Just a short drive from Bangkok
With the distance of just over 100 kms from Bangkok, the journey to Phetchaburi is still enjoyable with numerous food and snacks stops you can make along the way.
Beautiful Natural Resources Sea..Mountain..River..Damn
This city is probably created when God was in leizure mood, because it has everything possible - mountains , forests, river, sea! And the wonder doesn't stop here. Our city is also a habitat generations over generation to the native hilltribe - Karieng hilltribe - along the Tenasserim Hills range. Phetchaburi is also known for having national park and a huge dam that attracts tourists from local and abroad.
The Kaeng Krachan forest - the largest national forest in Thailand- is so lush, tropical and vast while the Kaeng Krachan Dam is a large freshwater lake.
Mother nature has endowed Phetchaburi city with ranges of mountains and stretches of sea. The quality of air and the amount of fresh air available throughout the day will make your lungs sing with happiness. The beach stretches over 3 districts covering Laem Phak Bia in Ban Laem District, Chao Samran Beach in Mueang District, and the Cha-am beach in Cha-am District.
MOUNTAINS/CAVE & WATERFALL
There are many happening, rare and "check-in" worthy places in Phetchaburi, namely Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park, Khao Eid (Switzerland of Thailand), and Khao Phaneen Thung. Also available are the spectacular caves namely Khao Luang and Khao Yoi Cave or breathtaking waterfalls such as Pha Nam Yod Waterfall and Tho Thip. Don't miss the chance to experience the only community floating market name Guangzhou Floating Market or the Hot Spring in the Nong Ya Plong District.
Phetchaburi River is known for its clear and gentle flowing water that is suitable for cruises and slow nature enjoyment on both sides of the banks. With this abundance of natural beauty along the banks,
especially the 8km stretches of Kaeng Krachan Dam, the 1.5 hours of rubber boat cruise proves to be one of the highly favored activities amongst the tourists.
Being one of the largest national parks in Thailand, Kaeng Krachan National Park is a true tourist destination for nature lovers. The area has so many interesting spots for tourists to leisurely enjoy themselves to the maximum. There are various worth mentioning highlights within this area, such as Khao Panoen Rung- famous for its breathtaking view of "sea mist" throughout the year, Kaeng Krachan Dam- a beautiful spot for chillaxing, Ban Krang Camp- home to thousands of butterflies especially during April, and various caves and waterfalls.
EPIC Beaches / Puek-Tien,
Jao-Samran and Cha-am Beaches
Chao Samran Beach
Bang Talu Beach, also known as Chao Samran Beach was once the vacation homes for the Mary missionaries before it was made into the seafront palace for the King Rama VI .
Cha Am Beach
This beach started to attract the attention of the nobles and wealthy people who started to feel that the Hua Hin resort was starting to be overly crowded in the olden days.
Laem Luang Beach
Laem Luang beach or Laem Phak Bia is a fully endowed in nature, which offers both sea and mangrove forest as attraction for tourists. The place is still not very busy or crowded so tourist can enjoy the sandy beaches and natural trails in leisure.
Foodie Lover Paradise / Sea food, Local Food,fruits and desserts
Phetchaburi is a very "sweet" city. Want to guess why? Because it is so famous for its Palm sugar and all the traditional Thai "Desserts" such as "Thai custard cake","Thong Yip and Thong Yod - the egg yolk in syrup
This is "rice soaked in cool water". It is believed that it was a royal recipe introduced during time of King Rama II and adapted from a Mon dish. It was meant to be made and consumed in the hot season along with the side dishes such as sweetened fish, shrimp paste ball and sweet turnip.
Rose apple Fruit
This is the very crispy and sweet fruit. It is even more crispier and sweeter from Petchaburi then any other part of Thailand, which can be due to the fertility of the sediments along the river here.
History and Holy Temples / known as "Living Ayuthaya"
Considering that Petchaburi has a very long history and various sacred temples around its city, a Thai style of "merit-making" spree to 9 different sacred temples in a day is a must try for everyone. "Paying homage to 9 temples" to enhance one's merit is very common tour among Thai devotees looking to enhance their spirituality and as well as their fortune. So why not give it a try?
Khao Luang Cave Shrine
This is a dramatic stalactite-stuffed cavern that's one of the most impressive cave shrines, built by King Rama V in honor of King Rama IV. Accessed via steep stairs, it's lit by a heavenly glow every morning (clouds permitting) when sunbeams filter in through the natural skylight illuminating the main Buddha image. Lights and reflection do vary during the different times of year. But one thing is for sure, be ready to meet many brazen monkeys who will be looking for handouts.
Reclining Buddha Temple (Phra Non Temple)
This is more than 400 years old and the 43 meters in length, with a height of 15 meters from the head to base. It is believed that those born on Tuesday should find the opportunity to pay homage once as it will bring prosperity to life. There are about 108 sacred images under the Buddha's feet. Though these have faded over time, but it is believed that by paying respect to them, you will wade off bad omen from yourself and family.
This is an impressive sight to behold. The main temple is almost a perfect symmetry with many interesting statues and stucco reliefs. All these arts were created by the local Petchburi artisans themselves. There are three principal Buddha statues within the hall namely Phra Buddh Sethi Nawakot on the left, Phra Buddh Ming Mongkol in the middle and Phra Siwaleep Mahalarb Romyen on the right. Based on the local beliefs, anyone who comes to pay homage to them, will prosper in career and business.
Wat Mahathat Worawihan
It is believed that this temple dates back to th late Mon Dvaravati era or the Khmer era or around 8 to 10 centuries ago. When visiting the temple, the locals will pay respect by offering flowers, joss sticks, candles and gilded the sacred monk statue, "Luang Phor Saksit". This sacred statue is rather small, approx. 8" in the width, left hand holding foldable fan. The non-local might not know of the belief and faith that locals have for this statue as wish-fulfilling statue. This statue provides emotional and mental anchor to the locals as they believe that when they need help and they take vows in front of this statue, their wishes are usually granted and troubles cleared away. Usually in return of the fulfilled vows, the locals will "entertain the statue" by hiring crew to do tradition drama and dance in front of the statue.
Wat Yai Suwannaram Worawihan
This is a type of royal monastery with many interesting stories. There is a historical record by the secretary of King Rama V, mentioning "Anyone who wishes to witness the architectural and artistic skilled work need not go any further than from here." Many local believe that Luang Pho with six digits is very sacred and powerful. By paying respect to this statue, all the sufferings can be dispelled and good fortunes will come in abundance. There are stories citing that there locals have asked for help with certain court cases and they were all cleared and given justice. Doesn't this sound like a trip for miracle happening that we should not miss!!!?
Wat Kamphaeng Laeng
The main chapel contains the sacred statue of Luang Pho Petch and a Buddha image that is made of red sand since Ayuthaya period. It is believed that by paying respect to this statue, your life will be peaceful and free from illness. This temple does not have any kiln for cremation ceremony, does not focus on any religious rituals. The temple has a sole aim to polish mind, so it provides meditation classes for students and public in general free of cost.
Wat Phet Phli
Phet Phli Temple or formerly known as Wat Prip Pri is a reinforced concrete temple with a pagoda-shaped roof, with 12 porch gables, decorated with beautiful stucco designs. The temple houses 5 royal Buddha's relics of various sizes and types in the Vachira Prasat building. What is very fascinating about the relics is the storage and display of these relics. These Holy Relics are stored on the decorated wooden throne and encased in the glass box. This box is lifted up and is hidden completely in the ceilings under the beautiful carved wood panel.
When people come to worship the Relics in this building, the authorized staff will press the button and the throne will slowly move down from the ceiling to the dedicated altar area. It is believed that worshipping Buddha's relics is as auspicious as paying homage to the Lord Buddha himself.
Koh Kaew Sutharam Temple, commonly known as Wat Koh Kaew, has been around since the Ayutthaya period. It is located in Tha Rap Subdistrict, Mueang District,of Petchaburi. The temple has many archaeological sites such as the crematorium, the temple, the sanctuary, and the three chambers. The most amazing sight to behold would be the remarkable series of 18C wall paintings of priceless in value
Wat Khao Bandai It
"Khao Bandai It temple" was built in the during Ayuthya period. It is a temple filled with many historical tales.
"Luang Pho Daeng" of Khao Bandai It temple is a monk who has a profound piritual insights. It is believed that his insights was so powerful that he could to make the amulet magical. Hence even after his death on 16th January 1974, all his blessed charms, amulets and yantra cloth of this famous monk are still sought after for worshiping by the people far and wide.
Information from Kapook
Arts & Cultures / Stucco Art, Mural Painting and Craving
Arts of “Phetchaburi lineage" This refers to the arts and crafts created within Petchaburi and is very unique craft unlike any other arts from elsewhere. The most distinguishable features of Petchaburi art as per Archan Lom Penkaew would be its asymmetric designs.
Stucco of Phetchaburi
Among various artistic fields "Stucco" seems to be one of the most prominent form of arts due to its striking work as well as being more in number as compared to other fields. One of the possible reason for this would be that the cement quality must be really high and yet very soft. Thus allowing the sculptor to mold them into such complex and fine pattern but still highly durable lasting over centuries.
Painting works that appeared in Phetchaburi were from between the Ayutthaya period until the Rattanakosin period. Although the current era paintings continue to maintain the tradition of earlier forms of painting, it has started to adopt the visual perspective of the West, since the reign of King Rama IV
Wood craving & Woodworks
In addition to stucco and painting, the woodwork and carving of Petchaburi is another amazing arts. Surprisingly that this area of arts were not given much of the highlight eventhough they are displayed in abundance in various temples.
3 Summer Palaces /
the city is also rightly known as "Resort town"
Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace
Journey to Phetchaburi, one of the oldest provinces in Thailand. Explore the fascinating Summer Palace of King Rama IV, At Khao Wang, there are the palace, temple, and buildings which are constructed in neo-classic and Chinese architecture. It is located on the three mountain tops. it is the symbol of the province and is very outstanding and its chedi and the white buildings can be seen from distance afar. Khao Wang, the archaeological site of Petchaburi, is located on the 92-meter high mountain formerly known as Khao Samon or Khao Khiri. The palace was reconstructed after the King Rama IV has shown his preference for this hilltop site. Tourists can visit this palace either by taking a leisure stroll up or by the electic tram made available now.
The architecture of this palace is in the Thai-European fusion style. Built using golden teak wood, it is a two storeys open-air building with concrete floor and high ceiling basement. The roofing is made in Hip Roof Thai style with square-shaped shiny tiles. Both the high ceilings as well as long perforated designed wooden corridor provides the natural cooling effect as they allow the wind to pass through easily.
Ban Puen Palace, also formerly known as, Phra Ram Ratchaniwet Palace.
This palace was commission during the reign of King Rama V in the n Art Nouveau style. The palace is a 2 story building with a tall dome roof, high ceilings and huge windows and an arched stairways. The main hall is decorated with glazed tiles and in the middle of the central courtyard features a fountain. Nothing is as grand and elegant as this in Phetchaburi.
Traditional dances & Local theaters / Puppets,
Shadow Show and kind of Thai theatrical performance
Currently there is just 1 puppet troupe known as "Four siblings team". This team focuses on the local foilk lore. The team is very flexible and relocate in physical sense. The famous folk lore that they play are stories from Phra Apai Manee, Kaew Nah Maa, Khun Chang Khun Pan, etc.
Folk lore play
Currently there are many acting troupe that are busy showcasing their skills to entertain the crowd. The common and most famous folk-lore are Yo Phra Klin, Phra Aphai Mani Krai Thong, Taen Thong.
Wua Lan (cow is both a sport and gambling that is very prevalent in the western provinces of Thailand especially Petchaburi. This activity is usually held at night after the farming period.
Craftsmanship / Handicraft product, Hill tribe fabric and etc.
Artisans and Craftmanship of Prip Pri City
Gold ornaments or gold jewelry of Petchaburi are very unique and considered valuable handicrafts of art . The goldsmiths from this city are highly praised for their craftmanship and considered as them as guru in this line. The style of gold here is simply known as "ancient gold" and the renown stores are "Jeju" and "Chang Aun"
Handicrafts from Palm wood
The abundance of palm trees has led the manufacturing and craftmanship of palm furnitures. The tree trunk that are used for furniture must be over a century old. The wood must be kiln dried in the process known as "grilled wood". The well-known manufacturers are "Uncle Rae", "Baan Laad" and "Nai Choi"
Handicrafts from Sisal fibers.
Petchaburi is famous fo their craftmanship of weaving sisal fibers into durable hats, bags, and shoes. These products can are featured as OTOP product from Petchaburi and can be purchased at Sisal Women Wickerwork Group at House No. 25, Moo 8, Khao Yai Sub-district, Cha-Am District. Phetchaburi 76120 (near Hup Krapong Agricultural Cooperative).