This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (May 2015)
Phetchaburi (Thai: เพชรบุรี, pronounced [pʰét.t͡ɕʰā.bū.rīː]) or Phet Buri (pronounced [pʰét bū.rīː]) is one of the western or central provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Ratchaburi, Samut Songkhram, and Prachuap Khiri Khan. In the west it borders the Tanintharyi Division of Myanmar. Phetchaburi contains Kaeng Krachan National Park which consists of a reservoir overlooking its islands.
Map of Thailand highlighting Phetchaburi Province
|• Governor||Chatphon Ratdutsadi (since October 2016)|
|• Total||6,225.1 km2 (2,403.5 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 36th|
|• Rank||Ranked 58th|
|• Density||76/km2 (200/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 68th|
|Time zone||UTC+7 (ICT)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-76|
Phetchaburi is at the north end of the Malay Peninsula, with the Gulf of Thailand to the east and the Tanaosi mountain range forming the boundary to Myanmar. Except for these border mountains most of the province is a flat plain. With an area of about 3,000 km2 Kaeng Krachan National Park is Thailand's largest national park, covering nearly half of the province. It protects mostly rain forests in the mountains along the boundary to Myanmar, but also the Kaeng Krachan Reservoir is part of the park. The only significant river of the province is the Phetchaburi River.
In 1860 King Rama IV built a palace near the city of Phetchaburi, commonly known as Khao Wang, but its official name is Phra Nakhon Khiri. Next to the palace the king built a tower for his astronomical observations. On the adjoining hill is the royal temple Wat Phra Kaeo.
Phetchaburi's shoreline on the Inner Gulf of Thailand in the area of Pak Thale consists of salt pans, mudflats, mangroves, and sand spits. It has been termed, "...the premier bird watching site for shorebirds in Thailand,..." The 123 acre site provides sustenance for both passage and wintering species, as well as residents. The area hosts more than 7,000 waterbirds during the northern hemisphere winter. Economic development of the tidal flats, compounded by the impacts of climate change, threaten this ecosystem's future. Several regular visitors are under threat, including the critically endangered Spoon-billed sandpiper and Great knot, Nordmann's greenshank, and Far Eastern curlew.
The province is known for its palm sugar (Thai: น้ำตาลปึก; RTGS: nam tan puek). It has more sugar palm trees than any other province. Producing sugar is a specialty of Ban Lat District in particular.
Phetchaburi's main station is Phetchaburi Railway Station.
Hat Cha-am (หาดชะอำ) Appearing to have been frozen in time warp, midway between remaining a Thai-style resort, and modernising to meet international tastes and requirements, this extensive pine-fringed beach is considered to be one of the most popular beaches of Thailand.
Maruekhathaiyawan Palace (พระราชนิเวศน์มฤคทายวัน) This beachside wooden palace was formerly used as a royal summer residence by King Rama VI during the 1920s. Facing the open sea, the palace is referred to as the palace of love and hope.
Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park (อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์พระนครคีรี) This covers a hilly area with an old palace and historical temples in the vicinity of the town. It consists of royal halls, temples and groups of buildings, constructed mostly in harmonious Thai, Western neoclassic and Chinese architectural styles.
Wat Kamphaeng Laeng (วัดกำแพงแลง) This temple 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.
Hat Chao Samran (หาดเจ้าสำราญ) 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".
- "Phetchaburi". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Kaeng Krachan National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Phetchaburi". THAILEX Travel Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- Upton, Nick (2019-03-18). "Laem Pak Bia & Pak Thale". Thai Birding. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "Crowdfunder launched to save key Spoon-billed Sandpiper wintering site". Birdguides. 2019-05-11. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- Wattanavanitvut, Phongthai (10 September 2016). "Salt industry prepares for a shake-up". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- Sukphisit, Suthon (21 July 2019). "Sweet Success". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- "Hat Cha-am". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Maruekhathaiyawan Palace". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Wat Kamphaeng Laeng". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Hat Chao Samran". TAT. Retrieved 2 July 2015.