Covering some 105,815 square kilometers, Phitsanulok is 377 kilometers north of Bangkok. It borders Uttaradit Province on the North, Phichit Province on the South, Loei and Petchabun Provinces on the East, and Kamphaeng Phet and Sukhothai Provinces on the West. Situated on a strategic location dividing Thailand’s Central and Northern regions, and connecting to the Northeastern region, Phitsanulok is undeniably an important hub and an ideal base for travelers wishing to explore the lower north and western northeast. Phitsanulok, however, is not just a stopover for tourists, but is a province with promising tourism opportunities.
Phitsanulok City spans the banks of the Nan River running through it. Therefore, it is locally known and historically referred to as Song Kwae City (“Song” means two and “Kwae” means a river). Most of Phitsanulok’s terrain is flatlands, with one third of the area being mountain ranges on the north and east. Its unique natural endowments include natural parks and waterfalls making a trip to Phitsanulok worthwhile.Apart from its exceptional natural charisma, Phitsanulok provides visitors with an opportunity to explore notable chapters of Thailand’s history. For example, the remains of an ancient community dating back between 2,000-4,000 years, including old stone axes, was found here. In addition, the old temple of Wat Chula Mani, situated 5 kilometers south of the city, was built even before the Sukhothai Kingdom burst into power.
Phitsanulok prospered along with the powerful Sukhothai (1238-1387) and Ayuttaya (1350-1767) Kingdoms. In particular, it played a strategic role in the Ayuttaya era when it had become the Kingdoms royal capital for 25 years during the reign of King Borom Trailokanat.
Phitsanulok is also the birthplace of King Naresuan the Great (reigned 1590-1605) the legendary King who declared Ayuttaya’s independence from Burma in 1584. King Naresuan the Great is known for his victorious and honorable single hand combat on elephant back, called ‘Yuttahatti,’ against a Burmese Crown Prince. His heroic power and strong dedication to expelling the invaders from his motherland saved the country, and truly united the Kingdom which later was known as Siam and currently known as Thailand
Phitsanulok was also a strategic location for other Ayuttaya Kings as it was a major center for military recruitment and a training camp when Ayuttaya waged wars with Burma.
Wat Pra Sri Rattana Mahathat Vora Maha Viharn
Locally dubbed as “Wat Yai”, the complex is considered the most important temple in Phitsanulok. Housing Thailand’s famous Phra-Phutthachinnarat, Wat-Yai is located nearby Naresuan Bridge on the city side of Nan River.There is also a small museum, which exhibits a good collection of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya-era Buddha images and related religious items that is worth visiting.
Kaeng Song Waterfall
Located in Wang Thong District at Km. 45 along the Highway, the waterfall, which is slightly bigger than Namtok Wang Nok Aen, is set against a mountainous backdrop.
Phuhinrongkla National Park
Located in Nakhon Thai District, Phu Hin Rong Kla is a distinctive national park with a unique mixture of scenic attractions and historical sites. It was once the stage of armed conflicts between two extreme political ideologies. The Park covers a total area of 191,875 rai of land (76,750 acres) and is approximately 130 kilometers from Phitsanulok city. It can be reached by taking Highway No. 12 and turning left at Km.68 marker into Highway No. 2013, a road leading to Nakhon Thai District.
For more information on tourist attractions in and around Phitsanulok, you can visit: