Home to the biggest chedi in Thailand, this charming and busy little town is within easy reach of Bangkok. Are many English teachers making Nakhon Pathom their home?
The Lonely Planet guidebook says......?
"It has a big chedi." You can't argue with that.
In general, what are the pickings like for an EFL teacher?
If you are happy with twenty five thousand baht a month there are several universities, including Silipakorn and a Rajaphat. For those of us with expensive tastes there are also private primary and high schools, although I don't think many people earn much above 35,000.
On the bright side Nakhorn Pathom is one of the most affluent towns in Thailand and it is full of schools and students so private work is easy to organize.
How far from Bangkok or civilization?
Not far at all. There is a bus that runs from the train station in Nakhorn Pathom to Sai Tai Mai in Pinklao. It runs every few minutes and it takes less than an hour. There is another bus which goes up Petchkasem if you like sitting in traffic.
What's the place like for nightlife, eating out etc?
Well it isn't Bangkok but there are a few discos, plenty of restaurants and some bars. The bars are only ever busy if Manchester United or Liverpool are playing. 123 disco is packed on the weekends if Thai discos are your thing. You also have the usual assortment of karaoke bars.
How much to rent a house or basic apartment?
I have been told that the most expensive studio apartments in Nakhorn Pathom are 3,600 baht a month and that they come furnished. I have heard of terraced town houses going from as low as 2,500 baht a month.
Dawn - Prices are definitely on the rise as more and more farangs relocate to Nakhon Pathom. That being said, my furnished Western-style studio apartment is only 3 blocks from the Chedi (one of the main areas of town) and I pay around 6,500 for rent each month.
Shopping malls, department stores?
There is a Big C and a Tesco Lotus. The Mall Bang Kae and Central Pinklao are both less than an hour away.
How is mobile / internet coverage?
Will you be stared at? and what's the likelihood of a good beating?
Staring isn't a problem but people will usually point out to their mates that you are a farang. Nice of them, I sometimes forget. A good beating is pretty unlikely.
Taxis, buses....or horse and cart?
Motorcycle taxis are the main form of public transport within the town. It is probably better to get your own scooter or bicycle.
Main advantages of living there?
The town itself is very pleasant. As I said, it is an affluent town and there is a lot more civic pride here than in lots of other Thai towns. You can even walk on the pavements. It is worlds different from Bangkok but you can go up to town for shopping, Western food or the night-life any time you feel like it.
And what are the downsides?
Western tastes are just not catered for in Nakhon Pathom. There just aren't enough of us here.
Any local attractions?
Pra pathom chedi is the second biggest in the world. It gives the town a bit of character. The night market there is pretty good if you fancy going out for a cheap evening meal. The grounds of Silipakorn University and adjoining Sanam Chan are nice. The province has a couple of floating markets. I have met a few people who have come to Nakhom Pathom specifically to golf.
Where's the best place to meet other farangs or are they best avoided?
Most of the falang in Nakhom Pathom are ESL teachers. Generally they are pretty friendly. There isn't one particular place where you are likely to come across them though.