Traveling can be a metaphor to many things in this world, especially when you come to Thailand. It is like when one door closes, another door opens in which this door may lead you to amazing things imaginable.
General Information of Phitsanulok
Phitsanulok is that kind of door that can lead you to one of the most maginificent things that you can imagine in Thailand. This province itself is a historical city located in the lower northern region of Thailand. To put it in simple terms, it is about halfway between Bangkok and Chiang Mai which is around 377 kilometers from Bangkok. However, the province of Phitsanulok is quite small comparing to other provinces in Thailand. Its total area is approximately 10,815 square kilometers with around 80,000 in population. This province features historical, cultural, and natural attractions which may cannot be seen elsewhere.
How to travel to Phitsanulok
There are several options that you can choose to get to Phitsanulok. The first option is by flying. Most of the time you will be flying from Bangkok at Don Muang Airport. After you have arrived, you could take a tuktuk or a bus to the inner city. If you are at Chiang Mai or Bangkok, the train is another travel option you can choose. There are train services daily you can take, but make sure that you know about the train schedule beforehand. Next is to travel by bus which roughly takes you around five to six hours to get here, but it would take about seven hours to return to Bangkok. The last obvious choice is to drive there yourself which proves to be faster than the train and even the bus massively. Be cautious of the road and safe travel!
Things to do in Phitsanulok
There are quite a lot of famous attractions around the city of Phitsanulok. Most of the attractions will focus more on cultural and natural aspects of the province.
The first famous attraction that you should visit is Wat Phra Phuttha Chinnarat or Wat Phra Sri Rattana Maha That Wora Maha Wihan which is also mentioned in the province’s motto.
This temple is a precious heritage of art and culture of this province. This place contains one of the most beautiful Buddha statue in all of Thailand and it has been built for quite a long time since the Sukhothai era. It has been estimated that this temple was built in the year 1300, but the temple has an ongoing repair and maintenance to preserve its architectural style and arts to the fullest. As the place is always under renovation and maintenance, it is one of the most perfected Sukhothai architecture in Thailand. While it is very famous in Phitsanulok, the temple is also well known for many Thais outside of the province. Most people will come here to pay respect to the Buddha statue and wishes for good things to come to them.
Natural Travel Attractions in Phitsanulok
Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
Once you are done with the temple and its beauty, you can move ahead to Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park which is the only national park in the country that lets you enjoy both natural and historical attractions at the same time in one place.
While there are many attractions around in this place, its highlight is Phu Lom Lo, a mountain famous for wild Himalayan cherry or sour cherry. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that you can only see the cherry in the winter.
All you will see on the mountain is pink! In the same period, you can see the red maple leaves on the trees here near the old building of the communist camp which is quite beautiful and breathtaking to see.
Mhun Daeng Waterfall
While there are various waterfalls in this national park, another highlight is the Mhun Daeng Waterfall on the fifth level. If you come to this waterfall in the rainy season, you will be able to see the snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue with a pink color.
While there are other spots that also have these plants, this is the only spot that has a pink color to it while others have an orange color. This plant will only bloom once a year on the rocks with the waterfall as a background which is a beautiful sight to see.
Above are recommended famous places that you should visit when you come to Phitsanulok, but there are several more places or attractions that are worth mentioning about.
Lam Nam Khek
The first recommended place is Lam Nam Khek which is very famous for its rafting courses and you must only come here in the rainy season between July and October.
If you are looking for an adventure of a lifetime, this is the place for you! This place provides one of the best adventure experiences on the water in Thailand with more than nine kilometers in distance which is the longest rafting course in Thailand as well. There are 17 rafting courses to choose from with one to five levels of difficulties.
Noen Maprang District
Noen Maprang District is a very small district with quite a lot of homestays. If you are staying in this place, you can glance at the views of farm lands and a limestone mountain in the background.
If you happen to come here in the rainy season, you will be able to see mists on top of the mountain which is an amazing sight to see. Additionally, there are small caves around the district that you can go to. One more highlight of this district is the heart-shaped swing on the tree that you can sit on and enjoy the scenery. In the evening, you will see bats coming out from its slumber to find something eat at night.
Ban Ja Tawee Folk Museum
Next up is Ban Ja Tawee Folk Museum which is a must to come if you like antiques.
The place is more like a treasure of history and Thai knowledge that collects the old tradition of the locals. You can learn all about the local knowledge and history of the province. This museum collects all of the tools from Phitsanulok and other provinces such as musical instruments, weapons, working tools, and more. It is quite difficult to see these tools nowadays as they are really rare in Thailand. This place is also considered to be one of the best folk tradition learning centers of Southeast Asia.
Souvenirs of Phitsanulok
If you are looking for souvenirs, Kluay Tak or sun-dried banana is very delicious and famous here in this province. It is sweet with intensified smell of the banana and a sticky texture which is very suitable for a snack.
Living in Phitsanulok
The motto of Phitsanulok is “The Marvelous Buddha Chinnarat, The Birthplace of King Naresuan the Great, Houseboats on the Two Banks of Nan, Delicious Sun-Dried Bananas, and Enchanting Caves and Waterfalls”. To get around the province, you can use the public buses, taxis, and tuktuks. You could also rent a motorbike if you want to in which the price starts around 200 baht. For accommodation, you can stay in budget hotels which may include small hotels and guesthouses. If you want to stay in a more luxurious place, you can choose to stay in mid-range hotels that could potentially costs you around 700 baht a night to more than 2,000 baht per night. Enjoy your stay at Phitsanulok!
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