From Cha Am we drove to Phetchaburi which is just less than 150 kilometers from Bangkok to visit the Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park. Maha Sawan Mountain is divided into three parts and rises 95 meters above sea level, it is also known locally as Khao Wang.
The whole complex was built as a Summer Palace by King Rama IV (King Monghut) and is decorated in a combination of Thai, Chines and European styles, construction finished in 1858.
On the Western peak is the Palace and its associated structures. The Central peak houses the relics of Buddha in the Chedi called Phra That Chom Phet which was renovated by King Monghut. The Eastern peak is where you will find Wat Phra Kaeo which is a Royal Temple built in a similar style to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace.
This beautiful historical park is definitely worth spending a few hours, there is also a cable car to get you up and down the hill.
Just be careful while walking to each peak as there are hundreds of feral monkeys here!
The full name is the Royalty-initiated Laem Phak Bia Environmental Study, Research and Development Project. This project began by the King Rama IX, he found the environment problem from trash and used water. So he decided to solve these problems by nature to nature and the project can run very well.
Open : Mon-Fri 9.00 - 16.00 Sat - Sun -permit for bird watching only
Phra Ram Ratchaniwet (Ban Puen Palace) is a palace which King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who had it built as a rainy season palace with his own money. The plot of land was bought from a villager and the design was made by a German, Mr.Karl Deurring. Admiral HRH Prince Boriphat of Nakhonsawan and HRH Prince Damrong were assigned to monitor the construction. The palace is of European design and construction began in 1909 and completed in 1916. The palace was named during the reign of King Rama VI as Son Phetch Prasat Palace. The name was changed to be Phraram Ratchaniwet in 1918 when it was used as a palace to welcome and accommodate state visitors. It's located about 1km south of the town centre in a military area which you can enter in order to visit the palace.
Admission: 50 baht.
The Phetchaburi River originates in Kaeng Krachan National Park, Kaeng Krachan district and flows through Tha Yang, Ban Lat, Mueang Phetchaburi and mouths into the Bay of Bangkok in Ban Laem district along a length of 210km.
This is the main temple in Phetchaburi and features a five-spired white-washed brick prang that is said to house relics of Lord Buddha. Several beautiful statues of Buddha stand in the encircling gallery which you can walk inside of. The exterior of the large wiharn is decorated with stucco, while the interior has restored wall paintings and several statues of seated Buddhas, of which the very top one on the Ayutthaya-style altar is particularly noteworthy. Very beautiful stucco also embellishes the small building next to the wiharn in a separate courtyard.
This temple complex is located at the southern foot of Khao Wang hill and features a huge reclining Buddha that looks like a similar size to the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho in Bangkok. The complex also features some nice teak buildings. There is a path that starts from a square in between the white stupa and Wat Phra Kaew temple on the Khao Wang hill that leads down to this temple.
This temple is located on the eastern peak of Khao Wang. King Rama IV ordered his architects to construct a royal temple in the palace compound in the same fashion as the Emerald Buddha temple in the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
Atop of the 92 metre high Khao Wang hill, to the west of the town centre, is a Royal Palace which was built on the orders of King Rama IV, who was looking for a nice site for his picnic trips.
Completed in 1860, the palace is named Phra Nakhon Khiri, but is commonly referred to as Khao Wang. Although very occasionally still used by members of the Royal family, today it's mostly open to the public as a museum which exhibits some royal paraphernalia of King Rama IV and King Rama V, decorative sculptures, and ceramics from China, Japan and Europe. An easy way to reach the palace is by taking the funicular which runs up the western side of the hill. Beware of the monkeys all over the hill.
A Lak Mueang or City pillar is found in most cities of Thailand. Usually housed in a shrine which is also believed to house the city spirit deity, Chao Pho Lak Meuang, it is held in high esteem by the citizens of the town. This one is set in a nice garden with pools and bridges.
Located 5km north of Khao Wang, this cave houses a Buddha image cast by the royal command of King Rama V as a dedication to King Rama III and King Rama IV. These caves are well worth and contain a number of other Buddhas in a variety of stances. The best time to visit is around 17:00 when light through a hole in the ceiling falls directly on one of the Buddhas making for a superb photo. Legend has it that the entrance to the cave will send you through a twilight zone to a cave inhabited by young maidens! Beware of the monkeys outside and try and grab a stick or something for security. I took a bike taxi here from the road junction by the City Pillar and he waited for me at the caves and took me back into town after I had visited.
At Laem Phak Bia project ,there are mangrove Forest as a Mangrove Forest Filtration System for waste water. Apart from system, we can study how mangroove forest is by walking along nature trail.The trail leads to view point where you can rest and enjoy sightseeing the mangrove forest and sea. If you 'd like to enjoy the trail,please contact the project office and don't forget to bring hat and umbrella.
Hundreds of monkeys live around Khao Wang Palace .They are not shy and some are rather aggressive.They will think nothing of snatching any bags you are carrying especially if they contain food.While we were here the attendent had to get the BB gun out to keep them under control.
Khao Wang means White Palace in Thai sits on top of a hill overlooking all of Petchaburi. The palace buildings is the mix of neoclassical, Thai, and Chinese style. From the top of this cool palace you can get a very good view of the surrounding area .You can also walk into some parts of the palace which have been converted into a museum .The palace is open everyday but the museum is closed on Mondays & Tuesdays.
There is a big Wat next to the cave area.
Highly decorated and well maintained - and the few people around clearly astonished that they have visitors.
We landed here, because we were looking for the Cave. At the road there was a signe showing the direction, but where the road ended, there were no more signs.
So we parked our car and went exploring. Always a god idea.
The Wat offers several buildings, nicely placed at the foot of a hill and some big stones in between.
In the hill are small caves you can go exploring, but not the cave we were looking for.
Up the hill goes a path. If you follow it, you come to a plave with a good view not only on the wat beneath, but also on the village of Phetchaburi itself.
On the hill are several of these structures. I think they are called chedis. These were used for grave markers.
I thought it interesting how different these were decorated. Each one was made different as you can see in the picture.
The ground of Thailand is mostly limestone that is quite soft compared to other stones and water washes it out easily, creating caves. You will find many caves around Thailand. If you just have the time to visit One Thai cave, make it this one.
Located 3km north of Phetchaburi.
There is a road that goes straight there. In front of the hill where the cave is, it divides into 2 lanes, one goes right, the other left - and then there is a very small road going straight up the hill. Big buses can't get up there and you have to walk (10 minutes) or take a taxi. If you have a car, drive straight up, there is a parking space. Take care of the monkeys that are around here.
From the parking, where they are busily building a pavillon it is only a short way further up.
Entrance to the cave is free. A guide will cost you 100 Baht, but is not necessary in my opinion.
Keep away from the monkeys that try to get something to eat from the tourists. They can get quite wild and you don't want to waste your time in a hospital getting rabies shots.
You climb down the steep stairs into the cave. The sun is falling through holes in the ceiling.
Especially nice to see them is between 11a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun lights up on the golden Buddha statues (see picture).
There are 2 big caves, the sun-cave and the moon cave. The further you proceed the darker it gets. Take a flash light with you, if you want to go exploring.
There are bats in the caves in the back.