Things To Do In Phitsanulok
The city of Phitsanulok was discovered more than 600 years ago and serves as the main entry point to the northern part of Thailand. It is rich in historic architecture, Buddhist temples, and museums with vast collections dating back as far as many centuries ago. Even if its tourism influx is not as heavy as the more famous cities in Thailand like Chang Mhai, Bangkok, Phuket, etc. It is blessed with wats and an abundance of Buddhas in all forms.
One of the top crowd drawing areas here is the Sukothai. It is famous for its ruins and historical significance to the city of Phitsanulok. A day is not enough to get to know everything about this city. Plan a week- long vacation and you will enjoy the variety of things to do and learn more about the unique culture and deep religiosity of the people of Phitsanulok.
When To Go:
It is hard to resist the charming parks and colorful wats or temples in Phitsanulok, but the ideal time to make a visit is during the months of April, June , and November.
However, the weather is not greatly considered by most travelers who frequent this city, but the peak travel season is focused more on the celebration or festivals in honor of the Buddha like the celebration of the Phra Buddha Chinarat; the most revered Buddha of Phitsanulok. Summer and the cold season are pretty much tolerable and high tourist entry is experienced anytime of the year, but if you want a more livelier and fun vacation do not miss or book a flight ahead before the actual festivities and national events in honor of Phitsanulok’s sacred buddhas.
These are the most visited attractions and a selection of things to do while in the city of Phitsanulok:
Phra Si Ratana Temple (Wat Yai)
This temple is really beautiful and of great historic value and with the right guide you will receive a lot of information. Phra Si Ratana Temple (Wat Yai) is one of the major attractions in Thailand and the temple is well worth a visit and if you schedule a Sunday visit, the temple looks more animated equally impressive. The food stalls and other vendors outside add liveliness, depth, and color to this sacred temple. The highlight of the temple and crowd drawer is the beautiful 36 meter high bronze Buddha - Phra Buddha Chinnarat considered as the most revered Buddha in Thailand. The main temple city of Phitsanulok was established since 1357 and the bronze statue is located in the western side of the temple. It is advisable to visit this temple in the evening to attend the prayer in Sanskrit by the monks and faithful devotees, it's an unforgettable experience for the colorful temple and devotion of the faithful.
This sacred site has a beautiful pearl Vihan door and inside it is decorated with marble and decorated with scenes depicting the life of Buddha. The temple is aptly named because the visit will allow you to make a long walk to go around. This is one of the most stunnning monuments you will discover in Thailand and still one of the most venerated. You can spend some time and observe the devotees or just enjoy the atmosphere. Apart from the temple there is something else to see, the territory is quite large and you will find there is a small museum. After visiting the temple complex, you can wander through the market with a variety of local products which is located right around the complex. The temple has very beautiful grounds. If you want to know your luck, go to the left side of the temple entrance and take the number and a rolled piece of paper with your future.
Phra Buddha Chinnarat
The Phra Buddha Chinnarat is located in one of the temples in Wat Yai complex. This is the second largest Buddha statue in Thailand, after the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok. This statue was made in 1357 during the Sukhothai Kingdom. During the winter or cold season (in January or February), the city hosts a holiday Chinnarat in honor of this statue. Along the perimeter of the statue is a gallery of statues of Buddha with other smaller formats. If you visit during sunset, the atmosphere and the Buddha looks even more magical.
Phitsanulok city on the River Nan is not very touristy, but it has a grand history of one of the most beautiful and revered Buddhas in Thailand and no visitor is indifferent to its beauty. The image is inside the temple Wat Phra Si Rattana MAHATHAT aka (Wat Yai). Do not to confuse the name of the temple to the name of the image. It is a testament to the powerful Sukhothai style in religious art. A duplicate is located in Bangkok's marble temple. The entire bot, as well as the columns are all painted. Female visitors are required to cover their legs and sarongs can be rented at the entrance.
Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
The Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park occupies over several square kilometers and has different themes referring to ancestral wars and the geological and biological nature of Phitsanulok. This is a very refreshing site and at the same time teaches a part of Phitsanulok’s history, giving every visitor a chance to reflect on what happened in this city in the past.
The stone formation is one of the most visited site, but you have to walk about 1-2 miles to see the beautiful nature. The weather here is tolerable, even in summer. You can watch the sunset on the patio stone. Picture taking is allowed and you can stand even on the edge of the rocky cliff like most tourists do. For nature lovers, it is an ideal destination all year round. A cool breeze blowing in the ears and the smell of rain falling can make any visitor aware of how wonderful nature really is.
Phitsanulok-Lom Sak Route (Highway No. 12)
The Phitsanulok-Lom Sak Route (Highway No. 12) is a scenic road leading to the major attractions in Phitsanulok. The national road is lined with beautiful scenery and well- paved roads. Moreover, along the way there are many interesting places that are worth checking out. The sights such as waterfalls, temples, chic cafes, souvenir shops can all be visited at will or even without making any reservations ahead. It is an important route linking Phitsanulok to the eastern part of Thailand (Khon Kaen) through Phetchabun. From this highway you can also get connected to the city of Chiang Mai, Kaeng Sopha, and to a main tourist attraction called the Tung Salang Luang National Park. This highway also gives easy access from Bangkok to Wat Phra Kaew.
Some of the roads are still in the process of expanding and it looks very convenient in the future if the expanded 4 lane road gets totally finished. For now it has already started having additional business establishments with several cafes and restaurants. It is oftentimes referred to as the “green street”. Just ride through it and feel the rest of the way because it is very beautiful and there are lots of sights to visit along the way. There is hardly any traffic and it is the most convenient way to access other cities near Phitsanulok. It is a fine example of the government’s sincere effort to make your driving experience in this part of Thailand pleasant and memorable.
Phitsanulok Night Bazaar
The Phitsanulok Night Bazaar is a nice market with terraces overlooking the river. It is here where you can find or buy souvenir stuff at bargain prices. The night market is spread along the riverbank of Nan and it has been a major destination for tourists and locals who hunt for good bargains. It has been upgraded and guests spend a pleasant evening at a very convenient location. It is a relaxing place and there are Thai masseurs who render their service for a reasonable price. The basic charges are as follows: 3 Euro for a massage of the feet, legs and shoulders 8 Euro and 10 Euro for the whole body. It consists of a number of music venues, big screens, and free wifi. You can sit down and get a drink, strongly recommended to try are thelocal beer or whiskey and soda.
Among the tables, go the owners of the stalls with trays of meat, fish, etc. and you can choose whether or not to order dinner. A hearty meal can be bought at a minimum of 70 Baht or a little less than 2 Euros. The downside is that being on the river there are mosquitoes anywhere you go so it is imperative to apply an insect repellant lotion before taking a tour of the famous night bazaar in Phitsanulok. It is also important that you know how to haggle and arrange for a better deal before making any payment. To get the best deals, go with a guide or a local. They are usually more adept or more experienced at how to make the sellers give their last agreed price.
Sgt. Maj. Thawee Folk Museum
The Sgt Maj. Thawee Folk Museum provides an interesting view of rural life in Phitsanulok. The site has lots of exhibits about Thai culture, too bad it is forbidden to take pictures of items that are on exhibit. It is one of the most interesting places in Phitsanulok. The place aims to bring every guest to the past, evoking everyday life with a presentation of tools, utensils, and locally made gadgets that will make you travel in more or less distant time. If you want to know the past history of Thailand, the Folklore Museum Sergeant Major Thawee is the right place to see in Phitsanulok. This attraction is a museum that will make you amazed with the complete collection of past Thailand.
This museum houses a variety of objects that show the typical things that comprise the best of Thailand ranging from household appliances, farm equipment, kitchen equipment, weaving, musical instruments, traditional toys, ceramics, metal, manuscripts even old articles about Thailand. Sergeant Major Thawee will greet you with a friendly smile because he is always in this museum. Its major aim is to help educate the next generation and give them an idea of the lives of people in the past. You will be in awe of the amazing shift in evolution from past to present. All areas of the arts, culture, and music are covered equally and presented in different exhibits.
Nang Phaya Temple (Wat Nang Phaya)
The Nang Phaya Temple (Wat Nang Phaya) is opposite to the temple of the Buddha. But fewer people visit it because it is so small, but it is very picturesque. It is always crowded, a small temple and quite beautiful. Do not forget to visit and go around and buy scarves and amulets. It is adjacent to the temple of the titles. Stay close to the temple of Wat Yai and go out to see more Buddhas up to the nearby Krishna River.
Buddha Casting Factory
The Buddha Casting Factory is not far from the Sergeant Major Thawee Folk Museum. You can visit the workshop, although most times it does not work and are left open for display for tourists to see. There are Buddhas of all sizes and color. It flows freely, the works are not segregated according to size and you can also buy Buddhas.
In the background, there is a garden with caged birds that are also interesting to observe. At the entrance of the factory, there are lots of plants and a Buddhist altar. Taking pictures are allowed and the owner leads the way and explain every part with detail and humor. It is an eye opening experience and a visit is a must while in Phitsanulok.
Wat Ratcha Burada Temple
The Wat Racha Burada is right on the Naresuan Bridge, which crosses the Nan River and close to the famous Wat Mahathat. The design of the Chedi comes from the Ayutthaya period, a time when the then king moved the capital of the kingdom of Ayutthaya to Phitsanulok. Rare are the ornaments of the Bot - roof with mythical Naga serpents.
In an open hall on the temple grounds a longboat is displayed, which was used on the Nan River of King Rama IV. This temple is famous for its Chedi. It is believed to have been built in the fifteenth century by the king of Sukhothai. It is assumed that within this relic the. In this temple, there are other buildings and in one of the buildings is another set of Buddha statues.
Shrine of King Naresuan the Great
Recognized as the official homage to Thailand’s national hero and great ruler, the Shrine of King Naresuan The Great is unlike any other tourist attractions in Phitsanulok, it is an important landmark and a visit is mandatory. The king was born here and ruled the city as governor for a long time, since he turned 16 years old. It is a place filled with history and good honor, it is so hard not to go and check the story of King Naresuan and the famous” rooster”.
Chedi Yot Thong Temple
The Chedi Yot Thong Temple or Wat is dominated by its beautiful old Chedi. Each side of the square base has a standing Buddha statue, which, however, are severely damaged. To the Chedi and around, you can see several new temple halls, single Buddha images, and a dirty pond. Only those who have a lot of time in Phitsanulok should see the temple. There are other Wats in Phitsanulok which are more interesting and also worth visiting.
Wat Chulamanee is an old sanctuary that is incorporated in the history of the Ayudhaya Kingdom. From its pages, it can be traced that it is here where King Borom Trilokanath trained for his Buddhist monk life. The most visited building here is the Prang which was established since the Lopburi period.
When the Ayudhaya period was installed, this sanctuary was likewise rehabilitated as per the king’s orders. The walls were designed by frescoes patterned after the Ayudhaya design. This temple is the perfect example of Ayudhaya’s artistic and handicraft skills.
Ban Mai Restaurant
The Ban Mai Restaurant is a famous dining place in Phitsanulok that offers delicious Thai food. One of the best features of this restaurant is they have a good all English menu card explaining all about the cooked Thai food and the ingredients used. You not only get to enjoy a delicious meal, large servings, and geat Thailand beer.
If you need diversity and want to discover the rich historic past of Thailand, a visit to the city of Phitsanulok is a must. From its row of attractions you get the diea of how unique their culture and traditions are. They show deep respect to their former rulers and celebrate holidays with their most venerated Buddhas. In addition to that, the city puts great effort in having a modern highway that makes Phitsanulok easy to access from the rest of the major cities in Thailand.
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