Although Thailand hosts a plethora of tourist-friendly destinations, Phitsanulok (or P’lok for short) should be on your radar thanks to its rich history–as expected being one of Thailand’s oldest cities.
How To Get There
Halfway between Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Phitsanulok is accessible via bus from those two towns. Buses from Bangkok will take you six hours while it’s only five hours from Chiang Mai. If time is crucial, there are many domestic flights to Phitsanulok airport from Bangkok that only take 50 minutes.
What To Do
Catch a glimpse of the most beautiful and revered bronze Buddha figure in Thailand at Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat or Wat Yai for short. The Buddhist temple was constructed in the mid-1300s with the temple grounds featuring Khmer-style prangs (carved spires).
Nature lovers can opt for Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park that spans 30km of mountainous terrain. The park is excellent for its scenic viewpoints such as Lan Hin Pun and Lan Hin Taek, iconic for their unique rock formation along with beautiful waterfalls. Entry fee is 200 baht for foreigners.
Living up to the rich history, the King Naresuan Shrine is the birthplace and former residence of one of Thailand’s revered kings. The white structure and terracotta roof is a majestic attraction to visit and is even popular among locals.
Where To Stay
Yodia Heritage Hotel is a centrally located accommodation along the Nan River that is close to Wat Yai. The rooms are trimmed in dark wood and accessorised with Thai-inspired trinkets. You can have breakfast at the charming Amore Restaurant before taking jaunts around the historical attractions nearby.
A tropical accommodation can be found at Taman Spa Resort that is known to be the only hotel in Phitsanulok that is set among gardens of lush vegetation. The spacious living quarters are filled with natural light while the Taman Tropical Tree Garden Restaurant serves some mean seafood, Thai-style.
Local Tips & Facts
- Phitsanulok was the capital of Thailand for 25 years during the Ayuthaya Era (1463-1487 A.D.)
- King Naresuan The Great was known for his military accomplishments that lead to the liberation of Thailand from the Burmese occupation.
- Head over to the riverside to dine at floating restaurants for an authentic Thai eating experience.