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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Thailand series at ThaiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential cultural information about Thailand, Thai Culture and Thai People. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 4 - Phetchaburi Province
Phetchaburi, locally known by Thais as เพชรบุรี (Muang Phetch), is located 160 kilometers south of Bangkok. It’s in the central region, on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand.
Phetchaburi, among other small towns, has yet to be discovered by many foreign tourists. It’s an old, royal city, and its name is actually recorded in inscriptions on the No. 1 Sukhothai stone, or ศิลาจารึก. This stone was carved in the 1400s, and around the stone, you can find several archeological sites dating back to the Khmer and the Dvaravati Period.
In the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya eras, Phetchaburi was a royal fortress of great strategic importance in the west. This was due to its ample sources of food and strategic location, defensable against both inland and sea attacks.
In the Rattanakosin Era, Phetchaburi changed its image from a military fortress to a town of charming beauty, with peaceful seasides and superb natural reserves. Three kings of the Rattanakosin Period, or สามกษัตริย์แห่งรัตนโกสินทร์, established their retreats here, each building their own palace. Thus, Phetchaburi is also known as เมืองสามวัง (Muang Sam Wang) which means "the City of the Three Palaces.”
Most people know Phetchaburi for Cha-am Beach or in Thai, หาดชะอำ. However, for those in want of a more historically enriching experience, and who also are looking to save time and money, a visit to one of the archeological sites in town is the way to go. One interesting location is วัดใหญ่สุวรรณาราม (Wat Yai Suwannaram), which has a large shrine hall decorated with three hundred-year-old mural paintings of mythical angels. The western door of the hall has a long crack, which, according to historical accounts, was created by Burmese troops who once tried to invade Phetchaburi.
Another place to consider visiting is called พระนครคีรี (Phra Nakhon Khiri), which means "Palace Hill.” A well-known landmark of Phetchaburi, it was the first palace built atop Samon Hill under the royal command of King Rama IV in 1860. This palace was constructed using a combination of Thai and Chinese architectural styles.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What would you want to do if you were in Phetchaburi?
Leave a comment telling us at ThaiPod101.com! Until next time!