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.