For anyone looking for a place to visit not far from Bangkok, that is quiet, populated by charming locals, delicious food, and affordable prices, Uthai Thani is another option that we would like to offer.
And if you don’t know where and how to start? We have consolidated a list of things to Do in Uthai Thani for you to consider.
Wat Tha Sung (Wat Chantaram)
This most famous attraction was founded in 1863, or 30 years before the establishment of Ayutthaya, by Luang Por Pan, who traveled on a pilgrimage to this area and eventually built a temple here (different from Luang Pho Pan at Bang Nom Kho Temple at Ayutthaya).
During the reign of King Narai the Great, Phraya Chan returned from the battle of Chiang Mai to look for his wife. When she could not be found, he decided to be ordained at a temple. Upon being appointed as the temple’s abbot, he changed the temple’s name to “Wat Chantaram”, according to his name.
The name “Wat Tha Sung” (Wat = temple, Tha = pier, Sung = log), originated from the olden days when the area was populated with a lot of forests, and wood was usually transported along the river.
Wat Tha Sung was greatly developed by Phra Brahmayan (Luang Pho Rue Si Ling Dam). The temple’s area is vast and has several spots to practice Dharma and visit.
The property is so extensive that it’s not so suitable for walking. Thus, if you don’t have a private car, it’s better to take the temple’s shuttle bus.
Among some of the temple’s noteworthy highlights include;
With a length of 100 meters long, and which photos may not be able to convey the actual grandeur. The actual sanctuary amazingly glitters, and structure itself enshrines a replica of Phra Phuttha Chinnarat and the still-perfect physique of Phra Brahmayan (Luang Pho Rue Si Ling Dam).
The Golden Castle
It was built in 1993 as a royal tribute for King Rama IX when he completed his 50 years of reign. The structure is decorated with gold, and the doors are adorned with deities and exquisite Thai patterns.
Prasat Thong Kanchanapisek has 3 floors, and the upper floor houses several Buddha images. Visitors can go up and look around without any charge. On busy days, the temple efficiently organizes queues to ensure an orderly visit.
• Nam Suem, Mueang Uthai Thani District
The Golden Castle
• 08.00 – 16.00
• Daily 09.00 – 11.30 hrs. and 14.00 – 16.00 hrs.
• Website: http://www.watthasung.com
Hup Pa Tat
Hup Pa Tat, a unique site, originated from a limestone mountain that is over 245 million years old.
It was gradually eroded by the rain and eventually collapsed in the middle causing the plants and animals that used to be above to fall and be surrounded by limestone hills, thus becoming an ecosystem that has not changed since hundreds of millions of years ago.
After walking up the hill through dark caves and then coming out from the other side, going downhill will take you to a ‘Tat’ tree forest, palm trees that grow freely in nature. Visitors will also find strange-looking stalactites and stalagmites.
Hup Pa Tat is considered a tourist attraction in Uthai Thani that is fun to take lots of photos and gives a sense of a little adventure similar to stepping into Jurassic Park.
• Thung Na Ngam, Lan Sak District, Uthai Thani
• Daily 08.30 – 16.00 hrs.
• Thais: Children 10 baht, Adults 20 baht
• Foreigners: Children 100 baht, Adults 200 baht
Tham Prathun Conservation Area
• 056-989-128, 056-988-9127, 084-819-7855
Wat Sangkat Rattana Khiri
Wat Sangkat Ratana Khiri, is a temple that comprises two parts, one at the foothills, and the other on top of Khao Sakae Krang.
The temple at the foot of the hill features a large courtyard and a chapel that enshrines a sacred Buddha image.
The highlight of the temple on the mountain top features “Siri Maha Maya Kudakarn”, a stunning Thai-style pavilion (mondop) that enshrines a replica of the Buddha’s footprint from Wat Chantharam in Ratchaburi.
In front of the mondop, is a large bell, which was built in 1900 during the reign of King Rama V. At this point, visitors are able to take in a bird’s eye view of Uthai Thani.
In addition to the Thai architecture, there is also a Chinese-style temple, which is quite out of place.
If you want to worship, you can drive up and park on the hill as there is sufficient space. Or if you want to test your strength you can walk up the 449 steps. Just as a precaution, don’t forget to bring along medicine for sprains too ^^
On the 1st day of the waning moon of the 11th month of each year, the temple also has a tradition of presenting offerings to 500 monks walking down the stairs from the top of Sakae Krang Mountain, where they will descent the temple to receive alms in the courtyard in front of the sacred Buddha image.
• Uthai Mai, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• 24 hours
Offering Alms by the Waterside
A simple tradition that takes place every morning, in which a monk rows a small boat across the Sakae Krang River from Wat Uposatharam Temple (Wat Bot) to receive alms from the local community at the market’s pier.
So if you are interested, you don’t have to make any advance preparations, as you can buy anything from the market itself.
• The pier near the Sakae Krang Square.
• Daily at 07.00 hrs. It is highly recommended to arrive by about 06.45 hrs.
Trok Rong Ya Walking Street
An old community that used to be bustling with opium dens. It has now transformed into a walking street featuring a wide variety of food and characterized a retro atmosphere from old houses on both sides of the road.
A compact replica opium den is hidden in a small alley, which also houses many other delicious restaurants, such as Sirikul Bakery, or Jay Nok Chicken Noodles.
Anyone who would prefer a less-crowded leisurely ambiance, should come during the day, or even better on days where no walking street event is organized.
• Rat Uthit Alley, Uthai Mai, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• Saturdays 16.00 – 20.00 hrs.
• FB: TrogRongYaWalkingStreet
An old house built during the reign of King Rama V. The ground floor houses a small café decorated with cartoon models and various toys and sells coffee, desserts, and ice cream.
The second floor is a museum displaying the owner’s ancestors’ belongings, where each item telling its own stories from the past.
And as soon as the owner lowers the lights from the ceiling, I can see it glowing dimly and illuminating a kind-hearted man sitting and writing at the large table in the corner of the room. The cool night breeze blows the thin curtains back and forth. Uthai Thani at such a time is enviously serene.
Orn: “Towards the end, I didn’t understand what you were saying. Did you think it up by yourself?”
Orn: “Wow, what are you writing about?”
I believe that anyone who has visited Baan Jongrak, would also experience some images from the past superimposed into one’s mind.
• Si Uthai Road, Uthai Mai, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• 08.00 – 17.00 hrs.
• Closed on Wednesdays – Thursdays
• FB: banjongrakuthai
Sakae Krang River Cruise
A long-tail boat cruise along the Sakae Krang River, passing through some of the houseboats that have decayed over time. Some of them have been renovated with bright colors. Cool breeze.
The first destination is the floating shop of “Aunt Taew Uthai”, a famous souvenir shop, whose highlights include large dried fishes, and delicious chili paste, at very affordable prices.
From Aunt Taew, the boat turned back 360 degrees, and we saw views of Khao Sakae Krang, high above the city of Uthai Thani. I only had a few seconds to take a picture of it. The boat turned around and the view changed.
We drifted straight under the bridge, passing by the ordinary-looking green house of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. I silently greeted her even if she wasn’t there.
• The pier near the Sakae Krang Square
• As agreed
• Several pricing range, depending on the service provider. Some boats may only charge 50 baht per person, with a minimum of two persons.
For more information, please contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Uthai Thani Office
• FB: TAT.Uthai
• Tel.: 056 514 651
Sakae Krang Riverside Market
A small market, not more than 400 meters long, located along the banks of the Sakae Krang River. It features a wide variety of food and ingredients to choose from, some of which may seem odd to foreigners.
The market is open both in the mornings and evenings, but the items for sale and the atmosphere are different. If had to choose, I think that the morning market is more charming, because in addition to the light and shadow cast by the temple bridge reflecting off the Sakae Krang River, visitors can also offer alms to monks by the riverside.
• Sakae Krang Alley, Sakae Krang, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• Daily at approx. 05.00 – 19.00 hrs.
• Bustling in the mornings and evenings
Baanrai Farmer’s Market
A chic community market that sells products direct from producers.
Here, one can find a variety of unique vegetables, such as the crispy Burmese fried bananas, Thong Yo (or Mee Si, a Karen dessert) that is to be eaten with sweetened condensed milk, ‘Khanom Ta Kwai’ (a local Thai dessert), coffee, and other savory dishes.
And as for anyone who is looking for cool craftwork, they also have indigo-dyed fabrics, woven bags, or hand-woven fabrics that can be tailored into luxurious silver dresses brimming with aura.
On the day of our visit (Sep 2019), some of the local traders traveled to Bangkok to sell their wares, thus the market looked a bit lonely.
Ancient woven fabrics at Baan Pha Thang
Baan Pha Thang Ancient Weaving Center is a heaven for woven-fabric lovers.
In addition to preserving the fabric and its ancient patterns from Vientiane over a hundred years old as well, they also have a wide variety of attractive products to choose from to the point where our friend on the trip made a large number of purchases.
Products here range from a few hundred baht right up to more than a hundred thousand baht per piece.
The center is also very proud of its eye-catching bedding set which has successfully earned it an award from UNESCO.
• Huai Haeng, Ban Rai District, Uthai Thani
• Daily 09.00 – 17.00 hrs.
• FB: Phatorphatang
• Tel.: 089 270 9683
• It is recommended to call first before your visit as the center may be closed to attend trade shows.
Pa Oun Boat Noodles
Considered the best boat noodles that have been in business intermittently for many decades. Recently, the shop has just resumed its business and is as usual overwhelmed with customers.
Pa Oun’s boat noodles are already spicily seasoned and come with very tender beef. If you don’t like spiciness, tell them in advance when ordering.
• Phon Phibun Uthit Alley, Uthai Mai, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• Daily 9.00 – 15.00 hrs.
Pa Ta Noodle Shop
A small noodle shop that looks quite unattractive. But this shop has been selling famous noodles since 1978.
Their highlights include clear noodle soup which is a mildly sweet soup seasoned with a little spiciness, soft tender pork, and pure pork meatballs. The offal is perfectly cooked and goes well with the crispiness of their homemade pork crackling.
If you haven’t had enough, nearby you can also find a deep-fried tofu and fried banana shop, that has been selling their snacks for quite a long time.
• Si Uthai Road, Uthai Mai, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• 10.00 – 16.00 hrs.
• Closed on Tuesdays
Jay Nok Chicken Noodle Shop
A noodle shop located in Trok Rong Ya, Uthai Thani, has been selling for more than 70 years since their father’s generation.
Their highlight is the clearly sweet and salty soup, with a slight spiciness, thick chicken joints, and feet. Suitably delicious from its long history.
But our favorite is the pig’s trotters, which is known for its soft, flexible and bouncy skin. This item usually sells out quickly. So, if you arrive late, you won’t get to taste it.
• Rat Uthit Alley, Uthai Mai, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• Daily 9.00-14.00 hrs.
Hia Chai Porridge Shop
A la carte restaurant which is a favorite for those who stay up late. They have both steamed and boiled rice to accompany several tasty dishes.
What we particularly recommend is the stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts and the stir-fried salted crispy pork.
And for anyone who likes ginger-based dishes, you will like the dried shrimp salad that uses large, dried shrimp and is fully loaded with young ginger.
Many people say that this restaurant is slow especially when it is packed with customers. Fortunately, we went early when there were not too many customers around. Service was not too slow.
• Tha Chang Road, Uthai Mai, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• Daily 18.00 – 01.00 hrs.
• $ – $$
The shop is among some of the well-known places to go for Uthai Thani’s delicious custard bread. Their bread is dry and comes with a thin crust and a not-too-overly sweet juicy filling. Although the shop is not well known to tourists, it is a shop that is highly recommended by locals.
• Maha Rat Alley, Uthai Mai, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• Daily 08.00 – 17.30 hrs.
Jay Porn Grilled Meatballs
Although we can find grilled meatball shops everywhere in Thailand, but to find a shop that uses good quality meatballs at an affordable price, delicious full-flavored dipping sauce with fragrant tamarind and dried chili, is a task that’s not easy to find.
Most importantly, the shop also has a special menu that sells out very quickly, namely grilled pork that uses grilled pork made the old-fashioned way. It contains less fat, and is naturally soft. Once you have tasted it, you won’t be able to stop.
• Located at Witthayu Intersection Circle, in front of Soi Sri Uthai 20
• Daily, approx. from 16.00 hrs. onwards
Thai Dessert Cafe
What better way to escape the afternoon heat than with an iced coffee and delicious Thai desserts.
Thai Dessert Cafe, is a sweet attractive café that offers hard-to-find Thai desserts, such as Ja Mongkut, Dara Thong, Phaka Krong, and many others, which are rich in coconut milk. Most of them feature a smooth texture and is perfectly sweetened.
The reason their desserts are so delicious is partly because the shop got its recipe from a teacher in the palace, i.e. when Princess Chakri opened a class on how to make Thai desserts for the Uthai Thani locals for free.
During the evenings, the shop will transform from its chic atmosphere into a restaurant and bar.
Cafes in Uthai Thani
For coffee lovers, Uthai Thani also features several nice hidden cafes, all of which are mostly managed by the owners themselves.
Most of them can offer expert advice on coffee and have a wide variety of coffee beans to choose from. What’s your favorite bean, how do you like it roasted, just consult the barista.
Recommended cafes to visit: Prize Coffee, Marine Cafe, and Craft Coffee Slow Bar.
• Prize Coffee: 53/5 Si Nam Seum Road, Uthai Mai, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• Marine Cafe: 333, Hat Thanong, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• Craft Coffee Slow Bar: 217 Tha Chang Rd, Uthai Mai, Mueang Uthai Thani District
• Most of the cafes are open daily from early morning until 16.00 hrs.
• Marine Cafe is closed on Mondays.
• $ – $$
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