Founded over 600 years ago, Phitsanulok has a long history on the plains leading to the Northern Thailand Mountain ranges.
First a Khmer Empire outpost through the 11th century, it changed hands several times before becoming the capital of Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century. From here, an Ayutthaya prince finally broke the Burmese hold over the region setting the stage for a golden age of the Thai kingdom.
Though a fire in the 1950s destroyed much the town’s ancient architecture, structures like Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat still remain and offer a glimpse into the city’s storied past. Built in 1357, the temple houses Phra Buddha Chinnarat, one of Thailand’s most sacred Buddha images.
Not far from Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat, the Burana Thai Buddha Foundry’s craftsmen make bronze reproductions of the temple’s famous Buddha image. Open to the public, it’s a worthy experience while on tour in Thailand.
While a modern city is growing out of the storied ruins, there’s still plenty of traditional culture to be found by travelers on luxury tours of Thailand. There are numerous temples in the area, and traditional Thai house boats that still float on the Nan River seem to have drifted out of the pages of history.
Best Time to Visit Phitsanulok:
The best weather in the area falls between November and January. June through October rains make the fertile plains bloom with life, and the highest temperatures are between March and May.
How to get to Phitsanulok:
Phitsanulok is the capitol of Phitsanulok Province in lower Northern Thailand. It’s best reached by private vehicle departing from Bangkok.
Modern amenities and cultural antiquities mix here to provide an excellent stop while heading north to Chiang Mai.
Appropriate Attire :
Western style clothing is fine in town, but Buddhist temples have a strict dress code that requires shoulders, arms, and knees to be covered while on holy ground. Dress appropriately when visiting any of the many temples in town or around the province.