Ratchaburi is a capital city and Province in Western Thailand; there is a rich variety in the terrain. Some of the province is low-lying and very fertile while the Tanao Si Mountains in the east are close to the Myanmar border. It was the land of the Mae Klong Basin civilisation and the Suvarnabhumi kingdom from the Great King Asoka of India in the 4th Century BC. It was an ancient trading settlement where different races mingled. The result is a region rich in history and culture.
Ratchaburi is just over 5,000 square kilometres.
How to get there
The bus services are good and regular. As an example Bangkok to Ratchaburi takes around two hours. It means it is a convenient inclusion on Thailand tour packages. Trains are fairly slow but you do avoid Bangkok’s traffic.
Best time to visit
The monsoon rains start in May and continue for several months, stopping a few weeks before Christmas. The dry season starts with temperatures at their highest in March and April. Overall however there is no great variation in temperature, warm to hot.
Things to see and do
This Thailand travel guide offers a few highlights of the Province for those visiting while on holiday in Thailand:
• Floating Market (Damnoen Saduak) in the eastern part of the Province and has established quite a reputation. Be prepared for an early start however; first light and finishing before noon.
• Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat in the style of Angkor Wat is on the banks of the Mae Klong River.
• The Murals of Wat Khongkharam, a 200 year old monastery are 25 km away from the City.
• Khao Chong Pran Cave is full of bats which make a huge plume as they emerge as the sun goes down. In the summer they head east, the winter west.
• Boa Kleung Hot Springs brings water from the mountains of Tenasserim that exceed 50C. The closest town is Suan Phueng near the Myanmar border. In contrast Kaeng Som MeawWaterfall fairly nearby has cool water in a region great for flora and fauna.
• The Riverside Market, day and night is worth a visit.
There are guesthouse and hotels in the city with Baan Aom Kod Kun Kao Resort up in the hills a great place for children if you are on a Thailand family holiday. Those on organised tours will have everything arranged for them.