Nakhon Sawan has existed since before the Sukhothai era. The name of this city appears in Sukhothai’s stone inscription and it was called Phra Bang city which was an important frontier city for the wars. It later changed to Chon Tawan city and finally to Nakhon Sawan, but normally it was called Pak Nam Pho city. There is some archaeological evidence that indicated that Nakhon Sawan had been an agricultural city since the beginning of the historical era, and later acted as a centre of transportation and a location for Chinese traders.
Nakhon Sawan is located between the Central and Northern regions. The province, therefore, serves as a ‘gateway to the Northern region,’ as well as an important transportation centre for the lower Northern region. It is also a place where four main rivers; namely Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan, converge. The four rivers come together to form Thailand’s great river, the Chao Phraya River. Thailand’s largest freshwater lake or Bueng Boraphet is also located here, a vast lake and swamp abundant with species of plants and birds, providing a habitat for a hundred
Phra Chula Maha Chedi
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Nakhon Sawan Tower
Nakhon Sawan Tower is situated on the top of Khao Khiri Wong, Wat Khiri Wong. It is a tower of 32 metres in height containing many facilities. The first floor is an area for public relations and provides tourism information on Nakhon Sawan. The second and third floors are divided into two parts: the inside area for food and beverage and outside deck for night activities which also provides a telescope for visitors who are interested in astronomy. On the 10th floor is an area for a view of Nakhon Sawan with binoculars for a clearer view. Open daily for visitors (Mon.-Fri. 10.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. / Sat.-Sun and national holidays 10.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m.). The entrance fee is 20 baht for adults and 10 baht for children.
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Wat Chom Khiri Nak Phrot or Wat Khao
Sawan Park is a large public park in the Municipality of Mueang Nakhon Sawan, and popular among visitors for recreation. The park covers an area of 314 rai, near the Chiang Mai – Phitsanulok junction on the Asian Highway. Initially, it was a gigantic swamp called ‘Nong Sombun.’ The park is surrounded by a two-layered ring road. In the centre of the park lies a 4-rai island with small gardens, grassland, fountains, an open-air stage, and waterfalls. Along the bank opposite the island, a health park is provided and the park design is beautiful and makes for a pleasant stroll.
Chaopho Thepharak-Chaomae Thapthim Shrine
Chaopho Thepharak-Chaomae Thapthim Shrine is located in the Pak Nam Pho Community on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River. The shrine is a place for worship and a spiritual centre for villagers, as well as travellers. The confluence of rivers to form the Chao Phraya River can be seen clearly from the front of the shrine. Open daily from 8.00a.m.-5.00 p.m.
To get there: Take Highway 225 (Nakhon Sawan – Chum Saeng), around 3 kilometre from town. The shrine is on the left. Alternatively, use a ferry service from a market in front of the embankment. A boat is available from 5.00 a.m.-7.00 p.m. For more information Tel: 0 5625 5807
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The Origin of the Chao Phraya River
Nakhon Sawan is known as the origin of the Chao Phraya River since the Ping River flows to merge with the Nan River at Tambon Pak Nam Pho in front of the embankment in town. At the convergence point, a difference in the two rivers can be observed; the Nan River is reddish while the Ping River is greenish. The two rivers come to form the major artery of Thailand called ‘Chao Phraya,’ flowing through provinces in the Central region to reach Bangkok and flow into the Gulf of Thailand at Samut Prakan. The river flows for around 370 kilometre. The impressive sight of the formation of the Chao Phraya River can best be seen from the front of the Chaopho Thepharak – Chaomae Thapthim Shrine.
For a boat ride to enjoy the scenery along the banks of the Chao Phraya River and to pay homage to Luangpho To at Wat Pak Nam Pho (Wat Thong Thammachat Nuea), visitors can hire a boat from the Chao Phraya Pier.
Wat Kriangkrai Klang
Wat Kriangkrai Klang is located in Tambon Kriangkrai by the Nan River. The temple has a Sukhothai-styled bronze Buddha image in the posture of subduing Mara. An old Wihan (image hall) was built between 1857 and 1887. It is the only building in the area which has not yet been renovated. Inside, a replica of the Lord Buddha’s footprint is enshrined, and mural paintings depict the life story of the Lord Buddha or Jataka.
The principal Buddha image in the image hall is Luangpho Samrit, a Buddha image in the posture of subduing Mara, which has an interesting history. As the Sukhothai kingdom was threatened by wars and going into great decline, the Buddha image was put onto a raft and floated down the river. The raft capsized when it reached the mouth of the Kriangkrai River. The image was retrieved from the water and plastered with mortar to conceal and save it from the damages of war. Then, in 1604 (at the beginning of the Ayutthaya period) a temple was built by villagers on the place where the image had been enshrined, and the image was hidden inside a wall of the Ubosot (ordination hall). Hundreds of years passed and no one knew about the image. In 1968, repairs were done on the walls of the ordination hall and a plain mortar Buddha image was found. Later, the mortar surface broke and the inner bronze image was uncovered.
There is a flock of monkeys and a crocodile farm in front of the temple. The old Wihan is normally open at a specific time. However, it will open by request from visitors.
To get there: Take Highway 225 (Nakhon Sawan-Chum Saeng) for around 10 kilometres and turn left following the signs for another 2 kilometre, a total distance of around 12 kilometres from town. Alternatively, hire a boat from the Chao Phraya Pier to cruise along the Nan River and disembark at the Wat Kriangkrai Klang Pier.
Wat Si Sawan Sangkharam or Wat Thue Nam
Wat Si Sawan Sangkharam or Wat Thue Nam is located in Tambon Nakhon Sawan Ok, 4 kilometres from town on Phahon Yothin Road (Nakhon Sawan – Bangkok) toward the Chiraprawat Camp. It is a historical temple where the ceremonies for civil servants to swear an oath of allegiance to the king took place in the past. The principal Buddha image in the old Ubosot (ordination hall) is over one hundred years old. In 1976, Their Majesties accompanied by their two royal children went to this temple to preside over the boundary-marking stone ceremony for a new ordination hall. Additionally, a pulpit believed to have been presented by King Rama V was also found here. A museum of ancient utensils lies in the Chedi in commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary (Golden Jubilee) of His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne. This temple is considered one of the most significant temples in the area and studied by many students and researchers. For more information Tel: 0 5625 5444
How to get there: Take Highway 32 (Asian Highway), and turn left toward the Chiraprawat Camp on Highway 3001 for around 2 kilometres. There are direction signs throughout the way, a total distance of around 5 kilometres from town.
Pavilion for King Rama V the Great in front of Wat Khuean Daeng
The pavilion for King Rama V in front of Wat Khuean Daeng was once the Nakhon Sawan Military Camp. When King Rama V the Great went to Nakhon Sawan on 29 August, 1906, the King stayed in this pavilion in order to judge a case to execute a sergent called Wim who had killed a private. Because the case occured during the King’s visit and this man had commited a crime according to the regulations of the newly-established military camp, it was seen as an important case. The camp was moved to the east of the Chao Phraya River in 1942 and named Jiraprawat camp, after H.R.H. Prince Jiraprawat, who was a son of King Rama V the Great and was also the first Army Commander.
Wat Woranat Banphot or Khao Kop
This is an ancient temple of Nakhon Sawan which sits on top of and along a hillside of Kop Mountain, around 185.5 metres above sea level. There are two ways to get to the mountain: by climbing a flight of 439 steps or driving up an asphalt road with twisted bends. At the top, there are ancient objects housed such as the Lord Buddha’s footprint and a Chedi built in the Sukhothai period containing the Lord Buddha’s relics. Another large Chedi from the Sukhothai period is on the hillside. The Fine Arts Department inscribed the temple’s history on the base of this Chedi. In 1966, it was promoted by the Religious Affairs Department and the Sangha Supreme Council to be a development model temple. Furthermore, a cast Buddha image called Luangpho Thong (which is respected by the people of Nakhon Sawan) is enshrined in a Wihan (image hall) near the large pagoda. On a nearby hill, there is a relay station of television channels 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 for broadcasting from Bangkok to provinces in the North. For more information Tel: 0 5633 6094 www.watkob.com It’s open daily from 8.00 a.m-5.00 p.m.
To get there: Take Highway 32 (Asian Highway) and turn right to Highway 1 toward the Mueang Nakhon Sawan Municipality Office. Turn left before the Municipality to follow a road leading up to Kop Mountain. It is around 1 kilometre from town.
Wat Nakhon Sawan or Wat Hua Mueang
Wat Nakhon Sawan or Wat Hua Mueang is located on Sawan Withi Road at the mouth of Soi 27 within the fence of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. Here, there are Buddha images of forgiveness, featuring two ancient Buddha images turning their backs against each other at the back of the Ubosot (ordination hall) on Thep Sitthichai Road. One image faces East and the other faces West. According to history, the two images were built by the Burmese as a memorial of their troops’ arrival at Nakhon Sawan. Inside the ordination hall, Luangpho Si Sawan, a Buddha image which has been worshipped by the people of Nakhon Sawan, is enshrined.
Cultural Hall of Nakhon Sawan
The Cultural Hall of Nakhon Sawan is located in the area of Nakhon Sawan Rajabhat University in Tambon Nakhon Sawan. It is a beautiful two-storey building in applied Thai architecture. It serves as a centre of archaeological, cultural, and historical information for the province. There is an exhibition hall displaying cultural evolution and archaeological sites. Art and cultural performances are presented in a theatre with a capacity of 110 seats. This cultural hall was completed in June 1992. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the opening ceremony of the hall on 17 August 1992. It is open daily from 9.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call Tel: 0 5621 9100 – 29 ext. 1135, 08 8227 2145.
Tham Bo Ya or Wat Thep Nimit Song Tham
Tham Bo Ya or Wat Thep Nimit Song Tham can be approached by stairs from the foot of the hill up to a cave. The cave is spacious and divided into three sections. A large principal Buddha image is enshrined in the first part. The second part is deeper and leads to a dead end where a well of celestial water considered as sacred and has medicinal properties by villagers. The third part has a path to exit from the cave. Electric lighting is provided throughout the cave.
To get there: Tham Bo Ya or Bo Ya Cave is located in Muban Hin Kon, Tambon Nong Krot, 30 kilometres from town. Take Highway 1 from Nakhon Sawan to Kamphaeng Phet for 15 kilometres. Turn left at the T-junction to follow Highway 1072 (Nong Ben – Lat Yao) for around 1 kilometres. Turn left to follow a direction sign to Wat Tham Bo Ya on a dirt road for 7 kilometres.
Pilaiporn Orchid Farm
Pilaiporn Orchid Farm sits on an area of 20 rai where visitors can see how orchids are bred and buy several orchid breeds; such as, Cattleya, Vanda, Chang (Rhynchostylis gigantea) and other Thai plants. There are also several seasonal fruits; such as, mangoes, bananas, santols, Chinese lemons, rose apples, guavas, papayas, plum mangoes, and marian plums. Tel. 08 1046 6960, 08 6932 6255 www.ppsorchids.com
To get there: Take the Nakhon Sawan – Krok Phra Road for 6 km., then turn right at Wat Yang Temple for 2 km. Then turn left and follow the sign for 5 km. The farm is on the right, 17 km. from the city.
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Wat Ko Hong
Wat Ko Hong, Tambon Takhian Luean, is an ancient temple of over 200 years, which sits beside the Chao Phraya River. The villagers near the temple are of the ethnic Mon descent and traces of their ancestry can still be seen in the preservation of traditions such as the traditional games of Sa-bas, Luk Chuang (toy top), and Mon Son Pha, including traditional festivities such as, traditional boat races, gilding and paying respect to the Buddha image, and Songkran Festival. An important architectural feature is the Wihan (old chapel) which features late Ayutthaya – early Rattanakosin art. In the temple, there are murals of a congregation of angels, drawn along the Ayutthaya painting style with royal painters’ skills. Luangpu In’s (Phrakhru Nirot Thammaprayut) body was placed in the sermon hall. There is an ancient long-boat house and this temple is also popular for the traditional “Yiap Cha” or hot treading massage.
To get there: Take the Nakhon Sawan – Krok Phra Road for 6 km. The temple is on the left, 7 km. from the city. There are community shops selling seasonal fruits along the way.
Ban Mon Pottery Gallery
Ban Mon Pottery Gallery is a pottery village of over 100 years old and visitors are welcome to peruse or purchase water jars, pots, decorative pottery for their garden and home, and as souvenirs. Tel. 0 5636 2407 (Ban Kaeng Subdistrict Administration Organisation).
Khao Tham Phra
Khao Tham Phra is located at Mu 8, Tambon Noen Sala. From the foot of a hill, a concrete staircase of about 100 steps leads the way up to the mouth of a cave. Stalactites and stalagmites can be seen along with Buddha images inside the cave. During the Songkran Festival, many villagers will bring flowers, joss sticks, and candles to pay homage to the images. A scenic view of Amphoe Krok Phra can be seen from the hilltop.
To get there: Take Highway 3005 (Nakhon Sawan – Amphoe Krok Phra) for 16 kilometres. Turn right to follow the Krok Phra – Thap Than route for 10 kilometre. Turn left to take a dirt road toward Tham Phra (Phra Cave) for 4 kilometres. From the town of Nakhon Sawan, it is a total distance of around 30 kilometres.
Wat Bang Mafo
Wat Bang Mafo is an ancient temple built in the late Ayutthaya period. One interesting feature is the Ubosot (ordination hall) which has doors and windows featuring guardians. Inside, there are mural paintings depicting the Lord Buddha’s incarnations or Jatakas. In a Wihan (image hall), pictures of the Lord Buddha’s life is painted and here the Buddha image in the posture of subduing Mara is seen with an unusual ecclesiastical fan. The Lord Buddha’s footprint in the image hall is very beautiful and a temple fair is held on the ninth and tenth days of the waning moon in the eleventh lunar month of every year.
To get there: Take Highway 3005 (Nakhon Sawan – Krok Phra), around 3 kilometres from the Krok Phra District Office.
Nakhon Sawan Ostrich Farm
Nakhon Sawan Ostrich Farm sits on an area of 20 rai in a natural countryside environment with private gazebo areas for picnics. Visitors can listen to the narration about raising ostriches, see the procedures and buy processed products from ostriches, which are exported goods. There are also many exotic dishes at the restaurant such as ostrich meat, deer meat, crocodile meat, goat meat, frogs and eels, cooked in several ways. Visitors can buy OTOP products at producers’ prices to take home such as pottery, basketwork, hand-woven fabric, etc. For more information, please contact Tel. 08 9839 2547.
Koei Chai Palm juice
Wat Khao Din Tai
Mueang Boran Khok Mai Den
Mueang Boran Khok Mai Den is located in Tambon Tha Nam Oi. Traces of earth mound walls suggested it was an ancient city of the Sukhothai period. An over-1,000-year old sculpture of the elephant ‘Phaya Chatthan’ was excavated here by officials of the Fine Arts Department. The word ‘Mai Den’ refers to the name of a tree. In the old days people called this area Ban Khok Mai Den ‘Mueang Bon,’ which was built in the Dvaravati period (5th-10th century). The city of Mueang Bon was in the shape of an oval looking like a conch. It was approximately 250 metres long and 600 metres wide. The city wall is similar to that of Mueang Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Ratchasima’s Mueang Sema, and Chon Buri’s Mueang Phaya Rae.
Wat Phra Prang Lueang
The Fine Arts Department estimated the age of the temple to be over 230 years old, built around A.D. 1762 or the late Ayutthaya era. This temple is also near the ancient remains of "Mueang Bon", which was a city in the Dvaravati period, in which the Fine Arts Department found antiques and city ruins. Ruins of ancient moats can still be seen at Ban Khao Mai Den, 2 kms. from the temple. There is a sacred stupa rising as an earthen mound from the grounds where villagers believe that anyone who touches or disrespects it will be met with great misfortune.
From the temple's record and government annals, it is said that King Rama V the Great or Phra Phutthachao Luang - "Late King" - had been to Wat Phra Prang Lueang three times. Each time he saw the method of Yiap Cha for curing several diseases such as paralysis, sprains, etc. This temple is well-known for curing with traditional herbal medicines.
To get there: Take Highway No. 32 (Bangkok - Nakhon Sawan). Head to Uthai Thani province, then turn left at the intersection before Wannarat Bridge, then go straight on for 500 metres. The temple is on the left.
Wat Koei Chai Nuea (Borommathat)
Wat Koeichaineua (Borommadhat) currently located at 1/1 Moo 4, Tumbon Koeichai, Amphur Chum Saeng, Nakhon Sawan Province. The temple is on the river bank of Yom River and Nan River with total area of 26 Rai, 2 Ngan and 92 Tarangwah. The temple was established in the year B.E. 2390 and was granted Wisugcamsima (Royal Religious Property Status) in the year B.E. 2400 and continued to be that in that status under the administration by monks until today.
It is believed that the temple was originally built during Sukhothai period with minimum estimation timeframe to be around B.E. 1906 - 1912, making this temple to be approximately656 years old. The estimation on the age of this temple came from the architecture of the Phra Borromdhat Chedi which was built in an inverted bell style (Lanka Style) with octagonal shape base without any pillar. Other indication includes the finding of twin parapet (twin stone pillar boundary markers) in scroll pattern made from slate stone. Originally, this temple was called Wat Phra Borommadhat based on document found by Northern Buddhism Ministry administration body in B.E. 2457 during a visit from Krom Phraya Wachirayanwaroros, Siam’s Supreme Patriarch at that time. It was written as follow;
“At almost 9 in the morning, the possession departed from the embarkation point in front of Wat Chum Saeng. Travelling downstream along with local participants in approximately 10 vessels, turning into Yom River from Nan River, at approximately 1 Sen (20 Wah) from the turn, arriving at Wat Phra Borommadhat. His holiness, The Patriarch then proceeded into the temple ground and described the twin parapet (twin stone pillar boundary markers) in scroll pattern made from slate stone, a rounded pagoda around 3 Wah in height with octagonal shape base without any pillar which indicate that the pagoda contains a holy relic. His Holiness also aware of the temple annual festivals, grant gifts to monks and local followers then retired to the possession”
In the year B.E. 2460, Wat Phra Borommadhat changed the name to Wat Koeichaineua (Borommadhat) based on governmental order until today. As evidenced in the historic recording from a visit by His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch, many important religious relics and is highly revered by the populations making the temple one of the holiest ground in the region.
As for temple renovation and repair records, there is no official documentation found, only by the accounts passed on down from successive generations. The up-keep of Phra Borromtaat Chedi is in sync with the repair of Wat Bhodiphratapchang in Phichit province during the reign of Somdet Phra Sanphet VIII or Phra Chao Sua (Dua), 29th king of Ayutthaya between the year B.E. 2246 - 2251. Based on Ayutthaya Royal Historic Document, Phra Chao Sua was born at Bahn Bhodiphratapchang in Phichit during His Majesty’s father, Phra Phetraja’s and His Majesty’s mother in following of King Narai The Great of Siam to worship the revered Phra Buddha Chinnaraht. When Phra Chao Sua ascended the throne in B.E. 2246, he ordered the building of a temple at the location he recollected his mother’s story about his birth place. It took a little over 2 years to complete the construction.
Historically, Ban Koeichai was mentioned again during King Taksin while he was putting down rebel’s Army in Phitsanulok. During one of the battle, he was injured in the leg and his army was forced to retreat.
Based on previously mentioned evidences, it is certain that this temple has existed ever since Sukhothai and Ayutthaya period all the way to the recount of this temple by the Supreme Patriarch during his visit. Moreover, Koeichai had an Amphor status during the reign of King Rama VI after Amphur Panlan was downgraded to Tambon. All of this was recorded in the Royal Periodical, Issue 20, Page 498 dated 25 October B.E. 2446 (Rattanakosin Era 122) during which, Lord Luang Phadungdansawan was the town’s sheriff. The information was indicative that Koeichai was a large and prosperous Amphur until a change was made and Amphur status was move to Chum Saeng and Koeichai status was downgraded to Tambon until today.
Based on a recount of former Lord Abbot of Wat Koeichaineua (Borommadhat), the Venerable Phrakru Nithandhammapranath stated that in B.E. 2513, The Venerable Luangpor Thongyoo (Phrakru Niraphaivithet) lead followers in renovating the Phra Borommadhat Chedi. In that rebuilding effort, discovered at the peak of the pagoda were 5 upside downed stone-set bowls and found within them was a relic in red crystal measured 1 inch long and 2 centimeters across, consistent with relics of Lord Buddha’s disciples.
The former lord abbot also recounted about a time in B.E. 2533, during the monastic boundary and the inauguration ceremony for the temple’s new chapel, there was a phenomenon occurred at the pier in front of Phra Borommadhat Chedi when water in the river was boiling for 2-3 days. This caused amazement for local population who came to see and the event was indicative of Phra Borommadhat Chedi miracle for all to witness. Since then, the worship has been continuously celebrated every year in two times. The first event consists of the gilding, the robbing of Phra Borommadhat Chedi and Palm festival. The festivity is done with the cooperation of Tumbon Koeichai Subdistrict Administrative Organization on the 14th-15th Lunar Month, the 5th Month of each year. The second event is the gilding of Phra Borommadhat Chedi and the traditional boat race with the cooperation of Tumbon Koeichai Administrative Organization on the 1st-2nd Lunar Month, the 11th Month of each year. As far as historic research to the earliest possible timeframe, the Lord Abbots are listed as follow;
- The Venerable Phra Ajarn Pan (B.E. 2400-2430)
- The Venerable Phra Samuson (B.E. 2430-2466)
- The Venerable Phrakru Niraphaivithet (Luangpor Thongyoo, B.E. 2466-2524)
- The Venerable Phrakru Nithandhammapranath (Thiang Phahatatoh , B.E. 2524-2546)
- The Venerable Phrakru Nithanpunyaphiwaht, Monk Dean, Chum Saeng Amphur (B.E. 2546 – present)
Thai Song Dam Ban Phai Sing Community
Thai Song Dam Ban Phai Sing Community Mu 2, Tambon Phai Sing. The villagers in this area said that this area was once an upland with bamboo forests and wild animals. A hunter named Sing, who was skilled at living in the forest, stayed in this forest. He was the first person to ever lived there. Then, a Thai Song Dam (tribe) couple named Phak and Choi emigrated from Ban Khok Khom, Phetchaburi province and built houses near hunter Sing to live with him and the next generation of Thai Song Dam began, so the population of the village increased accordingly. Therefore, the villagers called the village according to the topography and its discoverer; Ban Phai Ta Sing, which has been its name ever since. The village can be recognised by their language, clothing, food, habitats, customs and traditions, and rites. This is considered an interesting ethnic group. For more information, please contact the Koei Chai Sub-district Administration Organisation Tel. 0 5628 2784 or Community Development Office of Chum Saeng Tel. 0 5628 2794.
To get there: It is 35 km. from Amphoe Mueang Nakhon Sawan. Use Highway No. 225 Nakhon Sawan – Chum Saeng.
Khao No – Khao Kaeo
Khao No – Khao Kaeo is located in Tambon Ban Daen, Amphoe Banphot Phisai, on Highway 1 or Phahon Yothin Road (Nakhon Sawan – Kamphaeng Phet route), around 45 kilometre from the town of Nakhon Sawan or around 18 kilometre from the Banphot Phisai District Office. Khao No is a limestone hill and Wat Khao No is located at the foot of the hill. A staircase leads the way up to the hilltop which has a beautiful scenery. At the entrance of a cave before the staircase lies a giant reclining Buddha image. Once on a royal visit along the Ping River, King Rama V stayed overnight here. Later, the province established a statue of King Rama V as a memorial of his visit. There are troops of monkeys at the foot of the hill. They wait for food from visitors. In the evening, flights of bats living in the cave fly to feed; they look like a long black lines painted in the sky. Khao Kaeo is in a nearby area where many bats can be seen to go out in the evening.
Wat Pa Siriwattanavisut
Wat Pa Siriwattanavisut of H.R.H. Princess Galyani Vadhana, sits at 99 Mu 2 on Khao Khok Phen, Tambon Thamnop. This was the first and the only personal temple of H.R.H. Princess Galyani Vadhana, King Rama IX's sister. The appearance of the temple is unique in that it was built in the shape of a royal ship filled with the philosophy of dharma, named Ratchayan Nawa Thikhayu Mongkhon. There is also a Bodh Gaya Chedi and a Si Maharat Chedi on the grounds. These chedis are different from the usual ones. Inside the Chedis were applied to be a historical hall with 3 floors: the first floor is Nakkharat Palace used for practicing dharma. The second floor is divided into 2 parts: the first part is the Maharat room where bronze statues of 8 great kings were placed, the second part is a historical room and the third floor is a pagoda with a height of 12 metres where Buddha’s relics, Phra Phuttha Kanchanaphisek and other Buddha statues are placed. For more information, please contact Tel. 08 1834 7881 (the abbot).
To get there: It is 278 km. from Bangkok. Use Highway No. 32, pass the In Buri Intersection and keep to the left to use the elevated road to Amphoe Tak Fa. Then turn left into Highway No. 0058 and go for another 5 km. Turn left again.
Chansen Ancient City and Chansen Museum
Chansen Ancient City and Chansen Museum are located at Mu 2, Tambon Chansen. It was presumed that Chansen had been a city in the Dvaravati period. In the area of the city, a moat with an earth mound was formed in the shape of a rectangle with curved corners. The surrounding moat was around 20 metre wide. In the present, it is seen as a low area holding water, but with some traces of the old moat. The city is around 800 metres long and 700 metres wide, covering an area of over 300 rai. Since the interior ground of the moat is higher than the exterior area, the high land is called ‘Khok’ Chansen by villagers.
Many ancient objects were excavated in the city. Those made of pottery included votive tablets of the Buddha image, figurines, lamps, etc. Stone artefacts included lotus bases, wheels of law, and polished stone axes. There were also those made of metal including lead or tin earrings, and bronze spear blades. Presently, all the artefacts have been kept in the Chansen Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์จันเสน) at Wat Chansen. The museum is open every day from 9.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. For admission on weekdays, contact can be made to the temple. A guide service by voluntary youths from Wat Chansen School and Chansen Eng Suwan Anuson School to tour the ancient city and the museum is available. For more information, call Tel: 0 5633 9115-6.
The Ban Chansen Group of Females uses a loom to weave cloth in the temple compound and a sales centre has been established here for their products which are mostly cotton, Chansen Mudmi-styled tie-dyed cloth, and cloth with tie-dyed patterns.
To get there: From Bangkok, take Highway 32 and turn left to In Buri (Highway 11). Turn right to Highway 3196 and turn right at Wat Chansen’s entrance sign for another 2 kilometre. Cross a train track and turn left into the temple.
To get there: From Nakhon Sawan, take Highway 32 toward Chai Nat for around 52 kilometre. Turn left to Highway 1 toward Amphoe Takhli for around 7 kilometre. Turn right to Highway 3196 for around 28 kilometre and turn right again before a train track for another 1 kilometre.
Wat Chong Khae
Wat Chong Khae Mu 1, Tambon Chong Khae, was built around 1915 by Luangpho Phrom Thawaro, a monk master from Ayutthaya, after making a pilgrimage at Ban Chong Khae. While he was meditating in the cave, he had a sudden insight to build this temple in the name of Buddhism. Disciples brought his undecayed dead body here to worship.
To get there: From Bangkok, use Highway No. 32, turn left to the In Buri (Highway No. 11). Turn left to Highway No. 3196 along Khlong Chonlaprathan to Km. 18. Then turn right to Wat Chong Khae.
Tham Phet – Tham Thong Forest Park
Tham Phet – Tham Thong Forest Park Tambon Takhli sits 10 kms from the district office, at Khao Chon Duea which is a forest with a limestone mountain. There is a nature study route and there are around 70 caves on the mountain such as, Tham Daowadueng in the north with a 400-500 visitor capacity chamber and air passages above. Tham Chaopho Suea, Tham Wiman Loi, Tham Maha Pho Thong, and Tham Prakai Phet are in the west with a 50 metre depth, with 5 big chambers and stalagmites and stalactites shapes including those nicknamed the dolphin and Chinese Great Wall. Tham Pradap Phet is in the south with 4 chambers and light-brown to white-cream stalagmites and stalactites, brilliant like a diamond. Tham Wang Khaimuk is in the south with a dark brown, light brown to white cream stalagmites and stalactites with three chambers decorated with calcite formations, sparkling like a palace, with stairs to the cave.
To get there: By car: from Bangkok, use the Asia Highway. Go right to Amphoe Takhli and follow Phahonyothin Road and pass Amphoe Takhli to Amphoe Tak Fa. Between kilometre markers 248, there is a paved road around the curve. Turn left from Phahonyothin Road and go for another 200 m.
By train: Take the north line from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Get off at Ban Takhli Railway Station. Then take a bus or taxi to Tham Phet-Tham Thong for 12 km. For further information, please contact the Tham Phet – Tham Thong Forest Park, Amphoe Takhli, Nakhon Sawan 60140, Tel. 0 5622 1140, 0 5623 1416, Fax. 0 5622 2735, www.dnp.go.th, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wat Nong Klap
Wat Nong Klap was built in 1820 during the reign of King Rama II. Luangpho Doem’s bronze statue, which is lifesized was placed here. He was a sacred monk master and the villagers revered him almost as a god of the city of four tributaries (Si Khwae). There is also the Wat Nong Klap Museum that has collected many ancient objects; such as, Buddha statues from several eras, blue-and-white Chinaware, ancient Khoi books (Thai scriptures made of pulp from trees of the family Uricaceae) and ancient household utensils.
Khao Phra – Khao Sung
Valuable minerals such as pink granites, black stones, and emerald stones can be found here. At the top of Khao Phra, there are huge pink stones superimposed and laid. This point offers excellent views of Nong Bua district. Before arriving at the top, there is Soi Ok Khao or Soi Ok Hin Nip gap with a width of 30 cms, a tight squeeze to navigate. This is the challenging point to ascend Khao Phra – Khao Sung, and includes many kinds of trees for study; such as, Lan or Talipot palm forest. Moreover, there are the projects under the Royal Initiative; such as, Luangpho Krai Reservoir, Khlong Mai Daeng Reservior, and Khlong Wang Hiang Reservoir.
To get there: From Nakhon Sawan, take Highway No. 225 (Chum Saeng – Nong Bua) for 72 km. Pass Nong Bua Intersection for 100 m., turn right and go on for 5 km.
Wat Tham Phon Sawan
Wat Tham Phon Sawan is located in Tambon Lam Phayon on an asphalt road 105 kilometres from the town of Nakhon Sawan, or at Km 224 on Highway 1 (Tak Fa-Khok Samrong) on the left side, around 10 kilometres from the Tak Fa District Office. Buddhist devote themselves by donating money to help the management of the ecology of the area.
Namtok Wang Nam Wing
This small waterfall is around 100 kms from the city and can be reached by taking the Takfa-Koksamrong Road. Two kilometres before the Wat Tham Pornsawan, take a left turn and reach the three tiered waterfall. This Namtok Wang Nam Wing is located in Tambon Lam Phayon, around 100 kilometre from the town of Nakhon Sawan. Take the Tak Fa – Khok Samrong route and, around 2 kilometre before Wat Tham Phon Sawan, turn left for around 700 metre. This waterfall has originated from underground water seepage which comes out on the earth’s surface and flows down beautifully in three layers. It has water all year round amidst shady and pleasantly cool surroundings. For more information, contact the Tak Fa District Office Tel: 0 5624 1820.
Namtok Wang Nam Wing is located in Tambon Lam Phayon, around 100 kilometre from the town of Nakhon Sawan. Take the Tak Fa – Khok Samrong route and, around 2 kilometre before Wat Tham Phon Sawan, turn left for around 700 metre. This waterfall has originated from underground water seepage which comes out on the earth’s surface and flows down beautifully in three layers. It has water all year round amidst shady and pleasantly cool surroundings. For more information, contact the Tak Fa District Office Tel: 0 5624 1820.
Ban Tha Makrut Group of Cloth Weaving
Ban Tha Makrut is located in King Amphoe Mae Poen. Beautiful cotton with tie-dyed patterns in natural colours were made by a group of housewives. There are also cloth products, such as handkerchiefs, bags, loincloths, ready-to-wear clothes, etc. To get there: It is around 8 kilometres from King Amphoe Mae Poen. Take the Lat Yao – Mae Poen route and follow a right turn toward Wat Mae Kasi. From the town of Nakhon Sawan, it is about 83 kilometres. Take a blue mini-bus plying between Lat Yao and Thanon Sut.
Mueang Kao Wesali
Lord Buddha’s Footprint
Lord Buddha’s Footprint is displayed on a piece of greenish carved slate. Presumably, the footprint was built in the reign of King Lithai in the Sukhothai period. According to records, the footprint was retrieved from the Ayutthaya Kingdom during the reign of King Narai the Great, with some people having been assigned to re-build the city of Wesali. The footprint was enshrined on a hilltop. A Wihan (image hall) was later constructed to cover the hilltop. This place has become the location of Wat Phra Phutthabat in Tambon Samrong Chai.
Phrakhru Nimutphatthanathon, the present abbot, discovered another footprint in the temple area. It was imprinted on a piece of stone and covered by a Mondop (square building). The Lord Buddha’s relics were contained in the Mondop’s top. This Mondop also won an award for outstanding architecture from the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) in 1994. An area around the path where visitors walk to pay homage to the Lord Buddha’s relics were presumed to have been the base of an old Chedi.
To get there: Take the same way to Mueang Kao (the Ban Nong Phai – Ban Khok Charoen route). Wat Phra Putthabat is around 5 kilometre after a junction to Mueang Kao.
Wat Pho Prasat Archaeological Site
Wat Pho Prasat Archaeological Site was excavated by the Fine Arts Department between 1976-1993. Metal and pottery utensils from an ancient community dating back to the late pre-historical period were found here. The community had developed into one with a moat and mound in the Dvaravati period. Metal utensils excavated found here date over 2,000 years old and include ancient and prehistoric spear heads. Pottery and shards found include pots, lamps, spindle whorls, etc., as well as ornaments, such as shell bracelets, mainly from the Dvaravati period around the 7th –11th century.
To get there: From Amphoe Phaisali, take Highway 3330 and turn right at the Ban Pho Prasat security box between Kilometre 9-8.
Pa Phaisali is a forest on the Soi Dao range in the national forest reserves of Pa Khao Khok, Pa Khao Lom Nang, and Pa Khao Soi Dao, covering an area of around 38,000 rai. The landscape features high and steep mountains with the highest being 558 metres. The forest includes areas in three provinces; namely, Nakhon Sawan, Phetchabun, and Lop Buri. There are many beautiful natural attractions, such as Namtok Sap Sombun in the 100-year-old arboretum, Namtok Sap Yai, the mountaintop of Soi Dao in the district of Ban Khao Khiao, etc. The forested area comprises mixed deciduous forest, deciduous dipterocarp forest, dry evergreen forest, and savanna. Thus, there is a diversity of ecosystems. It has also become wildlife habitats, as well as a beautiful venue for a nature study. Viewpoints on the mountaintop offer a panoramic view. There is a camping site on the mountaintop of Soi Dao to admire the impressive sunrise and sunset. During the cool season, the cold weather is suited for visitors who loves the cold.
There are nature study trails from Namtok Sap Sombun to Namtok Sap Yai, as part of ecotourism for visitors to learn and experience nature, as well as admire its beauty. The trails cover a range of distance from 7-15 kilometre, and take 1-3 days for trekking subject to visitors’ demand. The appropriate period for visiting is during July-December. For more information, contact the 100-year-old arboretum, Mu 6, Tambon Wang Khoi, Amphoe Phaisali, Nakhon Sawan 60220
Luangpho Dam Buddhist Monument
Luangpho Dam Buddhist Monument Luangpho Dam is a Buddha image enshrined in Wat Sa Thale, Tambon Khok Duea. The Fine Arts Department claimed that the image was built in the Sukhothai period and is over 700 years old. Initially, three Buddha images were found in the forest by villagers. In the present, only one of them is left and it is called Luangpho Dam Wat Sa Thale.
To get there: From Amphoe Nong Bua, take Highway 11 and turn left to Highway 3004. Drive on for around 8 kilometre and turn left at the entrance to Wat Khok Duea for around 2 kilometre.
Note: For more information on tourism attractions in Amphoe Phaisali, contact the Tourist Information Centre, Administration Section, Amphoe Phaisali, Tel: 0 5625 9272, 0 5635 2133
Mae Wong National Park
This national park sits in both Kamphaeng Phet and Nakhon Sawan provinces. It is one of the most abundant forested areas in the region between Tak and Kanchanaburi. The park has an area of around 558,750 rai. To the north, it borders the Khlong Lan National Park in Kamphaeng Phet. To the south, it connects to the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Uthai Thani, and to the west, it borders the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary in Tak. It was declared a national park on 14 September 1987.
Most of the forests in the park are mixed deciduous forest, evergreen forest, and deciduous dipterocarp forest. There are many important and valuable species of plants, such as teak, Pradu, Makha Mong, Yang Daeng, Teng, Rang, etc. Rare wildlife can also be seen, such as wild elephants, gaurs, tigers, deer, barking deer, bears, marbled cats, and over 305 species of birds from 53 families. Some bird species can only be found in a few places in Thailand, such as the crested king fisher, Rufous-necked hornbill, white-rumped shama, green-eared barbet, long-tailed broadbill, etc. The best time for a visit is induring the cool season between November to February.
There are many attractions in the park. Most of them are located in the area of Kamphaeng Phet province near the headquarters, such as Chong Yen where the weather is very cool throughout the year. This is also an important venue for bird-watching. Rare birds found here are Rufous-necked hornbill, Burmese yuhina, long-tailed broadbill, greater yellownape, etc. Other attractions include Kaeng Pha Nang Khoi, Namtok Nang Nuan, Kaeng Lan Nok Yung, Bo Nam Un, viewpoints, etc. Attractions located in the area of Nakhon Sawan province are as follows:-
Namtok Mae Rewa or Namtok Mae Liwa is around 100 metre high. This five-tiered waterfall has water flowing almost year round and is accessible on foot. A round trip takes about 3-4 days.
Mae Wong Whitewater Rafting offers levels 2 – 3 challenges. It is available at the Mo Wo 4 (Mae Rewa) Ranger Station of the Mae Wong National Park. The raft will go along very beautiful curves of the Mae Wong River to end up at the Lan Nok Yung rapids in the area of the ranger station. The raft takes one and a half hours to cover a distance of around 7 kilometres. The ranger station has accommodation and a camping site on offer for visitors. For more information, contact the Mo Wo 4 (Mae Rewa) Ranger Station of the Mae Wong National Park Tel: 08 1283 5474
Note: To get to each of the waterfalls, contact must be made in advance to guiding officials of the park.
Accommodation and Facilities are available at the park headquarters. For more information, contact the Mae Wong National Park on the Khlong Lan-Umphang Road, Kilometre 65, Amphoe Khlong Lan, Kamphaeng Phet, Tel: 0 5671 9010-1, or the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Flora, Tel: 0 2562 0760, or www.dnp.go.th.
Thung Hin Thoen
Thung Hin Thoen is located at Wat Thung Hin Thoen, Mu 5, Tambon Pang Sawan. It features groups of giant overlapping boulders scattered around the area. Some rocks form amazing positions by means of sitting ontop another boulder. This is a natural stone park of unusual beauty.
To get there: From Nakhon Sawan, take Highway 3504. An entrance to the temple is on the left between Km 24-25.