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City of Phitsanulok
Phitsanulok skyline.JPG
Phitsanulok skyline from the Grand Riverside Hotel
Seal of Phitsanulok.png
Song Khwae (The two rivers)
Thailand adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Thailand
Coordinates: 16°48′57″N100°15′49″E / 16.81583°N 100.26361°E / 16.81583; 100.26361 Coordinates: 16°48′57″N100°15′49″E / 16.81583°N 100.26361°E / 16.81583; 100.26361
Country Thailand
Province Phitsanulok
District Mueang Phitsanulok
  TypeCity Municipality
  MayorBoonsong Tanthani
   City Municipality 18.26 km2 (7.05 sq mi)
751 km2 (290 sq mi)
51 m (167 ft)
   City Municipality 66,106
  Density3,600/km2 (9,400/sq mi)
  Metro density390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+7 (ICT)
Calling code (+66) 55
Geocode 650101
Chief roadwayRoute 12
Chief watercourse Nan River
Chief airport Phitsanulok Airport

Phitsanulok (Thai : พิษณุโลก, pronounced [pʰít.sā.nú.lôːk] Loudspeaker.svg listen  ) is an important, historic city in lower northern Thailand and is the capital of Phitsanulok Province. Phitsanulok is home to Naresuan University and Pibulsongkram Rajabhat University, as well as to a major Royal Thai Army base. As of 2019, the population of the city was 66,106. [2]



Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat Wat Yai, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Thailand.JPG
Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat


Phitsanulok is one of the oldest cities in Thailand, founded over 600 years ago. Phitsanulok was also a provincial center of the Khmer Empire during the Angkorian period. [3]

Phitsanulok was originally named "Song Khwae" (lit. "Two Rivers") as it used to situate between the Nan and Khwae Noi Rivers, although the Khwae Noi River now drains into Nan River at ten kilometers to the north of Phitsanulok. The Northern Chronicles credited the foundation of Song Khwae to "King Srithampidok" or King Thammaracha I of Sukhothai, on the east bank of Nan River. King Thammaracha I also constructed the Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat and cast famous Buddha images of Phra Buddha Chinnarat and Phra Buddha Chinnasri. Song Khwae eclipsed Sukhothai in importance, becoming the royal seat of Sukhothai Kingdom in 1378. After the demise of the last King of Sukhothai at Song Khwae in 1438, Prince Ramesuan of Ayutthaya came to rule Song Khwae. When Prince Ramesuan was crowned as King Trailokanat of Ayutthaya in 1448, Song Khwae and the Sukhothai Kingdom were incorporated into the Ayutthaya Kingdom.

During the Ayutthaya-Lanna War, King Trailokanat moved his residence to Song Khwae in 1464 and renamed the city "Phitsanulok" (from Sanskrit Vishnu and Loka "world"). He expanded the city westward [4] to the west bank of Nan River. In the sixteenth century, Phitsanulok was the seat of Uparaja or heir presumptive to Ayutthaya throne who took residence in the Chantana Palace on the west bank. In 1548, King Maha Chakkraphat appointed his supporter Phra Pirenthorathep as "King Thammaracha" of Phitsanulok as a tributary ruler. During the Burmese-Siamese Wars, Phitsanulok and the Sukhothai region became battlegrounds between Burma and Siam. When King Bayinnaung invaded Phitsanulok in 1563, King Thammaracha of Phitsanulok submitted to the Burmese.

King Naresuan King Naresuan Statue in Phitsanulok.jpg
King Naresuan

King Thammaracha, now reigned at Ayutthaya, appointed his son Prince Naresuan as the Uparaja of Phitsanulok in 1570. In 1584, Prince Naresuan ordered the evacuation of all cities in the Sukhothai region including Phitsanulok down south in preparations against Burmese invasions. Phitsanulok was abandoned until it was later restored in 1593 not as a Uparaja seat but as a Muang Ek or first-level city held by a governor, becoming the center of Siamese administrations in northern regions. The governors of Phitsanulok held the title "Chao Phraya Surasi". After the Second Fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, Phitsanulok came under the rule of Chao Phra Fang, a monk who declared himself a local lord based on the town of Fang (modern Uttaradit). King Taksin of Thonburi sent forces to capture Phitsanulok in 1768 and appointed Boonma (later Prince Maha Sura Singhanat) as Chao Phraya Surasi the governor of Phitsanulok.

The Burmese General Maha Thiha Thura laid siege on Phitsanulok in 1775. Chao Phraya Chakri (future King Rama I) and his brother Chao Phraya Surasi Boonma held the city for four months until the city finally fell to the Burmese. Phitsanulok was utterly destroyed on this occasion. The Burmese invaded again in 1785 and Phitsanulok was abandoned temporarily because the manpower shortage left the city defenseless. After the series of warfare, Phitsanulok was in ruins and depopulated through the nineteenth century. The Phra Buddha Chinnasri image was moved to Wat Baworn Niwet in Bangkok in 1829. In 1834, the Phuan people were deported from Muang Phuan in Laos [5] to re-populate Phitsanulok and surrounding cities. Phitsanulok slowly recovered to be an urban center.

As a part of reforms of King Chulalongkorn, Phitsanulok became the administrative seat of the monthon Phitsanulok in 1894. When the monthons were abolished in 1932, Phitsanulok became the capital of Phitsanulok Province.


Historic street sign Phitsanulok.jpg
Modern street sign Phitsanulok.jpg
(left) Street sign up to the year 1999, (right) from the year 1999



Nan River Houseboatsphitsanulok.jpg
Nan River

Phitsanulok is in the north of Thailand. Phitsanulok is about 377 kilometres north of Bangkok by road. Phitsanulok covers some 10,815 square kilometres, or 6.4% of area in the north of Thailand and 2.1% of the area of Thailand. Phitsanulok borders on the north and the north-east of Thailand. The north is adjacent to Uttaradit and Laos. The south is adjacent to Phichit. The east is adjacent to Loei and Phetchabun. The west is adjacent to Kamphaeng Phet Province and Sukhothai. Phitsanulok has many waterfalls, forests and caves. In the north is central area. In the north-west is a highland. It's the important recreational area such as Kaeng Sopha waterfall, Phu Hin Rong Kla and Phu Soi Dow. In the south plains along the Yom River and the Nan River is the most important agricultural district of Phitsanulok.


Phitsanulok lies primarily on flatland with some hills. [8] The eastern portion of the city has some wooded area. The city is in the Nan Basin, which is part of the Chao Phraya watershed. [9] Phitsanulok is sometimes called Song Kwae, the city of two rivers, a name dating to a time centuries ago when the Nan and Khwae Noi Rivers met near the city. Today, only the Nan River flows through Phitsanulok.


Phitsanulok has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). Winters are dry and very warm. Temperatures rise until April, which is very hot with the average daily maximum at 37.4 °C (99.3 °F). The monsoon season runs from May through October, with heavy rain and somewhat cooler temperatures during the day, although nights remain warm.

Climate data for Phitsanulok (1981–2010)
Record high °C (°F)36.3
Average high °C (°F)31.6
Daily mean °C (°F)24.8
Average low °C (°F)18.7
Record low °C (°F)10.4
Average rainfall mm (inches)3.9
Average rainy days1.
Average relative humidity (%)67646263717678808178726772
Mean monthly sunshine hours 257.3243.0275.9243.0198.4117.0120.9117.8108.0179.8219.0257.32,337.4
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source 1: Thai Meteorological Department [10]
Source 2: Office of Water Management and Hydrology, Royal Irrigation Department (sun and humidity) [11]


The administration of Phitsanulok City Municipality is responsible for an area that covers approximately 18.26 km2 (7.05 sq mi) and consists of only tambon Nai Mueang, 64 municipal communities [12] (chumchon), and 36,626 households. [2]

According to Municipal Act B.E. 2496 (1953, reviewed in 2003), the duties of the municipality include: clean water supply, waste and sewage disposal, communicable disease control, public training and education, public hospitals and electricity. The mayor, or the highest executive, is directly elected by the eligible voters in the municipal area. The mayor serves a four-year term and is assisted by no more than four deputy mayors appointed directly by the mayor. The Municipal Council is the legislative body of the municipality. It has the power to issue ordinances by laws, that do not contradict the laws of the country. The municipal council's jurisdiction applies to all people living in the municipal area.


Ethnic diversity

The majority ethnicity in the city is Thai. Others in the city consider themselves of Mon descent.


The majority of residents of Phitsanulok speak central Thai.


The people of Phitsanulok are predominantly Theravada Buddhists (as are 95% of the Thai population as a whole), with a small Christian community and a few Muslim families.


Educational institutions

Naresuan University Chapel4.JPG
Naresuan University

Naresuan University (abbreviated Mor Nor for Mahawithayalai Naresuan) is an educational center of the lower northern region of Thailand. Now in Tha Pho, near the city of Phitsanulok, the university was named after King Naresuan the Great, and the campus features a large statue of him. Other universities and colleges in or around the city include Phitsanulok University (private), Sirindhorn College of Public Health, Rajabhat Pibulsongkram University (formerly a teacher training college), and the Phitsanulok campus of the Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna.

Vocational institutions

There are three vocational colleges in the city:

Secondary (Mathayom) institutions

Phitsanulok City is home to three secondary institutions:


There is one government hospital in Phitsanulok City: Buddhachinaraj Phitsanulok Hospital with 1,000 beds.
There are also five private hospitals with 400 beds total:


Phitsanulok Airport Phitsanulok Airport.JPG
Phitsanulok Airport


Close to the city center (Aranyik), Phitsanulok Airport receives up to six flights a day from Bangkok (flight time approximately 60 minutes), which are operated by three airlines: Nok Air, Thai Air Asia and Thai Lion Air.


Road 126, a multi-lane by-pass enables through-traffic to avoid the city of Phitsanulok, and connects to highway 11 to Uttaradit and Lampang in the north, and to highway 12 to Phetchabun in the east, and to highway 11 to Sing Buri in the south, and to highway 117 to Nakhon Sawan in the south, and to highway 12 to Sukhothai, Tak and Mae Sot in the west.


Phitsanulok Railway Station Phitsanulok Station.JPG
Phitsanulok Railway Station

Phitsanulok Terminal 1 (Saen Phon Phai) and Terminal 2 (Samo Khae) provide the mass transport throughout Phitsanulok Province by some eight bus companies. Four minibus lines provide transportation around the city. Yanyon tour operates its own private bus station (Sua Thim) with only a busline to Bangkok.


In the city center, Phitsanulok railway station mainly receives intercity trains on the Northern Line, operated by State Railway of Thailand, more than a dozen trains running in each direction each day.


The main channels for communication in the city are television and radio. The following public television and radio stations [13] are broadcast from Phitsanulok:

Royal Thai Army

Phitsanulok is home to the Third Army Region of the Royal Thai Army, responsible for the northern and north-western parts of the kingdom.


Phra Buddha Chinnarat 2013 Phra Buddha Chinnarat 02.jpg
Phra Buddha Chinnarat

Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat

Phitsanulok's main tourist attraction is Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat, known locally simply as Wat Yai (Thai: วัดใหญ่) (the big temple). This famous temple, built in 1357, is home to the Phra Buddha Chinnarat, which is one of the most revered Buddha figures in Thailand, and the official symbol of Phitsanulok Province. The beautiful mother-of-pearl inlaid doors were built in 1756 by order of King Boromakot of Ayutthaya. The Buddha Chinnarat National Museum, on the temple grounds, houses a sizeable collection of Sukhothai period art.

Gilded top of the temple's Prang 2013 Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Prang.jpg
Gilded top of the temple's Prang

Other temples

Wat Ratchaburana Wat Ratchaburana Chedi.jpg
Wat Ratchaburana

The city is also home to the following temples where Theravada Buddhism is practiced by city residents (from north clockwise):


Dragon boat racing has historically been an important element of Phitsanulok culture. In recent times, football (soccer) has become increasingly popular. In 2005, Phitsanulok won the 2nd Northern Youth Football Championship in the U12 and U15 age groups. [15]

Traditional Thai boxing is also a major sport in the city.



Phitsanulok is home to a number of historic sculptures of the Buddha and other religious artwork including the Buddha Chinnarat, the Buddha Chinnasi, the Phra Si Satsada.


Examples of important literary works of Phitsanulok include:

The predominant literary language (as well as the predominant spoken language) is the central Thai dialect of the Thai language, which is written in the Thai alphabet.

Other attractions

Buranathai Buddha Foundry Phitsanulok Foundry.jpg
Buranathai Buddha Foundry
Houseboat, Phitsanulok House-boats 002, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Thailand.JPG
Houseboat, Phitsanulok

Festivals and events

Related Research Articles

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History of Phitsanulok Province Aspect of history

The lands situated in the present-day Phitsanulok Province of Thailand have been inhabited since the Stone Age, although the neolithic inhabitants of the region are not likely to have been the ancestors of the modern Thai people who reside there today. The earliest historical records relating to what is now Phitsanulok Province indicates that at a time prior to or during the 11th century, the present-day city of Phitsanulok was but a small strategic Khmer outpost known as Song Khwae. During the next century, in 1188, Nakhon Thai, located near the center of the present Phitsanulok Province, was established as the capital city of the Singhanavati Kingdom, an early city-state of Thailand. Later, during Thailand's Sukhothai Period, the city of Phitsanulok emerged as a major city in the east of the Sukhothai Kingdom, and the great temples of Wat Chula Manee, Wat Aranyik and Wat Chedi Yod Thong were constructed. In 1357, the renowned Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat was erected, and the Ayutthaya Period witnessed the construction of several of the province's other chief temples. Phitsanulok served for 25 years as the capital city of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. In 1555, King Naresuan the Great was born in the city of Phitsanulok. Naresuan played a significant role in the history of Thailand, as he expanded the kingdom to its greatest territorial extent, by conquering sizable portions of modern-day Burma and Cambodia. In recent times, Phitsanulok Province has become an important agricultural center, part of the Bread Basket of Thailand, providing rice and other crops to consumers in Thailand and throughout the world. Extensive agricultural development over the last hundred years or so has spawned a modern infrastructure in the urban areas of the province, bringing with it an array of modern roads, universities, hospitals and other conveniences. Over the years, the Nan River and its tributaries have played a substantial role in the history and development of the region by providing a route for transportation, fertile soil for agriculture, and water for irrigation. The river waters have also served as a route for enemy invaders, and have been the source of periodic widespread flooding throughout the province.

Maha Thammaracha (king of Ayutthaya) King of Ayutthaya

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Maha Sura Singhanat

Somdet Phra Bawornrajchao Maha Sura Singhanat (1744–1803) was the younger brother of Rama I, the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty of Siam. As an Ayutthayan general, he fought alongside his brother in various campaigns against Burmese invaders and the local warlords. When his brother crowned himself as the king of Siam at Bangkok in 1781, he was appointed the Front Palace or Maha Uparaj, the title of the heir. During the reign of his brother, he was known for his important role in the campaigns against Bodawpaya of Burma.

Maha Chakkraphat King of Ayutthaya

Maha Chakkraphat was king of the Ayutthaya kingdom from 1548 to 1564 and 1568 to 1569. Originally called Prince Thianracha, or Prince Tien, he was put on the throne by Khun Phiren Thorathep and his supporters of the Sukhothai clan, who had staged a coup by killing the usurper King Worawongsathirat and Sudachan.​

Wisutkasat or Borommathewi (บรมเทวี), was a Siamese Queen and Princess during the Ayutthaya period in the 16th century, born Sawatdiratchathida (สวัสดิราชธิดา) to Prince Thianracha and Suriyothai. She was a mother of two kings (Naresuan and Ekathotsarot, and the maternal ancestor of the Sukhothai Dynasty, which ruled Ayutthaya from 1569-1629.

Chan Palace located next to Somdet Phra Naresuan the Great Army Camp, 3rd Army Division, Wang Chan Road, Nai Mueang Sub-district, Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok Province of Thailand, is the location of the King Naresuan the Great shrine. In the past, it was also the location of Phitsanulok Pittayakhom School. Currently, the Fine Arts Department has completed the restoration of the Chan Palace Phase 1.


  1. "2. Administrative Information". บรรยายสรุปอำเภอเมืองพิษณุโลก [Mueang Phitsanulok Briefing] (Report) (in Thai). Mueang Phitsanulok Administrative Office. 5 October 2020. p. 4.
  2. 1 2 3 "สถิติทางการทะเบียน" [Registration statistics]. Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA). December 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2020. Download จำนวนประชากร ปี พ.ศ.2562 - Download population year 2019[ not specific enough to verify ]
  3. Wyatt, David K. (2004). Thailand: A Short History (2nd ed.). Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books. ISBN   978-974957544-4 . Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  4. เจียจันทร์พงษ์, พิเศษ (2020). เมืองในประวัติศาสตร์ยุคสุโขทัยอยุธยา พระมหาธรรมราชากษัตราธิราช. Matichon.
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  6. Phitsanulok Irrigation Project Archived 2008-05-03 at the Wayback Machine
  7. "พระราชกฤษฎีกา จัดตั้งเทศบาลนครพิษณุโลก จังหวัดพิษณุโลก" [Royal Decree Establish of Thesaban Nakhon Phitsanulok Changwat Phitsanulok](PDF). Royal Thai Government Gazette. 116 (14 Kor): 5–10. 8 March 1999. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  8. Archived 26 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine [ not specific enough to verify ]
  9. Basins in Thailand Archived 2008-02-22 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Climatological Data for the Period 1981–2010". Thai Meteorological Department. p. 5. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
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  12. "64 communities into 4 groups". Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  13. Radio Stations in Phitsanulok Province, Thailand
  14. 1 2 Thai TV: Television Stations in Thailand on VHF and UHF
  15. Phitsanulok wins the 2nd Northern Youth Football Championship
  16. Buranathai Buddha Casting Foundry [ dead link ]
  17. 1 2 3 Thailand Guidebook-Phitsanulok Province