Nakhon Nayok is a destination which is often taken for granted by many tourists. The fact that it is located just 106 kilometers from Bangkok and its attractions may be visited as a day trip makes it just a stop over spot for travelers. But this is not always the case. Nakhon Nayok is famous for its refreshing natural beauty including waterfalls and parks, renowned historical sites, soft adventure activities, and its variety of fruits.
Nakhon Nayok is one of Thailand’s central provinces. Covering some 2,130 square kilometres, it borders Saraburi and Nakhon Ratchasima Provinces on the north, Prachin Buri Province on the east, Chachoengsao Province on the south and Pathum Thani Province on the west.
The northern part of Nakhon Nayok is located in the Dong Phaya Yen mountain range an area covered by the Khao Yai National Park. Yod Khao Kiew, its highest peak, is 1,292 meters above sea level. The central part of the province is on a contrary, a rather flat river plain formed by the Maenam Nakhon Nayok. The southern part of the province has relatively unfertile acidic soil.
The provincial seal says a lot about Nakhon Nayok. It is a picture of a circle indicating the unity of Nakhon Nayok people. An elephant raising an ear of rice in the circle represents fertile forests with numerous elephants. An ear of rice refers to farming which is fruitful. The background with a pile of straw, trees and clouds depicts fertility and the natural beauty of the province.
Nakhon Nayok is a province with a history of over 900 years. It was believed to have been established in the Dvaravati period as indicated by some remains found in Ban Dong Lakhon, a village to the south of the town. During the Ayutthaya period and the reign of King U-Thong, the town which was an eastern garrison was only a forested but infertile highland called Ban Na (village of the rice field). Jungle fever, unfruitful and unproductive agriculture forced the settlers to migrate elsewhere. It was not until the King granted an exemption of paddy field tax that people began to move in and settle down as a community. It was then named Muang Nayok which literally means the town that the paddy tax was lifted.
In 1894, under the royal command of King Rama V, Nakhon Nayok was designated as part of Prachin Buri province. Eventually, it became a province in its own right.