Just a hundred kilometres away from Bangkok, Suphan Buri is an ancient town rich in natural and historical heritage. The province was once an important border town involving battles and important wars during the period of the Ayutthaya kingdom. So, today, travelling around the province is like drifting through historical novels. Historical evidence leads you to travel to the past such as Don Chedi Monument, Wat Khao Khuen whose abbot played a significant role in Thai history, U Thong National Museum, etc. Furthermore, various natural wonders such as Phu Toei National Park, Bueng Chawak Aquarium, as well as the famous local-style cake Sali Suphan always impress visitors.
Suphan Buri occupies a total area of 5,358 square kilometres and is administratively divided into 10 districts (Amphoes); Muang Suphan Buri, Doem Bang Nang Buat, Bang Pla Ma, Si Prachan, Song Phi Nong, Sam Chuk, U Thong, Don Chedi, Dan Chang and Nong Ya Sai.
How To Get There Car
There are many routes for travelling from Bangkok to Suphan Buri:
Bangkok-Bang Bua Thong-Suphan Buri, a distance of 107 kilometres.
Bangkok-Pathum Thani-Lat Lum Kaeo-Suphan Buri, a distances of 115 kilometres
Bangkok-Ayutthaya-Suphan Buri, a distance of 132 kilometres
Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom-Kamphaeng Saen-Suphan Buri, a distance of 164 kilometres
Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses departs from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal (Tel: 0 2435 1199-200) and Mochit 2 Bus Terminal (Tel: 0 2936 2852-66) to Suphan Buri many times daily.
A train leaves Bangkok Station daily for Suphan Buri at 4.40 pm. and reaches the province at 7.32 pm. On the return trip, the train leaves at 5 am. and reaches Bangkok at 8.10 am. For more details, call 1690, 0 2220 4334 or visit the website www.railway.co.th
Don Chedi Memorial
This annual fair is held for 7 days to commemorate the historic event at Don Chedi in 1592 that led to the liberation of the kingdom from foreign occupation. The celebration commences on the 25th of January, which is regarded as the Royal Thai Armed Forces Day, with historical exhibitions and outdoor entertainment.
Activities include a light and sound show of the elephant fight, a Don Chedi Beauty Pageant (with contestants in period costume), a fair of both government and private organizations, and other stage performances.
Local Products Hand-woven rattan and bamboo products
Hand-woven rattan and bamboo products especially Dok Phikun and Nam Thurian patterns are available at Song Phi Nong, U Thong and Doem Bang Nang Buat districts
Khanom Sali, sweet and soft cakes made from egg and flour, which can be bought in many shops in the town
Wickerwork from water hyacinths
At Ban Ratsadon Bamrung of Amphoe Don Chedi, wickerwork from water hyacinths is made into trays, baskets, purses, hats and cages, some of which are produced for export
Bueng Chawak was originally a part of Tha Chin River. After a period of times, a part or the river branched off to form a crescent shaped lake tht took up some areas of Doem Bang Nang Buat district, Suphan Buri province, and Hankha district, Chai Nat province. In 1994, the Suphan Buri Provincial Authority and H.E.Mr.Banharn Silpa-archa, the Prime Minister, and various sectors, public and private. Initiated the Bueng Chawak Chalerm Phra Kiet Development Project to celebrate His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej's on his 50th Year Accession to the Throne.
The lake was excavated to dam up 10 million cubic meters of freshwater to irrigate 6,500 rais (10,400,000 sq m.) of agricultural land. The surrounding areas were developed into other projects such as the Wildlife Extension Center (Department of Livestock Development), a garden of indigenous vegetables, and an exhibition center for aquatic animals.
Wildlife Extension Center Bung Chawak
Tourist Information Center Service : The center offers information on breeding and caring many kinds of wildlife, as well as bird watching. In the large aviary connected to the building, many kinds of birds are housed for visitors to observe and study them. In addition, a video room is provided to display films and slides on wildlife plus narration about the origin of the center.
Aviary : This 5 rai (8,000 sq m.). 25-meter high aviary houses a menagerie of birds. The interior of the aviary is made to provide a living condition that closely resembles their authentic natural surroundings. There are 45 species of birds and pheasants that include Green Pea fowls, Grey Peacock Pheasants. Red Jungle fowls, Silver Pheasants, Siamese Firebacks, Crested Firebacks, Alexandrine Parakeets, Cockatoos, Spot-billed Ducks, Sarus Cranes, Painted Storks, and Asian Openbills.
Rare Animals Breeding Enclosures :
1. Tigers and Lions zones are located next to each other, Inside, the large banister is arranged with caves and high rocky hills to resemble their natural surroundings, Other species nearby panthers, clouded leopards, and leopard cats.
2. The wading birds aviary was constructed to house many types of wading bird for study purposes, as well as for bird watching including Sarus Cranes, Pelicans, Coot, and White-winged Ducks.
3. Pheasants and rare birds zone house rare and near extinct pheasants and birds such as Green Peafowls, Silver Pheasants, Siamese Firebacks, and Hornbills.
4. Other rare animals located nearby are ostriches, camels, and zebras.
The Wildlife Extension Center
Tel : 0 3543-9206 / 0 3543-9210
Fax : 0 3543-9210
The Garden for Indigenous Vegetables : The Garden was established by the Department of Agricultural Promotion under the umbrella of Ministry of Agriculture aiming to educate people about the importance of indigenous vegetables and their significant values to Thailand. Many types of vegetables were collected from all parts of Thailand, so the Thai public could study the process of planting, propagation, consumption, and their nutritious value.
The garden is located on a beautiful landscape. Numerous items on indigenous vegetables are available at the kiosk and library. They hydroponics (planting without soil) agriculture of more than 500 types of vegetables is demonstrated at the Garden. Seeds of many cultivars are also available for sale.
The Garden of Indigenous Vegetables : 102 M.9 Doem Bang, Doem Bang Nang Buat District, Suphan Buri 72120 Tel : 0 1948 9214, 0 9836 1358 Fax : 0 3543 9523
The Garden runs tours 4 times a day :
Morning from 10.30 a.m. and 11.30 a.m.
Afternoon from 2.30 p.m. and 3.30 p.m.
General visit is everyday from : 8.30 a.m.- 6.00 p.m.
The Exhibition Center for Aquatic Animals (Department of Fisheries) was constructed under the Bueng Chawak Royal Development Project to celebrate His Majesty the King's 50 Year Accession to the Throne. The construction was commenced on 19 July 1996, and opened to public in February 1998. The aim of this construction is to provide a state of the art center for behavioral study of Important aquatic animals for academics, students, as well as the general public. The attractions of the center as follow :
1. Aquatic Animals Exhibition Building 1 was built to host and exhibit numerous interesting aquatic animals. In this section, there are more than 50 species aquatic animals, both native and foreign, as well as exotic fishes. Some of the species on display are the Mekong Giant Catfish, Siamese Tiger fish. Many interesting rare fishes from other parts of the world such as the Amazon Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, and Amazon Red-tailed Catfish are also shown for visitors to acquire first-hand knowledge on the ecological system. In addition to the aquatic species mentioned above, marine creatures like Schooling Bannerfish, Blue-spotted Ray, Niger Triggerfish, Nurse sharks, and Thorny Sea Horses are also on display.
2. Aquatic Animals Exhibition Building 2 was constructed subsequently when the original building became too small since it could only keep 50 aquatic species, which left no room for expansion, H.E.Mr.Banharn Silpa-archa, thus commissioned the construction of Building 2 to be located nearby. Inside the Building, there is a large 400 cubic meter circular aquarium that all visitors can walk around and observe the fishes from all directions. There is an 8.5 meter walk through tunnel, the first of its kind in Thailand, where all visitors can view a numerous aquariums, 30 containers of show-cased freshwater fishes and 7 tanks of beautiful seawater fishes are also displayed in the building.
3. Crocodile Pool was built to provide a natural surrounding and living quarters for these large prehistoric reptiles. The 3 rai (4,800 sq m.) of land comprises a large pool and a dry area with planted trees to provide a home for 80 Siamese Crocodiles with sizes ranging from 1.5 to 4 meters in length.
The Exhibition Center for Aquatic Animals is opened everyday.
Fees are 30 baht for adults and 10 baht for children.
Don Chedi Monument
This is located at Amphoe Don Chedi, 31 kilometres from the township area. The pagoda was constructed by the royal command of King Naresuan the Great to commemorate his victory against King Maha Uparacha of Burma in single-handed elephant back combat in 1592. A cast statue of King Naresuan the Great mounting the elephant's neck was placed in front of the pagoda.
Tha Sadet Bird Sanctuary
This is 15 kilometres from the town along the Suphan Buri-Don Chedi Route (Highway No. 322). Some birds can be viewed during the day time while a tremendous number of birds such as open-billed stork, heron, cormorants, painted storks, night heron, and white ibises can be seen in the evening when they return home.
Wat Phra Non
This is a popular attraction where visitors come to pay homage to a reclining Buddha image and also feed a large shoal of fish in the river by the temple.
Banharn - Jamsai Tower
Located in the downtown area on Nang Phim Road, this country's first and highest view point tower overlooking Chaloem Phatthara Rachini Park allows tourists to enjoy a bird's eye view over the province at a height of 123.25 metres. The tower has four view point decks, including ticketing and souvenirs, snack bar and park view souvenir and downtown viewpoint decks, and the fourth panoramic viewpoint deck is at a height of 78.75 metres. Telescopes are available on the decks. The interior is decorated with murals featuring King Naresuan the Great.
City Pillar Shrine
This is located on the west bank of the Suphan Buri River. Originally it was built in Thai style architecture but later altered to a Chinese pavilion design. The shrine houses statues of the god Vishnu carved out of green stone.
Handicraft Promotion Centre
This is located at Tambon Don Kamyan on Malaiman road about 8 kilometres from Amphoe U Thong. It has been established to promote the support of cottage and handicraft industries in Suphan Buri and other nearby provinces in the western region. Many fine handicrafts are on display and on sale.
Thai Rice Farmers National Museum
This is located on Phraphanwasa Road in front of the city hall. Opened in August 1994 and dedicated to the history and study of rice farming, exhibits include tools of the trade, the many rites surrounding it, and the historical role of royalty in rice farming. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday and close on Monday, Tuesday and National Holiday. Admission is free.
This old temple is mentioned in the Khun Chang-Khun Phaen literature. It houses a very old gigantic tamarind tree and ancient Thai-style houses called Khum Khun Phaen. The temple is 2 kilometres beyond Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat.
Wat Pa Lelai
This is a very old temple located on the west bank of the river on Malaimaen Road in the town. It is believed to have been built some 800 years ago when Suphan Buri was a prosperous community.
A huge sitting Buddha image named "Luang Pho To", 23 metres in height, is enshrined in the main chapel. The image was originally situated in the open area and was later covered by the chapel. Worship fairs celebrating the image are held twice a year in April and November.
In addition, an old Thai style house called Khum Khun Chang has been built in the temple compound. The design of the construction has followed the description in Khun Chang-Khun Phan, a classic Thai poem which is a work of Sunthon Phu, the greatest poet of Thailand during the early Bangkok period.
Wat Phra Rup
This temple is located on Khun Chang Road on the west bank of the Tha Chin River opposite the towns market. Also built during the early Ayutthaya period, the temple houses a 13-metre long reclining Buddha image called by the villagers Nen Kaeo with the most beatific face among all other statues of the same period. There is also Lord Buddha's footprint made of wood, the only one existing in Thailand.
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat
This temple is at Tambon Rua Yai on the west bank of the Suphan Buri River in the town. Locally called Wat Phrathat, it was constructed during the early Ayutthaya period, over 600 years ago, and houses a large U Thong style pagoda with Lord Buddha's relics.
Wat Sanam Chai
This is an abandoned temple on the east bank of the Suphan Buri River in the town. Only ruins of a large pagoda are left to be seen. It is estimated that its height should be 70-80 metres if it were in perfect shape. After the excavation, some human relics were found, and it was assumed that they should belong to warriors who died on the battlefield in ancient times.
This temple of the early Ayutthaya period is located opposite the City Hall. There is a museum which stores ancient artifacts such as bowls and cups, vases, Buddha images of various periods, clocks and weapons.
The Buffalo Village is situated on Suphan Buri-Chai Nat Road, Amphoe Si Prachan. This tourist attraction wishes to pay tribute to this particular aspect of Thai culture and history and inspire the public to appreciate this cute beast and its mighty contribution to Thailand in the past. Interesting places in the compound are Farmer Village, His Majesty the Kings New Theory on Managing Agricultural Land Project and Thai-Style Teak Wood Houses. For more information, contact Buffalo Village at tel: 0-3558-2591-3, fax: 0-3558-1676 or visit www.buffalovillages.com.
Wat Phai Rong Wua
This temple is located at Tambon Bang Ta Then, Amphoe Song Phi Nong, 43 kilometres from the town on the way to Bangkok. It houses the largest metal cast Buddha image of the world called Phra Phutthakhodom, which has a lap width of 10 metres and a height of 26 metres.
U Thong National Museum
About 30 kilometres to the east of the town near the Chorakhe Sam Phan River, U Thong was once a prosperous town during the Dvaravati period before Ayutthaya was founded as the capital in 1347. The U Thong National Museum in the U Thong district exhibits artifacts and archaeological materials, such as tools, utensils, and Buddha images found from excavations and shows the development of communities settled in Suphan Buri in different periods.