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Getting There

By Plane --  Nok Air (www.nokair.com; tel. 1318) and AirAsia (www.airasia.com; tel. 02515-9999) each have three flights daily to Phitsanulok from Bangkok (flying time: about 1 hr.; 500B-1,000B one-way). Taxis from the airport to town run approximately 150B.

By Train -- About 10 trains per day travel between Phitsanulok and Bangkok. The trip time is about 7 hours and costs range from 69B to nearly 1,700B, and the price is determined by class of train and speed— “rapid” trains add an extra two hours to the journey. There are six daily connections between Phitsanulok and Chiang Mai (7 hr.; fare 440B). For information and reservations, call Bangkok’s Hua Lampong Railway Station (tel. 1690), Chiang Mai Railway Station (tel. 05324-5363), or the Phitsanulok Railway Station (tel. 05525-8005).

In front of the station in Phitsanulok, throngs of samlors (pedicabs) and motorcycle taxis wait to take you to your hotel. The station is right in town, so expect to pay 60B to get where you need to go. The bidding will start at around 120B; smile and get ready to haggle.

By Bus -- Standard air-conditioned buses leave daily every hour for the trip to Phitsanulok from Bangkok from 7am to midnight (trip time 6 hr.; about 475B). The VIP bus leaves at midnight and is about the same price; the wide seats recline enough to get a decent sleep, and the overnight trip is a timesaver. Buses depart from Chiang Mai in similar numbers. Frequent non-A/C buses connect with Sukhothai. The intercity bus terminal in Phitsanulok is 2km (1 1/4 miles) east of town on Highway 12 (about 50B by tuk-tuk or taxi). Contact Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (tel. 02936-2841), the Arcade Bus Station in Chiang Mai (tel. 05324-2664), or the Phitsanulok Bus Terminal (tel. 05521-2090).

Visitor Information

The TAT office (tel. 05525-2742) has maps and basic information, but is inconveniently located on Boromtrailokanart Road, 2 blocks south of the central clock tower, down a small side street. Most hotels also offer free city maps.

Orientation

The town is fairly compact, with the majority of services and sights for tourists concentrated along or near the east bank of the Nan River. Naresuan Road extends from the railway station and crosses the river from the east over the town's main bridge. Wat Yai is north of the bridge and just a hitch north of busy Highway 12. The main market, featuring souvenirs during the day and food stalls at night, is just south of the bridge on riverside Phutta Bucha Road. One landmark is the clock tower at the southern end of the commercial district, Boromtrailokanart Road.

Getting Around

By Tuk-Tuk & Songtaew -- Tuk-tuks (called taxis here) stop near the bus and train stations. Negotiate for an in-town fare, usually about 60B. Songtaews (covered pickup trucks) follow regular routes outside of town.

By Bus -- There's a well-organized city bus system with a main terminal south of the train station on A-Kathotsarot Road. Trips are about 10B, but you would do just as well to hire tuk-tuks or taxis.

There are frequent (every half-hour 6am-6pm) buses from the intercity bus terminal east of town to New Sukhothai (trip time 1 hr.; fare 42B)

By Hired Minivan -- Any hotel in Phitsanulok can arrange minivan tours in the area and to Sukhothai. Expect to pay around 2,000B with a driver, plus fuel.

By Tram -- The Phitsanulok Tour Tramway offers a 45-minute sightseeing tour (adults 30B, kids 20B), departing from Wat Yai from 9am to 3pm and returning to the temple.

By Rental Car -- Budget (tel. 05530-1020) and Avis (tel. 05524-2060) have offices at the airport.

Special Events

The Buddha Chinarat Festival is held annually on the 6th day of the waxing moon in the 3rd lunar month (usually late Jan or early Feb). Then, Phitsanulok's Wat Yai is packed with well-wishers, dancers, monks and abbots, children, and tourists, all converging on the temple grounds for a 6-day celebration.

Fast Facts

There are plenty of exchange services and ATMs, most of which are on Naresuan Road. The General Post Office is on Phuttha Bucha Road, along the river two blocks north of Naresuan Road.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.