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Trat

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Trat (ตราด) is the capital city of Trat Province, Eastern Thailand.

Trat Provinces[edit]

The irresistable allue of this eastern province, bordering Cambodia and situated some 400 kilometres from bangkok, has a lot to do with its archipelago of 52(mostly uninhabited) islands in the Mu Ko Chang national park.

The quiet provincial capital of Trat, on the other hand, is well known for its gem markets,both in and near the town, as well as boasting several off-the beaten-path beach resorts nearby.

In the early part of the 20th century, when the illustrious King Rama V was busy modernising the country and outlawing slavery, the Siamese government signed a treaty with France, ceding Trat province to the colonial power, so they would stop occupying the nearby province of Chanthaburi.In order to get the province back, the king gave away areas under Siamese control, like Siem Reap(now a part of Cambodia). This treaty was signed on 23 March, 1906, so locals have to come to think of 23 March as their "Independence day"

Understand[edit]

Trat is the capital of Trat Province, located on the Cambodian border in Southeastern Thailand. Most travellers will use Trat as an access point to Ko Chang island, though many will find its quiet and unassuming colonial charm alluring enough to keep them at least overnight.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Tiny Trat Airport (TDX) is served only by Bangkok Airways from Bangkok. Alternatively (and much cheaper), a 1st class bus service connects Trat directly with Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).

By bus[edit]

Buses to Trat depart from Bangkok's Eastern (Ekkamai) and Northern (Moh Chit) Bus Terminals (5 hours). From Ekkamai buses run frequently throughout the day with the evening bus schedule less frequent at 17:30, 19:00 and then an overnight bus at 24:00. 1st Class is around ฿240 and the government-run bus has a nice 2nd class (air-con but no toilet) for 188 baht.

If attempting to go to the border with Cambodia and continue onward to Phnom Penh via one of the regular Cambodian bus services the same day, it is advisable to take one of the overnight buses from Bangkok to Trat. The overnight buses will arrive at the Trat bus depot very early in the morning and you can then catch the first morning mini-bus from the Trat bus depot to the border post itself.

The regular Cambodian buses that leave Koh Kong for Phnom Penh depart Koh Kong around 08:00, so in order to catch the bus you do need to be across the border when it first opens in the morning or shortly thereafter. Taking a mid-day bus from Bangkok does ultimately put you into Koh Kong either too late to cross the border (border is not a 24-hour operation) the same day or too late to catch the bus onward to Phnom Penh. In these cases you will have to spend the night in a hotel on the Thai or Cambodian side before moving onward.

To go straight out to the border by minivan costs(~120 baht) to cross over to Koh Kong

Regular connections from Chanthaburi and other provincial capitals are also available from the Trat bus depot.

By share-taxi[edit]

On the east side of the main market building is the local share-taxi departure area, you can't miss the blue cars and pick-ups. Departures toward most provincial villages leave when the vehicle is full, including those to Haad Lek. Connections from there are available onward to the Cambodian border and Koh Kong.

Get around[edit]

The town is sufficiently small to make walking the best mode of transport, although there is little to do besides explore the small streets, (night) market and relax. If needed, a motorbike taxi will take you just about anywhere in town, including to the bus terminal, 30 baht.

City Attractions[edit]

  • Wat Buppharam
  • Wat Yothanimit
  • City Pillar
  • Wat Phailom
  • Laem Sok
  • Wat Khiriwihan
  • Wat Saphan Hin
  • Governor's Residence
  • Trat Museum, Trat Province.

Just east of the main city centre (5 mins walk), the museum has displays on the geography of Trat, the people and history of Trat, the Koh Chang Battle (with colonial France) and the markets of Trat. Well laid out and informative, in-depth signage. The first room on the geography gives useful information on what Trat is famous for, and where to visit (beaches, islands, ruby towns etc.). Price for foreigners: Child: 5 baht. Child over 100cm: 10 baht. Adult: 30 baht. Well worth a visit

Out of City Attractions[edit]

  • Bo Rai
  • Namtok Khlong Kaeo National Park
  • Ao Tan Khu
  • Ban Hat Lek

Do[edit][add listing]

Trat can be a starting point for a motorcycle trip to Ko Chang. Rentals of Honda and Yamaha motorbikes, in good condition, can be hired at the shop on Sukhumvit south of the market area (~200 baht). Drive south along Sukhumvit for about 45 minutes, and follow signs for the ferry quay. Be sure to top up with petrol before taking the ferry, as fuel prices on the island are rather high. Also, caution is required when driving on the island as the roads, although in excellent condition, are steep and winding, extremely so in some instances. (Furthermore, if bringing your motorbike on the ferry you have no choice but to immediately go over the most dangerous hill, since it lies between the ferry piers and all the beaches. Carrying maps of Ko Chang and Trat province is advisable, as the routes are not always clear.

Cycle around the scenic lake which is just a few minutes cycle away from Trat town centre. Its about 10 km around the lake and is scenic the whole way around. There are a few places to eat and drink as well. Hire a bicycle from Tattoo Guesthouse opposite Pop Guesthouse for 50 baht for all day. Use the bike also to go shopping at the huge Tesco Lotus supermarket on the edge of town. It has an excellent pharmacy. Unfortunately there is no Aeon Bank ATM here like other Tesco locations around the country, as theirs is the only ATM that is free to use. All others have a fee of 150 baht.

Have a 2 hour kick boxing lesson in the ring, at Tattoo Guesthouse.

Relax with a Reiki session. Trat Reiki [1] is Keziah, a friendly Reiki practitioner who operates from the sanctuary of a room in her home just outside the city centre. Sessions are available evenings and weekends, so you can use your time in Trat to relax and rejuvenate.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Resident expats have set up a few used bookshops which provide English and German books at fair prices. They can be found in the small streets south of the central market.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Across from the KFC in central Trat, and very close to the main bus terminal, there is a large indoor market with plenty of restaurants.
  • A lively night market gets underway around 18:00 just north of the main market. Just north of that is a smaller market open all day offering snacks and local produce.
  • Pier 112, thana Charoen 132. 8-22. Wonderful garden (thai and western food, beer, coffee, breakfasts...  edit
  • Cool Corner. 17-22. Small terrace with waterplants and singing frogs. Delicious food  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Trat offers some of the best value hotels and guesthouses in Thailand.

Travel a bit further down the side streets south of the market off the main road (Sukhumvit) to find, on Thana Charoen, the guesthouse area with more choices and a bit more character.

  • Dream Guesthouse, (located on a small road left off Sukhumvit (Thana Choeren), just south of the market). Offers simple, clean rooms. Friendly advice is available in English from the resident owner. ~100 baht for twin room with fan. 150-450 baht for fan-shared-bath/air-con-private-bath.  edit
  • Guy Guesthouse, (in the guesthouse area left off Sukhumvit). Offers travel services including tickets for boats to nearby islands. Staff helpful and internet available downstairs , but weak in some rooms. Single ensuite with fan , 150 baht ( November 2012 ) Double Room with private bathroom and with /without air-con 250/200 baht..  edit
  • Jane's Place Guest House, Lhakmuang Rd,, +66 39 511 827.. This small and new guest house is conveniently located in the centre of Trat near the market. Three good sized double rooms at the back are impeccably clean with wooden walls and floors and have attractive balconies overlooking the garden. Free Wi-Fi downstairs in the restaurant; this may extend to the room depending on the strength of your antenna. Staff are very friendly and helpful. One of the nicest, and cheapest, places to stay in Thailand. 150 baht for a double with three shared bathrooms downstairs..  edit
  • Orchid Guesthouse, (Located on a side street south of the market area). The front operates as a restaurant serving Thai/Western fare. Has air-con rooms, and also free Wi-Fi for guests. Friendly advice is available in English from the resident owner. 150+ baht for fan rooms.  edit
  • James Guest House. Just opposite the Orchid guesthouse. Run by a charming old Thai lady. Three good sized double rooms up the wooden staircase. Clean, wooden walls and floors, shared bathroom (hot shower) and toilet downstairs. Free Wi-Fi and free geckos. 130 baht.  edit
  • POP Guest House, 1/1 Tana-Charoen Rd... This simple but clean guest house is located near the market. Other services include a bar, massage parlour, internet cafe and book exchange. **WARNING** The owner is a very unpleasant and rude person. and the bicycles for rent are in a horrible state. If you're planing a bicycle ride around the lake (a generally very pretty, pleasant and recommended experience) it is best to get your bicycle elsewhere, since the ones in this place are not guaranteed to last you the whole ride, and the experience becomes very unpleasant when you have to walk 4 miles back into town from the other side of the lake, carrying the bicycle all the way instead of having the bicycle carry you (the it was meant to be). 80-650 baht.  edit
  • S.A. Hotel, 45 Soi Terdjarad 2, 66 87 026 5515 (fax: +66 2-417-1948), [2]. 100 rooms. Lower priced rooms are fan-only and barely furnished, but with television. 500-900 baht..  edit
  • Sawasdee Guesthouse, (Next to Orchid). The front of this guesthouse is run as an Internet cafe. Very basic but nice rooms. ozy singles for 100 baht with fan. Doubles and triple also available. 100 baht with fan..  edit
  • NP Guesthouse, Soi Yai On. A two minute walk to the market and central Trat and close to the river. Very clean rooms. Twin room with ensuite B300. Other rooms cheaper.  edit
  • Residang Guesthouse, 87/1-2 Soi. Thanacharoen Rd (At far end of Thanacharoen Road - away from the main road), 039-530103, [3]. Very friendly guesthouse run with a pleasing mixture of German efficiency and Thai hospitality at the quiet end of the hotel area. Comfortable beds, LCD TV's and fridges. Good hearty breakfast served (not included) - homemade yoghurt and german bread available. Motorbike and pushbike rental. With / Without AC 600/350 baht.  edit


Get out[edit]

Bangkok - Regular buses and minivans for ~B270. Takes around 6 hours including one stop halfway. Services end at either the Eastern or Northern bus stations. [Nov 2013]


Routes through Trat
BangkokChanthaburi  W noframe E  END





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