||Text used with permission:
||Covering some 105,815 square kilometers, Phitsanulok is 377 kilometers north of Bangkok. It borders Uttaradit Province on the North, Phichit Province on the South, Loei and Phetchabun Provinces on the East, and Kamphaeng Phet and Sukhothai Provinces on the West. Situated on a strategic location dividing Thailands Central and Northern regions, and connecting to the Northeastern region, Phitsanulok is undeniably an important hub and an ideal base for travelers wishing to explore the lower North and western Northeast. Phitsanulok, however, is not just a stopover for tourists, but is a province with promising tourism opportunities.
Phitsanulok City spans the banks of Maenam Nan and has Maenam Kwae Noi running through it. Therefore, it is locally known and historically referred to as Song Kwae City (song means two and kwae means a river). Most of Phitsanulok's terrain is flatlands, with one third of the area being mountain ranges on the north and the east. Its unique natural endowments including natural parks and waterfalls make a trip to Phitsanulok worthwhile.
Apart from its exceptional natural charisma, Phitsanulok provides visitors with an opportunity to explore notable chapters of Thailand's history. For example, remains of an ancient community dating back between 2,000-4,000 years, including old stone axes, was found here. In addition, the old temple of Wat Chula Mani, situated 5 kilometers south of the city, was built even before the Sukhothai Kingdom burst into power.
Phitsanulok prospered along with the powerful Sukhothai (1238-1378) and Ayutthaya (1350 1767) Kingdoms. In particular, it played a strategic role in the Ayutthaya era when it had become the Kingdoms royal capital for 25 years during the reign of King Borom Trailokanat.
Phitsanulok is also the birthplace of King Naresuan the Great (reigned 1590-1605) the legendary King who declared Ayutthayas independence from Burma in 1584. King Naresuan the Great is known for his victorious and honorable single hand combat on elephant back Yutthahatti against a Burmese Crown Prince. His heroic power and strong dedication to expelling the invaders from his motherland saved the country, and truly united the Kingdom which later was known as Siam and currently known as Thailand.
Phitsanulok was also a strategic location for other Ayutthaya Kings as it was a major center for military recruitment and a training camp when Ayutthaya waged wars with Burma.
||346 kilometres from Bangkok, Phetchabun borders on three regions, the North, the Central and the Northeast. The central part of the province is on the Pa Sak river basin with mountain ranges running along both the western and eastern sectors. Because of the fertility of the land, Phetchabun has always been an agriculturally productive area. The very name of the province actually means the land of crops and foods.
Today, Phetchabun is a province with rich tourism potential. Its climate is pleasant due to the mountainous and forested areas and it has a history of richness and prosperity for more than 1,400 years. As and Sukhothai styles have been discovered.
Phetchabun is administratively divided into the following districts: Muang, Lom Sak, Lom Kao, Chon Daen, Nong Phai, Wichian Buri, Si Thep, Bueng Sam Phan, Wang Pong, Nam Nao and Khao Kho.
||Chaiyaphum is a province in the centre of Thailand. It is well known in tourism terms because it has beautiful flower fields. Chaiyaphum was founded over 2 centuries ago during the early Rattanakosin period by a group of Vientiane people led by Nai Lae.
Chaiyaphum is 342 kilometres from Bangkok and has an area of 12,778 square kilometres. It consists of the following districts: Mueang Chaiyaphum, Khon Sawan, Kaeng Khro, Ban Thaen, Phu Khiao, Kaset Sombun, Khon San, Nong Bua Daeng, Ban Khwao, Chaturat, Bamnet Narong, Thep Sathit, Nong Bua Rawe, Phakdi Chumphon, Noen Sanga and Sap Yai.
||Situated in the Lower North some 345 kilometres from Bangkok, Pichit 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 the land of the crocodiles, it has been home to this ferocious reptile which has thrived in its waters. There are today several fresh-water crocodile farms. Phichit features in the Thai epic Krai Thong composed by King Rama II which tells of Chalawa
Phichit is administratively divided into the following districts: Muang, Pho Prathap Chang, Taphan hin, Bang Mun Nak, Pho Thale, Sam Ngam, Wang Sai Phun, Thap Khlo, Sak Lek, Dong Charoen, Bueng Na Rang and Wachirabarami
||Nakhon Sawan Province, also known as Pak Nam Pho is where the rivers of Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan converge and form the Chao Phraya River, the most important waterway of Thailand.
Nakhon Sawan is in the lower northern part of the country between the North and the Central Region. It is regarded as the doorway to the North and it is the hub of transportation in the Lower North.
||Uthai Thani is a province abundant in natural resources, such as forests and wildlife. “Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Reserve” here was proclaimed a Nautral World Heritage Site on 13 December 1991. The reserve has jungles, forests, plains, many streams, and most importantly, a number of rare and endangered animals.
Due to the verdant nature of the area, Uthai Thani is a province with unspoiled natural tourist destinations that are of interest to tourist everywhere.
Furthermore, visitors can see the different lifestyles of locals, such as the life of raft residents on Sakae Krang River, a waterway that aided the birth of the province and which has been a lifeline for its people since ancient times. It is also where provincial trading has flourished. Life revolving around the river eventually grew from a community into the major province that it is today.
The most striking indication of the bond between the people and the river since the old days is that in 1906, when King Rama V visited northern provinces and stayed in Sakae Krang village, the monk Phra Khru Uthai Tham Nithet (Chan) built 2 twin rafts to receive the king. This clearly showed the importance of the river and the lifestyle of the people living off it in that period.
In addition, at the end of the Buddhist Lent, Buddhists from all directions congregate in the province for a major merit-making tradition called Tak Bat Thewo at the foot of Khao Sakae Krang at Wat Sangkat Rattana Khiri. This festival has been held in Uthai Thani since ancient times.
Uthai Thani is located in the lower part of northern Thailand. Most of the province consists of forests and high mountains. It has a total area of 6,730 square kilometres. It is divided in to 8 Amphoe
||Chainat is located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. The community was moved from the old site at Sankhaburi in the reign of King Rama IV. Chainat was an important town used several times as a base to confront the Burmese army. Every time, the Burmese were defeated, thus originating the name of Chainat which means a place of victory.
Chainat occupies an area of 2,469 square kilometres and is administratively divided into 6 districts: Amphoe Muang Chai Nat, Amphoe Hankha, Amphoe Manorom, Amphoe Sankhaburi, Amphoe Sapphaya, Amphoe Wat Sing, and 2 sub-districts: King Amphoe Nong Mamong and King Amphoe Noen Kham.
||Nakhon Ratchasima, generally known as "Khorat", is Thailand's largest province situated on sprawling northeast plateau. Located approximately 260 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, the city itself serves as the gateway to the lower northeastern region.
Covering an area of 25,494 square kilometers that is mainly plateaus and mountainous terrain, Khorat has fascinating traditions, charming hospitality, splendid natural scenery and awesome historical sites.
Some of the main attractions in Khorat are Khmer ruins. Scattered around the province, these products of ancient wisdom shines through time. One of the Thailand's finest Khmer ruins can be seen here next to Mon and Lao sites. In addition, Khorat has an abundance of natural attractions in its forests, hills, wildlife and waterfalls that are easily accessible in locations such as Khao Yai National Park.
Apart from the famous statue of Khun Ying Mo, Khorat is most well known for silk weaving (in Pak Thong Chai) and a variety of top-notch quality handicrafts such as clay pottery products of Dan Kwian.
Geographically, Nakhon Ratchasima borders on Chiyaphum and Khon Kaen Provinces in the north, Buriram Province in the east, Chiyaphum and Saraburi Provinces in the west and Nakhon Nayok and Prachin Buri Provinces in the south.
Khorat is also the largest northeastern province. Inhabitants of the province are mainly engaged in agricultural activities that include farming of rice and other crops such as sugar cane, tapioca, corn, jute, peanuts, sesame and fruits. There are more than 100 savings and agricultural cooperatives in the province, 35 irrigation projects and 7,122 industrial factories. Most of the factories are rice mills, tapioca product manufacturers, and industrial factories.
Khorat's most popular annual event is the Thao Suranari Festival, a celebration of Thao Suranari's victory over the Lao. It's held from late March to early April and features parades.
Khorat used to be the site of several ancient prehistoric communities. Little is known about the early history of Khorat, except that it used to be part of a kingdom called Sri Janas (Si Janat) an empire that extended its power to the entire Khorat Plateau.
Initially the predominant cultural influence in the city was that of the Dvaravati culture, however, it was later replaced by the Khmer culture. The prehistoric site of Ban Prasat is an evidence of this occurrence while traces of both the Dvaravati and Khmer cultures are scattered throughout the province, particularly at Amphur Sung Noen and Amphur Phimai.
Once an administrative and cultural center, Khorat's role today remains unchanged as it is currently the main transportation, industrial and economic hub of the Northeast.
||Sing Buri is 142 kms. north of Bangkok on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. It was established in the year 1895 during the reign of King Rama V through a consolidation of three small riverside towns including Sing Buri, In Buri, and Phrom Buri. The province currently occupies an area of 822 square kilometres and is divided into six districts (Amphoes): Muang Sing Buri, In Buri, Bang Rachan, Khai Bang Rachan, Phrom Buri and Tha Chang.
||A province in the central region of Thailand, Lop Buri Province is located approximately 154 kilometers north of Bangkok. Covering an area of 6,199 square kilometers, the province is situated on the western end of the Khorat Plateau. It borders Chaiyaphum and Nakhon Ratchasima Provinces on the east, Phetchabun and Nakhon Sawan Provinces on the north, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya and Saraburi Provinces on the South. Lop Buri Province is one of several provinces in central Thailand where many significant historical artifacts and prehistoric settlements have been discovered.
Formerly known as Lawo, Lop Buri had for centuries been ruled by several Kingdoms. The remains of Lop Buri, dating over 1,200 years attests to the strategic significance of Lop Buri to many rulers. These relics, ranging from the Bronze Age to the Ratanakosin period, have made Lop Buri a blend of east and west and ancient and modern, revealing the citys turbulent and alluring history and a glimpse of Thailands extraordinary past.