So close to Bangkok that it is invariably overlooked by day-trippers, Nakhon Pathom is neither an exotic nor a particularly exciting destination. What this town does have in bucketfuls, though, is a tranquil, laid-back atmosphere, good food at reasonable rates and a few spots that are so beautiful you'll probably want to make a return visit.
Every evening the grounds of the temple which houses Phra Pathom Chedi are turned into an open-air food court. Hundreds of stalls offer a wide range of cuisine and beverages, from a la carte to local favourites like khao mun kai (chicken rice), hoi thawt and satay to noodle dishes and various kinds of dessert.
If you're lucky enough to have your own wheels, you can drive there in less than an hour. It takes a bit longer by bus or train. But once you arrive, don't expect to find any big, flashy shopping malls or one of those floating-market tourist traps; this place has neither, thankfully. But then chances are you're either here to see Phra Pathom Chedi, reputedly the country's oldest pagoda, or else you're hungering for a culinary adventure. If it's the latter you're after, scoot around town and you'll soon discover that it's packed with streetside stalls, restaurants and food bazaars.
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