You probably found this Phitsanulok Itinerary because you have plans to visit Thailand this 2023 but you don’t know where to go first. Or are you tired of the Bangkok trips you’ve been taking and you want to explore a different city? Are you simply curious about Phitsanulok and the attractions you get to see there? Well, this article is for you!
We’re not surprised that you chose to explore Phitsanulok since it is the gateway to the ancient cities of Thailand and a great way to understand local life in the country. It’s called so because you’ll have to pass through this city before reaching Sukhothai, Si Satchanalai, and Kamphaeng Phet! Being the gateway also made Phitsanulok an iconic city with its ancient architecture, culture, and heritage.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phitsanulok was called “Muang Song Khwae” which means ‘two rivers flowing through’. These two rivers are the Nan River and the Kwai Noi River! This city played a major role during the Khmer era, where it was controlled by the Royal Family themselves!
There is plenty to see in Phitsanulok but the most interesting site you might get from this city is the authenticity of life here that cannot be seen in other major cities. Forget the bustling city scene and the high-rise building, if you really want to experience how Thai people live on a day-to-day basis, then you must continue reading!
Phitsanulok Itinerary Map Overview
Phitsanulok Day 1 Itinerary Map
Phitsanulok Day 2 Itinerary Map
2-Day Phitsanulok Itinerary
Day 1: Phitsanulok City Pillar Shrine, Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Temple, Phra Puttha Chinnarat, The Royal Pagoda, Chom Nan Chaloem Phrakiat Public Park, and Phitsanulok Night Bazaar
4:00 AM: Arrival in Phitsanulok
Traveling to Phitsanulok from Bangkok by bus or train takes around 5 hours to complete. There are trips all throughout the day but we recommend you take the 21:00 trip from Bangkok so you’ll arrive at Phitsanulok at 4:00 the next day and be able to spend the whole day going around the city.
Most hotels will let you check in early but it would be best to contact the hotel you’ll be staying at and explain to them your situation just in case they don’t have an early check-in policy.
8:00 AM: Breakfast at Made for Mouth Cafe
If you’re hungry for some breakfast then you should head to Made for Mouth Cafe! This is a great restaurant that serves good food for affordable prices starting from 200 Baht! They have Thai breakfasts here that you can try as well as pasta, desserts, and of course, coffee!
9:30 AM: Head to Phitsanulok City Pillar Shrine (San Lak Mueang Phitsanulok)
Did you know that the current Phitsanulok City Pillar Shrine is not the original? The original City Pillar was actually buried beneath the Naan River but it was later moved to a museum. The new City Pillar Shrine was then authorized to be built by the mayor of that time and was designed by the Fine Arts Department. This is located west of the Naan River, just right across the bridge. So, make sure to drop by and pay respect!
11:00 AM: Move on to Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Temple
The most famous temple in Phitsanulok is the Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Temple. It is known for having the tallest sacred spire or Prang in the Lop Buri style which was built in 1157 AD under the Khmer rule. Today, it’s one of the most visited temples in the country for its golden Buddha and elegant designs. There are also food and souvenir vendors at the market near the market.
It might be quite busy during your visit since, again, this is one of the most visited in the area. So, you must take that into consideration. However, do not skip this as this is a very iconic historical temple!
12:00 PM: Lunch at Ban Mai Restaurant
By this time, you’re probably already very hungry for lunch! Why not have lunch at one of the best restaurants in Phitsanulok which is the Ban Mai Restaurant! This restaurant serves Thai-style cuisine like no other. The food here is authentic and delicious too! If you were to eat something, you must come here! Prices are reasonable and everything, from the service to the food, is worth it!
1:30 PM: Continue to Wat Phra Phuttha Chinnarat
It’s so rare to find a temple that is just so majestic but the Wat Phra Phuttha Chinnarat is simply that! To say that this temple is holy is an understatement because just as soon as you enter the main hall, you’ll instantly feel the calmness and the holiness of it. The temple features a golden Buddha and other statues also made of gold. The temple is kept clean and orderly even when there are literally hundreds of visitors every day.
2:30 PM: Check out The Royal Pagoda
The Royal Pagoda aka Wat Ratchaburana is another beautiful temple in Phitsanulok that you must visit. It is located near Wat Yai temple too so if you want to visit Wat Yai, you can go there after visiting the Royal Pagoda. However, you can also stay here for a 1-hour massage for only 150 Baht! This is a perfect stop for the afternoon before heading out to the next destination.
3:30 PM: Grab a snack at F2.8 Coffee Lab
The Thailand heat is a scorcher so why not grab something cold to drink? F2.8 Coffee Lab might just be the place for you! Grab some coffee here but also try out their green tea too! The pizza here is also a must-try since it is a crowd favorite so definitely don’t miss it!
We’re sure that you’ll love it here because there is a corner where you can draw and paint which is quite a unique addition to the cafe! It seems like the owner is an art lover because the cafe also sells stickers and postcards, and some are drawn by the owner himself.
4:30 PM: End Day 1 tour in Chom Nan Chaloem Phrakiat Public Park
For the last attraction, head to Chom Nan Chaloem Phrakiat Public Park which is a park located by the Naan River banks. The view here is beautiful and the place is perfect for a calm walk. There’s not much to do here but at night, when the lights from the city show, the view is absolutely stunning!
6:00 PM: Explore and have dinner at Phitsanulok Railway Station Night Market
If you want to get a taste of what the local nightlife looks like in Phitsanulok, you can explore the Railway Station Night Market. It has just about anything you’ll need from clothes to authentic Thai street food! There are all-you-can-eat food and drinks here which is quite fun to try. However, you must be careful if your stomach easily gets upset.
If you don’t want to spend a ton on dinner, this is the place to be. Plus, the night market becomes lively at night and it is open almost every day so you can simply come here and eat!
Day 2: SGT. MAJ. Folk Museum, Phra Buddha Chinnarat, Wat Chan Tawan Tok, Chan Royal Palace, Wat Phothiyan, Wat Khuan Khan, and Phitsanulok Railway Station Night Market
8:00 AM: Start your day with breakfast at Kong’s House (บ้านก๋ง)
It’s a bit hard to find great breakfast places anywhere but in Phitsanulok, Kong’s House is known to be just that! So, put your searching hat down because Kong’s House is where you’ll be having breakfast on your second day in Phitsanulok. They have a variety of breakfast options ranging from Thai-style to Western-style, plus the restaurant is well-decorated. It’s definitely an ambient way to start the day!
9:00 AM: Kick off your second day by visiting SGT. MAJ. Folk Museum
This museum is for antique collectors and enthusiasts because most of the displays here are never before seen and are hard to find. You may not be able to bring them home but being able to see them in person is pretty awesome too!
The beginnings of this museum trace back to the hoarding of Sgt. Maj Thawee. For decades, he collected different things with some artifacts dating back many centuries before. The collection features fish traps, animals, coins, textiles, weapons, ceramics, and many others! Some say that hoarding is an illness but Sgt. Maj. surely put his hoarding tendencies to good use because the museum now offers a great taste of how Thai people used to live before!
10:30 AM: Visit Buranathai Buddha Casting Foundry
With all the Buddhas in Thailand, we’ve probably seen all of the variations. The majority of them are tall and mighty. However, at Buranathai Buddha Casting Foundry, you’ll find miniature versions of Buddha that are handcrafted in this factory. You’ll get to learn the art of sculpting in English, Thai, and French! The small Buddhas are perfect for souvenirs!
11:30 AM: Continue on to Wat Chan Tawan Tok
The Wat Chan Tawan Tok is a golden temple that is still under construction. Despite this, the temple is already quite glorious and beautiful! From afar, it looks like a castle! The best time to come here is during day time when the sunlight makes the temple shimmer! The entrance fee is free too, perfect for travelers on a budget!
12:30 PM: Lunch at Pae Pid Lok
Wanna go to a floating restaurant for lunch? The Pae Pid Lok is a floating restaurant on the Naan River. This gives you a great perspective of the river, plus the food here is great! You’ll definitely love their grilled chicken as this is one of the most ordered items on the menu. If you want to try the curry, you might have to take caution as the curry served here is SPICY!
It’s also a fun place to go with your kids since it has statues of Marvel and DC Comics superheroes! Prices are quite reasonable too starting at 100 Baht. And on the weekends, the place tends to be busy, but take it as a good sign!
2:00 PM: Feel like royalty at Chan Royal Palace
Thailand traces its roots to a number of kingdoms such as in the Ayutthaya period. Many of the temples in the country were built during that time and amazingly, many of them have survived! One of those is the Chan Royal Palace which was home to the Kings that have lived before. The ruins will help you see what life used to look like for royalties in the country as time may have taken its toll but the grandeur has remained the same!
3:00 PM: Drop by Wat Phothiyan
Another temple to drop by is Wat Phothiyan which is a Buddhist temple built during the Ayutthaya period and is believed to have been built under the rule of King Borom Trai Lokanat. The temple has been kept clean and is quite spacious and airy too! There’s nothing much to do here but to see the beauty of this large temple complex!
4:00 PM: Pay respect at Wat Khuan Khan
One last temple to visit in Phitsanulok is Wat Khuan Khan, which is quite a quaint temple designated for prayers, rituals, and other religious activities. So, if you come here, expect to see devotees praying here. Thailand has a lot of temples but being able to witness how religious Thai people are is not quite common so you might as well take this opportunity!
Where to stay in Phitsanulok?
Dragon River Avenue (ดราก้อนริเวอร์อเวนิว)
The Dragon River Avenue is a highly-rated 3-star hotel in Phitsanulok that you can stay at. The rooms here are clean and spacious. It offers a great view of the Naan River where you can also walk along. Staying here is a breeze and it’s also a great option for those who are working as the location is quite peaceful and there’s not much unnecessary noise! Lowest rate for a room is around 930 Baht!
You don’t have to go out to find a place to eat, especially for breakfast, because Dragon River Avenue has great breakfast options too!
Location: 27/54 ถ.เอกาทศรฐ ในเมือง Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand
Contact Number: +66 55 242 242
Rattana View Hotel (โรงแรมรัตนาวิว พิษณุโลก)
A cheaper option to Dragon River Avenue is the Rattana View Hotel with rates that start from 600 Baht. But don’t let the price fool you because despite its cheaper price, Rattana View Hotel offers a ton of perks like being on a great location for touring, clean and spacious rooms, and free breakfast!
Location: 847 มิตรภาพ ถนน ราชมนู ตำบลในเมือง Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand
Contact Number: +66 55 221 999
Where to eat in Phitsanulok?
Made for Mouth Cafe
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Made for Mouth will surely have something delicious cooked for you! This well-decorated and aesthetically pleasing restaurant isn’t just made for the mouth but is also made for the eyes as well! Of course, the food here phenomenal and if you’re looking for authentic western food, then this restaurant is where you should go!
Location: 17/2 Singhawat Rd, ในเมือง เมือง Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand
Ban Mai Restaurant
You’re in Thailand, the land of flavors! Why settle for simple food when you can have a taste of delicious and authentic food options? Simply head to Ban Mai Restaurant and you’ll get exactly what you want! This restaurant is well-known so you won’t have to look far and out just to find this! Prices are affordable too so you must not miss this!
Location: Nai Mueang, Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand
F2.8 Coffee Lab
Who doesn’t love a cup of hot or cold coffee? F2.8 Coffee Lab surely loves theirs because they make their coffee extra special and delicious! This cafe is beautiful to the eyes and the staff are as beautiful as the place because of how friendly they are! If you come here, don’t forget to try their Orange Blood Americano which is a popular item. They have drip coffee too but you might have to wait for a bit for it to be served. And to complete your coffee experience, they have pastries and sweets here which are perfect for that sugary boost in the afternoon!
Location: 2, 24-25 Baromtailokanart Rd, Tambon Nai Mueang, อำเภอเมือง, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand
Kong’s House (บ้านก๋ง)
Kong’s House in Phitsanulok is a breakfast restaurant that is well-decorated in a retro style. The ambiance of the interiors feels so nostalgic, like being transported back to the 1980s or something! Despite the classic style, Kong’s House has a fresh take on Thai breakfast classics and for an affordable price! Congees, noodles, eggs, and sandwiches are priced at 100 Baht and less. And don’t be fooled by the prices because the servings here are tasty and filling!
Location: 12/1 Surasri Rd, Tambon Nai Mueang, Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand
Pae Pid Lok
If you want something quite fun for the kids over lunch, Pae Pid Lok might be the place for you since it’s actually a floating restaurant on the Nan River! The experience might be noew and exciting for your little ones. In addition to this, the restaurant also has some DC and Marvel statues that you or your comic-fan-of-a-husband would be happy to see! The food here is pretty good too with their spicy curry being a top-seller. You might also want to try their grilled chicken which is also a fan-favorite!
Location: 130 Wang Chan Rd, Wat Chan, Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand
Where is Phitsanulok located?
The city of Phitsanulok is located 377 kilometers away from Bangkok. This culturally and historically-rich city is in the Northern part of Thailand and offers stunning nature as well. Its province measures about 10,800 sq. km. and the famous Nan River runs through its city’s heart.
It’s one of the easiest starting points in exploring the ancient cities of Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, and Si Satchanalai (You can check out our articles on these three ancient cities too!). The best part of Phitsanulok’s location is that it has easy access to major cities in Thailand so going to and from isn’t difficult.
How to get to Phitsanulok?
Going to Phitsanulok is a breeze with flights, buses, and trains traveling there every day from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and many others. Here are the ways you can get to Phitsanulok…
By Bus: To get to Phitsanulok from Bangkok by bus, simply go to Morchit Bus Station. All northbound buses coming from Bangkok depart here and tickets can easily be bought on the day of the departure. The whole trip is estimated to be 4 to 6 hours long and you’ll arrive in either of the two bus stations in Phitsanulok, the smaller bus station or in Bo-Ko-So (Terminal 2).
By Train: Our recommended train options are the second class AC sleepers that travel to Phitsanulok at night which costs around 860 to 960 Baht. With an estimated 6-hour trip, being able to comfortably sleep along the journey is probably the best experience. Sleeper train #1 departs at 6:10 p.m., #13 departs at 7:35 p.m., #107 departs at 8:10 p.m., and #51 departs at 10:00 p.m.
If you’re a woman traveling solo, you can take the sleeper train #1 which offers a ladies-only accommodation. This is also great if you’re traveling with kids! And if you’re looking into starting your day early in Phitsanulok, sleeper train #51 is the best option since it departs at 10:00 p.m. which means you’ll arrive at around 4:30 a.m. the next day!
From Chiang Mai
By Bus: To get to Phitsanulok from Chiang Mai by bus, simply go to the Chiang Mai Bus Station 3. There are several buses that are bound for Phitsanulok. For example, one of the earliest buses to departs at 6:30 a.m. You can buy tickets at the station on the day of departure for 450 Baht. These buses are airconditioned, so you’ll definitely have a comfortable ride.
By Train: There are two known railways that travel from Chiang Mai to Phitsanulok. The first one is #102 which departs at 6:30 a.m. and the second is #52 which departs at 3:30 p.m. Travel time is much longer for trains with an approximate travel time of 7 hours and 30 minutes. But don’t worry because these trains are comfortable and very good for sleeping too! Train tickets cost less than bus tickets at 230 to 308 Baht depending on the duration of the trip.
Transportation in Phitsanulok?
Phitsanulok is a relatively big city but the good thing is that most of the attractions are near each other and do not require a lot of commute. You will actually save more in terms of transportation here in Phitsanulok compared to the other cities.
There are Tuk Tuks around but prices are about 60 Baht per ride which can become a bit expensive. It would be better if you had your own vehicle since you can save more on it. With that being said, we recommend you rent a motorbike for its convenience and affordable price. It will be easy for you to navigate around the area even when roads get a bit narrow. Rental prices for motorbikes in Phitsanulok start at 300 Baht per day.
Is Phitsanulok safe to visit?
Phitsanulok is a safe place to visit even on your own. Tourist-directed crimes are quite unheard of in Phitsanulok which means that you won’t have to worry so much about being scammed or pick-pocketed. You do have to know that traffic in Phitsanulok can get crazy so, you better prepare yourself!
When is the best time to visit Phitsanulok?
The best time to visit Phitsanulok is during the months of January, February, March, November, and December. Yes, it’s hot during February and March but the heat is bearable compared to the months after. You also wouldn’t want to visit Phitsanulok around July, August, and September as these are considered the rainiest months!
How many days should I stay in Phitsanulok?
One day is actually enough to spend in Phitsanulok since most of the attractions are near each other. However, the night bazaars here are highly recommended so it’s better if you get to visit at least one. Do try to schedule your visit on the weekend as most night bazaars open on the weekends only!
Do I need to VISA to visit Phitsanulok?
If you are planning to visit Thailand for less than 30 days, then VISA is no longer required. However, you must have a valid passport to enter the country. With that being said, you don’t have to have a VISA to visit Phitsanulok but you must bring your passport with you!
There are 64 VISA exempted countries that can freely enter Thailand as long as it is for tourism only. Other nationalities may get a VISA upon arrival. To know more about the VISA policies in Thailand, read this article from the Thai Embassy about the “Tourist Visa to Thailand“
Should I bring cash to Phitsanulok?
Yes, you need to bring cash with you all the time while in Nakhon Pathom. There are establishments that accept card payments but most of the restaurants and sites only accept cash. So, to avoid any inconvenience, bring cash.
You can exchange your foreign currency for Thai Baht at the airport if you need money for a taxi, food, etc. Bangkok’s airport, for example, has a Kasikorn Bank booth wherein you can ask how much the rate is and exchange your money there. This bank offers the best rate among the other bank booths at the airport like Thai Military Bank and Siam Commercial Bank. But unlike TMB and SCB which are open 24/7, Kasikorn Bank is only open from 7 AM to 11 PM only.
You can also exchange your money at the hotel you are staying at. Usually, hotels in Thailand offer money-changing services, however, rates are usually lower compared to bank rates.
Is Phitsanulok worth visiting?
In general, YES, Phitsanulok is worth visiting! It’s because this city holds remnants of ancient civilization being that it was once where the Khmer dynasty was located. It might not be at the top of the list of must-visit places in Thailand but it surely is one of the most interesting! What’s more interesting in this city is the peacefulness that you’ll experience here. The ambiance of the city is quite different from that of the major cities, so if you’re looking for a place where you can simply relax, this is the right place to go.
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