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Nakhon Phanom – favorite Thai’s destination for Vietnamese tourists

Vietnamese tourists visiting Nakhon Phanom, which is recognized as one of Thailand"s top three most livable cities, are deeply moved by the genuine warmth and close-knit community of the local residents. Particularly noteworthy is the heartfelt attachment that overseas Vietnamese have for their homeland.

Nakhon Phanom, situated in the Northeast region of Thailand, boasts a spacious area blessed with a mild and pleasant climate, making it an enchanting and tranquil city that attracts tourists. Despite its moderate size, this city offers a wide range of modern amenities for tourists, such as bus stations, cafes, bars, cinemas, and supermarkets.

The residents of Nakhon Phanom are renowned for their friendly and courteous nature. Instead of raising their voices, they consistently display a delicate and gentle demeanor, approaching tasks with thoughtfulness and precision.

Moreover, they often wear a smile on their lips, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Due to the substantial Vietnamese population in Nakhon Phanom, estimated at approximately 10,000 individuals, encountering Vietnamese speakers is effortless, particularly in popular gathering spots like the night market. Overseas Vietnamese, in particular, exhibit great excitement and enthusiasm when discussing Vietnam.

Nakhon Phanom – favorite Thai’s destination for Vietnamese touristsVietnamese tourist and Overseas Vietnamese stand next to Uncle Ho"s portrait at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. Photo: D.T

During a conversation with Surasak Mingcharoen, also known as Tran Huu Phuoc in Vietnamese, a reporter from Quang Tri newspaper was impressed by his remarkable mastery of the Vietnamese language. It is worth noting that Surasak had worked as a car mechanic in the past and did not complete high school.

Later, Surasak"s dedication to self-study and research allowed him to become a visiting lecturer in Vietnamese at Nakhon Phanom University. Additionally, he serves as a guide for numerous VIP delegations from Vietnam and currently holds the position of Director at the KAO KLAI travel company.

Surasak said Nakhon Phanom is among the top three most livable cities in Thailand. This recognition is attributed to its clean air, friendly locals, and delicious cuisine.

Despite the passage of many generations, overseas Vietnamese in Nakhon Phanom continue to uphold numerous Vietnamese customs and traditions.

In contrast to the cremation practices commonly observed by Thai people, Vietnamese funerals in the area still adhere to their own customs, such as burials and the construction of tombs. Within the Vietnamese village, there is also a shrine dedicated to worship Saint Tran Hung Dao as the Vietnamese patron deity.

Having frequently traveled between the provinces of Quang Tri and Nakhon Phanom for nearly 20 years, the reporter from Quang Tri newspaper was amazed by the proficiency of the expatriates in speaking Vietnamese and their deep affection for the country, particularly their admiration for beloved Uncle Ho. This sentiment arises from Uncle Ho"s selfless sacrifices for Vietnam and his genuine concern for the well-being of the Vietnamese people residing in Nakhon Phanom.

They can talk about Uncle Ho for hours, including many stories that Vietnamese people have never heard before.

When discussing Uncle Ho“s activities during his years in Thailand, the overseas Vietnamese in Nakhon Phanom shared that in addition to engaging in productive labor and encouraging entrepreneurship, Thau Chin (Uncle Ho”s alias) also established a patriotic association and launched its newspaper.

“Due to their daily interactions with Uncle Ho while he sought refuge in the temple to evade surveillance, Thailand people have been able to pass down stories about Uncle Ho to the next generation,” shared the local community.

Upon hearing the news of Uncle Ho"s passing in 1969, many families sorrowfully established altars dedicated to him, following the Vietnamese custom, as shared by one individual.

The Thai-Vietnamese Intergovernmental Meeting was also held at Nakhon Phanom on February 22, 2004. At this meeting, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his Vietnamese counterpart Phan Van Khai opened the Thai-Vietnamese Friendship Village in May Village.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong visited the President Ho Chi Minh Memorial at the Thai-Vietnamese Friendship Village in May Village on June 27, 2013. On behalf of the Party, State and People of Vietnam, he donated to the Association of Overseas Vietnamese and Nakhon Phanom with an amount of VND30 billion to build the Memorial of President Ho Chi Minh.

“Every year, among the hundreds of tourists visiting Nakhon Phanom, a significant number of Vietnamese tourists specifically choose to visit Uncle Ho“s house in May village. They do so to pay homage and express their deep gratitude towards him, capturing pictures to cherish the fond memories of their trip,” - Nguyen Thanh Dao in Lai Vung District, Dong Thap Province shared during his trip here.

In 2003, the provincial leaders of Nakhon Phanom and Quang Tri collaborated to facilitate the enrollment of Vietnamese students in Thailand. As a result, a delegation of officials and students from Quang Tri visited Nakhon Phanom province to pursue overseas education. This initiative served as a foundation for a subsequent trend among the younger generations across the country, particularly in the central provinces.

The cultural and economic exchanges on the East-West Economic Corridor as well as between Nakhon Phanom and Vietnam’s localities are getting stronger and closer when National Highway 9 is upgraded to Dong Ha Expressway. - Lao Bao. At that time, the Memorial of President Ho Chi Minh in May Village will be a major part in the “Journey in the footsteps of Uncle Ho” in Thailand.

Tung Lam- Xuan Huy

Tung Lam- Xuan Huy

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