Phetchaburi, locally known by Thais as Muang Phetch, is located 160 kilometers south of Bangkok. One of Thailands central region provinces, Phetchaburi is situated on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand with an overall area of approximately 6,225 square kilometers. Its terrains throughout the western border, where Tanaosri Range lies as a natural border between Thailand and Myanmar, are mountainous dense jungles. In the east, there is an 80-kilometer long coastline towards the Gulf of Thailand.
A very old city which used to be an important royal fort town, Phetchaburi had been given several names such as, Phripphri, Phripphli or Phetchaphli. Some historians have gone as far as to say that Phetchaburi could have been named in Indian style, as the Indian influence in those days day was strong. Others put forward the idea that the name Phetchaburi might have originated from Maenam Phetch the most important river of the town.
Whatever the assumptions are, the fact that Phetchaburi is an ancient city with a very long history is undeniable. This has been proven by many archaeological findings which could be dated back to the Dvaravati Period.
During Sukhothai and Ayutthaya Kingdoms, Phetchaburi was a strategic royal fort in the west. Only a lineage of Kings had the rights to rule this historical city. That is why Phetchaburi has been called by some scholars as the “Living Ayutthaya” as the town shares many similar things to the City of Ayutthaya. The prosperity of the Ayutthaya Kingdom can be seen and appreciated in Phetchaburi’s wealth of fine old temples.
In the Rattanakosin Era, Phetchaburi has changed its character to a town of charming beauty, with peaceful seaside resorts and superb natural reserves. The three Kings of the Rattanakosin Period, King Rama IV, V, and VI established their retreats here. They built the three palaces namely Phranakhonkhiri, Phraramrajanivet, Phrarajnivesmarugadayawan in Phetchaburi thus, Phetchaburi is also known as Muang Sam Wang (the city of the three Palaces). The province is also well known for its splendid historical park, ancient temples, wonderful beaches and caves, as well as a great variety of local and fresh seafood. Phetchaburi also has a popular resort town, Cha-am which is the premier beach resort in the province.
The majority of the local residents are engaged in agricultural activities including rice farming, upland crop farming, fruit farming, palm sugar production, animal husbandry and sea and fresh water fisheries.
There are three important Maenam in Phetchaburi including “Maenam Phetchaburi with an overall length of 227 kilometers, “Maenam Bang Kloy”, with an overall length of 44 kilometers, and “Maenam Bang Tabun”, with an overall length of 18 kilometers.