Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park
Phetchaburis well-known landmark, the locally known as Khao Wang (Palace Hill) is located up on a 92-meter high verdant hill, in the city of Phetchaburi. It was built under the royal command of King Rama IV and in 1860 became his summer palace. The whole compound is comprised of royal halls, palaces, temples and other buildings which were elegantly constructed in a well-balanced Thai, neoclassical Western and Chinese architectural styles.
There are a group of royal residences on the western side of the hill consisting of the Phetchphoomphairot Building, Pramotmahaisawan Building, Wetchayanwichienprasat Building, Ratchathammasapha Building and Hor Chatchawanwiengchai Observatory.
The original main residence, Phetchphoomphairot and Pramotmahaisawan Buildings are now being used as a museum exhibiting the royal paraphernalia of King Rama IV and King Rama V, decorative sculptures, and ceramics from China, Japan and Europe.
The big white pagoda situated on the middle peak of the hill is Phrathat Jomphet. King Rama IV ordered the renovation of the old pagoda and later added a Buddha image inside. Visitors to the Palace should not miss the panoramic view of Phetchaburi City and other buildings on another two nearby mountaintops.
There are several temples to be admired on the Eastern Mountain, one of which is Wat Maha Samanaram, which has a history that can be traced back to the Ayutthaya period and the place where murals by Khrua In Khong, a renowned Thai artist is located. Another temple located on top of the mountain is Wat Phra Kaew Noi, the Royal Temple of Phra Nakhon Khiri that was constructed based on the model of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
The Ordination Hall and Phra Sutthasela Chedi are also popular attractions. The ordination hall is a small beautifully symmetrical structure that is noted for the stucco at the gables, which is said to be a Phetchaburi masterpiece. In addition, the design of the Hall was based on King Rama IV’s royal emblem. Phra Sutthasela Chedi was built from greenish gray marble. The marble was first sculptured into pieces to form a pagoda at Ko Srichang, an island off the coast of Pattaya on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, then it was dismantled and resembled at the Chedi which is on the western coast of the Gulf of Thailand.
Getting to Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park
The site is located on Phetkasem Road, just one kilometer from the town entrance junction. It is possible to climb the mountain by walking or by cable car.
Walking up is a strenuous activity but it is the traditional way to approach the Park. For those choosing the cable car option, the fare, which inclusive of the museum admission fee is 150 baht for adults. Service is provided from 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.