From Ratchaburi Province

Ratchaburi, a glorious town during the Dvaravati period, is located on the bank of the Mae Klong River. The provincial area abounds in natural attractions and historical sites. It is located 80 kms. west of Bangkok and borders on Myanmar to the west having the Tanaosi Range as a borderline. Ratchaburi occupies an area of 5,196 square kilometers.

Ratchaburi is administratively divided into nine districts: Muang Ratchaburi, Photharam, Damnoen Saduak, Pak Tho, Chom Bung, Bang Phae, Wat Phleng, Suan Phung and Ban Pong.

Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat

This ancient temple, locally called Wat Na Phra That, is located on the west bank of the Mae Klong River in the town. lts elegant prang or pagoda remains in good condition and was probably copied from Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. The prang made of bricks and stones stands on a rectangular base with pathways around the cloisters. The outer stucco designs were made in the reign of King Borommarkot of Ayutthaya. Buddha images of Dvaravati, Lop Buriand Ayutthaya periods are placed around the pagoda.

Two kms. west of Wat Na Phra That on the route to Khao Ngu is Wat Aranyik with a prang identical to that of Wat Na Phra That but smaller in size.

Ratchaburi National Museum

This is located on Woradet Road near the river. The edifice was formerly the town hall, built in 1922. Established as a museum in 1988, it displays art and ancient items of different periods found in the local area, and exhibits the history of Ratchaburi, as well as its folk art and geology. The museum is open daily from 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 a.m. except Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission fee is 30 baht.

Khao Wang

This hill is 44 metres high and was originally called “Khao Sattanat”. It is located 2 kms. west of the town. King Rama V had commanded a palace to be built on the hill and made a royal visit to receive the Portuguese minister in the year 1887. The palace area was donated by King Rama VII to be used as a monastery, which was later called “Wat Khao Wang”.

Khao Kaen Chan

At the foot of this mount, 2 kms. from the town along Phetchakasem Road, there is a statue of King Rama I erected as a memorial for the fighting between Thailand and Burma at Ban Bang Kaeo. Continue for 1.6 kms. up to the peak, visitors can see a clear view of Ratchaburi. A temple on the top houses a metal Buddha image, namely Phra Phuttha Niraro-Khantarai Chaiwat Chaturathit, which was presented by King Rama IX

Khu Bua Ancient City

This archaeological site is where ruins and ancient objects of Dvaravati period, mostly reflecting Buddhist influence, has been discovered at Tambon Khu Bua, 5kms. south of the Ratchaburi Town. Visitors should visit the Ratchaburi National Museum where a lot of archaeological evidence as well as the history of this ancient city are exhibited.

Tham Rusi Khao Ngu

This famous attraction of Ratchaburi is 8 kms. from the town along the road to Amphoe Chom Bung (Route No. 3078). The cave houses a bas-relief Buddha image, considered the oldest archaeological evidence of the Dvaravati period found in Ratchaburi. The figure is 2.5 metres high in the attitude of giving the first sermon.

Tham Khao Bin

This is the most beautiful cave in Ratchaburi. It is located 20 kms. from the town along the route to Amphoe Chom Bung and 2 kms. along an access road.The cave extends 300 metres from the mouth and offers truly amazing scenes of plentiful stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Tham Chomphon

This cave is 30 kms. west of the town in the vicinity of Amphoe Chom Bung. It was originally called Tham Mutchalin. In 1895, King Rama IV and Queen Si Phatcharin made a royal visit and were fond of its beauty, thus giving it a new name according to the shape of the stalactites which look like the epaulette of a field marshal. The cave also houses a medium-sized reclining Buddha. A nearby aboretum provides shady areas suitable for relaxation.

Pong Yup

5 kms. before arriving at Amphoe Suan Phung, there is a 5-km. branch road on the left leading to Pong Yup at Tambon Tha Khoei. This attracts visitors with plenty of strange looking earthen pillars and cliffs naturally created by soil erosion.