Phetchaburi is a beautiful city and the capital of Phetchaburi Province, Thailand. The meaning of Phetchaburi is ‘City of Diamonds’. The tranquil River Phetchaburi runs through the middle of the city and the entire region is flat with just a single hill on the outskirts of town!
There are a lot of beautiful temples and historic parks in the city, so let’s have a look at some of the best things to do in Phetchaburi.
1. Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park
The Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park is an alluring park located right on a hill that overlooks the entire city Phetchaburi. The meaning behind the name is Holy City Hill but it’s also well known amongst the locals as Khao Wang. The entire western peak is the actual palace, while the middle peak is called Phra That Chom Phet and the eastern peak is known as Wat Phra Kaeo. The entire park was built by King Mongkut in the year 1860. The park itself is built similarly to Wat Phra Kaeo in Bangkok. This site was registered as a historical park in 1979, along with the two palace buildings which house the Thai National Museum.
Phra Nakhon Khiri Park
Address: Khlong Kra Saeng, Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
Website: Phra Nakhon Khiri Park
2. Tham Khao Luang Cave
The Tham Khao Luang Cave is a surreal, stalactite-stuffed chamber and is one of the most beautiful cave shrines in Thailand. The central figure of Buddha is usually illuminated with a divine glow as sunlight filters in from the heart shaped skylight. There is also a row of sitting Buddhas which cast a shadow on the cavern wall. In the third chamber is a figure of a prostrate body, which represents the cycle of life and death. There is also a spot deeper in the cave which resembles Christ on the cross, though in reality, it’s just a natural rock formation! Remain alert when you arrive, however, as brazen monkeys patrol the entrance gates.
The Buddha image was cast under the royal command of King Rama V and is dedicated to King Rama III and King Rama IV. There is also a huge monastery at the foot of Khao Luang Hill, which is locally known as Wat Tham Klaep or Wat Bun-thawi. Inside the monastery is a beautiful multi-purpose hall as well as an ordination hall with elegantly carved door panels.
Tham Khao Luang Cave
Address: Khao Luang, Amphoe Mueang, Phetchaburi
Website: Tham Khao Cave
3. Phra Ram Ratchaniwet - The Historic Site
The Phra Ram Ratchaniwet is a dignified building in typical 20th century European Style. King Rama V ordered the construction of this palace in 1909, as he wanted a rainy season retreat. It was known as Ban Puen Palace and is modeled after the palace of German Kaiser Wilhelm II.
The palace is a two story building with a dark colored roof, in an elegant garden. Its rooms are bright and spacious, while the entire first floor contains a dining room and a throne hall. On the second floor, you will find the King’s bathroom and bedroom, both decorated in gold. Over the years the palace has been used for many purposes including a teacher’s training school, a boy scout leader’s school and a public school for girls.
Phra Ram Ratchaniwet
Address: Khlong Krachaeng, Amphoe Mueang, Phetchaburi
Website: Phra Ram Ratchaniwet
4. Wat Kamphaeng Laeng
The Wat Kamphaeng Laeng is a well know Khmer sanctuary located in the south of Phetchaburi. There is a total of four buildings, all of which are made entirely of laterite. The temple is surrounded by walls on all sides and the main area is designed in the Lopburi style. The structure is currently a Buddhist sanctuary, whereas once upon a time it was a Hindu temple.
Wat Kamphaeng Laeng
Address: Thanon Phra Song, Tambon Tha Rap, Amphoe Mueang, Phetchaburi
Website: Wat Kamphaeng
5. Kaeng Krachan National Park
Kaeng Krachan National Park is the largest park in Thailand and is a part of a rainforest area and the Western Forest Complex. The Kaeng Krachan National Park is not only well known for extremely diverse wildlife, but also for its dense morning mist, which covers the park and hilltops. There are two main rivers in the park which are Pran Buri and Phetchaburi. The entire park is filled with extremely diverse flora and fauna.
The Kaeng Krachan National Park is also one of the top bird watching locations in Thailand. Around four hundred and twenty species of birds can be observed within the park’s boundaries. Around fifty-seven species of mammals and three hundred butterfly species can be found in the park as well. Rare birds such as the ratchet-tailed treepie, white fronted owls, and the grey-headed fish eagle can easily be spotted here. The National Park has also a wide number of snake species. Some of the snakes that are found here are the green vine snake, the viper, and the Siamese cat snake. Campsites are available at the park’s headquarters.
Kaeng Krachan National Park
Address: Kaeng Krachan National Park, 76170.
Website: Kaeng Krachan National Park
6. Wat Mahathat Worawihan - Buddhist Temple
The Wat Mahathat Worawihan is a centrally located Buddhist temple. Inside the temple is a five tiered Khmer style stupa, decorated in stucco relief. It is a specialty of Phetchaburi’s local artisans and the interiors of the temple are mostly made up of contemporary murals. There are also frequent performances by musicians and dancers who are traditional fixtures of the temple during merit making services.
There is also a well known, old teak house district nearby, which brims with the smell of incense from neighboring religious paraphernalia shops.
Phetchaburi - an alluring destination
Phetchaburi offers not only museums and historic sites, but beautiful beaches and breathtaking ancient caves. Immerse yourself in this beautiful Thai city!
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