A little Background on the city of Nakhon Pathom.
Nakhon Pathom city was founded over 1400 years ago making it the oldest continuously inhabited urban city in Thailand. Despite the cities great age almost nothing remains today of its past infrastructure and architecture. The only remaining 1400 year building in Nakhon Pathom is the 127 meter tall Phra Pathom Chedi. This ancient temple building is the world’s largest Buddhist monument and Nakhon Pathom’s tallest building.
This temple is the oldest temple in Thailand and some people say its history goes back as long as 2300 years ago when a small Buddhist village formed on the current site of Nakhon Pathom city. This temple is one of the most important Thai Buddhist temples and is awarded the highest temple rank.
The name Nakhon Pathom means first city. Today Nakhon Pathom is a shadow of its former self. Its now just a medium sized regional city with a population of around 70000 people. Its current purpose is a trading and transport centre for outer Bangkok and the rural areas to the west of the city. The city is also a major stop on the main south railway line and is the start of the commuter line to Bangkok.
Today Nakhon Pathom’s Mass transport system consists of a number orange interurban buses and small buses and trucks to provide town and commuter bus services. A number of these bus services operate as commuter services in Nakhon Pathom and extend into outer Bangkok, Thonburi or Mahachai city. A lot of the people living in Nakhon Pathom commute by bus to areas outside the city to work.
1. This is an image of the 1400 year old Phra Pathom Chedi temple in the city centre of Nakhon Pathom. It is the cities most famous place and its tallest building.
2. This is a shot of a Route 8138: Nakhon Pathom – Om Yai Bus. Bus unit number 8138 – 4. This bus is an older Hino bus that was re bodied with a metro bus style body. Taken in the Nakhon Pathom city bus terminal.
3. This is another angle on Bus number 8138 – 4 just as it is departing to start a trip on route 8138. Taken in the Nakhon Pathom Bus terminal.
4. This is an image of a Route 997: (Bangkok) Pink Lao to Nakhon Pathom intercity bus just as it picks up its last passenger as it’s departing the Nakhon Pathom Bus terminal. Bus number 1st class 997-29. Bus type unknown.
5. This is another angle on bus number 1st class 997-29. Taken as it drives off from Nakhon Pathom bus terminal with its doors still open. Even though this is a 1st class intercity bus it still gets 20 to 30 people standing.
6. This is another picture of a route 997 bus waiting at the bus terminal to start the next trip. Bus number 1st class 997-28. This is a merc intercity bus. This bus service operates every 10 mins all day. It is really a long suburban bus route and not an intercity bus route.
7. This is a shot of an intercity Route 83 bus: Nakhon Pathom – The Mall Tha Phra. Waiting to depart on the next trip. This service operates every 15 mins all day. Bus number 2nd class 83 – 25. This is a merc intercity bus.
8. This is a shot of a Route 6147: Nakhon Pathom – Thammasala Mini Bus. Seen waiting at Nakhon Pathom bus terminal. Bus number 6147 – 2. Bus type unknown but is very similar to that of the old green mini buses in Bangkok.
9. This is a shot of a Route 478: Nakhon Pathom – Ban Phaew Bus. Seen at Nakhon Pathom. Bus number 478 – 5. This route appears to have both buses and older large truck – buses operating.
10. This is a picture of the truck – buses used on Route 478. This is very typical of local town and commuter bus services in central Thailand.
11. This is a shot of 2 local truck – bus services waiting to depart from Nakhon Pathom bus terminal.
12. This is an image of a Route 405: Nakhon Pathom – Ban Pong Bus. Seen as it was arriving at Nakhon Pathom Bus terminal. Bus number 405 – 14. This is an old orange country bus. Type unknown.
13. This is another angle on Bus number 405 – 14. Taken as it passes though the bus terminal. Note the white material is sticky powder left over from the Songkran Thai New Year holiday that occurred a few days earlier.
14. This is a shot of a Route 402: Nakhon Pathom – Mahachai City orange country bus. Waiting at the Route 402 stop in the Nakhon Pathom Bus terminal. Bus number 402 – 14.
This next section relates to rural/interurban bus route 402: Nakhon Pathom to Mahachai city.
Route 402 is a rural/interurban commuter bus service that links the cities of Nakhon Pathom and Mahachai. When the route started most of the route would have been on minor country roads. Today this route passes though mostly fully built up residential and heavy industrial area between the two cities on major roads.
Route 402 is around 50km long but takes 2 hours to complete due to a very slack timetable with long timing points on the route. A new timetable could reduce the running time to around 90 mins end to end. This service operates every 15 mins from 4am to 8pm 7 days a week.
15. This is a shot of the Route 402 bus that I used to get to Mahachai city. Bus number 402 – 2 is the oldest bus that they seem to use on this route. Taken at Nakhon Pathom.
16. This is an image of the awkward front doorway and massive steps that have to be climbed to get into the bus. The engine on bus 402 – 2 is at the front right next to the driver and front door.
17. This is a shot of the seating arrangement inside Bus number 402 – 2. A lot of these older orange buses use 2 + 3 seating with very little legroom. No route 402 bus has air conditioning.
18. This is an image of the buses spare wheel tied to the window frame near the back door of the bus. Note the condition of the bus. Two windows on this bus where missing and had been replaced with a wooden panel.
19. This is a shot of the bus driver’s seat on Bus 402 – 2. Take note of the condition of this bus. None of the driver dashboard dials actually work.
20. This is a shot looking towards the back of the bus. The spare wheel can be seen up the back near the door. Note the cooling fan with no protective cover just above the heads of the passengers.
21. This is a short movie taken on board a Route 402 bus. Note general condition of the bus and how the doors cannot be closed when running and the cooling fans with no screen. Also this bus route gets very busy at peak as it services a lot of heavy industrial areas.
I hope you find the pictures and vehicles shown to be of interest if you view this please post some comments and feelings about the pictures.