Originally an estuarial port at the mouth of the Klong River, Ratchaburi is now 19 miles (30 km) from the ocean. During the Ayutthaya period the town was sacked twice, in 1765 and 1767, by invading Burmese armies en route to besiege the capital city of Ayutthaya.
Nowadays, Ratchaburi makes a pleasant place to stop on the way to Kanchanaburi and the Western Seaboard. Some visitors stay overnight if visiting Damnoen Saduak Floating Market the next morning.
The town has few sights, but Wat Mahathat is worth a visit. Its prang, allegedly modeled on the main prang at Angkor Wat, dates from the 15th century, although the temple complex may have been founded as early as the 8th or 9th century. Inside the prang are traces of murals from the 15th century, and partially restored stucco work.
Artifacts in the Ratchaburi National Museum include archaeological finds such as fine Khmer sculptures and stucco decorations excavated from Muang Khu Bua, a Dvaravati site south of Ratchaburi.
The caves of Khao Ngu, 4 miles (6 km) northwest of Ratchaburi on Highway 3087, contain some early Dvaravati art. The splendid reliefs of Buddha images found in Tham Rusi and Tham Fa Tho are probably of greatest interest. Aggressive macaques gather in the area around the caves.