Nakhon Phanom Things to Do Tips by Cathy&Gary
Nakhon Phanom Things to Do: 14 reviews and 58 photos
Dinosaur Footprints Tha Uthen
Now it is time for us to leave Nakhon Phanom and drive to Nong Khai which is another 350 kilometers away, but there will be a stop along the way as we have heard there is a place with Dinosaur Footprints, hope we can find it!!
Well we were about 20 kilometers outside Nakhon Phanom, the Dinosaur Footprints place is on the map, so we should be there now, it looks like somehow we have missed it and Gary is refusing to go back looking for it. So we just keep heading for Nong Khai following the Mekong. Then about another 80 kilometers out we see a sign and turn off the main road.
Amazing there is the Dinosaur Footprints Park at Tha Uthen, we have found it. Well this is amazing and for the first time I am seeing footprints that are millions of years old. The park is nicely set up with different viewing areas and info on what you are looking at.
Some of the Dinosaur footprints found here are the Ornithomimosaurs which with their toothless beaks and slender feet made them look like giant featherless birds with clawed hands and a long tail. They are among the fastest dinosaurs being able to run up to 70 kilometers an hour. Sauropods were the biggest land animals and very slow moving, their long tails were to help keep them balanced and to also protect them from predators.
The amount of footprints found at Tha Uthen show that over 100 million years ago this old river bank provided very good feeding grounds.
There is a lot of work happening at this place, huge fiber glass dinosaurs ready to be put together, workers everywhere, buildings going up. So it looks like they are turning it into a huge tourist attraction. I hope more people visit here as it is definitely off the beaten track and was not easy to find, but totally worth going to.
Ho Chi Minh's House
On the outskirts of Nakhon Phanom is a little place called Ban Na Chok, it took us quite awhile to find it and we were just about to give up when Gary decided to try a small turnoff on the left, well there it was!
Here you will find the safe house that Ho Chi Minh lived in for several years from 1923. The house & small museum is run by the grand children of the Vietnamese immigrant who gave Ho Chi Minh shelter. Entry is free & there is a donation box inside the house.
The gardens here are beautiful and you will see the coconut trees that were actually planted by Ho Chi Minh and the original furniture and a few of Ho Chi Minh’s possessions are still in the house.
Wat Phra That Phanom
This beautiful Temple is about 80 kilometers south of Nakhon Phanom, it is said that every Buddhist should visit here at least once in their lifetime. The Chedi is the main reason as it contains the chest bone of the Lord Buddha. So this makes Wat Phra That Phanom one of the most sacred Temples in Thailand and every year there is a weeklong festival with many thousands making the pilgrimage.
Wat Phra That Phanom is full of history and was erected over 2500 years ago; it has been renovated quite a few times over the years. Archaeologists date the earliest structures to between the sixth and tenth centuries AD, with the present form of the temple being established by the Lao kings of Vientiane in the fifteenth or sixteenth century.
The centerpiece of the temple is a 57 meter tall Chedi which is decorated with 110 kilograms of gold!
On August 11th 1975 the entire pagoda collapsed after many days of torrential rain. The Thai public made considerable donations to rebuild the pagoda to its original glory. People also placed many valuables inside the main body of the pagoda which supported by four square bases 12metres wide.
In the rainy season for about three months during July, August and September (depending on the lunar months), the monks are not allowed to sleep outside their temple and cannot defrock. Wat Phra That Phanom is then extremely busy. Every morning at dawn, the monks go out to collect food. People fill the monks bowl with rice, soft drinks, cakes and so on. This is called "TAKBAT” and it is very impressive in That Phanom with a row of hundreds of monks.
We spent many hours at Wat Phra That Phanom, it is the most beautiful Temple I have ever seen, a very special place. It was also strange having Monks call out to us and wave, so I take it that not many tourists visit this area, actually I don’t think we had seen any for a couple of days! We drove there from Nakhon Phanom and the roads were excellent.
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