Kamphaeng Phet Province

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Kamphaeng Phet
กำแพงเพชร
Province
Official seal of Kamphaeng Phet
Seal
Map of Thailand highlighting Kamphaeng Phet Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Kamphaeng Phet Province
Country  Thailand
Capital Kamphaeng Phet
Government
 • Governor Wanchai Suthin (since March 2009)
Area
 • Total 8,607.5 km2 (3,323.4 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 22nd
Population (2014)
 • Total 729,522[1]
 • Rank Ranked 35th
 • Density rank Ranked 53rd
HDI
 • HDI (2009) 0.725 (medium) (49th)
Time zone ICT (UTC+7)
Area code(s) 055
ISO 3166 code TH-62
Vehicle registration กำแพงเพชร

Kamphaeng Phet (Thai: กำแพงเพชร, pronounced [kām.pʰɛ̄ːŋ pʰét]) is a province (changwat) of Thailand in the lower north of the country. Neighbouring provinces are (from north clockwise) Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Nakhon Sawan, and Tak.

Etymology[edit]

The word kamphaeng means "wall", and the word phet from Sanskrit vájra meaning "diamond" (or the thunderbolt of god Indra). Hence the name of the province literally means "diamond wall".

Geography[edit]

Scene of Banana Festival

The main river of the province is the Ping, the main tributary of the Chao Phraya river. River flats make up much of the east of the province, while the west is mostly mountains covered with forests.

One of the best-known products of the province is bananas, especially Kluai Khai ("egg banana", a small, round and sweet banana cultivar). Banana festivals take place in the province every year, to thank the gods for the harvest.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Kamphaeng Phet (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32.1
(89.8)
34.4
(93.9)
36.0
(96.8)
37.3
(99.1)
35.2
(95.4)
33.6
(92.5)
33.0
(91.4)
32.6
(90.7)
32.7
(90.9)
32.2
(90)
31.6
(88.9)
30.8
(87.4)
33.46
(92.23)
Average low °C (°F) 18.5
(65.3)
20.3
(68.5)
22.7
(72.9)
24.9
(76.8)
25.2
(77.4)
25.1
(77.2)
24.8
(76.6)
24.7
(76.5)
24.4
(75.9)
23.8
(74.8)
21.5
(70.7)
18.5
(65.3)
22.87
(73.16)
Rainfall mm (inches) 2.3
(0.091)
13.1
(0.516)
36.7
(1.445)
52.8
(2.079)
195.5
(7.697)
165.1
(6.5)
159.4
(6.276)
170.5
(6.713)
268.8
(10.583)
191.7
(7.547)
42.0
(1.654)
6.7
(0.264)
1,304.6
(51.365)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 1 2 4 6 14 19 17 19 18 16 6 1 123
Average humidity (%) 71 66 66 66 77 82 82 84 85 84 79 74 76.3
Source: Thai Meteorological Department (Normal 1981-2010), (Avg. rainy days 1961-1990)

History[edit]

Kamphaeng Phet already was a royal city in the Sukhothai kingdom in the 14th century, then known under its old name Chakangrao. It formed an important part of the defence system of the kingdom, as well as later of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.

Symbols[edit]

The provincial seal shows the city walls surmounted by diamonds, since the city name means "diamond wall" (from the shape of the ramparts of the old city wall). The provincial tree is the areca nut palm (Acacia catechu), and the provincial flower the bullet wood (Mimusops elengi).

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map of Amphoe

The province is subdivided in 11 districts (amphoe). These are further subdivided into 78 subdistricts (tambon) and 823 villages (muban).

  1. Mueang Kamphaeng Phet
  2. Sai Ngam
  3. Khlong Lan
  4. Khanu Woralaksaburi
  5. Khlong Khlung
  6. Phran Kratai
  1. Lan Krabue
  2. Sai Thong Watthana
  3. Pang Sila Thong
  4. Bueng Samakkhi
  5. Kosamphi Nakhon

Tourism[edit]

Ruins inside the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park
Map of Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park

Sights[edit]

Kamphaeng Phet National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติกำแพงเพชร), on Pindamri Road in Mueang district, it houses ancient objects and other antique arts articles from various eras found in the provincial town. These include sculptured and earthen designs, heads of Buddha statues, traditional celadon products, sculptures of demons and celestial and human beings used to decorate chedi bases or vihans.

Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is an archeological site in Kamphaeng Phet. Along with Sukhothai Historical Park and Si Satchanalai historical park, it is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns. Major features in the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park include archaeological remains of ancient sites such as Mueang Chakangrao to the east of the Ping River, Mueang Nakhon Chum to the west, and Mueang Trai Trueng some 18 km from the town to the southwest.

Kamphaeng Phet Province Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานจังหวัดกำแพงเพชร เฉลิมพระเกียรติ) nearby is made up of groups of central region applied architectural style structures. There are exhibitions on the local history with replicas of the city, lifestyles, and urban and hill tribal customs and traditions.

Mueang Nakhon Chum (เมืองนครชุม) is an ancient town on the west bank of the Ping River. Its 2-3 metre-high earthen walls run along the waterway. It is in this area that the famous religious tablets of Kamphaeng Phet have been discovered. Within the city walls are a couple of ancient sites such as the Kamphaeng Pom Thung Sethi (กำแพงป้อมทุ่งเศรษฐี). It is part of the laterite fortifications 83 metres long and 6 metres tall.

Wat Phra Borom That (วัดพระบรมธาตุ) is a temple in the centre of Mueang Nakhon Chum featuring a Burmese-style chedi. To the south is an ubosot housing several Sukhothai- and Ayutthaya-style bronze Buddha statues. The chedi itself is believed to originally have been a Sukhothai-type structure, its style having been altered during a restoration work financed by a wealthy Burmese about a century ago.

Another ancient town is Mueang Trai Trueng. It was built by King Chaisiri of Chiang Rai who fled invading enemy in 1542 B.E. (c. 999). Today most of the structures are in disrepair with only ruins of chedis and ramparts. The town is about 18 km from Kamphaeng Phet on the Kamphaeng Phet-Khlong Lan road.

Phra Ruang Hot Spring (Bueng Sap) (บ่อน้ำพุร้อนพระร่วง (บึงสาบ) Five hot springs naturally rise from the ground. The temperature is approximately 50-65 °C. A test by the Ministry of Public Health confirmed that the waters are wholesome.

Khlong Lan National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติคลองลาน) covers an area of some 300 km² over mountain ranges to the west of the province. The highest peak is about 1,400 metres. Of mainly virgin jungles, it is the source of several streams which flow into the Ping River. The park headquarters is near the Khlong Lan waterfall, about 60 km from town. Attractions within the park include the 95-metre high Khlong Lan Falls with scenic surroundings, and the Khlong Nam Lai Falls (น้ำตกคลองน้ำไหล), a 9-level cascade. The Kaeng Ko Roi (แก่งเกาะร้อย) is a group of rock formations jutting out of the stream looking somewhat like all islands.

Mae Wong National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติแม่วงก์) forms the border between Kamphaeng Phet and Nakhon Sawan and covers an area of about 894 square km. Most of the land is rich in various types of plants. Along the Khlong Lan -Umphang route passing through the park's area, which leads up to the mountains, are several viewing points between km81 to 115. At km102 is a beautiful road-side waterfall. Other falls within the park include the Mae Krasa (น้ำตกแม่กระสา), Mae Liwa (น้ำตกแม่ลีวา) and others.

Khlong Wang Chao National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติคลองวังเจ้า) is in King Amphoe Kosamphi Nakhon, 43 km from Kamphaeng Phet. This is an abundant forest with a density of naturally growing teak and beautiful waterfalls. Near the park is a hill tribe village.

Local products[edit]

Kluai khai ("egg banana") is a famous product of this province. Raw and ripe bananas as well as other local produces such as sticky paste (made of rice, bean, sesame and sugar)

Culture[edit]

Festivals[edit]

The Nop Phra Len Phleng Fair (งานนบพระเล่นเพลง) is held during the celebrations of Makha Bucha (full moon in February). A tradition since the times of Sukhothai, it is described in the inscription stone found at Nakhon Chum of how processions were organised to pay homage to the town's major religious sites. The fair today consists of colorfully decorated parades of participants dressed in ancient attire crossing the Ping to pay homage to the holy relics on the Nakhon Chum side of the river.

Kluai Khai Fair (งานสารทไทยกล้วยไข่เมืองกำแพง) is held in September each year to promote the local banana for which the province is famous. There are banana contests and competitions on the making of krayasat (a local sweet), as well as many entertainment performances.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population of the Kingdom". Department of Provincial Affairs (DOPA) Thailand (in Thai). 2014-12-31. Retrieved 19 Mar 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 16°33′29″N 99°30′40″E / 16.55806°N 99.51111°E / 16.55806; 99.51111