04.12.2016 - 04.12.2016 33 °C
On the way to Hua Hin, there is an old royal palace built during the reign of King Mongkut that worth a detour to take a closer view of the architectures of this ancient Thai royal residence. Due to the location of the palace which is situated on top of the hills, the palace is known as Khao Wang to the locals and Thais. As for foreigners, this former palace of King Mongkut is named Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park where the main royal residence area has turned into a museum for purpose of preservations and knowledge centre for Thais and foreigners. To get to the palace ground from the base, visitors most common and frequent entry point is through the hills tramcar. This is being the most convenient and comfortable access mode to the historical park in particular if you reached the place mid afternoon.
THE TRAM TO PHRA NAKHON KHIRI HISTORICAL PARK
On reaching the base of the hill, you will be greeted by the lush surroundings with leafless trees lined up the landscape of the palace ground. There were few old buildings with one and two storey structures which were used as living quarters for palace guards and workers as well as kitchen seen around here as well as an old fortress. This is where the Western Peak of Phra Nakhon Historical Park is situated. At this Western Peak, few important structures to note including the museum which is the main royal residence, Wichien Prasat Throne Hall, Ratchathamma Sapha Throne Hall and the Chatchawan Wiengchai Observatory Tower. There was a staircase leading up another level of the hill where the Phra Nakhon Khiri National Museum. This main museum premise showcase the King Mongkut residence hall in Khao Wang where you need to dressed appropriately to enter or be provided with sarong to cover up before entering the museum. No photos are allowed inside which is basically being the residence area with various function rooms constructed within the building. The view from the palace museum was just spectacular ovelooking part of the city of Phetchaburi province with lush greenaries and tree landscape. The wind can be felt blowing constantly through the wide open windows and doors from all parts of the hills as you tour the museum.
THE OLD PALACE LIVING QUARTERS FOR PALACE WORKERS & ITS SURROUNDINGS ON WESTERN PEAK @ KHAO WANG. THE NATIONAL MUSEUM WHICH IS ALSO THE PALACE RESIDENCE HALL
From the national museum, there was another short staircase that leads to several other ancient structures including Witchayan Prasat Throne Hall, Ratchathamma Sapha Throne Hall and the Chatchawan Wiengchai Observatory Tower. The Witchayan Prasat was used as a worshipping or the royal holy place for the King to perform rituals and religious prayers while the Wiengchai Observatory Tower was used by King Mongkut for purpose of palace surroundings views and observations.
WITCHAYAN PRASAT THRONE HALL & THE VIEW OF PETCHABURI CITY FROM THE WESTERN PEAK @ KHAO WANG
RATCHATHAMMA SAPHA THRONE HALL LOCATED BELOW WICTHAYAN PRASAT THRONE HALL
CHATCHWAN WIENGCHAI OBSERVATORY TOWER
On the Middle or Central Peak was the Phra That Chom Phet which is a huge old chedi structure similar to those found in Thai temples. It is located just next to the Eastern Peak. I had a good view of the chedi from the Western Peak also overlooks the Eastern Peak which consist of the Wat Phra Kaew Noi similar to the one located in Bangkok but a smaller version. There was also a Red Pagoda or Chedi Daeng within the Eastern Peak.
CENTRAL PEAK WHERE THE PHRA THAT CHOM PHET (HUGE OLD CHEDI) IS LOCATED
EASTERN PEAK WITH WAT PHRA KAEW NOI (SMALL WAT PHRA KAEW), THE RED PAGODA AND A CHEDI
Khao Wang is worth a short detour to have close view of the old palace and hill top view of Phetchaburi city either on way to or return from Hua Hin. The view of the city and the atmosphere of the hill palace which can be summed up as lovely and delightful.