A cultural land in
the basin of the Mae klong River, with the gentle mist and cooling
breeze of the Tanawsri Mountains.
An adaptation of a poem
by King Rama V
City of the king, or Ratchaburi. A city you ought to make a side
trip to before moving on. You might be familiar with the crest
of the scaled dragon on the excellent earthenware jars. Or you
might have called in and experienced the way of life of the
residents of Damnoen Saduak as they paddle their boats and go about
their business on the Floating Markets. But believe it or not, the
city which is so close to Bangkok hides many charms and much beauty.
We challenge you to pay a visit and not be impressed
This province in Western Thailand
has a varied topography; from the fertile level ground around the
basin of the Mae Klong River where the economy relies on all kinds
of crop, vegetable and plant cultivation, to the high mountain
ranges of the Tanawsri Mountain
in the west, along the Thai-Myanmar border. The neighboring
province to the north is Kanchanaburi, in the east are Nakhon
Pathom, Samut Sakhon and Samut SongKram, While in the
south is Petchburi Province.
historical sources, antiques and other archaeological finds that
have been uncovered, it appears that Ratchaburi, in addition to
bordering Myanmar, was also formerly a commercial port where many
traders would meet.
So you can see that Ratchaburi is
a land of rich and varied culture and origin, much of which has been
preserved and can still be seen today. Amongst the things of
interest are the history, the way of life, the culture, beautiful
handicrafts, and the natural beauty including caves, streams,
forests and mountains. Something to interest visitors from every
comer of the world. We challenge you to come and not be
North-Connects with Kanchanaburi Provinces.
South-Connects with Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram and Nakhon Pathom
East-Connects with Suphan Buri Provinces.
West-Connects with Myanmar.
Ratchaburi Province is divided in to
8 Amphoes. The distances from Amphoe Muang to other Amphoes are as
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Wat Phleng
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Pak Tho
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Ban Pha
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Photharam
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Jombung
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Banpong
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Damnoen Saduak 50 kms.
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Suan Phung
LINEAGE OF THAIS IN RATCHBURI PROVINCE
"Phahuchartiphun" society, or the various cultures, is one of the
most interesting aspects of like in Ratchburi. Although their
cultural lifestyles have been changed by time and generations, many
groups still preserve their own ways of like that can be used as a
model for the new generations to study.
These many races, despite their different beliefs and lifestyles,
are able to live together in peace and harmony, making
Ratchaburi a colorful place to live and visit.
THAI SONG DAM OR LAO SORNG
The original Thai Song Dam lived in Dien Bien Foo, but the group
which moved to Thailand come from Lao during the Napburi period.
At first, they could be found mostly in
Khao Yoi, Petchburi, but during the reign of King Rama 4 they began
to move on to Ban Don Klang in Ratchaburi too.
The Lao Sorng have kept their
traditions, rites and ceremonies intact. Even their food and
clothing has managed to stand the test of time. As their name "Dam"
or "black" indicates, the tribe like to dress in mostly black
attire. The men wearing "Suang Kom", while the ladies prefer
patterned brocades, with their hair usually swept up and pinned on
top of their heads.
The various Lao Sorng ceremonies are
certainly worth watching if you have the opportunity. Nowadays, most
Ratchaburi Lao Sorng can be found around Ban Don Klang, Amphoe
Damnoen Saduak , Don Khq , Amphoe Ban Phae, Amphoe Chom Bung and
Amphoe Pak Tho.
THAI TANAWASRI OR KAREN
This is a hill tribe of mixed race, originating from Tibet and
Myanmar. They now live near the Thai/Myanmar border and are the
biggest hill tribe in Thailand.
When they first arrived in this country,
Thai Tanawasri lived in Nong Krarien,
Tambon Rangbua and Amphoe Suwan Pueng, but after experiencing
drought conditions in this area they moved onto the banks of the Pha
Thai Tanawasri have continued their
unusual annual tradition of making and eating rice wrapped in
leaves. This festival can be observed every year during the 9th
lunar month , which usually falls in August, and is known as the
"Suwan Pueng Thai Tanasri."
The hill tribe have a special costume
which is worn only on important ceremonial occasions.
TAE BAN PHOHAK
It is often said that the Thai Tae Ban Phohok are really
Thais. They have a distinctive abrupt style of speech and vocabulary
, Often using old colloquialisms.
One of the tribes interesting traditions
is called "Khanara" which is a tradition about love. They also
popularly like to build clusters of Thai-style houses in the
beautiful green and fertile fields and meadows along the banks of
the Phohak. This was the area that inspired, and was chosen for, the
classic Thai film "Plae Kao", which was produced by Churd Songsri
and starred two of the great Thai actors and actresses ; Kwan as the
hero and Riem as the heroine.
THE LINEAGE OF
THAI MON (OR PEGUAN)
The forefathers of the Mon tribe moved to Ratchaburi during the
first Rattanakosin period and lived beside the Mae Klong River in
Amphoe Ban Pong and Amphoe Photharam. Even now ,they continue to
follow their old tradition of paying respect to the household
spirits, and the spirits of their ancestors. They are also very
serious about their Buddhist religion, believing that they were the
first race to bring Buddhism from India.
The Mon's most important ceremony is
called "Songkran Cho Mon" or "Mon New Year", and is usually held
about one week after Thai Songkran. They have many interesting
games, most notably "Mon Saba" which is a pitch-and-toss game. "Song
Phikala" nad "Phrikadong"
On the final day of Buddhist Lent, the
Thai Mon always go to the various temples situated on the banks of
the Mae Klong River , where they listen to sermons on the story of
the last great incarnation of the Lord Buddha, a story which
consists of many episodes.
THE LINEAGE OF
THAI LAOWIENG OR LAOTI
The reason for calling this tribe "Laoti" is because of their custom
of saying "ti" at the end of most words. They first came from
Vientianne and settled in Ratchaburi more than 200 years ago. They
reside on the banks of the Mae Klong River atSroi Fa Temple and
Papai Temple. They can also be found within the boundaries of Amphoe
Chom Bung, and in Ban Nasamor and Ban Sungnem. Many of their unique
customs have disappeared now , even the merit-making ceremonies such
as the "Sart Lao" festival , the "Khao Pradap Din" festival of the
tenth lunar month, the "Khao Ji" festival of the third lunar month
and the "Prawet" festival of the eleventh lunar month are no longer
This is the name that the people used to call themselves during the
Lanna period. Documented evidence shows that the Yuan were moved to
Ratchaburi during the reign of King Rama I, when the King gave the
order to attack Muang Chiang Saen to protect the mselves from
Most Yuan can be found in Koo Bua, Ang
Thong, Don Rae and Chedihak. They are skilled cart makers and skirt
Unfortunately, very few of their
traditions have withstood the test of time, except for an annual
ceremony held before the start of Buddhist Lent. For this ceremony,
the older generation, who have stong Buddhist beliefs, don
traditional clothing to pay
respect to and feed the spirits of their ancestors.
THE LINEAGE OF THAI
KHMEN LAO DERM
Thai Khmen Lao Derm, or Thai Cambodian Laos, settled here during the
Thonburi period of Thai history. Originally, they lived in Laos but
were forced to move to Cambodia, before being brought to Ratchaburi
by the Thai army. They live along the banks of the Mae Klong River
at Ban Pong Sawai and Ban Kung Nam Wan.
Just one of the Thai Khmen Lao Derm's
traditions remains, which is the order generation's belief that they
must go and inform the spirits in native Cambodian language of any
upcoming auspicious occasions
THE LINEAGE OF THAIJIN
Jin, of Thai Chinese, were the biggest minority group to come to
Thailand during the reign of King Rama V.Many can still be found
living in Amphoe Ban Pong and around the canals of Damnoen Saduak
and Ban Nok Kwak.
The Thai Chinese who follow Buddhism,
annually have a tradition of taking Buddhist images out in boats for
a trip along the rivers around Prasart Sit Temple. Unfortunately, it
is difficult to be precise about the exact dates of this important
and spectacular ceremony.
The other group of Thai Chinese who
follow Christianity have built many beautiful churches all over
How to get there
You have a choice of using first-class air-conditioned bus, or
regular bus. Buses leave from Sai Tai Southern Bus Terminal from
6.00 am to 11.00 pm daily. More information can be obtained by
calling 435-1199 for air-conditioned buses, or 434-5557-8 for
regular buses. The fare will be between 30 - 45 bath. In
addition to this, air- conditioned buses run to Damnoen Saduak from
5.30 am - 9.00 pm daily.
Just 101 kilometers from Bangkok along the Petchkasem Road
(Highway 4). Pass the Ong Phra Pathom Pagoda, and continue until you
reach Amphoe Ban Phae, the gateway to the Floating Market. It
should take about one hour. Or if you want to experience the natural
beauty of the early morning, and want to watch the sunrise, take the
Thonburi-Pak Tho Road (Highway 35) .Along this route you can enjoy
the splendor of a new dawn, and the rays of golden sunshine on the
horizon! Beside the road are the white salt hills and the windmills
of Samut Songkram Province which you will see before you turn right
at Wang Manao junction to Amphoe Pak Tho. Altogether, a distance of
about 109 kilometers.
Trains operate from both Thonburi and Hua Lampong Terminals,
departing between 7.20 am - 9.55 pm, and returning between 2.55 am -
2.10 pm daily. Besides halting at Ratchaburi Station, some trains
also stop at Nong Pla Duk, Ban Pong, Pho Tharam, and Pak Tho
Stations. For more information in Bangkok call (02) 225-0300-9 or in
Ratchaburi call (032) 337002.