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PHETCHABURI TOUR

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Phetchaburi, locally known by Thais as Muang Phetch, is located 160 kilometers south of Bangkok. One of Thailands central region provinces, Phetchaburi is situated on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand with an overall area of approximately 6,225 square kilometers. Its terrains throughout the western border, where Tanaosri Range lies as a natural border between Thailand and Myanmar, are mountainous dense jungles. In the east, there is an 80-kilometer long coastline towards the Gulf of Thailand.

A very old city which used to be an important royal fort town, Phetchaburi had been given several names such as, Phripphri, Phripphli or Phetchaphli. Some historians have gone as far as to say that Phetchaburi could have been named in Indian style, as the Indian influence in those days day was strong. Others put forward the idea that the name Phetchaburi might have originated from Maenam Phetch the most important river of the town.

Whatever the assumptions are, the fact that Phetchaburi is an ancient city with a very long history is undeniable. This has been proven by many archaeological findings which could be dated back to the Dvaravati Period.

During Sukhothai and Ayutthaya Kingdoms, Phetchaburi was a strategic royal fort in the west. Only a lineage of Kings had the rights to rule this historical city. That is why Phetchaburi has been called by some scholars as the “Living Ayutthaya” as the town shares many similar things to the City of Ayutthaya. The prosperity of the Ayutthaya Kingdom can be seen and appreciated in Phetchaburi’s wealth of fine old temples.

In the Rattanakosin Era, Phetchaburi has changed its character to a town of charming beauty, with peaceful seaside resorts and superb natural reserves. The three Kings of the Rattanakosin Period, King Rama IV, V, and VI established their retreats here. They built the three palaces namely Phranakhonkhiri, Phraramrajanivet, Phrarajnivesmarugadayawan in Phetchaburi thus, Phetchaburi is also known as Muang Sam Wang (the city of the three Palaces). The province is also well known for its splendid historical park, ancient temples, wonderful beaches and caves, as well as a great variety of local and fresh seafood. Phetchaburi also has a popular resort town, Cha-am which is the premier beach resort in the province.

The majority of the local residents are engaged in agricultural activities including rice farming, upland crop farming, fruit farming, palm sugar production, animal husbandry and sea and fresh water fisheries.

There are three important Maenam in Phetchaburi including “Maenam Phetchaburi with an overall length of 227 kilometers, “Maenam Bang Kloy”, with an overall length of 44 kilometers, and “Maenam Bang Tabun”, with an overall length of 18 kilometers.

Phetchaburi Attractions

Phetchaburi Art, Culture & Heritage

Kohh Nai Isla Luang (Kohh Phlap Phla)Koh Nai Luang or Koh Phlap Phla is a small island in Khuean Kaeng Krachan Reservoir. The island takes its name from the fact that it formerly housed a pavilion for King Bhumibol, once when he visited Kaeng Krachan. In 1973, the King visited the area with Queen Sirikit and his royal family.  At that time, a bamboo pavilion was built for them.  The province then built a replica to replace the original version.  Historical photos of the royal visit are also displayed.  Flags and other decorations replicate the event’s atmosphere, when people welcomed the King, the Queen and the royal family.  Visitors will enjoy the refreshing breeze and relaxing atmosphere of the reservoir.  In addition, the area around Koh Nai Luang has been developed into a preservation and study area for fresh water fish, where no fishing is permitted.Visitors can rent a boat to tour the reservoir.  Contact the restaurants around Kaeng Krachan Dam in the area of Ban Tha Rua.  The boat rental fee is 500-700 baht for 8 passengers.  The excursion takes 1-2 hours.  Visitors will enjoy visiting a sling bridge in the area of Kaeng Krachan’s National Park; as well as Koh Nai Luang Island, where a replica bamboo pavilion is situated.  Besides, the boat excursion will bring visitors to Koh Som and Ban Phu Khem Homestay communities.

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Hup KraphongThis is the place where the Hup Kraphong Royal Development Project is located. King Bhumibhol initiated the project in 1962 with the support of Israel to help local farmers experiencing agricultural difficulties as a result from infertile soil. Several studies on soil improvement, various crash crops and production efficiency have been conducted. This is one Thailand’s leading Royal Projects where travelers can visit to purchase farm produce, crafts (usually made of hemp) and folk art products which have been exported to many Asian and European countries.

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Phra Ram RatchaniwetOriginally called “Wang Ban Pun”, the European style palace is situated to the south of the town. The construction began in 1909 at the command of King Rama V to be his rainy season palace. A German architect, Mr. Karl Deurring designed the palace, while Admiral HRH Prince Boriphat of Nakhonsawan and HRH Prince Damrong supervised the construction. The construction was completed in 1916 in the reign of King Rama VI. The place was used to welcome and accommodate state visitors during the reign of King Rama VI.

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Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical ParkPhetchaburis well-known landmark, the locally known as Khao Wang (Palace Hill) is located up on a 92-meter high verdant hill, in the city of Phetchaburi. It was built under the royal command of King Rama IV and in 1860 became his summer palace. The whole compound is comprised of royal halls, palaces, temples and other buildings which were elegantly constructed in a well-balanced Thai, neoclassical Western and Chinese architectural styles.

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Phetchaburi  Places of Worship

Wat Kamphaeng LaengThis monastery was originally a Khmer place of worship constructed in accordance with Bhramanism. Originally, there were five prangs (Khmer-style pagoda) made of sandstone in the original worshiping place. When the influence of Buddhism in the region prevailed, it was turned into a Buddhist temple. A Shrine hall was later constructed. Today, visitors can only admire the remaining four prangs which remain next to the sandstone walls.

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Wat Maha That WorawiharnSituated by Maenam Phetchaburi in the town centre, the large white pagoda of Wat Maha That, which can be seen from a distance, is a mixture of the late Ayutthaya and early Rattanakosin style with an adaptation of the prang of Lopburi. This Five Peak Prang housing the Lord Buddha’s relics was constructed according to concept of Mahayana Buddhism. The elegantly designed stucco decorated on the viharn and the ubosot is proof to the excellent skill of Phetchaburi’s local craftsmanship.

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Wat Yai SuwannaramAnother important temple in the town, Wat Yai Suwannaram is situated 1 kilometer east of the city hall. The temple, featuring a windowless main shrine hall, houses magnificent 300-year-old murals of mythical angels. Its Sala Kanprian (multi-purpose hall) which was once located in Ayutthaya’s Grand Palace, was entirely built of teakwood and decorated with fine woodwork especially at the door panels. There is also a preaching throne with magnificently elaborated Bangkok style woodcarvings and gold gilt works located in the hall.

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Wat KutiThe temple is located at Bang Khem sub-district, north of Khao Yoi District. It houses a Bot or a ritual hall made entirely from carved teak wood. The outer surfaces of the walls are carved into scenes depicting the Ten Incarnations of the Lord Buddha and the door panels into openwork of intertwined spray patterns.

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Wat Khao TakhraoThe temple, which is located at Ban Laem District, 12 kilometers from Phetchaburi City, houses a highly respected sitting Buddha image locally known as “Luang Pho Khao Takhrao”. The image was found at the mouth of Maenam Mae Klong in Samut Songkhram Province by Ban Laem villagers, who migrated from Ban Laem to Samut Songkhram during the fall of Ayutthaya in order to move away from the route of the Burmese troops.

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