Amphoe Mueang Kamphaeng Phet
Kamphang Phet National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติกำแพงเพชร), located on Pindamri Road in Mueang district, houses ancient objects and other antique arts articles from various eras found in the provincial town. These include sculptured and earthen designs, heads of Buddha statues, traditional celadon products, sculptures of demons and celestial and human beings used to decorate Chedi bases or Vihans. It is open Wednesday-Sunday from 9.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. More information at Tel: 0 5571 1570.
Kamphang Phet Province Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานจังหวัดกำแพงเพชร เฉลิมพร���เกียรติ) nearby is made up of groups of Central Region applied architectural style structures. There are exhibitions on the local history with replicas of the city, lifestyle and urban and hill tribal customs and traditions. It also displays the development of Kamphaeng Phet votive tablets and other resources. The museum is open daily. For more information, call 0 5572 2341.
Major features in the Kamphang Phet Historical Park (อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์กำแพงเพชร) include archaeological remains of ancient sites such as Mueang Chakangrao to the east of the Ping River, Mueang Nakhon Chum to the west and Mueang Trai Trueng some 18 kilometres from the town to the southwest. Services from the Tourist Centre are available, the centre itself being located some 5 kilometres from town on the Kamphaeng Phet-Phran Kratai route.
Chakangrao, the ancient Kamphaeng Phet town, had the same town planning concept as the old Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai, with separate zones for religious sites both within and outside of town limits. Structures are usually large and made of laterite. Religious sites on the west bank of the Ping River at Nakhon Chum are built of bricks and of smaller size. The Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park was declared as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on 12 December, 1991. Those who are interested can visit the park everyday from 8.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m. Entrance fee is 40 baht. Those who wish to drive into the park will have to pay an entrance fee of 50 baht per car. For more information, please contact Tel: 0 5571 1921.
Ancient Sites within City Walls
- City Walls and Old Fortifications (ป้อมและกำแพงเมืองเก่า) mark the boundary of the rectangular town area, measuring 300-700 metre wide and 2,200 metre long.
- Wat Phra Kaeo (วัดพระแก้ว) is a large royal temple in town centre near a site believed to have been a palace. The temple itself was used on important city events and had no monks in residence. Major features include the principal Chedi with lion-adorned base and a round Chedi with elephant-adorned base. There are also other Chedis of different bases and remains of several chapels. Its boundary is marked off by laterite walls.
- Second in size to Wat Phra Kaeo is Wat Phra That (วัดพร��ธาตุ) Here the principal Chedi is built of mixture of laterite and bricks with a 15-metre wide square base. The style is of Kamphaeng Phet architecture.
- Sa Mon (สระมน) is the site of the palace located to the north of Wat Phra Kaeo with a square earthen wall almost touching the northern city wall. Surrounded the walls on three sides are moats with a pond in the middle. There are no standing structures remaining today.
- Wat Phra Non (วัดพระนอน) is fenced in by laterite walls on four sides. At the front of the temple are a square-shaped pond, bathrooms and an ancient floating pavilion which is supported by a large laterite column. The entire column was cut out in one single piece from its source and measures 1.1 meters on each side and 6.4 meters in height, the largest such stone in the country. A lion sculpture and Sema stones (boundary stones) can still be discerned. The large Vihan which once housed the Reclining Buddha has crumbled entirely.
- Wat Phra Si Iriyabot (วัดพระสี่อิริยาบถ) is located to the north of Wat Phra Non and have similar pond and bathroom facilities as its neighbour. Walls on the four sides are of laterite materials with an entrance also made of laterite. A Mondop structure houses Buddha statues in four postures-walking, sitting, standing and reclining in the Sukhothai artistic style. Today only the statue in the standing posture still remains.
- Wat Phra Sing (วัดพระสิงห์) is believed to have been constructed during both the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods. With laterite walls, it has a square-shaped principal Chedi with arches on four sides. In front of the Ubosot are ornamental lion and Naga figurines.
- Wat Chang Rop (วัดช้างรอบ) is a large temple situated on a high hill. Its main chedi of Ceylonese style is in the middle of the yard but its top part is broken down. The base is adorned with 68 half-elephants between which are Bhoti-shaped designs. There are also traces of demon and female dancers’ figures remaining.
Apart from these temples, there are also several ancient sites on the east bank of the Ping River, including Wat Arwat Yai, Wat Kalothai and Phra Ruang Road.
- Mueang Nakhon Chum (เมืองนครชุม) is an ancient town on the west bank of the Ping River. Its 2-3 metre-high earthen walls run along the waterway. It is in this area that the famous religious tablets of Kamphaeng Phet have been discovered. Within the city walls are a couple of ancient sites such as the Kamphaeng Pom Thung Sethi (กำแพงป้อมทุ่งเศรษฐี) located on Phahonyothin Road just before entering the town. It is part of the laterite fortifications 83 metres long and 6 metres tall.
- Wat Phra Borom That (วัดพระบ��มธาตุ) is a temple situated in the centre of Mueang Nakhon Chum featuring a Burmese-style Chedi. To the south is an Ubosot housing several Sukhothai- and Ayutthaya-style bronze Buddha statues. The Chedi itself is believed to originally have been a Sukhothai-type structure, its style having been altered during a restoration work financed by a wealthy Burmese about a century ago.
Another ancient town is Mueang Trai Trueng. It was built by King Chaisiri of Chiang Rai who fled invading enemy in 1542 B.E. (circa 999). Today most of the structures are in disrepair with only ruins of Chedis and ramparts. The town is about 18 kilometres from Kamphaeng Phet on the Kamphaeng Phet-Khlong Lan road.
- Talat Kluai Khai (ตลาดกล้วยไข่) is on the Kamphaeng Phet-Nakhon Sawan highway at Km.343. Scores of roadside stalls display and sell both raw and ripe Kluai Khai (a type of bananas).
- Phra Ruang Hot Spring ( Bueng Sap) (บ่อน้ำพุร้อนพระร่วง (บึงสาบ) is located at Mu 3, Tambon Lan Dok Mai, 13 kilometres from Kamphaeng Phet, 12 kilometres on the left side off Highway No. 101, Kamphaeng Phet - Phran Kratai route. The 5 spots of hot spring naturally took place from under the ground. The temperature is approximately 50-65 degrees Celsius. From a test of the Ministry of Public Health, there is neither contamination nor diseases, which are too harmful in accordance with the standard. The service of bathing with mineral water is also provided within the area of the hot spring.
Amphoe Khlong Lan
Khlong Lan National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติคลองลาน) covers an area of some 300 square kilometres over mountain ranges to the west of the province. The highest peak is about 1,400 metres. Of mainly virgin jungles, it is the source of several streams which flow into the Ping River.
The park headquarters is near the Khlong Lan waterfall about 60 kilometres from town on the route to Khlong Lan district (highway no.1117). Attractions within the park include the 95-metre high Khlong Lan Fall with scenic surroundings, and the Khlong Nam Lai Fall (น้ำตกคลองน้ำไหล), a 9-level cascade and located off Highway no.1117 at Km. 35 and 10 kilometres further on). The Kaeng Ko Roi (แก่งเกาะร้อย) (off Highway No.1117 at Pong Nam Ron intersection) is a group of rock formations jutting out of the stream looking somewhat like all islands. Visitors can camp overnight within the park.
- Mae Wong National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติแม่วงก์) forms the border between Kamphaeng Phet and Nakhon Sawan and covers an area of about 894 square kilometres. Most of the land is rich in various types of plants. Along the Khlong Lan -Umphang route passing through the park's area, which leads up to the mountains, are several viewing points between km 81 to 115. At km 102 is a beautiful road-side waterfall. Other falls within the park include the Mae Krasa (น้ำตกแม่กระสา), Mae Liwa (น้ำตกแม่ลีวา) and others. To visit these attractions tourists need to go on foot and overnight in the jungle.
Amphoe Kosamphi Nakhon
- Khlong Wang Chao National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติคลองวังเจ้า) is located in King Amphoe Kosamphi Nakhon, 43 kilometres from Kamphaeng Phet. This is an abundant forest with a density of naturally growing teak and beautiful waterfalls. Nearby the park, there is a hill tribe village, whose lifestyle is still traditional and interesting. Within the park itself, there are many attractions such as Namtok Khlong Wang Chao, Namtok Khlong Samo Kluai, and “Suan Phai”, a 2 kilometre- trekking route to observe the nature with 20 varieties of bamboo to study. Accommodation and tents, as well as, a Thai restaurant are provided in the Khlong Wang Chao National Park. For further information, please contact the Khlong Wang Chao National Park P.O. Box 69 Kamphaeng Phet 62000 Tel: 0 5571 9318-9, 0 5571 9244 or www.dnp.go.th.
Festivals & Events
The Nop Phra Len Phleng Fair (งานนบพระเล่นเพลง) is held during the celebrations of Makha Bucha (around February). A tradition since the times of Sukhothai, it is described in the inscription stone found at Nakhon Chum of how processions were organised to pay homage to the town's major religious sites. The fair today consists of colorfully decorated parades of participants dressed in ancient attires crossing the Ping to pay homage to the Holy Relic on the Nakhon Chum side of the river.
Kluai Khai Fair (งานสารทไทยกล้วยไข่เมืองกำแพง) is held in September each year to promote the local banana for which the province is famous. There are banana contests and competitions on the making of Krayasat (a local sweet), as well as many entertainment performances.
Kluai Khai (mini banana) is a famous produce of this province. Raw and ripe bananas as well as other local produces such as sticky paste (made of rice, bean, sesame and sugar) called Krayasat are available around the 343 km marker on the Kamphang Phet-Nakhon Sawan Highway.
- Chakangrao (ชากังราว) 123/1 Thasa Road (Tel: 0 5571 1325-6, 0 5571 1315 Fax: 0 55711326 Bangkok Tel: 0 2279 5322), 120 rooms: 520-2,000 baht
- Ko Chokchai (กอโชคชัย) 7/31 Soi Ratchadarmnoen Road (Tel: 0 5571 1531, 0 5571 1247), 57 rooms: 210-310 baht
- Navarat (นวรัตน์) 2 Soi Prapanthesa Road (Tel: 0 5571 1106, 0 5571 1211 Fax: 0 5571 1961), 60 rooms: 600-1,800 baht
- Phet Hotel (เพชรโฮเต็ล) 90 Wichit Road (Tel: 0 5571 2810-5 Fax: 0 5571 2927), 211 rooms: 500-2,500 baht
- Ratchadamnoen (ราชดำเนิน) 114 Ratchadamnoen Road (Tel: 0 5571 1029), 50 rooms: 160-310 baht
--(WT-en) globe-trotter 12:08, 5 February 2010 (EST)