The two provinces of Ang Thong and Sing Buri are our hidden gems near Bangkok. They are truly off the beaten track for foreign visitors or even Thai travellers who usually rush through these provinces of the Central Region to somewhere else.
Both Ang Thong and Sing Buri are only about a 2-hour drive from the capital. They are among a group of the smallest provinces in terms of area, yet their Buddha images are the grandest. But, of course, Ang Thong and Sing Buri have much more to offer besides their beautiful temples and Buddha statues. You will find a lot of good food and very friendly people.
1. Be entertained at the famous Ban Hun Lek Metal Museum.
2. Getting to know Ang Thong at the Museum of Ang Thong Legend.
3. In awe of Thailand’s largest Buddha image at Wat Muang.
4. Shopping for local sweets at the San Chao Rong Thong Market.
5. Try melons at Into Melon Farm.
6. Drop by Inkit Café Analog for a late coffee intake.
7. Pay tribute to local heroes at the Bang Rachan Memorial Park.
8. Donning Thai costumes and strolling the Ban Rachan Market.
9. Admire the Italian mosaic Buddha image of Wat Phikun Thong.
Ban Hun Lek Metal Museum
Phairote Thanomwong is the proud owner and welder in chief of this museum, which started as a welding work shop some 20 years ago. It is now a must-see place for visitors to Ang Thong.
You will find many of your favourite superheroes here! The life-sized sculptures of characters from the Transformers, Ironman, The Hulk, and Spiderman are only some of the exhibits at this very super entertaining museum, which displays a collection of popular comics and sci-fi film characters made from scrap metal parts.
41/2 Mu 6, Tambon Talat Kruat, Amphoe Mueang, Ang Thong
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tel. 08 1339 3345
Museum of Ang Thong Legend
If you want to have a good orientation of Ang Thong, we recommend a trip to the Museum of Ang Thong legend, which features multimedia exhibitions on the province’s history and cultural heritages.
Ayuthaya-Ang Thong Road, Tambon Bang Kaeo, Amphoe Mueang, Ang Thong
Open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tel. 0 3561 1484
The great Buddha image of Wat Muang
The sight of a massive Buddha statue rising up from the rice fields never fails to impress us. Wat Muang is a 30-minute drive from Ang Thong city and is home to Thailand’s largest Buddha image, commonly known as “Luangpho Yai” or the big Buddha image. Locals believe that touching the fingers of the 95-metre high statue would bring them prosperity.
The temple complex also houses many other monuments; such as, an ubosot that is surrounded by giant lotus petals, a wihan enshrined with a Buddha image made of pure silver, and a garden of statues depicting scenes from the realms of hell according to Buddhism.
Tambon Hua Taphan, Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan, Ang Thong
San Chao Rong Thong Market
Thai foodies won’t miss this century-old market on the bank of the Noi River.
This old community of Thai-Chinese sells all the Thai sweet and savoury food you can imagine.
The choices of Thai sweets available at the Market are endless. Some are hard to find and some are local specialties. There’s no judgment if you end up buying more than you can chew!
In the savoury department, a pork noodle vendor, known as “one table noodle shop by Aunty Saeng” is among the Market’s highlights. And as the name indicates, it has only one table and the vendor is an old aunty – you either need luck or time on your side to try this noodle.
Soi Wat Nang Nai, Tambon San Chao Rong Thong, Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan, Ang Thong
Open daily from 4:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Into Melon Farm
Melon fans have to drop by this farm for its juicy melons and by-products.
5/9 Mu 1, Tambon Si Phran, Amphoe Sawaeng Ha, Ang Thong
08 2649 7929
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
The Farm cultivates varieties of Japanese melons and runs a restaurant featuring mouth-watering menus; such as, melon cakes, melon ice cream, melon and fried shrimp salads. Most visitors also buy the fruits as a souvenir to take home.
After we had a breakfast, in case you feel like having a cup of coffee in Sing Buri, we recommend Inkit Café Analog, a small café serving drip and cold brew coffee. The café roasts its own beans using Thai produce.
255/7 Thammachot Road, Tambon Bang Phutsa, Amphoe Mueang, Sing Buri
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00p.m.
Tel. 08 9459 4009
Sing Buri is home to the villagers of Bang Rachan whose heroic resistance again the Burmese army has been immortalised in the Thai history books. It was recorded that they had managed to hold out against the Burmese force for 5 months in 8 fierce battles before being defeated. Sing Buri acted as a frontier town against the invaders of Ayutthaya, and its fall paved the ways for the intruders’ advance to the former capital.
Bang Rachan Memorial Park
We visit Bang Rachan Memorial Park to pay tribute to the heroic acts of the villagers. The Park consists of various zones containing a monument, a replica of the ancient camp, and a learning centre featuring the historical records of Ban Bang Rachan and their leaders in the legendary battles. History buffs will find the Park very interesting.
Tambon Bang Rachan, Amphoe Khai Bang Rachan, Sing Buri
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Ban Rachan – Themed Market
Our next attraction is located just across the road, in the grounds of Wat Pho Khao Ton. The market has been themed as the Bang Rachan fortified camp where all the vendors don traditional Thai costumes and use some local dialect from that period to talk to visitors. Put on your own Thai costume or simply rent one at the market to be part of the history
You will find many traditional Thai snacks both sweet and savoury at the market. They are all tasty and incredibly reasonable.
Tambon Bang Rachan, Amphoe Khai Bang Rachan, Sing Buri
Open Saturdays and Sundays and substitution holidays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wat Phikun Thong
We conclude our trip at Wat Phikun Thong, commonly called Wat Luangpho Phae, to pay our respect to its seated Buddha image, a massive statue in the Sukhothai style decorated with gold mosaic tiles imported from Italy. The temple is also home to a huge statue of Lord Ganesh in the pond.
Tambon Phikun Thong, Amphoe Tha Chang, Sing Buri