Difference between revisions of "Trang"
Revision as of 11:07, 8 May 2014
Lying humbly on the Andaman Coast, Trang is a land of unspoilt beauty, kind and friendly people, delicious food, amazing islands and paradise white sand beaches.
Located on the same line of historical settlements as Krabi, Phang Nga, Phuket and Ranong, Trang shares the same traditions and heritage. In the early Ratanakosin period, Kantang, which is now one of the six districts of the province, served as the main port of the Penang-Phuket land route. There were two main routes of transportation for these five coastal towns at that time: the land route and the sea route. Kantang used to be one of the main seaports of the south and for this reason Kantang was the capital of the province for many years. Legend has it that ships from other countries always landed at Kantang port at dawn, explaining how Trang got its name. "Trang" is derived from a Malay word meaning "Dawn" or "Bright" (Malay: Terang).
Trang used to be a port involved in foreign trade. It was the first city where rubber was planted. Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahison Phakdi brought rubber from Malaysia and planted it here before anywhere else in southern Thailand in 1899. Rubber is now considered an important commodity of Thailand. The important Trang River flows through the province from its origin in the Khao Luang mountain range and the Palian River from the Banthat mountain range. Trang province has an area of approximately 5,000 square km.
As Trang is located next to the Indian Ocean, the province gets monsoons all year round, resulting of course in a lot of rainfall.
Trang, along with rest of the south of Thailand, has just the two seasons per year:
According to cultural records Trang used to be one of 12 satellite towns that came into exsistence 900 years ago, but it was only during the era of King Rama II that the place was recognized and the province got its first governor. The first Westerner to arrive in Trang was Captain James Low in 1838 to negotiate commercial benefits. In 1915, King Rama VI visited the then provincial town and advised, due to strategical matters in regards to possible enemy attack, that it be moved to its now current location at Thap Thiang. The original meaning of the name ‘Trang’ is unsure but many historians believe that it derives from the Malay word Trangkae which means ‘dawn’.
Trang is a coastal province on the Indian Ocean with a long western coastline of about 119 kilometres. The province consists of an archipelago in the Andaman Sea with over 46 islands. Of these, 12 are in Amphoe Kantang, 13 in Amphoe Palian and 21 in Amphoe Sikao. The best time for sea travel is during October to May. Situated along the Andaman coast, Trang province is home to innumerable beautiful islands, while the mountainous eastern region is home to dramatic waterfalls, caves and pristine jungle. Between the mountains and the coast are extensive plantations of rubber.
There are two short (60-90 minute) flights each day from Bangkok to Trang operated by Nok Air (7:00 and 15:00) and Air Asia (8:00, 13:10 and 17:40). Thai Airways and PB Airways no longer offer service to Trang.
Taxi to the airport is around 90 baht per person. There is also a public bus which costs 50 baht.
Nok Air airline has direct daily flights to Trang with a flying time of 1.20 hours. For more information, please call tel. 1318, 0 2627 2000 or visit 
The Hat Yai airport is another alternative, served by low-cost airlines. From the airport, a songtaew costs around 30 baht to the Minibus station which is between the airport and Hat Yai town. The Minibus to Trang (slightly more than a 2 hour ride) costs 100 Baht, though you will need to pay for two seats if you have a large backpack, as the Minibuses do not have a trunk.
There are two daily trains from Bangkok to Trang:
Rapid and express trains depart from the Bangkok Railway Station to Trang daily, taking 15 hours for the 870 kilometres journey. More information can be obtained from Bangkok Railway Station at tel. 1690, 0 2220 4334, 0 2220 4444 or calling Trang station at tel. 0 7521 8012. 
Minibuses from the Satun boat terminal (where the boats from Langkawi arrive) to Trang charge 300 baht/person. From Satun bus terminal a bus ticket (on a bus with AC) costs 126 baht/person.
Air-conditioned buses depart from the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok to Trang everyday. It takes 12 hours for the trip. For more information, please call 0 2894 6122 or the Transport Co. in Trang at tel. 0 7521 8718 or visit . In addition, there are private bus services; namely, Sap Paisan Tour at tel: 0 2894 6040-1 and Sri Suthep Tour at tel: 0 2894 6166-8
Trang bus station itself is about four kilometers out of town, and tuk tuks rarely come out. If you don't like taking a motorbike, then there is the option of exiting the bus station by the only road that exits from it, back onto the highway. Turn right and walk for about 100 meters. There's a large mall there with a Robinson in it, and some tuk tuks outside. A fare to Trang centre is perhaps about 40 baht.
Minibus from Nakhon Si Thammarat is B130.
There are public passenger vans to Trang from neighbouring provinces. They leave when they are full.
The city is reasonably compact. The bus station is well out of town, and the best way to get to it is to either hire a tuktuk, or to take a blue bus which leaves from the train station. However, not all of these go there, so ask first. There is also a blue/white songteow at the railway station, to the right as you look out.It has "railway station/transport station" written on the outside. Will cost you B12 to the bus station.
Orienting yourself otherwise - from the railway station, directly ahead and up the hill is the clocktower. There are several hotels and restaurants on the way there.
There are four main terminals. To go to beaches in Sikao District such as Pak Meng Beach, Chang Lang Beach, or Ban Chao Mai take the passenger van opposite Tha Klaang Market on Tha Klaang Road. To go to Huay Yod, Rassada, or Tung Song, take the passenger van at the church on Huay Yod Road near Thammarin Thana Hotel. To go to Tha Khao, Palian, Thung Yaaw, or Samran Beach, take the van near the sports stadium on Rassada Road. To visit the old town in Kantang District, the passenger vans are located on Kantang Road near Trang Train Station.
Boats to islands
Trang has 3 main piers for island-hoppers, they are Pak Meng Pier, Ban Chao Mai Pier, and Kuan Thung Kuu Pier.
Pak Meng Pier on the beach of the same name is the major pier for boats. From there, there are regular boats to all the main islands. If the island of your choice is off the beaten track, then it is possible to privately hire a boat.
Ban Chao Mai and Kuan Tung Kuu Piers also have both regular and privately-for-hire boats.
As you leave the train station, there are several hotels on the way to the clock tower directly ahead at the top of the hill. On the left hand side about 100m distant is the Sri Trang Hotel, then the Thumrin Hotel, which looks to be about a B1000 hotel. Continuing past the traffic lights is the Hotel 23 which looks to be backpacker, then the Kohteng Hotel which looks to be backpacker (it advertises backpacker accom from B200). Then there is the Wattana Hotel close to the clocktower intersection (appears to be midrange), and at the clocktower circle, on the right hand side is the Trang Hotel which appears to be the really upmarket hotel within the city.
The Koh Teng Hotel calls itself a "5 Star Backpacker" hotel. The rooms are basic but comfortable. For a double room, the prices range from 300 baht up to 380 baht (July 2012), depending on whether you want TV and aircon.
PJ Guesthouse (100 meters from the railway station, on the right, and then it's on your left). Basic rooms with fan, windows or not, shared bathroom. 150 baths per night. The woman who owns the guesthouse speaks fluent english and she's very kind and helpfull. Wifi available. Travel agency also. Laundry.
Hotel23, as you leave the train station straight on the left hand side about 2-3 blocks down, offers clean rooms for 250 baht per room. The building has a small sign that advertises its name and is white with green shutters. It's old but very unique and the woman running the place has a very warm demeanor. The building is three stories tall and situated on the corner. If you get a room with a balcony, it's a great place to enjoy a beer at night and take in the market in the morning. If you want something different from your typical cookie-cutter accomodation, this is a must stay
"My Friend" is not especially cheap, and the rooms are not the most characterful. Triple room w/ air con about 590 baht. One thing in its favour is the 24 hour fast internet access (30 baht per hour).
Sri-Trang hotel Sritrang Hotelis close to the railway station on Rama 6 Road. They charge 450/550 baht (2014 price at 640/740/840)for a fan/air-con room with TV and private bathroom. The rooms are clean and modern, and wireless Internet is free of charge. The staff are friendly and helpful, and speak English. Hot water, TV, fridge, and a town map available at reception. No lift and the stairs are steep!