Travel Thailand Phitsanulok Province.

The history of Phitsanulok could be traced back to time when the oncient Khmer influenced the reglon. As one of Thailand’s Important historic provinces, The old Phitsanulok town, Know as Muang Song Khwai, was located between the Nan River and the Khwai Noi River, about 5 kms south of the present town. Because of the change of its flowing route, the present Khwai Noi Tiver is approximately 10 kms away from the town. Currently, at the location of Muang Song Khwai is situated WatChutlamani, a well-established monastery   of the province.By the year of 1900 B.E., in the Sukhothai Period, in accordance with the   order of Somdej Phra Maha Dhammaraja Lithai, the City of Song Khwai was relocated to the present town and ruled by his son, Phra Sai Lue Thai. Later in the Ayuahya Period, Muang Song Khwai was renamed as Muang Phitsanulok. Because of its premium location (situated between Ayudhya and northern cities), Muang Phitsanulok became more and  more important. In the reign of Somdej Phra Borom Trai Lokkanat, the city had become the capita for 25
        years (from 2005-2030 B.E.). /the King was then ordained in Wat Chulamani. More important, King Naresuan  the Great was born here. In the past, the town used to be the capital of the northern cities lacated on the Yom and Nan Rivers basin plain.During the early Rattankosin Period, Phitsanulok has still played a vital role as one of the leading towns    under the supervision of Bangkok. In 2437 B.E., the status of Muang Phitsanulok by King Tama V. After the giving up the Monthon administration, the town has since then become a province. Blessed with natural beauties along the Phitsanulok-Lom Sak Highway and historix places, Phitsanulok,thus, enjoys its reputation as one of the country’s most renowned tourism provinces.

  Wat Yai (Phitsanulok)
           WAT PHRA SI MAHATHAT OR WAT YAI.  The temple was built in the same year as the city in 1900 B.E. Phra Buddha Chinnarat or Luang Por Yai (as it know locally),is enshrined in this temple.This Buddha is he most beautiful and respected Buddha image in Thailand. The temple is located on the eastern bank of Nan River. Phra Buddha Chinnarat depicts the sealed Buddha subduing Mara.Itis cast from bronze.Two other highly respected Buddha's are Phra Buddha Chinnasri and Phra Srisartsada.                                                                         Credit by: Ronyoot Chitradon,Ph.d.
Tours of Thai Temples from Past to Present

  Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park (Phitsanulok)
       The plateau of Lom Sak District is locked between the two Phetchabun  Mountain Ranges. It is the remnant of change of the Earth's crust that occurred 50 million years ago. The rocks aged around 130 million years then broke into huge cleavages named Phu Hin Rong Kla,.
        Once this particular area used to horridly suffer from political war, It was the army base and the battlefield of the Communist terrorists. Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park has an area of approximately 307 square kilometres, crossing the borderline of two provinces, i.e., Loei and Phitsanulok. Having been proclaimed the 48th National Park of Thailand.
        Each peak of the curve mountain range is normally covered by green Ya Kha (.Imperata cylindrica) in rainy season. In cold season the grasslands will be very dry and highly combustible, causing an annual fire in summer. The Ya Kha with its dazzling white flowers would fully cover the top of mountain after the first rain. Here is one of nature cycles having been caused by deforestation for no less than 20 years. All these have, therefore, entirely turned the mountain peaks to be the fields of dry grass.
        Phu Hin Rong Kla is one of the mountains of the Phetchabun Range sharing the border with three provinces, i.e., Phetchabun, Phitsanulok, and Loei, The Phetchabun Range is divided into two parts, with the plateau of Lomsak District in between. The first Phetchabun Range is located to the east while the second one is located to the west, The second Phetchabun Range appears  numerous high mountain peaks with an average height of 1,600 metres above sea level, e.g,, Phu Miang, Phu Lom Lo, Phu Phaeng Ma, Phu Khi Thao, and Phu Hin Rong Kla. The top of Phu Hin Rong Kla rises 1,614 metres above sea level.
        The most distinction characteristic of Phu Hin Rong Kla is a cleavage rock caused by a change on the Earth's crust.
        There was a change in rock strata, pushing the land upward and consequently creating the mountains between two valleys. Due to an incred­ible amount of pressure these rocky hardpans were cracked open, geologically termed as Joint. Later the two pieces of lands were pushed too far apart, called Fault, to be the two valleys.
        The climate here is very similar to those at Phu Kradueng and Phu Luang because of the comparable height. The weather is cool all year round, specially in cold season. There is rather a lot of rains in rainy season. In the morning there will often be a sea mist covering all over the mountains and valleys.
         Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park consists of 3 kinds of forest, that is, dry dipterocarp forest, hill evergreen forest, and hill pine forest. The dry dipterocarp forest can be found in the lowland around foothill. The common plants are of the Shorea and Dipterocarpus genera such as Teng or Thitya (Shorea obtusa), Phayom (Shorea roxburghii), Hiang (Dipterocarpus obtusifolius), and Phluang (Dipterocarpus tuberculatus). The hill evergreen forest is normally grown along the high mountain which is humid and full of rainfall. It exhibits dense forest with some general tree types of the Fagaceae family, e.g., Ko Dueai (Castanopsis acuminatissima), Ko Hua Mu  (Lithocarpus sootepensis), and Op Choei or cinnamon (Cinnamomum sp.). The lowest layer includes Wai (Calamus sp.) and various kinds of palm tree. The hill pine forest normally appears on the plain of the mountaintop. It usually mixes with mostly two-needled pine (Pinus merkusii) and three-needled pine (Pinus kesiya) trees.
         Moreover, there are numerous wild orchids and wild flowers along the hardpan, for example, Ma Wing (Doritis pulcherrima), Ueang Ta Hoen (Dendrobium formossum), Ueang Kham Hin (Eria pubescens), Ueang Sai Sam Si (Dendrobium crystallinum), Chong Nang Khli (Lycopodium spp.), and Ngao Namthip (Agapetes saxicola) including mosses, ferns, and lichens. These wild flowers nicely bloom around the end of rainy season towards cold season.
         Lots of animals were hunted out because this area was once a battlefield. At present, no big animals can be found except some species of birds .
Making a trip
By car: There are three routes to travel from Bangkok:
Bangkok -Phetchabun -Lomsak -Nakhon Thai Route. Take Highway 1 and then get onto Highway 21 to Phetchabun, Now take Highway 12 and make a left turn to Highway 2013 at Ban Yang Junction,Take Highway 2331 to the Headquarters.
Bangkok -Phetchabun -Lomsak Route. Take the same route as the first one until arriving at Phetchabun. Then take Highway 2011 and 2331, respec­tively, to the Headquarters.
 Bangkok -Phitsanulok -Nakhon Thai Route. Take Highway 32 to Nakhon Sawan, Now take Highway 117 to Phitsanulok and Highway 12, passing Namtok Poi. Take Highway 2013 and 2331, respectively, to the Headcuarters.
By bus:The buses depart from the Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) every hour. For more information, contact T el: 0-2936-197 2, 0-2936-0667 .
By plane:The Thai Airways International has daily flight from Bangkok -Phitsanulok. For more information contact Tel: 0-2628-2000, 0-2280-0060.
         For more information, contact the National Park Division, Royal Forest Department, Chatuchak District, Bangkok 10900, Tel. 0-2579-7223, 0-2579-5734, 0-2561-­4292-3 ext. 724, 725. Or contact Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park, Tel. 0-5523-3527, 0-1226-0726.

  Thung Salaeng Luang National Park (Phitsanulok)
       Long time ago there was a great expanse of land tucked away around the areas of ponds and mountains between the boundary of Phitsanulok and Phetchabun Provinces. It is believed that this grassland is located in the area of the Khun Huai Ta Pha Khao near Khek Yai River. In the field, there are huge trees known as Salaeng Chai (Strychons nux-vomica). The fruit of these trees are poisonous. This area is then called Thung Salaeng Luang.
        Thung Salaeng Luang is widely known among travellers as attractive as Phu Kradueng and Nam Nao National Park due to its rich abundance of national resoufces. It was surueyed for the national park's preparation in1959. However, this area was closed to the public from 1968-1982 since it became the army base of the Communist Party of Thailand, Finally, it was announced to be the national park in 1983 by the Royal Forest Department.
        This forest covers the area of 789,000 rai (or 1,262.4 square kilometres) in several districts of Phitsanulok and Phetchabun. From the map, Thung Salaeng Luang looks like a beehive overhanging at the northern route of Phitsanulok -Lomsak Highway, There are a number of large and small mountains. Especially to the west, there are peaks ranging from 1,000-1,500 metres above sea level.
       Thung Salaeng Luang has a lot of streams zigzagging through the pine and evergreen forests, which act as the origin of canals and waterfalls. Of ali these streams, Khlong Wang Thong is the biggest. It contains evergreen and pine forests, grasslands, and ponds that are the feeding places for ducks.
        Another geographical characteristic of this area is savanna. The term "savannah" or "savanna" is referred to tropical grassland, sprinkled with perennial trees. The amount of rain, which is markedly different between rainy season and summer, and soil feature play the important roles in determining the savanna characteristics.
        Overall, Thung Salaeng Luang National Park comprises about 11 big and small savannas spreading along the left bank of Huai Khek Yai at the east of the National Park. Those savannas are Thung Salaeng Luang, Thung Nang Phaya, Thung Yao, Thung Nong Ri, Thung Sala Moei, Thung Noen Ruea, Thung Nong Ruea, Thung Lan Nok Chio, Thung Lom Phat Ta, Thung Nong Bon, and Thung Talup Bon. Thung Salaeng Luang is accounted as the largest grassland of around 10 square kilometres. It is located in the south of the National Park where Nong Mae Na Ranger Station provides services and accommodations for tourists.
         The characteristics of the forest in Thung Salaeng Luang National Park can be classified as: hill evergreen forest, dry evergreen forest, hill pine forest, mixed deciduous forest, and dry dipterocarp forest. The main plant in dry dipterocarp forest is of the Dipterocarpus genus, i.e., Teng, Rang, Hiang, and Phluang, including the outstanding one, Yang Krat, In dry season, to reduce an evaportzatroni all these trees will shed their leaves. Before such shedding, the leaves will turn yellow, orange, and red, thus making the entire forest look exquisitely beautiful. By the end of rainy season, the grass will all together grow as high as eye-level. Dense of Ngon Nak (Murdannia gigantea) wtth their purple blossoms will competitively stretch their stems as high. This vast grass field is, without doubt, created by nature.
         In addition to the amazing change in colours of the grass fields and forests, in the southern areas of the National Park, there is a two-needled pine forest, known as Thung Nang Phaya, being recognized as one of the largest and the most beautiful pine forests. Some pine trees are the tallest and the biggest in Thailand. A very rare wild orchid will be found lovingly nestling on the pine stems, i.e., Ueang Chani (Dendrobium senile). Its stalk and leaves are thoroughly covered with white hair. Its bright yellow flower can be seen from distance.
         From a survey of wild animals in this National Park, it is found that there are 200 kinds of wild animals and 150 species of birds. Among them are rare birds, e.g., great slaty woodpecker and red-billed ground-cuckoo. There are also 40 kinds of mammals, 200 kinds of amphibians, and 200 kinds of reptiles. In addition to those are beautiful rare butterflies, Not to mention insects, invertebrates, and aquatic animals among which, probably, many of them may not yet found.
        Thung Salaeng Luang National Park offers a variety of enjoyable nature tours for tourists. For instance, they can do trekking, during the months of October -Decembet, to Thung Non Son. Along the trekking routes, they will enjoy the spectacular scenery of various kinds of forests and exquisite plants. Strangely attractive plants are such as Yat Nam Khang (Drosera burmanica), Dusita (Utricularia delphinioides), Mokhao Mokaeng Ling (Nepenthes mirabilis), and Kradum Ngoen (Eriocaulon henryanum), There are three biking tracks through savanna and pine forest, that is, Track No. 1 Nong Mae Na -Thung Nang Phaya (14 kilometres); Track No. 2 Nong Mae Na –Kaeng Wang Nam Yen (7 kilometres); and Track No. 3 Office of the National Park -Nong Mae Na (42 kilometres). Each track wiil grve bikers an unforgettable impression.
Making a trip
By car: There are two routes to travel from Bangkok:
1. Bangkok, Phetchabun -Lomsak Route. Take Highway 1 then get onto Highway 2I to Phetchabun. Now take Highway 12 to Kilometre 80 where the National Park's Office is located.
2. Bangkok -Phitsanulok Route. Take the Phahonyothin Road, and then get onto Highway 32 to  Nakhon Sawan. Now take Highway 117 to Phitsanulok, then get onto Highway 12 to the Narional Park's Office at Ktlometre 80.
By bus:There are daily buses from the Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2). For more information, contact Tel. 0-2936 -1972, 0-2936-0667-.
By plane:The Thai Airways International has daily flight from Bangkok -Phitsanulok. For more information, conract Tel. O-2628-2000. 0-2280-0060.
       Thung Salaeng Luang National Park provides both lodges and tents together with bedding. If you bring your own tent, you have to pay a fee of 30 baht/person/ night.
      For reservation and additional information, contact the National Park Division, Royal Forest Depart ment, Tel. 0-2579-7223, 0-2579-5734, 0-2561-4292-3 ext, 724,725. Or contact Thung Salaeng Luang National Park, P.O, Box 64, Nakhon Thai District,phitsanulok 65120