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Home | Thailand | Regions in Thailand | North Thailand | Phichit
Phichit

Situated in the Lower North some 345 kilometres from Bangkok, Pichit 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, 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 II, which tells of Chalawan, a powerful crocodile king.

Attractions

Situated on the western bank of the Nan River, close by the provincial hall, is the province's principal temple, Wat Tha Luang. Built during the reign of King Rama III, the bot houses the sacred Chiang Saen-style Luang Phor Phet Buddha image which was brought down from the north by a former Sukhothai ruler. The gilded, golden image is highly revered by the townspeople.

Slightly out of town is another ancient temple, Wat Nakhon Chum. It was originally the site where a traditional religious ceremony was conducted. The temple houses a Buddha image built in the Sukhothai era, about 800 years ago.

Wat Po Pratub Chang is an ancient 18th century, Ayutthaya-style temple enclosed by a wall. It was used by King Narai the Great as a campsite for his troops on a northern expedition. It was also the place where King Phra Si Sanphet VIII, or King Sua (Tiger), was born.

The Bung Si Fai (A Lit Lake) is the nation's third largest lake with an area of 12,000 rai and water throughout the year, serving as an important fish-breeding site. Lotuses are grown on the outer perimeter for picking and selling. Aside from being a picnic area, it has a center displaying the various types of freshwater fish.

Another attraction is the Phichit Crocodile Auditorium , constructed in the shape of a huge crocodile, since Phichit was once full of crocodiles. 

Located on the Phichit-Taphan Hin Road south of town, the chapel of Wat Khao Rup Chang was built on a hilltop where white rocks stack up forming an elephant figure. A walking Buddha and replica of Lord Buddha's Footprint is housed in this temple.

Slightly out of town is another ancient temple, Wat Nakhon Chum. It was originally the site where a traditional religious ceremony was conducted. The temple houses a Buddha image built in the Sukhothai era, about 800 years ago.

The Phichit Historical Park enhances the antiquated feeling by having undergrowth and various sorts of trees growing naturally. Highlights include the Chalawan Cave, the Chao Mae Srimala Shrine, and sculptures of various important characters from the'Kraithong' folktale. Excavation from the remains of Wat Mahathat's chedi unveiled pottery and Buddha images from various eras.

Previously called Wat Wang Tako, Wat Hiranyaram (Wat Bang Khlan) is located on the banks of the Nan Kao River. It features an interesting antique collection, with most pieces obtained from donators.

Among its attractive building is the Nakhon Chai Bavorn Museum , a two-story structure containing the life-size, bronze statue of Luang Pho Ngern, a highly revered Buddhist monk who resided at this temple during Buddist Lent. This museum is the site of the first, and only, museum in Phichit. 

City Attractions

Bung Si Fai   is a large fresh-water lake to the south of town. It is a Fishery Department's facility for breeding fresh-water fish. Along the banks is a delightfully 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, in which is space that can be used for meetings.

Built on the Westbank 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.

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, when the old town was surrounded by city-walls and moats. During the Sukhothai period, it was called Muang Sa Luang, and was situated on the original bank of the Nan River before the river changed its course. This change was the main reason why the town itself was moved to the new bank 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 the remains of a Vihan. There are scores 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 walls, 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 ceremonies pledging allegiance to the monarch.

Wat Khao Rup Chang is located along the Phichit-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 away. The Mondop houses a bronze Holy Relic. 

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. The temple was built by Phra Chao Sua, 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 Vihan 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 years old.

Taphan hin

Tapan Hin is the most commercially advanced district of Phichit. 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 railway. 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 riverbank, opposite the Tapan Hin market. There are ferry services across the river.

Pho Thale

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 earthenwares for display. It is open only on Saturday-Sunday.

Special Interest

Phichit's Phra Khruang  Phra Kruang (Buddhist Votive tablet) is regarded as a lucky charm to ward off danger and give good fortune. Those found in Phichit are highly regarded, and are 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 move up 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' s Phra Kruangs today are hard to find. Replicas are therefore made instead.

Festival

Boat racing  is a traditional event of long standing. It is usually held after the homage-paying rites to the province's principal Buddha statue during September each year on the Nan River in front of Wat Tha Luang.

Hotels and accommodations

  • Chit Wilai : 514-516 Butsaba Road Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 5661 1398] : 120 baht
  • Loet Dilok : 27/33 Saphanrotfai Road Amphoe Taphan Hin [Tel: 0 5662 1012] : 150-350 baht
  • New Hua Hin : 2/1-10 Saphanrotfat Road Amphoe Taphan Hin [Tel: 0 5662 1286] : 200-350 baht
  • Okha Nakhon : 2/91 Simala Road Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 5661 1206, 0 5661 1321, 0 5661 1654 Fax: 0 5661 1694] : 800-2,000 baht 
  • Phichit Plaza Hotel : 9 Sa Luang Road Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 5661 3502-9 Fax. 0 5661 3501] : 660-990 baht  
  • Rim Nan : 01/37 Chu Choet Nan Road Amphoe Bang Mun Nak [Tel: 0 5663 1084] : 150-350 baht
  • Rose Inn : 57-59 Chomthirawet Road Amphoe Taphan Hin [Tel: 0 5662 1044, 0 5662 1237, 0 5662 2036 Fax. 0 5661 2808] : 300-1,500 baht
  • Simala 2 : 2/ 84 Simala Road Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 5661 1322] : 100-200 baht
  • Taphan Hin : 7/14 Udomsi Road Amphoe Taphan Hin [Tel: 0 5662 1124] : 150-350 baht
  • Thep Suni : 27/1 Prawet Nua Road Amphoe Bang Mun Nak [Tel: 0 5663 1182] : 120-250 baht 

Restaurants

- Local Cuisine

  • Aew Bakery & Food : 16/7 Chansawang Rd., Tel: 0-5661-1617
  • Akue Radna : 686/2 Busaba Rd., Tel: 0-5661-1462
  • Khua Nam Sai Jai Jing : 2/274-5 Srimala Rd., Pichit Plaza, Tel: 0-5661-2547
  • Ko Kiat : 157 Busaba Rd., Tel: 0-5661-1082
  • Kwan Kao : 2/247-8 Srimala Rd., Tel: 0-5661-1159
  • Lertrot : 524 Busaba Rd., Tel: 0-5661-1297
  • Prayul Pochana : 28/9 Thitajari Rd., Tel: 0-5665-0488
  • Sabung Nga : 2/219-220 Srimala Rd., Tel: 0-5665-0902
  • Sriracha : 8 Chansawang Rd., Tel: 0-5661-1358, 0-5661-1445
  • Tung Phet : 2/58 Srimala Rd., Tel: 0-5661-1193, 0-5661-1890 

How to get there

* By car
a) From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 and Highway No. 32 to Nakhon Sawan, and then proceed to Phichit via Highway No. 1118 (passing Chum Saeng, Bang Mun Nak and Taphan Hin), a total distance of 345 kilometres.
b) From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 and Highway No. 32 to In Buri, and then use Highway No. 11 to Phichit via Tak Fa, Nong Bua, Khao Sai and Sak Lek, a total distance of 344 kilometres.
c) From Bangkok, take the same route as (2). When arriving Khao Sai, turn into Highway No. 113 to Phichit via Thap Khro and Taphan Hin. 

* By bus 
Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses depart from Bangkok's Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Phichit every day. Call 0 2936 2852-66 for more information. 

* By train
Regular trains departs from Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Railway Station to Phichit many times daily. Call 1690 for more information. 

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