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Country  Thailand
Area  10.815 km2
  Phitsanulok Airport
Mayor  Premrudee Champunot
Population  84,311
Colleges and Universities  Naresuan University, Pibulsongkram Rajabhat University
Points of interest  Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, Wat Aranyik, Wat Chedi Yod Thong

Phitsanulok (Thai: ,  ) is an important, historic city in lower northern Thailand and is the capital of Phitsanulok Province, which stretches all the way to the Laotian border. Phitsanulok is one of the oldest cities in Thailand, founded over 600 years ago. It is probably best known as the birthplace of King Naresuan, who freed the country from Burmese domination in the late 16th century, and that of his brother and successor King Ekathosarot (Sanphet III). As the crossroad between the northern and central regions of the country, it has long been important both for political and strategic reasons, and was fought over many times in centuries past. Phitsanulok was the capital of Thailand for 25 years during the reign of King Boromma Trailokanat of Ayutthaya. On the banks of the Nan River, the city was originally a small Khmer outpost known as Song Kwae, before the Khwae Noi River changed its course in the 11th century CE. Phitsanulok was also a provincial center of the Angkorian Empire during the Angkorian period. Phitsanulok is home to Naresuan University and Pibulsongkram Rajabhat University, as well as to a major Royal Thai Army base.


Map of Phitsanulok


Phitsanulok Beautiful Landscapes of Phitsanulok

Phitsanulok is approximately 377 km north of Bangkok.


During the 11th century, the city of Phitsanulok was but a small Khmer outpost called Song Khwae, meaning two rivers. At that time, the Nan and Khwae Noi Rivers both flowed through the city, making it a strategic gateway to northern Thailand. The Thais were the majority in the area, however, and would soon establish their independence and form the Kingdom of Sukhothai.


Phitsanulok Culture of Phitsanulok

Phitsanulok is home to a number of historic sculptures of the Buddha and other religious artwork including the Buddha Chinnarat, the Buddha Chinnasri, the Phra Sri Satsada.

Other attractions

  • Sergeant-Major Dr. Thawee Buranakhet Folklore Museum: Hosts a collection of folk arts, crafts, basketry, pottery and ancient kitchen utensils. The museum also houses a collection of antique traps for catching snakes, birds, tigers and porcupines.
  • City walls: Unfortunately, most of the older portions of Phitsanulok were destroyed in a 1955 fire. Thus little else remains of the old town besides the famous temple, an ancient chedi across the road from it, and a small section of the city wall. The intact portion of the ancient city wall is accessible to visitors.
  • Buranathai Buddha Foundry: Specializes in casting bronze Buddha images. It is the only establishment of its kind in the province. Craftspersons specialize in the reproduction of the Phra Buddha Chinnarat Buddha image. Visitors are permitted to walk along the production line.
  • Nan River Houseboats: Phitsanulok is known throughout Thailand for the houseboats which still line the Nan River near Wat Phra Sri Rattana Maharat, though in recent years these are becoming fewer. A houseboat museum is open to visitors.
  • Night Market: Each evening, vendors gather to form Phitsanuloks night market. Items sold include clothing and food, usually at reduced prices.
  • Chandra Palace: Chandra Palace was the birthplace of King Naresuan the Great, and contains a shrine to him.
  • Naresuan University Art and Culture Gallery: The gallery holds over 100 artistic artworks of culturally significant Thai artists.
  • Festivals and events

    Phitsanulok Festival of Phitsanulok
  • Phra Buddha Chinnarat Fair: Held each January at Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahatat Woramahawihan.
  • Suan Chom Nan Park Festival: Held twice a year along the Nan River. Food and local products are on sale.
  • Dragon Boat Races: On the first weekend of each October, dragon boat races are held outside Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahatat Woramahawihan in the Nan River. Each dragon boat has a crew of approximately 30 oarsmen.
  • References

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