Phichai is a tiny town, but its not to be messed with.
Are being founded in the 15th Century, it quickly turned into a rebellious city state. After its rebellion was crushed by King Naresuan, the King made everyone in the town move south to Phitsanulok where he could keep a closer eye on them.
Following the fall of the city of Ayutthaya to the Burmese in 1767, Phichai was also the site of several battles against the invaders. The ruler of Phichai at the time was a fierce warrior who faught with a sword in each hand. He and his army succeeded in driving back the Burmese and was awarded the title Phraya Phichai Dabhak – the “Lord of Pichai with a Broken Sword”, because during hand-to-hand combat with the enemy, he broke one of his swords.
Later on during the reign of Rama III, Phichai was the administrative centre for a bunch of city states, including Vientienne and Luang Prabang in Laos. However, the condition of the Nan river changed and the administrative function was moved upstream to Uttaradit. But there is still a shrine to Phraya Phichai Dabhak a short distance northwest of the station, and you might be able to make out that the lamp posts are adorned with a helmet and a broken sword.
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