Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat is the second largest province of the South. In addition to its great history, Nakhon Si Thammarat boasts pristine verdant jungles abundant with luxuriant vegetation and is also noted for picturesque beaches and beautiful waterfalls.
The city of Nakhon Si Thammarat is the capital of the province and is on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. The city was the administrative center of southern Thailand during most of its history. Originally a coastal city, silting moved the coastline away from the city. The city has a much larger north to south extension than west to east, which dates back to its original location on a flood-save dune. The modern city center around the train station is located north of Old Town.
It is one of the most ancient cities of Thailand, previously Kingdom of Ligor, and contains many buildings and ruins of historical significance. With the fall of the Siamese capital of Ayutthaya in 1767 it regained independence, but returned to its allegiance on the founding of Bangkok. In the 17th century British, Portuguese and Dutch merchants set up factories there and carried on an extensive trade.
Predominantly mountainous with substantial forest areas including the outstanding Khao Luang National Park, Nakhon Si Thammarat also has a selection of beaches along its largely undeveloped coastline. It is in close proximity to the Don Sak and Khanom piers, from where the ferries run out to the gulf islands of Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan. There are loads of attractive coastal villages great for camping.