From Phichit Province

Situated in the Lower North some 345 kilometres from Bangkok, Phichit is accessible by both road and rail. Nurtured by two rivers, the Yom and the Nan running parallel to one another north to south, the land is agriculturally fertile. Once the site of an ancient town dating back almost a thousand years ago, Phichit has played a major role in the history of both Sukhothai and Ayutthaya.

Known as the land of the crocodiles, it has been home to this ferocious reptile which has thrived in its waters.There are today several fresh-water crocodile farms. Phichit features in the Thai epic Krai Thong composed by King Rama ll which tells of Chalawan, a powerful crocodile king.

Phichit is administratively divided into the following districts: Muang, Pho Prathap Chang, Taphan Hin, Bang Mun Nak, Pho Thale, Sam Ngam, Wang Sai Phun, Thap Khlo, Sak Lek, Dong Charoen, Bung Na Rang and Wachira Barami.

Wat Tha Luang

Built on the west bank of the Nan River within town limit in 1845, Wat Tha Luang today houses Luang Pho Phet, a Chiang Saen-style Buddhist statue cast in bronze.

Bung Si Fai

is a large fresh-water lake to the south of town. It is a Fishery Department’s facility to breed fresh-water. Along the banks is a delight-fully landscaped park suitable for rest and recreation. The scenery is at its most scenic in the early morning and late afternoon. On the other side of the park is an aquarium exhibiting species of native fish and local fishing equipment. An eye catching sight is a gigantic, crocodile shaped structure within which is a space which can be used for meetings.

Utthayan Muang Kao Pichit

About 7 kilometres from town on the Phichit-Wang Chick road (no. 1068) is Utthayan Muang Kao Pichit The park features an ancient town dating back more than 900 years. Most of the structures discovered were built during the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods. The old town is surrounded by city walls and moats. During the Sukhothai period it was called Muang Sa Luang situated on the original bank of the Nan River before the river changed its course, which was the reason the town itself was moved to the new bank in circa 1881 during the reign of king Rama V. In the town centre is Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat with its large bell-shaped Chedi inside of which have been found hundreds of votive tablets. In front of the Chedi are remains of a Wihan. There are score of small Chedis scattered around the site.

Wat Nakhon Chum

is some 9 kilometres from town on the Phichit Wang Chik road . Built in the Sukhothai period about 800 hundred years ago, it features an old Ubosot built with brick and mortar with the upper parts in wood. Instead of windows, there are narrow openings for ventilation throughout the wall, similar to temples of the Ayutthaya period. In the Ubosot is a large Sukhothai-style Buddha statue once used as the principal statue in oath-taking ceremony pledging allegiance to the monarch.

Wat Khao Rup Chang

is located along the Phic-Taphan Hin road some 15 kilometres from town. On the hilltop is an old, Ayutthaya-style Chedi built of bricks but with its top part now broken. There is also a Mondop, the wall murals of which have largely faded faded away. The Mondop houses a bronze Holy Relic.

Wat Pho Prathap Chang

An old temple in Pho Prathap Chang district is Wat Pho Prathap Chang located about 27 kilometres from town on route #1068 to the south. It was built by Phra Chao Sun, an Ayutthaya king, in 1701 at a site reputed to be his own birth-place. Although abandoned for almost 300 years the remaining traces are indicative of past splendors such as a huge Wihan with its walls still standing but now roofless and small Chedis scattered over the site. The entire site is surrounded by double walls and huge trees some of which are over 200 year old.

Tapan Hin

is the most commercially advanced district of the Nan River located on the bank of the Nan River some 30 kilometres south of the provincial seat on Highway No .113 it can also be reached via train. The most prominent sight of the district is the 34 metre-tall golden Buddha statue the Luang Pho To, at Wat Thewaprasat on the Nan river bank opposite the Tapan Hin market. There are ferry services across the river.

Wat Bang Khlan

About 12 kilometres from the district town of Pho Tha-le, or 60 kilometres south of Phichit town, is Wat Bang Khlan. It was the resident temple of the highly revered monk, the late Luang Pho Ngoen. A statue of the Luang Pho Ngoen continues to receive homage from the public. The Chai Bowon Museum inside the temple collects ancient items such as votive tablets, Buddha statues and earthenware for display. lt is open only Saturday and Sunday.

Phichit’s Phra Kruang

Phra Kruang (Buddhist Votive tablet) is regarded as lucky charm to ward off danger and to give good fortune. Those found in Phichit are highly regarded and in great demand by collectors and believers. The making of such votive tablets in Phichit is an art handed down through the centuries. As Phichit was strategically situated and an assembly point for forces from Ayutthaya to move up north to conquer the North, and local manpower was constantly mobilised to join the army, the practice of making such talismans to ward off harm became prevalent. Genuine Phichit Phra Kruangs today are hard to find. Replicas are therefore made instead.