Ratchaburi Province, Central Thailand
Gable decoration at Wat Muang, Ratchaburi.
Ratchaburi is probably one of the less visited provinces in Central Thailand. However, it can be easily accessed from Bangkok. The province is located to the West of Nakhon Pathom, so you can combine an outing to Ratchaburi with a visit of the Pathom Chedi and the National Museum in Nakhon Pathom.
There is an interesting display of Buddha images for each day of the week at Wat Khanon, Ratchaburi.
Ratchaburi has at least three temple compounds that are very much worth a visit. Wat Muang in Ban Pong district has a museum that narrates the history and importance of the Mon people in Thailand. The Mon nowadays are very well integrated in Thai society, with some communities still retaining their own distinct culture. The museum at Wat Muang is colorful and modern looking, and will give you insights into the relevance of the Mon people, who played an important part in South-East Asian history, but did not retain a state of their own.
At bit in disrepair, but still very colorful temple compound of Wat Khanon, Ratchaburi.
Wat Khanon in Photharam district is the center for the Nang Yai Shadow Puppet Drama (see below for link). Wat Khonon houses the only remaining important Puppet Theatre for this historical form of Thai entertainment. The Nang Yai Exhibition Hall offers an attractive display of Nang Yai Puppets.
The living quarters of the monks at Wat Khongkharam, made of wood, and persisting after more than 200 years!
Wat Khongkharam in Photharam district is an attractive large temple compound. The wooden construction of the monks' living quarters must be one of the best preserved in the whole of Thailand. The Ubosoth has a very interesting display of Thai mural temple paintings (see below).
Wat Khongkharam houses an amazing display of mural paintings.