Thailand – Phetchaburi sightseeing highlights

If you intend to visit Thailand and are interested in seeing some stunning places – here are my top 3 for the Phetchaburi region!

Phetchaburi is a town, the capital of Phetchaburi Province, about 130km southwest of Bangkok. Our driver came from that very town, telling us about numerous temples in and around the city centre and the traditional market, buzzing with life until mid-day.

We did not walk around in the city, nor did we see the market. But we sure saw some amazing sights which really are worth a look!

If you have more time than we had or are simply interested in seeing as much as possible, here is a short list of the most well known spots in Phetchaburi:

Phra Nakhon Khiri – King Mongkut’s palace on the Khao Wang mountain. Nowadays it’s a museum and a well known tourist attraction.

Phra Ram Ratchaniwet Palace – also called the Ban Puen Palace, is a villa in the southeast of the city.

Wat Yai Suwannaram – a lovely buddhist temple with an old library on wooden stilts in a lake.

Wat Ko Kaeo Sutharam – a monastery near the river.

Wat Mahathat Worawihan – another monastery

Wat Khamphaeng Laeng – the ruins of an old monastery

Tham Khao Luang – a cave about 3km north of the city centre

We visited three of these spots, the Tham Khao Luang, climbed the Khao Wang and roamed around the area of Wat Mahathat Worawihan.

The Wat Mahathat Worawihan lies hidden in the middle of town and at first you see nothing but a parking spot with some temples nearby.

But when you leave the car and walk on, you sure can find a lot!
At the centre of the Wat Mahathat is a large courtyard, with five massive prangs ( A prang is a tower with a conical shape with a broad base getting narrower towards the top and an entrance on one side ), standing there.
Surrounded by four smaller ones, the tallest central one rises up over 40 meters.
The cloister around the courtyard is lined with dozens of Buddha images, which probably led to our driver calling it ‘the temple of the 100 Buddhas’.
Opposite the main entrance is the temple’s large assembly hall and next to it you’ll find the ordination hall. There we met a monk, who tried his best to converse with us, even though he hardly spoke any english. All were really lovely and friendly to us and we did not meet any other tourists.
Another stop during our stay there was a temple above a hill, clearly visible even before we reached it – Khao Wang.
P1070564
The Phra Nakhon Khiri national park in Phetchaburi is on that hill, overlooking the entire city. The name itself means ‘Holy City Hill’, but among locals (and tourist boards) it’s better known as Khao Wang which means ‘Hill with Palace’.
 There are three building groups in total, each located on a peak of the hill. The western peak is home to the actual palace. The middle peak hosts the Phra That Chom Phet and the eastern peak is home to the Wat Phra Kaeo.
I have to admit that we did not see all three peaks that day, because it simply was too hot to move around a lot. Even the locals hid in the shadows with water and not moving much.
You can either walk up the hill, or take the cable car up (which costs 200 baht for tourists), then enter the main area. There is a small room showcasing a miniature of the mountain with the temples together with some historical information.

Various areas offer a great look down and there really is a lot to see. The main temple is being renovated right now, so you don’t see a lot from the outside. There also is a Pagoda a bit farther away. You can walk there, takes about 15 minutes according to the locals, but as I said it was really hot that day so we skipped this.

The monkeys were also affected by the heat and totally left us alone, but I heard they can be quite nasty. So be careful, don’t carry any food with you and no plastic bags and try to not go too near to them.

Otherwise it’s such a lovely and interesting temple! Really worth the trip!

Easily the most astonishing sight we had during our trip to Thailand overall, was the Tham Khao Luang Cave!

In the parking spot before the cave you can find some booths selling drinks and snacks. You then head up a bit, until you stumble upon a deep set of stairs. At first it doesn’t look like much, but if you dare to walk down and explore a bit, you will find something really impressive!

It’s a chamber filled with stalactites, an impressive cave shrine and on top of that a favourite of King Rama IV. There are holes in the stones, letting in rays of sunlight, illuminating the cave itself and the main Buddha statue itself.
There’s no entrance fee, but a lot of monkeys. They did not bother me or my family, did not even look at us most of the time. But one of the other visitors was scared and screamed a lot, so the locals came up to the stairs and urged the monkeys to leave her alone. They are obviously fed and don’t seem to be hungry, but better be cautious!
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Thailand – Phetchaburi sightseeing highlights

    1. Thailand is awesome!

      My favourite place? Aaah, that’s hard to say. The Hua Hin region is really awesome, the temple cave was brilliant as a travel spot, but I also really liked Bangkok.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s