Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Thailand : Eastern Thailand : Trat Province
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.
About 315km from Bangkok and covering an area of 2,819 square kilometres, the province is administratively divided into the districts of Mueang Trat, Khao Saming, Laem Ngop, Khlong Yai and Bo Rai, and the sub-districts of Ko Chang and Ko Kut.
It was surmised that the title “Trat” was a corruption of “Krat” which is the name of tree plenty in Trat Province and used in broom production. In Ayutthaya period during the reign of King Naresuan, the town was called “Ban Bang Phra”.
While King Rama V was on the throne, Thai government inevitably made a treaty with France granting the area of current Trat Province to the western country in order that France would withdraw its force from Chanthaburi Province. Later, on March 23, 1906, the King had to grant areas, namely Pratabong, Siem Reap and Sri Sophon to France in exchange with Trat, islands and towns on the right bank of Mekong River. Thus, Trat residents regard March 23 as “Trat Independence Day”. They also built up King Rama V Monument at the city hall to commemorate the King’s attempt to keep Trat with Thailand.
On January 17, 1941, during Indochina War, French Squadron transgressed Thailand’s territorial waters. Thai flotilla came to protect the land. Thus, the war which was later known as “Ko Chang Naval Battle” began. Thai troop won and managed to drive out French Squadron. However, Thai side lost three warships, namely Songkhla, Chon Buri and Thon Buri as well as some naval officers. Therefore, on the date of every year, Thai Naval Army holds the annual merit making day to dedicate to those who sacrificed their lives and in their effort to protect the country.
From Bangkok, take one of these three routes:
Bangkok Airways has flights from Bangkok to Trat (Amphoe Khao Saming) on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. For further details, please contact Tel. 0 2265 5555, 0 2265 5678, or Trat office at Tel. 0 3952 5767-8, 0 3952 5299 or www.bangkokair.com. (A transfer service is available from the airport to the ferry pier where tourists can take a ferry to Ko Chang.)
Both non air-conditioned buses and air-conditioned buses are available at the Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) Sukhumvit Road.
Air-conditioned buses: A first-class air-conditioned bus takes 5 hours to get to Trat. Tourists can also contact
other private transportation companies for further information such as Cherdchai Tour at Tel. 0 2391 2237, or 0 2391 4164, or its Trat office at Tel. 0 3951 1062; Chokanukun Tour at Tel. 0 2392 7680, or its Trat office at Tel. 0 3951 1587; and Suppharat Tour, which provides VIP buses, at Tel. 0 2391 2331 or its Trat office at Tel. 0 3951 1481.
Non air-conditioned buses: For more information, please contact the Public Relations Section, Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) at Tel. 0 2391 2504, or 0 2391 4164.
In addition, it is possible to take a first-class air-conditioned bus leaving Bangkok Bus Terminal (Mochit 2) to Trat everyday along the Motorway. For more information, please call Tel. 0 2537 8055, 0 2936 2852-6.
Buses of other private transportation companies such as Suppharat Tour at Tel. 0 2936 3388 or its Trat office at Tel. 0 3951 1481; Cherdchai Tour at Tel. 0 2936 0199 or its Trat office at Tel. 0 3951 1062 also go to Trat.
Getting to Nearby Provinces
Trat – Chanthaburi, from the market in Trat provincial town, there are regular buses to Chanthaburi leaving Trat daily every half an hour during 08.00 a.m. – 03.30 p.m. The journey takes 1½ hours and the fare is approximately Bt 40.
A taxi is also available between Chanthaburi – Trat, leaving Wongwian Nam Phu (Fountain Circle) in Chanthaburi and beside the Mueang Trat Hotel in Trat during 06.00 a.m.–05.00 p.m. daily. The journey takes nearly 1½ hours and the fare is Bt 60 each (5–6 persons/taxi).
Bo Rai –Chanthaburi, leaving every half an hour during 08.00 a.m.–05.00 p.m. The journey takes 1½ hours and the fare is Bt 50.
Bo Rai –Mae Sot, Tak Province, leaving twice daily at 07.30 a.m. and 08.30 a.m. The journey takes 15 hours and the fare is Bt 200.
Trat - Khlong Yai (Song Thaeo minibus), a distance of 75 km., leaving behind the Municipal Market during 06.00 a.m.–06.00 p.m. The fare is Bt 80 (a connection from Khlong Yai to Ban Hat Lek is available at Bt 20).
Trat – Ban Hat Lek (Van), a distance of 90 km., leaving the Si Trat Rama Theatre during 06.00 a.m.–06.00 p.m. The fare is Bt 110.
Trat – Laem Ngop (Song Thaeo minibus), a distance of 30 km., leaving the Trat Municipal Market from 06.00 a.m. onward. The fare is Bt 20.
Trat – Laem Sok (Song Thaeo minibus), a distance of 28 km., leaving the Trat Municipal Market during 08.00 a.m. –01.00 p.m. The fare is Bt 35.
Trat – Khao Saming – Bo Rai, a distance of 53 km., leaving the Trat Municipal Market during 08.00–12.00 a.m. The fare is Bt 50.
Trat – Khao Saming – Saen Tung – Tha Chot, a distance of 28 km., leaving during 06.00 a.m.–05.30 p.m. The fare is Bt 25.
Generally, transportation to various districts starts from the provincial town. The Song Thaeo minibuses leave the Municipal Market and Bank of Ayudhya daily. After 7.00 p.m. travellers will have to charter one at an agreed price.
The Koh Chang archipelago including the inhabited islands of Koh Chang, Koh Wai, Koh Mak, Koh Kood, Koh Kham and Koh Rayang is a magnet for island hopping tourists. You can make online reservations for all of the inter-island services as well as the outbound services from Laem Ngop and Laem Sok piers (serving Trat city) on the locally owned website tratferries.com.