1. Sailing to see Bryde’s whale (กิจกรรมล่องเรือดูวาฬบรูด้า)

Bryde’s whales are a majestic species that can be observed during a boat ride in Amphoe Ban Laem, Phetchaburi, from October to January or from the end of the rainy season onwards. These fascinating creatures can be seen surfacing above the water with their mouths wide open, feeding on anchovies while seagulls hover nearby, waiting to catch any anchovies that try to escape.

To watch Bryde’s whales in Phetchaburi, there are several options:

1. Laem Phak Bia Pier: This pier offers boat rentals, and it is recommended to board the boat before 8:00 a.m. The rental price for a trip is 5,000 Baht for a group of 10 persons. Reservation in advance is required, and accident insurance service for the charter price is available for an additional fee. To make a reservation, please contact Khun Sao at Tel. 09 2713 9730 or Khun Manu at Tel. 08 1856 4939. You can also reach them through Facebook: อโนชา อยู่ทอง, or Line ID: SAV73.

2. Hat Chao Samran Pier: This pier also offers boat rentals, specifically local fishing boats. The recommended time to board the boat is 9:00 a.m. The rental price for a trip is 5,000 Baht for a group of 10 persons, and life vests are included. If your group has less than 10 persons, you can make a reservation and share a boat with other groups. Contact the coordinator, Khun Chomphu, at Tel. 09 0798 7042 or Line ID: CHOMIIPU.

3. Bang Tabun Pier: This pier only has one trip per day, and it is advised to board the boat at 8:00 a.m. The rental price for a trip is 6,000 Baht for a group of 15 persons. Reservation in advance is required, and you can contact Khun Chamrun at Tel. 0 3258 1233. For more information, please reach out to Hat Chao Samran Sub-district Municipality at Tel. 0 3247 8555-6 or visit their website at www.hadchaosamran.go.th.

Watching Bryde’s whales in Phetchaburi is a unique and unforgettable experience. The boat rides offer a close encounter with these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, providing an opportunity to witness their feeding behaviors and the interactions with other marine life.

2. Tham Khao Luang (ถ้ำเขาหลวง)

Tham Khao Luang is a cave located on a small hill in Phetchaburi, with a height of only 72 meters above mean sea level. This cave is known for its spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, making it the largest and most important cave in the province.

Inside Tham Khao Luang, there is an important decorated Buddha image that was built under the command of King Rama V the Great as a tribute to King Rama IV. The highlight of the cave is the stunning picture created when sunlight shines through the cave’s ceiling, illuminating the ground below. The best time to witness this phenomenon is between 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., although it may vary depending on the weather conditions.

Tham Khao Luang holds historical significance as it was a favored destination of King Rama IV. He ordered the restoration of the ancient Buddha figure and the construction of a rock staircase at the entrance of the Khao Luang foothill, providing easier access to the cave.

For more information about Tham Khao Luang, please contact the Thongchai Sub-district Administration Organization at Tel. 0 3278 0242.

3. Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park (Khao Wang) (พระนครคีรี) (เขาวัง)

Phra Nakhon Khiri, also known as Khao Wang, is an ancient monument situated on the top of three mountains in Phetchaburi. With the highest peak standing at 95 meters above mean sea level, this historical park holds great significance in the province.

Originally called “Khao Samon” by the locals, Phra Nakhon Khiri was constructed by King Rama IV as a palace complex. He appointed Chao Phraya Si Suriyawong (Chuang Bunnag) as the supervisor in charge of the construction. The palace was completed in 1860 and royally named “Phra Nakhon Khiri,” but the people of Phetchaburi continue to refer to it as Khao Wang.

Phra Nakhon Khiri consists of throne halls, pavilions, temples, and various building complexes. These structures showcase a combination of Western neo-classical and Chinese architectural styles. On the east side of the hill shoulder, you will find Wat Maha Samanaram, a temple built during the Ayutthaya period. The murals on the walls of the ubosot (ordination hall) were painted by a renowned Thai artist, Khrua In Khong.

At the hilltop, you can visit Wat Phra Kaeo, a designated temple of Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace, similar to Wat Phra Si Rattanasatsadaram, a designated temple of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The compound of Wat Phra Kaeo includes a small ubosot decorated with marble, Phra Sutthasen Chedi, and a squared-based small belfry. The central peak is adorned with Phrathat Chomphet, a 40-meter-high stupa that enshrines the Buddha’s relics. From this viewpoint, visitors can admire the throne halls situated on the other two peaks, as well as the breathtaking landscape of Phetchaburi province.

The west side of Phra Nakhon Khiri is the royal residence, which comprises throne halls, pavilions, and various buildings. Some parts of the palace have been used by the Fine Arts Department to establish the Phra Nakhon Khiri National Museum. The museum displays royal articles of King Rama IV and King Rama V the Great, bronze and brass statues, and ceramics from China, Japan, and Europe. The museum is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with an admission fee of 150 Baht.

To access the Historical Park, visitors can either walk or take an electric cable car. The round-trip price for the cable car is 50 Baht for adults and 15 Baht for children. For more information, please call 0 3242 5600.

4. Wat Yai Suwannaram (วัดใหญ่สุวรรณาราม)

Wat Yai Suwannaram is a temple in Phetchaburi that serves as a learning center for history, arts, and craftsmanship. The temple compound showcases ancient architecture from the Ayutthaya period, including a teakwood sermon hall adorned with intricately carved and gilded door panels.

Inside the ubosot (ordination hall), you will find the principal Buddha image, a lifelike statue of Supreme Patriarch Taengmo. This statue is considered to be Thailand’s first lifelike statue and is one of the Unseen Thailand treasures. Additionally, there is a Buddha figure with six fingers on the right foot, which is believed to be auspicious.

The ubosot is surrounded by mural paintings depicting the assembly of angels, which are over 300 years old. A cloister encircles the ubosot, adding to the serene atmosphere of the temple. The wooden gables of the ubosot feature different designs, with the Number 5 seal indicating that this temple was under the patronage of King Rama V the Great. Interestingly, one gable shows the Number 5 seal in reverse order, which some interpret as a symbol of the passing of King Rama V the Great.

For more information about Wat Yai Suwannaram, please call Tel. 03241 2956 or 03241 2714.

5. Ao Bang Tabun Estuary (ปากอ่าวบางตะบูน)

Ao Bang Tabun Estuary is a stunning spot in Phetchaburi known for its picturesque sunrise views. Visitors can take a boat ride to observe the local fishermen’s way of life in Amphoe Ban Laem. The area is also home to farms of cockles, mussels, and oysters, showcasing the local community’s reliance on the sea for their livelihoods.

One of the highlights of a visit to Ao Bang Tabun Estuary is the chance to see a mangrove charcoal kiln. This traditional method of producing charcoal from mangrove wood is a local wisdom of the Ban Laem villagers. Exploring this unique cultural practice provides insight into the sustainable use of natural resources and the preservation of traditional knowledge.

6. Boonthida Farm (บุญธิดาฟาร์ม)

Boonthida Farm is an educational and informative destination in Phetchaburi. It is a green caviar farm that offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the large-scale cultivation of green caviar, also known as sea grapes.

Sea grapes are a type of seaweed that is rich in vitamins, low in calories, and high in fiber. They are suitable for people who are on a diet and offer numerous health benefits, including antioxidants that can slow down cell decay in the body.

At Boonthida Farm, tourists can observe the various steps involved in farming sea grapes, from collecting and selecting them to cleaning and preparing them for market. The farm also offers demonstrations of making easy menus using sea grapes, allowing visitors to taste the unique flavors of this nutritious seaweed. For more information, please call Tel. 0 9796 6465.

7. Phrathat Chimphli Phra Setthi Nawakot at Wat Khoi (พระธาตุฉิมพลี พระเศรษฐีนวโกฏิ วัดข่อย)

Phrathat Chimphli Phra Setthi Nawakot is a stupa located at Wat Khoi in Phetchaburi. The exterior of the stupa is adorned with stucco designs created by the artisans of Mueang Phet, showcasing the unique artistry of Phetchaburi.

Inside the stupa, visitors can find Phra Phuttha Setthi Ming Mongkhon, Phra Phuttha Setthi Nawakot, and Phra Siwali Mahalap Romyen. The interior is enhanced with mural paintings and delicate woodcarvings on the door panels and windows. The top of the Prathat houses the Buddha’s relics.

For more information about Phrathat Chimphli Phra Setthi Nawakot, please call Tel. 0 3254 5204.

8. Ban Tham Suea Community (ชุมชนบ้านถ้ำเสือ)

Ban Tham Suea Community is a tourism village in Phetchaburi that offers visitors the opportunity to learn about and participate in the Tree Bank project. This project follows the initiative of King Rama IX, which promotes the “3 kinds of foresting giving 4 benefits” concept, focusing on people’s living, economy, and ecosystem.

The community encourages its residents to contribute to natural conservation by growing and depositing trees with the Bank of Agriculture and Cooperatives (BAAC). Villagers can use the trees as collateral for a loan, receiving half the value of the trees deposited with the bank.

Visitors to Ban Tham Suea Community can engage in activities such as making seed balls and shooting them with a slingshot to plant trees in the forested area of Ban Tham Suea. Additionally, tourists can try their hand at making Khanom Thong Muan, a famous Thai dessert and a well-known souvenir of the village.

The community is also home to fruit orchards, including rambutan, durian, and mangosteen. Exploring these orchards provides a unique opportunity to learn about local agriculture and experience the flavors of fresh, tropical fruits. For more information, please call Tel. 08 2918 7774.

9. Nong Ya Plong Hot Spring (บ่อน้ำพุร้อนหนองหญ้าปล้อง)

Nong Ya Plong Hot Spring is a natural hot spring in Phetchaburi that has been developed and supervised by the local community. The hot mineral pond is piped from the origin source, which can be accessed by foot. The water temperature reaches approximately 49 degrees Celsius.

Visitors to Nong Ya Plong Hot Spring can enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot mineral pond or indulge in a rejuvenating massage at the onsite massage parlour. Separate mineral bathing rooms are available for men and women, providing privacy and comfort. Additionally, there is a restaurant where visitors can savor delicious meals while immersing themselves in the serene atmosphere of the hot spring.

10. Namtok Kwangchow Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำตกกวางโจว)

Namtok Kwangchow Floating Market is located within Namtok Kwangchow Park, also known as Namtok Kwangchon, in Amphoe Nong Ya Plong. The waterfall in the park features different layers, including Pha-ngam, Pha Pratu Lueat, Hin Dam, and Dong Montha. The Hin Dam layer is particularly unique, as it consists of rare mineral rocks not commonly found in Thailand.

The floating market is open on weekends and public holidays, offering a wide variety of products such as fruits, vegetables, and rare foods. One of the must-try dishes is Ho Mok, a steamed fish curry cooked in a bamboo tube. Visitors to the market can also indulge in a fish spa or spa therapy, which is the first foot spa located in the middle of the forest, surrounded by nature, streams, and rivers.

The waterfall area of Namtok Kwangchow is also an excellent spot for observing fireflies at nighttime. Furthermore, it offers one of the best viewpoints in the country for stargazing, as the clear night sky allows stars to be seen in all their glory. The floating market is open on weekends and public holidays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with an admission fee of 20 Baht. For more information, please call Tel. 08 1832 2608 or 08 4540 3425. You can also visit their website at www.kwangchowwaterfall-resort.com.

Phetchaburi offers a wealth of attractions that cater to various interests. Whether you are a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique cultural experience, this province has something for everyone. From witnessing the majestic Bryde’s whales to exploring ancient caves and historical parks, Phetchaburi promises a memorable and enriching journey.

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