Chainat literally means a roaring victory. Originally this ancient town was located on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River at the mouth of Khlong Phraek Si Racha south of the old waterway. Established after the town of Phanthumwadi (Suphan Buri province), Chai Nat was Sukhothai's most important southern outpost built during the reign of King Phaya Loethai of Sukhothai during 1317–1336. This ancient community was called Mueang Phraek or Mueang San. When the Sukhothai Kingdom declined, Phraek became Ayutthaya's northern outpost town. Later, a new community was established not far from Phraek. Its ruler was Chao Sam Phraya, who later ruled Ayutthaya and became King Borom Rachathirat II. This new community was a large town called Chai Nat. In the reign of King Rama V, the main settlement of the province in Laem Yang was moved to the left bank of the Chao Phraya River. Mueang San slowly declined because most of the people migrated to Chai Nat. The old town later became a district of Chai Nat. Chai Nat was an important military base to confront with the Burmese armies. As all these confrontations were successful, the city gained the name Chai Nat, which means a roaring victory.
Apart from its long history, Chainat is at present famous for handicrafts, basketry, sculpture, weaving, as well as, the Benjarong pentachrome ceramics made in the finest and most sophisticated craftsmanship. These products also come with modern styles and are value for money. All of these famous products are made and sold domestically and internationally by different groups of locals.
Chai Nat occupies an area of 2,469.74 square kilometers.
Chainat is located some 194 kilometres from Bangkok. To get there, take Highway No. 1 and at Km. 50, change to Highway No. 32 passing through Ang Thong and Sing Buri. Then, at Km. 183, take a left turn onto Highway No. 1. Proceed another 10 kilometers.
Take the hourly air-conditioned bus (5.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.) from the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) on Kamphaeng Phet Road to Chai Nat. It takes about two and a half hours to get there. For further information, contact the Chai Nat Tour Company Limited (Bangkok’s office Tel. 0 2936 3608, and Chai Nat’s office Tel. 0 5641 2264), or contact the Transport Company Limited, Tel. 0 2576 5599, 0 2936 2852-66, or visit www.transport.co.th.
If coming from Singburi, the bus from that bus station will drop you some 4km from the city at a four way intersection. You will need to take a motorcycle taxi from here if you have small luggage. This should cost you B50. The road into town is to the right in the intersection, so with larger baggage, you will need to wait there and flag down a bus as it comes.
If going from Suphanburi, take a non aircon bus to Nakhon Sawan. It does quite a bit of wandering around the back roads on the way, but will eventually arrive in town. If you want to go into the city, get off at the hospital rather than the bus station (no tuktuks noticed there) as you will have less distance to walk.
If coming from Nakhon Sawan, take the non aircon bus headed to Suphanburi from the terminal there. It takes a little over an hour, and does not stop at the terminal in Chainat, but does stop opposite the hospital.
There is a new bus station in Chainat (completed prior to september 2012)which has many buses to different area of Thailand, notably Korat, Chang Mai, and of course Bangkok. The bus station staff speak some basic English and in conjunction with a Thai phrase book you can arrange travel to where ever you need to go with relative ease. Also buses can be caught from the market in the centre throughout the day and evening to Bangkok, just jump on a waiting bus and ask if it is heading to Bangkok, most will drop you off at Mo Chit station.
The main road is about one kilometre from the city centre, to the left is to Nakhon Sawan and right to BKK.
The new bus station is about a kilometre on the left as you come out of the city centre road, and the local hospital about half way there on the same side.
The road into town (one Km in length) ends at a T intersection. To the left is a about a Km of shops and little else, and to the right similarly for a couple of hundred metres. The road one street back from this intersection on the right is where the market and street eats are This is also where the in town buses and minibuses go from. The Namchai (or Numchai) Hotel is along this street about 200 metres on the left.
There is a large market in the centre of town (see Get Around). There are plenty of street eats here, but nowhere to sit and eat, and also the occasional restaurant along the main road in.
A good street eats place with seating - walk from the market road to the road leading into town and turn left. Some 20M along appears to be the upmarket restaurant in town, and another 30M just past the Kasikorn Bank is the sit down street eat place. Buy your beer/drinks at the 711 across the road (they will open it), then choose what you want to eat. Red Pork (moo daeng) with noodles (baa me)and vegetable soup is B30, and well worth eating.
For breakfast, on the corner of the main road in and the market road is a stall with seating which does a very good Kow tom (rice porridge)for B30. Be there before 7.30am, as he is sold out and packed up by 8am.
SUKJIT HOTEL (โรงแรมสุขจิต)
Is along the road into town on the left hand side, about half way to the T intersection. (see above) Reception is a couple of hundred metres from the road. They have both rooms and bungalows, with the latter being aircon and B650 per night. Very modern, comfortable and clean - hot water, bar fridge, TV. The other ones should be even cheaper. Breakfast can be obtained at Reception, and rice porridge ("cow tom"), is cheap and filling. They have only coffee and not tea.
See in the get around for directions. The hotel is directly opposite the in town bus station and market. In the newer rooms you pay B400 for a single with aircon, and the older ones are B350. The B400 room has hot water,TV (multichannel, including English), bar fridge, free drinking water.
The main bus station out of town goes to the major city destinations.
The one in town near the market has two blue buses going about hourly. Both have writing on the side saying they go to BKK, and one goes to Inburi first. It appears that they may meander around the countryside first on their way there. They both terminate at Mo Chit.
From the intown market minibuses go to BKK, and these terminate at Victory Monument. Cost is B100, and they travel via Sankaburi and Ang Thong.
There are also non aircon buses which can be taken from the bus stop on the main road opposite the hospital. One to Suphanburi goes a little after 10am, takes two hours for the 95Km, and costs B80.