Phitsanulok: Great History, Scenery

“This province is home to a revered Buddha image and four of the nation’s most beautiful national parks”

Known to the locals as simply Phi-lok, Phitsanulok is an ideal base for those wishing to explore the North and the western part of Isaan. And that’s what most folk do – just pass through and completely forget to even think of having a look around this amazing province.
Situated on the banks of the Nan River, the provincial town is home to arguably the country’s second most revered Buddha image, Phra Buddha Chinnarat (second only to the Emerald Buddha).
The temple housing this Buddha image is located in the middle of town and welcomes literally thousands of devotees a day from all over Thailand.

It was here that King Naresuan the Great was born and Pumpuang Duangjan, the beloved Queen of Thai Country Music, collapsed and died at the tender age of 31 in 1992.
Getting out of town, Phitsanulok has four national parks with unique natural endowments such as pristine virgin forest, waterfalls and a diversity of animals and plants, including endangered animals.

Considered one of the most fabulous sites in Thailand, Phu Hin Rong National Park, 125 kilometres from the provincial town and 1,000 metres above sea level, is famed for not only one of the most spectacular views in Thailand but also its extremely odd-looking stone formations.
The province is also home to a few unspoilt waterfalls, which most Thai folk have no idea about.

The location of Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park, because of its high terrain, remote mountain location and close proximity to Laos, was chosen as the headquarters of the now-defunct CPT (Communist Party of Thailand) from 1967-1982. For those interested in a bit of Commie history, you can still see remains of living conditions, air-raid shelters and buildings. There is also a CPT museum.

So, the next time you are heading to the North, don’t forget the delights of Phitsanulok. You certainly will not be disappointed!

More tourist information about Phitsanulok at

3 responses to “Phitsanulok: Great History, Scenery

  1. I stopped there two and a half years ago on the way to Sukhothai, and then went back there last year for a couple of nights. Didn’t get to the national parks, but that will come in the future. Sgt Major Thawee’s folk museum was a quaint little record of the way Thai people live, and we had some mild amusement watching French tourists at the flying vegetable restaurant on the bank of the Nan. Nice little province actually, almost no tourist hustling.

  2. Thanks Steve

    I’m sold. I’ve heard lots of good things about Phitsanulok but, like most people, have only passed through it so far.

    Lovely photo of those rock formations.

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