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Asia > Southeast Asia > Thailand > Northern Thailand > Lower Northern Thailand > Phichit

Phichit

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Phichit (พิจิตร) is a city in Lower Northern Thailand.

Understand[edit]

In lower northern Thailand, some 345 km 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 in a major role in the history of both Sukhothai and Ayutthaya.

Known as land of the crocodiles, it has been home to this reptile which has thrived in its waters. There are today several freshwater crocodile farms. Phichit features in the Thai epic Krai Thong (ไกรทอง) composed by King Rama II which tells of Chalawan (ชาละวัน), a powerful crocodile king.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

The main ancient sight is the large prang of Wat Mahathat. There is also a moat, city walls, as well as artefacts. The City Pillar Shrine is also in the ancient city.

  • 1 Crocodile Pit. Not that big a deal, but there is small pond with crocs, which you can observe from behind a wire fence. Free admission. Free.
  • 2 Muang Kao Historical Park (6km SW of the new city). This is the ancient city of Phichit, founded 6km from the new city. Not a huge amount to see, the site has only been partially excavated and little work has been done to turn ruins into a tourist attraction, but that seems to be the plan. Free admission.
  • 3 Provincial Museum. This is a small museum housed in several rooms of the provincial hall, found by the river. With information on local history, culture and geography it's worth a look.
  • Thailand-Vietnam Friendship Centre (Ho Chi Minh Museum). During the late-1920s Ho Chi Minh lived in Phichit secretly for several years, working to end French colonialism out of Indochina. In September 2018, Thailand and Vietnam opened the Ho Chi Minh Museum to commemorate his stay in Phichit. The museum contains artifacts, memories, and images of the Vietnamese leader during this period.
  • Boat racing (งานแข่งเรือประเพณี). An 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.
  • Built on the west bank of the Nan River within the town in 1845, Wat Tha Luang (วัดท่าหลวง) today houses Luang Pho Phet (หลวงพ่อเพชร), a Chiang Saen-style Buddhist statue cast in bronze.
  • Bueng Si Fai (บึงสีไฟ) is a large freshwater lake to the south of town. It is a Fishery Department facility to breed freshwater fish. On the other side of the park is an aquarium exhibiting species of native fish and local fishing equipment.
  • Utthayan Mueang Kao Pichit (อุทยานเมืองเก่าพิจิตร) . 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. In the town centre is Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (วัดพระศรีรัตนมหาธาตุ) with its large bell-shaped chedi inside of which have been found hundreds of votive tablets.
  • Wat Nakhon Chum (วัดนครชุม) It features an old ubosot built with brick and mortar with the upper parts in wood. 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 (วัดเขารูปช้าง) On the hilltop is an old, Ayutthaya-style chedi built of bricks, but with its top part now broken. The mondop houses a bronze holy relic.
  • Tapan Hin is the commercial district of Phichit. 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.
  • Wat Bang Khlan (วัดบางคลาน). It was the residence temple of the highly revered monk, the late Luang Pho Ngoen (หลวงพ่อเงิน). The Chai Bowon Museum inside the temple collects ancient items such as votive tablets, Buddha statues, and earthenware for display.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

Fruit-growing is one of Phichit's major occupations. Among its more well-known produce are pomelo, jack-fruit, krathon, and maprang. Fruits are also use in making several kinds of products.

  • Som O (pomelo) (ส้มโอ) is probably Phichit's best known and bestselling fruit. Grown mainly in Pho Prathap Chang District, it has a mixed sweet and sour taste and has no seeds. The flesh is pinkish. There are two seasons for pomelo, October and April. The peels of young pomelo are made into jam-like sweets, highly popular as a snack.
  • Makham Kaeo (มะขามแก้ว) is another highly popular buy. Tamarind fruit are turned into a kind of candy which has a pleasant taste of sourness, saltiness, sweetness, and slight pungency.

A popular handicraft of the province is the colourful hand-woven fabric (ผ้าทอมือ).

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