Ang Thong (อ่างทอง) is a city in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand, and the Capital of the Province of this name. The city and surrounding area is noted for huge reclining Buddha, courageous heroes, court dolls, famous wickerwork, drum-making region, and double reclining Buddha.
Ang Thong, a province, which is luxurious of native handicraft like, molded court dolls, firebrick, and wickerwork. It is also the origination of "Li Ke", the native folk song, hometown of Nai Dok and Nai Thongkaeo, the two heroes during Bang Rachan Battle. Ang Thong is also abundant with more than 200 clean, magnificent, and interesting temples, most appropriate for Thai chronological study.
Ang Thong, originally known as Mueang Wiset Chai Chan, is located on the Noi River and the low-lying land of Chao Phraya River. It was an essential frontier outpost of Ayutthaya when fighting with the Burmese. As appeared in several parts of Ayutthaya chronicles, especially, prior to the defeat of Ayutthaya in 1767, the Burmese encamped at Mueang Wiset Chai Chan to attack Ayutthaya causing "Bang Rachan Battle", a noted event recorded in Thai history. Later during the Thonburi era, Mueang Wiset Chai Chan was moved to a new site on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River at Ban Bangkaeo and was named "Ang Thong" since its location was a fertile basin similar to a water and rice bowl of the country.
Ang Thong is a small province located at the lower part of central Thailand as large as 968 square kilometers. Topographically, almost all of the Ang Thong area is low plain with two important rivers crossing the province, i.e. Noi River and Chao Phraya River. Ang Thong is administratively divided into 7 districts: Amphoe Mueang Ang Thong, Amphoe Wiset Chai Chan, Amphoe Sawaeng Ha, Amphoe Pa Mok, Amphoe Pho Thong, Amphoe Chaiyo, and Amphoe Samko. Borders are Sing Buri to the north, Ayutthaya to the south, Ayutthaya and Lop Buri to the east and Suphan Buri to the west.
There are many routes from Bangkok. Three options are:
There are very few buses from anywhere now, only non aircon buses from surrounding districts.
A minibus from Suphanburi will cost you B40, and drop you at the bus station.
From Bangkok, minibuses go regularly from Victory Monument, and cost B100. These stop at the bus station.
From Lopburi a minibus goes every 30 minutes and costs B50.
The only in town transport noticed was the usual motorcycle taxis, with the occasional tuk-tuk to be found in the market (very close to the city centre roundabout). But, the city centre is easily walked around. As you come from BKK, you cross the river and some 400 metres later arrive at the city centre roundabout.
Directly across the roundabout, a little to the right is the bus station.
About 100 metres to the left of the roundabout is the entrance to the huge market. A further 200 metres along this road on the right is the Ang Thong Hotel. (this is the road to Suphanburi.)
It is located 10Km towards Suphanburi on the main road to there, and is on the left hand side. As you come to it you will see this gigantic Buddha statue a couple of hundred metres from the road.
It is very interesting, with a mix of Thai Buddhism, as well as Chinese Buddhism, and a good deal of the Hindu religion. Many Thai Temples include the Hindu religion since Theraveda Buddhism seems to have a great deal of this within it. In addition to the gigantic Buddha statue, inside the Temple which is quite beautiful, you will see numerous small statues, many of which include Ganesha and other Hindu images.
Outside there are other areas containing statues- one of these has groups of both Chinese and Hindu statues. There are also historical statues, in particular, the wars between Burma and Thailand and these are quite graphic, and are within a large area.
In addition also are statues of souls suffering in hell for their misdeeds, different groups of these, and a display of a judge judjing two rather distressed souls, with a scribe either side writing down the proceedings. A potential executioner is there also.
Regrettably, everything is written in Thai - including the description of who these miscreants are, and the evil they have done as well as the punishment they are undergoing.
Totally fascinating, whatever your personal belief, and a good way to understand some of the culture. Well worth a couple of hours of your time.
To get here, take a Suphanburi minibus from the bus terminal and tell the driver where you want to get off. Will cost you B20. To return, cross the road from where you got off, and flag down a returning minibus.
There are street eats close to the centre of town, particularly near the market.
Also to the right of the Ang Thong Hotel, about 100metres, is a good restaurant, which is particularly good with fish. Everything is written in Thai, so you must bluff your way through. Fried mixed veg with pork, and a large bottle of Chang beer was B120.
Towards the end of the main shopping street (parallel with the road leading in from Bangkok, to the left), are cheap restaurants where you can get a decent meal for B30/40. All is in Thai, but point, and they will help.
Is close to where the minibuses from Suphanburi and Bangkok arrive. If coming from BKK, it is about two hundred metres on the right from the city roundabout away from the direction of BKK. The hotel name is written in Thai only. It appears to be about the only hotel in town, and is rather worn, but clean. (as at March 2016, it appears to have been renovated outside)
Room with aircon, TV, hot water and bar fridge is B400. There are many TV channels, including several English ones. Fan rooms also available cheaper. There is a restaurant near reception which does a very good "cow tom" (rice porridge, with pork) for breakfast, with two cups of tea, for B50. Across the road to the left about 100 metres, is the city market, where everything conceivable is sold!