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Destination Guide in Thailand

Ratchaburi

Attractions

Ratchaburi has lots of places to visit and the most popular tourist attraction is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. It is an identity of Ratchaburi and is also well known around the world. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is in the Damnoen Saduak district.[3] It shows the people's life style and the importance of the river as a mean of commerce. The vendors would paddle their boats up and down the waterways selling and bartering their merchandise. Their faces are often shielded from the strong rays of the sun by hats made from bamboo and palm leaves [4]. The markets start in very early morning until 11:00 A.M. Nowadays, many tourists from around the world come to visit because it shows an old fascinating style traditions. That is why the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market became the top ten famous places in Thailand.

There are many famous tourist attractions in Ratchaburi that showcase the Thai culture, tradition, and way of life. Tourist can experience the authentic Thai culture by visiting these attractions. The most interesting place for tourists who are interested in Thai art is the temple. Unlike other countries, Thailand has its own identity style temple, which is gentle and splendid.

Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat - is an ancient temple, locally called Wat Na Phra That, is located on the west bank of the Mae Klong River in the town.[5]. Its elegant prangs or pagoda remains in good condition and was probably copied from Cambodia's Angkor Wat. The beautiful prang made of bricks and a stone stands on a rectangular base with pathways around the cloisters. The outer stucco designs were made in the reign of King Borommakot of Ayutthaya. Buddha images of Dvaravati, Lop Buri and Ayutthaya periods are placed around the pagoda. The temple is the most famous temple in Ratchaburi because it is the first temple and it has a fascinated architecture.

Murals of Wat Khongkharam - at a Mon monastery over 200 years old and originally called "Wat Klang" or "Phia To". King Mongkut gave it a new name as "Wat Khongkharam". It is located in Amphoe Photharam, some 22 kilometers from Ratchaburi.[5]. The beauty of the main shrine hall is very interesting and good for studying about mural paintings.

Nang Yai at Wat Khanon - Nang Yai is located in Amphoe Photharam and it is well preserved at this place only.[6] It is an old form of entertainment which gathers many kinds of arts, for example Thai designs, sculpturing, male performers plus music, mask playing and Thai literature. This is a beauty which is portrayed on the screen and it can dance beautifully to the music and the one who makes it dance. At present, Ratchaburi province is organizing a Nang Yai performance for tourists. There are about 330 Nang Yai puppets all of which are still in perfect condition to be shown on screen.

Bo Khloung Hot Stream - is located five kilometers beyond Amphoe Suan Phung. The stream is full of mineral water. The water flows all year round from the Tanaosi Range. Its temperature ranges between 50-68 degree Celsius. On the route to the hot stream, a three kilometers branch road leads to Namtok (waterfall)Kao Chon, which consists of 9 cascades. The waterfall is plentiful during the late rainy season.[1].Many people come to here; they believe that it can be used for skin treatment.

Kaew Chan Waterfall or Nine-Level waterfall - is one kilometer from Bo Khlung hot stream.[6]. Kaew Chan Waterfall’s name was given by Sirinthorn Princess. As the name indicates, the water cascades from the ninth level and down the central valley of steep cliff, especially during the rainy season when there is always a lot of water at the top level. It is possible to walk up to the ninth level and takes about two hours.

Pong Yub - is located at Ban Tha Kheay, turn left about five kiloneters before the town canter and go straight ahead for further five kilometers.[1] .The subsidence of the ground has created a steep cliff similar to the one in Pae Muang Phi in Phrae Province.

Khao Bin Cave - is located about 22 kilometres from Ratchaburi city centre is the mountain range of "Khao Bin", or "Flying Mount" which is home to the cave of the same name. Inside the cave there is incomparable stalagmites and stalactites. It was one of these stalagmites in the shape of a majestic giant eagle with its wings outspread which gave the cave its name. Also inside the cave there is a small mineral spring which villagers believe is sacred [6].Nowadays, illumination by coloured lights helps enhance visitors' view and enjoyment.

Khao Wang - It is a hill that is about 44 metres high and was originally called "Khao Sattanat". It is located two kilometers 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 1887. The palace area was donated by King Rama VII to be used as a monastery, which was later called "Wat Khao Wang".[6]. Tourist can get to the hill by cable cars and see from the top how beautiful Ratchburi is.

City Pillar Shrine (ศาลเจ้าพ่อหลักเมือง) - is situated near the lodging house of Phanurangsi Ratchaburi Engineering Military Camp, which is about 600 metres from the town. It is the old city pillar built in the reign of King Rama II.

Ratchaburi National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ ราชบุรี) - This building used to be the city hall, built in the reign of the King Rama VI in 1922. Later, it was changed to be the national museum in 1983 and was renovated many times.

Luangpho Kaenchan (หลวงพ่อแก่นจันทน์) - It is a Buddha image in the gesture of holding an alms bowl in his arms calmly. This widely respected image is made of bronze and its base is sculptured from sandalwood, which has a sweet smell.

Wat Mahathat Worawihan (วัดมหาธาตุวรวิหาร) - Interesting things in the temple are Wihan Luang where Phra Mongkhon Buri is enshrined. This temple also has a museum exhibiting different styles of jars.

Wat Khao Wang (วัดเขาวัง) - is located on Khao Sattanat. King Rama V commanded to build a palace on this mountain in 1873. Later, in the reign of King Rama VII, the king yielded the palace to the temple. Also, people donated to renovate some of its parts and some buildings, which were turned into the Phra Ubosot–ordination hall-and monk’s residences.

Ban Khu Bua Ancient City (เมืองโบราณบ้านคูบัว) - It is an archaeological site where many archaeological evidences have been found. The architecture in Khu Bua Ancient City was influenced by the Gupta school of Indian art.

Chipathaphan Sathan Ban Khu Bua (จิปาถะภัณฑ์สถานบ้านคูบัว) - It is the folk museum of the Ban Khu Bua community. On the downstairs, there are exhibitions of artefacts in the Dvaravati style. On the second floor, there is the exhibition of the process of weaving traditional Pha Chok. In addition, there is a room to exhibit the costumes of various ethnic groups in Ratchaburi.

Chakri Memorial Park (สวนสาธารณะจักรีอนุสรณ์สถาน) - It is a park for recreation where the statue of King Rama I is situated for people to pay homage and commemorate.

Khao Kaen Chan (เขาแก่นจันทร์) - It is the highest mountain in the province with a road cut through to the top of the mountain. On the top of the mountain, a wihan is situated with Phra Phuttha Nirokhantarai Chaiwat Chaturathit.

Khao Luang (เขาหลวง) - On the top of the mountain, a respected stone Buddha image is situated. On the full moon day of the sixth lunar month of every year, people have often come to pay homage to the image for more than two hundred years.

Khao Ngu Stone Park (อุทยานหินเขางู) - Inside is a Buddha image relief, commonly known as Phra Phutthachai Tham Ruesi Khao Ngu, sculptured on the cave wall. Other attractions in the area of the park include: Replica of Lord Buddha’s Footprint made of laterite, sculptures of a large reclining Buddha image and the congregation of deities, and tree-shaped stucco.

Khao Noi Thiam Chan (เขาน้อยเทียมจันทร์) - There is an old laterite ordination hall where two laterite Buddha images are situated inside. People also call those Buddha images “Luang Pho Khao Noi”.

Wat Nong Hoi (วัดหนองหอย) - It is the place where a Wihan of Kwan Yin Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is situated. The other side of the mountain is the place where Phra Phuttha Rattanakosin Mahamuni (Luangpho Yai) is situated.

Thai Prachan Chaloem Phra Kiat Park (อุทยานเฉลิมพระเกียรติไทยประจัน) - This is a significant and beautiful attraction comprising Namtok Mae Prachan, Ban Pong Krathing Hot Spring (Ban Bueng Hot Spring), and the reservoir under the shade of trees.

Wat Phleng (วัดเพลง) - formerly called "Ban Phleng" which means a song village. It is a small district next to Amphoe Mueang. The place has a peaceful atmosphere and conserves the way of life of the local people along the canal.

Royal Thai Handicraft Centre (รอยัลไทย แฮนด์ดิคราฟ เซ็นเตอร์) - The centre contains teak sculptures in many forms for decoration or furniture such as wooden sculpted picture, living room suite, wine cupboard, and screen.

Wat Luangpho Sot Thammakayaram (วัดหลวงพ่อสดธรรมกายาราม) - The temple’s ordination hall was the place to keep jade Buddha images in different gestures. This temple received the 1st prize for the outstanding forest garden from the Royal Forest Department in 1996. In addition, it is the provincial Pali language school.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำดำเนินสะดวก) - also known as Khlong Ton Khem Floating Market, is one famous attraction of Ratchaburi. There are several small canals, so people in Ratchaburi, Samut Songkhram, and Samut Sakhon can commute to visit each other conveniently.

Talat Nam Damnoen Saduak Kao or Khlong Lat Phli (ตลาดน้ำดำเนินสะดวกเก่าหรือคลองลัดพลี) - is located at Wat Rat Charoen Tham (Wat Sun). This old Damnoen Saduak floating market has been revived to be active again.

Siam Cultural Park (อุทยานหุ่นขี้ผึ้งสยาม) - Inside are fibre glass wax images of important people, both Thais and foreigners. On the ground of Buddha images of the three periods, there are smoked brass-cast Buddha images. The group of traditional Thai houses is where the wax images of well-practiced monks are on display.

Bueng Krachap (บึงกระจับ) - It is a large fresh water swamp used as a fish breeding farm and one can also go jet-skiing and canoeing.

Monchida Aquarium and Butterfly Garden (อุทยานบ้านปลาและสวนผีเสื้อมนชิดา) - It has an exhibition of both local and international ornamental fish species, such as from America or Africa. There is a model of a waterfall with ponds and aquariums containing various species of fish.

Wat Muang Folk Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์พื้นบ้านวัดม่วง) - This museum is the library where one can search for the history, ways of life and culture of the Mon local community from the past until now.

Wat Phra Si An (วัดพระศรีอารย์) - The principal Buddha image within the ordination hall is in the posture of subduing Mara. This Burmese-style white jade image was taken from Burma. Another image is Phra Si An or Ariya Mettaya which is an ancient Buddha image with prominent features.

Khai Luang Ban Rai (ค่ายหลวงบ้านไร่) - In the past, it was the Wild Tiger Scout camp where King Rama VI came for 9 times. Nowadays, this camp is a recreational place with the permanent exhibition hall of M.L. Pin Malakun Na Ayutthaya.

Bat Cave at Khao Chong Phran (ค้างคาวเขาช่องพราน) - The most famous thing to see at Khao Chong Phran is a giant flock of more than a million bats flying out together of the cave and forming a large black and long line across the sky.

Tham Sarika (ถ้ำสาริกา) - is in Tambon Thammasen. King Bhumibol gave the name to this place when he visited and inscribed his royal initials at the entrance of the cave.

Tham Ruesi Khao Ngu (ถ้ำฤาษีเขางู) - In the cave, there is a Buddha image sculptured on the wall with a gesture of sitting in the European style and giving a sermon. There are many interesting tourist attractions as follows: Lord Buddha’s Footprint made of laterite, reliefs of a massive reclining Buddha image, and reliefs of the Lord Buddha’s two followers.

Central Literature Botanical Garden, Khao Prathap Chang (สวนพฤกษศาสตร์วรรณคดีภาคกลาง เขาประทับช้าง) - It is a shady forest garden collecting various species of plants stated in Thai literature which are rarely found.

Khao Prathap Chang Wildlife Sanctuary (เขตห้ามล่าสัตว์ป่าเขาประทับช้าง) - It is in the responsibility of the Royal Forest Department. The natural forest is on Khao Prathap Chang and the reservoir at the cliff is one great point of sight-seeing and bird-watching in October–November.

Khao Prathap Chang Open Safari and Wildlife Breeding Research Station (สวนสัตว์เปิด สถานีวิจัยการเพาะเลี้ยงสัตว์ป่าเขาประทับช้าง) - It is the only station under the responsibility of the Royal Forest Department which has a laboratory to foster and reproduce tigers and other animals such as goat-antelope, guinea fowl, deer, etc. most of which are donated or seized and brought to be protected and reproduced.

Tham Chomphon (ถ้ำจอมพล) - In 1895, King Rama V and Queen Saovabha Phongsri visited the cave and were impressed with the so-called ‘Pha Wichit’ stalactites which looked like the fringe of a shoulder strap of a Field Marshal. Therefore, they gave the cave a new name “Tham Chomphon” or Field Marshal Cave.

Phawothai Local Museum or Folk Wisdom Garden (พิพิธภัณฑ์ภโวทัย หรือ สวนภูมิปัญญาชาวบ้าน) - The museum is a newly built traditional Thai house which gathers artefacts, carriages and various kinds of Thai flowering plants.

Natural Science Park (อุทยานธรรมชาติวิทยา) - It was built following Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s conception with the purpose to conserve and refine the forest area and to research the social, physical and biological characteristics of the park. Inside the park, there is the Natural Science Information Hall which collects general information about the park.

Usawadi Rose Garden (ไร่กุหลาบอุษาวดี) - is away from Namtok Kao Chan. It is a private garden planted with roses from foreign species and other various kinds of flowering plants in the middle of the valley.

Pong Krathing Hot Spring (บ่อพุน้ำร้อนโป่งกระทิง) - is the small hot spring with a width of 5 metres. When people stand surrounding the well and clap their hands, the water in the well will generate air bubbles beneath its surface. A small hot water pond for bathing is not far from here.

Queen Sirikit Forest Garden (สวนป่าสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์) - It is the centre of various kinds of plants which have economic value, and this place is a great nature study centre. Besides, the Phachi River flows and clashes against the large stone islet which is well-known by the name, Kaeng Som Maeo.

Khao Krachom (เขากระโจม) - is a mountain located in Tambon Suan Phueng, at the westernmost border of Thailand. It is 1,000 m above sea level.

Namtok Huai Suan Phlu (น้ำตกห้วยสวนพลู) - It is a waterfall with a complete fertile environment and bio-diversity. Evidence shows that 5 types of hornbill were found including other rarely-seen birds such as Long Tailed White Asian Paradise Flycatcher and wild orchids.

Namtok Sap Toei (น้ำตกซับเตย) - is about 6 kilometres from the minor district. It is a nine-leveled waterfall. The distance from the lowest level to the highest one is about 2 kilometres.

Wat Pa Phrathat Khao Noi (วัดป่าพระธาตุเขาน้อย) - There is a pagoda containing relics of Luangpu Thet Thetrangsi who was very respected by Buddhists. On the mountains is a sight-seeing point which is the nearest to the Tanao Si Mountains.

Thai Prachan Hot Spring (พุน้ำร้อนไทยประจัน) - is a hot spring located in Amphoe Ban Kha. The temperature of the water in the pond is 65 degrees Celsius.

Events and Festivals

The most popular festival in Ratchaburi is Dammoen Saduak Floating Market & Sweet Grape Week Fair in every year in March. This area is known for famous floating market that comes alive with a fair featuring some typical and unusual avtivities.[7]. These include a Thai cooking competition, a “sea-boxing” competition, boating competition, as well as local product sales including fruits and Thai sweets and agricultural exhibitions.

Ratchaburi is a land of rich and varied culture and origin, much of which has been preserved and can still be seen today. Amongst the things of interest are the histories, the way of life, the culture, and the natural beautiful including caves, streams, forests and mountains. That why Ratchaburi still being a popular places in Thailand.

Ratchaburi Tourism Fair (งานเที่ยวราชบุรี) - is held every year during February–March on the ground of the City Hall. Activities include demonstrations of famous handicrafts, such as jar making and "Sin Tin Chok" cloth weaving, the selling of OTOP products and agricultural produce, and folk art and cultural performances by local tribal groups.

Sweet Grape and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Week Fair (งานเทศกาลองุ่นหวานและตลาดน้ำดำเนินสะดวก) - is held around March–April of every year to introduce agricultural produce to the market, especially grapes which most people grow in Amphoe Damnoen Saduak. Damnoen Saduak Grape is famous for its sweetness and good taste. This fair features the beauty contest of Thida A-ngun Wan and the competition of quality agricultural products.

Khao Ho or Ang Mi Thong Festival (ประเพณีกินข้าวห่อ หรือ อั๊งหมี่ทอง) - is a Su Khwan ceremony or the blessing ceremony for happiness and longevity in life, held around the ninth lunar month. Karens believe that the ninth lunar month is a bad time when ghosts and evil hunt and eat "Khwan" -spirit -of people, so those people may get sick or die. Normally, this ceremony is often held on the full moon day of the ninth lunar month, but if some families are not convenient, they can change to any day in the ninth month. In the ceremony, people boil "Khao Ho" which is sticky rice molded and wrapped in a cone shape; then they will boil it like Khanom Chang. In the past, they ate Khao Ho by dipping it in honey but at present they often dip it in sliced coconut. On the day they boil Khao Ho, the Su Khwan Ceremony will be held, too. It starts with poking a wooden plate and blowing a Khaen for entertainment; then the elders in each family will tie red threads on the children’s wrists and give a blessing for good luck.

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