Ang Thong (province)
Ang Thong Province is in Central Thailand. The province is noted for huge reclining Buddha, courageous heroes, court dolls, famous wickerwork, drum-making region, and double reclining Buddha.
Ang Thong, a province, which is luxurious of native handicraft like, molded court dolls, firebrick, and wickerwork. It is also the origination of “Li Ke”, the native folk song, hometown of Nai Dok and Nai Thongkaeo, the two heroes during Bang Rachan Battle. Ang Thong is also abundant with more than 200 clean, magnificent, and interesting temples, most appropriate for Thai chronological study.
Ang Thong, originally known as Mueang Wiset Chai Chan, is located on the Noi River and the low-lying land of Chao Phraya River. It is an essential frontier outpost of Ayutthaya when fighting with the Burmese. As appeared in several parts of Ayutthaya chronicles, especially, prior to the defeat of Ayutthaya in 1767, the Burmese encamped at Mueang Wiset Chai Chan to attack Ayutthaya causing “Bang Rachan Battle”, a noted event recorded in Thai history. Later during the Thonburi era, Mueang Wiset Chai Chan was moved to a new site on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River at Ban Bangkaeo and was named “Ang Thong” since its location was a fertile basin similar to a water and rice bowl of the country.
Ang Thong is a small province located at the lower part of central Thailand as large as 968 square kilometers. Topographically, almost all of the Ang Thong area is low plain with two important rivers crossing the province, i.e. Noi River and Chao Phraya River. Ang Thong is administratively divided into 7 Amphoes: Amphoe Mueang Ang Thong, Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan, Amphoe Sawaeng Ha, Amphoe Pa Mok, Amphoe Pho Thong, Amphoe Chaiyo, and Amphoe Samko. Borders are Sing Buri to the north, Ayutthaya to the south, Ayutthaya and Lop Buri to the east and Suphan Buri to the west.
The province comprises 7 amphoe:
- Mueang Ang Thong
- Pa Mok
- Pho Thong
- Sawaeng Ha
- Wiset Chai Chan.
- Ang Thong - the provincial capital
Distances from Ang Thong Province to other Provinces nearby:
- To Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 31 kilometers
- To Sing Buri 40 kilometers
- To Suphan Buri 44 kilometers
- To Lop Buri 67 kilometers
There are many routes from Bangkok. Three options are:
- Take the Phahonyothin Highway (Highway No. 32) from Bangkok and turn onto the Asian Highway, passing Amphoe Bang Pa-in, Amphoe Bang Pahan in Ayuttaya and then Ang Thong. Total distance is about 105 kilometers.
- Take the new road and cross Somdet Phra Pinklao Bridge until you reach Talingchan. Then turn onto Highway No. 340, passing Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Suphan Buri, until you reach Ang Thong. Total distance is about 150 kilometers.
- Take the Bangkok-Pathum Thani Highway, passing Amphoe Pak Kret. Then take Highway No. 3111, passing Amphoe Bang Sai, Amphoe Sena, and Ayutthaya. Then take Highway No. 3263 and follow by Highway No. 309, entering Amphoe Pa Mok until you reach Ang Thong. Total distance is about 140 kilometers.
Transportation Co., Ltd. provides daily transportation services between Bangkok – Ang Thong. There are both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses leaving Northern Terminal Bus Station on Kamphaeng Phet II Road. For more information, please contact 0 2537 8055, 0 2936 2852-66, 0 2936 3603.
- Wat Phinitthammasan is located on the east bank of Chao Phraya River in Tambon Bang Plakot on the route of Ang Thong - Pa Mok - Ayutthaya Km 15. Its former name was “Wat Krasop”. Main attractions are the old wihan constructed in the late Ayutthaya period and the large seated Buddha image made of plaster in the posture of subduing Mara built in the first Chiang Saen batch with the lap width of approximately 12 meters, enshrined in the open.
- Wat Ratchapaksi (Nok) is located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. Take Highway No. 309 (Ang Thong to Ayutthaya) Km 52-53 from Amphoe Mueang 3-4 kilometers to the south. In this temple, there is a large reclining Buddha similar to the one enshrined in Wat Pa Mok, but of a little smaller size. The image was assumed to have been constructed during the Ayutthaya period. The original image was badly ruined and was renovated as shown. There is another Buddha image built during the reign of King Songtham, approximately in 1620, which was formerly placed on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. Prior, the image was fallen into the river, Phra Maha Wichian Khannak and Buddhist devouts moved the image to the current temple in 1947. Later the construction of wihan had been completed in 1959 after struggling through various obstacles. The image was then renamed as “Phra Rod Wachira Molee” and has been remained for everybody to worship and pay homage.
- Wat Suwansewariyaram is located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River in Tambon Taladkruat. Take the Asian Highway (Highway No. 32) Km 103-104 or 3 kilometers from Ang Thong City Hall along the irrigation canal road. The wihan houses approximately 20 meters in length of a reclining Buddha image. Other ancient relics are about 100 years old.
- Wat Mathurotsatiyaram is located on the Asian Highway (Highway No. 32). From Asian Highway, when passing the intersection to Ang Thong province for approximately 500 meters to Nakhon Sawan province, turn right into PTT gas station for about 30 meters. This temple is formerly called “Wat Kuti” locating on the bank of the Prakamthong River, an ancient river currently called the Chao Phraya River. This temple was assumed to have been constructed in the late Ayutthaya period. The only evidence remains are crystal wall, ubosot, chedi, and wihan standing on the appropriate positions with magnificent figures. The 4x8 meters ubosot is built in the Chinese junk figure using brick and plaster, and the 6-meter roof is covered with fire-clay tiles. Luxurious arts of the ubosot are the carved angel pressing his hands together on top of lotus motifs in the center of front and back gables.
- Wat Chantharangsi is located in Ban Na, Mu 9, Tambon Huaphai from the Asian Highway intersection entering Amphoe Mueang approximately 1 kilometer. When you see the sign of the road, take another 1 kilometer to reach this temple. Areas of this temple cover both sides of the road. On one side, there is a sacred Buddha image called “Luangpho Yok”. On the other side, it locates wihan of Luangpho Sod which houses the metal image, the largest of its kind in the world, was constructed in 1996. This golden Buddha image has a lap width of approximately 6 meters and 9 inches, and a height of 9.9 meters.
- City Pillar Shrine is opposite to Ang Thong city hall. The height of the shrine is 1.5 meters. This is the second city pillar shrine having mural paintings on the four interior walls. (The first city pillar shrine with mural paintings is City Pillar Shrine in Bangkok.) Ang Thong City Pillar Shrine is an exquisitely sacred place appropriate as a focus of victory and people’s heart. Do not miss to pay homage to this city pillar shrine when visiting this province.
- Aquarium is near the intersection in front of Ang Thong Provincial Prison. Here you can find a lot of huge Amazon serpent-headed fish and other native fish like rad (gouramy), sawai (genus Pangasius), thepo (genus Pangasius), etc. for the tourists’ pleasure.
- Wat Ang Thong Worawihan is located on the east bank of the river. This is the third-class royal monastery opposite Ang Thong City Hall. Originally, there were 2 small temples located next to each other called Wat Pho Ngoen and Wat Pho Thong constructed in the reign of King Rama IV. Later in 1900, King Rama V had these 2 temples combined into one and graciously named it “Wat Ang Thong”. This temple is famous for its beautiful ubosot and bell-shaped chedi decorated with gold mirror. Groups of neatly lying Thai monk’s compartments are made of teak exhibiting the arts in early Rattanakosin period.
- Wat Tonson is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River opposite Ang Thong Technical College. Wat Tonson is an ancient temple housing Somdet Phra Si Mueangthong, a very beautiful seated Buddha image in the posture of subduing Mara with the lap size of about 14 meters wide and 19 meters high moulded in metal and gilded. Wat Tonson’s abbot, Phra Ratchasuwanmalee, started the construction in 1973. Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn performed a ceremony to complete the construction on March 7, 1985. This is regarded as one of the largest metal moulded Buddha images with beautiful posture.
- Thai-Style house models, prefabricated parts, and Toddy Palm furniture. Follow Ayutthaya, Pa Mok, and Tambon Phosa route, this is a center producing Thai-style house prefabricated parts of all types by sophisticated handicraft inherited from the ancestors to remain Thai-style uniqueness. Besides, there are Thai-style house models and furniture made of several types of Toddy palm trees available for pale.
- Wat Plotsat is located in Ban Hae, Mu 4, Tambon Ban Hae, approximately 7 kilometers from the downtown of Ang Thong province, taking Highway No. 3501 Km 3-4. In the temple compound, there is a tower made of brick, whose unique summit is covered with Ceylon-style chedi pagoda seen from a distance.
- Somchit Roengpho Mixed Orchard is located at Mu 2, Tambon Khlongwua, Amphoe Mueang, taking Wat Channimit entrance for approximately 3 kilometers. This orchard was accredited with Mixed Orchard and 2001 International Feminine Farmer Awards. Khun Somchit grows mixed fruits on the land of 13 rai (5.2 acres) and rice fields on the land of 10 rai. (4 acres) She emphasizes on growing several mango seeds e.g. Setthi, Thawai, Choke-Anan, Nam Dok Mai Mon, and pamelo and Citrus nobilis. To visit the orchard or get more information, you can contact Khun Somchit at Tel. 0 81818 1450.
Amphoe Pa Mok
- Wat Tha Sutthawat is located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River in Tambon Bang Sadet. This ancient temple was constructed in the early Ayutthaya period. During the war, this site was the trooping route for the army crossing the Chao Phraya River. Take Ayutthaya – Ang Thong route (Highway No. 309) Km 38-39, the temple entrance will be on the left side approximately 17 kilometers before reaching downtown Ang Thong province. At present, this temple is under the royal patronage of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The temple compound is shaded with large trees exhibiting magnificent scene over the bank of the Chao Phraya River. The royal pavilion stands in the middle of the pond. Chedi (pagoda) exhibits ancient Buddha images and historical relics. Monuments of King Naresuan the Great and King Ekathotsarot are besides the pavilion. Inside the ubosot, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn had her personal painters and drawers from the Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Project draw the mural paintings illustrating Phra Maha Chanok, history of Ang Thong province. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously drew a mango on this temple wall as well.
- Ban Bang Sadet Court Doll Center is a high raised Thai house behind Wat Tha Sutthawat in Tambon Ban Bang Sadet. The former name of this Tambon was Tambon Ban Wattan. When Their Majesties the King and the Queen visited and offered help to those who suffered from flood in 1975, the people were overwhelmingly pleased with their Majesties’ presence and contributions. In remembrance of their gratitude to Their Majesties, the people approvingly changed the name of Ban Wattan to Ban Bang Sadet. The establishment of Ban Bang Sadet Court Doll Project was initiated by Her Majesty the Queen in 1976. Its main purpose is to help the villagers earn supplementary income. Besides admiring the shaded and magnificent scene over the bank of the Chao Phraya River, visitors can observe court doll production in the friendly villagers’ houses. Center of collaboration in the form of a co-operative system resides at Ban Bang Sadet Court Doll Center. Some project members will demonstrate court doll making and the products on sale are available at fair price. Court dolls are the exotic clay invention displaying Thai-style course of life and culture, e.g. Thai kids’ recreation, Thai orchestra or various types of Thai fruits appropriate as souvenirs. Contact number of Court Doll Production and Sales Center is Tel. 0 3566 2995.
- Wat Sa Kaeo is located in Tambon Bang Sadet approximately 200 meters away from Wat Tha Sutthawat along the irrigation canal road. If travel from Ayutthaya using Ayutthaya – Ang Thong route (Highway No. 309) Km 39-40, entrance to the temple will be on the left side. This temple was constructed in 1699 when it was originally named “Wat Sakae”. This temple has become the orphans care center with many children under supervision. Therefore, Wat Sa Kaeo Orphanage Li Gay troupe has been established for earning income to cover the expenses in bringing up themselves, which in turn makes this temple become well known. Inside Wat Sa Kaeo, there is “Samakkhisamakhan” building, which is a center for hand woven fabrics project under Her Majesty the Queen’s initiation established in 1981, currently under the supervision of Cottage Industry Section, Ministry of Industry. Also, there are good-quality woven clothes e.g. sarong, bathing cloth, etc. In front of the temple is the location of Amphoe Pa Mok Cultural Center, providing demonstration of weaving, silverware and court doll production, and agriculture produce from housewives e.g. banana. This represents the dissemination of Amphoe Pa Mok workmanship skills to be known and sold to the public. Both attractions are open daily from 8 am. – 4 pm. For more information, please contact Wat Sa Kaeo at Tel. 0 3566 1169, 0 3566 1273 or Wat Sa Kaeo School at Tel. 0 3566 1950-1 or email: Wat_Sakaew@hotmail.com.
- Wat Pa Mok Worawihan is located in municipal Tambon Pa Mok on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River approximately 18 kilometers away from Amphoe Mueang. Take Highway No. 309 (Ang Thong – Ayutthaya route) at Km 40, and then take Highway No. 329 and 3501 to find a signage to Wat Pa Mok. In the temple compound, there is a beautiful gilded reclining Buddha made of brick, and plaster. The image is 22.58 meters from the topknot to the feet. It is assumed to have been constructed in the Sukhothai period. Legend of this Buddha image was that he floated along the river and sank in front of this temple. People offered sacrifices to the Buddha image before pulling him from the river to house on the riverbank. In the royal chronicle, it is mentioned that before leading his army to attack Phra Maha Upparacha, King Naresuan the Great stopped at this temple to gather his troops and paid homage to the image.
Due to the erosion on the riverbank near wihan, King Sisanphet III commanded Phraya Ratchasongkhram to lead the removal of Buddha image from the riverbank. King Thai Sa controlled this removal and invited the Buddha image to enshrine in the new wihan in Wat Talad, 168 meters away from the river. Later the King commanded to merge Wat Talad and Wat Chipakhao into one temple and renamed as “Wat Pa Mok” due to the abundance of Wrightia religiosa (Mok) trees all around. Besides the reclining Buddha, this temple is famous for wihan Khian, where the wall confronting to the river has a tall stand formerly used by the King, mondop of 4-foot prints, and tower of monastic library, etc.
- Wat Thanon is located in Tambon Phongpheng. From Amphoe Pa Mok, passing municipal market to the inner route of Pa Mok – Bang Ban (Highway No. 3501) Km 19-20 approximately 7 kilometers, you will find Wat Thanon. This temple was constructed approximately in 1780 in the Thonburi period. A wooden Buddha image in the standing posture, carved in a human size of approximately more than 2 meters, is enshrined in the wihan called “Luangpho Phraphut Rampueng”. From the chronicle, the raft with the Buddha image floated along the river and stopped in front of this temple and did not go any further. Phra Thong Yu, the abbot in that period, found that there was an engraved wooden Buddha image in the raft. Therefore, he offered sacrifices to the Buddha image before moving him from the river to house in the temple. People, who pay homage to this temple, like to make wishes and prove them by placing the eggs in front of the Buddha image. Whoever can make the egg stands, he/she has good luck. Offerings of boiled eggs, a play, and garland are used as the means to redeem a vow to the Buddha for the wishes that have been made. Other attraction is the floating 100-year Buddha’s footprint of 30”x70” in engraved wood on the ceiling of the temple hall.
- Drum-Making Village is located in Tambon Ekkarat, behind Pa Mok market on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. Take the inner road passing Amphoe Pa Mok Municipality Office running parallel to the irrigation canal for approximately 17 kilometers. From time to time, drum shops can be found on both sides of the road. People of Ban Phae have begun producing drums since 1927 after the harvesting season. The raw materials used are cowhide and rain tree wood because its texture is soft and able to be dug easily. We can observe drum-making procedures starting from lathing wood, laying cowhide sheet, and embedding pins. We can find sophisticated and magnificent drums here in various sizes, good for souvenirs. If you go passing the Tambon chief (Hongfah Yodyoi)’s house, you will find the largest drum in the world of 36”92 centimeters wide and 7.6 meters long, made of 6 pieces of connecting Albizzia lebbek. It was built in 1994 and taken about one year to finish it.
- Ang Thong Bricl is a high quality household industry for domestic sales. Most people use this kind of brick to decorate external parts of the buildings and houses. Those who are interested can buy the bricks directly from the factory. There are more than 42 factories in Amphoe Pa Mok along Highway No. 3501 Km 1-9 and Highway No. 309 Km 43-47.
- Phanthai Norasing Monument is located in Wat Norasing, Mu 2, Ban Taphun, Tambon Norasing, taking Highway No. 3501 (Ang Thong – Pa Mok – Ayutthaya route) Km 9-10. This monument was built in 1988 to commemorate the steersman of Ekkachai royal barge in the reign of King Phrachao Suea. The steersman confirmed to receive an execution for not able to control the barge well enough and let it bump into branches and broke the royal barge front. He believed this would prevent the next generation from doing the same mistake. Hence, his decision has been appraised until now.
- Wat Phohom (Wat Pahuaphan) is located in Tambon Ratchasathit (Tambon Tanot) on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is 12 kilometers from Amphoe Mueang Ang Thong. Taking Ang Thong – Sing Buri route at Km 68-69 and turn at the intersection for 1.5 kilometers. Originally, this temple was constructed in the Ayutthaya period and was left deserted. The temple was rebuilt 10 years ago. Attractions in this temple are 2 large stucco of four-face Bhrama heads, found from the excavation of this temple placed on trays beside chedi. The object reveals original workmanship of a Khmer-style sculpture. It is assumed that those heads were the top parts of either the temple gate or the ubosot gate similar to the one on top of the palace gate in Ayutthaya period. Moreover, the new abbot’s compartment displays a mixture of Asian and European arts.
- Wat Chaiyo Worawihan or Wat Ket Chaiyo is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, approximately 18 kilometers away from Amphoe Mueang Ang Thong, on Ang Thong – Sing Buri route. This is the second-class royal monastery. Formerly it was a small ordinary temple constructed in the Ayutthaya period with the unknown building date. Later in the reign of King Rama IV, this temple was noted when Somdet Phra Phutthachan (To Phromrangsi) a revered monk of Wat Rakhangkhositaram in Thonburi constructed a large seated Buddha image in the posture of meditation made of white plaster. In the reign of King Rama V, His Majesty the King went to worship the image and had Wat Chaiyo renovated in 1887 but the vibration from ramming piles of the wihan caused the large Buddha image to collapse. The king then commanded to build a new large Buddha image following the pattern of the large Buddha image at Wat Kalayanamit. The new one has the lap width of 16.10 meters and the height (from radiance to feet) of 22.65 meters and was graciously named “Phra Mahaphutthaphim”. There was the biggest celebration for the image ever held in Ang Thong at that time. The moulded statue of Somdet Phra Phutthachan (To Phromrangsi) constructed in 1894, having the lap width of 5 meters and the height of 7 meters, has been enshrined in the wihan facing the Chao Phraya River. The large Buddha image housed in this wihan is larger, more elegant, and more remarkable wihan than any other, therefore, Buddhists from various parts of the country have continuously paid homage to this image. In front of the wihan, the ubosot facing the Chao Phraya River was constructed using the magnificent Thai architectural design. Inside the ubosot, there are mural paintings depicting scenes of the Lord Buddha’s chronicles painted by the artisan in the reign of King Rama V, and the moulded statue of Somdet Phra Phutthachan (To Phromrangsi) from Thonburi. At present, Wat Chaiyo Worawihan has been renovated to exhibit its distinctive beauty.
Wat Saket is an ancient temple, built in the Ayutthaya period, located in Tambon Chaiyaphum, on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, approximately 15 kilometers from Amphoe Mueang Ang Thong. Formerly, Tambon Chaiyaphum was called “Ban Saket”, administratively reported to Mueang Wiset Chai Chan District. In the Royal Chronicle, it is mentioned that in 1585 when Phrachao Chiangmai led his army to encamp at Ban Saket, King Naresuan the Great and Somdet Phra Ekathotsarot attacked and finally defeated Phrachao Chiangmai’s army. The present King and Queen visited this temple in 1970 to make merit for King Naresuan the Great.
Amphoe Pho Thong
- Wat Ta It is located in Ban Ta It, Tambon Bangphlap, taking Highway No. 3064 Km 7-8. This temple was constructed in 1761. Originally, this site was for firebrick production and brick distribution center or port for building Wat Khun Inthapramun. After the completion of temple construction, it has then been called Wat Ta It (temple of brick port). Villagers called the principal Buddha image in the ubosot as “Luangpho Phetch”, while the principal Buddha image in the wihan was called “Luangpho Khao”. The latter, once enshrined in wihan “Maha-Ut” was constructed in the Ayutthaya period approximately over 200 years ago. When entering the temple, the outstanding “Phrathat Chedi Sri Phothong” in gold can easily be seen. Reasons for constructing Phrathat Chedi can be traced back to 1992 when Phrakhru Sukhonthasilakhun (Luangpho Hom) initiated to build the Ceylon – Ayutthaya -Rattanakosin pattern chedi of 40-meter width and 73-meter height in the temple compound. The octahedron chedi holding bells and divided into 32 sections is to replace the former corroded chedi standing in front of the ubosot. This chedi is for housing the relics of Buddha’s neck as well as various Buddha images in different postures, which represents the religious treasures in commemoration of Lord Buddha’s kindness for preaching mankind to have good faith, concentration, and wisdom in order to achieve the virtue based on individual’s ability. Later in 1995, Phrakhru Sukhonthasilakhun, acknowledged of King Bhumiphol’s sickness at the beginning of this chedi’s construction, had made a strong wish praying for His Majesty the King’s recovery in exchange for a construction of this chedi as a donation. His Majesty the King then named this chedi “Phrathat Chedi Sri Phothong”. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided at the opening ceremony of this chedi in 2000.
- Wickerwork Village: Ang Thong’s renowned wickerwork is mostly produced by the community of Amphoe Pho Thong. Almost every house situated in the vicinity along both sides of the Chao Phraya River establish groups of specialization for wickerwork, rattan, and bamboo wickerwork production e.g. Tambon Ongkharak Group, Tambon Bangchaocha Group, Tambon Bangrakam Group, Tambon Phlap Group, and Tambon Inthapramun Group. The noted wickerwork area of the province is in “Ban Bangchaocha” locating at Mu 8, Ban Yangthong, Tambon Bangchaocha. The wickerwork from this village is made of bamboo. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited this village and advised people to grow Sisuk bamboo as for their raw materials and for conservation of this handicraft category. Wickerwork from this village is well known for its extraordinary fineness and beauty besides being produced to meet the market demand. It does not stick only to the old typical design which enabling it to produce for export. This village has been recognized as a pattern for career development. In this village, there is a museum exhibiting a collection of tools and native equipment made of bamboo. How to get there: Take Ang Thong – Pho Thong route for approximately 9 kilometers to Yangmani Irrigation Canal. Then turn right and go along the canal for approximately 5 kilometers before turning right into Wat Yangthong Road. The handicraft center is behind the temple.
Bats at Wat Chantharam: Wat Chantharam is an old temple locating in Ban Chang, Mu 5, Tambon Khok Phutsa, approximately 4 kilometers to the west of Pho Thong District Office. Take Pho Thong – Sawaengha Road for approximately 1 kilometer, then turn left for another 3 kilometers. Inside the precinct of this temple is crowded with trees, which have become habitats for numerous basted birds for centuries. These bats look for food at night, whereas during daytime, they hang themselves upside down along the black-color branches to be seen from distance. Visitors can enjoy visiting them in every season.
- Wat Khun Inthapramun is located in Tambon Inthapramun. It is an ancient temple constructed in the Sukhothai period. Considering the original line of brick remains, it is estimated to be a large temple. The largest and longest reclining Buddha in Thailand, 50 meters from the topknot to the feet, is enshrined here. Originally, the reclining Buddha image was housed in the wihan, but this temple was on fire and was left deserted with the Buddha image in the open for centuries. The image features and size are similar to those of Phranon Chaksi, a reclining Buddha image in Sing Buri Province. Therefore, it is assumed to have been constructed in the same period. The image possesses attractive Buddha features with a serene smiling face attracting respectfulness and faithfulness from people. Thai kings went to pay homage to the image e.g. King Borommakot in 1753, King Rama V in 1878 and 1908. The present king came to present the royal Kathin robes in 1973 and again in 1975. Buddhists from all over the country always make their visits to worship the image. Moreover, within Wat Khun Inthapramun compound, there are historical remains of basement, some parts of walls, and Buddha image in Luangpho Khao wihan. Inside the all-purpose pavilion, there is a statue of Khun Inthapramun and the skeleton found in the wihan of the reclining Buddha image in 1998 lying on his face with his hands and feet tied up. People believe that this skeleton is of Khun Inthapramun, but some say it is not. According to the legend, Khun Inthapramun was a revenue officer who secretly embezzled the government tax to build this reclining Buddha image as a holy object. When the King asked how he obtained the fund from, Khun Inthapramun did not reveal the truth because he was afraid that his merit from building the image would be passed on to the King. He was finally sentenced to death. And the temple was then called “Wat Khun Inthapramun”. How to get there: This site can be accessed by 3 routes. Ang Thong – Amphoe Pho Thong (No. 3064), then take a right turn at Km 9 for approximately 2 kilometers. Or take the route from Sing Buri province to Amphoe Chaiyo at approximately Km 64-65, take a left turn for 4 kilometers to reach the temple. Or take the new route Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan – Pho Thong (along the irrigation canal road) when arriving at Amphoe Pho Thong, take a right turn for 2 kilometers to reach the temple.
- Wat Pho Thong is located in Ban Pho Thong, Tambon Khamyat, opposite the entrance of Ban Bangchaocha, 9 kilometers from Amphoe Mueang on Ang Thong – Pho Thong route. In the royal chronicle, Wat Pho Thong was the place where Krommakhun Phornphinit (Prince Uthumphorn or Khunluang Hawat) entered his monk hood. King Rama VI spent his summer vacation in this temple during his boat trip visiting the Noi River and Yai River in Krungkao precinct in 1916.
- Phra Tamnak Khamyat is located in Tambon Khamyat, 2.5 kilometers west of Wat Pho Thong on Ayutthaya – Pho Thong Road. At present only four walls of the royal residence remain. The 10x20 meters royal residence, made of brick and plaster, stands eminent in a paddy field. The artistic beauty still remains e.g. motifs around the window, front and back balcony, was painted in red soil and covered with wooden floor. Regarding his diary about the trip on the Makhamthao River, King Rama V visited Phra Tamnak Khamyat in 1908, he understood that Krommakhun Phornphinit (Prince Uthumphorn or Khunluang Hawat) entered his monk hood at Wat Pho Thong and built this residence for his lodging during the Buddhist Lent since it was a strategic site. Having seen that the residence was exquisitely constructed, King Rama V then changed his mind. He realized that Krommakhun Phornphinit should not have had this residence built so exquisitely for a temporary lodging or a stronghold. King Rama V surmised that this residence might have been constructed in the reign of King Borommakot as his residence during his frequent visits to this area, in parallel to King Prasatthong who constructed his residence in Bang Pa-In. Due to his preference in this area and paying homage to the reclining in Wat Khun Inthapramun twice, Krommakhun Phornphinit (Prince Utumphorn or Khunluang Hawat) made his loyal subjects and monks to leave Ayutthaya and stayed at Wat Pho Thong Khamyat and Phra Tamnak Khamyat in order to join with Bang Rachan villagers. At present, Department of Fine Arts has renovated and registered Phra Tamnak Khamyat as a historical site.
- Fish Park at Wat Khoi is located at the Noi River in front of Wat Khoi, Mu 1, Tambon Pho Rang Nok, 12 kilometers from Ang Thong province. Take Ang Thong – Wiset Chai Chan route, on Highway No. 3151 Km 27-28, you will find the signboard of the Fish Park at Wat Khoi, then turn right to take a short cut along irrigation canal for approximately 2.3 kilometers. Fish at Wat Khoi have been abundant for 50 years since Phrakhru Sukitwichan (Luangpho Khem) was an abbot. Later in 1985, Phrakhru Sorakitchaton, the present abbot had the place renovated. With the coordination from the Office of Amphoe Pho Thong Fisheries, this venue was declared as a fish sanctuary. The police will see that the fish are not disturbed. At present, there are various species of fish living together over 50,000 e.g. sawai (genus Pangasius), rad (gouramy), thepo (genus Pangasius), buek (Pangasianodon gigas), tapian (carp), etc. Fish feeds are available for visitors to enjoy feeding them. Beverage stalls are also available. Within Wat Khoi compound, another attraction is an ancient Thai-style teak temple hall of religious instruction built on eight-angle pillars. Under the temple hall, various kinds of antiques are exhibited e.g. boats from China such as towing boat, sculling boat, Thai-style gondola, and covering boat; collections of tools and equipment used in growing rice e.g. cart, wheel, and plough handle. Aquaculture harvest equipment like bamboo fishing trap can also be found. Besides, there are mondop, wihan, chedi, ubosot, monk’s compartment, praying hall, historic remains of ancient classroom and antiques from foreign countries e.g. ancient lamp from Washington D.C., ancient clock from Paris, and teak monastic cabinet from China in the reign of King Rama V, or ancient cradle. Neighbors in this area established Coarse Rice Production Center in a form of cooperatives for distribution to the public. Local museum displays various kinds of ancient boats e.g. towing boat and sculling boat, and farmer’s equipments e.g. stone mortar, hand rice mill, rice winnowing basket, etc., which clearly review life style of the Thai people in the central region.
Amphoe Sawaeng Ha
- Bird Sanctuary is located at Mu 2, Ban Riowa, Tambon Ban Phran, 24 kilometers from Ang Thong province. Take Pho Thong – Sawaeng Ha Road (Highway No. 3054) Km 18-19, turn into Ban Tambon Nongmaekai until reaching Nongmaekai School. Then go along the laterite road for 6 kilometers until you reach Wat Riowa. In this temple, thousands of birds of various species naturally dwell there including the egret, heron, open-billed stork, night heron, cormorant kingfisher, etc. Certain kinds nearly become extinct and cannot easily be seen in other places.
- Wat Ban Phran is located in Tambon Sriphran. Take Pho Thong – Sawaeng Ha route (Highway No. 3054) Km 21-22. It is unknown when this ancient temple was built. Regarding to Luangpu Chaimongkon’s (from Ayutthaya) narration, a couple called Mr. Phan and Mrs. Ngoen and their son, Mr. Krapukthong constructed Wat Ban Phran at the end of Sukhothai era during 1319-1327. After that, this temple was deserted and was overspread with thick weeds and trees for over 100 years. When hunters set up small village in this area, they helped renovate this temple. There is a legend saying that the late rite Buddha image called Luangpho Kraithong enshrined in this wihan was built by King Sri Intharathit in Sukhothai and removed into separated parts for assembly again as the principal Buddha image in Wat Ban Phran. Since the founder would like to build his own principal image, he constructed wihan to house the Buddha image called “Luangpho Kraithong”. Krai represents the robe, and shoulder clothes of Luangpho Kraithong. Some fine days at midnight, Krai will turn into sparkling light indicating good luck for those who happen to see. It is believed to be a sacred one being able to protect the worshippers from danger.
- Ban Khu Mueang is located in Tambon Ban Phai, 4 kilometers from the north of Sawaeng Ha District and 3 kilometers from Bang Rachan stockade. At Ban Khu Mueang, archaeologists discovered ruins of an ancient city, which presumably existed during Thwarawadi period. Its evidence shows a wide ancient moat and earthen mound, some fragments of pottery, animal bones, beads, and medicine grinding stone. At present, it is a simple canal without any traces of historical sites.
- Wat Yang is located in Tambon Huaiphai and is presumably constructed in the late Ayutthaya period. The historical remains to be found now are ubosot with an upward curve base similar to junk, sandstone Buddha images, damaged stucco Buddha images and boundary stones. About half kilometer to the south of the temple, there is earthen mound where large quantities of amulets were found. Since it is not far away from Ban Bang Rachan, it is presumably a place for hiding precious treasures of the Thai people during that time.
Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan
- Wat Muang is located at Mu 6, Tambon Huataphan, approximately 8 kilometers from downtown. Go along Ang Thong – Wiset Chai Chan route (Highway No. 3195) Km 29 for 1 kilometer, the temple will be on the left side. There are several important attractions in the temple. The ubosot of Wat Muang is surrounded by the biggest lotus petals in the world. Ground floor of Wihan Kaeo is a museum (open only on Saturday and Sunday during 9 am.–5 pm.) exhibiting sacred objects, antiques, and figures of renowned monks from all over the country. The upper floor of the museum houses the first and largest silver holy Buddha image of the country, which was constructed in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s throne ascendancy. Within the temple compound, there are figures of heaven and hell, Thai god paradise, Chinese god paradise, and a huge statue of Kuan Im female goddess. Besides, there are figures narrating the history of Thai-Burmese battle in Wiset Chai Chan. At the back of the temple, there is a fish park where you can also buy some local products of Ang Thong province here.
- Nai Dok Nai Thongkaeo Monument is located in front of Wiset Chai Chan Witthayakhom School at Mu 2, Tambon Phaichamsin. Follow Ang Thong – Wiset Chai Chan route between Km 26-27 for approximately 1.5 kilometers into Soi Pu Dok Pu Thongkaeo 16. This monument was constructed by Wiset Chai Chan together with Ang Thong people to commemorate the two heroes of Ban Pho Thalay, Wiset Chai Chan people, and Grandpa Dok and Thongkaeo who sacrificed their lives in the battle with Burmese at Ban Khai Bang Rachan prior to the defeat of Ayutthaya in 1766. Crown Prince Wachiralongkorn on behalf of His Majesty the King presided over the opening ceremony of this monument in 1977.
- Wat Khian is another ancient temple locating at Mu 8, Tambon Sanchao Rongthong, near Wat Wiset Chai Chan, which is 12 kilometers from Amphoe Mueang. Follow Highway No. 3454 for approximately 1 kilometer. Inside the ubosot are exquisite mural paintings featuring stories of 10 former incarnations of the Lord Buddha, which were presumably the workmanship of a painter’s school in Mueang Wiset Chai Chan in the late Ayutthaya period. The painting features are similar to those painted in the same period being in the ubosot to Wat Ko and Wat Yai Suwannaram in Phetchburi province.
- Wat Oi is an old temple representing a symbol of Mueang Wiset Chai Chan locating at Mu 10, Tambon Sanchao Rongthong, on the west bank of the Noi River. Follow Highway No. 3454 for approximately 2 kilometers and 1 kilometer from the north of Wat Khian. The temple is assumed to have been constructed in the Ayutthaya period, but there is no evidence by the reign of which king. The ubosot is a huge building consisting of 6 chambers made of brick and plaster in ancient design. The roofs were made of wood and covered with fire-clay tiles, as beautiful as the ubosot of Wat Ratchaburana in Ayutthaya. With Maha-ut design, there is no window in the ubosot. Special features of the ubosot are the pillars of the gallery in 8 directions. The principal Buddha image, called Luangpho Dam, is made of alloy of brass and tin. Wat Oi was used as a venue to hold the ceremony of taking the oath of allegiance to the king in the Ayutthaya period. In the precincts of Wat Oi, the Children Creation Foundation has provided accommodation for problem children: straying, drug addicted, or illegally behaved. The accommodation is called “Ban Dek Klai Wat” with the purpose of helping problem children to live better life. They can live with the beauty of natural surroundings and monks help to treat them mentally.
- Wat Siroi is located on the bank of the Noi River, at Mu 4, Tambon Siroi. Follow Highway No. 3454 km.31-32 (on Pho Phraya – Tha ruea or Ang Thong – Wiset Chai Chan route about 12.5 km. kilometers to the west of Amphoe Mueang Ang Thong, take a left turn along the irrigation canal road for 5 kilometers). At Wai Siroi, there is a seated Buddha image in the posture of Pa Lelai, called “ Luangpho To” - 21 meters high and 6 meters wide from knee to knee. Inside of the ubosot, there used to have exquisite mural paintings by the craftsmanship of painters’ school in Ayutthaya. At present, the paintings have been faded away.
Amphoe Samko is approximately 25 kilometers away from Ang Thong city. Though it was originally a small Tambon reporting to Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan, it was promoted as sub-district and then as district in 1965. For its historical importance, Samko is mentioned in the royal chronicle that the Burmese marched their army from Dan Chedi Sam Ong to encamp in Samko before attacking Ayutthaya City. It is also the place where King Naresuan the Great and Phra Ekathotsarot led the troops to Tambon Traphangtru in Suphan Buri province and defeated the enemy by combat on elephant back.
At present, Samko is well known in its native tradition and folk arts. There are some agricultural areas in Samko converted from rice fields to other agriculture land e.g. lotus field, good species coconut plantations estate, and mixed orchard. Farmers know how to develop their career using new technologies to improve agriculture products in both quality and quantity and to earn satisfactory income. Samko is also a land of native songs where both male and female singers take significant roles in conserving and bringing native recreation and songs back to life.
- Ngan Mueang U - Khao, U- Nam. (City of Rice and Water Bowl Fair) and Annual Red Cross Fair is the annual fair of the Ang Thong people held after harvesting period in late December and beginning of January every year. There are interesting activities like cultural shows, exhibitions, local handicraft sales, display and demonstration, stalls, Mueang U-Khao U-Nam beauty contest, agricultural product contest, farmers’ sports competition, and various kinds of entertainment. The fair is held in front of Ang Thong City Hall.
- Long Boat Race Festival at Wat Pa Mok is held within Wat Pa Mok Worawihan compound, Amphoe Pa Mok. The festival is held in 2 periods i.e. the reclining Buddha and the mondop of 4-foot. Prints celebration is held in March; while traditional long boat race festival and the country’s renowned long boat competition is held in October.
- Paying Homage to Luangpho Wat Chaiyo: In the event, the worship and commemoration of Somdet Phra Phutthachan (To Phromrangsi) and Phra Maha Phutthapim are held in May and November of every year.
- Loy Krathong at Wat Siro: Every year there will be firework to celebrate Luangpho Pa Lelai, which is the sacred ceremony of Ang Thong people held on the same day as Loy Krathong day.
- God Kuan-U Invitation and Dragon Parade Procession is held in December every year in Ang Thong market. There will be a ceremony to invite God Kuan-U and, dragon parade procession, and stalls of good-price products.
Local Products and Souvenirs
- Seasonal Fruits: e.g. mango, pamelo, guava, and papaya
- Aquaculture Products: e.g. Macrobrachium rosenbergii, sheat fish, probarbus jullieni.
- Processed Foods: e.g. pounded meat and salted egg from Amphoe Chaiyo, smoked fish in stick, sun-dried fish, crispy fish
- Desserts: Khanom Keson Lamchiak from Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan and Khanom Kong from Amphoe Mueang are both famous gifts.
- Furniture model: from Amphoe Mueang
- Flowers made from cloth: from Amphoe Pho Thong and Amphoe Sawaeng Ha
- Drums and Court Dolls: from Amphoe Pa Mok
- Wickerwork: made of bamboo, rattan, and Java weed from Ban Chaocha, Amphoe Pho Thong, and Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan
- Artificial Flowers: from Amphoe Pho Thong and Amphoe Sawaeng Ha
- Household Utensils: made of Ceramics and Bencharong from Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan
- Ang Thong Hotel & Bungalow (อ่างทองโฮเต็ล และอ่างทองบังกะโล) 62 Ang Thong-Pho Thong Road (Tel: 0 3561 1767-8), 8 bungalows: 240-280 baht / 102 rooms: 200-800 baht
- Bua Luang (บัวหลวง) 1/15 Ang Thong – Pa Mok Road (Tel: 0 3561 1116, 0 3561 1800), 75 rooms: 170-440 baht
- C.L. Garden Inn (ซี.แอล. การ์เด้นอินน์) 43 Mu 3 Pho Phraya-Tha Rua Road (Tel: 0 3562 0826), 60 rooms: 380-450 baht
- SIAM INN (สยามอินน์) 41/2 Highway No. 32, Tambon Ban It, 36 rooms: 150-360 baht
- SUWAPHAN (สุวพันธุ์) 6 Soi 1 Sap Sin Road, Tambon Talat Luang (Tel: 0 3561 1588), 20 rooms: 150-400 baht
- Chaiyo (ไชโย) 235 Mu 1 Amphoe Chaiyo, 14 rooms: 200-300 baht
Amphoe Pho Thong
- Pho Thong Inn (โพธิ์ทอง อินน์) 171/17-21 Mu 6 Tambon Ang Kaeo, Talat Kamol (Tel: 0 3569 1139-40), 30 rooms: 350-600 baht
Recommendations for visitors to Temple/Museum/Historical sites:
- Study details of the places prior to the visit.
- Dress and behave properly.
- Take off shoes and keep them in appropriate areas prior to entering chapel and religious area.
- Contact knowledgeable lecturer e.g. monk, native villager, officer.
- Be careful not to break or ruin historical objects or historical sites.
- Do not walk into restricted area or on the historical site, do not touch paintings, or take any parts of the historical objects or historical sites as souvenir.
- Ask permission from officer in charge prior to taking photos.
- Do not use flash when taking photos since it will damage the historical object or historical site.
This page was last edited at 10:06, on 22 April 2008 by Wikitravel user Texugo. Based on work by bornDistinction and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.