Somewhat off the tourist track, one of the country’s largest provincial capitals, Phitsanulok, is set along the Nan River in the north of Thailand. Surrounded by a landscape of mountains, rice fields, and forests, this was home to a settlement of Khmer people in the 10th century. Centuries later, the capital of the Sukhothai kingdom moved here, and the Ayutthaya kingdom later declared it as its capital too.
Today, Phitsanulok is a bustling and diverse city with plenty of cultural attractions to please international visitors, including Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat, which contains one of the most revered Buddha images in the country. Phitsanulok also makes for a convenient base from which to explore the ancient attractions of nearby Sukhothai, Si Satchanalai, and Kamphaeng Phet.