Wat Phra Mahatat
Apparently it's almost as large as Wat Pho in Bangkok, and is the centrepiece of Nakhon, which used to be an ancient provincial capital. Housing a Buddha tooth and other relics, it's indeed very, very underrated, considering the handful of tourists I saw (I think I counted just two other falang)!
Continuing northwards, it was a 4h local bus ride to Nakhon Si Thammarat, the provincial capital, and second largest city in the south. It's right on the highway to the ferry jump-off point to Koh Samui (my next intended destination), so it seemed like a good place to drop by for a couple of days. Considering its location en route to the tourist and backpacker mecca that is Koh Samui, it's quite surprising how few tourists actually stop here. During my two days here, I barely counted a handful of falangs
. And it's a pity too, as the city houses the impressive Wat Phra Mahatat, a sizeable temple and stupa complex that houses a Buddha tooth and other relics. And of course it offers perhaps a more authentic look at typical Thai life in the secondary cities, than what you might find at Bangkok etc. Oh well, their loss is my gain, and after being at a series of banana pancake trail stopovers, it was nice to be able to walk around freely without being solicited every five minutes by the ubiquitous over-enthusiastic motorcycle taxi touts ("Hello, where you go?" Grrrrr....!)
Stayed at Muang Tong Hotel.
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