Phitsanulok, located in the northern region of Thailand, is a city known for its rich history and culture. Often overlooked by tourists in favor of more popular destinations like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and authentic local experiences. In this article, we will explore the must-see sites and activities for backpackers visiting Phitsanulok, as well as provide a detailed itinerary for a three-day backpacking trip.
Day 1: Exploring the Phitsanulok Historical Park
Your first stop in Phitsanulok should be the Phitsanulok Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that contains the remains of an ancient city dating back to the 13th century. The park is home to over 30 historical structures, including temples, palaces, and city walls. One of the highlights of the park is Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat, a temple that contains a large standing Buddha statue and intricate carvings.
After exploring the historical park, head to Wat Nang Phaya, a temple known for its unique pagoda with a spiral staircase. Next, take a stroll through the charming streets of the old town and visit the local market for some delicious street food.
In the evening, make your way to Wat Yai Chaimongkon, a temple located on a hilltop overlooking the city. The temple offers beautiful sunset views and is a great spot for meditation and reflection.
Day 2: Hiking and Waterfall Chasing
On your second day in Phitsanulok, get ready for an adventurous day of hiking and waterfall chasing. Start your day by visiting Huai Kha Khaeng Waterfall, a secluded waterfall located in the middle of the jungle. The hike to the waterfall is challenging but rewarding, as you will be surrounded by lush green forest and the sound of the waterfall.
After your hike, take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch by the waterfall. Next, head to Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park, where you can hike to Phu Hin Rong Kla waterfall, one of the tallest and most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand. Along the way, you will see various types of birds and wild animals.
In the evening, return to the city and visit Wat Mahathat, a temple known for its intricate architectural details and beautiful garden.
Day 3: Cultural Immersion and Relaxation
On your final day in Phitsanulok, immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the wood carving village. This village is famous for its traditional woodcarving and you can see the process of woodcarving production and purchase some souvenirs.
After a day of cultural immersion, relax and unwind at one of the hot spring resorts in the area. The hot springs are believed to have healing properties and are a great way to end your trip.
Phitsanulok is a city with a rich history and culture, and it
offers a unique and authentic travel experience. From exploring ancient ruins to hiking in the jungle and immersing in the local culture, this city has something for every backpacker. We hope that this itinerary will inspire you to visit this underrated destination and discover its hidden gems for yourself.
In addition to the must-see attractions outlined in this itinerary, Phitsanulok also offers a wide range of outdoor activities for adventure seekers. For those looking for a more active trip, options include rock climbing, white-water rafting and kayaking.
For art lovers, Phitsanulok is also home to several art galleries and museums, showcasing the traditional Thai art and craftsmanship. The city is also famous for its traditional Thai silk and cotton textiles, and you can find a variety of traditional products in the local markets and shops.
Finally, Phitsanulok is known for its delicious local cuisine. Be sure to try some of the traditional dishes such as Khao Soi, a northern Thai curry noodle dish, and Khao Kan Chin, a traditional northern Thai dish made with steamed glutinous rice and pork.
In conclusion, Phitsanulok is a destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and nature. It’s a hidden gem that is worth visiting for those looking for an authentic travel experience. With a variety of activities and attractions to choose from, this city has something for everyone. We hope that our comprehensive backpacking itinerary will help you plan your trip and discover the best of Phitsanulok.