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TOUR18B: - 3 to 5 May 2018

Kaeng Krachan Dam, Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi Province

Phetchaburi Province

Phetchaburi is one of the western or central provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are from north clockwise, Ratchaburi, Samut Songkhram, and Prachuap Khiri Khan. In the west it borders Tanintharyi Division of Myanmar.
Geography: 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 the 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.
History: Phetchaburi is an old royal city, dating back to the Mon of the 8th century. Later the Khmer settled in the city, as can be seen by the prangs of Wat Kamphaeng Laeng. During the Ayutthaya period it was an important city and became a refuge for people fleeing from the Burmese army when Ayutthaya fell in 1767. In 1860 King Rama IV built a palace near the city of Phetchaburi, commonly known as Khao Wang, but officially named 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.
Economy: Phetchaburi Province is an important salt producer. In 2011, 9,880 rai (3,906 acres), worked by 137 families were devoted to salt production in Phetchaburi.
Tourism: Kaeng Krachan National Park is reason enough to visit Phetchaburi province, close enough to Bangkok yet isolated, deep in the rain forest. In the city itself there are some important historical sites but it is its coastline that attracts most visitors. The coastline to the north of the city consists largely of mudflats and mangrove but to the south there are some popular beaches, the most well-known is at Cha-Am which has a developed tourist infrastructure.