Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site which also encompasses Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai Historical Parks. Of this grouping of three archaeological sites, Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is the least visited which for some visitors makes it the best.
Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is open every day from 08:00 to 17:00. The historical park has two parts, a few kilometres apart from each other, each of which charges a separate entrance fee of 100 THB.
About Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park
The various structures in the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park were built from the 13th to 17th Century during the eras of both the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya Kingdoms. Kamphaeng Phet was a strategically located garrison town protecting both Sukhothai and Ayutthaya from invaders coming from what is modern day Myanmar located to the west.
Helpful Information Boards
Most of the structures at Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park are dilapidated temples. There are few remaining traces of the palaces which once stood in Kamphaeng Phet. The temples have fared only slightly better with in most cases only the bases of buildings, statues and chedi remaining. As you follow the newly installed walkways around the site there are some useful information boards which diagrams of what the temples looked like which are helpful in understanding what the surviving parts of the temples once were.
Wat Phra Kaew
The most famous of the ruined temples at Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is Wat Phra Kaew, so named because the famous Emerald Buddha once resided at this temple. Wat Phra Kaew was constructed in the 15th Century and is next to a royal palace which makes it likely that this is the main temple where Kings came to worship.
Wat Phra Kaew was a large temple complex with a tall central chedi that has remained largely intact, and buildings to the front and back. Only the bases of these building and some of the stone pillars supporting the roofs remain. The most exciting thing about Wat Phra Kaew, however, is the cluster of Sukhothai style Buddha statues at the rear of the temple. Three of the statues have aged very well and these three statues are the most photographed part of the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park.
Wat Phra That
The other really large temple at the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is Wat Phra That. Wat Phra That consisted of a tall chedi within a walled courtyard accessible via a larger prayer hall. To wither side of the prayer hall were two smaller chedi. The main chedi and one of the smaller chedis remains largely intact which allows visitors to get a good sense of what the temple complex would have looked like in the 15th Century when it was built.
Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is spread over a large area with lots to see. The Central Zone, near the modern day town of Kamphaeng Phet, covers an area of slightly under 85,000 sqm with 14 structures and monuments to view. The Central Zone is easy enough to walk around in an hour or two.
The Northern Zone of Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is much larger, covering an area of over 2,500,000 sqm, and the 40 or so ruins located there are much more spread out than they are in the Central Zone. For this reason many visitors to the Northern Zone choose to rent a bicycle to travel between the various points of interest. The historical park makes a small charge of 10 THB per bicycle accessing each zone.
Location of the Central Zone of the Historical Park
- Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park Central Zone is located 2.3 km by road from Kamphaeng Phet Bus Station.
Location of the Northern Zone of the Historical Park
- Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park Northern Zone is located 5.5 km by road from Kamphaeng Phet Bus Station.