Ayutthaya Expat Travel Guide
Ayutthaya (อยุธยา), full name Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (พระนครศรีอยุธยา), is an ancient capital and modern city in the Central Plains of Thailand, 85 km north of Bangkok. Introduction Wat Phra Si Sanphet Founded around 1350, Ayutthaya became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. Throughout the centuries, an ideal location between China, India, and the Malay […]
Founded around 1350, Ayutthaya became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. Throughout the centuries, an ideal location between China, India, and the Malay Archipelago made Ayutthaya the trading capital of Asia and even the world. By 1700 Ayutthaya had become the largest city in the world with a total of 1 million inhabitants. Many international merchants set sail for Ayutthaya, from diverse regions as the Arab world, China, India, Japan, Portugal, the Netherlands, and France. Merchants from Europe proclaimed Ayutthaya as the finest city they had ever seen. Dutch and French maps of the city show grandeur with gold-laden palaces, large ceremonies, and a visiting flotilla of trading vessels from all over the world. All this came to a quick end when the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya in 1767 and almost completely burnt the city to the ground.
Today, only a few remains give a glimpse of the impressive city they must have seen. Its remains are characterized by the prang (reliquary towers) and big monasteries. Most of the remains are temples and palaces, as those were the only buildings made of stone at that time. The great cultural value of Ayutthaya’s ruins was officially recognized in 1991, when the historic city became a UNESCO World Heritage List. Its proximity to Bangkok make it a popular day-trip destination for travellers from that city.
Ayutthaya is an island at the confluence of three rivers: the Chao Phraya river, the Lopburi River, and the Pa Sak River. As the train station is on the east bank off the island, most visitors will need to cross the river by ferry boat. Navigating your way around the island is not particularly hard: U Thong Road is a ring road that circles the island completely. Most temple ruins can be found at the northwest corner of the island, while accommodation and night life is clustered around the northeast. As non-Siamese peoples were not allowed to live inside the city walls, the remains of foreign nations can be found off of the island.
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From Bangkok, one can get to Ayutthaya by various routes:
- Take Hwy 1 (Phahon Yothin) via Pratu Nam Phra In and turn onto Hwy 32, then, turn left to Hwy 309 to Ayutthaya.
- Take Hwy 304 (Chaeng Watthana) or Hwy 302 (Ngam Wong Wan), turn right onto Hwy 306 (Tiwanon), cross Nonthaburi or Nuanchawi Bridge to Pathum Thani, continue on Hwy 3111 (Pathum Thani–Sam Khok–Sena) and turn right at Sena onto Hwy 3263 to Ayutthaya.
- Take Hwy 306 (Bangkok–Nonthaburi–Pathum Thani), at Pathum Thani Bridge intersection, turn onto Hwy 347 and 3309 via Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre, Bang Pa-In, to Ayutthaya.
- Take Expy 9 (Si Rat Expressway) via Nonthaburi–Pathum Thani and down to Hwy 1 to Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre, turn left onto Hwy 3469 towards Bang Pa-In and turn right at Worachet intersection to Ayutthaya.
One can also contact a taxi company for pick up at either Bangkok airport. For example: Car Service, phone: +66 2 8195390, email: email@example.com. Advance booking possible. ~1,200 Thai Baht one-way.
Travel by train to Ayutthaya
The cheapest and most scenic way of reaching Ayutthaya is by train. There are regular services from Bangkok’s Hualamphong Train Station to Ayutthaya. The trip takes from 1hr 20 minutes to 2 hr depending on the type of service. Tickets range from 15 Thai Baht (third-class on an ordinary train, with no air-con and no reserved seating) to 345 Thai Baht (second-class on a special express, with air-con, a meal, and a reserved seat). During the rush hours, the trains will be overcrowded and you will have to stand if you do not have a reserved seat. Check the Thai Railways website here for a rough guide on times and prices, but bear in mind the “last updated” line in the upper right.
The railway station is not on the island but across the river a short ferry ride away. Walk across the main road and down the small street straight ahead. Ferries run every few minutes and cost five Thai Baht.
Travel by bus to Ayutthaya
From Northern Bus Terminal
Buses now operate every 20 minutes or so from Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal directly to Ayutthaya. First-class air-con buses charge 50 Thai Baht. This trip is scheduled to be around an hour and a half, but allow at least two hours for the trip since the buses stop rather frequently and there are often jams on the roads out of/into Bangkok. For more details, call Tel. +66 2 9362852-66 or see BKS or Ayutthaya Bus Terminal, Tel. +66 35 335304.
From Southern Bus Terminal
There are minibuses to Rangsit, in the north of Bangkok, costing 50 Thai Baht. In Rangsit they stop at a highway junction, where you can transfer directly onto another minibus going to Ayatthaya, costing 40 Thai Baht as of Dec 2015. Total travel time 1½-2 hours.
From Kanchanaburi, take a local bus from the main bus station to Suphanburi for 45 Thai Baht (2 hours), then another local bus to Ayutthaya for 40 Thai Baht (1.5 hours). A taxi from Kanchanaburi costs 2,000-2,500 Thai Baht (2 hours).
There is also a central bus station east of town serving northern destinations. It can be reached by songthaew. Ask around to find the appropriate stop.
In Ayutthaya, the central BKS bus station is on the south side of Naresuan Road next to the Chao Phrom Market. songthaews to Bang Pa-In also leave from here. Some 1st-class buses to Bangkok, however, leave from the north side of the road some 500 m to the west, on the other side of the khlong (canal); the queue for air-con buses is easy to spot.
Convenient mini-bus service (can get stuck in traffic, but makes no stops like regular buses) operates in front of the Northern Bus Terminal, on the other side of the road.
The cost is 60 Thai Baht, and take around 1 hour to 1 hour 20 min. Mini-buses don’t have much space for big bags, and you must wait until the bus is fully filled.
Mini-buses from Kanchanaburi can be arranged by guest houses or any tour operators for around 350 Thai Baht.
Travel by boat to Ayutthaya
Cruise boats run up the river from Bangkok, often stopping at Ko Kret and Bang Pa-In along the way. You’ll need to book in advance as there are no scheduled services, just trips for tourists. It’s a fairly lengthy trip (at least one whole day) and some of the larger boats offer (pricey) overnight tours.
Travelling by boat to Ayutthaya is popular among foreigners as it reveals the beauty and lifestyle of the people on both sides of the Chao Phraya River, and also recalls life at the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom when the Chao Phraya River served as the highway for trade with foreign countries.
Transportation in Ayutthaya
Travel by bicycle in Ayutthaya
Cycling around the ruins is the most enjoyable and fun way to spend the day. The archaeological park is easily reachable and manageable on bike even if you aren’t very fit. The paths are paved and the distances between temples are small. You can rent a bicycle for around 40 Thai Baht per day. The bicycles are not necessarily well maintained, so be sure that they work properly (wheels are firm and inflated, seats adjusted to your height and well attached, handlebars don’t slip); good shops will give you a bike lock as well. There is a good bike shop directly opposite the train station.
A free map of the city is widely available in all hotels.
The park opens at 07:30. It is recommended that you begin your tour early, before the tour groups arrive from Bangkok. Take a big bottle of water with you.
- Soi 2 (where the majority of tourist hotels and restaurants are found) have numerous bike rental facilities. They are all next to each other so it will be easy to shop around and find the one with the best bike for you.
- Tour With Thai (TWT) (before Tony’s Guest House [not far from mini-bus stop at Soi 2]) has bicycles big and small size and seat for small child for rent. If you are short of time, you can hire a motorbike here.
Alternatively, you can get around town by tuk-tuk (motorized 3-wheeler). Ayutthaya’s tuk-tuks are larger than the Bangkok variety and you can easily squeeze six people in on facing benches. Only “official” tuk-tuk drivers or tourist “helpers” can pick up passengers from the train station. You can verify their status by looking for their photos/name on a “Tourist Officials” board displayed at the south end of the platform. These people are required to charge/work for fixed rates, usually quoting 300 Thai Baht/hour, but this can usually be bargained down to a slightly lower price (e.g., 1,000 Thai Baht for 4 hr).
Saraburi Expat Travel Guide
Saraburi (สระบุรี) is a city in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand. Understand Saraburi has been an important city since ancient times. It is assumed to have been established c.1549 during the reign of King Maha Chakkraphat of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. It is assumed that the king had ordered the merging of some […]
Saraburi (สระบุรี) is a city in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand.
Saraburi has been an important city since ancient times. It is assumed to have been established c.1549 during the reign of King Maha Chakkraphat of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. It is assumed that the king had ordered the merging of some parts of Lopburi and Nakhon Nayok together to set up Saraburi Province with the aim of being a centre for mobilising citizenry in times of war. Therefore, from the Ayutthaya period, the story of Saraburi has usually related to battles and wars. As for the origin of the word “Saraburi”, it is assumed that due to its location near a swamp called “Bueng Nong Ngong”, when the town was established a combination of “sa” (a swamp) and “buri” (a town), it was suggested and the town was named “Saraburi”.
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From Bangkok, take Hwy 1 or Phahonyothin Road, past Wang Noi District, Nong Khae District, Hin Kong Sub-district to the intersection of the elevated bridge of Saraburi. Turn left into Mittraphap Road or go straight on to the centre of Saraburi.
From Bangkok, there are both normal and air conditioned buses of the Transport Co., Ltd. from the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2), Kamphaengphet 2 Road, several times a day. For more information, contact Tel. +66 2 9362852-66.
Travel by minivan in Saraburi
From Bangkok Victory Monument, a minibus going to Saraburi costs 100 Thai Baht. It stops at Saraburi’s train station.
There are daily train services from Bangkok Railway Station (Hualamphong) to Saraburi, several times a day. Trains from/to Bangkok main Hualamphong Train Station station take about 2-2.5 hours. Some trains stop at Kaeng Khoi Station and Muak Lek Station. For more information, contact the State Railway of Thailand at Tel. 1690, +66 2 2204334, +66 2 2204444 (ticket reservations can be made by telephone 3 days in advance, but not exceeding 60 days).
- Phu Khae Botanical Garden (สวนพฤกษศาสตร์ภาคกลาง (พุแค)). Established in 1941 as the first Royal Forest Department Botanical Garden, it sprawls over an area of 300 ha of which 100 ha is natural vegetation and forest. It also features a literary garden, which includes 35 species of plants which are mentioned in Thai literature. It also contains a medicinal garden. (updated Jul 2018)
- Sunflowers (ทุ่งทานตะวัน) (Between Lopburi and Saraburi along the Phatthana Nikhom – Wang Muang route). From November to December, the yellow sunflower fields along the road attract many people. (updated Aug 2017)
- Khao Sam Lan National Park (It is 4 km beyond Wat Phra Phutthachai). The nearest national park to Bangkok. The park offers many small waterfalls, some of which can be reached by short hiking trails. The best time to visit the falls is the late rainy season when water is plentiful. (updated Aug 2017)
- Tham Si Wilai (ถ้ำศรีวิไล): A cave in which resides the Phra Phutthanaowarat Buddha image from the Chiang Saen period. The cave also features stalagmites and stalactites.
- Thale Ban Mo (ทะเลบ้านหมอ): A deep and wide pond with a serene atmosphere, it is the habitat of various water creatures. From February until July, large flocks of migratory birds from Siberia can be found here.
- Tham Narai or Tham Khao Wong (ถ้ำนารายณ์ หรือถ้ำเขาวง): It is a cave containing stalagmites and stalactites as well as ancient Mon people scripts at the entrance of the cave.
- Tham Phrathat Charoen Tham or Tham Bo Pla (ถ้ำพระธาตุเจริญธรรม หรือถ้ำบ่อปลา): The cave is divided into 3 big rooms. In the cave resides Luangpho Yai, a stucco Buddha image with black lacquer applied and covered with gold leaf in the gesture of subduing Mara. It is from the Ayutthaya period.
- Pha Sadet (ผาเสด็จ) It is the cliff where King Rama V and the Queen resided when the Bangkok – Nakhon Ratchasima railway was constructed in 1895. Both of them also inscribed their royal initials, Cho Pho Ro and So Pho at the cliff.
- Tham Phra Phothisat (ถ้ำพระโพธิสัตว์): A bas-relief from the Dvaravati period can be found on the cave wall, depicting the preaching Buddha as well as Hindu gods. Outside the cave are many trees of various kinds as well as the royal initials, Cho Pho Ro, inscribed by King Rama V when he visited the waterfall. It consists of Tham Thammathat, Tham Lumphini, a stone garden and Tham Sa-ngat Chedi.
- Chet Khot – Pong Kon Sao Nature and Ecotourism Study Centre (ศูนย์ศึกษาธรรมชาติและท่องเที่ยวเชิงนิเวศเจ็ดคด-โป่งก้อนเส้า): The centre features a large biodiversity of both plants and animals. It comprises many kinds of forests such as dry evergreen forest, moist evergreen forest, mixed deciduous forest and savanna. Animals living in this compound are wild elephants, gaurs, bears, deer, barking deer, lories, mouse deer, wild boar and approximately 158 kinds of birds.
- Nature Study Routes (เส้นทางศึกษาธรรมชาติ): There are three overall. The first route is from the sightseeing spot 12 kilometres from the centre. The second route is from Sap Pa Wan Reservoir to Hin Dat Waterfall. The third route is from Sap Pa Wan Reservoir to Namtok Chet Khot Nuea, Klang and Tai. Other waterfalls are found in the area. Significant are the Namtok Khao Khaep, the Namtok Krok Fa Phanang and the Namtok Sap Pa Wan.
- Sekeikyuseikyo Thai Headquarters (องค์การศาสนาเซไคคิวเซเคียวประจำประเทศไทย) lies the tropical Miroku Botanic Garden. There is also a pool, marble sculptures in various shapes, and a Japanese garden with. On the other side of the project lies an organic demonstration vegetable plot by using the Effective Microorganisms (EM) technology: a use of a micro-organism to reduce pollution in the environment.
- Pa Sak Jolasid Dam (เขื่อนป่าสักชลสิทธิ์): It was selected as one of the “Unseen Thailand Destinations”. It is the longest earth filled dam in Thailand with a length of 4,860 metres along the crest.
- Phai Tam Sub-district Bird Garden (สวนนกธรรมชาติตำบลไผ่ต่ำ): The garden covers an area of approximately 3 rai and is the residence of more than 17 species of birds. These birds always find their food early in the morning and fly back to their nest at dusk.
- Namtok Heo Noi (น้ำตกเหวน้อย): Proceeding further from this waterfall, there are high waterfalls in Khao Yai National Park. The best time to visit is from July to November.
- Muak Lek Arboretum (สวนรุกขชาติมวกเหล็ก) and Namtok Muak Lek (น้ำตกมวกเหล็ก): The lively stream originates from its tributaries in the Khao Yai National Park that flow into the Pa Sak River which forms the border between two provinces. The stream has rocky slopes that form small beautiful cascades.
- Namtok Chet Sao Noi National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติน้ำตกเจ็ดสาวน้อย) The waterfall has seven levels. The height of each level is approximately four metres and has a spacious shaded swimming area.
- Namtok Sap Heo (น้ำตกซับเหว): This waterfall has a large basin for swimming. On the right side of the waterfall is a path to a small cave which houses stalagmites and stalactites. Trekking to the waterfall is quite difficult.
- Tham Dao Khao Kaeo (ถ้ำดาวเขาแก้ว): The distinguishing points of this cave are its red, black and brown spots on the ceiling as well as the stalagmites and stalactites and its large population of bats.
- Tree Tunnel (อุโมงค์ต้นไม้) is an arch formed by trees bent towards each other on both sides of the road, forming a 200-metre long shaded “tree tunnel”.
- The Dairy Farming Promotion Organisation of Thailand (องค์การส่งเสริมกิจการโคนมแห่งประเทศไทย (อ.ส.ค.)): The Danish government and the Danish Dairy Farming Association together offered a promotion project on the raising of dairy cows. They cooperated with the Thai government to establish the Thai-Danish Dairy Farm (TDDF) and a training centre in Muak Lek District, Saraburi.
- Sao Ronghai (เสาร้องไห้): A gigantic post made from a hardwood tree known as Takhian, which is believed to possess a female spirit called “Takhian Thong”. This post was submerged under water at this sub-district for more than 100 years until in 1958, the locals brought it out of the water and kept it in the shrine.
- Ban Khao Kaeo (บ้านเขาแก้ว): A traditional Thai wooden house approximately 80–100 years old. It is the property of Achan Songchai Wannakun. The house was established as the “Thai Yuan Cultural Study Centre”, collecting folk utensils, weapons, present day tools as well as ancient woven textiles of over 100 years old.
- Bencha Sutthi Khongkha (เบญจสุทธิคงคา) refers to the sacred water from one of the five important rivers that flow through Sao Hai District. It is used for the Oath of Allegiance ceremony ever since the reign of King Rama IV to the present.
- Thanon Phrachao Songtham or Thanon Farang Song Klong (ถนนพระเจ้าทรงธรรม หรือ ถนนฝรั่งส่องกล้อง): A road constructed during the reign of King Songtham who reigned from 1611 to 1628. At present, approximately 9 kilometres of the path can still be seen. It starts opposite Wat Sang Sok. It was changed into a laterite and concrete road with a width of 6–8 metres.
- Samnak Song Tham Krabok (สำนักสงฆ์ถ้ำกระบอก): A well-known rehabilitation centre for drug addicts. This monastic residence was established by a Buddhist nun, Mian Panchan, in 1957.
- Bo Phran Lang Nuea (บ่อพรานล้างเนื้อ): A small stone well near Wat Phra Phutthabat. At the mouth of the well are knee prints. There are stone slopes and a deep hole the size of a can of milk near the well. The water that flows from the hole is believed to be holy water.
- Phra Tamnak Than Kasem (พระตำหนักธารเกษม): This palace was built in 1633 during the reign of King Prasat Thong as his residence on his royal visit to pay respect to Phra Phutthabat. The base of the palace still remains.
- Tham Thep Nimit Than Thong Daeng (ถ้ำเทพนิมิตรธารทองแดง): It is a prehistoric archaeological site. Artefacts of the late Neolithic period were discovered here.
- Tamnak Sa Yo (ตำหนักสระยอ): A royal residence constructed at the edge of Than Thong Daeng by Somdet Phrachao Prasat Thong’s command for his visit to pay respect to Phra Phutthabat.
- Phra Tamnak Thai Phikun, the Ancient Palace (พระตำหนักท้ายพิกุล พระราชวังโบราณ) In the present, there are no remains left of the actual palace. Only the royal elephant mounting platform and the surrounding wall are left.
- Khao Phra Phutthabat Noi (เขาพระะพุทธบาทน้อย) features undulating steep limestone mountains with many pointed summits. Inside lies a replica of the Buddha’s footprint, around 1 cubit wide and 3 cubits long imprinted deep into the ground.
- Phra Bowon Ratchawang Si Tha (พระบวรราชวังสีทา): The compound of this residence was very large, covering an area of approximately more than 150 rai. There still remains the lotus base for a wooden house made of brick and cement. There is an area of around 4 rai left which the kamnan – village headman has reserved as a public area.
- Ban Dong Nam Bo Archaeological Site (แหล่งโบราณคดีบ้านดงน้ำบ่อ): It is a cemetery where burial ceremonies were conducted and an archaeological site of the Pa Sak River culture. Also, iron and stone tools, jewellery, bangles and beads, aged approximately 2,000 years, were discovered.
- Pa Sak Boat Racing Festival (การแข่งขันเรือยาวประเพณีลุ่มน้ำป่าสัก) (The pier in front of the Sao Hai District Office). Last Saturday or Sunday of September. A major annual regatta. Famous long boats from all over the country join in the race. There are four categories: boats with 55 paddlers, 30 paddlers, 12 paddlers, and 10 paddlers. This festival is a way to preserve the local tradition. (updated Aug 2017)
- Phra Phutthabat Temple: This temple is in Phra Phutthabat District, 28 km north of the town along Highway 1. It is one of the most beautiful religious sites in Thailand. The temple houses the footprint of Lord Buddha found on a stone panel near Suwan Banpot Hill. The footprint was found in the reign of King Songtham of Ayutthaya. A spired square pavilion or mondop was built to cover the footprint. Close to the temple, Wat Tham Krabok is famous for its drug detoxification regime. Also, it was the last of the Hmong refugee camps in Thailand.
- Wat Phra Phutthachai: This temple is on a hillside. The major tourist attraction is a picture of Lord Buddha appearing on a cliff wall. A wihara has been built to cover it. The surroundings are very pleasant and shady.
- Phra Phuttha Nirarokhantarai Chaiwat Chaturathit (พระพุทธนิรโรคันตรายชัยวัฒน์จตุรทิศ): It is the Buddha image of the East and one of the four images made by the Territorial Defence Department to express loyalty to King Rama VI and King Rama IX. It resides in the cruciform pavilion of Wat Sala Daeng.
- The Golden Buddha Image (พระพุทธรูปทองคำ): A Buddha image in the meditation posture. The Fine Arts Department examined it and analysed that it is 70% gold. Therefore, the locals named it “Luangpho Thongkham”, the “Golden Buddha image”.
- Wat Phayao (วัดพะเยาว์): The golden Buddha image of Wat Phayao is considered as one of the major sculptures of Ayutthaya Kingdom. The believers built a viharn with a cruciform plan as a residence for the Buddha image to enhance its dignity and to bring honour to the people of Saraburi.
- Wat Khao Kaeo Worawihan (วัดเขาแก้ววรวิหาร) When King Rama IV visited Sao Hai District, he ordered the renovation of this temple and promoted it as a royal temple. There has been a rumor that a bright crystal ball would appear over the viharn of Wat Khao Khaeo on some nights.
- Wat Samuha Pradittharam (วัดสมุหประดิษฐาราม): Inside this temple one can find beautiful murals depicting the Khawi folk tale. The main Buddha image, in the posture of subduing Mara, was taken from Sukhothai’s Ancient City. It is cast in bronze and covered with gold leaf.
- Wat Chanthaburi (วัดจันทบุรี): The major tourist attraction is the ubosoth, constructed in 1893 during the reign of King Rama III. Inside are beautiful murals of the same period as the ubosot. They are still in perfect condition and depict the gathering of angels and the story of the Lord Buddha.
- Chedi Phrakhun Mae (เจดีย์พระคุณแม่): The chedi is surrounded by Buddha images representing the seven days of the week. It was constructed to encourage children to remember the kindness of their mothers and to be good in return.
What to Do
- Nam Tok Jet Sao Noi (7 Girls Waterfall).
- Nam Tok Sam Lan. There are some nice easy circuit hikes near this 3-level waterfall.
- Cliff Climbing – Abseiling (ปีนหน้าผา-โรยตัว). At Wat Phra Chai, Mueang District, is a 35 m cliff appropriate cliff climbing with a climb of less than 5 metres high without the use of a rope. However, cushions are provided on the ground below and a climbing partner will always take care and block from behind the climber. The spot is on a mountain which is surrounded with cliffs on every side. On the east of Wat Phra Phutthachai lie large round stones alternating with timber forests. On the other route is a climbing location with a rope or Top Rope with a length of 40 metres. Also, this is a sightseeing spot for the plain of the Pa Sak River as well as the scenery of Saraburi. (updated Aug 2017)
- Tham Lumphini Suan Hin (ถ้ำลุมพินีสวนหิน). A cave in Kaeng Khoi District with a length of 1,800 metres created naturally by underground water. (updated Aug 2017)
- Rafting along the Pa Sak River (การล่องแม่น้ำป่าสัก): The mountains line up along the rafting route. At some parts stones and cliffs can be seen with strange shapes, similar to animals.
- The National Dairy Cow Festival (งานโคนมแห่งชาติ) is organized in the Muak Lek District in January every year. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is the chairperson for the opening ceremony. It is the biggest event in Thailand for professional dairy farmers.
- The Phra Phutthabat Homage Paying Fair (งานนมัสการรอยพระพุทธบาท) is held twice a year: starting on the first day of the waxing moon and continuing for 15 days until the full moon day in the third lunar month; and from the eighth day of the waxing moon, continuing for eight days until the full moon day in the fourth lunar month.
- The Kam Fa Festival (ประเพณีกำฟ้า) is held on the second day of the waxing moon in the third lunar month. The eve of the festival features various forms of folk entertainment and activities including cockfighting and toasting sticky rice in bamboo. The Kam Fa Festival occurs on the third day of the waxing moon in the third lunar month. People perform merit making and attend sermons. The festival takes place annually at Phai Lio Sub-district, Don Phut District.
- The Wat Sung Songkran Festival and Sao Nang Takhian Bathing (ประเพณีสงกรานต์สรงน้ำเสานางตะเคียนวัดสูง) is held annually on 23 April in front of Wat Sung’s ordination hall, Sao Hai District. People perform merit making ceremonies and pour water onto elders and onto the Nang Takhian pillar.
- Hae Phra Khiao Kaeo (ประเพณีแห่พระเขี้ยวแก้ว): Buddhists believe that Phra Khiao Kaeo was the tooth of the Lord Buddha. A festival is held on the first day of the waxing moon in the fourth lunar month. The people of Phra Phutthabat District take the tooth from Wat Phra Phutthabat Ratchaworamahawihan Museum and carry it in a procession around the town. They believe that if the procession is held, they will live in wealth and happiness. It is an annual tradition of the district.
- The Chaopho Khao Tok Fair or Chaopho Khao Tok Procession (ประเพณีเจ้าพ่อเขาตก หรือ งานแห่เจ้าพ่อเขาตก) is held at Wat Phra Phutthabat Ratchaworamahawihan, Phra Phutthabat District, and is an annual fair. The event features supernatural power performances of Chaopho Khao Tok such as fire walking. There is also the Lo Ko dragon parade and Chinese opera performances. Mainly Chinese people, especially the followers of Chaopho Khao Tok, come from all over the country to celebrate this festival. The event begins on the first day of the waxing moon in the fourth lunar month, and continues for four days.
- The Tak Bat Dok Mai Ceremony (ประเพณีตักบาตรดอกไม้) is considered a significant tradition of Phra Phutthabat District. This merit-making ceremony is held to coincide with the start of the annual three-month Buddhist Lent on the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month. During the ceremony, people offer alms to monks and candles to Wat Phra Phutthabat, early in the morning. In the afternoon, they offer flowers to the monks at Wat Phra Phutthabat Ratchaworamahawihan, Khun Khlon Sub-district, Phra Phutthabat District. They go to collect a kind of flower similar to Krachai (Rotunda) or turmeric with yellow or white flowers called “The Flower of Buddhist Lent”. This herb-like flower is found on the hillside only during the Buddhist Lent period and only in Saraburi. While the monks are walking up the staircase to take the flowers to pay homage to the Lord Buddha’s footprint, people wait along the steps with bowls of clean water in which are floated bullet wood flowers. They pour the water onto the feet of the monks as a means of washing away their sins. The Flower of Buddhist Lent was listed as a new species of plant in the world in the International Flowers Fair in July 2001 at Jurong Bird Park in Singapore.
- Products from the Dairy Farming Promotion Organisation of Thailand, Muak Lek Dairy Cooperatives, and private organizations are sold, including sweetened beef, salted beef, curry puffs, vegetables and seasonal fruits like Nong Saeng mangoes, oranges, custard apples, pomegranates, dragon fruit, and grapes.
- The area is also home to the Caroline cheese factory, one of Thailand’s oldest family-owned cheese producers.
- Other local food products are “herbal Chinese pork sausage with iodine” (kun chiang), “sweet dried pork” (mu sawan), “pounded pork” (mu thup) and “pork stewed in gravy” (mu phalo) and “Krayasat” (cereals and nuts in honey caramel).
- Local hand-woven fabrics are Tin Chok, silk, and Mudmee textiles of the Thai Yuan people.
- On Saturdays and Sundays, a trustworthy Thai rice wine called “sato” can be purchased from roadside vendors in Nong Kae.
- Tontarn Floating Market. Sundays only. Born from the merger of the villagers in the area has led to the sale of food and local product to other people. The market is a small market that is along the Phasak River. Tontarn floating market consists of many interesting things. First of all is desserts and local food. It has plenty of food to eat, whether it is the khao soi, kuay tiew rua, and sweets stuffed crispy egg crepe, but the highlights of this market is the “tai – yuan fried noodles” and “sweets Kong”. The second thing is about dining areas. The dining area is pavilion that on the river. In the pavilion, they have mats and “thok” (table) following the Lanna tradition. Third is the show from descendants of people in Tontarn. At noon there will be a native dance with the sound of Thai instruments. The last thing is souvenirs. Most souvenirs are made by villagers, such as woven fabric, Tai – Yuan clothing and shoulder bags. (updated Aug 2017)
- Weaving Centre of Tambon Ban Ton Tan (ศูนย์การเรียนรู้ทอผ้าตำบลบ้านต้นตาล): This centre is an educational facility for the youth and general public. There are various kinds of woven fabric on display such as loincloth, plain coloured cloth, Pha Si Khao, and fabric in the Dok Phikun – bullet wood flower – pattern, which is a traditional Thai Yuan style.
Hotels in Saraburi
Sing Buri Expat Travel Guide
Sing Buri (สิงห์บุรี) is the provincial capital of Sing Buri Province, in the central region of Thailand. Understand Sing Buri was a great city in Thai history for the heroic act of the villagers of Bang Rachan in battle. On the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, about 142 km from Bangkok, it has […]
Sing Buri (สิงห์บุรี) is the provincial capital of Sing Buri Province, in the central region of Thailand.
Sing Buri was a great city in Thai history for the heroic act of the villagers of Bang Rachan in battle. On the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, about 142 km from Bangkok, it has an area of around 841 sq km. Geographically, it is a basin where three rivers, the Chao Phraya, Noi, and Lop Buri, flow through. Somdet Khrom Phraya Damrong Rajanuphab described the city thus, “Sing Buri is an ancient and large city with a fortress, a royal palace, and Wat Maha That”. The reclining Chakkrasi Buddha image is larger than others in Thailand. It is an imitation of the Indian Buddha image, like the one at a cave in Yala province. Sing Buri was called by different names: the city of Singha Rachathirat or the city of Singha Racha. The city sits by the Chakkrasi, a large river 200 sen (Thai measurement equivalent to 40 m) away from the Chao Phraya River. Since the Chakkrasi River has been shallow, the city of Sing Buri has become a mysterious city. The city of Sing Buri was established as Sing Buri Province in 1895 during the reign of King Rama V.
Among the charms of Sing Buri, many roads in the town of Sing Buri are named after the heroes of the Bang Rachan village, such as Nai Thaen, Nai Dok, Nai In, Nai Mueang, Khun San, etc. Besides, there are a great number of Buddhist temples, both of the old and new ages.
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The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.
From Bangkok, there are two routes:
- Take Hwy 1 (Phahonyothin Road) and, at km52, switch to Hwy 32 (Asian Hwy), past Bang Pa-in in Ayutthaya. Then, change to Hwy 309, past Ang Thong to the town of Sing Buri, a total distance of 135 km.
- Take Hwy 1 (Phahonyothin Road), past Wang Noi in Ayutthaya, Nong Khae in Saraburi, and Lopburi. From Lopburi, take Hwy 311, past Tha Wung and drive towards Sing Buri, a total distance of 179 km.
The Transport Company Ltd. on Kamphaengphet 2 Road operates an air conditioned bus service from Bangkok to Sing Buri every day. For more information, call Tel. +66 2 9362852-66. A private operator, Wiriya Tour Company Limited, offers a daily bus service. For more details, call Tel. +66 2 5122565, or contact the Sing Buri office at Tel. +66 36 511259.
Suphanburi Expat Travel Guide
Suphanburi (สุพรรณบุรี) is a town and a province in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand. Understand Just a hundred kilometres away from Bangkok, Suphanburi is an ancient town rich in natural and historical heritage. The province was once an important border town involving battles and important wars during the period of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. […]
Suphanburi (สุพรรณบุรี) is a town and a province in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand.
Just a hundred kilometres away from Bangkok, Suphanburi is an ancient town rich in natural and historical heritage. The province was once an important border town involving battles and important wars during the period of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Artefacts and archaeological evidence shows that Suphanburi is history dates back to 3,500-3,800 years ago. Archaeologists found artefacts from the New Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age.
Suphanburi’s politics have long been dominated by the rich building contractor Banharn Silpa-archa (1932–2016). He held different ministerial posts (including transport and communication) and even served as prime minister from 1995 to 1996 (drawing international ridicule when he addressed the Queen of England as “Queen Elizabeth Taylor”). He redirected considerable amounts of state funding into the infrastructure of his home provinces hence its roads and telecommunicazion networks are much better than in most Thai provinces. Several public institutions in the province are named in honour of Banharn and his wife Jamsai, leading to jokes that the whole city was “owned” by Banharn or might be renamed “Banharn-buri”.
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Within an hour of Bangkok, Suphanburi is accessible via many routes:
- Via Bang Bua Thong of Nonthaburi Province, tourists can drive directly to the province, a distance of 107 km, which is the shortest route.
- Via Lat Lum Kaeo of Pathum Thani Province, the route leads to Suphanburi, a distance of about 115 km.
- Via Ayutthaya to Suphanburi, the route is 132 km.
- Via Singburi Province, Suphanburi is accessible at Doem Bang Nang Buat. The route is 228 km.
- Via Ang Thong Province, the road leads to Suphanburi, a distance of 150 km.
- Via Kamphaeng Saen of Nakhon Pathom Province, Suphanburi is 164 km from Bangkok via this route.
Scheduled buses and air conditioned coaches leave the Northern Bus Terminal at Mo Chit 2 daily for Suphanburi. Contact the Transport Co. Ltd. Tel. +66 2 9362852-66 ext. 311 or 442 for more information. Buses to Suphanburi also leave from the Southern Bus Terminal, on Boromma Ratchachonnani Road. Check the bus schedule at Tel. +66 2 4351199, Dan Chang Tour Co. Ltd., Tel. +66 2 4352727, Tha Chang Tour Co. Ltd., Tel. +66 2 4357502. and air conditioned coach at Tel.+66 2 8849522.
A train leaves Bangkok Station daily for Suphanburi at 16:40 and reaches the province at 19:32. On the return trip, the train leaves at 05:00 and arrives at Bangkok at 08:10. For more details, call the service centre at Tel. 1690, 0 2220 4334 or visit the website .
You can use many public transportations in Suphanburi such as a motorbike, a tuk-tuk, a songtaew, a bus or a van. In the city, tuk-tuk, songtaew or bus can be used for traveling around the city of Suphanburi. At the same time, you can use a songtaew, a bus or a van for going to other districts.
- Banharn-Jamsai Tower (หอคอยบรรหาร-แจ่มใส) This country’s first and highest viewpoint tower overlooking Chaloem Phatthara Rachini Park allows to enjoy a bird’s eye view over the province at a height of 123 metres. The tower has four viewpoint decks.
- Chaloem Phatthara Rachini Park (สวนเฉลิมภัทรราชินี) The park houses many spots of interest; namely, Ex-Prime Minister Banharn’s performance building, water park, Thai design garden, pigeon garden, flower garden, child playground, dancing fountain and an exercise area.
- Ban Yamaratcho (บ้านยะมะรัชโช): This group of traditional Thai houses on stilts was honoured and awarded for good urban architecture conservation. The house once belonged to Chaophraya Yommarat (Pan Sukhum), the regent of King Rama VIII.
- Ancient Town Walls and Gate (กำแพงเมืองเก่าและประตูเมือง): An earthen wall and moat remain between Wat Pa Lelai and the City Pillar Shrine. The wall on the eastern side has all disappeared as it was dismantled during the reign of King Maha Chakkraphat. The Fine Arts Department rebuilt the town gate, on Malai Maen Road, on the location believed to have been the site of an old gate.
- Bueng Chawak Chalerm Phra Kiate is a zoo and an aquarium on the shore of the Chawak Lake. There are lots of different types of animals and aquatic animals. If you visit there, you need to walk through the tunnel under the water like you walk under the ocean. Bueng Chawak is opened during 08:00 am – 4:30 pm on Monday – Friday and 08:00 – 18:00 on Saturday – Sunday.
Wat Pa Lelai Worawihan (วัดป่าเลไลยก์วรวิหาร): It is a royal temple as evident from the royal emblem of King Rama IV on the gable of the wihan. A huge Buddha image known as Luangpho To in the elegant image hall or wihan is the centre of faith for Buddhist people. In the backyard of the temple is a showcase of a traditional Thai house known as ‘Khum Khun Chang’.
Industrial Promotion Centre Region 8 (ศูนย์ส่งเสริมอุตสาหกรรมภาคที่ 8): Only a kilometre away from Wat Pa Lelai, on Malai Maen Road opposite Suphan Buri Water park.
Tha Sadet Bird Park (Tha Sadet Bird Sanctuary) (สวนนกท่าเสด็จ): The sanctuary is in private fruit orchards whose owners are kind enough to let the birds live undisturbed. Presently, the area has been developed as an attraction of the province under the management of the Royal Forestry Department.
Sa Saksit (Sacred Pond) (สระศักดิ์สิทธิ์): The six ponds here are considered as sacred ponds whose water has been used for royal ceremonies. The Fine Arts Department has registered them all as historical sites, but none has been renovated.
The Western National Theatre of Suphan Buri (โรงละครแห่งชาติภาคตะวันตกจังหวัดสุพรรณบุรี) The regional theatre is established for promoting and supplying knowledge about local cultural performances, music and classical dances of western provinces.
Don Chedi Monument (พระบรมราชานุสรณ์ดอนเจดีย์): The royal monument of King Naresuan the Great and the pagoda were built to commemorate the victory over the Burmese troops. The Royal Thai Army renovated the pagoda in 1952, and built a new pagoda over the ancient one.
Bueng Nong Sarai Historical Site
(โบราณสถานบึงหนองสาหร่าย): The huge lake was involved in the war when King Naresuan defeated a Burmese army. It is pitiful that the lake, at present covering an area of only 29 rai (11.6 acres), is in poor condition.
Wat Pa Phruek’s Fish Sanctuary (อุทยานมัจฉา วัดป่าพฤกษ์): Around the temple’s waterside is a big school of various fish such as Nile tilapia, iridescent shark-catfish, and black-eared catfish.
Buffalo Villages (บ้านควาย) features the rural lifestyle in the central region such as Thai farmer villages, rice-threshing ground water, buffalo ranch, traditional Thai houses on stilts.
Soil-less Cultivation Centre (สวนพืชไร้ดิน): The country’s largest soil-less plantation acquires an area of 200 rai. The vegetables are grown on sponge, sand, pebbles sawdust or on a hydroponics system.
Old Sam Chuk Market along Tha-Chin River (ตลาดสามชุกริมน้ำร้อยปี): This Chinese community and old-fashioned market with wooden shop houses remain in Thai original style a century ago.
Bueng Rahan (บึงระหาร): The large lake is 38 kilometres from Mueang District. Restaurants and the rest area around the lake make it a nice place for relaxing
Bueng Chawak (บึงฉวาก): This natural freshwater lake covers a huge area of over 2,700 rai (1,080 acres). The lake was declared a wildlife sanctuary area in 1983 and by its great variety of flora and fauna, the government registered Bueng Chawak as an important wetland under the Ramsar Convention. As a new destination of Suphanburi, Bueng Chawak houses many interesting attractions as follows:
Bueng Chawak Aquarium (สถานแสดงพันธุ์สัตว์น้ำบึงฉวากเฉลิมพระเกียรติ) exhibits various species of fresh-water fish. Its first building exhibits fresh-water fishes such as Mekong giant catfish, clown feather back, bony tongue, tiger perch.
Freshwater Crocodile Pond (บ่อจระเข้น้ำจืด) Landscaped for a natural look, the pond houses 60 Siamese crocodiles of 1.5-4.0 metres.
Tiger and Lion Cages (กรงเสือและสิงโต) The cages house different kinds of the cat family such as lions, tigers, clouded leopards, leopards, Indian leopard cat, as well as tiger cubs fed by milk from pigs. Nearby are rare animals such as waterfowl, peacocks, pheasants, zebra, camels, and ostriches.
Native Vegetable Garden (อุทยานผักพื้นบ้าน): The landscaped garden houses over 500 species of native vegetables nationwide, including herbs, annuals and perennials. Attractions in the compound include agricultural produce exhibition, agro-tourism centre, and nursery.
HM King Bhumibol Royal Jazz Composition
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