& Petchaburi Province
Kingdom of Thailand
Cha Am beach resort is located approximately 160
kilometers south of Bangkok on the main highway, is in some ways,
the most relaxed. Some excellent, new hotels provide accommodation
for the deluxe client as well as for the economy-minded.
Hat Cha-am This beautiful beach, twinned with Hua
Hin of Phrachuap Khiri Khan, is located 40 kms. south of the town
or 20 kms. north of Hua Hin, and another 20 kms. along an access
road. Cha-am was originally a small fishing village. After a royal
palace was built near Hua Hin in the reign of King Rama VI, the
land was occupied by the royal family and the elite. Today, it is
very popular among Thais who love superb seafood and comfortable
hotel or bungalow accommodation.
Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park This covers a
hilly area with an old palace and historical temples in the vicinity
of the town. This summer palace was built by King Rama VI in 1860.
It was named "Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace", but the folk
usually call it "Khao Wang". It consists of royal halls,
temples and groups of buildings, constructed mostly in harmonious
Thai, Western neoclassic and Chinese architectural styles. The Phra
Nakhon Khiri Museum on the western hilltop exhibits some royal paraphernalia
of King Rama IV and King Rama V, decorative sculptures, and ceramics
from China, Japan and Europe. To reach the hilltop, one can either
walk or take a cable car.
Khao Bandai It This hill is 121 metres high and
just 2 kms. south of Khao Wang. It is the site of an ancient temple
of the Ayutthaya Period. There are several caves called Tham Prathum,
Tham Phra Chao Sua, and Tham Phra Phuttha Saiyat.
Tham Khao Luang Located 5 kms. north fo 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.
At the foot of the Khao Luang Hill, there is a
large monastery called "Wat Tham Klaep" or Wat Bun-thawi
which has a very large hall and a chapel with beautifully carved
Wat Mahathat Worawihan This old temple is situated
by the Phetchaburi River in the town centre. There is a five-topped
pagoda constructed in accordance with the Mahayana concept housing
Lord Buddas relics. The stucco designs decorated on the vihara
and the ubosot reflect the excellent skill of local craftsmen.
Wat Yai Suwannaram This is another important temple
in the town, situated 1 km. east of the city hall. The main shrine
hall has no windows. It contains 300-year-old mural paintings of
mythical angels. The multi-purpose hall, once located in Ayutthayas
Grand Palace, was entirely built of teak wood and decorated with
fine carving work especially at the door panels. The hall also houses
a preaching throne with intricate wood carvings and gold gilt works
of Bangkok design.
Wat Kamphaeng Lang This temple, situated in the
town, was originally a Khmer place of worship. It was later turned
into a Buddhist temple and a shrine hall was constructed. However,
the outlook of the place has not much changed due to the existence
of sandstone walls and four Khmer style pagodas.
Phra Ram Ratchaniwet This palace of European architectural
style is originally called "Wang Ban Pun". It is situated
in the south of the town. King Rama V commanded it built as a rainy
season palace in 1916. It was used to welcome and accommodate state
visitors during the reign of King Rama VI.
Tham Khao Yoi This cave is located behind the railway
station of Amphoe Khao Yoi, 22 kms. prior to arriving at Phetchaburi
town. It houses several Buddha images and was the place where King
Mongkut practised meditation while he was in the monkhood.
Wat Kuti This temple at Tambon Bang Khem, north
of Amphoe Khao Yoi, houses a Bot or rite hall made entirely from
carved teak wood. Its outer surface of the walls was carved into
scenes depicting Lord Buddhas story and the door panels into
openwork of entwined spray patterns, all with masterly craftsmanship.
Lao Song or Thai Song Dam Tribal Villages These
are found in many vicinities in Amphoe Khao Yoi, particularly at
Ban Nong Prong and Ban Thap Khang. Their ancestors have migrated
from Laos. Their old customs and traditions are occasionally practised.
In April, they organise their own social events with entertainment
and folk plays.
Wat Khao Takhrao Travel 12 kms. from Phetchaburi
to Amphoe Ban Laem and continue for another 6 kms. This temple houses
a highly revered sitting Buddha image called "Luang Pho Khao
Takhrao". The image was found at the month of the Mae Klong
River in Samut Songkhram by the villagers of Ban Laem, who migrated
from Ban Laem to Samut Songkhram during the fall of Ayutthaya.
Hat Chao Samran This historic beach is 15 kms.
southeast of the town. Legend says that King Naresuan the Great
and King Eka Thotsarot made several royal visits here and highly
appreciated its beauty. The villagers thus rendered it a name "Hat
Chao Samran", which means "Beach of Royal Leisure".
King Rama IV ordered a seaside palace built at this beach in 1918
and called it "Hat Chao Samran Palace".
Hat Laem Luang Located 4 kms. north of Hat Chao
Samran, this beach stretches for 2 kms. and is full of white sand.
Hat Puk Tian This wide and long beach is popular
among Thai tourists. It is 7 kms. south of Hat Chao Samran.
Kaeng Krachan Dam This dam is located 53 kms. southwest
of the town along the Phetchaburi-Tha Yang-Kaeng Krachan route.
The construction was completed in 1966. It is 58 metres high and
760 metres long, overlooking beautiful scenery of the reservoir
and its islands.
Kaeng Krachan National Park This is the most extensive
national park of Thailand occupying an area of 2,915 square kilometres
and still largely unexplored. The national park office is located,
3 kms. beyond Kaeng Krachan Dam. It was declared a national park
on June 12, 1981, with clearly defined areas for a reservoir and
year round green jungle in the Tanbasri Ranges, which are the origins
of many rivers. The area is also rich in flora and fauna and has
an 18-level waterfall named Namtok Tho Thip. About 54 kms. from
the park office on the Sai Wang Won-Namtok Tho Thip route, there
is a viewpoint affording magnificent views of misty mountains in
the morning and suitable for bird and butterfly watching. Rafting
along the Phetchaburi River takes some 6 hours, passing rapids and
several smaller rivers.
Hup Kraphong Turn right at Km.201-202, 4 kms. before
arriving at Cha-am and continue for another 5 kms. This area was
originally dry and infertile. In 1962, King Rama IX had an idea
to help local farmers and established the Hup Kraphong Rural Development
Project with the support of Israel. There were studies on various
crops growing in accordance with market requirements. Tourists can
buy farm produces as well as fine crafts made of hemp.
Morukhathaiyawan Palace This summer palace, referred
to as "the palace of love and hope" is located between
Cha-Am and Hua Hin. It was built under the royal command of King
Rama VI in the year 1923, with the materials from the demolished
Hat Chao Samran Palace. It is a two-storeyed wooden pavilion with
series of halls linking each other, and a long corridor leading
to the sea.
Phra Nakhon Khiri Fair This fair takes place around
February each year to celebrate Phra Nakhon Khiri, the hill-top
historical site in the Phetchaburi Town. A light and sound presentation
celebrating local history is one of the attractions of this popular