Three days in Phetchaburi Province

Over the weekend, I drove down to Phetchaburi Province to take some photos of the annual Art of Salt festival in Ban Laem district. I stayed in the city as they were having their annual Phetchaburi Dee Jung festival which celebrates the best of the province. The city is about 123km southwest of Bangkok. For people without their own car, you can easily get there by bus or train. The following photos were posted live during the trip.

Trip date: 16-18 March 2018

DAY ONE: Setting off on a road trip today to Phetchaburi Province. The main purpose is to visit the annual Art of Salt Festival in Ban Laem district. My plan is to drive down there along the coastal route instead of the main highway.

This is one of the many apartment blocks in Ban Laem district of Phetchaburi that weren’t built for human occupation. These are for swifts. Apparently bird nest soup is a very lucrative business here.

Ban Laem district in Phetchaburi is a good place to go and learn about salt farming. There are many salt fields along both sides of the road here. The farmers are out but no sign yet of anyone harvesting salt yet.

This was a surprise. A temple building built like a Chinese junk ship. This is at Wat Nok Pak Ta Le in Ban Laem District of Phetchaburi. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/MKfaisEpcz72

Drone photos of the salt fields in Ban Laem district of Phetchaburi. I like the patterns of the fields. Showing different colors depending on the stage they are at. This is Pak Tale village.

Driving south in Phetchaburi, the first sandy beach you reach is Hat Chao Samran. Everything north of here is mainly mangroves and salt fields. King Rama VI used to have a royal lodging here in 1917 before his seaside palace was built. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/t2MbEzqmiQu

Hat Puek Tian in Tha Yang district of Phetchaburi is a popular beach resort at the weekend for daytrippers from Bangkok. During the week it is very quiet. It’s high tide and the only thing in the muddy sea are statues from Thai literature. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/8EfMLR3sHgM2

The 6th Art Of Salt festival in Ban Laem District of Phetchaburi is taking place from now until Sunday night, 5pm until late. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/MWpcFiVpD1v

Highlight of the Art of Salt Festival in Phetchaburi is of course the seafood. A large range of delicious food on offer. There’s also a free concert.

This weekend I’m staying in Phetchaburi city. My plan is to explore the old quarter. Let me know if you have any tips on what to see. Here’s my map list so far: https://www.google.com/maps/placelists/list/1hWYVxI914Sm8RxraZjwH-6MC34g?hl=en

DAY TWO: Good morning from Phetchaburi. A lovely glorious blue sky today. The temperature started at only 25°C but is expected to reach a high of 32°C. My plan for today is to explore the old quarter on foot!

Exploring the morning market in Phetchaburi. It’s down an alley on the east side of the river. There’s also a covered market along the river but it has less character. Lots of places to eat too so come hungry.

Wat Ko Kaeo Suttharam in Phetchaburi dates back to the Ayutthaya period. The base of the building curves up like a ship-galley which was typical of this period. Also note the double boundary stones which marks it as a royal class temple. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/GhmdG5mqcT62

Street art in an alleyway in the old quarter of Phetchaburi near Talad Rim Nam.

Wat Mahathat Worrawihan in Phetchaburi is a very old temple built in the Khmer style of 800 years ago. The main feature is the five white towers or Prang. The middle one is 42 meter high. It contains relics of the Buddha. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/MNaYuEBwfmM2

The main chapel in Wat Mahathat Worawihan contains three major and sacred Buddha images in Phetchaburi: Luang Pho Wat Mahathat, Luang Pho Wat Ban Laem and Luang Pho Wat Khao Takhrao.

Drone photos of Wat Mahathat Worawihan in Phetchaburi with Khao Wang hill in the background. King Rama V had a palace built on top of this hill.

Drone photos of Wat Mahathat Worawihan in Phetchaburi with Khao Wang hill in the background. King Rama V had a palace built on top of this hill.

Wat Phuttha Saiyat or Wat Phra Non in Phetchaburi has one of the largest Reclining Buddhas in Thailand at 43 meters in length. It’s built with stucco and covered with gold foil. Unlike it’s counterpart in Bangkok, this one is free to enter. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/JReNppgFWMu

Lunch today is Kuay Jub Nam Kon (ก๋วยจั๊บน้ำข้น) at a food shop on Khlong Krachaeng Rd in Phetchaburi. It’s rolled noodles mixed with pig’s entrails & blood cake and served in a 5 spices soup. Very delicious and only 30 Baht. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/RqzsZi9GEMK2

For a refreshing afternoon snack I had Khao Chae at Khun Monop’s House opposite Wat Mahathat in Phetchaburi. It is dry-cooked white rice served in iced-cold scented water with accompaniments like fried spicy shrimp paste, fried sweetened palm sugar and preserved raddish. 25 Baht.

The main landmark in Phetchaburi city is Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park on top of a hill alongside Highway 4. The locals call it Khao Wang, or the mountain palace. The highest peak is 95 meters. The surrounding countryside is mainly flat. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/J7Ms1KuXiYq

The summer palace on top of Khao Wang in Phetchaburi was built on command of King Rama IV in 1860. It is now open to the public. There’s a cable car to the top or you can walk.

Some more street art in the alleyway by Talad Rim Nam (Riverside Market) in Phetchaburi.

Aerial photo of the old district in Phetchaburi showing the location for the street art and the wet markets.

The “Phetchaburi Dee Jung” fair is taking place this weekend from 5pm onwards. It’s on both sides of the Phetchaburi River though most of it is along Khlong Kra Saeng Road. As well as food, there are also cultural shows and demonstrations. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/xB8M6FnimF42

School kids putting on make-up ahead of a “likay dek” performance in Phetchaburi tonight.

If you’re in Phetchaburi province this weekend and you’re trying to decide between The Art of Salt festival in Ban Laem or the Phetchaburi Dee Jung festival in the city, then go for the latter. It’s a hundred times better.

A Likay Dek (ลิเกเด็ก) performance by kids in Phetchaburi this evening. Likay is a form of popular folk theatre in Thailand.

A shadow puppet play (Nang Yai) performed by kids in Phetchaburi tonight. Puppets are made of painted buffalo hide, while the story is narrated by songs, chants and music.

If you get a chance, I highly recommend the Phetchaburi Dee Jung festival. Finishes Sunday night. Lots of food & activities on both sides of the river. I’ve walked around three times already. Luckily my hostel is in the middle of it & so taking a break before doing a final round.

DAY THREE: Good morning from Phetchaburi. This is my third and last day in this province. I’m going to explore the market and a few more temples this morning and then drive along the backroads home. This city is only a two hour or so drive southwest of Bangkok.

Whenever you visit a new town or city, it’s worth getting up early to explore the wet markets. In Phetchaburi, you will find the markets in alleys on either side of Panich Charoen Road. The nearby Talad Rim Nam and Talad Anamai markets are also with exploring.

An early morning drone flight over Phetchaburi city. The river has the same name as the city (which has the same name as the province). The hill in the distance is Khao Wang and the temple is Wat Mahathat. It’s a lovely blue sky today. No smog here!

Wat Kamphaeng Laeng has the biggest and oldest historical site in Phetchaburi. It provides evidence that there was a large settlement here as far back as the 12th Century. The Khmer style stupas or Prang are built of laterite rock. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/wuwBUZdeMxP2

Wat Yai Suwannaram is an important and impressive temple in Phetchaburi that dates back to the Ayutthaya period. The murals in the ordination hall are believed to be 300 years old. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/YjgsGH7R6BG2

Wat Yai Suwannaram also has a large teakwood pavilion which used to be the residence of King Suea of Ayutthaya before it was dismantled and transported here. It also houses a spired preaching pulpit made of gilded carved wood.

Tham Khao Luang cave is located about 3km away from Phetchaburi town. After climbing to the top, you go down a giant staircase to the first cavern. The Buddha images are naturally lit by a large hole at the top of the cave. Further in there’s a Reclining Buddha and a white Chedi. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/SbRkQgi65nT2

Entrance to Tham Khao Luang cave in Phetchaburi is free but you have to pay 15 Baht for a songtaew trip to the top from the car park. You might want to tip the parking attendants as they do a good job keeping your car safe from the monkeys.

6 comments

  1. Leigh Higgins from Feast Thailand says:

    Hi Richard, Really good blog. I was in Petburi last weekend as well. We may have passed each other in Tham Khao Luang as I was there around 12.30pm on Sunday. It’s such an amazing town and your drone shots look really good. Nice one!
    Cheers

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