Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park
Kamphaeng Phet City Wall Fortification
- The ancient chronicles tell us that in 1004 a city called Nakhon Chum was constructed on the west bank of the Ping River where Kamphaeng Phet was later constructed on the opposite east bank. By the 14 C Kamphaeng Phet was a major city of the Sukhothai Kingdom. It was an outer '' Wang '' or fortification to protect the inner capital city of Sukhothai. It is surrounded by a trapezoid about 2.2. kilometres long of large city walls varying in length from 200 to 500 metres. Inside of which were houses, barracks, palaces and temples. It was a significant medieval city, perhaps protecting 50,000 people.
- Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is located 70 kilometres south of Sukhothai. Ruins survive today in laterite and stucco. The other original wooden buildings no longer exist.
- The ancient city is now an outdoor museum (historical park) set amongst magnificent trees and other plants. The City of Kamphaeng Phet was to the west of the ancient city of Sukhothai as was Si Satchanalai to its immediate north.
- Both were fortifications on the west against Burmese invasions.
Inside The Ruins Of Wat Phra Kaeo At Kamphaeng Phet
Tourist Places Of Interest At Kamphaeng PhetThe major historical monuments at Kamphaeng Phet are:
- The Laterite Walls and Moats - The fortification walls (shown above) are 2.2 kilometres long and are made of laterite blocks (as were all the remaining monuments). A moat also surrounded these walls. Inside the city of 50,000 people lived in houses made of wood. The monuments left today in side these walls are the laterite remains of the foundations, walls and pillars of the Temples (the Viharns and Stupas). The Buddha images were also made of laterite and covered in stucco. Some are weathered and worn away to their laterite cores, others like those at Wat Phra Kaeo pictured, here are still testimony of their grace and style.
- Wat Phrao Kaeo - Wat Phra Kaeo was once a royal temple and once housed the famous and sacred Emerald Buddha, now housed in Bangkok. Here are the serene trio of Buddha images, (restored), two sitting and one reclining. They are portrayed in the Kamphaeng Phet style of broad foreheads and square chins. The rest of the ruins comprise the laterite foundaions and weathered pillars. Whilst the monuments here are not as significant as at Si Satchanalai and Sukhothai, a visit here to walk within the walled enclosure through what is now a lovely treed park, is the third location of choice when coming to Sukhothai.
- Wat Phra That - Wat Phra That, the Monastery of the Great Relic, is one of the oldest monuments in Kamphaeng Phet. The Temple grounds here are well weathered. The main Chedi surrounded by pillars combines the trio of Ayutthayan, Sukhothai and Sri Lankan styles.
- Tourists to Khamphaeng Phet should be aware there are three separate areas to explore. These are the sites within the city walls of Khamphaeng Phet city, the area South across the Ping River which is the old area of Nakhon Chum and the area north of the fortified City called the Aranyik area.
- Nakhon Chum is an ancient site and little remains but for purposes of completeness in seeing everything it is a short trip across the Ping River to the west bank from the forfications of Kamphaeng Phet. The two historically interesting monuments are the restored Thung Setthi Fortress and Wat Chedi Klang Thung.
- The fortress walls are made of laterite as are those of Kamphaeng Phet and are approximately 85 meters long and 6 meters high. There is no traditional moat and mounds beneath the walls sugesting it was made in the time of Ayutthaya when the Portuguese sold guns and canons and provided mercenaries.
- Wat Chedi Klang Thung now only remains with the assembly hall foundations and the brick Chedi which is of good form and well preserved. Nearby Wat Phra Baroma That is a restored Sukhothai period structure but the form today is very Burmese and was re-designed and constructed in 1908 with the aid of money from a wood trader.
Tourist Places Of Interest At Nakhon Chum.
- Wat Phra Boromathat
- The Fort (Pom) Thung Sethi
- The moated Wat Nong Lanka
- Wat Chedi Khlang Thung
- Wat Nong Phikun
- Wat Sum Ko