Although Singburi doesn’t typically feature on most travellers’ itineraries, there are plenty of reasons to visit this rural province in Central Thailand. If you can only visit for a day, here’s how to spend it.
Start your day full of energy with a Thai breakfast. Call one of the town’s restaurants for an omelette over rice if you want the most Western option, or grab a bowl of jok or khao tom for a comforting morning meal. Street vendors sell bags of ready-chopped fruit, and small snacks like khanom krok are also popular. Pop into a convenience store to buy a bottle of water—it gets hot quickly while you’re out and about exploring!
If you don’t have your own transport, you’ll need to arrange how you’re going to get from place to place. If you have a license and insurance and are confident and competent on the roads, you can rent a scooter for some independent explorations. There’s a rental shop opposite the town’s government hospital. Alternatively, make your way to the bus station (also in the heart of the compact and walkable town) to negotiate a price with a tuk tuk driver. As a guide, a day’s tuk tuk hire to visit Singburi’s main highlights should cost around 1,000 Thai baht (about 31 USD). If you’re travelling solo, you may also consider using a motorbike taxi for the day; arrange the price first!
Your first stop at Wat Sawang Arom is just a few minutes’ drive from the town centre. There are several typical temple buildings and statues to see, as well as a Chinese-style “Happy Buddha”. Don’t dally, though; Singburi has more impressive temples to admire. The highlight of this temple is the Shadow Puppet Museum. There are hundreds of well- displayed authentic Thai shadow puppets intricately carved from buffalo hides. You’ll only need 15 minutes or so to enjoy the free museum.
One of Singburi’s major attractions and a third-class royal temple, Wat Phra Non Jaksi (officially called Wat Phra Non Chakkrasi Worawihan) is a beautiful complex with glittering buildings, a Sukhothai-style walking Buddha near a pond, and a long reclining Buddha image. Take time to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere next to the pond and admire the statues near the entrance before moving to the main temple buildings. Don’t forget to take off your shoes before going inside! It’s likely that you’ll see Buddhist monks close to a large statue of a famous local monk. A covered side area houses a small reclining Buddha statue that people cover with gold leaf to show their respect.
Situated around one kilometre (about 0.6 miles) from Wat Phra Non, Wat Na Phrathat is believed to have been at the centre of ancient Singburi. Previously known as Wat Hua Muang, the complex was originally built during the Khmer period. It was restored and renovated during the glorious reign of Ayutthaya, one of the most powerful Siamese kingdoms. Today, the temple stands in ruin. Nonetheless, the corn-style pagoda, complete with ornate details and ancient statues, is impressive. The site is peaceful and serene.
A 20-minute drive will bring you to Wat Pikunthong, one of Singburi’s most impressive temples. Stand at the front of the complex and be awed by the large seated Buddha statue behind the pretty pond. See the colourful shrine to the Hindu deity of Ganesha and the large Chinese Buddha before going to the other side of the pond. Pause by the main entrance to buy some stale bread, pellets, or rainbow-coloured corn puffs. Don’t worry, this isn’t your lunch! Take a few minutes to feed the fish from the platforms over the water—you’ll probably be surprised by how big they are and by how many gaping mouths can suddenly appear at the surface!The square-shaped inner courtyard is surrounded by Buddha statues, and the grounds have a number of quirky and colourful statues too. There are several shrines, including one dedicated to the Chinese deity of Guan Yin, and an area where Thai Buddhists can have their fortunes told by machines. Go underneath the large Buddha statue to see depictions of Buddhist heaven and hell before climbing the steps to enjoy the views.
You’re likely to be feeling hungry now! There are several places to refresh and refuel before moving on from Wat Pikul Thong. A number of food vendors set up in the main car park and there are also some covered restaurants with lots of seating. Tuck into Thai favourites like stir-fried chicken or pork with rice, fried rice, or a plate of spicy morning glory. Don’t forget to pick up some more ice cold water before you leave.
The final three attractions are all located close to each other, near the river that divides Singburi Province and Ang Thong Province. Pay your respects to the brave men who doggedly tried to prevent their village from being captured by Burmese troops. There’s a large statue of the heroes as well as spirit houses dedicated to each. Step into the free museum to learn more about the area’s past and to see exhibits that include archaeological finds, ancient items, and a replica of the village in times gone.
Cross the road and explore the reconstructed camp, where you’ll find an ancient well, sacred redwood trees, and ruins. Then, visit Wat Pho Khao Ton, a historic temple with an eye-catching gleaming White Buddha statue, before heading back into Singburi town.
If all that sightseeing has left you feeling tired, relieve aching muscles with a traditional Thai massage at Tatta Thai Massage, a beautiful massage shop conveniently located in the middle of town. There are plenty of places to enjoy dinner, whether you want to feast on street food fare or sit down in a restaurant. Reverie Café, opposite the river, Charoenthip, near the bus station, and Ramphueng Restaurant, near the hospital, are especially recommended. Alternatively, Hot Pot Buffet is great for some self-cooking and communal dining and Jeffer Steak and Seafood will hit the spot if you’re craving something with more of a Western flavour. You’ll find both of these outlets within Chaisaeng Department Store.
If you’re still not ready to call it a night and want to experience the local night scene, Singburi has a few good bars for you to try. As with most places, however, the bars are busiest on weekends. Places that have a good vibe most nights of the week include House of Party (which also sells a good selection of Thai and international food), Tumnan Maung, Reverie Café, and Yipzee Bar. All are within two kilometres of the town centre. After a few beers, head back to your hotel for a good night’s sleep.
English isn’t widely spoken in Singburi, so it helps to have a good translation app available. If using tuk tuks or motorbike taxis, show the drivers the place names in Thai to avoid any confusion. GPS is handy if navigating Singburi alone.
These recommendations were updated on May 11, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.