Ratchaburi...Have you ever been to? EP3. Ban Phong - Photharam City - The last episode of my trip.

Akachai Neju Sirithammajak

Greeting to all voyagers


Art community... How nice this name is???

Let's discover the answer together.

PS1. For those who would like to follow up m review or require further information at http://www.facebook.com/Nejuphoto

PS2. To love Thailand and travel in Thailand. If you like this review, please feel free to express your morale for the blogger.


Below are the necessary appliances for this trip

- Nikon D600

- Lens : Nikkor 10-24 , Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 , Nikkor 70-300 VR


There are 2 reviews which are previously launched by our team, we go to Art Community. We have divided responsible zones in each district. For those who could not remember about these 2 reviews, where have we been and what is the Art Community. So, it is the right time to provide some background about them again.


Muang District (Art Community Center)

There are variously beautiful attractions and culture in Ratchaburi province. Even though, the city is being more civilized but this could not impact on beautiful nature.

Time flies so fast but everything is still remain like the former time.

We do not miss the chance to visit Kaen Chan mountain, it is the well known view point in Ratchaburi. The accessibilty is very convenient, we can have the panoramic view over here.

They are the perfect combination between mountains and community on each side of Kaen Chan mountain.

There is also the outstanding thing to see once we come to Ratchaburi province, it is about contemporary art for molding water jar. This has been generated generation to generation, it becomes the symbol of Ratchaburi.


The art has been adjusted in according to the current trend by making them be more modern and charming.

For those who are looking for sovenirs, you are able to visit " Thao Hong Tai" Ceramics

There are actually various attractions and restaurants in Muang district

You are able to recall our previous review about Ratchaburi by visiting Sao Nui's review ; Phuket - Ratchaburi, have you ever gone to these places??? Please feel free to follow below link;

http://pantip.com/topic/34061719


Suan Phueng district (The variety of buildings and natural art )

Once we come to travel in Suan Phueng, we feel as if we are travelling abroad because all infrastructures are built in according to contemporary and cosmopolitan arts.

The infrastructure styles are gathered from Italian, Greece and Romanic style but some people still think that there are only sheep and Alpaca at Suan Phueng (which they can be easily found in many province) but they are actually many interesting things in Ratchaburi province especially the art.

This refers to the local tradition of Mon tribe (it is one kind community who stay in South East Asia), this community has a very nice tradition which is Kin Hor Khao (eat packed rice) tradition. Apart from tradition, you are able to enjoy the natural fog on top of Kra Jom mountain.

All above mentioned, you are able to follow up and take a look at review; PS. Story - Ratchaburi ... Have you ever been ??? EP. 2 (Suan Phueng)

http://goo.gl/n6RSTf

I have introduced both episodes for a while. Hence, it is the time to start telling you about the 3rd (ending) episode Ban Pong Photharam- the last puzzle of the journey to Ratchaburi.

Ban Pong district (The art from former time till now)

I guess many people may think of the memorial past. Ban Pong is the only place where you can see real local lifestyle and appliance including the memorial stories in the past.

The antique collection has been well preserved. This place is open and welcome tourists to visit and recall all memories in the past together as well as share those photos in the present.

The entrance fee to Ban Pong Wan Wan (Ban Pong in the former time) costs THB 30 for adults and THB 20 for children

This sign leads you to Ban Pong Wan Wan.

There are various reproduced shops in order to match with the ambience of the former time.


Furthermore, they are also the antique collection of the location owners who have collected them for long time ago. Then, they decide to showcase their collection to the public and tourists.

For those who are passionate in taking photos, this place is the right answer for you. The only thing that you need to prepare it is to wear the suitable costume in order to match with location

We guarantee that you will surely feel as if you have stood in this place for the decades.

There is a small garden in the inside zone. The rooms are arranged for theater, class room and barber shop etc.

We can proudly say that these have obviously reflected all stories occurred in the past.


Photharam (Antique building reveals the story )

Photharam is one district in Ratchaburi where is not far from Bangkok, it is the passage district where many people have ever ignored.

But believe it or not, this district is not less charming than other districts. I would like to try to schedule my trip in Photharam for 2 days an1 night. Let' s discover where will be in our destination lists.



At 08.00 hrs. - To start our trip from Bangkok.

We drive along main road no. 4 (Petcha Kasem road), pass through Nakhon Pathom province

There will be a sign leading us to Photharam district, we keep driving on the left and turn under bridge. Then, we need to cross Mae Khlong river, we keep driving till we see the junction and turn right. It takes about 1.30 hours, we can now reach our first destination, it is Khanon temple in order to watch the grand shadow play.

At 10.00 hrs. - To watch the grand shadow play at Khanon temple.
The show are performed every Saturday and Sunday, the first performance on Saturday will be at 10.00 hrs. and at 11.00 hrs. on Sunday, it takes 1 hour per one performance.

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The grand shadow play is the traditional treasure which is named as the high end performance, it has included many precious of arts through the neatly sculptured performing appliances. This leads to the perfect performance once this performing appliance is moved in front of the canvas and it is even more perfect once we hear music, dialogue along the performance. All of these make the audiences completely understand the story.

The plot of the grand shadow play is taken from Ramayana literature, Thai music and narrators' voice have grandly mobilized the performance, it makes the audience understand the story better.

At 11.00 hrs. - After the performance is end, we go to the museum of grand shadow play, it is located behind the grand shadow play theater.

It opens daily at 08.00 hrs. - 17.30 hrs. for tourists and people who would like to learn about this high end performance.

The performing appliance of grand shadow play is made from cow skin, it has been neatly sculptured in according to the characteristic of the plot. The weight of the performing appliance depends on its size, the bigger size the heavier it is. There is no doubt that the staffs should have very strong hands to carry the appliance.

The nice pattern and color on the performing appliance really reveal Thai uniqueness which has been generated from our ancestor.

At 11.30 hrs. - To see the beautiful mural and Ban Wat Kong Ka Ram museum.

There are many antique things with long legend in this temple. This temple is built by Mon (one kind of local community) refugees.

The mural inside the Buddhist sanctuary at Kong Ka Ram temple is painted by the royal artist. The painting is neatly beautiful. It is well described the story relating to Buddhism which need to be learned and conserved.

Even though, the painting is quite old but it still remains full detail of the story.

Apart from the beautiful painting, 9 monk dwellings are set as the local museum.

Photo taking is not allowed in the upstairs, antique appliances such as rice maker, fish catcher are showcased beneath the dwelling.

At 12.30 hrs. - To have lunch at Jaem Sai restaurant, it is 500 meters far from the temple.

At 14.00 hrs. - To see the golden Buddhist sanctuary at Prasri-Arn temple.
This place has well been explained about the strong trust of people who stay at Ratchaburi towards Buddhism. They have co-worked with various sections in the society to build up this golden Buddhist sanctuary. It spent about 37 years to completely build this sacred place.

- To see the pattern of the stucco, it is specifically built without concerning any completed format.

- To see the wall which is painted to explain about Mahachanok literature and 5 Buddha
- To pay respect to Prasri- Arn statue

- To see the main Buddha statue in the attitude of subduing Mara, this statue is Burmese style. The whole statue is made from white emerald.

- To pay respect to Abbot Khan's body in the glassy coffin, he passed away for a long time but it is surprisingly that his body is not spoiled

All of these should not be missed once you come to Prasri - Arn temple.


At 15.00 hrs. - To check in to Ban Sukphanphotharam (Pho1)

This accommodation has been transformed from the wooden building which was used to be the classroom in the past to be the home stay nowadays. The price is reasonable.

The amenities are promptly provided. The breakfast is tea, coffee and deep - fried dough stick. We are able to borrow the bicycle for free.

The room floor on the upper stair is the wooden floor, there is a sign to indicate room name in front of each room.

The rooms in lower stair were used to be kindergarten rooms and they were used to be the classroom for primary students in the upper stair.

I get the room for grade 3 student, the room is very clean and wide space. It has private bathroom and air conditioner.

It costs THB 1000 per room per night for 2 people, you are able to ask for the extra bed with the additional charge at THB 200.


At 16.30 hrs. - To visit All About Art event and the ancient market 119 year at Chet Samian. This market is where we can have dinner and buy local souvenirs.

It is located on the wide space surrounding with the authentic Thai house, the architecture style is built as the building but they are built with wood, the age of the building is a century. All of the buildings are renovated in order to remain their actual structure as much as possible.

You are able to buy, eat and feel the local atmosphere at this market, it is closed to the train station. It opens every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Furthermore, there is also local museum, this place has included everything which is well illustrated about the history of the community from the ancestor to the new generation.

You can see the pictures, antique appliance at this place.

There is All About Art event which is held at 16.00 hrs. on every Saturday and Sunday of the final week in each month at Chet Samian railway station. This event will perform contemporary Thai music and authentic Thai music.

The highlight of this event is Ram San Sua (Dancing with mat), it is performed by students from Ban Bor Wee school, they are from Mon's community in Suan Phueng district.

If you have read our episode 2, you will notice that we have ever seen this performance before.

Nowadays, Chet Samian sub - district would like to sustainability conserve this local performance. Hence, the students are invited to perform Ram San Sua for the villager and tourists. This performance is available in All About Art event only.

At 18.30 hrs. - To see Roi Larn bat (one hundred million bat) at Khao Chong Phran temple, it is one of Unseen Thailand.

The last light of the sun in the evening has influenced bats flying from their nest for the bait.

Furthermore, we can also see the beautiful limestone mountain at Khao Chong Phran.

There is also the big cave which is called Buddha Reclining cave, it is full of exotic stalagmite.

The tourists are able to take a walk to the top hill of Khao Chong Phran to pay respect to Buddha's relic.

One hundred million bats fly from the cave, it looks like the black smoke from various directions

They have flown for 1 hour to search for their baits and come back to the nest before the morning.
These are some impressive photos of this amazing moment.

Khao Chong Phran has renovated their property to welcome the tourists to see this amazing event of one hundred million bats.


At 19.30 hrs. -To have dinner at Klang (middle) market in front of Photharam, the market has been divided into 3 zones; Bon (upper) market, Klang (middle) market and Lang (lower) market.

Klang market opens in the evening from 17.00 hrs. - 23.00 hrs .

We would like to recommend the signature menus for you to try which are stir fried shells, stir fried noodle and fish maw soup. They are very delicious.


At 21.00 hrs. - To go back to the accommodation

At 06.00 hrs. - To see the original method of washing sprouted bean


It is the ancient method by taking sprouted bean into the basket and soak it in the river, they have repeated this method many times till they ensure that the sprouted bean is clean. The sprouted bean washing method is performed everyday from 05.30 hrs. till 06.15 hrs.

At 06.30 hrs. - To offer food to the monks


We take a walk about 300 meters from the accommodation to the market, we have seen crowded people who are offering food to the monks.

We have also seen the beautiful monk parade holding alms from Tham Sati temple. Furthermore, we see some ancient houses which were left after the fire hazard occurred at Ratchsadorn Utit intersection in 1966.

The monks walk pass Jub Kung narrow path, then they enter to Chok Chai road nearby the big clock hall. The morning market of Photharam is also in this area.

At 07.00 hrs. - To see the local lifestyle at morning market

The morning market of Photharam starts from 04.30 hrs. to 09.30 hrs.

The fresh food is available at this market, both side of the road are occupied with many shops. This market is crowded with people and motorbikes.

08.30 hrs. - To have a sip of coffee and toast at Kalana Café, the first coffee café in Photharam. It is located in Bon (upper ) market.


The owner of this café is not the local people but he is impressed by Photharam once he travels here. Thus, he decides to execute the coffee café in Photharam.

The café is well decorated with many photos for both inside and outside, it is very beautiful.

The highlight of this café is whip cream, it is made from fresh milk. It goes along very well once we have it with coffee or chocolate.

At 09.30 hrs. - To ride a bicycle around Bon (upper) market and see ancient houses.


We have found that Bon (upper ) market is where the ancient houses were left the most after the fire hazard occurred.
Some of the house was built with concrete for the ground floor but it still maintain wooden floor (upper) which it is the charming point of Photharam.

Even though, the era will be changed but local people still remain their lifestyle.

According to below pictures, do you believe not that the buildings are some scenes in Rising Sun drama, the main actors are Mario and Nadech.

The buildings are modified to be Japanese style. We could not believe that this is Photharam because it really looks like Japan.

The unique selling point of Photharam is the wooden buildings. Most of the tourists do not come this place for spending slow life but they come to see local people lifestyle.

11.00 hrs. - To visit Kru Tavee's theatre, it is the landmark of Bon (upper) market.

This theater is called Vig , it was where local people were gathered together in the former time.

There were wooden benches, they were neatly arranged without indicating any numbers.

But, there were chairs with indicated number on upstairs.

Nowadays, Kru Tavee theater does not open for public because it is now owned by private organization.

I have a chance to meet with one shareholder of this theater, I have asked for his permission to see inside the theater and take the photos.

Once I step in to the film room and projecting room, I can feel that how old this theater is.

Nowadays, the theater is still used but the program will be zigzagged with the theater in Ban Phong, 2 film rolls are used per 1 movie.

The theater at Ban Phong will firstly show the first film roll once it ends then the film roll will be passed to Kru Tavee to show the movie afterwards

The, Ban Phong will continue showing the 2nd film roll till it ends, then the film roll will be passed to Photharam.

Once I walk around and take some photos in the theater, I really feel the local people lifestyle in the former time but I regret that this theater does not open for the public, otherwise there will be many tourists who are interested in seeing this place.

At 12.00 hrs. - To have lunch, check out and buy the souvenir

For lunch, I would like to recommend one restaurant where sells Pork Satay with peanut sauce, it is opposite Kru Tavee's theater, local people have guaranteed that it is delicious.

For the souvenir, I recommend you to buy black tofu, it is the well known product of Photharam. The taste is really good.


At 13.00 hrs.- To see Keng Chin (House with Chinese roof style) and mural at Sai Arirak temple.

This temple is Mon's temple and the southern part of this temple is close to Khlong river. You are able to choose your own preference to come to this temple; riding a bike, taking a walk or driving a car from Photharam market.


Please don't go inside the temple yet because there are the groups of elderly people are playing chess, it is quite interesting.

Some academician have criticized about the Buddha image hall at Sai Arirak temple, it has many special points especially the Laos' architecture, this hall might be built by Laotians. It is assumed that the hall is built before the Buddhist sanctuary. We find the outstanding thing inside the hall which is big Keng Chin (House with Chinese roof style), it is built for covering Buddha's footprint.

Furthermore, there are some photos of Sam Kok (Romance of the three kingdoms), it has well presented the unity of all community who stay in Photharam area.

Apart from Keng Chin, there is also other interesting place which is Buddhist sanctuary, it has mural on all four sides.

The mural are presented in traditional aspect but it is slightly in the western style such as people costume, architecture but the most outstanding point is the upper zone, it is about Buddha.

In the lower zone, the painting is explained about Buddha's biography, this painting is mentioned about Buddha's funeral ceremony, the Buddha's body is in the coffin (Mon's style) it is called Lhung and placed on royal cart. And another part is about the performance in Buddha's funeral ceremony.

Many people have assumed that the artist had seen King Rama V came to Photharam. Hence, they had painted King Rama V on the mural too.

But there is the observing point that the painting line at this temple is different from Kong Ka Ram temple (as mentioned above) because the artists who painted mural in Kong Ka Ram temple, they were royal artists.

On the other hand, the artists who painted mural at Sai Arirak, they were local artists and their painting line is not as sharp as the painting line at Kong Ka Ram temple

At 14.30 hrs.: To go back to Bangkok

At 17.30 hrs.: To reach at Bangkok

Till now, how do you think about our 2 days 1 night in Photharam, it is intensive with various arts; ancient house, mural, Chinese art, Mon art, Laos art and local lifestyle.

I have tried to create 3 easy schedules to Ratchaburi in order to give you some guide line to go there easily.


Schedule 1: To travel in 4 districts, Art community and follow review about Ratchaburi for 3 episodes (2 days 1 night)

The estimated budget is 2300 - 3000 baht per person (the price depends on the accommodation at Suan Phueng).

Schedule 2:To travel 3 districts, Art community. This is very intensive trip for those who would like to come one time but they can go everywhere ( 1 day trip)

The estimated budget is 600 - 800 baht per person.

Schedule 3: To travel 2 districts, Art community for those who do not have their private cars but would like to have intensive trip ( 2 days 1 night).

The estimated budget is 800 - 1000 baht per person.


Ratchaburi is the art community which has many types of art; pure art, mural art, food art and architecture.


Once you have already noticed about this point, please do not miss to travel in this province. Ratchaburi is one of 12-must visit cities, which should not be missed.

Thank you to all trip joiners, my team and greatly thank to local people in Ratchaburi who have warmly welcomed us, we are so sure to visit Ratchaburi again.


Last but not least, I would like to thank you to Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) who arranges such the great project - THE AMAZING JOURNEY BLOGGING CONTEST 12 must-visit cities. I would also like to thank to NOK AIR and THAIRENT A CAR who are our main sponsors .

TAT has selected 12 teams to go to 12 must - visit cities which are Lampang, Nan, Loei, Buriram, Phetchabun, Trat, Chanthaburi, Samut Songkhram, Ratchaburi, Chumphon, Trang and Nakhon Si Thammarat

My trip is to travel in one part of Ratchaburi province only but there are still various attraction in this art community where are awaiting for you to visit.

Please do not think that there will not be any interesting places to travel because it is close to Bangkok. You may discover the beautiful diamond which is not far from your hand.

You are able to further follow up review of our team at http://www.thethailandbloggernetwork.com/teams/detail/T06

If you have any questions, please feel free to raise your questions through message pantip or facebook http://www.facebook.com/Nejuphoto

Thank you once again for your attention to read our review, please try to ask yourself again that

" Ratchaburi... Have you been through everywhere in this province???"

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