This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (April 2016)
Phichit (Thai: พิจิตร) is a province (changwat) of Thailand. It lies 330 km due north of Bangkok. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Nakhon Sawan, and Kamphaeng Phet.
Map of Thailand highlighting Phichit Province
|• Governor||Wirasak Wichitsaengsi (since October 2016)|
|• Total||4,531.0 km2 (1,749.4 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 47th|
|• Rank||Ranked 43rd|
|• Density||120/km2 (310/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 31st|
|• HDI (2009)||0.693 (medium) (67th)|
|Time zone||ICT (UTC+7)|
|Area code(s)||056, 055 (Sam Ngam and Wachirabarami|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-66|
The Nan and Yom Rivers flow through Phichit Province, joining shortly before the Chao Phraya is formed. The province mainly consists of low fertile river plains, making rice and lotus the main crops.
The name of the main city changed several times. At first it was called Sa Luang ("city of the royal pond"). In Ayutthaya times it was called Okhaburi ("city in the swamp"), and then finally Phichit ("beautiful city").
The provincial seal shows a pond, which refers to the old name of Phichit, Mueang Sa Luang ("city of the royal pond"). The banyan tree in front refers to Wat Pho Prathap Chang. The temple was built in 1669-1671 by King Luang Sorasak, who was born in the village of Pho Prathap Chang, between a banyan and a sacred fig.
The flag of Phichit shows the circular provincial seal in the middle. It has three green bars and two white horizontal bars, with the middle bar being interrupted by the seal.
The provincial motto (loosely translated) states as follows:
Built on the west bank of the Nan River within the town in 1845, Wat Tha Luang (วัดท่าหลวง) today houses Luang Pho Phet (หลวงพ่อเพชร), a Chiang Saen-style Buddhist statue cast in bronze.
Bueng Si Fai (บึงสีไฟ) is a large freshwater lake to the south of town. It is a Fishery Department facility to breed freshwater fish. On the other side of the park is an aquarium exhibiting species of native fish and local fishing equipment.
Utthayan Mueang Kao Pichit (อุทยานเมืองเก่าพิจิตร) . The park features an ancient town dating back more than 900 years. Most of the structures discovered were built during the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods. In the town centre is Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (วัดพระศรีรัตนมหาธาตุ) with its large bell-shaped chedi inside of which have been found hundreds of votive tablets.
Wat Nakhon Chum (วัดนครชุม) It features an old ubosot built with brick and mortar with the upper parts in wood. In the ubosot is a large Sukhothai-style Buddha statue once used as the principal statue in oath-taking ceremonies pledging allegiance to the monarch.
Wat Khao Rup Chang (วัดเขารูปช้าง) On the hilltop is an old, Ayutthaya-style chedi built of bricks, but with its top part now broken. The mondop houses a bronze holy relic.
An old temple in Pho Prathap Chang District is Wat Pho Prathap Chang (วัดโพธิ์ประทับช้าง). It was built by Phra Chao Suea, an Ayutthaya king, in 1701 at a site reputed to be his birthplace. The site is surrounded by double-walls and huge trees, some of which are over 200 years old.
Tapan Hin is the most commercially advanced district of Phichit. The most prominent sight of the district is the 34 metre-tall golden Buddha statue, the Luang Pho To, at Wat Thewaprasat on the Nan River bank opposite the Tapan Hin Market.
Wat Bang Khlan (วัดบางคลาน). It was the residence temple of the highly revered monk, the late Luang Pho Ngoen (หลวงพ่อเงิน). The Chai Bowon Museum inside the temple collects ancient items such as votive tablets, Buddha statues, and earthenware for display.
Fruit-growing is one of Phichit's major occupations. Among its more well-known produce are pomelo, jack-fruit, krathon, and maprang. Fruits are also use in making several kinds of products.
- Som O (pomelo) (ส้มโอ) is probably Phichit's best known and bestselling fruit. Grown mainly in Pho Prathap Chang District, it has a mixed sweet and sour taste and has no seeds. The flesh is pinkish. There are two seasons for pomelo, October and April. The peels of young pomelo are made into jam-like sweets, highly popular as a snack.
- Makham Kaeo (มะขามแก้ว) is another highly popular buy. Tamarind fruit are turned into a kind of candy which has a pleasant taste of sourness, saltiness, sweetness, and slight pungency.
A popular handicraft of the province is the colourful hand-woven fabric (ผ้าทอมือ).
Boat racing (งานแข่งเรือประเพณี) is an event of long standing. It is usually held after the homage-paying rites to the province's principal Buddha statue during September each year on the Nan River in front of Wat Tha Luang.
- Phichit travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Provincial website
- Phichit provincial map, coat of arms, and postal stamp
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