Three peaks overlooking the City of Phetchaburi feature Palaces, Temples, Royal Halls, Pagodas, Chedis and other buildings built during the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV) in 1859. Some of the buildings are in classical Thai style, while others have European or Chinese influences.
During the reign of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadev (King Rama IX) the site became a park and museum and in 1979 registered as a branch of the Thai National Museum. Locally known as Khao Wang, Phra Nakhon Khiri, or ‘Heavenly City on the Hill’, is now a focus for visitors to gaze at the beautiful examples of architecture and artifacts of the Chakri Dynasty as well as to enjoy expansive views over the surrounding cityscape and green fields of Phetchaburi. There’s plenty of climbing to be done, however a cable car ride to the 93 metre high peak may help
The Three Peaks of Phra Nakhon Khiri
Western peak: King Mongkut’s Palace is located on the Western peak with the Phra Thi Nang Phet Phum Phairot Throne Hall, the largest building of the Palace. Other important buildings include Phra Thi Nang Pramot Mahaisawan, as the Royal bedchamber, Phra Thi Nang Wetchayan Prasat, styled on Khmer architecture and Ho Chatchawan Wiang Chai, a tower used by King Mongkut as an observatory.
Central peak: A 40 metre high white chedi, called Phra That Chom Phet provides views to the Royal Palaces and the Wat Phra Kaew Temple.
Eastern peak: The Eastern peak is where the Wat Phra Kaew Temple is located featuring a classical Thai architecture and the huge red pagoda, Chedi Deang. Visitors looking for an increased cultural experience may consider attending the annual festival held on the surrounds and peaks of Phra Nakhon Khiri during the 160 year anniversary of the site over 10 days from February 9th 2019. An opening ceremony will begin on the first evening with cultural parades from the province’s eight districts.
This will be followed by fireworks with the palace illuminated every night throughout the event. On the grounds of the museum, visitors will be able to observe stucco art in the shape of mystical animals, see a display of the Thai Song Dam ethnic people’s lifestyle, and enjoy classical music, art and crafts and cultural performances. At the foot of the hill, there will be a demonstration of local craft making and cooking, concerts, Thai dances and community tourism fair.
Access to the park is close to Phetchakasim Road, just north of the Petcharat Hospital at the western side of the hill which overlooks Phetchaburi City. This is on the opposite side of the hill to the main city where you will find parking, the cable car, souvenir and refreshment shops. The park is open from 9 AM.
For more information
Phone: 032 425 600, 032 401 006.
Phra Nakhon Khiri Provides a Student Learning Opportunity
English language visitors to Phra Nakhon Khiri have much to learn and understand but only if signage and other written information is clear and correct. That’s been difficult for museum staff to provide in the past without the necessary written English language skills being available. The solution to this dilemma has been an innovative collaboration between museum staff and Stamford International University Associate Director Cell Dilon with students undertaking an industry or ‘client-based’ learning project. This form of practical “hand’s on” learning is a focus of the Stamford experience. It has been readily available in many other spheres of learning, but difficult to secure in the language study context. In August this year, Laureate English Program Director Hans Kirkels led 38 of his Advanced Grammar students to an initial site inspection at Phra Nakhon Khiri. The visit provided an opportunity to photograph the site’s features, stunning viewpoints and a plethora of signs providing guidance to visitors throughout the park.
The next stage involved students proofreading and editing English language requirements including the official brochure and signage as well as considering additional requirements for visitor information. In September representatives from the museum visited the Stamford Hua Hin campus to consider the students’ ideas with high praise offered for the pragmatic approach which far exceeded any expectations. After nearly three years of operations in Hua Hin, this was a proud moment in the English language program’s progress. The final stage involved an October presentation to the museum of a carefully considered English language information ‘package’ ready to be put in place.
It is anticipated that visitors seeking English language information at the February Festival will have a significantly enhanced experience. By then the renewed information should be in place to better understand the sights and cultural significance of this important historical park. The industry project has proved to be a very practical collaboration between students and the Phra Nakhon Khiri management. This is a real example of the benefits to be gained by integrating industry based learning with the campus theoretical perspective. Everyone’s a winner!