I am one of those who never knows the direction of my journey until I have almost arrived.
Anna Louise Strong
The town of Saraburi is believed to have begun life around the mid 16th century during the reign of King Maha Chakkaphat of Ayutthaya as a centre for recruiting troops. The town is situated 108 kilometres (65 miles) northeast of Bangkok. The surrounding provincial area is home to the holy footprint, many historical sites and beautiful natural countryside namely the Khorat Plateau.
Archaeological research has unearthed two ancient cities around this northeastern province of Thailand. One is at Muang Kead Kean and the other is at Baan Phai Laosm. Utensils from the middle stone age were found in the Pra Ngam Cave in the Keang Koi District.
The cave has weathered over time by water, which caused the rock formation to erode. Few animals are its only inhabitants. Characteristic of this period, archaeologists also found wall paintings of the inhabitant’s hands in the neighbouring mountains.
Wat Phra PhutthaBat
Wat Phra Phutthabat is situated 28 kilometres (18 miles) northeast of the town along Highway 1. Regarded as one of the most beautiful religious sites in Thailand, the temple houses a footprint of Lord Buddha which was found on a stone panel near Suwan Banpot Hill. Both the Lord Buddha’s left and right footprints were likely discovered during the reign of King Song Tham and the hill is considered to be the location where the Lord Buddha was to leave giant footprints in the stone.
Parts of the temple were damaged during the Burmese invasion of 1767 and have since undergone several renovations with the first of these restorations having been started in 1813 by King Rama I. The pyramidal roof originally covered in ceramic tiles was replaced with tiles covered in gold leaf. Further renovations were carried out in 1857 during the reign of King Rama IV.
Getting to Saraburi
Take Highway No.1 (Phahonyothin Road) from Bangkok to the major ring crossroad at Bang Pa-In in Ayutthaya province, and then straight on to Saraburi.
Take the BTS Sky Train to the station at Mo Chit 2 in Bangkok where you will find air-conditioned buses leaving from the Northern Bus Terminal on Kam Phang Phet 2 Road.
Go to Hua Lampong railway station in Bangkok where you’ll find trains leaving daily. The station provides a 24-hour service. For more information, you can visit the State Railway of Thailand.