From Uthai Thani Province

The southern-most province of the North, Uthai Thani covers an ares of approximately 6,730 square kilometres which is mainly basin plains fed by the Chao Phraya and Sakaekrang rivers. To the west are ranges of mountains with a vast area of lush jungles bordering on Kanchanaburi province. The diverse natural terrains are preserved as wildlife sanctuary and designated as world heritage sites. There is evidence that some of the land was once pre-historic human settlements and sites of several ancient communities during the 1,000-year-old Dvaravati era.

Administratively, Uthai Thani is divided into the following districts: Muang, Nong Khayang, Nong Chang, Thap Than, Ban Rai, Sawang Arom, Lan Sak and Huai Khot.

Wat Sangkat Rattanakhiri

at the foot of the Sakaekrang Hill at the end of Tha Chang Road, houses a large, Sukhothai-style, bronze Buddha statue in the Mara Vichaya posture, believed to have been installed at the temple since the reign of King Rama 1. Inside the head of the statue is enshrined a Holy Relic. The head part and the rest of the body are from different statues. It is believed that they were attached together during a restoration before being brought to Uthai Thani. The statue is called Phra Phutthamongkhon Saksit.

From the foot of the hill near the provincial sport stadium is a road leading up to the hilltop, a distance of 4 kilometres by car. Visitors can also walk up the steps from the temple compound. From the hilltop can be seen a panoramic view of the town. It is also where a replica of the Holy Footprint is installed. A statue of the father of Rama I is also located here. The view of the site is at its best during April when the local Suphanika flowers are in full bloom painting the entire hill a bright yellow.

Wat Mani Sathit Kapitharam

Located on Sunthon Sathit Road in town is Wat Mani Sathit Kapitharam built in the Rattanakosin Era. The 16 meter-tall Prang with five turrets was erected in 1909 and houses a Holy Relic. Water from a pond in the temple compound was used as ceremonial water in the coronation of both King Rama Vl and VII.

Wat Thammakhosok

Built during early Rattanakosin Era, Wat Thammakhosok is located on Si Uthai Road in town. It used to be the site for the Oath of Allegiance Rituals for provincial officials as well as the execution site for convicts in the past. In the Ubosot are the finest wall murals of the town which were made by the late Ayutthaya period artists. They portray Buddhist history and likeness of celestial spirits alternating with religious paraphernalia which are the handiworks of later painters.

Within the Wihan are housed about twenty ancient Buddha statues. Over the windows outside the building are plaster relieves depicting the epic Ramayana. The door panels are wood carved in floral designs. The small Kuti (monk’s quarters) next to the bot represents the delicate craftsmanship of the early Rattanakosin Period.

Mae Nam Sakaekrang

is a river flowing past Uthai. Moored against both banks are scores of boat-houses reflecting the simple and serene way of living of the local people. The houses are erected over bamboo rafts. Most of the inhabitants are fishermen and traps and creels containing various types of fish can be seen tied to the rafts. Visitors may hire boats to cruise along the river starting from the landing at the municipal market.

Wat Ubosatharam

Popularly referred to as Wat Bot, Wat Ubosatharam is and old temple on the east bank of the Sakaekrang. Many wall murals in the style of early Rattanakosin period can be found inside the Ubosot and the Wihan, mostly depicting Buddhist Chronicles. Over the outside wall of the Wihan are portrayals of Buddha’s funeral and of the local way of life. Other interesting antiquities include Sema (stones marking the limit of the Ubosot), cabinets with Thai patterns containing scriptures, and the pearl-inlaid cover of begging bowl given by Rama V. There are also several buildings in old architectural style worth seeing.

The Uthai Thani Technology, Science and Environment Centre

is located in a 10 -year-old wooden building at Benchama Rachuthit School. Exhibitions are mounted on the history, arts and culture of the province. Other exhibits include ancient tools and equipment and local woven products. Open 9.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. on official working days. For further information call (056) 511511, 511153

Wat Chantharam or Wat Tha Sung

is located in Tambon Nam Sum some five kilometres from town on the way to Manorom district. Originally built since the Ayutthaya Period, there are today many contemporary structures all built with great care and splendid craftsmanship. The Ubosot itself has been re-built with magnificent exteriors.

The Uthai Thani Old Town

at Nong Chang district, had in fact been the site of the original town continuously from the Sukhothai through to the Ayutthaya periods. The community centre did not move to the present site on the Sakaekrang until early Rattanakosin with the original town downgrading to a district. Remains of the old town can still be found at Wat Kuti but the surrounding areas are now open field. The temple still in good condition today is Wat Chaeng. Its Prang, or pagoda, first built in 1538, was renovated in 1915 at he same time as the old Ayutthaya-style Ubosot. The relieves on the Prang and the lintels over the Ubosot are of the same type. Another temple is Wat Hua Muang which still has the ruins of old bot of the Ayutthaya-style and of small, ancient Chedi.

Wat Nong Phluang

built in 1857 at Nong Kha Yang district features a Ubosot decorated with lintels in plaster reliefs, old glazed pottery and Sema (stones marking limits of the Ubosot).

Wat Nong Khun Chat

located in Nong Chang district, was built during the current Rattanakosin Period. Inside the Ubosot are wall murals painted by artists during the reign of King Rama V depicting Buddhism-related chronicles. Significantly, there are portrayals of individuals wearing Western-style hats with brims.