Phetchaburi or Phetburi as the locals pronounced it, has many great things for tourists to explore and see with their eyes. It is also one of the oldest settlements here in Thailand. The historical records of this city are mentioned dating back to the 8th century and there are also standing artefacts from the 12th century. If you are visiting Thailand, you must have come for the temples, am I right? Phetchaburi will not leave you disappointed. There are countless temples both inside and outside the city centre area and the market area.
However, if those temples did not satisfy you, the Royal Palace is located here, and it is known to the locals and Thai people as Khao Wang in which the word “Wang” means the Royal Palace and “Khao” means the mountain.
As it is a very old settlement, the city is situated on the river called River Phet or Diamond River in Thai. The river itself originated at the Kaeng Krachan National Park and it flows into the Gulf of Thailand. Thailand is famous for its agriculture and Phetchaburi is no exception. Most areas of the province are dominated by agriculture and you can see some of the best salt farms here as well.
To get to Phetchaburi Thailand
To get here, there are various options for you to choose. First option is to travel by bus, you can take the bus at Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal, but you need to beware of the type of bus you take. The express bus will take you around two hours to reach here, but the bus with blue, orange, and white buses will take you much longer. There are also minibuses you can take at Mo Chit or Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal. If you want to have a vintage vibe for your trip, you can take a train from Hua Lamphong station which it will take you around four hours or more. However, I highly recommend taking a taxi or drive yourself here as you will be able to see some of the salt farms in which Phetchaburi is the best sea salt producer in Thailand.
The famous attractions in Phetchaburi
The famous attractions here in Phetchaburi will provide you with some lasting memories of enjoyment and fun.
Khao Wang, Phra Nakhon Khiri (เขาวัง พระนครคีรี)
The first place is mentioned in the province’s motto as it is the highlight of the province that you cannot miss. Khao Wang or Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park contains traces and significant historical marks of Thailand in one place. There are antique buildings and the Royal Palace here which is open for you to explore the interior of the place. The main highlights are the pagoda and the white building that sit on top of the mountain.
The record says that those structures are built in the year 1860 when King Rama IV was in reign. There are several temples and buildings with western architectural style from the neoclassical mixed with Chinese architectural style. You can also walk from place to place and from mountain to mountain if you want to. If you happen to come here on February, there will be an annual festival with fireworks’ show at night for 10 days and 10 nights starting from the first Friday of February, so be sure you do not miss this annual event. In addition, there are local goods and shows here in this festival and many more activities you can enjoy.
Cha-Am Beach (หาดชะอำ)
If you are talking about Phetchaburi, Cha-Am District is highly praised as the most famous district in all of Phetchaburi because of its many activities and beaches. If you heard about Hua Hin Beach before, Cha-Am Beach is as famous and beautiful as Hua Hin Beach. You can relax yourself at the beach and find some great seafood with affordable prices.
Mrigadayavan Palace (พระราชนิเวศน์มฤคทัยวัน)
Other than the famous beach, Mrigadayavan Palace is the biggest palace that is made out of golden teakwood in the entire world. Inside of Mrigadayavan Palace, there are three large palaces and they are decorated with magnificent ornamental plants. Those plants are planted along the beach as well. You can experience the atmosphere of relaxation like you have never experience before. Listen to the sound of the waves, winds, and peaceful ambiences. You can really take your minds somewhere else without thinking about anything else.
The places I will talk about from this point are exotic and unique with very few tourists. These places are more for your experience of Thailand and your personal fulfillment of the trip.
Kaeng Krachan National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติแก่งกระจาน)
The first place is the Kaeng Krachan National Park, you can literally be with nature at this amazing place. It is also the largest national park in terms of land areas in Thailand! The highlight here is Khao Phanoen Thung which has a height of around 1,200 meters. You can also see tons of heavy mist on this mountain at Panern Tung, but the best period is around November and onwards. You will experience cold weather and the mists are considered to be very beautiful. In fact, it is one of the ten dream destinations which is ranked by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and they say that it is a once in a lifetime experience. There is one more thing located here and it is a big freshwater lake that is suitable for camping. You can fully indulge with nature here! Sunset, sunrise, observe the stars at night, and see more than 200 species of magnificent butterflies and animals. The best period to see this is around April, be sure not to miss it. There are more activities such as a boat tour and waterfalls.
ถ้ำเขาหลวง (Khao Luang Cave)
Next place is called Khao Luang Cave which is very significant in this province. It is situated on a hill with 92 meters of height. There is a Buddha statue that was built during the reign of King Rama V inside as well. However, the highlight of this place is the light from the ceiling that shines down onto the surface below which is in front of the statue. This phenomenon only happens at 9:30am to 10:30am, but each season has a different time.
Bryde’s Whale (ปลาวาฬบรูด้า)
This is another attraction located near the sea of Phetchaburi. As the name suggested, you can see Bryde’s Whales that come here to seek for food and this has been going on continuously for more than 10 years. This is also the only place where you can see them, and Thailand is the country that has Bryde’s Whale closest to the capital city. You can take the boat from these two spots which are Bang Taboon district and Lham Pak Bia Pier. The best period for seeing the whales is around October to January.
ขนมหม้อเแกง (Thai Custard Cakes)
If you want to take some souvenirs back with you, Thai Custard cakes are superb, and a must try. They are soft and smells delicious with many fillings you can choose. You can also buy fresh sugar made from Palmyra Palm, Lontar, or Fan Palm, depends on where you come from. It provides a refreshing sticky taste with a sweet smell after a long day from traveling.
Other Interesting Information of Phetchaburi, Thailand
The motto for Phetchaburi is “Khao Wang, Muang Phet’s Sweets, Magnificent Arts, Land of Buddhism, and Beautiful Sea”. To get around, you can use tuktuks, motorcycle taxis, and tricycles. For a longer distance ride, you need to take a bus and be sure to ask the staff which bus you should take to avoid confusion. You also need to do some haggling for your transportation around town as it tends to be overpriced. You can choose many types of accommodations that suit you such as guesthouses and hotels. The price is quite cheap, and the experience is very local indeed. Enjoy your time here exploring!