Sunday 31 August 2014

Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace

On my last day in Hua Hin we left early for Bangkok so that on the way we would be able to see the Phetchaburi's well-known landmark Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace. Phra Nakhon Khiri means celestial city on a hill. The locals though call it Khao Wang.

The tram car that takes you up to the Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace

Once we reached Phetchaburi we got down and took the tickets for the cable car to go up to the hill top where the palace is situated. The Palace is open from 9 AM to 4 PM and the ticket costs 200 Baht. It is a misnomer to call the ride up as a cable car ride as actually instead of a cable the car is on rail tracks and therefore calling it a tram would be more appropriate. One car can approximately carry 20 persons. Again like the experience I had in Damnoen Saduak I saw someone clicking our photographs but this time I knew what it is and gave a big smile to the photographer.

Beware of the monkeys

Even after getting down from the tram car one has to climb a steep step of stairs. Also one should be careful while walking as the place outside is full of monkeys.

A steep climb of stairs to the Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace

This was the first palace built on the mountain range by King Rama IV in 1859. The palace is surrounded by several temples or ‘Wat’ as is called in Thailand like the Wat Mahasamanaram, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Phra That Chom Phet. The Palace itself is now a museum. Photography inside is not allowed.

Wat Phra Kaew or the Royal Temple

But the view from the Palace as well as from the various Wats is magnificent as it gives a bird’s eye view of the whole of Phetchburi town and the surrounding hills. The palace is located 92 metres above sea level on a hill top.

A Wat at the Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace

Do note the stair railing in the above picture of the Wat which has Buddhist significance. Ladies in shorts etc need to put on sarongs as the palace also has temples. This dress code is uniform across Thailand if one has to enter a temple as some of our companions learnt the hard way!

View of Phetchaburi from the Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace

The Palace itself has a European and Chinese architectural mix. It is mainly wooden with narrow staircases. It also probably had the first European style bath tubs in Thailand that were imported for the king.

Another view of Phetchaburi from the Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace

Phetchaburi is about 130 km from Bangkok and 70 km from Hua Hin. This trip was on invitation from the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai Air.

Also read:

Phraya Nakhon Cave in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park in Thailand

Would you like to have a separate waiting room to yourself?

Tourism in Thailand: Lessons for India

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

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