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Nakhon Si Thammarat Province

Home to south Thailand's highest peak – Khao Luang (1835m), surrounded by the majestic forests of Khao Luang National Park – Nakhon Si Thammarat province is best known to travellers for stunning Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihaan in the province's namesake main town. More than the sum of its parts, the provincial capital is a likeable place, especially if you have recently pitched up from Ko Samui, Ko Pha-Ngan or Ko Tao in search of some genuine Thai flavour.

Off on the east coast, Ao Khanom is a lovely string of long beaches facing dazzling waters that are home to cavorting pink dolphins. Although a drawcard, the aquatic mammals are also protected, meaning no jet skis allowed, making Ao Khanom a far quieter and more appealing choice – in many ways – than Ko Samui, while offering much of the same: sand, sea and gorgeous sunrises across the Gulf.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Nakhon Si Thammarat Province.