If you are a big fan of historical tours, travelling to Phitsanulok should be given top priority for maintaining a historical significance, unique culture combined with deep religiosity of the local inhabitants that you cannot stop digging into these prominent features during the stay. Welcome to Phitsanulok – One of the oldest areas located in the north of Thailand.
Nowadays, Phitsanulok stands among Thailand’s province capitals that plays an essential role in several aspects such as commerce, transportation and communication. The Thai government also pays much attention to Phitsanulok’s development for both political and strategic reasons. Although the tourism influx here is not as strong as other prestigious areas such as Chiang Mai, Bangkok or Kanchanaburi, Phitsanulok has sought more publicity for being blessed with a variety of religious destinations ranging from Wat Yai, The Folklore Museum, The Shrine of King Naresuan the Great and so on. You may feel a little bit confused since there are so many things to do and spots to visit in Phitsanulok, so partaking in a trip with a carefully researched schedule will enable you to enjoy your vacation to the fullest!
In the past, Phitsanulok was the royal capital under the Dynasty of King Trailokanat, Kingdom Ayutthaya for 25 years. It was founded over 600 years ago on the banks of Nan River. Phitsanulok is also well-known for being the place of birth of King Naresuan the Great of Ayutthaya, his brother and successor Prince Ekathosarot. Before that, Phitsanulok was among the major areas where the Sukhothai Kingdom flourished. Thai people consider Sukhothai the cradle of their civilization, which means here is the breeding ground of Thai art, architecture and language that is well-preserved in Phisanulok today. Other prominent legacies that the Sukhothai – a UNESCO World Heritage leaves here are historically significant temples that now become top crowd-drawing spots.
- Visit Phra Si Ratana Temple (Wat Yai)
Phara Si Ratana Temple, which is among the major attractions in Thailand, attracts thousands of visitors every year. It is truly worth your visit to explore the beauty of this stunning and venerated monument. Here obsesses the second most beautiful Buddha image in Thailand – Phra Buddha Chinnarat, just after the number one Emerald Buddha in Bangkok city. The statue was made in 1357, the same time with the construction of the sacred Wat Yai. Except for that revered gold-plated Buddha statue grasping much visitors’ attention, you may also be highly impressive by an eye-catching pearl Vihan door. Inside the door, you will explore key moments of the life of Buddha, which is exquisitely crafted with marble. You should visit the temple in the evening to attend the prayer in Sanskrit by the monks and faithful devotees. Outside the main hall can you wander through a market with a host of local products. It’s right time to take a look and buy some souvenirs to capture your memorable trip!
- Explore Sergeant Major Thawee Folk Museum
There are no better ways to have a closer look at the rich cultural identity of a nation in the past than taking a trip to its museum. Sergeant Major Thawee Folk Museum is definitely a great place for visitors having a passion for exploring the long-standing history of Thailand. The museum not only shows unique exhibits happening in historical turning points of Thailand from household appliances, farm equipment, musical instruments to old articles, but also depicts a really intriguing view of the details of everyday rural life in Phitsanulok. By creating an extraordinary shift in the evolution from the past to the present in Thailand, the museum seeks to bring every guest a true sense of Thai’s community in the past while taking the responsibility to educate the next generation about the significance of history that evokes their love towards a peaceful Thailand today.
A host of accessories from the past founded and exhibited at the folk museum
- Pass by the Shrine of King Naresuan the Great
King Naresuan the Great is considered one of Thailand’s greatest kings in the history who liberated the Ayutthaya Kingdom from the invasion of the Burmese in the 16th century. The shrine has become a sacred place for Thai people to worship and commemorate the huge merits of the warrior King done for Thailand. Surround the shrine are the ruins believed to be the King Naresuan’s birthplace, which is also worth a visit to kill time. The Shrine possesses a statue of the King along with hundreds of colourful roasters’ statue you can pose to take nice pictures with. This place is still in the process of construction to grasp more attention to the significance of the King, so visitors can expect a host of new things more than current features to see in the future. It is highly recommended to combine the visit to the shrine with the Chan Royal Palace History Center as the shrine belongs to the center. Besides, you don’t have to worry about duel pricing since the entrance into the shrine is free. If you are really keen on Thailand’s history, don’t hesitate to give the Shrine of King Naresuan the Great a place in your list of stopovers when coming to Phitsanulok!
The statue of King Naresuan the Great is put in front of the sacred shrine
- Get lost at the big Phitsanulok night bazaar
Phitsanulok night bazaar will let you feel a bit confused making a decision to skip visiting it for a perfect night. Once you are here, you may not resist being into the truly vibrant nightlife of local residents in Phitsanulok not just about buying and selling activities. It is great to go for a walk along the Nan riverside while enjoying the dynamic environment of the bazaar. There is a variety of things waiting for visitors to see and relish in the market from a bulk of clothes, accessories along with authentic Thai foods. One thing you may fancy using your nighttime at the bazaar is from the friendly and polite salespeople combined with cheap goods at half the price compared to other night bazaars. The Phitsanulok night bazaar is so spacious that you cannot discover its intriguing features within just a night, so it is advisable for you to take more than one night to enjoy the night bazaar to the fullest as you wish!
An explosion of colour of local items in the night bazaar will get you absolutely hooked!
How to get there
The normal starting point for almost all Thailand travellers is Bangkok city. To get to Phitsanulok from Bangkok city, you have to make choice among different means of transport from plane, bus, train or taxi. The following details may help you to find out which one serves your preference and schedule best!
- Flight from Bangkok to Phitsanulok
Getting a fight will always be a great idea to travel to Phitsanulok from Bangkok for being the fastest and most comfortable way. The time you spend on board just ranges from 50 minutes to less than 1 hour and 15 minutes, which means it brings you more and more time to discover Phitsanulok compared to a trip by other vehicles. From Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport, you can take your flight on one of three options among Thai Lion Air, Nok Air and Thai AirAsia. To your surprise, the flight tickets are not as prohibitively-costly as you may think, whereas they are fairly comparable. Besides, the flight schedule is flexible, so you will have plenty of choices for your ideal flight. Don’t miss your chance to book early morning flights as they are the cheapest! Once you arrive at Phitsanulok Airport, you can take any buses or tuk-tuks around the airline to get to wherever you want.
Don Mueang International Airport provides passengers with numerous flights to Phitsanulok
- Bus from Bangkok to Phitsanulok
Catching a bus to travel from Bangkok to Phitsanulok is nothing but the best option for tight budget travellers. The cost of a bus ticket is reasonable, but you should prepare to face the longest travelling time since it will take you around 6.5 hours to reach to Phitsanulok. Departing from Bangkok’s Morchit Bus Terminal, there are so many reliable bus companies that you can opt for an affordable ticket. Basically, any bus companies will introduce to you 2 major options, travelling by an express bus or a VIP bus. The former option is enough for most budget travellers, but it lacks additional services compared to the latter option. Alternatively, a VIP bus will provide you with more comfort as it offers larger seats along with TVs, steward and snacks available on board.
- Train from Bangkok to Phitsanulok
In addition to bus, the train is an alternative that takes a similar amount of time of travelling to Phitsanulok from Bangkok. Trains depart Bangkok from Hua Lamphong Station and then arrive at Phitsanulok Railway Station. Train is basically not fast, but it offers passengers countless stunning natural charms along the way passing them by. A drawback of taking a train is its tickets are way more expensive than bus tickets. Sometimes, you will find costly tickets even more expensive than flight tickets. However, keep in mind that normally the more you pay, the higher service and quality you will experience. Therefore, if you want to travel in a lavish style, opt for 1st class sleeper tickets. On the other hand, a 2nd class seat is your best choice to limit your budget.
You can start your train travel to Phitsanulok from Hua Lamphong Train Station
- Taxi from Bangkok to Phitsanulok
There is no doubt that taking a private taxi is among the most comfortable but expensive ways to reach any tourist destinations. The reason is you have to pay for the whole taxi, not just seats inside your rental car, so it is advisable to travel in groups or with your family instead of travelling alone to tighten the cost as much as possible since you can share the cost with other people. You should consider taking a taxi trip on premium cars, minivans or 9-passenger vans as they are 3 main means of transport many taxi companies offer passengers. It is all up to you on how much money you want to spend on the trip and how many people you enjoy taking the trip with.