This is where I am, Phitsanulok which is more than 400km from Bangkok. It is not quite known as Chiang Mai or Phuket, but it has its own charms. I like that it is close to nature – lots of waterfalls and an elephant sanctuary. It has a mall to keep the city girl in me satisfied. Mostly I like the pace of life here, less hectic, no traffic, and where simple joy is hanging out in cute coffee shops while having a car wash. It is more than the more popular Thai tourist spots but it has its own charms.
One of the best known temples, and most visited, is in Phitsanulok – the Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (Temple of Great Jewel Relic) or more commonly known as Wat Yai (or Big Temple. It is frequently visited by Thais especially during Buddhist holidays, where Thai Buddhist traditions are maintained. It is built in the 1300s, and its gold sculpture of the Buddha “Phra Phuttha Chinnarat” one of the most revered in Thailand.
There is also an elephant sanctuary at the Sappraiwan Grand Resort. The elephants are rescued from begging or circus shows and given a home in the forest. To date, there are 14 elephants and several of them has since given birth. The last time I was there, they had two baby elephants (huge babies!). The resort is a good place to stay if you want to have some quiet time, or just for a day in the glass house cafe where they serve coffee and cold drinks.
Phitsanulok is also home to several waterfalls and on the rainy months it is a popular destination for white water rafting. I have yet to try it though, but Pasta and I like to visit one the waterfalls – Sakunothayan Waterfall. You can actually go to the rim of the waterfall and look on as the water falls below.
These are some of the things I like about Phitsanulok.