Saturday, January 31, 2015

Photo of the Week 3: Nakhon Sawan

I have lived in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand for a little over three months now. I haven't really posted much about the city, though, so I plan to fix that in this post!

A few facts about Nakhon Sawan:
  • Nakhon Sawan is the capital city of Nakhon Sawan province. It is also often referred to as Pak Nam Pho by locals.
  • Nakhon Sawan means "Heavenly City." It's an ancient city, and it is also the origin point of the mighty Chao Praya River. It is here that the Ping and Nan Rivers converge. Apparently, you can tell the two rivers apart where they converge: the Ping River is a bit green and the Nan River is reddish. I haven't seen this for myself, but I have heard that it's true!
  • There are almost 100,000 people living in the city, but it feels small and has a tiny foreigner population in comparison.
  • It is about 3-4 hours away from Bangkok by minivan, and about 7 hours away from Chiang Mai by bus.
  • It has a tropical climate. Nights are rarely cooler than 70 degrees, and during the day the temperature almost always reaches at least 90 degrees.
  • One of the festivals that the city is known for is Chinese New Year. The city has quite a large Chinese population, and the city has already begun decorating with Chinese lanterns, banners, and merchants selling Chinese clothing. I'm really excited for this one, and it's coming up on February 19, 2015!
First off, my favorite place in the city is Sawan Park. I go there quite often to just walk around and/or read a book. There are lots of little restaurants, market stalls, a kickass smoothie place (that only uses fresh fruit), and lots of great opportunities for people watching! There are also basketball courts, badminton courts, a place to paint small pottery items, and you can buy stale bread from an old lady to feed the gigantic catfish that live in the pond at the center. I can definitely be seen here every Sunday in time to watch the sunset, despite the bird-sized mosquitoes that seem to love me. But the sunset never disappoints!

In addition to the beautiful sunset, there are quite a few beautiful views in the city. When I first arrived, my employer put me up in a hotel in the city center for until I found an apartment. I was immediately impressed by the beautiful views from my sixth-floor room. Thailand offers stunning jungle views and temples abound!

This the typical weather in Thailand: hot and sunny! I think it has only rained three times since I arrived!
In the background, you can see the giant sitting Buddha and mountaintop temple.
Another favorite aspect of living in Thailand is the food. It is delicious and incredibly cheap. There are fresh fruit sellers everywhere you go, and it's easy to get a wide variety of fresh fruit for under a dollar. They even cut it up for you and throw it in a bag with a long, pointed wooden stick so you can eat it while you walk around without suffering sticky fingers. This is one thing that I will definitely miss when I move on!

Fresh papaya (I think)! I don't always know what fruit I'm getting, but it's always delicious.

And lastly, my favorite part of traveling in general: meeting new people!

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