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PHITSANULOK TOUR

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Covering some 105,815 square kilometers, Phitsanulok is 377 kilometers north of Bangkok. It borders Uttaradit Province on the North, Phichit Province on the South, Loei and Phetchabun Provinces on the East, and Kamphaeng Phet and Sukhothai Provinces on the West. Situated on a strategic location dividing Thailands Central and Northern regions, and connecting to the Northeastern region, Phitsanulok is undeniably an important hub and an ideal base for travelers wishing to explore the lower North and western Northeast. Phitsanulok, however, is not just a stopover for tourists, but is a province with promising tourism opportunities.

Phitsanulok City spans the banks of Maenam Nan and has Maenam Kwae Noi running through it. Therefore, it is locally known and historically referred to as Song Kwae City (song means two and kwae means a river). Most of Phitsanulok’s terrain is flatlands, with one third of the area being mountain ranges on the north and the east. Its unique natural endowments including natural parks and waterfalls make a trip to Phitsanulok worthwhile.

Apart from its exceptional natural charisma, Phitsanulok provides visitors with an opportunity to explore notable chapters of Thailand’s history. For example, remains of an ancient community dating back between 2,000-4,000 years, including old stone axes, was found here. In addition, the old temple of Wat Chula Mani, situated 5 kilometers south of the city, was built even before the Sukhothai Kingdom burst into power.

Phitsanulok prospered along with the powerful Sukhothai (1238-1378) and Ayutthaya (1350 1767) Kingdoms. In particular, it played a strategic role in the Ayutthaya era when it had become the Kingdoms royal capital for 25 years during the reign of King Borom Trailokanat.

Phitsanulok is also the birthplace of King Naresuan the Great (reigned 1590-1605) the legendary King who declared Ayutthayas independence from Burma in 1584. King Naresuan the Great is known for his victorious and honorable single hand combat on elephant back Yutthahatti against a Burmese Crown Prince. His heroic power and strong dedication to expelling the invaders from his motherland saved the country, and truly united the Kingdom which later was known as Siam and currently known as Thailand.

Phitsanulok was also a strategic location for other Ayutthaya Kings as it was a major center for military recruitment and a training camp when Ayutthaya waged wars with Burma.

 

Phitsanulok Attractions

Art, Culture and Heritage

Art & Culture Gallery, Naresuan University (Sanambin Campus) : Attraction Details :The Gallery is established with an aim to promote and preserve Thai arts and culture. Located at the resource centre on Sanam Bin Rd., the Gallery is divided into 3 sections including;Art Gallery: over 100 masterpieces of renowned Thai artists such as: Chuan Leakpai (Thailand’s former Prime Minister), Sawasdi Tantisuk (National Artist in visual Arts field), Phun Ketchamrat (National Artist in visual Arts field), Priyuan Aruchata (National Artist in visual Arts field), Pratuang Emjaroen, Chavalit Saemprungsuk, Chung Moonphinit and Chalermchai Khosipipat are on display.Museum: Under the concept, “The Way of Life of The People in the Lower North”, more than 500 handicrafts including household utensils, agricultural tools and manuscripts are exhibited.Database: provided to promote the study of the Lower North, Thai classical dance and music.The gallery is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.For more information contact tel: (055) 230720, 259404 ,fax: (055) 261080
Buranathai Buddha Casting Foundry : Attraction Details : Located opposite the Sgt. Maj. Dr. Thavis Museum is a small bronze Buddha image casting foundry, which is the only of its kind in the province. The foundry allows visitors with the opportunity to witness skilled craftspersons working on the reproduction of Phra Buddha Chinnarat images. It is possible to actually walk along the production line to see the whole bronze-casting process. In addition, huge Buddha images are also cast here. The foundry is open on Wednesday through Sunday from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Chan PalaceAttraction Details : The birthplace and a resident of King Naresuan the Great, Chan Palace is located in the compound of Phitsanulok Phittayakom School. At present, the site is being excavated and the entire palace will be restored as a future historical attraction.
City Walls and Moats of Phitsanulok : Attraction Details : The city walls of Phitsanulok were made of clay similar to those of the Sukhothai era. The walls were built at the command of King Borom Trailokanat of Ayutthaya to prevent attacks from both the Lanna and Burmese Kingdoms. It was not until King Rama I of the Rattanakosin era that the walls were destroyed. The demolition was undertaken to prevent enemies using the city walls as shelter for their troops. Today, the remaining walls can be seen in the area of Wat Noi and Phitsanulok Police Station. City Moats are 12 metres wide and are visible in the western area of the city parallel to Phra Ruang Road.
Nan Riverside Park and Boathouse Museum : Attraction Details : The park, which was built by Phitsanulok Municipality in 2002, is situated in the middle of the town, on the eastern bank of Nan river. Inside the park, is a Boathouse Museum showcasing the daily life of people living in boathouses. *Admission is free.
Sgt. Maj. Dr. Thavi Folkore Museum : Attraction Details : This is definitely the place for those wishing to learn more about the Thai lifestyle. Step inside a group of Thai pavilions and explore a private collection of antique items representing Thai rural life. They include indigenous arts, pottery, farming and trapping equipment and household items. Old photographs revealing Phitsanulok’s good old days are also on display. The museum was established by Sgt. Maj. Dr. Thawee Buranakhate, who is recognized as a leader in the area of sculpture and indigenous art preservation. He is renowned for his knowledge on Northern Thai folklore. In addition, he is the owner of a Buddha Casting Foundry located just opposite the museum. The Folklore Museum received the Excellence in Tourism Award from the Tourism Authority of Thailand in 1998 and is located on Wisutkasat Road (Sanam Bin Road), approximately 5 kilometers from the town center. The folklore museum is open daily, except for Monday, from 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. Admission is 100 baht. For more information, call Tel: 0 5521 2749, 0 5525 8715, 0 5530 1668. His Buddha Casting Foundry is located just opposite the museum. Appointment is required. Call 0 5525 8715.
Textile Museum and Life Museum : Attraction Details : The Textile Museum displays textiles and garments from different sources domestically and internationally. The museum houses documents and research studies regarding textiles and royal suits of Their Majesties the King and Queen that were conferred to the university. Nearby is a Life Museum that displays the Thai way of cotton weaving, from cotton growing to high-class techniques in weaving. A weaving demonstration is available every weekend. Both museums are open daily from 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. A guide is available. For more information, Tel: 0 5526 1000 – 4 ext. 1218, 1149

Nature and Wildlife

Thung Salaeng Luang National Park : Attraction Details : Against a backdrop of high mountain ranges is the Savannah-type grassland of Thung Salaeng Luang. Covering an area of 16 square kilometres, the park is naturally endowed with pine trees and wild flowers which blossom in virgin jungles. The parks mountain ranges are watersheds of several streams which are a source of the famous Maenam Nan. Its area spreads across Phitsanulok and Phetchabun provinces.The park headquarters located at Km. 80 on Highway No. 12 is where information on the park and accommodations can be obtained. Most of the park attractions are superb for trekking. The route starts from the sub-office at Ban Nong Mae Na (off Highway No.12 at Km. 100 marker) to Khao Kho.The route allows visitors to enjoy the marvelous scenery of Thung Salaeng Luang and Thung Phaya grassland hemmed in by pine trees and lush forests. Another attraction along the way is Thung Non Son, a flatland located on top of the mountain, at the heart of the park. It is famous for its wild flowers which are in their full bloom from October through December. The flatland is accessible through a 16 kilometers clay road and a walking route of 15 kilometers from Ban Nong Mae Na. There is also a study trail at the Mae Na park station which is superb for exploring the entire ecological system of the park.Kaeng Wang Nam Yen a 50 meter x 100 meter wide rapid, suitable for white-water rafting, is located about 5 kilometers from Nong Mae Na station.Admission : adult 400 baht, child 200 bahtVisitors who wish to stay overnight in the park are required to make arrangements with the park rangers in advance. Call 05 526 8019
Tham Duean Tham Dao : Attraction Details :Situated in the western territory of Thung Salaeng Luang National Park, the cave has a subterranean river running through it. Visitors have to climb over rocks at the cave€™s entrance to get in, just to find a large chamber and subterranean river. At the length of 1.4 kilometres, the cave is beautified with stalagmites and stalactites. It can be visited during the dry season and a personal torch is required. High water during rainy season makes it dangerous to visit. To get there: The cave is 85 kilometres from downtown Phitsanulok. Motorists can use Highway 12, then use Highway 11 and 1115 to Amphoe Noen Maprang. The cave is 6 kilometres away.
Namtok Poi and Khao Krayang Forest Plantation : Attraction Details :To get to this waterfall, take Highway No. 12 until reaching markers at Kms. 59 60, turn right and proceed for another 2 kilometers. The surrounding area is suitable for recreation and relaxation activities. The Forest Industry Organisation€™s forest plantation houses a beautiful waterfall that allows visitors to enjoy nature. Nature trails and accommodation are available.
Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park: Attraction Details :Phu Hin Rong Kla is a distinctive national park with a unique mixture of scenic attractions and historical sites. It was once the stage of armed conflicts between two extreme political ideologies. The Park covers a total area of 191,875 rai of land (76,750 acres) and is approximately 130 kilometers from Phitsanulok city. It can be reached by taking Highway No. 12 and turning left at Km.68 marker into Highway No. 2013, a road leading to Nakhon Thai District.The park area is mainly covered with lush green forests, several awesome waterfalls, and a vast plain of rocks with cracks scattered all around. The highest point of the park is 1,617 meters above sea level. Here, rock formations are naturally formed into different shapes beyond your wildest imagination. Some rocky grounds have deep splits (Lan Hin Taek), while others have uneven formations. Apart from natural attractions, the park offers opportunities to explore many of its historical sites that tell the story of national political conflicts. Because Phu Hin Rong Kla was the strategic headquarters of the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) during 1967 to 1982, the area was declared as a red area by the Thai government. For nearly two decades, the site had become a strategic battlefield between the Royal Thai Army and the CPT. Phu Hin Rong Kla was the perfect location for the CPT to fight the military. Its remote, closed mountainous area was superb for an elusive defense. It was not until 1982 that the conflict was overcome when the government granted amnesty to all the students who had joined the CPT. In 1984, Phu Hin Rong Kla was declared a National Park.During the CPT€™s golden era, a hospital, a school of political and political tactics, living quarters, an air-raid shelter and other necessary facilities were set up. Today, visitors to Phu Hin Rong Kla can travel along the parks main road to witness the remains of a rustic meeting hall, the political school, and the administration building.There is also a trail leading to Lan Hin Pum, an area of jutting rocks that the CPT used as an air-raid shelter. From the spot, it is possible to see the remains of the CPT headquarters with a small museum displaying some CPT weapons and medical instruments. Follow another trail to Pha Chu Thong, the cliff where a red flag was raise when the CPT gained a victory. Tourists or visitors wishing to stay overnight are advised to make advance reservations at the National Park Division, Forestry Department tel. 0 5523 3527 or 0 2561 4292Getting There :From Phitsanulok, take a public bus 68 kilometers towards Lomsak. At Ban Yang, take a left and travel 29 kilometers to Nakhon Thai District. From Nakhon Thai, take a mini-van (song-taeo) the remaining 31 kilometers to the park.
Phu Soi Dao National Park: Attraction Details : Phu Soi Dao National Park is located in both Chat Trakan district of Phitsanulok Province and Nam Pard District of Uttaradit Province. Occupying a total area of 48,962.5 rai of land (equivalent to 58,750 acres), the park stretches along the Thai-Laos border with the highest peak measured at 2,102 meters above sea level. The climate park is cool throughout the year and visitors are able to see several species of wild flowers. One of the most distinctive features of the park is the savanna field amidst the dense pine trees. Another attraction worth visiting is the five-tiered Namtok Phu Soi Dao which is located quite near to the park office. Larn Paa Son which can be reached in 4-5 hours via mountainous trails is also a highly recommended place for an overnight stay. In addition, Namtok Sai Tip, the next waterfall on the way, is a place where visitors can marvel at moss and lichen covered cliff. Advanced notice to Park Officers is required and highly recommended. Call 05 541 9234-5How to get to Phu Soi DaoFrom Phitsanulok

By Car: take the Phitsanulok – Wat Bot – Ban Pong Cae – Chat Trakan – Phu Soi Dao route where the total distance is 177 kilometers. Alternatively, take the Phitsanulok – Nakhon Thai – Chat Trakan – Phu Soi Dao route where a total distance of 154 kilometers.

By Bus: there are buses departing from the city at 6.00 a.m., 7.20 a.m., 9.30 a.m., 11.30 a.m., 12.50 p.m. and 4.30 p.m.

Whitewater rafting :Attraction Details : An exciting activity, visitors are provided with a truly unique experience while whitewater rafting especially with the refreshing natural scenery along Maenam Kek in Wang Thong District. The entire trip takes only 2.5 hours to complete. The best time to go downstream is between June and October. Reservations can be made at your hotel or at any resorts located along Highway No. 12 .

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