Phitsanulok, Thailand

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Phitsanulok, Thailand

Region: Phitsanulok, Thailand


Geographic Coordinates: 16.815800, 100.264000
Climate: Data not available.
Population: 70871
Language: Thai

Phitsanulok is a captivating city located in the northern part of Thailand, Nestled in the lush Nan River Valley. Known as the City of Three Gems, It boasts a rich history, Cultural heritage, And natural beauty that make it an intriguing destination for travelers seeking an authentic Thai experience. One of Phitsanulok’s main attractions is its historical significance. The city played a crucial role in Thailand’s past, Serving as the birthplace of King Naresuan, One of the country’s most revered monarchs. Visitors can explore his birthplace at Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat, Also known as Wat Yai.

This stunning temple houses one of Thailand’s most important Buddha images, Phra Buddha Chinnarat. Admire its intricate details and learn about its spiritual significance. Another must-visit site is Phitsanulok’s historical park, Sukhothai Historical Park. Just a short drive away from the city center lies this UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases remnants from the ancient capital of Sukhothai Kingdom dating back to the 13th century. Explore ruins such as Wat Mahathat with its iconic Buddha statue and stroll along tree-lined paths amidst tranquil ponds and lotus flowers.

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park situated on the border between Phitsanulok and neighboring provinces. This vast natural reserve offers breathtaking landscapes with mist-covered mountains, Dense forests teeming with wildlife like deer and wild boars, Cascading waterfalls like Namtok Chat Trakan National Park—perfect for hiking or simply immersing oneself in nature’s serenity. For those interested in local culture and craftsmanship, A visit to Ban Prasat Pottery Village is highly recommended. Here you can witness traditional pottery-making techniques passed down through generations while getting hands-on experience creating your own masterpiece under expert guidance.

Phitsanulok’s culinary scene is also a delight for food lovers. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor local delicacies such as boat noodles, A flavorful soup dish served in small portions, Or Khao Soi, A rich and spicy curry noodle soup with crispy noodles on top. The bustling night market near Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat is an excellent spot to sample various street food offerings while soaking up the vibrant atmosphere. Phitsanulok’s warm and welcoming locals add another layer of charm to this remarkable city. Engage in conversations with friendly residents who are eager to share their stories and traditions.

Immerse yourself in the genuine Thai hospitality that makes traveling here an unforgettable experience. Phitsanulok offers visitors a unique blend of history, Culture, Nature, And gastronomy. With its historical landmarks like Wat Yai and Sukhothai Historical Park; natural wonders like Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park; traditional crafts at Ban Prasat Pottery Village; delectable local cuisine; and the warmth of its people—this enchanting city has something for everyone seeking an authentic Thai adventure.



Important Landmarks

  1. Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat (Wat Yai) – This temple is home to one of the most revered Buddha images in Thailand, the Phra Buddha Chinnarat.
  2. Sgt. Maj. Thawee Folk Museum – A museum dedicated to showcasing traditional Thai culture and artifacts.
  3. Naresuan Bridge – A historic bridge that spans over the Nan River, offering scenic views and a popular spot for photography.
  4. Chan Palace – The former residence of King Naresuan the Great, now converted into a museum displaying artifacts from his reign.
  5. Phitsanulok Night Bazaar – A vibrant night market where visitors can explore local handicrafts, souvenirs, and indulge in delicious street food.
  6. Folklore Museum at Wang Chan Palace – Another museum that exhibits local history, culture, and folklore through various artifacts and displays.
  7. Wat Aranyik – A beautiful temple known for its intricate wood carvings and peaceful atmosphere.
  8. Sergeant Major Dr.Teerachai Plangsiri Memorial Park & Statue – A park dedicated to honoring Sergeant Major Dr.Teerachai Plangsiri’s contributions to society as a doctor who provided free medical services to rural communities.
  9. Wat Ratburana Woramahaviharn – An ancient temple with stunning architecture featuring gold-plated pagodas and intricate murals depicting Buddhist stories.
  10. Khao Kho National Park – Although not located directly in Phitsanulok city itself but nearby, this national park offers picturesque landscapes with mountains covered in mist during certain seasons along with waterfalls, viewpoints, hiking trails etc., making it a popular destination for nature lovers.

These are just some of the notable landmarks and attractions in Phitsanulok; there are many more cultural sites, museums, and natural beauty to explore in the area.


Primary Industries

  1. Manufacturing: Phitsanulok has a strong manufacturing sector, with companies involved in various industries such as automotive, electronics, machinery, and food processing. It is home to several factories producing automobile parts, electrical appliances, textiles, and agricultural equipment.
  2. Agriculture: The province has a significant agricultural industry with a focus on rice cultivation. Farmers grow various crops such as rice, sugarcane, corn, fruits (especially longan), vegetables, and herbs.
  3. Tourism: Phitsanulok attracts tourists due to its historical significance and natural beauty. The city houses important cultural sites like Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat (Wat Yai) which holds the famous Buddha statue called Phra Buddha Chinnarat. Additionally, nearby attractions like Sukhothai Historical Park also contribute to tourism.
  4. Education: With several universities and educational institutions located in Phitsanulok city (such as Naresuan University), education plays a significant role in the local economy.
  5. Healthcare: The province has developed into a regional healthcare hub with numerous hospitals and medical facilities serving both local residents and patients from neighboring provinces.
  6. Retail trade: Various retail businesses including shopping malls, supermarkets, and convenience stores are present in the city catering to local needs.
  7. Services sector: As an administrative center for the province of Phitsanulok, there are government offices providing public services along with financial institutions such as banks serving both individuals and businesses.

These are some of the major industries that drive economic activity in Phitsanulok; however, it should be noted that this list is not exhaustive as there may be other smaller-scale industries operating within the region as well.


Noteable History

  1. King Naresuan the Great: Born in Phitsanulok in 1555, King Naresuan is one of Thailand’s most celebrated historical figures. He successfully fought against Burmese invaders and is known for his bravery and military skills.
  2. Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat (Wat Yai): This temple houses one of Thailand’s most revered Buddha images, the Phra Buddha Chinnarat. Built during the Sukhothai period in the 14th century, it is a significant religious site attracting both locals and tourists.
  3. Battle of Bang Rachan: Fought between Thai villagers from Bang Rachan village and Burmese troops during the Ayutthaya Kingdom era (1765), this battle symbolizes bravery and resistance against foreign invaders.
  4. Sgt.Major Khun Thong Daeng: A beloved dog who served as a loyal companion to Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram, Prime Minister of Thailand from 1938-1944 and 1948-1957.
  5. Sgt.Major Dr.Tawan Dutchanee: Known as The Father of Thai Traditional Medicine, Dr.Tawan was born in Phitsanulok in 1926. He dedicated his life to preserving traditional Thai healing practices.
  6. The Houseboat Museum: Located on Nan River, this museum showcases traditional Thai river life through various artifacts displayed on an old teakwood houseboat.
  7. The Birthplace of King Naresuan National Park: This national park encompasses various natural attractions like waterfalls, caves, hot springs, and hiking trails while also honoring King Naresuan’s birthplace with monuments.

These events/people have shaped Phitsanulok’s identity and continue to be significant for both locals and visitors interested in the region’s history and culture.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat (Wat Yai): This famous Buddhist temple houses one of Thailand’s most revered Buddha images, the Phra Buddha Chinnarat. The temple complex also features beautiful architecture and serene surroundings.
  2. Sgt. Maj. Thawee Folk Museum: Located in a traditional teak house, this museum showcases the life and achievements of Sergeant Major Thawee Folk, a local hero who fought against invading forces during World War II.
  3. Folklore Museum: Situated within the grounds of Naresuan University, this museum exhibits various artifacts related to Thai folklore and culture, including traditional costumes, handicrafts, and ancient tools.
  4. Chan Palace Museum: Housed in a former royal residence built during the Ayutthaya period, this museum offers insights into the history of Phitsanulok through displays of artifacts from different eras.
  5. Sergeant-Major Dr Thavee Buranakhet Memorial House: Dedicated to another local hero from World War II, this memorial house showcases personal belongings and documents related to Dr Thavee Buranakhet’s contributions to society.
  6. Wat Ratchaburana: This historic temple is known for its stunning mural paintings that depict scenes from Buddhist mythology and Thai folklore.
  7. Sgt.Maj.Thaweechai Elephant Camp: For those interested in experiencing Thailand’s national animal up close, visiting an elephant camp like Sgt.Maj.Thaweechai provides opportunities for elephant rides and interaction with these magnificent creatures.
  8. Night Bazaar Market: A vibrant market offering a variety of local products such as handicrafts, clothing items, souvenirs, street food stalls serving delicious Thai delicacies – perfect for an evening stroll or shopping spree.
  9. Nan River Promenade Park: Located along the Nan River bank near Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat (Wat Yai), this park offers a peaceful retreat with beautiful views, walking paths, and recreational facilities.
  10. Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park: While not in Phitsanulok itself, this national park is located nearby and is worth a visit for nature enthusiasts. It features stunning landscapes, waterfalls, hiking trails, and historical sites related to the Communist insurgency era.

These attractions offer visitors a glimpse into the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of Phitsanulok and its surrounding areas.



Sports Teams

  1. Phitsanulok FC: Phitsanulok FC is a football (soccer) team that competes in the Thai League 4, which is the fourth tier of professional football in Thailand. The team was founded in 2009 and has been participating in various regional leagues since then. However, they have not achieved significant success at the national level.
  2. Phitsanulok Basketball Club: The Phitsanulok Basketball Club is a local basketball team that competes in various regional tournaments and leagues. While not as prominent as some of the other basketball teams in Thailand, they provide opportunities for local players to showcase their skills and compete against other teams from nearby provinces.
  3. Phitsanulok Volleyball Club: The city also has a volleyball club that participates in local tournaments and leagues. Although there isn’t much information available about their history or achievements, they contribute to promoting volleyball as a sport within the region.

It’s important to note that these teams may not have extensive histories or widespread recognition compared to more prominent sports teams from larger cities or regions within Thailand.



Cultural Events

  1. Boon Luang Festival: This is one of the most important festivals in Phitsanulok, held annually in November. It celebrates the end of Buddhist Lent with various religious ceremonies, processions, and traditional performances.
  2. Songkran Festival: Celebrated nationwide in April, Songkran marks the Thai New Year. In Phitsanulok, locals engage in water fights and visit temples to make merit and pay respects to their ancestors.
  3. Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahatat Woramahawihan Fair: Held at Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahatat Woramahawihan temple during February or March, this fair features a range of activities including traditional music performances, beauty pageants, food stalls, and religious ceremonies.
  4. Nang Yai Shadow Puppet Performance: This ancient art form is performed at Wat Tha Luang during special occasions such as temple fairs or important Buddhist holidays.
  5. Traditional Long Boat Races: These races take place on the Nan River annually around September or October as part of Loy Krathong festival celebrations. Teams from different villages compete against each other using long boats decorated with colorful flags.
  6. Yi Peng Lantern Festival: Although more commonly associated with Chiang Mai province, Yi Peng Lantern Festival is also celebrated in some areas of Phitsanulok during November when thousands of lanterns are released into the night sky symbolizing letting go of misfortunes and making wishes for good luck.
  7. Food Festivals: Throughout the year, various food festivals are organized showcasing local delicacies such as grilled river fish (Pla Pao), spicy papaya salad (Som Tam), and crispy pork skin (Kap Moo).

These are just a few examples of cultural events and festivals that take place in Phitsanulok; there may be others depending on specific years and local traditions.


Cuisine

  1. Boat Noodle Alley: This famous street food area offers delicious boat noodles, a traditional Thai dish made with small portions of noodles and meat in a flavorful broth.
  2. Nam Khao Tod: A local specialty of Phitsanulok, Nam Khao Tod is a crispy rice salad mixed with herbs, lime juice, and minced pork. It can be found at various street food stalls.
  3. Krua Nang Klang Wang: Located near the city’s historical park, this restaurant serves authentic Thai dishes including spicy salads (som tam), curries (gaeng), and stir-fried dishes (pad).
  4. Pa Lek Seafood: Known for its fresh seafood offerings, Pa Lek Seafood is a popular restaurant among locals and tourists alike. They serve various seafood dishes like grilled fish, shrimp curry, and crab stir-fry.
  5. Ruen Mai Restaurant: Situated along the Nan River, Ruen Mai offers both indoor and outdoor dining options with scenic views of the riverbank. Their menu includes traditional Thai cuisine such as green curry (gaeng keow wan) and pad thai.
  6. Ban Pong Restaurant: Located within an old wooden house near Wat Yai Temple, Ban Pong is known for its classic Thai dishes cooked using traditional methods passed down through generations.
  7. Night Market Street Food Stalls: The night market in Phitsanulok is a great place to sample various local delicacies such as grilled skewers (moo ping), fried insects (such as crickets or silk worms), mango sticky rice (khao niao mamuang), and more.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Bueng Boraphet: It is the largest freshwater swamp in Thailand and offers boat tours for bird watching, fishing, and exploring the natural beauty of the area.
  2. Wat Ratchaburana Park: Located near Wat Ratchaburana temple, this park features a large pond with paddle boats for rent. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful walk around the park or relax by the water.
  3. Naresuan University Park: Situated on the campus of Naresuan University, this park offers jogging tracks, exercise equipment, basketball courts, and open green spaces for picnics or outdoor games.
  4. Thung Salaeng Luang National Park: Located about 100 kilometers from Phitsanulok city center, this national park is known for its stunning landscapes including mountains, waterfalls, and meadows. Visitors can go hiking or camping amidst nature.
  5. Khao Kho National Park: Situated about 150 kilometers from Phitsanulok city center, Khao Kho National Park offers breathtaking views of mist-covered mountains and valleys. Activities include hiking to viewpoints and visiting various attractions like Wind Farm Viewpoint and Khao Kho Memorial.
  6. Wang Nam Khieo Orchid Farm: This orchid farm is located approximately 40 kilometers from Phitsanulok city center and showcases a wide variety of beautiful orchids that visitors can admire while strolling through gardens.
  7. Night Bazaar Market: In the evenings along Nan River’s banks in downtown Phitsanulok City Center near Wat Yai Temple (Wat Yai Night Bazaar), visitors can explore local food stalls selling delicious Thai street food as well as find various souvenirs to purchase.

These are just a few examples of public parks and recreational activities available in Phitsanulok; there may be more options depending on individual preferences and interests.


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