Saraburi, the province of historical sites, the holy footprint, the beauty of nature, and famous food, is located some 108 kilometres from Bangkok. Travelling to and around Saraburi could be made in one day. The province is administratively divided into 13 districts: Muang Saraburi, Nong Saeng, Sao Hai, Ban Mo, Phra Phutthabat, Nong Don, Kaeng Khoi, Muak Lek, Wang Muang, Wihan Daeng, Nong Khae, Don Phut, and Chaloem Phra Kiat.
How To Get There Distances from Saraburi to neighbouring provinces:
By Car: From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin) to the traffic roundabout at Bang Pa- In, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, and then turn right to Mittraphap Road, which is some 60 kilometers from Saraburi town.
By Bus: There are many daily regular buses and air-conditioned coaches from the Northeastern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) on Kamphaeng Phet II Road. Call : 0-2537-8055 for more information.
By Train: From Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong), there are daily Bangkok-Saraburi trains. A stop at Kaeng Khoi and Muak Lek could also be made. Call the Travel Service Bureau at 0-2223-7010 or 0-2223-7020 for more information.
Chao Pho Khao Tok Festival
Chao Pho Khao Tok Festival or Chao Pho Khao Tok Procession is an annual festival. The event features the supernatural power performances of Chao Pho Khao Tok and walking on fire, Lo Ko dragon parade, and Chinese opera. Mostly Chinese people, especially the pupils of Chao Pho Khao Tok, will come to join the festival. The event is held from the first day of the waxing moon in the fourth month of the lunar calendar for 4 days at Wat Phra Phutthabat Ratchaworamahawihan in Phra Phutthabat district.
Hae Phra Khiao Kaeo
Hae Phra Khiao Kaeo, or Celebrations of Lord Buddha's Tooth. Buddhists believe that Phra Khiao Kaeo is the tooth of Lord Buddha. The festival is held on the first day of the waxing moon in the fourth month of the lunar calendar. The people of Amphoe Phra Phutthabat will present the tooth that is to be taken from Wat Phra Phutthabat Ratchaworamahawihan Museum and bear it in a procession around the town. They believe that if the procession is held, they will live in wealth and happiness.
Kam Fa Festival
Kam Fa Festival is held on the second day of the waxing moon in the third month of the lunar calendar. The festival features folk entertainments and activities including a pitch and toss game, cockfighting, toasting rice in bamboo, etc. On the third day of waxing moon in the third month of the lunar calendar, people perform merit making and attend sermons, cook and tell stories about ancestors. The festival takes place annually at Tambon Phai Lio, Don Phut district.
Pa Sak Boat Racing Festival
Pa Sak Boat Racing Festival is a major annual regatta that takes place in front of Sao Hai district offices pier on the last Saturday or Sunday of September. Famous boats from all over the country join in the race. This festival preserves local tradition.
Phra Phutthabat Homage-paying Festival
Phra Phutthabat Homage-paying Festival Stems from the time when Lord Buddha's Footprint was found in the reign of King Songtham of Ayutthaya. The mondop was built to cover the footprint. At present, the footprint is situated at Wat Phra Phutthabat Ratchaworamahawihan, Tambon Khun Khon. A large number of Thais and foreigners come to Phra Phutthabat during the event. The event is held twice a year: from the first day till the fifteenth day of the waxing moon in the third month of the lunar calendar totaling 15 days; and from the eighth day until the fifteenth day of the waxing moon in the fourth month of the lunar calendar for 8 days.
Songkran Song Nam Sao Nang Takian Wat Sung
Songkran Song Nam Sao Nang Takian Wat Sung is held annually on April 23 in front of Wat Sung's chapel, Sao Hai district. People perform merit making by pouring water to the elders and to Nang Takian pillar.
Tak Bat Dok Mai
Tak Bat Dok Mai, the Food Offering Festival, is an important event of Phra Phutthabat district. This impressive merit-making ceremony is held to coincide with the start of the annual three-month Buddhist Lent (around June-July) when Buddhist monks must stay in their temples. In the morning, the people will offer food and candles to Wat Phra Phutthabat Ratchaworamahawihan, Tambon Khun Khon, Phra Phutthabat district. They will go to collect a kind of flower called The Flower of Buddhist Lent, to offer to the monks for merit. The herb-like flower has yellow or white colors and is found at a hillside only during the Buddhist Lent period in Saraburi. While the monks come along the passage to bring the flowers to pay homage to Lord Buddha's Footprint, people will wait at the stairs with a bowl of clean water floating Mimusops. They will pour the water onto the feet of the monks and the novices as a means of cleaning ones mind.
Food and Dairy Products
Products from the Dairy Farming Promotion Organisation of Thailand, Muak Lek cooperatives and private organizations are sold, including sweet beef, salted beef, curry puff, vegetables and seasonal fruit like Nong Saeng mangoes, oranges, watermelons, custard apple, and cauliflowers. They are sold at Muak Lek district and the markets.
Local Hand-Woven Fabrics
The distinctive style of northeastern fabrics like Tin Chok silk and Matmi silk of the Thai Yuan people are sold at Tam on Ton Tan, Tambon Sao Hai, Tambon Tao Phun in Khaeng Khoi district and Tambon Nong Khae in Phra Phutthabat district.
Bamboo and Reed Mat Weaving Basketry
Attractions Cruising Along the Pa Sak River The Pa Sak River
The Pa Sak River, which runs through the area of Kaeng Khoi district, offers beautiful scenery of forests and mountains along the river, hills and high cliffs, which have animal shapes. Boat trips are operated by some riverside resorts such as the Suphalai Pasak Resort tel. 0-3630-6270-2 and Bangkok 0-2260-2223-6.
Tham Phra Phothisat
This cave is located in the compound of Wat Tham Phra Phothisat, Tambon Thap Kwang, 32 kilometres from Saraburi town, 15 kilometres along Highway No. 2 (Mittraphap Road) to Nakhon Ratchasima and 11 kilometres along the access road following the road sign. The cave is situated in the middle of Khao Nam Phu. It houses a bas-relief Buddha image on the wall, a Lankan pagoda of the Dvaravati period as well as monumental stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is teeming with various kinds of trees. Tham Thammathat, Tham Lumphini, Tham Sangat Chedi and a stone garden can be seen in the area.
Tham Phra That Charoen Tham
This cave is accessed via 2 routes: Drive for 12 kilometres from the town along Mittraphap Road and turn left to Kaeng Khoi district through the market and 8 kilometres over the Adireksan Bridge (which was built over Pa Sak River). Alternatively, drive for 15 kilometres from the town along Highway No. 1 (Lop Buri route) to Phu Khae Witthaya School and then drive for 10 kilometres from the Phu Khae-Kaeng Khoi Road (opposite the Phu Khae Witthaya School).
Muak Lek Arboretum
This arboretum is 37 kilometres from Saraburi town along Mittraphap Road. The entrance is on the left side and opposite the store of the Dairy Farming Promotion Organization of Thailand .It covers an area of 150 acres and is an intermediate forested area between Muak Lek district, Saraburi and Pak Chong district, Nakhon Ratchasima. The lively stream originates from the tributaries in Khao Yai National Park that flow into Pa Sak River that is the border between the two provinces. The stream has rock slopes and a small beautiful cascade. Along the stream are bridges and various kinds of plants and flowers.
Namtok Chet Sao Noi
Namtok Chet Sao Noi is a small waterfall at Tambon Muak Lek, on the same route as Namtok Muak Lek and continue on for another 9 kilometres on an asphalt road. The waterfall flows along a stream and has 7 levels. The height of each level is 4 metres and offers a spacious shady swimming area.
Tham Dao Khao Kaeo
This cave is at Tambon Phaya Klang, 35 kilometres from Muak Lek district or 75 kilometres from Saraburi town. To visit the cave, visitors must climb the stairs from the foot of the hill to the mouth of the cave about 100 metres up. When the light shines on the caves cell, it will sparkle like beautiful red, black and brown stars. The beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations are on the cell and the wall.
The park has mountains of various sizes and plains in the valley. The highest peak is Khao Khrok which is some 329 metres high. Visitors can see a clear view of the town and neighbouring districts from here. The park is also home to pheasants, jungle fowls, barking deer, monkeys, wild boars, and birds of various species, especially Princess Sirindhorn Bird or the White-eyed River Martin. Khao Sam Lan National Park offers several waterfalls: Sam Lan waterfall is a wide stone plateau that falls down 3 levels and is similar to stairs. Pho Hin Dat waterfall is 300 metres from the park office and has a wide stone plateau and a single-level waterfall which is suitable for swimming. Ton Rak Sai waterfall is some 300 metres from the park office and 500 metres from Pho Hin Dat waterfall, and originates from the same stream as Pho Hin Dat waterfall. The lively stream flows through Pho Hin Dat waterfall before running into Ton Rak Sai waterfall, a 7-metre one-level waterfall. Touring around these attractive waterfalls can be made within 2-3 hours on walking trails where visitors will not have to use the same trail on their return.
In addition, there are other splendid waterfalls that can be reached by walking for some distance from the park office: Khao Daeng waterfall (800 ms.), Kuak Ma waterfall (2 kilometres), Krok I Wo waterfall (3 kilometres), and Nang Chon waterfall (6 kilometres)
The park offers camping sites for eighty persons (visitors must bring sleeping bags by themselves). For visitors who bring their own tents, the park accommodates campsites. Call the National Park Division, Royal Forestry Department, Bang Khen at 0-2561-4292 ext. 724-725, 0-2579-5734 and 0-2579-7223.
Khao Sam Lan National Park
The Khao Sam Lan National Park covers 4 districts: Mueang, Kaeng Khoi, Nong Khae, and Wihan Daeng and occupies an area of 44 square kilometers. It was declared a national park on June 2, 1981. October to January (winter season in Thailand) is the best time to visit. Located 16 kilometres south of the town along the Bangkok-Saraburi route Highway No. 1 (Mittraphap Road), it is accessible by routes along Km. 102 or Km. 104. The National Park can also be reached by taking the bus to Saraburi town, and then renting a van or a local truck to the park.
Phu Khae Botanical Garden
This Botanical Garden is located in Phu Khae district, 17 kilometres from town along the Saraburi-Lop Buri route (Phahonyothin Road). It collects various kinds of plants for study and breeding. The vast expanse of garden and the flowing stream are suitable places for relaxation. The garden is open daily from 08.00-18.00.
Tham Si Wilai
This cave is in Wat Tham Si Wilai at Tambon Na Phra Lan, some 22 kilometres from Saraburi town. The cave houses Phra Phutthanaowarat, a Buddha image of the Chiang Saen period as well as beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations. From here, visitors could appreciate scenic views of mountain ranges.
World War II Memorial of the Japanese Army (Khao Daeng)
This is located in Khao Sam Lan National Park, next to the south of Wat Phra Phutthachai. There are bomb craters from made by Japanese forces in World War II.
Wat Phra Phutthabat
This temple is located in Tambon Khun Khlon, 28 kilometres north of the town, turn left 1 km. before arriving in Phra Phutthabat district. The important historical site here is Lord Buddha's Footprint that was found on a stone panel near Suwan Banpot Hill or Satchaphanthakhiri Hill. Lord Buddha's Footprint measures 21 inches wide, 5 feet long, and 11 inches deep. The footprint was discovered during the reign of King Songtham of Ayutthaya. The footprint had 108 religious aspects, so he commanded a temporary Mondop be built to cover the footprint and it has been refurbished several times.
The Mondop is a square building, has a seven-tier castle roof and each is roofed with green glazed tiles. Each level is decorated with an arch supported by wood, gold and colored glasses. The external walls are also decorated with gold and coloured glasses in the shapes of mythological gods and lotus top. The pearl inlaid artwork on the Mondop doors represents one of the best craftsmanship in the country. The Mondop entrance has three Naga (mythical serpents) stairs, each conveying the meaning of silver, gold, and glass stairs that stretch from the heavens. A five-headed Naga cast in bronze flanks the stairs. The Mondop is surrounded by bells, which visitors can rap to make merit. The surrounding ubosot and vihara were built according to the architecture of the Ayutthaya and early Rattanakosin periods.
In the temple compound there is the Phra Phutthabat National Museum which displays various precious artifacts including King Songthams attire, ceramics, bronzeware, old weapons, a replica of Lord Buddha's footprint, an old Mondop top, Phat Yot (ecclesiastical fans) from various periods, and the pipe dating from the King Narai period. The Phra Phutthabat Festival is held twice a year, during the eighth day of the waxing moon until the first day of the waning moon in the third month and the fourth month of the lunar calendar.
Bo Phran Lang Nuea is a small stone well near the temple. At the mouth of the well are knee prints. There are stone slopes and a deep hole the size of a milk can near the well. The water that flows from the hole is believed to be holy water. According to legend, Bun, a hunter who found Lord Buddha's Footprint, washed game meat at this well by kneeling down and the small hole was made from his spear which was stuck into the ground. There is a continuous flow of water from the well.
Sao Ronghai is in Chao Mae Takhian Tong Shrine at Wat Sung, Tambon Sao Hai. It is located 500 meters from Sao Hai District Office. It is a large pillar, which is believed to be a female spirit because offerings people give to this pillar are all female items. According to legend, when Bangkok was built as the capital, there was a decree that the most beautiful pillars from all over the country would be taken to Bangkok for selection to find the City Pillar.
Saraburi sent a nearly perfect pillar by floating it down the Pa Sak River. However, it arrived just after the selection of another pillar was made and it was designated as a secondary pillar instead. If it had arrived in time, it would have been chosen as the city pillar because of its large size and unmatched beauty. The pillar became very sad and floated itself back to Saraburi where it later sank. Afterwards, villagers would report hearing crying sounds. Hence, the name of the Tambon as Tambon Sao Ronghai and its subsequent name of Amphoe Sao Hai.
Sunflower Fields are found between Lop Buri and Saraburi along the Phatthana Nikhom-Wang Muang route. From December to January (Thai winter season), the sunflowers along the road attract all passersby when they are in full bloom.