Phetchaburi is an old Mon royal city dating back to the 8th Century, making it one of the oldest settlements in Thailand. The Mon are believed to be among the earliest civilised peoples of Indochina. They were the first receivers of Theravada missionaries from Sri Lanka, in contrast to their Khmer contemporaries who were generally hindu.
There are numerous temples in and around the city centre – some date back to the 12th Century. Amidst them you can also find a thriving traditional market that is buzzing with activity from pre-dawn to midday.
You should at some point be able to see a hill to the west – the Phra Nakhon Kiri park. It has three groups of buildings: One is a Royal Palace (the Khao Wang), another is a large white temple or Chedi, and the third is a temple complex reserved for the royal visitors.
King Chulalongkorn decided that the hiltop location of this palace built by his father was inconvenient, so he built another palace – the Ban Puen Palace. This one was built down by the river by German architect Karl Siegfried Dohring in Art Nouveau style. This palace now serves as a museum run by the Royal Thai Army.
Yet, its very much a working city of an agricultural province. Not many tourists stop – there isn’t much by way of infrastructure to support them anyhow.