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Central Thailand

Phetchaburi

Phetchaburi
is a very old town and used to be an important royal for a along period of time. There were so many names by which to call this town in the old days, such as, Phripphri, Phripphli or Phetchaphli. Some historians have said that the name Phetchaburi could be the original name because it is found on Stone Scrip-true No.1. It could have been named after the Indian style, accordina to Indian influence during those day, like some other towns in Thailand, such as, Ayothaya, Kanchanaburi, Suwannaphum. In addition, it is also believed that the name Phetchaburi might have originated from the Phetch River which is an important river of this town.
Phetchaburi is a central region province, situated on the west shore of the Gulf of Thailand having an overall area of 6,225.138 square kilometers. Its geographical characteristics are mountainous thick jungles throughout the border in the west where Tanaosi Range is the border line between Thailand and the Socialist Republic of the Union of Myanmar. There is a plain all along the seashore in the east of Changwat Samut Songkhram and Amphoe Pak Tho of Changwat Ratchaburi to the north Amphoe Hua Hin of Changwat Prachuap Khirikhan to the South and the sea-shore of the west side of the Gulf to Thailand to the east. The total length of the Phetchaburi seashore from the northern-most spot to southern-most sopt is approximately 80 kilometers while the total length of the border line in Phetchaburi dividing Thailand and Myanmar is approximately 120 Kilometers.
Phetchaburi is well known as a province that produces several kinds of delicious desserts such as khanom mo kaeng (semilar to pudding, made of crushed steamed mong bean, egg, cocount milk and sugar which is, after well mixed, baked under the charcoal fire) khao kriap (dried pastry sheet having coconut, sugar and sesame as ingredients and has to be grilled on a charcoal fire before serving) honey baked banana fruits toffee kluai khai (small banana having sweeter flavour) etc. Visitors can buy those local product both in town and long Phetch Kasem road side and Khao Wang area for consumption and/or as souvenir.
Phetchaburi is also famous for its fruits especially rose-apples and Iamuts (sapodillas) besides, there are mangoes, tamarinds oranges and kluai khai (small bananas having sweeter flavour).
Phetchaburi is administratively divided into 7 Amphoes and 1 King Amphoe, they are : Muang, Cha-Am, Khao Yoi, Tha Yang, Ban Lat, Ban Laem, Nong Ya Plong, and King Amphoe Kaeng Krachan.
The majority of the Phetchaburi population has for its principal occupation agriculture, I.e., rice farming, upland crop farming, fruit growing, palm sugar production animal raising, and fisheries for both sea water and fresh water.
There are two important rivers in Phetchaburi they are : "Phetchaburi River", having and overall length of 44 kilometers and "Bang Tabun River", having an overall length of 18 kilometers. The average temperature of Phetchaburi ranges from 16-38 degrees celcius. There are most rains from July to October.

Phra Nakhon Kriri Historical Park or Khao Wang
This hill originally called Khao Samana or Khao Khiri, is located in the vicinity of Amphoe Muang Phetchaburi. The peak is 92 meters high. King Mongkut, Rama IV of the present dynasty, saw this hill and was so fond of the location that he gave an order to Phraya Phet Nisai Sisawat, Chief Administrative Officer of Muang Phetchaburi , to carry out the construction of a palace which he could use during his picnic trip. The construction was completed in the year 1860. It was named by the royal command, Phra Nakhon Khiri, But folks of Phetchaburi commonly call it Khao Wang (Palace Hill) until now. Phra Nakhon Khiri comprises royal halls, palaces, wats, and groups of buildings. The complex which was constructed mostly of harmonious Western neoclassic and Chinese architecture tops the following 3 large mountains : Eastern mountaintop, location of a hillside temple called Wat Maha Samanaram within the rite hall of which there are mural paintings by Khrua In Khong, a renowned painter in Thai history. Middle mountaintop, location of a 40 meters high chedi called Phra That Chom Phet inside of which the Buddha's relic had been placed. From here, a wide view of buildings on another 2 nearby mountaintops as well as Phetchaburi's provincial city can be seen. Western mountaintop, location o froyal residence complex including Phra Thi Nang Phet Phum Phairot, Phra Thi Nang Pramot Mahaisawan, Phra Thi Nang Wetchayan Wichian Prasat, Phra Thi Nang Ratcha Tham Sapha, Ho Chatchawan Wiang Chai, Ho Phiman Phet Mahesuan, Tamnak Santhakhan Sathan, Ho Chatuwet Parit Phot and Sala Thatsana Nakkhataroek. There are also several other buildings which are typical of palaces within the complex such as garage, stable, Sala Mahat Lek (royal page hall), Sala Lukkhun (official hall), Sala Dan (post), Sala Yenchai (hall for relaxation), Thim Dap (bodyguard rooms), and kitchen.4 forts stand at the 4 corners of the complex, each was named in rhyme starting with Thatarot Pongpok in the east. Wirunhok borirak in the south, Wirupak Pongkan in the west, and Wetsuwan Raksa in the north. Some parts of the complex on this western mountaintop were altered into Phra nakhon Khiri National Museum where priceless antiques such as King Rame IV's and King Rama V's paraphernalia, bronze and brass sculptures used for decorative purposes in several rooms of various buildings, and ceramics from China, Japan, and Europe are put on exhibition. The museum is open daily between 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. except Monday and Tuesday. Admission Bt 5 each. Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park is open everyday between 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Admission Bt20. The mountaintop palaces are accessible either o foot or by cable railway which charge Bt10 each for one-way and Bt15 each for round trip.

Tham Khao Luang
This cave is located approximately five kilometers from khao Wang. From the foot hill, there are concrete stair cases leading to the cave entrance. Khao Luang is a small-sized hill having a height of 92 meters at the peak. However, Khao Luang Cave is regarded as the Largest and most important cave of Changwat Phetchaburi because the important ornamented Buddha image built by King Rama V and dedicated to King Rama III and IV is enshrined here. This cave had been a royal picnic site since the King Rama IV period.

Wat Kamphaeng Laeng
This monastery was originally a Khmer (Cambodian / Kampuchean) place of worship constructed in accordance with Bhramanism. Later on when the influence of Buddhism came into this region such a Bhraman place of worship was transformed to be a religious place of Mahayana Buddhism and Hinayana Buddhism respectively. Originally, there were five prangs (Khmer style pagoda) made of sandstone in the original place of worship. There are now only four prangs. It is presumed that each o fhe prangs was constructed to enshrine an idol such as Indar God, Narai God, Bhrama God and Uma Goddess due to the finding of an Uma Goddess statue in one ruined prang in the year 1956. After being transformed to be a monastery by construction of the main shrine hall, the outlook of the wat is not much changed due to the existing sandstone walls surrounding the wat.

Phraram Ratchaniwet
This palace, originally called Ban Pued Palace, was located at Tambon Ban Mo, Amphoe Muang Changwat Phetchaburi. King Chulachomklao, Rama V, desired to have 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 HRH Prince Damrony 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 Palalce. The name was changed to be Phraram Raatchaniwet in the year 1918 when it was used as palace to welcome and accommodate state visitors.

Wat Mahathat Worawihan
This is a very old monastery of Changwat Phetchaburi and there are clearly divided areas, i.e., the Phetchaburi or the temple area and the Sangkhawat or the monk's living quarters, inside the monastery. The interesting construction of the monastery is the five-topped prang which was constructed in accordance with Mahayana concept as an offering to the five Thayani Buddhas. There is a replica of each on each top of the prang. It is presumed that this five-topped prang should have originally been a five-topped pagoda as same in Changwat Nakhon Si Thammarat and was then transformed into a five-topped prang later.

CHA-AM
This beach is located 41 kilometers from the township area where a two kilometers road branches off on the left to the beach. Cha-Am beach is the most beautiful beach of Chang Phetchaburi. Originally, Cha-Am was a tambon of Amphoe Nong Jok. After Hua Hin became popular , thus causing its land to become occupied by high rank and royal family members. They tried to locate a new resort location and under the leadership of HRH. Prince Narathip they recognized that Cha-Am beach was just as beautiful as Hua Hin Beach. Since then Cha-Am has become much more well known to the public. It was developed and promoted , and now has a district status. The State Railways of Thailand operates a special trip to Cha-Am on every holiday.

Ma Ruk Ha Thai Ya Wan Palace
This palace is a royal seaside resort. The construction materials were obtained from the demolished Hat Cho Samran Palace by th royal command of king Vaijravudh in the year 1923. Located at Tambon Huai Nua , Amphoe Cha-Am KM.216, it is a litte bit beyond Cha-Am Beach (going from Bangkok). This palace is note for three two - storeyed wooden pavilions facing the sea, and is referred to as "the palace of love and hope". Series of halls are linked together throughout the palace. Residential halls of the royal consort members are located on the right wing. The central group of halls which is the royal residence consist of royal sitting and relaxing rooms, accommodations for close royal servants called Phisan Sakhon Hall, and the roading room. In addition, Samoson Sewakamat Hall, a two-storey open pavilion, is used as a meeting place, and sometimes as a theater. Two important dramas were shown on this stage in 1941 : "Phra Ruang" and "Wiwah Phra Samut". Cho Phraya Ramrakhop ordered a statue of King Vajiravudh, as a royal dedication, to be enshrined in the hall of Marukhathaiyawan Palace. An annual rite is conducted on November 25, the aniversary of King Vajiravudh's death.

Hup Kraphong
This place is located four kilometers before arriving at Cha-Am at KM.201-202. An asphalt road branches off on the right hand side for a distance of eight kilometers to the Hup Kraphong Cooperatives which is situation in the vicinty of Tambon Khao Yai. Amphoe Cha-Am originally was dry and non-fertile.
In 1962 H.M. The King had the idea to help farmers in the Phetch Dam Settlement, the Hup Kraphong Rural Development Project was the result of the royal desire. It commenced in 1964 with support of Israel , and the name of the projects is "Thai-Israel Project". There were studies on various crops growing in accordance with market requirements. Farmers were advised to grow crops according to proper technology and there was an establishment of Hup Kraphong Cooperatives. Tourists can buy farm product at the market located in front of the demonstration center as well as to buy products made of hemp under the folk arts and crafts project.

Prachuap Khiri Khan

Prachuap Khiri Khan
Prachuap Khiri Khan means "town among the mountain chain". And it is certainly true that its coastal sugar-loaf limestone outcrops at either end of a sandy bay give it a "little Rio" appearance. The local economy primarily relies on fishing; freshly caught seafood can purchased from a number of good restaurants and stallls along the promenade. This peaceful administrative town has pleasant swimming beaches to the north and south of its main bay.
Prachuap Khiri Khan is located some 278 kilometers south of bangkok . Its history dates back to the Ayutthaya period. Its original name was Bang Nangrom or Muang Na Rang. It is on the bank of Nang Rom Canal called by the villagers Kholong I-Rom. It was abandoned during the fall of Ayutthaya. Later in the second a new town was established at the mouth of Khlong I-Rom and the name was changed to Prachuap Khiri Khan during the reign of King Rama IV in the year 1845. The province, today, is more famous for its natural charm of beaches and mountains than historical attractions.
Prachuap Khiri Khan is now divided into seven Amphoe Muang, Kui Buri, Bang Saphan, Thap Sakae, Hua Hin, Pran Buri and Bang Saphan Noi, occupying an area approximately 6,767.6 square kilometers.
Climate: tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid.

Khao Chong Krachok or Mirror Mount
At the northern end of Ao Prachuap is Khao Chong Krajok (Mirror Tunnel Mountain, named after the hole through the side of the mountain which appears to reflect the sky). At the top is Wat Thammikaram, established by Rama VI. You can climb the hill for a view of the town and bay, and entertain the hordes of monkeys who live here. A metal ladder leads into the tunnel from the wat grounds.

Ao Manao
This beautiful curved bay is under the care of the Royal Thai Airforce. It is some 5 kilometres south of the town. This area used to be a battlefield between the Thai and Japanese armies during Second World War. A permit shall be obtained from the Commander of the 53rd Squadron, Prachuap Khiri Khan prior to visit. Accommodation should be reserved in advanced at the 53rd Squadron, Tel: (032) 611017, 611031 ext. 2146.

Wa Ko
This locality has had historical importance since the reign of King Rama IV. The King made a trip to Wa Ko to witness the full moon eclipse. A long white sandy beach lined with pine trees offers a pleasant atmosphere. It is located at Km. 335 of Highway No. 4, about 12 kilometres south of the town.

Khao Hin Thoen Stone Park
This is located to the west of the town. Travel along Highway No. 4 till Km. 331-332, then turn right and drive for another 8 kms. Among large stones placed by nature in the area, there are narrow walks leading to wide rocky fields on the mountain top overlooking the view of the city and the sea.

Dan Singkhon
Just south of Prachuap is a road leading west to Dan Singkhon on the Myanmar border. This is the narrowest point in Thailand between the gulf of Thailand and Myanmar only 12km across. There is a couple of small cave hermitage in the area, Khao Hin Thoen and Khao Khan Hawk. It used to be a strategic line for military movement in the past.

HUA HIN
Located on the sunrise side of the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin lies some 200 kilometres or a three-hour drive southwest of Bangkok. Adding distinction to Hua Hin's coastal setting, is its status as Thailand's most traditional beach resort. It was here, in the 1920s, that King Rama VII built a summer palace, thus creating a vogue among high society for Hua Hin to become the favourite retreat from Bangkok's summer heat. Today, the present Royal Family continues to reside at Hua Hin for part of the year. Hua Hin is similarly noted for its magnificent beach, running from a rocky headland, which separates it from a tiny fishing port, and curving gently for some three kilometres to its southern point where Buddhist temples cling to the cliffs. Hua Hin is a well-established beach destination, with full facilities, check out Property in Hua Hin. But unlike Pattaya, on the opposite shores of the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin provide a quieter, more relaxed retreat amid surroundings which preserve a typical Thai ambience. Hua Hin is well suited for families or for those who wish simply to escape city bustle.

Hua Hin Railway Station
Built in the reign of King Rama VI, this is one of Thailand's most beautiful train stations of which the local people are very proud.

Hua Hin Arts and Crafts Centre
This is situated in an old typical house on Naepkhehat Road. It has a collection and exhibition of many contemporary works of Thai artists, as well as old furniture and many pictures about Hua Hin in the past.

Klai Kangwon Palace
King Rama VII commanded this summer palace to be built in the year 1926 to the north of Hua Hin. The palace consists of 3 Spanish style mansions facing the sea. This Spanish style architecture was adapted to suit the tropical climate of Thailand ant to serve the function of a summer palace. The atmosphere is more of a large house than a formal place. It is open to the public daily from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.

KHAO TAKIAB
This hill is only 4 kilometres south of Hua Hin and may be reached by local minibus. There is a road leading to the top where a temple is situated. The nearby Khao Takiab beach offers mostly bungalow accommodation, and is almost undeveloped compared to the Hua Hin beach.

Ko Singto
Fishing lovers can enjoy a day outing to this island, just a few kilometres from Hua Hin or Khao Takiap where some boats for hire are available.

Suan Son Pradiphant or Sea Pine Tree Garden
This beachside area belongs to the Army Welfare Office and is open to the public. It is at Km. 241, some 8 kilometres south of Hua Hin. Accommodation is available.

Hat Khao Tao
This beach lies about 10 kilometres south of Hua Hin and 1 kilometre along an access road. It is a pine-fringed beach, more secluded than Hua Hin. Bungalows are available.

Namtok Pa La-u
This waterfall is located within a yearlong verdant forest where various kinds of birds and butterflies are found, especially in the morning. It is composed of 11 tiers of rocks, some of which can be reached along a trekking trail parallel to the stream. To get there, visitors may take local transport from Hua Hin for a distance of 63 kilometres.

Hat Wanakon National Park
This is 22 kms. south of Prachuap Khiri Khan. and another 3.5 kilometres on an access road. It offers a 7-km. long beach lined with sea pine trees. For accommodation, contact the Faculty of Forest Affairs, Kasetsart University, Tel: 579-0520.

Sam Roi Yod National Park
Sam Roi Yod National Park (literally translated as "300 peaks") is one of Thailand's largest freshwater marshes and home to a rich diversity of wildlife. It is located between Hua Hin and Prachuap City. This park covers an area of around 90 sq km, and within one of the peaks is the amazing Phrayanakorn Cave. The cave houses a beautifully unique pavilion created by monarch, Rama V.

Namtok Huai Yang National Park
This park covers a forested area on the Tanaosi Mountain Range. Follow a sign at Km. 351 of Highway No. 4 and drive along a 7-km. access road to the park office. Namtok Huai Yang near the park office is its main attraction. The waterfall is composed of 5 small cascades situated among recreational surroundings.

Ao Mae Ramphung
This is a scenic bay in Amphoe Bang Saphan. Travel about 75 kms. south of Phrachuap Khiri Khan to Km. 399, turn left and continue for another 17 kilometres via Bang Saphan Market. Accommodation and seafood restaurants are available.

Ao Bo Thonglang
This is located 4 kilometres beyond Ao Mae Ramphung along a beach road. There is a clean and white sandy beach suitable for swimming.

Koh Thalu, Koh Sang and Koh Sing
These three islands suitable for fishing can be reached within 20 minutes by boat from Ban Pak Khlong, 3 kms. east of Bang Saphan.


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