Hua Hin and Phetchaburi temples
Hua Hin temples
There are several temples in and around Hua Hin, the main being Wat Ampharam in the center of Hua Hin town. This large complex is home to the many monks that can be seen collecting alms in the early morning.
The temple at Bor Fai (Wat Bor Fai) has some impressive ponds teeming with catfish which you can feed after a small donation to the monks, it's located about 5km north of Hua Hin (turn left after the PTT station opposite Anantara Resort).
There are also the the temples at Khao Takiab and one to the west of Hua Hin (Wat Khao Krailas) with some impressive Buddha statues.
Wat Kamphaeng Lang
This temple, situated in the town, was originally a Khmer place of worship. It was later turned into a Buddhist temple and a shrine hall was constructed. However, the outlook of the place has not much changed due to the existence of sandstone walls and four Khmer style pagodas.
Wat Yai Suwannaram
This is important temple in the town, situated 1 km. east of the city hall. The main shrine hall has no windows. It contains 300-year-old mural paintings of mythical angels.
The multi-purpose hall, once located in Ayutthaya’s Grand Palace, was entirely built of teak wood and decorated with fine carving work especially at the door panels. The hall also houses a preaching throne with intricate wood carvings and gold gilt works of Bangkok design
Wat Khao Bandai It
This is a small hill having a height of 121 meters at he peak. It is located two kilometers from Khao Wang. On the hill there is a very old monastery called Wat Khao Bandai It, and built in the Ayutthaya era. It is a famous school for meditation practice where King Sua of the late Ayutthaya era used to apply himself a student of the Lord Abbot Saeng. Besides Wat Khao Bandai It, there are several caves, which are huge in size and are located underneath the hill.
Wat Mahathat Worawihan
This is a very old monastery of Changwat Phetchaburi and there are clearly divided areas, i.e., the Phetchaburi or the temple area and the Sangkhawat or the monk's living quarters, inside the monastery. The interesting construction of the monastery is the five-topped prang which was constructed in accordance with Mahayana concept as an offering to the five Thayani Buddhas. There is a replica of each on each top of the prang. It is presumed that this five-topped prang should have originally been a five-topped pagoda as same in Changwat Nakhon Si Thammarat and was then transformed into a five-topped prang later.
Wats at Khao Wang
This hill originally called Khao Samana or Khao Khiri, is located in the vicinity of Amphoe Muang Phetchaburi. The peak is 92 meters high. King Mongkut, Rama IV of the present dynasty, saw this hill and was so fond of the location that he gave an order to Phraya Phet Nisai Sisawat, Chief Administrative Officer of Muang Phetchaburi , to carry out the construction of a palace which he could use during his picnic trip. The construction was completed in the year 1860. It was named by the royal command, Phra Nakhon Khiri, But folks of Phetchaburi commonly call it Khao Wang (Palace Hill) until now.
Phra Nakhon Khiri comprises royal halls, palaces, wats, and groups of buildings. The complex which was constructed mostly of harmonious Western neoclassic and Chinese architecture tops the following 3 large mountains : Eastern mountaintop, location of a hillside temple called Wat Maha Samanaram within the rite hall of which there are mural paintings by Khrua In Khong, a renowned painter in Thai history.<br>
The wat dates back to Ayutthaya period. Another temple, Wat Phra Kaew, tops the mountain as royal temple of Phra Nakhon Khiri, a resemblance to Wat Phra Si Rattana Maha Satsadaram (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha) which stands as royal temple of the Grand Palace, Bangkok.
Middle mountaintop, location of a 40 meters high chedi called Phra That Chom Phet inside of which the Buddha's relic had been placed. From here, a wide view of buildings on another 2 nearby mountaintops as well as Phetchaburi's provincial city can be seen.
Wat Khao Takhrao
This monastery is located at Tambon Bang Khrok, Amphoe Ban Laem and is accessible by two routes, i.e., through a 15 kilometer left hand branching road not far from Phetchaburi township (coming from Bangkok) where one can recognize a clear sign board, and another route is going from Phetchaburi township to Ban Laem Where one has to continue the journey for another six kilometer distance.
This monastery houses a sitting Buddha images in the subding evil attitude having a height of 29 inches and a lap width of 21 inches it is called Luang Phao Khao Takhrao. There are a huge number of villagers and visitors who make a trip to pay homage and affix to the image, as an offering, gold leaf thus currently causing non clear vision of the original image's characteristics. There is a legend saying that this luang pho is one of the three brother Buddha images and the other two are : Luang Pho Sothon of Changwat Chachoengsao and Luang Pho Wat Ban Laem of Changwat Samut Songkhram. Some other legends say this image is one of the five-brother images, i.e., to include Luang Pho Bang Phli Yai and Luang Pho Wat Rai Khing of Changwat Nakhon Pathom to the above three images.
However, the source of origin of this Buddha image is that during the fall of the Ayutthaya era, the villagers of Ban Laem migrated from Phetchaburi to the mouth of the Mae Klong River (the present Samut Songkhram folks descend from those people) just to be away from the Burmese troop marching route. One day a fisherman found two Buddha images through his usual trawling, in the bay area. One image is a standing buddha in the attitude of carrying an alms bowl, and another is a sitting Buddha in the attitude of subduing evil. Ban Laem folks enchrined the standing Buddha at Wat Ban Laem which is now Wat Phetch Samut Wiham in the heart of Samut Songkhram township while the rest was give to relative at Bang Tabun to be enshrined at Wat Khao Takhrao of Amphoe an Laem, Changwat Phetchaburi.
A temple at Tambon Bang Khem with a teak bot (a rite hall). Its outer surface of the walls is carved into scenes depicting the Ten Incarnations of the Buddha and the door panels in to openwork of inter twined sprays patterns, all with masterly craftsmanship.