5 Things To Do In Kamphaeng Phet, A Stunning Northern Thai Province

5 Things To Do In Kamphaeng Phet, A Stunning Northern Thai Province
Sarah J
Sarah J 
Contributing Writer
Published
| 3 min read

Located in the lower north of Thailand, Kamphaeng Phet was once an important city for the ancient Siamese Kingdoms of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya. The location meant that it was strategically important, and numerous imposing fortresses, temples, and palaces were built throughout the town. Several fantastic remains still stand today, acting as a wonderful reminder of the area’s grand past.

Today a fairly quiet province, local attractions are not only about history … you’ll also find some beautiful natural sites and heaps of interesting culture. The laid-back atmosphere is enticing, and it is nice to see a more traditional side of Thailand away from the more popular centres of international tourism.

Here are some excellent things that you can enjoy on a visit to Kamphaeng Phet:

1. Visit the quiet ruins of Thung Setthi Fortress

5 things to do in kamphaeng phet, a stunning northern thai province | visit the quiet ruins of thung setthi fortress

Once a significant protective and defensive fortress of Kamphaeng Phet, the high laterite walls are showing the ravages of time. With mainly just the outer walls intact, standing at the centre of the large grassy inner area is quite eerie, especially given that you are likely to be the only person at the site. You can still see the indentations of the old moat and the peaceful surroundings belie what was once a hive of activity. There is no charge for these ruins.

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2. Wander around the thought-provoking Kampaeng Phet Historical Park

5 things to do in kamphaeng phet, a stunning northern thai province | wander around the thought-provoking kampaeng phet historical park

Within easy walking distance of the town centre, the well-maintained Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is home to some splendid remains from the area’s days of glory. A graceful reclining Buddha is watched over by two seated Buddha statues at the old temple ruins of Wat Phra Kaew, ancient bell-shaped chedis rise from the now damaged foundations, and large standing Buddha statues, some with missing limbs, defy the years to look across the site. Look out for the pagodas that still have attractive elephant carvings around them – whilst some have not stood up well to the test of time, others adorn the pagodas with pride, their mighty tusks and trunks showing the high levels of skill that were used in building the old town. Admission to the fairly small historical park area costs 100 THB (approximately 2.80 USD).

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3. Explore the second zone of Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park

5 things to do in kamphaeng phet, a stunning northern thai province | explore the second zone of kamphaeng phet historical park

There are two separate zones of Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park, with the zone further away from the town centre even more evocative and mysterious than the other. With few visitors, especially during the week, it is likely that you will be able to explore the large ancient site with few disruptions. Whilst it is possible to explore the area by foot, having your own transportation is recommended to really make the best use of your time. Bicycles are available to rent at the entrance, but pay particular attention to the stray dogs that roam around the ruins – they can get a little energetic and a baying hound chasing after your bike can be pretty scary!

Previously a favourite spot for forest monks looking for a serene spot in nature to meditate, the extensive ruins are surrounded by trees, grass, birds, and insects.

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4. Relax at Phra Ruang Hot Springs (Bueng Sap)

5 things to do in kamphaeng phet, a stunning northern thai province | relax at phra ruang hot springs (bueng sap)

Phra Ruang Hot Springs (Bueng Sap) is a terrific place to soothe away any stresses and strains whilst surrounded by lush green grass and sweet-smelling flowers. The naturally occurring thermal waters are rich with minerals and other beneficial properties, with locals believing that the waters have curative and healing properties. Enjoy the shade of one of the covered seating areas and dangle your tired feet into the pleasantly warm water for a quick pick-me-up. For a more intense experience, rent one of the bath houses where you can dip in and out of the warm-water pools for the low cost of just 50 THB (approximately 1.40 USD). There is a glistening boating lake as well as small outdoor cold springs.

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5. Get back to nature at Khlong Lan Waterfall

get back to nature at khlong lan waterfall

A popular Thai waterfall, Khlong Lan Waterfall is at its most impressive during, or just after, the rainy season (July to October). Water flows down the craggy rock face all throughout the year, although the flow is less powerful and the water volume is less during the dry season. Easy to access, the waterfall is visible from the main car park. With just a short walk, you could be paddling and bathing in the cooling waters below and enjoying the spray as the tumbling water hits the sparkling pool. A picturesque jungle backdrop makes it even more scenic and there are several great hiking routes in the area. Within the large Khlong Lan National Park, admission for non-Thai visitors costs 200 THB (approximately 5.60 USD).

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More fantastic Kamphaeng Phet attractions

Learn more about the area’s past at the Kamphaeng Phet National Museum and Wat Prasat Local Museum, and experience Thai spirituality at one of the town’s serene temples. Discover other fascinating historic sites such as the gleaming white Sri Lankan-style pagoda of Wat Chang Rop, and browse an assortment of goods at the lively local markets. Did you know that the name of the province and its main town means Diamond Fort when translated into English? Have fun discovering the many charms of Kamphaeng Phet, a veritable jewel, on your next trip to Thailand.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Originally from the UK, Sarah has been mostly based in her second home of Thailand for the past five years. As well as exploring new places, learning about different cultures, and sampling lots of...Read more

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