Ang Thong is a small province on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The former settlement is at Wiset Chai Chan on the bank of the Noi River. It was an essential frontier outpost of Ayutthaya (The ancient capitol) when fighting the Burmese. The majority of the people were later moved to a new site on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River during the Thon Buri period. Ang Thong is located 108 kilometres north of Bangkok. It occupies an area of 968 square kilometres.
Wat Khun In Pramun in the northwestern part of the province houses the world's largest reclining Buddha image 50 meters long that dates back to the Sukhothai period.
A 15th-century reclining Buddha image, though not as large, is housed in Wat Pa Mok to the south of the provincial capital. There is a statue of a giant standing guard at the entrance.
To the north of the town, Wat Chaiyo Worawiharn houses the nation's third largests seated Buddha image from the Rattanakosin period. The image is called Phra Maha Phuttha Phim.
The Drum-Making Village of Baan Pae, situated on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River, produces high-quality drums of various sizes. The Weaving Villages on both sides of the Chao Phraya River consists of those that make finished products from wicker and bamboo.
Stroll around the Bang Sadet village and see how each household makes Miniature Dolls from natural resources.
Other interesting temples in the town include Wat Ang Thong Worawihan which boasts a beautiful stupa and chapel, and Wat Chantharangsi with a gigantic Buddha image, Wat Ratchapaksi houses a large reclining Buddha image of Ayutthaya period.
City Pillar Shrine is opposite the city hall. The shrine has beautiful mural paintings.
Wat Ton Son l ocated in the town on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, is an old temple that enshrines "Somdet Phra Si Muang", a beautiful seated Buddha image.
Wat Chaiyo Worawihan. This temple is located 18 kilometres from the town on the Ang Thong-Sing Buri route (Highway No. 32). It houses Phra Maha Phuttha Phim, a large seated Buddha image in the attitude of meditation, constructed during the reign of King Rama IV. This temple is famous for the sacred amulets called "Somdet Wat Chaiyo”, which are very popular with collectors.
Pa MokWat Tha Sutthawat is located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River in Tambon Bang Sadet, Amphoe Pa Mok, 15 kilometres south of Ang Thong along Highway No. 309. This site was part of the route used by the army when crossing the river during the Ayutthaya period. As the temple has been renovated several times, it houses Buddha images and historical remains of different periods.
Wat Sa Kaeo. This temple was constructed in 1699. It is located 15 kilometres south of Ang Thong along Highway No. 309. The temple partly serves as a care centre for needy orphans from almost every part of Thailand. In the temple compound, there is also a centre where hand woven fabrics are produced into various products such as simple skirts, loincloths, table cloths and pillowcases.
Wat Pa Mok Worawihan This temple is located in Amphoe Pa Mok on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, 18 kilometres south of the Ang Thong. There is an old reclining Buddha image assumed to have been constructed during the Sukhothai period. The image is 22.58 metres long, made of brick and mortar, and covered with gold. It is found in the royal records that King Naresuan also visited this temple to pay homage to this reclining Buddha image prior to leading the army to fight King Maha Uparacha of Burma.
* Pho Thong
Bats at Wat Chantharam This temple is 4 kilometres west of the Pho Thong District Office. The compound is home to numerous bats, hanging in the trees during the daylight hours, and who then fly out for food at night.
Wat Khun Inthapramun This ancient temple is located 9 kilometres along the Ang Thong-Pho Thong route and 2 kilometres along an access road. There is a large reclining Buddha image, 50 metres long, lying in the open area. The vihara housing the image was destroyed during the first fall of Ayutthaya. The statue of Khun Inthapramun was in front of the Buddha image. According to a legend, Khun Inthapramun was a revenue officer who secretly took away official money to enlarge the original 40 metre construction of the image and was subsequently whipped to death.
Phra Tamnak Khamyat. This structure is the ruins of a pavilion, standing out in a paddy field, and is situated 9 kilometres on the Ang Thong-Pho Thong route and 2 kilometres along an access road. The structure is made of brick and mortar, measures 10 metres wide and 20 metres long. It was constructed in the reign of King Borommakot of Ayutthaya and was his residence when visiting this area. Although only the four walls remain, the throne hall maintains a trace of its past architectural glory.
Wat Khoi This riverside temple is located in Tambon Pho Rang Nok, Amphoe Pho Thong. Travel 12 kilometres on the Ang Thong-Wiset Chai Chan route, turn right and continue for another 5 kilometres. More than 50,000 fish of various species crowd the Noi River in front of the temple. The Pho Thong Fishery Office declared the area a fish sanctuary in 1985. In the temple there is also situated a local museum where various boats and ancient tools are on display.
Wiset Chai Chan
Wat Khian This is an old temple of the Ayutthaya period. It is located in Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan, 12 kilometres from Ang Thong. In the chapel, there are splendid mural paintings made by a local artisan depicting villagers' rural lifestyles. Other temples in Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan, which were constructed during the Ayutthaya period include Wat Oi, Wat Wiset Chai Chan, and Wat Luang.
Activities : Festival
Boat Races The major annual regatta takes place in front of Wat Chaiyo Worawihan on the Chao Phraya River in October, together with the Luang Pho To Worship Festival During October. Boat races are also held at other riverside temples including Wat Pa Mok by the Chao Phraya River and Wat Pho Kriap by the Noi River in Amphoe Pho Thong. Famous boats from all over the country join the races.
Hotels and accommodation
- Ang Thong Hotel & Bungalow : 62 Ang Thong-Pho Thong Road, Amphoe Muang [0 3561 1767-8] : 240-280 baht /200-800 baht
- Bua Luang : 1/15 Ang Thong – Pa Mok Road, Amphoe Muang [0 3561 1116, 0 3561 1800] : 170-440 baht
- C.L. Garden Inn : 43 Mu 3 Pho Phraya-Tha Rua Road, Amphoe Muang [0 3562 0826] : 450 baht SIAM INN : 41/2 Highway No. 32, Tambon Ban It, [Amphoe Muang] : 150-360 baht
- SUWAPHAN : 6 Soi 1 Sap Sin Road, Tambon Talat Luang, Amphoe Muang [0 3561 1588] :150-400 baht
- Pho Thong Inn : 171/17-21 Mu 6 Tambon Ang Kaeo, Talat Kamol, Amphoe Pho Thong [0 3569 1139-40] : 350-600 baht
* Amphoe Muang
- Charoen Tip : Ang Thong-Pho Thong Rd., Saladaeng
- Kuay Tiew Ped : Across from Ang Thong Prison
- Ko Heng Aharn Isan : Across from Ang Thong Hotel, Talad Luang
- Kumthorn Pochana : 9/3 Moo 2, Saladaeng, Tel: 0-3561-2288
- Krua Mae Waen : Liang Muang Rd., Tel: 0-1916-8982
- Krua Rim Nam : Behind the vegetarian house in the Nopparat Market
- Krua Luang : Ang Thong Hotel, 60 Moo 2, Ang Thong-Suphan Buri Rd., Tel: 0-3561-1667, 0-3561-1767-8 Pae Ang Thong : Across from the provincial hall, Tel: 0-3561-1301
- Pan Thong : Liang Muang Rd., Posa, Tel: 0-3561-1356
- Puen : Near Pattamarote Wittayakom School, Ang Thong-Pho Thong Rd., Ban It
* Amphoe Pa Mok
- Khun Nu : Behind the Pa Mok Market, on the municipality side Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan
- Kui Pochana : 7/293-4 Pho Phraya-Tha Rua Rd., San Chao Rong Thong, Tel: 0-3563-1293
- Nong Por : Moo 7, San Chao Rong Thong, Tel: 0-3563-1306
- Pa Mok : Ayutthaya - Ang Thong Rd., 11 Km post marker, Tel: 0-3566-1284
- Ruan Jai : Ayutthaya-Ang Thong Rd., entrance to Wat Bot, Sai Thong
- Toi Pochana : Behind the Pa Mok Market, on the municipality side
- Tumlung Thong : Ayutthaya-Ang Thong Rd., 13 Km post marker
* Amphoe Pho Thong
- Laem : Next to the Agricultural Co-op Bank, Pho Thong branch
- Pho Thong : Ang Thong-Sawangha Rd., 1 km from the district center
- Pho Thong Inn : Pho Thong Inn, 171/17-21 Moo 6, Tel: 0-3569-1139-40
- Suan Aharn Chum Chim : Moo 3, Intapramune
- Sukanya Panarat : Ang Thong-Pho Thong Rd., 2 km before reaching the district center
- Tung Tung Ah : Entrance of Wat Sri Khuntaram
How to get there
* By Boat
Traveling by boat is quite popular in the riverside cities or towns including Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Ayutthaya, Samut Songkhram, Nakhon Pathom, and Kanchanaburi. In these provinces, river excursions are operated by local tour operators. Boats for rent are also available at major piers. The price should be established before beginning the trip. Between Bangkok and Nonthaburi, regular boats run along the Chao Phraya River with frequent stops to pick up and drop passengers. The boats are usually crowded during the rush hours of a working day.
* By Car
All provinces and major districts in the Central Region are linked by highways, while the distant districts and villages can be accessed using rural roads.
* By Train
The Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong) is the major terminal where daily trains leave for Chachoengsao, Bang Pa-in, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Lop Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Suphan Buri, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Hua Hin, and Prachuap Khiri Khan. To get to Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi, one can take a train at the Thon Buri or Bangkok Noi Railway Station. Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram can be also reached by train from the Wongwian Yai Station. Schedules can be obtained at the Information Unit.
* By Bus
Bus transportation services are available at two main stations in Bangkok. From the bus terminal on Kamphaeng Phet II Road there are both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses leaving for Chai Nat, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Sing Buri, Suphan Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Bang Pa-in, Bang Sai, Aranyaprathet, Chachoengsao, and Samut Songkhram. The Southern Bus Terminal on Boromarajajonani Road operates daily buses to Kanchanaburi, Cha-am, Damnoen Saduak, Phetchaburi, Ratchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Bang Saphan, Nakhon Pathom, Suphan Buri, Samphran, Samut Songkhram, and Samut Sakhon.