Overlooking the Mae Klong River, Ratchaburi is a bustling town west of Bangkok that has been settled for at least 2,000 years. It now serves as the capital of Ratchaburi Province, which lies along Thailand’s border with Myanmar and is home to the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
Things to do in Ratchaburi
Occupying a former town hall in the heart of Ratchaburi is the Ratchaburi National Museum where historical artefacts, geological objects and folk artworks are displayed. Admire the Stone Age tools and Buddhist statues before soaking up the sunshine in the inner courtyard garden. The Ratchaburi National Museum is just a stone’s throw from the Mae Klong River and the historic Clock Tower.
A short drive east of Ratchaburi is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, which comprises a maze of canals where traders hawk fresh produce and homewares from small wooden boats. The Damnoen Saduak Canal was constructed in the 1860s and a floating market known as Lad Plee flourished shortly after. In addition to its photo opportunities, the market is popular for its “boat noodles”.
North-west of Ratchaburi is the Khao Ngu Stone Park, a spectacular landscape of limestone hills that rise atop an otherwise flat plain. Once a limestone quarry, it has been flooded with water and pedal boats provide a leisurely mode of transport around the park. If you prefer to explore on land, there is a suspension bridge and a boardwalk trail that offer sightings of the resident monkeys, turtles and water birds.
Getting around Ratchaburi
Ratchaburi is 1.5 hours’ drive from the centre of Bangkok and around two hours from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Regular trains connect from the Thai capital to the Ratchaburi railway station and buses travel throughout the city. Tuk-tuks are readily available for getting around.