Phitsanulok and Nan
After Chiang Rai, after Mae Sai we decided to move south, and my decision was to go south till the end of Thailand. I had just touched the most northern point of Thailand then my project was to achieve the most southern point.
At that time I was not traveling alone so together with an Italian friend we had fun around some eastern cities like Nan and the old Phitsanulok.
Coming from north first we arrived in Nan the city offer a warm welcome and cheap accommodations, it worth visit the beautiful Wat Phumin.
After few days new bus, new direction, while people was waving us at the bus station.
Phitsanulok was waiting. We finally spent in Phitsanulok few days and for sure it worth a visit, specially the riverside, the temple Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat, the house boat and the restaurants there; you will find some good food. Most of the terrains are flatland, with mountain ranges where you will find and some amazing waterfalls and national parks.
Phitsanulok can be also a base to visit Sukhothai, the old capital of Thai kingdom.
Nan province is located in the remote valley of the Nan River, surrounded by mountains covered with forests. Due to this position for centuries Nan was an independent kingdom.
The first kingdom around the city Mueang was created in the late 13th century. Its rulers, the Phukha dynasty, were related to the founders of Vientiane; however it became associated with the Sukhothai kingdom as it was easier to reach.
In the 14th century the capital was moved to its present location at Nan.
In the 15th century, when Sukhothai declined in power, it became vassal of the kingdom of Lannathai.
When Lannathai was under Burmese rulership, Nan tried to liberate itself many times without success, which finally led to direct Burmese rulership of Nan in 1714.
In 1788 the Burmese rulers were finally driven back, however Nan had to then accept the new Siam rulers. In 1893 after the Paknam crisis Siam had to give a big part of eastern Nan to French Indochina.
However Nan kept some degree of independence from the Siamese rulers, and it took until 1931 to become fully integrated into Thailand.
Before the early 1980s bandits as well as People’s Liberation Army of Thailand (PLAT) guerrillas were a big problem in the province, usually destroying highway construction overnight.
With the help of the army and the more stable political system the province improved significantly, but is still a very rural and remote area.
Phitsanulok is an important and historic city in lower northern Thailand and is the capital of Phitsanulok Province, which stretches all the way to the Laotian border.
Phitsanulok is one of the oldest cities in Thailand, founded over 600 years ago. Birthplace of King Naresuan, who freed the country from Burmese domination in the 16th Century.
During the 11th century, the city of Phitsanulok was but a small Khmer outpost called Song Khwae, meaning two rivers.
At that time, the Nan and Khwae Noi Rivers both flowed through the city, making it strategic.
Phitsanulok was also a provincial center of the Angkorian Empire during the Angkorian period.
As cross-road between the northern and central regions of the country, it has long been important both for political and strategic reasons, and was fought over many times in centuries past.
Phitsanulok was the capital of Thailand for 25 years during the reign of King Borommatrailokanat who moved the capital of the Ayutthaya kingdom to Phitsanulok.
Phitsanulok was also the major city in the east of the Sukhothai Kingdom when Wat Aranyik and Wat Chedi Yod Thong were built.
In 1555, King Naresuan the Great was born in the city and Phitsanulok was a major place of recruitment during Ayutthaya’s war against Burma.
Phitsanulok is today home of the major Royal Thai Army base.
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