To open the new year 2017 chapter, we decided to try visiting Phitsanulok. Especially after saw 1 review in Tripadvisor saying this city was boring and not recommended as place to holiday. That review can be seen here.

Kinda encouraging by that review, just to see how could Phitsanulok could make us have the same boring feeling.

Phitsanulok is located in northern of Thailand. Distance is around 377km from Bangkok. There are several options to reach this city. From flight, train, and bus. Nokair, so far we know provide like 5 times per day flight to Phitsanulok from Bangkok. Trains, we have no clue. But we just love to take bus everywhere in Thailand, so we’ll share you the detail on using the bus.

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Bus is available as usual from Mochit bus station. You can book the ticket directly at the bus station counter, or book it online. Cost is around 250 – 300 Baht, depends on the bus type. Trip from Bangkok will take around 5 – 6 hours, if there’s no heavy traffic.

All the bus from Bangkok now will arrive in Phitsanulok bus station 2, which is located bit further from the main  city. To go around, we decided to rent motorbike. And we went to this Rental Bike shop which located in Phitsanulok bus station 1.

Don’t take walk to go this place from Phitsanulok bus station 2. It’s 8.9km!! Take taxi or purple song teaw that located beside Information center. Song teaw will cost you only 15 Baht.

Arrived there, owner will give you also city map to explore the city. Once you have the motorcycle, Phitsanulok is ready to be your new playground 🙂

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Day 1, arrived in the city was like around 2PM. Could not go anywhere, just strolling around the city.
First impression after strolling around, it’s okay. Kinda quiet, compared to city Ayutthaya or Hua Hin. Not much attraction that actually built for foreign tourist.
First we went to Train station, and found the traditional market as well beside the station! Inside the train station, they provide like small chairs, so people actually can enjoy foods they buy from the market and eat it inside the station.
The traditional market
Phitsanulok train station entrance
Honestly we have no idea for its name. But looks cool to ride with 🙂
An old man sleeping inside the train station

Other than this place, your night life could be more fun by visiting the night bazaar that located not too far from this place. Same as other cities in Thailand, night market will provide you almost everything you need to enjoy your holiday.

Next we tried to visit the most famous temple in Phitsanulok. Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat (Wat Yai), located near Naresuan Bridge. This temple is often crowd with visitors. Considered as the most important temple there, makes many people visit this temple.

Across from this temple, you can see and visit King Naresuan Shrine and Wang Chan Palace Ruin. You can either walk using the Naseruan bridge, or using small boat service to cross the river

The night arrived, we tried what Thai people said as “Jim Jum“. This food is quite famous in Phitsanulok. We found it almost in every corner of the city.  This is the food that served using clay pot on a charcoal stove. There’ll be soup, and you can put inside vegetables, meat, eggs, glass noodle, seafood, etc. And taste is great!!

Jim Jum photo taken from google, as we lost the image we took. Credit goes to people who took this Jim Jum photo

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Day 2, we decided to explore more about the city. And this time we went a bit further outside. And this is the location of another hidden gems of Thailand.

Straight to highway route 12 Phitsanulok – Lom Sak, you’ll find 4 beautiful waterfalls along the road, and 1 national park!!
1. Sakunothayan Waterfall ► Around 30 km from the city and there’s no entrance fee. Not possible to swim in this waterfall, but you can enjoy the nature around it. Located like inside the jungle with lots of trees, so, fresh air and quiet you’ll get in this place.
Sakunothayan Waterfall
2. Kaeng Song Waterfall ► 44 km from the city. You actually can see the waterfall from highway route 12. No entrance fee as well, and you can swim in this waterfall. Though what we saw mostly only kids swimming here.
Kaeng Song Waterfall
3. Poi Waterfall ► 62 km and the most beautiful waterfall (for us) we can see in this highway! Need to go inside a bit, around 1 km, but no entrance fee! Swim or jump from waterfall, you can do it here. Though is a bit scary. But if your adventure level is extreme, you should try it.
Poi Waterfall
4. Kaeng So Pha waterfall ► Located after Poi waterfall and before Thung Salaeng Luang National Park. You can’t miss it, since they put the sign on the road to notice people about their locationThere’s 40 baht entrance fee. We’re not sure if this price is also for foreign tourist. Since we look like Thai people and ask the ticket in Thai language, the staff gave us Thai language ticket for 40 baht per person, and 20 Baht for motorcycle.
Go inside around 2 km to find the waterfall. This place offers not only waterfall, but also place for picnic.
Kaeng So Pha waterfall
Last but not least, Thung Salaeng Luang National Park.
What we knew about this place was like place for camping. So when you enter the gate, there’s like military staff asking you write your name on the guest book. After that you can go inside using your your vehicle and found place, near the river where you can set your tent and enjoy the nature.
No entrance fee asked when we entered the place (yes we spoke English here).
People camping near the river inside the national park
Rope bridge near the camping site

Took the whole day just to explore those waterfalls, and it was total fun. Now, we can make conclusion, Phitsanulok is not a boring city. It’s another hidden gems that you need to explore!

Most of our friends usually visit this city when they go to Sukhotai. Coz the distance from Phitsanulok is around 50 km. Extra day is worth to spend exploring Phitsanulok.

Another thing, those waterfalls are great to be seen in rainy/wet season. So better make sure you arrange your date well before going here.

Happy let’s get lost! 🙂

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