A major province of the Lower North, Phisanulok is located where the Central Plains begin to rise into the Northern region. The provincial capital is 377 kms. north of Bangkok and boasts a nationally important temple. Most of the terrain is flat, contrasted by mountain ranges running along the east where waterfalls and national parks offer opportunities for nature treks. The town of Phitsanulok, situated on the banks of the Nan River, has been a major community since ancient Khmer times and enjoyed great prosperity during the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods. During 1463-1487, the city served as the royal capital as King Boromtrailokanat of Ayutthaya resided permanently in the province. Unfortunately, most of the city was destroyed by a fire, and today it is built in the modern style.