Phitsanulok is a very important historic city in northern Thailand and also the oldest. Well known as the birthplace of King Naresuan, Phitsanulok has a tropical savanna climate and winters are usually dry and warm. Though Phitsanulok doesn’t get as many tourists as some of the more popular cities in Thailand, it does get its fair share of visitors. So, let’s have a look at the best things to do in Phitsanulok.
1. Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat means the Temple of the Great Jeweled Reliquary. It is also known as Wat Yai, which also means Big Temple. It was founded in the year 1357, by King Lithai of Sukhothai. This temple is located at the foot of the Naresuan Bridge on the banks of the Nan River. The Buddha image, Phra Phuttha Chinnarat, is quite famous here and is considered to be the most beautiful image in the country. There is also a huge entrance, with inlaid mother of pearl. The “wihan”, or shrine hall, is designed in Khmer style.
You can also find the Phuttha Chinnarat National Museum located on the temple grounds. It has a small collection of Sukhothai period art. There are numerous festivals which often take place here. The famous annual festival, known as the Phra Phuttha Chinnarat Fair, is also held here and on the first weekend of October, the Phitsanulok Dragon Boat Races take place outside the temple, in the nearby river.
Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat
Address: Thanon Ong Dam, Tambon Nai Muean, Amphoe Mueang, Phitsanulok
Website: Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat
2. Sergeant Major Thawee Folk Museum
The Sergeant Major Thawee Folk Museum has fascinating displays of a remarkable collection of tools from Phitsanulok Province. There are also textiles and photographs from Phitsanulok province. The entire museum is divided into five very traditional Thai style buildings, surrounded by beautiful gardens. There is also a traditional Thai kitchen here, for people interested in cooking Thai food! The Sergeant Major Thawee Folk Museum also has an aquarium, with native fish on display.
Major Thawee Museum
Address: Wisutkasat Road; Phitsanulok
Website: Major Thawee Folk Museum
3. Thai Bird Garden
The Thai Bird Garden is attached to the Buranathai Buddha Image Foundry. It features a huge collection of cages, containing indigenous Thai birds, as well as some endangered species, such as the pink chested jambu fruit dove and the prehistoric helmeted hornbill. There are a total of 100 birds kept here, which include many large birds, with prehistoric appearances.
Thai Bird Garden
Address: 26/43 Th Wisutkasat Phitsanulok
Website: Thai Bird Garden
4. Wat Nang Phaya
Wat Nang Phaya is a temple in the middle of the river that holds traffic, between Mahathat Temple and Ratchaburana Temple, in Phitsanulok. There is also a beautiful image of Buddha Phra Nang Phaya Ruenkaew, behind the Ubosot. The Buddha image resembles Phra Buddha Chinnarat. There are tons of old pagodas in surroundings of Phra Nang Phaya Ruenkaew. There is also a Phra Nang Phaya amulet here, which depicts the image of Buddha, seated with a three headed naga.
Wat Nang Phaya’s temple interior has beautiful images and compared to another famous Mahathat temple, right across the street, this one has extremely beautiful and serene surroundings.
Wat Nang Phaya
Address: Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Mueang, Phitsanulok
Website: Wat Nang Phaya
5. Chom Nan Chaloem Phrakiat Public Park
Chom Nan Chaloem Phrakiat Public Park is one of the most popular parks in Phitsanulok province. It is located on the east side of the Nan river and Phutthabucha Road. Some areas of the park are used for the Loy Krathong New Year Festival and there are other numerous exhibitions held here, throughout the year. Chom Nan Chaloem Phrakiat Park is one of the most visited parks in the country. There are a lot of people doing exercises and various other activities here.
Chom Nan Chaloem Phrakiat Public Park
Address: 227/139 4 Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Mueang Phitsanulok, Chang Wat
6. Phra Buddha Chinnarat
The Phra Buddha Chinnarat is a widely popular Buddha statue, in Thailand. This temple is famous because of this gold covered, unique statue, which is considered one of the most aesthetically beautiful Buddha statues in the country. It is located near the Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat.
Phra Buddha Chinnarat
Address: Thanon Ong Dam, Tambon Nai Muean, Amphoe Mueang, Phitsanulok
Website: Phra Buddha Chinnarat
7. Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park is a tremendous mountainous park, which extends over a long distance. There are still remnants of the Communist Party Of Thailand’s camps and hides here as it was an ideal location, due to the rugged terrain. There are also still tigers, Asian bears, and leopards here in the park, as well as numerous bird species, such as red billed scimitar babbler and the Davison’s leaf warbler. The park also has a large number of impressive viewpoints and waterfalls. A famous part of this park is known as Lan Hin Taek, which has a unique rock formation.
Phu Hin Rong Kla
Address: 2331 Tambon Noen Phoem, Chang Wat Phitsanulok
Website: Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
8. Phitsanulok Night Bazaar
The Phitsanulok Night Bazaar is famous amongst locals and tourists, alike. There is a wide range of food items and things to buy here. The most famous takeaway item here is ‘kow nee o hor’, which is a small banana leaf parcel of rice, with numerous toppings. It is definitely a tasty and unique food item. There are numerous vendors selling local souvenirs, too.
Phitsanulok Night Bazaar
Address: 4 Phutthabucha 1, Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Mueang Phitsanulok, Chang Wat Phitsanulok
9. Buddha Casting Factory
The Buddha Casting Factory is a unique place to learn about the ancient Thai art of casting Buddha images. There are numerous Buddha images of various sizes and shapes, here and the entire process of making the images is explained, in detail. This is a must visit place, to indulge in and experience this unique art form.
Buddha Casting Factory
Address: 26/43 Wisut Kasat, Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Mueang Phitsanulok, Chang Wat Phitsanulok
Website: Buddha Casting Factory
10. Pim Buranaket Folklore Museum
The Pim Buranaket Folklore Museum is a well known and historical museum, in Phitsanulok. The museum has a wide range of displays in folk-art, crafts, basketry, pottery and ancient kitchen utensils. All of these items were collected by Khun Thawee, a major and a sergeant.
Pim Buranaket Folklore Museum
Address: Wisutkasat Road, Phitsanulok, Thailand
There are a great many places to visit in Phitsanulok and spend some quality time! Whether it is temples, zoos, parks or night markets, Phitsanulok has a lot to offer.
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