The symbiotic world of Phichit and crocodiles

Photo by Thomas Couillard on Unsplash

Not as well-known as its neighbours, Phichit is one of Thailand’s less well-known but very culturally and historically rich provinces that is rarely in the news. Yet inside its borders lies a fascinating domain that only those in the know are aware of.

The exciting world of crocodiles, which draws many tourists each year, is only one of Phichit ‘s many natural treasures. Phichit lies tucked away along the banks of the Nan River which serves as the perfect environment for these formidable dinosaurs to reside in.

Discovering Phichit – Thailand’s Hidden Gem

Phichit, tucked away in Thailand’s Lower North, is a city abounding in cultural diversity. Rich wetlands, beautiful architecture, vibrant local customs, and—most thrilling of all—healthy crocodile populations are all skillfully woven together throughout the province.

The symbiotic world of Phichit and crocodiles | News by Thaiger
Photo taken from Where Sidewalks End

Here, tourists are treated to a remarkable experience as the exotic attractiveness of the area melds well with the ancient attraction of these magnificent reptiles.

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Slight fears, immense fascination

There is this potent mix of fear and excitement, the adrenaline rush brought on by the possibility of encountering the exotic and unfamiliar, that acts as an irresistible magnet, drawing globetrotters to this lesser-known Thai province. The heart-thumping prospect of having a face-to-face encounter with these impressive prehistoric creatures, in their natural habitat no less, never fails to add to Phichit ‘s allure.

The symbiotic world of Phichit and crocodiles | News by Thaiger
Photo taken from Thai National Parks

Symbolic Importance of Crocodiles in Phichit

In Phichit, crocodiles symbolise far more than fearsome creatures of the waterways. To the locals, they represent formidable protective spirits, epitomizing power and good fortune. With that, you will find that the town clock has a circle of crocodile statues around its base along with the various crocodile statues that you will find dotted around the city.

In the Folklore, There was a crocodile king named Chalawan who could take the form of a crocodile and was aggressive and power-hungry. Being able to take the form of both a human and a crocodile, he had a taste for humans and people feared going near the canals based on rumours about crocodiles hunting humans.

The symbiotic world of Phichit and crocodiles | News by Thaiger
Photo taken from Thailand Local Travel

Chalawan would continue his hunt when one day he came across two sisters. He was dazzled by their beauty so he kidnapped one of them to be his wife, attempting to seduce her in his human form but when that failed, he cast a spell on her instead.

Distraught, her father put a bounty out for Chalawan where many crocodile hunters failed until word reached Krai Thong who came from Nonthaburi. Using spells to lure Chalawan from hiding, Krai Thong and the crocodile king had a fierce battle where the reptile was injured and retreated back into the cave. Krai Thong would finish off Chalawan and rescue the girl who was returned to the family.

The symbiotic world of Phichit and crocodiles | News by Thaiger
Photo taken from Thailand Tourism Directory

With that, you will find the symbolism of Chalawan all around Phichit which includes their football team logo and their beer as well on top of the various large states of him around the city. This story is also so prevalent that it was turned into a play called “Lakhon nok” by King Rama II since he enjoyed it and since then, there are been many modern adaptations and variations to it.

Crocodile farms – more than breeding stations

A notable farm that contributes much to public education on crocodiles is the Bueng Si Fai Crocodile Park. Watch feeding sessions, get up close and personal with these amazing animals, and you will see the many initiatives put in place to guarantee their survival.

The symbiotic world of Phichit and crocodiles | News by Thaiger
Photo by Grossbildjaeger taken from Wikipedia

Furthermore, in order to preserve the crocodiles and their habitat while still offering visitors an unforgettable and thrilling experience, these farms place a high priority on sustainable tourism. With that on top of this crocodile park, you will find Phichit dotted with several crocodile farms and parks with similar itineraries with most having crocodile shows where members of the parks perform daring stunts with the robust reptiles.

In addition to being an exhilarating experience, visiting the crocodile farms serves as an environmental teaching exercise. In order to optimise visitor engagement with crocodiles in their natural habitat and to raise awareness of these animals and the need for conservation, the farms are structured in this manner. With the assistance of its interpreters and experts, the crocodile shows elevate the visit into a deeper investigation of the world of crocodiles.

Integral to Phichit

A trip into Phichit is required to understand the province and the crocodile habitat that is inside it. This spurs an encouragement to investigate, discover, and be in awe at these prehistoric creatures as they swim their way into the hearts of the residents and into yours as well.

The symbiotic world of Phichit and crocodiles | News by Thaiger
Photo by Giuseppe Portale taken from Flickr

The history and legends surrounding Phichit go hand in hand with crocodiles where a folklore of a mighty crocodile king captivates listeners in a similar manner it captivates an ancient king and embeds itself into the culture of the province. With this cultural significance and the conservation efforts to maintain the crocodile population and safety in the crocodile farms, it will be difficult to go around Phichit without coming across any mention of crocodiles.

If you want to learn more about other provinces in Thailand, This article showcasing some fun facts about Phuket may be exactly what you are looking for.

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Alessio Francesco Fedeli

Graduating from Webster University with a degree of Management with an emphasis on International Business, Alessio is a Thai-Italian with a multicultural perspective regarding Thailand and abroad. On the same token, as a passionate person for sports and activities, Alessio also gives insight to various spots for a fun and healthy lifestyle.

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