History of Phitsanulok
Phitsanulok has a long history. In the 11th century, the town was a small outpost of the Khmer empire. Phitsanulok became an important town in the Sukhothai Kingdom. In the second half of the 15th century, Phitsanulok was the capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom for a period of 25 years. The town is the birthplace of King Naresuan who liberated the area from Burmese occupation and expanded the Ayutthaya Kingdom with parts of Burma and Cambodia. Unfortunately, much of the old town was destroyed by a fire in 1955.
To do & see in Phitsanulok
Phitsanulok province houses many natural, historical and cultural attractions that are worth a visit.
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat is regarded the most important temple in the province. A Royal temple founded in the 14th century is famous for the Phra Buddha Chinnarat Buddha image, considered by many to be the most beautiful Buddha image in Thailand. The Sukhothai style image measuring 375 centimeters tall was molded around 1357. Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat also features a 36 meter tall Ayutthaya style stupa that enshrines Buddha relics and a large standing Buddha image in front of it.
Phra Buddha Chinnarat
Wat Chulamani is the oldest temple in Phitsanulok; it was founded in the 13th or 14th century during the Sukhothai era. King Boromma Trailokkanat, King of Ayutthaya in the second half of the 15th century ordered a Vihara to be built. In 1464, the King and over 2,300 of his attendants ordained as monks. The King stayed in the temple for over 8 months. Highlights of the temple are a laterite Khmer stupa built on a rectangular platform and the roofless mandapa that enshrines a Buddha footprint as well as a stone inscription made during the reign of King Narai the Great.
Wat Chulamani is located off Highway 1063 on the East bank of the Nan river, about 6 kilometers South of Phitsanulok downtown.
Chan Palace or “Wang Chan,” believed to have been built during the first half of the 15th century, was the residence of several Ayutthaya Kings. King Naresuan, who ruled the Ayutthaya Kingdom from 1590 until 1605, was born in the Palace.
The site has been excavated by the Thai Fine Arts Department. Little more than brick foundations of the Palace buildings, walls and gates remain today. Among the artifacts that have been excavated are pottery, roof tiles and fine porcelains from several Chinese dynasties, including Ming. On the site of the ancient palace are the remains of two much better preserved Buddhist temples, Wat Sri Sukhot and Wat Wihan Thong, which were probably Royal temples used by Ayutthaya Kings. Chan Palace is located on the West bank of the Nan river.
Flights & Getting There
Phitsanulok Province is linked to the rest of Thailand by numerous bus routes and a busy airport with frequent connections to Bangkok.
AirAsia, NOK Air, and Lion Air operate several direct flights daily from Bangkok to Phitsanulok.The trip takes 40-45 minutes.
For more information, visit www.airasia.com
From Bangkok, use Highway No.1 to Wang Noi, then from Bangkok, use Highway No.1 to Wang Noi, then proceed to Nakhon Sawan Province along Highway No.32 via Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, and Sing Buri Provinces. After that, take Highway No.117 to Phitsanulok. The total distance is 337 kilometers.
Trains depart daily from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station. or Call 1690 or visit www.railway.co.th
for more information.