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Petchaburi is situated on the northwestern shores of the Gulf of Thailand and borders Myanmar (Burma) to the west, where the dense jungle peaks of the Tanaosri Range serve as a natural division between Thailand and Myanmar. A very old city, Petchaburi is believed by some historians to have Indian roots for its name, as the Indian influence over a millennia ago was quite strong. Archaeological findings even indicate that the city may date back to the Dvaravati Period, sometime between the 6th and 11th centuries C.E.During both the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya Kingdoms’ eras, Petchaburi was the locale of a strategic royal fort and only a lineage of kings had the rights to rule this historical city. That is why Petchaburi has been called by some scholars as the \"Living Ayutthaya.” The prosperity of the Ayutthaya Kingdom can be seen and appreciated in Petchaburi's wealth of fine old temples, many of which were constructed during that period.In the current Ratanakosin Era, Petchaburi has changed its character to a town of charming beauty, with peaceful seaside resorts and superb natural reserves. Three kings of the Ratanakosin Period, King Rama IV, V, and VI established their rainy season retreats here, each building a palace respectively named Phranakhonkhiri, Phraramrajanivet, Phrarajnivesmarugadayawan. Consequently, Petchaburi is also known as Muang Sam Wang, the city of the three palaces. Petchaburi province is also well known for its splendid historical park, ancient temples, wonderful beaches and caves, as well as a great variety of local foods and fresh seafood. Petchaburi also has a popular resort town, Cha-am, which is the premier beach resort in the province.
With its strategic location at the top of the Malay Peninsula, on the Gulf of Thailand, and protected from Myanmar (Burma) by the Bilauktuang Range, Petchaburi has long been an important region. The area has thus been continuously inhabited for well over 1,000 years and there are many historic buildings, temples, and palaces to attest to its importance. As the location is conveniently located for visitors heading south either by road or rail, Petchaburi is now a major stop for sightseeing along the way to Hua Hin or beach towns in Southern Thailand. In addition to a splendid historical park and many historical temples, Petchaburi features wonderful beaches and caves, as well as a great variety of local food.