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Ratchaburi

Three hours from Bangkok by train, Ratchaburi is in some ways a typical central Thai regional centre. Surrounded by lush green rice fields, it sits on a bend on a sleepy river, bissected by the rail line on which rusty old trains rattle to and from Bangkok several times a day. 130 more words

The bats

Ratchaburi’s most compelling attraction, although still surprisingly little known outside the city, is its astonishing batcave. In one of the karst outcrops that erupt suddenly from the fields a short drive outside the city, six million bats nest in a cave system, emerging each night in a continuous stream for some forty minutes, wave after wave forming intricate rippling patterns as they emerge into the sky. 40 more words

CLOSED: The Human Bakery

Sadly one of Ratchaburi’s quirkiest attractions is no more…

The market

Ratchaburi’s marketplace, on the banks of the river, is humming at night with food vendors and all kinds of things I had rarely seen before; there were dyed eggs, stuffed pumpkins, different kinds of sausages and buckets of live frogs – and to my surprise, when I looked up from my (delicious) meal, a baby elephant at my shoulder, being led around by a beggar asking for tips. 31 more words

Ratchaburi: new art city

Ratchaburi has a surprising arty side. Last year it was home to an ambitious and imaginative arts festival in which top street artists came to paint murals over some of the buildings and the concrete riverside docks. 185 more words