Ratchaburi (ราชบุรี) is a town in Western Thailand, which is full of various geographical features. For example, the low-lying land along the fertile Mae Klong Basin, fields, and Tanao Si Mountains which lie to the west and stretch to the Thailand-Myanmar border.
Ratchaburi is the land of the Mae Klong Basin civilization.
From legend and historical evidence, it is assumed that Ratchaburi used to be one of the civilized kingdoms of Suvarnabhumi in the past, from the reign of the Great King Asoka of India, who proclaimed the Lord Buddha's teachings throughout this land around 325 BCE. The central town of the ruling power of Suvarnabhumi was Nakhon Pathom which was called "Dvaravati" at that time. In addition, Ratchaburi was also the meeting point of ancient tradesmen and the gateway to Burma. Thus Ratchaburi is a melange of differing ethnic groups.
Ratchaburi is full of many interesting things: history, ruins, ways of life, culture, handicrafts, and mountains.
Ratchaburi Province has an area of 5,196 km².
- Old route: Take Petchkasem Rd (Hwy 4), passing Bang Khae-Om Noi–Om Yai–Nakhon Chai Si–Nakhon Pathom–Ratchaburi.
- New route: Take Hwy 338, from Bangkok–Phutthamonthon–Nakhon Chai Si and turn onto Hwy 4 near Nakhon Chai Si, about 16 km before arriving at the city of Nakhon Pathom. Then, drive along Hwy 4 straight to the city of Ratchaburi.
The Transport Company Ltd., provides buses from the Southern Bus Terminal to Ratchaburi everyday. The first-class and second-class air-conditioned buses depart many times a day, taking about 2 hours to get to the province. For more details, contact the ticketing at Tel. +66 2 8946122 or , or contact Ratchaburi Group 76 (Ratchaburi) Company Limited at Tel. +66 32 338439. For first-class air-conditioned buses (Ratchaburi), call Tel. +66 32 337787. Buses depart every 20 minutes. (The first trip from Bangkok leaves at 06:00 and the last trip leaves at 23:00) (The first trip from Ratchaburi leaves at 04:00 and the last trip leaves at 21:00).
In addition, buses from Ratchaburi Bus Station to other neighbouring provinces, such as Nakhon Pathom, Kanchanaburi, Samut Songkhram and Phetchaburi, are available.
The State Railway of Thailand provides trains leaving Bangkok Railway Station Hualamphong and Thonburi Railway Station (Bangkok Noi) everyday, which takes about 2 hours. For further details, contact the Travelling Service Unit, Bangkok Railway Station at Tel. 1690, +66 2 2204334, +66 2 2204444 or call Thonburi Railway Station at Tel. +66 2 4113102 and Ratchaburi Railway Station at Tel. +66 32 337002 or .
- 1 Damnoen Saduak floating market. It shows the people's lifestyle and the importance of the river as a mean of commerce. The vendors paddle their boats up and down the waterways selling and bartering their merchandise. The markets start in very early morning until 11:00.
- Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat An ancient temple, locally called Wat Na Phra That, is on the west bank of the Mae Klong River in town. Its elegant prangs or pagoda remains in good condition and was probably copied from Cambodia's Angkor Wat. The 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, Lopburi, and Ayutthaya periods are placed around the pagoda.
- 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 Photharam, some 22 km from Ratchaburi.
- Bo Khloung Hot Stream - Five kilometers beyond 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 °C. On the route to the hot stream, a three kilometre branch road leads to Namtok (waterfall) Kao Chon, which consists of nine cascades. The waterfall is plentiful during the late rainy season.
- 2 Kaew Chan Waterfall (Nine-Level waterfall, Kaochon waterfall). One kilometer from Bo Khlung hot stream. Kaew Chan's name was given by Princess Sirindhorn. 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. It takes about two hours.
Pong Yub, Ban Tha Kheay. The subsidence of the ground has created a steep cliff similar to the one in Pae Muang Phi in Phrae Province.
- 3 Khao Bin Cave (About 22 kilometres from Ratchaburi city centre). A mountain range of "Khao Bin", or "Flying Mount" is home to the cave of the same name. Inside the cave there are 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.
- 4 Khao Wang (It is 2 km west of the town.). A hill that is about 44 metres high and was originally called "Khao Sattanat". 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".
- 5 Ratchaburi National Museum. Exhibition highlighting Ratchaburi, regarding history, archaeology, ethnology, geology, traditional arts. Also shows culture of Lao Song, Karen, and Thai Yuan. Showcases prominent artefacts besides the royal sword Ratchasattra of Monthon Ratchabur.
- Ratchaburi Tourism Fair (งานเที่ยวราชบุรี) 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 (One Tambon, One Product) 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) 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", the 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. They used to eat khao ho by dipping it in honey but now they often dip it in sliced coconut. On the day they boil khao ho, the Su Khwan Ceremony will be held. It starts with poking a wooden plate and blowing a khaen for entertainment. Then the elders in each family will tie red threads on children's wrists and give a blessing for good luck.
- Ratchaburi Truck Fest. A big rig car show, drag race, burnout competition and gymhkana.
|Routes through Ratchaburi|
|Bangkok ← Nakhon Pathom ←||N S||→ Phetchaburi → Butterworth|
|Bangkok ← Nakhon Pathom ←||N S||→ Phetchaburi → Sadao|