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Kamphaeng Phet (Central Thailand)

If you travel northwards from the centre of Bangkok for about 360 kilometres you'll find a historical old town that was previously known as "Chakungrao City".

This tourist travel guide contains interesting facts and essential information for visitors to Kamphaeng Phet in the lower north of Thailand.

Kamphaeng Phet Province | List of Contents

Visitors need to accept that this region is not a typical destination for partygoers. But, sightseers will find historical and religious landmarks of Thailand culture and customs that make it a worthwhile journey.

In a nutshell, the upper central province of Kamphaeng Phet is famous for its historical park, several archaeological sites, city fortifications, Buddha statues, and 14th to 16th-century temples.

Here's the thing:

The region covers a little over eight thousand square kilometres, which makes it the fourth largest of all 22 central Thailand provinces.

Its northern border links with Sukhothai and with Phitsanulok province further to the northeast. Other land borders include the province of Phichit due east, Nakhon Sawan in the south, and Tak province to the west and northwest.

The Ping River is one of the major tributaries of the Chao Phraya River. It flows through Kamphaeng Phet province and creates a multitude of river flats that cover most of the eastern land mass.

By comparison, the mountainous western regions (also known as the Dawna Hills) form part of a natural forested border with eastern Burma.

Kamphaeng Phet Guide for Tourists

Bangkok to Kamphaeng Phet Province

It's fair to say Phitsanulok Airport (PHS) is the closest domestic airport. It is about 107 kilometres from the city centre.

However, most Thai people use the public bus services to travel by road from Bangkok to Kamphaeng Phet Bus Terminal. The cheapest options include:

  • Driving by car, which will take about five (5) hours.
  • Taking a bus from Mo Chit terminal (via Nakhon Sawan). The direct bus route takes around nine (9) hours.
  • Taking a taxi, which should cost no more than 5,000 Thai baht.
  • Using the train to travel from Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal to arrive in Kamphaeng Phet around six (6) hours later.

Note: Another section contains more information about Thailand airports with some historical information about Bangkok's regional hub for aviation.

History of Kamphaeng Phet (Chakungrao City)

Chakangrao was a royal city in the Sukhothai Kingdom. It also played a key part in the defence system of the kingdom in the fourteenth century, and later during the Ayutthaya Kingdom.

The provincial government divides the region into eleven (11) districts (อำเภอ), 78 sub-districts (ตำบล), and 823 villages (หมู่บ้าน). The eleven districts are:

  • Mueang Kamphaeng Phet
  • Sai Ngam
  • Khlong Lan
  • Khanu Woralaksaburi
  • Khlong Khlung
  • Phran Kratai
  • Lan Krabue
  • Sai Thong Watthana
  • Pang Sila Thong
  • Bueng Samakkhi
  • Kosamphi Nakhon

The Ping River originates from the Doi Thuai mountain range. It runs past the northern province of Chiang Mai and eventually flows through Kamphaeng Phet before joining the Nan River to form the famous Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.

Best Months to Visit Kamphaeng Phet Province

The weather in the central region of Thailand has three defined seasons. In general, the climate is hot and dry from November until the beginning of May. This may be the best time to organise a trip to Kamphaeng Phet.

Dry Season

The beginning of November through to the end of February should see almost no rain at all. There can be a few sharp showers in the middle of the day. But, in general these months stay dry and cool with clear blue skies.

Hot Season

March tends to usher in the start of the hot, humid months. Hence, you should expect to experience daily temperatures around 40° Celsius in April and May in almost all of the central locations.

Wet Season

The rainy days start to arrive towards the end of May and continue through to November. These downpours become heavier and more predictable as it gets closer to the months of August and September.

Tip: Our guide to the meteorological forecasts in Thai provinces contains more information about Thailand weather seasons from north to south.

Things to Do in Kamphaeng Phet Province

You will not be disappointed if you're planning a visit to this province. Besides Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park, this region is most famous for its walled fortifications and ancient temples (สุเหร่า).

Other Points of Interest for Tourists and Expatriates:

  • Khlong Lan National Park
  • Wat Phra Si Iriyabot (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Mae Wong National Park
  • Nakhon Chum retro market
  • Summit of Mokju (Mae Wong National Park)

Pro Tip: Another section contains a list of things to do in Ang Thong province (around 233 kilometres from Kamphaeng Phet). It also highlights why most tourists go to see the big reclining Buddha statue "Phra Sri Muang Thong".

Temples and Monuments

In fact, there is no shortage of places of worship to visit in Kamphaeng Phet. Some of the most interesting Buddhist temples and historical sights for sightseers include:

  • Kamphaeng Phet Historical ParkWat Phra Kaew
  • Wat Chang Rop
  • Wat Phra That
  • Sa Mon
  • Wat Phra Kaew
  • Wat Avasa Yai
  • Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park (pictured)
  • Wat Singha
  • Wat Phra Non
  • Wat Phra Singh

Note: Another section lists the most visited religious temples in Ang Thong with further information about historic monuments and landmarks.

Best Places to Stay in Kamphaeng Phet

Having some insider information about different kinds of accommodation will be helpful if you are visiting the province for the first time.

Here's a range of short and long term options for staying in Kamphaeng Phet with links to further detailed reviews.

FIG Boutique Hotel

45 Nai Mueang, Mueang Kamphaeng Phet District, Kamphaeng Phet 62000
Tel: 088-280-8213

La Riva Boutique Hotel by Praepimpalai

33, 3, Nakhon Chum, Muang, Kamphaeng Phet 62000
Tel: 089-707-1360

Mai Yai Resort

144 21 Chakungrao, Tambon Sa Kaeo, เมือง Kamphaeng Phet 62000
Tel: 081-395-8765

Note: Click here to contact our advertising department if you would like to have a free insertion for your organisation in this section.

Places for Shopping in Kamphaeng Phet

As with most of the provinces in the central region of Thailand, roadside stalls and specialty gift shops are plentiful.

Hence, daytrippers to Kamphaeng Phet will enjoy perusing for souvenirs and traditional snacks and sweets at the local flea markets and shops, including:

  • Banana Market (Kluai Khai Market)
  • D Center Shopping Center

Dining Out and Entertainment

Fresh seafood and spices rank among the popular dishes of central Thailand food. But, if this is your first visit to Kamphaeng Phet, here are some examples of local cuisine to sample:

  • Chakungrao Grass Jelly (แปลจากหลังมาหน้า)
  • Egg bananas (กล้วยไข่)
  • Northern Thai curry chicken soup with egg noodles (ข้าวสอย)

Some of the most visited eateries on the banks of the River Ping, and top restaurants in Kamphaeng Phet, that cater for foreigners include:

  • Mango House Cafe and Restaurant
  • Tasty Restaurant
  • Thammarat Phochana

Pro Tip: Most traditional Thai dishes consist of soup, salad, fish, rice, vegetables, and maybe some meat (usually pork, chicken, and sometimes beef).

Help Guides and Information

Note: The short video [18:03 seconds] presented by "Paddy Doyle" contains footage about the "Diamond Wall" of Kamphaeng Phet province, including the famous park and waterfalls.

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