Map of Thailand highlighting Phichit Province
|• Governor||Jakrin Plienwong (since 2012)|
|• 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||Thailand Standard Time (UTC+7)|
|Area code(s)||056, 055 (Sam Ngam and Wachirabarami|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-66|
Phichit (Thai: พิจิตร) is one of the provinces (changwat) of Thailand, located in the north of the country. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Nakhon Sawan and Kamphaeng Phet.
The rivers Nan and Yom flow through the Phichit province, before they join 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 (meaning city at the royal pond). The Banyan tree in front refers to the temple Wat Pho Prathap Chang. The temple was built in 1669-71 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:
- The province of Chalawan the Crocodile King, the fun and exciting annual boat race, the land of exquisite rice and the delicious Tha Khoi pomelo; the center of the province is the Luang Pho Phet.
Built on the west bank of the Nan River within town limit 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 fresh-water lake to the south of town. It is a Fishery Department's facility to breed fresh-water. 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 to 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 ceremony 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 own birthplace. The entire 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 resident 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 earthenwares 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 most well-known and best-selling 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 snack.
- Makham Kaeo (มะขามแก้ว) is another highly popular buy. The tamarind fruits 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 a traditional 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.
- Website of the province
- Province page from the Tourist Authority of Thailand
- Phichit provincial map, coat of arms and postal stamp
|Kamphaeng Phet Province||Phetchabun Province|
|Nakhon Sawan Province|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Phichit.|