A small province at the eastern-most frontier bordering on Cambodia with the Khao Banthat mountain range forming a natural demarcation, Trat is a resort town with over fifty large and small off-shore islands, long white sandy beaches and unspoiled coral ranges. It is also a major fruit-growing and fishing area. Trat is bout 315 kilometres from Bangkok and covers an area of 2,819 square kilometres.
The Ko Chang Islands National Park covers the Chang island and other smaller isles within Trat territorial waters. All these lovely places have abundant and thriving coral reefs and underwater marine environment.
Ko Chang the largest among the 52 islands of Trat, is also the nation's second largest island, after Phuket. Covering an area of 429 sq. kms, it features fine beaches, coral reefs, and plentiful marine life. It is also rich in natural resources, teeming with hills, forests, waterfalls and streams, the latter being an important source of freshwater. Dotting the island are many fruit orchards.
Most of the scenic beaches and bays are located on the western side, extending from the north to the south. They include Ao Khlong Son , Hat Sai Khao , Hat Khlong Phrao and Hat Kai Bae . A road cuts through the western shore almost all the way to Hat Kai Bae. From here, a nature trail through Ao Bai Lan and Ao Kruat meanders through wet forestland to Ban Bang Bao , a fishing community located at the foot of the hill in the south.
To the east are Ao Sapparot , where a ferry landing is situated, and Ao Salak Khok. Along the eastern shoreline is a road that cuts through to Ao Salak Phe , a community and a boat pier in the south of the island. However, care should be exercised while driving for the roads on Ko Chang are unpaved, with steep hills in some sections. The best places for viewing coral reefs are at Ao Khlong Son , near Ko Chang Noi , and around the islands to the south of Ko Chang.
On Ko Chang itself are several accessible waterfalls. The Khlong Phlu waterfall is located 3 kms. from Ao Khlong Phrao and a further 20 minutes walk from the parking lot. The Khlong Nonsi waterfall is a 4-km. walk from the park headquarters, while the Khiriphet and Khlong Nung waterfalls are about 3 kms from Ban Salakphet.
Second in size to Ko Chang, Ko Kut is located at the southernmost point of the Trat territorial waters. A speedboat transports visitors to the island within one hour. The inhabitants grow rubber, coconut and other fruit-yielding plants, while others are fishermen. With scenic beaches shaded by rows of pines and coconut trees mostly located on the western shores, it is also blessed with rich mangroves.
Wat Bupharam On Highway No. 3 (Sukhumvit), just opposite the Trat Hospital, is a turn into Plai Khlong Road which leads two kms to the temple. Built in 1648 during the Ayutthaya era, it features the nation's oldest, wooden Viharn. The architectural style and the remaining wall murals are of early Rattanakosin influence with a mix of Chinese touches. The temple's museum houses scores of valuable ancient relics, particularly the Holy Relic, Buddha statues in different postures and Chinese and European porcelain items. All these indicate that commercial and cultural exchanges occurred in this area in the past.
Wat Yotha Nimit also known as Wat Bot, is located on Thetsaban 4 Road, near the city pillar. With fine murals in its former Ubosot, the temple was once used as the site where government officials pledged allegiance in ceremonies, from the time of King Taksin. Later on, King Rama V moved the ceremony to Wat Phai Lom.
The Ko Chang Yutthanawi Memorial , at Laem Ngop, commemorates the Franco-Thai naval battle on January 17, 1941. Nearby is the Statue of Prince Chumphon, father of the Thai navy, and a warship-shaped museum displaying equipment and armaments from the former fleet and exhibits on the Ko Chang naval battle.
Ko Mak is a large island south of Ko Chang. It is blessed with several beautiful bays and beaches. Nearby are coral reefs in perfect condition. The islanders make their living by growing rubber and coconut trees. The best time to visit is November-late April. There are a number of accommodation facilities. A passenger boat departs Laem Ngop daily at 3.00 p.m. and return from Ko Mak at 7.00 a.m. Traveling time is 3 hours.
Ao Tan Khu is a bay with a fine, sandy beach that is popular with local people during holidays. It is 4 kms off Highway No. 3156 (Ban Saen Tung-Laem Ngop).
Ban Nam Chieo is about 8 kms from town on the Trat-Laem Ngop route. It is noted for Ngop Nam Chieo, a native hat worn as protection against the sun. The hat is woven with palm leafs gathered from the local mangrove area. Being light and comfortable, it is still widely popular. In addition to the traditional shape, it has been adapted into other more fashionable shapes as souvenirs.
On Highway No.3 (Sukhumvit) just opposite the Trat Hospital is a turn into Plai Khlong Road which leads to Wat Bupharam , a distance of two kilometres. Built circa 1648 during the Ayutthaya era, it features the oldest wooden Viharn in the country. The architectural style and the remaining wall murals are of early Rattanakosin influence with a mix of Chinese touches. The temple's museum houses scores of valuable ancient relics, particularly the Holy Relic, Buddha statues in different postures, and Chinese and European porcelain items. All these point to commercial and cultural exchanges carried out between the different parts of the world in the past.
Wat Yotha Nimit , also known as Wat Bot, is located on Thetsaban 4 Road near the city pillar. With fine murals in its former Ubosot, the temple was once used as the site for Oaths of Allegiance ceremonies by government officials, from the time of King Tak Sin. The site was shifted to Wat Phai Lom, by King Rama V.
Located on Lak Muang Road, the City Pillar stands in a Chinese-style building. Erected by King Tak Sin, it is a highly revered edifice for the townspeople
Residanggamport Residence on Lak Muang Road is an old 3-storey building once used as the residence of the French governor when the town was occupied in 1904-1907. Subsequently, it was turned into the residence of Trat governors from 1928.
Along Highway No. 318 (Trat-Khlong Yai) are several white clean beaches including Hat Ban Chun at Km. 59 of Highway No. 318 (Trat-Khlong Yai). There are accommodations available.
The Khao Lan Thai Red Cross Centre on Trat-Khlong Yai Highway at Km. 48 was formerly a facility to assist Cambodian refugees who fled fighting in their country into Thailand, beginning in 1978 until peace returned in 1986. After the refugees were repatriated, the centre closed down. Today, the site has been adapted into a tourist facility. Tel: 0-3952-1621.
Ban Hat Lek is the furthest border village in Trat. It is on Highway No. 318 within Khlong Yai district about 16 kilometres from the district town, or some 89 kilometres from the provincial capital. After the conflict ended in Cambodia, it has become a channel for Thai-Cambodia trading. There is an immigration check point at the border. Visitors wishing to enter Cambodia from here have to apply for a visa at the Cambodian Embassy in advance.
Wat Saen Tum is a Dharma-practising facility amid the cool shade of forest and fruit orchards. To the south of the temple is what is called the Khao To Mo Ancient Site where piles of stone pillars have been discovered. It is believed that they were components of ancient Khmer structures. Also a large number of relics such as pottery and ornaments and beads were found.
Wat Saen Tum can be reached by taking the Saen Tung-Bo Rai route. On arriving at Km. 18.5, take a left turn to head for Ban Tha Lai, Ban Na Makham and Ban Erem where the temple is situated. It is about 38 kilometres from Khao Saming district.
Ban Nam Chieo is about 8 kilometres from town on the Trat-Laem Ngop route. It is noted for Ngop Nam Chieo , a native hat to ward off the sun. The hat is woven with local palm leafs from plants grown in mangrove area. It is still widely used today as it is light and comfortable. In addition to the traditional shape, it has been adapted into other more fashionable shapes as souvenir.
Ao Tan Khu is a bay with a fine sandy beach, popular with local people during holidays. It is 4 kilometres off Highway No 3156 (Ban Saen Tung-Laem Ngop).
The Ko Chang Yutthanawi Memorial , at Laem Ngop, commemorates the Franco-Thai naval engagement on January 17, 1941. There are also the Statue of Prince Chumphon, father of the Thai navy, and a warship-shaped museum displaying old equipment and armaments of the fleet with exhibits on the Ko Chang naval battle.
Ko Chang Islands National Park covers the Chang Island and other smaller isles within Trat territorial waters. These entire sites are lovely and pleasant and some have coral habitat.
Ko Chang , the largest among the 52 islands of Trat, is also the second largest of the country after Phuket. Covering an area of 429 square kilometres, it features fine beaches, coral ranges and plentiful marine life. It is also rich in natural resources such as hills, forests and streams, the latter an important fresh-water source. They also create several beautiful waterfalls. Fruit orchards dot the island.Most of the scenic beaches and bays are on the west-side spreading from the north to the south. They include Ao Khlong Son, Hat Sai Khao, Hat Khlong Phrao and Hat Kai Bae. A road cuts through the western shore all the way almost to Hat Kai Bae. From here is a nature trail through Ao Bai Lan and Ao Kruat meandering through wet forestland to Ban Bang Bao , a fishing community at the foot of the hill in the south.
To the east are Ao Sapparot, where a ferry landing is situated, and Ao Salak Khok . Along the eastern shoreline there is also a road cutting through to Ao Salak Phet, having a community and a boat pier in the south of the island. However, roads on Ko Chang are earthern and some sections go up and down steep hills. Care should be exercised while driving.
Coral reefs worth viewing are at Ao Khlong Son near Ko Chang Noi and around islands south of Ko Chang.
On Ko Chang itself are several waterfalls with reasonable access. They include the Khlong Phlu waterfall, 3 kilometres from Ao Khlong Phrao and a further 20 minutes on foot; Khlong Nonsi waterfall, a 4-kilometre walk from the park headquarter; and Khiriphet and Khlong Nung falls, which are about 3 kilometres from Ban Salakphet.
Getting to Ko Chang
A 5 ½ hours drive by bus from the Eastern Bus Terminal will take visitors to the Trat Bus Terminal (departures between 06.00 a.m. - 12.00 p.m.). From there continue by Song Thaeo transports to Laem Ngop or the ferry landings at Ao Thammachat and Ko Chang Centre Point where services are operated all day. Distance from town to Laem Ngop is 17 kilometres.
Passenger boats usually leave from Laem Ngop to Ao Sapparot on Ko Chang every hour from 8.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. The trip takes 45 minitutes and the fare is 50 baht per person. Visitors can continue to Hat Sai Khao, Hat Khlong Phrao and Hat Kai Bae by local bus, for a charge of 30 baht per person. The schedules and fares are subject to change without notice due to climate condition. For current information, please contact TAT Trat office, Tel: Tel: 0-3959-7255, 0-3959-7259-60 Fax: 0-3959-7255.
Ferries depart either from Ao Thammachat or Ko Chang Center Point Landings between 07.30 - 16.30 hours with a travelling time of 30 minutes. Private vehicles can be loaded onto the ferry. Please note that vehicles used on the island should be the 4-wheel-drive version, as road conditions are bumpy and there are steep slopes to be negotiated. From the landing on Ko Chang are Song Thaeo services to various points. Fares should be settled beforehand.Facilities on Ko Chang include mainly bungalow-type accommodations on most beaches. There are also bicycles and boats for rent.
Several smaller isles south of Ko Chang with scenic beaches coral ranges and accommodations. They include Ko Wai, Ko Lao Ya and Ko Kradat. Noted for both deep-water and shallow-water corals are the Ko Kra group and Ko Rang which are to the west of Ko Mak.
Ko Mak is a large island south of Ko Chang. It is blessed with several beautiful bays and beaches. Nearby are coral reefs still in perfect condition. The islanders make their living by growing rubber and coconut trees. The best time to visit is November-late April. There are a number of accommodation facilities. A passenger boat departs Laem Ngop daily at 3.00 p.m. and return from Ko Mak at 7.00 a.m. Traveling time is 3 ½ hours.
King Amphoe Ko Kut
Second in size to Ko Chang, Ko Kut is located in the southern-most point in Trat territorial waters. A speed boat needs only one hour to reach the island whose inhabitants are growers of rubber, coconut and other fruit-yielding plants, as well as fishermen. With scenic beaches shaded by rows of pines and coconut trees, mostly to the west of the island, it also is blessed with rich mangroves.
Usually package tours are offered including accommodations (on Ko Kut, Ko Lao Ya and Ko Ngam) as well as return fares. Those wishing to charter a boat can contact the Laem Ngop landing or make advance enquiry at the Ko Chang Centre Point at Tel: 0-39 53-8055, 0-3953-8059.
The Ko Chang Yutthanavi Day is organised in late January at the Ko Chang Yutthanavi Memorial on Laem Ngop. The event is to commemorate the bravery of the Royal Thai Navy's action against the French on January 17, 1941. Merit-making and tribute rites are performed and there is an exhibition by the Royal Thai Navy.
Trat Memorail Day , on March 23, marks the day the province returned to Thai sovereignty after the French occupation. The celebrations are held at the provincial town hall.
Trat Fruit Fair , usually in late May or early June, features exhibitions and agricultural produce. There are fruit contests, particularly of sweet Salak (or Rakam).
Hotels and accommodation
- Aiyapura Resort & Spa : 29 Moo 3, Chang Island District [(66 39) 55-5111]
- Banpu Koh Chang Resort : 9/11 Moo 4, White San d Beach, Tumbol Koh Chang, Koh Chang [(66 1) 863-7314]
- Banpu Resort : 199 Moo 1, Tumbol Nongkansong, Moung [(66 39) 542-355-6]
- Had-Ngen Resort : 88-89 Moo 4, Had Sai Khao (White San d Beach), Koh Chang [66 3952 9632]
- Koh Chang Resort & Spa : Chaiyachet Beach, Koh Chang [(66 2) 277-5256]
- Koh Mak Cococape Resort : 1/8-9 Moo 2, Koh Mak, Sub Amphur Koh Kood [(66 1) 810-2679]
- Panviman Kohchang Resort : 8/15 Moo 4, Klong Prao Beach, Koh Chang [66 (0) 3955 1290-6]
- Banpu Resort : 199 Mu 1, Trat-Laem Sok Road, Tambon Nong Khan Song, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 2400, 0 3954 2355-6 Fax: 0 3954 2359, Bangkok Tel: 0 2580 3596 Fax: 0 2588 4887] : 45 rooms : 1,200-3,400 baht
- Foremost Guesthouse : 19/51 Thana Charoen Road, Tambon Bang Phra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 1923] : 9 rooms : 80-100 baht
- Friendy Guesthouse : 106/110 Lak Mueang Road, Tambon Bang Phra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3952 4053] : 11 room : 60-100 baht
- Garden Home Guest house : 87/1 Rat Anuson Road, Tambon Bang Phra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3952 1018] : 7 rooms : 100-150 baht
- Hat Lan Sai Resort : 120 Mu 2 Trat-Khlong Yai Road, Tambon Laem Klat, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 2534, 0 1982 3228] : 15 bungalows : 700-2,000 baht
- Hat Muk Kaeo Resort : Hat Muk Kaeo, Km.41.5 Trat-Khlong Yai Road, Tambon Laem Klat, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 1777, 0 1453 0792 Fax: 0 3951 1 777 Bangkok Tel: 0 2559 3247-8] : 20 bungalows / 4 houses : 1,000-1,500 baht / 4,500 baht
- Laoya Inland Trat Resort : 419 Mu 2 Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Wang Krachae, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3953 1839-40 Fax: 0 3953 1840] : 32 rooms : 800-2,900 baht
- James Guesthouse : 45/1 Lak Mueang Road, Tambon Bang Phra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3953 0458] : 12 rooms : 100-200 baht
- Mueang Trat : 40 Wichit Chanya Road, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 1091, 0 3951 1752] : 144 rooms : 220-1,500 baht
- Mueang Trat O.K. Bungalow : 4/4 Chai Mongkhon Road, Tambon Bang Phra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 2657-8] : 108 rooms : 180-1,200 baht
- N.P. Guesthouse : 8/10 Trok Yai On, at Lak Mueang and Thana Charoen Roads Intersection, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 2270] : 12 rooms : 80-100 baht
- Noen Sai Holiday : 224 Mu 2, Tambon Noen Sai, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 1602, 0 3952 0355] : 28 rooms : 200-300 baht
- P.J. Villa : 950 Trat-Khlong Yai Road, Tambon Wang Krachae, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 2204] : 30 rooms : 150-1,500 baht
- Chang Park Resort and Spa : 40/6 Mu 4 Tambon Ko Chang Tai, Amphoe Ko Chang [Tel: 0 1853 2572, 0 1940 8678 Fax: 0 9831 5609] : 54 rooms : 900-4,000 baht
- Coral Bungalow : 10/1 Mu 4 Hat Kai Bae, Amphoe Ko Chang [Tel: 0 1219 3815] : 9 rooms : 600 baht
- K.B. Bungalow : Hat Kai Bae, Amphoe Ko Chang [Tel: 0 1862 8103] : 16 rooms : 500-800 baht
- Happy Hunt : Mu 4, Laem Bai Lan, Amphoe Ko Chang : 13 rooms : 150-200 Baht
- P.O. Resort : 227-8 Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Wang Krachae, Amphoe Muang : 19 rooms : 150-300 baht
- Pa Ploen : 248 Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Wang Krachae, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 2227, 0 3951 2231] : 25 rooms : 100-500 baht
- Resident Guesthouse : 87/1-2 Thana Charoen, Tambon Bang Phra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3953 0103-4] : 16 rooms : 100-300 baht
- Sukhumvit Inn : 234/1 Sukhumvit Road, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 2151, 0 3952 0683] : 18 rooms : 140-180 baht
- S.K. House : 199/6 Mu 5 Tambon Wang Krachae, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3951 2289-90] : 18 rooms : 150-1,000 baht
- Amphoe Laem Ngob
- Pok Kao : 9/8 Mu 1, Tambon Laem Ngop
- Rim Saphan : 99/2 Mu 1, Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Laem Ngop, Tel: 0-3959-7194, 0-1862-3514 (seafood)
- Ruean Tha-le : 148/2 Soi Sukhaphiban 2, Tel: 0-3953-8211, 0- 3959-7092 (seafood)
- Rim Tha-le : 199/9 Soi Krom Luang Chumphon, Tambon Laem Ngop, Tel: 0-3959-7084, 0-1636-8137 (seafood)
- Saeng Chan : 99/3 Mu 1, Tambon Laem Ngop, Tel: 0-3959- 7198-99, 0-3959-7299 (seafood)
- Amphoe Klong Yai
- Nguan Seng : Mu 2, Tambon Khlong Yai
- Chai Tha-le : 96 Trat-Khlong Yai, behind Shell Gas Station, Tel: 0-3958-1575, 0-3958-1777, 0-1734-3932 (a la carte, seafood)
- Pa Sang : San ambin Road, Tambon Khlong Yai
- Rim Than Thong : Trat-Khlong Yai Road
- Phak Chai : San ambin Road
- Sut Daen Siam : Khlong Yai Post Office Intersection
- Saeng Arun : Saphan Pla Khlong Yai
- Amphan : 134/2 Mu 3 Tambon Khlong Yai, Tel: 0-3958- 1045, 0-3953-4221
- Amphoe Khao Saming
- Khrua Rim Khao : 110/5 Mu 1, Tambon Saen Tung
- Amphoe Bo Rai
- Benchamat : 131/1Tambon Bo Phloi
- Ko Chang
- Dan Mai Seafood : 19/1Mu 2 Ko Chang, Tel: 0-3958-6098
- Salak Phet Seafood and Resort : 43 Mu 2 Tambon Ko Chang Tai, Tel: 0-3952- 1751, 0-1650-8955,0-1429-9938, 0-1444-9259 (seafood)
How to get there
* By car
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 34 (Bang Na-Trat) or Motorway to Chonburi, then use Highway No. 344 (Ban Bung-Klaeng). Arriving at Klaeng, turn into Highway No. 3 and proceed to Trat. A total distance from Bangkok to Trat is 318 kilometres.
* By bus
Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses depart from Bangkok's Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) to Trat every hour from 6 a.m. to midnight. It takes 5 hours for the journey. The fare is 169 baht for air-conditioned bus, 197 baht for 24-seat VIP bus. For more information, contact Transport Co. Ltd at Tel: 0-2391 -4164 , Choet Chai Tour Tel: 0-2391-2237 , Chok Anukun Tour Tel: 0-2392-7680 and Suppharat Tour Tel: 0-2391-2331.
There are also air-conditioned buses leaving from Bangkok's Mochit 2 Bus Terminal to Trat 6 times a day from 6 am.-11 p.m.. Call Transport Co. Ltd at Tel: 0-2936-2852-66 or Suppharat Tour Tel: 0-2936-3388.
* Driving in and around Trat
Amphoe Mueang- Suppharat Opposite to Choet Chai Tour, Sukhumvit Road, Tel: 0-3931-2011, 0-3951-2236
Amphoe Laem Ngop- Riz Tour Laem Ngop, Tel: 0-3959-7060 Bangkok Tel: 0-2281- 5153- Saeng Chan Laem Ngop, Tel: 0-3959-7097, 0-3959-7197-9