Ratchaburi (ราชบุรี) is the Capital City of the Province by this name in Western Thailand.
Ratchaburi is the land of the Mae Klong Basin civilization with the foggy Tanao Si Mountains. It is one province in the west of central Thailand which is full of various geographical features; for example, the low-lying land along the fertile Mae Klong Basin, fields, and Tanao Si Mountains which lie in to east stretching to meet the Thailand-Myanmar border.
From legend and historical evidence, it is assumed that Ratchaburi used to be one of the civilized kingdoms of Suvarnabhumi in the past, from the reign of the Great King Asoka of India, who announced the Lord Buddha's teachings through this land around 325 B.C. The central town of ruling power of Suvarnabhumi was Nakhon Pathom which was called "Dvaravati" at that time. In addition, Ratchaburi was also the meeting point of ancient tradesmen and the gateway to Burma. Therefore, Ratchaburi is one of the most crowded cities with different races. Nowadays, Ratchaburi is full of many interesting things; history, ruins, ways of life, culture, hand-crafted and moulded works, basketry, tides and mountains, and beautiful nature waiting for us to visit.
Ratchaburi province has an area of 5,196 square kilometres.
In the eastern part of the Province is the Damnoen Saduak Market, much favoured by tourists. Minibuses from Bangkok "do the rounds" as there is more than one of these markets.
In the north of the Province is Amphoe (district) Ban Pong, where the Death Railway of World War Two began construction. This started about 5Km from Ban Pong town at Nong Pladuk. The town itself is detailed in a separate article named Ban pong.
The Transport Company Ltd., provides buses from the Southern Bus Terminal to Ratchaburi everyday. The first-class and second-class air-conditioned buses depart many times a day, taking about 2 hours to get to the province. For more details, please contact the Ticket Room at Tel. 0 2894 6122 or www.transport.co.th., or contact Ratchaburi Group 76 (Ratchaburi) Company Limited at Tel. 0 3233 8439, 03232 2776, 0 3232 5152, 0 3233 8276. For first-class air-conditioned buses (Ratchaburi), please call Tel. 0 3233 7787. Buses depart every 20 minutes. (The first trip from Bangkok leaves at 06.00 a.m. and the last trip leaves at 11.00 p.m.) (The first trip from Ratchaburi leaves at 4.00 a.m. and last trip leaves at 09.00 p.m.)
In addition, buses from Ratchaburi Bus Station to other neighbouring provinces, such as Nakhon Pathom, Kanchanaburi, Samut Songkhram and Phetchaburi, are available.
A non aircon bus from the neighbouring province of Samut Songkhram, taken from the in town bus station there, will cost 45 baht and take 1.5 hours. It drops you off at the in town Tesco Lotus.
A minibus from Samut Sakhon will cost you B100 and stops at the intown market. You can ask to get out earlier as it comes along the road towards the clocktower (to the right of which is the railway station), and the in town bus station a few hundred metres further along on the left.
The State Railway of Thailand provides trains leaving Bangkok Railway Station Hua Lamphong and Thon Buri Railway Station (Bangkok Noi) everyday, which takes about 2 hours. For further details, please contact the Travelling Service Unit, Bangkok Railway Station at Tel. 1690, 0 2220 4334, 0 2220 4444 or call Thon Buri Railway Station at Tel. 0 2411 3102 and Ratchaburi Railway Station at Tel. 0 3233 7002 or www.railway.co.th.
Note that there are two railway stations here, one near the city centre, and one to the north on the way to the ring road.
This is quite a large and well spread out city, so walking is not much of an option.
Most travellers who visit Rachaburi get around by private vehicle.
There are tuktuks and motorcycle taxis here. Agree on the fare before you board.
The in town bus station for local buses is next to the Tesco Lotus in the middle of town. This is on Khathatorn Rd (ถนนคฑาธร). The clocktower is to the right as you look out from here,about a kilometre distant.
The main bus terminal is on the ring road well outside town, to the west of the city centre.
There is also a regular bus to Bangkok leaving from next door to the Numsin Hotel (see below)
There is a railway station, where trains from BKK head south.There are actually two train stations here, one near the city centre, and one to the north, about half way to the ring road.
If you are walking - from the intown bus stop, and facing away from the Tesco Lotus - go left to the traffic lights and turn right into Kraipetch Road (ถนนไกรเพชร). Another road along is another set of traffic lights, and on your right is a 711 nearby. There are street eats here with tables in the evening. Walk further along Kraipetch Rd and you will come to the minibus stop which provides regular minibuses to Bangkok and Phetchaburi, then there is the Araya Hotel on your right, which looks about backpacker standard from the outside, and then a little further is the Numsin Hotel on your left, next to where go the buses to BKK. At the end of the road a couple of hundred metres further you will see the railway line. The road which runs along this is Rotfai Road (ถนนรทไฟ), which means "railway" in Thai.
In the street parallel to Kraipetch Rd (to the left) is the main shopping strip, this is Ammarin Road(ถนนอัมรินทร์). The night market is in this road. In the street next removed from this one is the river road Woradet Road (ถนนวรเดช).
Although travelling by train is most economical, it is quite slow. However, it makes sense if you continue by train from Bangkok as you avoid switching from the metro and/or taxi, arriving directly at the train station. It takes as much as 3.5 hours, but the bus takes between 1.5 and 2.5 hours and you have to add one hour to get to the station.
Trains run through Ratchaburi in both directions multiple times every day, but you'll need to make sure the window of availability matches the direction you're headed. For example, as of May 2015:
. Trains running North back to Bangkok pass through from 02:44 (AM) to about 08:13 (AM) with only two afternoon trains, one at 16:00 and another at 17:41, the latter of which is smaller and often packed to the gills with people making the last train back from Hua Hin and the surrounds. If you don't catch the 17:41 train, you've got to wait until 02:44 (AM) or find another way out (bus or minivan).
. Trains running South, to Hua Hin (and often beyond), pass through every hour or so all day and night from 09:46 (AM) until 21:50, with one late night train that passes through at 00:52 (AM).
Note that trains are notoriously late (usually by one or more hours), especially passing through headed North back to Bangkok, but often enough headed South as well. As you walk through the ticket office waiting area onto the platform, turn right headed toward the blue switching box and walk until you see a large whiteboard on the right next to the station master's office door. The delayed arrival times are listed here and kept pretty up to date - you can always ask at the ticket window (or download the confusing, but accurate SRT Android app).
Minibuses/Vans to Bangkok and Petchaburi can be taken at regular intervals about 200 metres back towards the in-town bus station from the Numsin Hotel on Kraipetch road, on the other side of the road.
To Phetchaburi is 40 baht.
. Hua Hin There is a minibus departing half hourly from Rotfai Road, near the intersection with Kraipetch Road (to the left as you leave the latter). There is an overhead bridge, so walk over this, and go to the stop opposite the 711 about 100 metres further. Costs B140 and stops at the Hua Hin Clocktower.
. Bangkok You can go there either by bus or minibus. The minibus leaves from Kraipetch Road, some 200 metres to the right on the other side of the road from the Numsin Hotel and costs B80.
An aircon bus goes from Kraipetch Road to the immediate left of the Numsin Hotel and goes to the Southern Bus terminal.
This is covered under a separate article by this name. It is in the east of the province in the Amphoe (District) next to the City one.
The focus point of Rachaburi is pottery.
Along the main road where the in town buses stop are several restaurants.