Close enough to the World Heritage Site at Sukhothai for a pit stop, but overlooked by all but a few, this sleepy provincial town preserves one the country’s holiest and most beautiful Buddhas.

In the ancient interior of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, and at the end of a colonnade of pillars elaborately decorated with gold filigree, sits the Phra Buddha Chinnara, vast and shimmering, crowned with a lotus-shaped halo and radiating nirvanic calm.