The Emblem of Ratchaburi

Introduction
     The  City of the king, or Ratchaburi. A city you ought to make a  sidetrip  to  Before  moving on. You might be familiar with the crest  of  the  scaled  dragon on the excellent earthenware jars. Or  you  might have called in and experienced the way of life of the  residents  of Damnoen Saduak as they paddle their boats and   go   about   their  business  on  the  Floating  Markets.  But believe  it  or  not,  the  city  which is so close to Bangkok hides many  charms  and  much  beauty.  We challenge you to pay a visit and not be impressed

     "Ratchaburi  A  cultural  land  in  the basin of the Mae klong River, with the gentle mist and cooling breeze of the Tanawsri Mountains."

Boundary
North
South
East
West
Connects with Kanchanaburi Provinces.
Connects with Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram and Nakhon Pathom Provinces.
Connects with Suphan Buri Provinces.
Connects with Myanmar.

Kanchanaburi  Province  is divided in to 8 Amphoes. The distances from Amphoe Muang to other Amphoes are as follow :
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Wat Phleng
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Pak Tho
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Ban Pha
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Photharam
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Jombung
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Banpong
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Damnoen Saduak
Amphoe Muang - Amphoe Suan Phung
15 kms.
22 kms.
22 kms.
26 kms.
30 kms.
42 kms.
50 kms.
60 kms.
 
History
The Lineage of Thais in Ratchaburi Province
     "Phahuchartiphun" society, or the various cultures, is one of the most interesting aspects of like in  Ratchburi.  Although their cultural lifestyles have been changed by time and generations, many groups  still  preserve  their own ways of like that can be used as a model for the new generations to study.
     These  many  races,  despite  their  different  beliefs  and  lifestyles,  are  able to live together in peace and harmony, making Ratchaburi a colourful place to live and visit.

Thai Song Dam or Lao Song

     The  original  Thai  Song  Dam  lived  in Dien Bien Foo, but the group which moved to Thailand come from Lao during the Napburi period.
     At  first , they  could  be found mostly in Khao Yoi, Petchburi, but during the reign of King Rama 4 they began to move on to Ban Don Klang in Ratchaburi too.
     The  Lao  Sorng  have  kept  their  traditions , rites  and  ceremonies  intact.  Even their food and clothing  has  managed  to  stand  the  test  of  time. As their name "Dam" or "black" indicates, the tribe  like  to  dress  in  mostly  black attire. The men wearing "Suang Kom", while the ladies prefer patterned brocades, with their hair usually swept up and pinned on top of their heads.
     The  various  Lao  Sorng  ceremonies  are  certainly worth watching if you have the opportunity. Nowadays, most Ratchaburi Lao Sorng can be found around Ban Don Klang, Amphoe Damnoen Saduak , Don Khq , Amphoe Ban Phae, Amphoe Chom Bung and Amphoe Pak Tho.

Thai Tanawasri or Karen
     This  is  a  hill  tribe  of  mixed race, originating from Tibet and Myanmar. They now live near the Thai/Myanmar border and are the biggest hill tribe in Thailand.
     When they first arrived in this country, Thai Tanawasri lived in Nong Krarien, Tambon Rangbua and  Amphoe  Suwan  Pueng,  but  after  experiencing  drought conditions in this area they moved onto the banks of the Pha Chi tributaries.
     Thai   Tanawasri   have   continued  their  unusual  annual  tradition  of  making  and  eating  rice wrapped  in  leaves.  This  festival  can be observed every year during the 9th lunar month , which usually falls in August, and is known as the "Suwan Pueng Thai Tanasri."
     The hill tribe have a special costume which is worn only on important ceremonial occasions.

Thai Tae Ban Phohak
     It  is  often  said  tha t the Thai Tae Ban Phohok are really Thais. They have a distinctive abrupt style of speech and vocabulary , Often using old colloquialisms.
     One  of  the tribes interesting traditions is called "Khanara" which is a tradition about love. They also  popularly  like  to  build  clusters  of  Thai-style houses in the beautiful green and fertile fileds and  meadows  along  the  banks of the Phohak. This was the area that inspired, and was chosen for, the classic Thai film "Plae Kao", which was produced by Churd Songsri and starred two of the great Thai actors and adtresses ; Kwan as the hero and Riem as the heroine.

The Lineage of Thai Mon (or Peguan)
     
The  forefathers  of the Mon tribe moved to Ratchaburi during the first Rattanakosin period and lived beside the Mae Klong River in Amphoe Ban Pong and Amphoe Photharam. Even now ,they continue  to  follow  their  old  tradition  of  paying respect to the household spirits, and the spirits of their  ancestors.  They are also very serious about their Buddhist religion, believing that they were the first race to bring Buddhism from India.
     The  Mon's  most  important ceremony is called "Songkran Cho Mon" or "Mon New Year", and is  usually  held  about  one  week  after Thai Songkran. They have many interesting games, most notably "Mon Saba" which is a pitch-and-toss game. "Song Phikala" nad "Phrikadong"
     On  the  final  day  of  Buddhist  Lent, the Thai Mon always go to the various temples situated on the  banks  of  the  Mae  Klong  River ,  where  they  listen  to  sermons on the story of the last great incarnation of the Lord Buddha, a story which consists of many episodes.

The Linage of Thai Laowieng or Laoti

     The  reason  for  calling  this  tribe  "Laoti" is because of their custom of saying "ti" at the end of most  words.  They first came from Vientianne and settled in Ratchaburi more than 200 years ago. They  reside  on  the  banks  of  the  Mae Klong River atSroi Fa Temple and Papai Temple. They can  also  be  found  within  the boundaries of Amphoe Chom Bung, and in Ban Nasamor and Ban Sungnem.   Many   of   their   unique   customs  have  disappeared  now ,  even  the  merit - making ceremonies  such  as  the  "Sart  Lao " festival ,  the  "Khao  Pradap  Din" festival of the tenth lunar month,  the "Khao Ji" festival of the third lunar month and the "Prawet" festival of the eleventh lunar month are no longer observed.

Thai Yuan

     This   is   the   name   that   the   people   used   to   call   themselves   during   the  Lanna  period. Documented   evidence   shows   that the  Yuan  were  moved  to  Ratchaburi  during  the  reign  of King  Rama  I,  when the King gave the order to attack Muang Chiang Saen to protect the mselves from Myanmar.
     Most Yuan can be found in Koo Bua, Ang Thong, Don Rae and Chedihak. They are skilled cart makers and skirt weavers.
     Unfortunately,  very  few  of  their  traditions  have withstood the test of time, except for an annual ceremony  held  before  the  start  of  Buddhist  Lent.  For this ceremony, the older generation, who have  stong  Buddhist beliefs, don traditional clothing to pay respect to and feed the spirits of their ancestors.

The Lineage of Thai Khmen Lao Derm

     Thai  khmen  Lao  Derm,  or  Thai  Cambodian  Laos,  settled here during the thonburi period of Thai  history.  Originally,  they  lived  in  Laos  but were forced to move to Cambodia, before being brought  to Ratchaburi by the Thai army. They live along the banks of the Mae Klong River at Ban Pong Sawai and Ban Kung Nam Wan.
     Just  one  of  the  Thai  Khmen  Lao  Derm's  traditions  remains,  which is the order generation's belief  that  they  must  go  and  inform  the  spirits in native Cambodian language of any upcoming auspicious occasions

The Lineage of Thai Jin
     
Thai  Jin,  of  Thai  Chinese,  were  the  biggest  minority  group  to come to Thailand during the reign  of  King  Rama V.Many can still be found living in Amphoe Ban Pong and around the canals of Damnoen Saduak and Ban Nok Kwak.
     The  Thai  Chinese  who  follow  Buddhism, annually have a tradition of taking Buddhist images out  in  boats  for  a trip along the rivers around Prasart Sit Temple. Unfortunately, it is difficult to be precise about the exact dates of this important and spectacular ceremony.
      The  other  group of Thai Chinese who follow Christianity have built many beautiful churches all over Ratchaburi.

How to get there
By Bus
     You  have  a  choice  of  using  first -class air-conditioned bus, or regular bus. Buses leave from Sai  Tai Southern Bus Terminal from 6.00 am to 11.00 pm daily. More information can be obtained by  calling  435-1199  for  air - conditioned  buses, or 434-5557-8 for regular buses. The fare will be between  30 - 45 bath. In addition to this, air- conditioned buses run to Damnoen Saduak from 5.30 am - 9.00 pm daily.

By Car

     Just  101  kilometres  from  Bangkok  along  the  Petchkasem  Road (Highway 4). Pass the Ong Phra  Pathom  Pagoda,  and  continue  until  you  reach  Amphoe  Ban  Phae,  the  gateway  to  the Floating  Market.  It  should  take about one hour. Or if you want to experience the natural beauty of the  early  morning,  and want to watch the sunrise, take the Thonburi-Pak Tho Road (Highway 35) .Along  this  route you can enjoy the splendour of a new dawn, and the rays of golden sunshine on the   horizon!   Beside   the  road  are  the  white  salt  hills  and  the  windmills  of  Samut  Songkram Province  which  you  will  see  before  you turn right at Wang Manao junction to Amphoe Pak Tho. Altogether, a distance of about 109 kilometres.

By Train
     Trains  operate  from  both thonburi and Hua Lampong Terminals, departing between 7.20 am - 9.55  pm,  and  returning  between  2.55  am - 2.10  pm daily. Besides halting at Ratchaburi Station, some  trains also stop at Nong Pla Duk, Ban Pong, Pho Tharam, and Pak Tho Stations. For more information in Bangkok call (02) 225-0300-9 or in Ratchaburi call (032) 337002.

NOTE :  To  prevent  mistakes  and  misunderstanding,  it  us  recommended  that  you check the time, destrination and the fare before travelling