The Thailand Arrival & Survival Guide Get prepared

Phetchaburi

Phetchaburi (เพชรบุรี) Province connects the southern peninsular provinces to the Central Region of Thailand. Nearly half the province along the border with Myanmar is occupied by Thailand's largest national park. Phetchaburi has some beaches that may not be the postcard-perfect varieties found elsewhere in Thailand, but are still quite nice.

Today 33° 23°
Fri 14th 35° 24°
Sat 15th 36° 23°
Sun 16th 36° 23°
Mon 17th 34° 24°
Tue 18th 33° 24°
Wed 19th 33° 25°
Thu 20th 31° 24°

Introduction

Phetchaburi is the province that connects the Southern peninsula of Thailand to the main landmass not far from Bangkok. To the east, the entire province has a coastline facing the Gulf of Thailand, and to the west is mountainous jungle bordering Myanmar with the Andaman Sea out beyond that. Much of the west of Phetchaburi is taken up by Kaeng Krachan National Park which is the largest in the country.


Recommended for

  • Anyone who wants to get away from the crowds
  • Travelers looking for a place with lots to do that few other foreign tourists visit

Getting there

Phetchaburi is on the main highway and train lines between Bangkok and the South making it easy to get here.

By bus – Buses from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal have frequent service Phetchaburi. The journey takes two to three hours.

By car – You’ll need your own transport to see most of what Phetchaburi has to offer, so going by your own car makes a lot of sense. Just take Rama II Road out of Bangkok until it joins the main Highway 4 to the South, then take that into Phetchaburi.

By train – Trains heading to Southern Thailand out of the main Bangkok train station stop in Phetchaburi. Timetables can be found on the Thailand State Railway website and you can also book tickets there.


What to do

Phetchaburi has lots to do, especially for nature lovers.

Kaeng Krachan National Park

Phetchaburi has Thailand’s largest national park, and it’s a fantastic place to visit. Kaeng Krachan is much less popular than Khao Yai, even though it’s about the same distance away from Bangkok. It’s also even richer in wildlife diversity and even still has wild tigers and leopards. Check out our guide to Kaeng Krachan National Park for more information.

The beaches of Cha-Am

At the far south of Phetchaburi is the resort town of Cha-Am. This is close enough to Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri-Khan Province that it is often lumped in with that city in guides, but it is in Phetchaburi. The sea along the Phetchaburi coast is fairly murky compared to most of Thailand’s famous island destinations, but the water is clean and the beaches here are quite nice.

Cha-Am gets popular on weekends and holidays when Thais, but even then the beach is long enough and everything spread far enough apart that it never really feels crowded. Cha-Am is a great destination to visit with kids as there is a great waterpark, pony rides on the beach, and watersports like banana boat rides.

Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park

Located on a prominent hill overlooking Phetchaburi City, Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park

Where to stay

We find our accommodation on Booking.com by first searching for the town or province and our dates, we then filter out any rooms with a score lower than 7 or 8 (depending on availability) as well as any rooms out of our budget. After this, we open the map and hover over all of the pins in the rough location we already decided we want to stay in. Hovering over the pins gives us the price for x nights plus the review score. We click on each pin to open those hotels in a new tab, review them and book our favorite.


Getting around

There are tuk-tuks in Phetchaburi town that can get you around the city and out to the nearby sights. For the coast and national parks you’ll need to rent a car or motorbike, or hire a driver.

When to go

Most of Thailand falls in to the generic high and low season categories, including Phetchaburi.

High season - begins in November and runs through to February, bringing cooler temperatures, lush greenery from the previous months of rain, good air quality, and less rain. The downside is larger crowds and sometimes higher prices for tours, flights and accomodation.

Low season - begins in July and runs through to October. During low season the temperatures are higher, the chance of rain and storms are higher. That doesn't mean it's a bad time to visit though, if you can be flexible, there are deals to be found on flights and accomodation.

While it's always hot in Phetchaburi, the small change in temperature between high and low season can be just enough that the heat isn't unbearable when out and about.

Need more? Read our post discussing the best time to visit Thailand.

Where to stay

Instead of recommending hotels, we think it will be more useful to share our process so you can pick based on your own critera for location, budget and style.

We always start our search on either Booking.com or Agoda. They have an easy to user interface and have some extra benefits for "Genius" and "VIP" users. You can also sometimes pay with credit card in advance if you're playing the cashback or air miles game.

Process:

  1. Search for specific province, city or town.
  2. Apply rating filters for a minimum rating or either 7, 8 or 9.
  3. Apply other filters: budget, fitness, breakfast, etc.
  4. If you have a specific location in mind, use map view to browse and make a final selection.

If there are too many properties available to choose from, increase the rating filter for less, higher rated selections.

Final notes: Prices are dynamic. Check the same hotel on both Booking.com and Agoda to see which has the best deal at any given time (go through to checkout to make sure all VAT and service charges are factored in). You can go one step further by calling the hotel and checking the price for booking directly. In our experience this saves money 50% of the time but you have less guarantees.

Emergency contacts

Knowing an emergency number could save your own, or somebody elses life. Take a photo or save these numbers on your phone:

Police & emergencies - 191
The most important number to remember. If the operator is unable to speak English, call 1155 (below).

Tourist Police - 1155 or (+66) 2308-0333
This hotline is available 24 hours a day and they will all speak English. This is an important phone number to remember - They will help you out with any concerns or questions you have and can redirect you to the correct number you may need.

Public Ambulance - 1669
Dialing this number will connect you to a public ambulance service, which will dispatch a vehicle to your location. The average response time for urban areas is around 10 minutes, but may take up to 30 minutes in rural areas. English-speaking staff should be available to assist you.

Fire Department - 199
In case of an emergency such as a house fire, or forest fire, call 199 for the Fire Department to be dispatched to your location.

Highway Police - 1193
If you plan on driving in Thailand, then you may end up needing to use this number if you break down in an unsafe place etc.