The neoclassical King Mongkut Palace is the main draw of Phetchaburi, Thailand, and now inhabited by gangs of well-fed monkeys. You can buy bananas to feed to them, but they'll help themselves to any food items on your person. Other times, monkeys find cameras and sunglasses interesting; a walking stick can be useful deterrent. Pay particular attention to the colonnaded arcades and the splendid view of the valley and town. The region, about 100 mi/160 km south of Bangkok, is full of limestone caves with Buddhist shrines, including the fascinating Khao Luang, whose statues are lit by sunlight that filters through a hole in the cave's ceiling.

There are also three reasonably good beaches within 20 minutes of town by bus that are popular with locals on weekends.

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