang Nakhon Pathom District, 73000, Thailand


Homemade Thai food at H&T HOMEMADE & TASTY
Homemade Thai food at H&T HOMEMADE & TASTY, credit: Anon Anon

We can consider H&T HOMEMADE & TASTY a tourist attraction since this is off the path but still gets a lot of visitors! Just like the name of the restaurant suggests, the foods here are homemade and tasty! The restaurant is actually in a house with a garden that you can explore and walk around. You’ll especially love the free set of vegetable side dishes, which are sourced locally, for free!

Location: Sanam Chan Sub-district, Mueang Nakhon Pathom District, Nakhon Pathom 73000, Thailand

Where to stay in Nakhon Pathom?

Since you’ll be staying in Nakhon Pathom for a day trip, you probably won’t need to stay at a hotel but if you want to extend your stay to explore more of this city, here are some accommodations that we think are affordable, clean, and overall great!

โรงแรมฮ็อป อินน์ นครปฐม HOP INN Nakhon Pathom

The rooms at โรงแรมฮ็อป อินน์ นครปฐม HOP INN Nakhon Pathom
The rooms at โรงแรมฮ็อป อินน์ นครปฐม HOP INN Nakhon Pathom, credit: bearducktravel.com

Simple, clean, and affordable. These are the best words to describe Hop Inn. It’s got all the things that you will need on your stay and the rooms are always kept clean and tidy. Its location is also near to some of the main attractions as well as the Bus Station and the Railway Station here! Don’t expect too much though because, for the price of 720 Baht, you won’t get a 5-star treatment.

Location: 554 Tanon Rachamanka, Tambon Sanam Chan, Mueang Nakhon Pathom District, Nakhon Pathom 73000, Thailand

The Proud Exclusive Hotel

Twin beds at The Proud Exclusive Hotel
Twin beds at The Proud Exclusive Hotel, credit: The Proud Exclusive Hotel

The Proud Exclusive Hotel is the budget hotel that you should definitely stay in! It is what a budget hotel should be because, despite its affordable rates, you get amenities that you would usually get from more expensive ones! Breakfast is included here too, so you won’t have to get out and find another restaurant to eat at which saves you more time for traveling!

Location: 100 t a Rajamankha Nai Rd, Mueang Nakhon Pathom District, Nakhon Pathom 73000, Thailand

When is the best time to visit Nakhon Pathom?

The best time to visit Nakhon Pathom is from January, March, June to August, and November to December.

We also don’t recommend you come to Nakhon Pathom in February, March, April, May, and June as these are the hottest and the most humid months here. The heat might become too overwhelming and might cause dangerous effects like heat strokes and the like. Meanwhile, the rainiest month is on October!

How many days should I stay in Nakhon Pathom?

One day is enough to spend in Nakhon Pathom. You can already go to the main attractions in one whole day with no worries. However, since there are still some awesome attractions that you might be interested in, you can spend another day exploring Nakhon Pathom. It’s near Bangkok too, so tourists usually just include this on their itineraries to Bangkok.

Do I need to VISA to visit Nakhon Pathom?

If you are planning to visit Thailand for less than 30 days, then VISA is no longer required. However, you must have a valid passport to enter the country. With that being said, you don’t have to have a VISA to visit Kamphaeng Phet but you must bring your passport with you!

There are 64 VISA exempted countries that can freely enter Thailand as long as it is for tourism only. Other nationalities may get a VISA upon arrival. To know more about the VISA policies in Thailand, read this article from the Thai Embassy about the “Tourist Visa to Thailand

Should I bring cash to Nakhon Pathom?

Yes! There are establishments that accept cards as payment in Nakhon Pathom but for the most part, local restaurants as well as attractions, do not accept credit cards. So, it is best if you bring cash with you. Most of the tourists who go to Nakhon Pathom come from Bangkok and there are a lot of money exchange outlets there so, make sure to exchange your foreign currency for Thai Baht.

You can exchange your foreign currency for Thai Baht at the airport if you need money for a taxi, food, etc. Bangkok’s airport, for example, has a Kasikorn Bank booth wherein you can ask how much the rate is and exchange your money there. This bank offers the best rate among the other bank booths at the airport like Thai Military Bank and Siam Commercial Bank. But unlike TMB and SCB which are open 24/7, Kasikorn Bank is only open from 7 AM to 11 PM only.

Is Nakhon Pathom worth visiting?

Nakhon Pathom is one of those tourist destinations you cannot avoid, simply because it is naturally inviting and amazing at the same time. It’s one of the closest cities outside of Bangkok that people can visit and it has a lot to offer in terms of historical and modern attractions. So, in a nutshell, YES, Nakhon Pathom is worth the visit if you ever come to Thailand!

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