While in Bangkok, I was trying to find short trips from Bangkok that would be worth it and easy to access by train, so I found this place named Ratchaburi. It doesn’t seem like a place where many people go, even less the foreigners. Still, there was a direct train from Bangkok to Ratchaburi at a low price, so I decided to give this place a chance as I have seen one cute lake to visit in the city.
The train from Bangkok to Ratchaburi takes about 3 h and the train station was not actually far from the place where I would sleep. There are no hostels in Ratchaburi.
Basically, I came here because the place was easy to access and cheap. If it is worth a visit for a traveler, maybe not, but for someone living in Bangkok and willing to go for a weekend trip, I think this is a very good option. Ratchaburi doesn’t have much to see and it’s clear by its tourist offer. To visit things around I had to rent a motorbike and there was only one place to do so, and about 20 min walk away from my hotel. This fact reveals much. Anyway, the idea was to explore a quiet place on my own, on a motorbike, so I did.
Mountain Snake Stone Park
The main attraction that caught my attention in Ratchaburi was the Mountain Snake Stone park or Hin Khao Ngu Park which seems to have some gorgeous views. I was hoping for some mountain hiking and the place looks surrounded by mountains. Well, this is definitely not the place for a hike and that was kind of disappointing… The place is pretty, but I was expecting something bigger where I could spend some hours walking. But, the place can be visited in a short time.
There is a lake surrounded by limestone cliffs and a few paddling boats that I didn’t rent because of being by myself. Seems like a fun activity to do with someone else. Therefore, the time spent here was short but the place is charming. There were a lot of monkeys nearby and when I got back to my motorbike I found one chewing on the motorbike’s mirror. So be careful, I think they would have stolen everything in case I have left something out which wasn’t the case, fortunately…
Fa Tho Cave
Because I was expecting to spend more time at Mountain Sanke Park, I needed to find other possible attractions nearby to occupy my day. The next spot where I headed was Fa Tho cave, a tiny little cave up on a cliff that is not impressive at all. But I got a cute view from the stairs anyway. Again, the monkeys were everywhere and they were a bit aggressive, chasing after the motorbike. I have also been to Wat Rat Singkhon, but nothing special to see. All those places were near each other and I was stopping as I saw them from the road.
Without many options nearby, I decided to visit Chomphon cave.
Besides being quite a ride from Fa Tho Cave, I still had a lot of time this day, so I decided to go all the way to Chomphon cave which is about 25km away and a 30 minutes ride. On my way there I was riding through a pretty big street which made the trip easy but not so pleasant cause of the traffic… I was already tired of riding when I saw a direction to another cave when I was already near Chomphon cave. I decided to make a stop and visit it.
Khao Bin Cave
Gladly I decided to stop and visit Khao Bin cave because when I arrived at Chomphon cave, I found the spot closed already. That was a huge disappointment! If I haven’t visited Khao Bin, this long journey would have been completely useless.
Khao Bin Cave has an entrance fee of 20bh and is definitely worth it. The cave is really big with wonderful cave formations so I took quite a while to visit it while admiring it. There were not many visitors here, not sure if because of Covid… Anyway, I was glad that I visited.
Wat Nong Hoi Park
On my quest to find more things to do with my day in Ratchaburi, I found this place that seems to have a huge Buddha statue and seems to have some nice views. My next destination was chosen. It was also quite a ride from Khao Bin Cave but this time I was riding among green rice fields and farming crops, which made the ride really pleasant and worth my time. Loved to ride here. It was so quiet!!
I could see the huge statue in the distance, but I made a mistake… On google maps, you can see images of this statue in two different spots: Phra Wihan and Wat Nong Hoi Park. That confused me…
There are two different hills in this area. One where the statue stands and another one on the opposite side where there is a temple and a monastery. I made the wrong decision to head to Wat Nong Hoi Park marked on the maps. But the statue is not here! The statue is on the opposite side. You should follow the way to Wat Nong Hoi.
As I didn’t know about this, I headed to Wat Nong Hoi Park only to find no statue haha. But there is a temple up on the hill that actually offers really good views of the surrounding green landscape filled with rice fields. The place has many visitors and monkeys too. From here, on the highest spot, I finally saw the big Buddha statue on the other side. I thought it would be a good spot to watch the sunset, so after exploring Wat Nong Hoi Park and admiring its views, I headed to the statue.
Phra Wihan or Wat Nong Hoi
So, this is the spot where the huge statue is and can be visited. But, one very important thing that I had no idea about was that this place closes at 5 pm. And guess what. I arrived at 4:55 pm only to find the place being closed in front of my eyes!! That was frustrating. The woman didn’t allow me in and I couldn’t see the reason why I headed this far. What comforted me was the fact that I wouldn’t be able to see the sunset from there anyway, so I just missed seeing the mighty statue closer. I’m sure the views would be similar to the ones on the opposite hill, so I had to suck this one up and let go of my plan for sunset. Took me a few minutes to finally let it go haha Because I had no better option for a place to watch the sunset.
Being 5 pm, I still had time, so before heading downtown I visited one more temple. This was the last place I visited on my day in Ratchaburi. An old temple in a very quiet place where nothing is going on. There was absolutely no one there. The temple is not impressive at all so don’t waste your time going there.
I ended up going back to the riverside in Ratchaburi where there is a really cool night market during the weekends so I could enjoy the local gastronomy and then sit by the river and watch the sunset. It ended up being a good option cause the golden light was brightening the buildings along the river banks which was a beautiful view after all. Sitting by the river might be a good sunset option in Ratchaburi. The night market is happening on the street along the river and close to the bridge where the train that comes from Bangkok crosses. A beautiful bridge actually.
The next day I visited the most famous floating market in Thailand which is actually not so far from Ratchaburi.