Trat is on the Cambodian border in southeastern Thailand. Some travellers will use Trat as an access point to Ko Chang, but most will use buses or vans that will deliver them directly to Ko Chang, bypassing Trat. Trat, formerly a vibrant traveler scene when all transport passed through town, has sunk into the doldrums according to most residents.
Trat is at the southeast end of Sukhumvit Road, which connects it with Chanthaburi, Rayong, Chonburi, and Bangkok.
Trat town is the main centre for road travellers to the eastern islands of Thailand including Ko Chang, Ko Mak, and Ko Kood. There is regular bus service, taking 5–6 hours, to Bangkok's Ekamai Station for downtown Bangkok and Bangkok Mo Chit for other destinations in Thailand. Many tourists stop over in Trat before going to the islands from Laem Ngop or Leam Sok (15–20 km from Trat. There are ferry and speedboat services to the eastern islands, Ko Chang and Ko Kood.
Trat is a transit point for people travelling to Cambodia, as it is a 90 kilometer minibus ride to the border at Hat Lek. After crossing the border there is a short journey to Koh Kong and bus service to Sihanoukville.
- 1 Trat Airport (TDX IATA). The tiny airport is served only by Bangkok Airways from Bangkok. Trat Airport serves tourists who travel directly from Suvarnabhumi to Ko Chang without passing through the town.
Buses to Trat depart from Bangkok's Eastern (Ekamai) and Northern (Mo Chit) Bus Terminals (5 hours). From Ekamai buses run frequently throughout the day 06:00-23:30 with an overnight bus at 23:30 (as of October 2016). First class is 252 baht (June 2019) and the government-run bus has a nice 2nd class (air-con, but no toilet) for 188 baht. These buses are slow (they stop at every station en route), and the journey can take up to eight hours. Consider taking a minivan for a faster transit time.
If attempting to go to the border with Cambodia and continue on 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 itself. 120-150 baht. Takes one and half hours. hourly 05:00-18:00.
There are also 5 buses daily to/from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport for 248 baht. The journey takes about 5 hours.
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 need to be across the border when it first opens in the morning or shortly thereafter. Taking a mid-day bus from Bangkok puts you into Koh Kong either too late to cross the border (not a 24 hr operation) the same day or too late to catch the bus to Phnom Penh. In these cases you will have to spend a night in a hotel on the Thai or Cambodian side before moving onward.
To go straight to or from the border by minivan from the Trat bus station to cross over to Koh Kong costs 120 baht.
Regular bus connections from Chanthaburi, 70 baht, and other provincial capitals are also available from the Trat bus depot.
On the east side of the main market building is the local songthaew 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 to the Cambodian border and Koh Kong.
The town is sufficiently small to make walking the best mode of transport, although there is little to do besides explore the small streets and relax. If needed, a motorbike taxi to just about anywhere in town, including to bus terminal, is 20 baht.
- City Pillar Shrine (ศาลเจ้าพ่อหลักเมือง). Different from other city pillar shrines because of its form as a Chinese pavilion. Every year on the sixth night of the waxing moon period of the sixth lunar month, there is a celebration called Phli Mueang Day (วันงานพลีเมือง), known among the Chinese as Xia Gong Sae Yit (วันเซี่ยกงแซยิด), which means "birthday of the city pillar God".
- Wat Buppharam (วัดบุปผาราม), Moo 3 Ban Plai Khlong, Wang Krachae Subdistrict. An ancient temple dating back to the w: Ayutthaya era (mid-17th century), recognized as the oldest and most beautiful temple of Trat. The architecture here is early Rattanakosin and the ordination hall interior features murals in Ayutthaya and Chinese styles. Its name means 'temple full of fragrant flowers'.
- Wat Khiri Wihan (วัดคีรีวิหาร). A temple which features fine architecture with a blend of modern art. Principal buildings inside the temple's precincts include a large Phra Ubosot or ordination hall, Phra Chedi, reception pavilion for HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, monk's residence, preaching hall, and Chinese pavilion enshrining Phra Phuttha Udom Sombun, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, and Phra Sangkatchai.
- Wat Phai Lom (วัดไผ่ล้อม). Used to be a resident of Trat's Father of Education, Than Chaokhun Phra Wimonmethachan Worayannurak. The temple also houses a Buddhist garden for public meditation and chedi museum of three much revered monks of Trat.
- Wat Saphan Hin (วัดสะพานหิน). It is assumed to be more than a hundred years old, although its exact date of building is not known. There is an old Buddhist ordination hall in the water, approximately 1 km from the temple.
- Wat Yotha Nimit (วัดโยธานิมิตร, Wat Bot (วัดโบสถ์)). The only royal temple in Trat. The temple was once used as a place to hold the oath of allegiance ceremony. There is an old ordination hall of Ayutthayan art serving as a wihan called Wihan Yotha Nimit for storing many antiques.
- Old shophouses (On Chai Mongkhon Road). Classic beauties in the old commercial area of the district. In this area, some walls will have murals in the form of street art that tells stories of the old town in the old section of Khlong Bang Phra.
- Tha Sadet. An old pier where w:King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) visited Khlong Bang Phra to disembark and continue to w:Sanam Luang.
- Residanggamport Residence (Residence Kampot). A colonial building used by French troops when Trat was a colonial town.
- Trat National Museum. A large Makha (w:Afzelia xylocarpa) wooden house exhibits the stories of Mueang Trat in various perspectives.
- Soi Rai Rang Market. A night market, the centre of street food and local food in the heart of the district, offers old style sweets at Khanom Thai Pa Nom.
- (งานวันวีรกรรมทหารเรือไทยในยุทธนาวีที่เกาะช้าง): Held in late January (at the Ko Chang Naval Battle Monument (Anuson Yutthanawi) at Laem Ngop). The event commemorates the bravery of the Royal Thai Navy's action against the French on 17–21 January 1941. Merit-making and tribute rites are performed and there is an exhibition by the Royal Thai Navy.
- Trat Independence Day (งานวันตราดรำลึก): 23–27 March annually (The celebrations are held at the provincial town hall). Marks the province's return to Thai sovereignty after the French occupation.
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 per day). 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 taking 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.
Have a 2 hour kick boxing lesson in the ring, at Tattoo Guesthouse.
- 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.
- Rubies (พลอยแดง) - Trat is renowned for its precious red gemstone known as the "Siamese ruby". As gemstones in the province are depleted, the Siamese ruby is now becoming rare.
- Ngop Nam Chiao (งอบน้ำเชี่ยว) is a folk-style hand-made palm leaf hat identified with the Nam Chiao community. The hat is made into a distinct shape looking like an overturned frying pan or soldier's hat in former times.
- Rakam Wan (ระกำหวาน) is a sweet variety of w:salacca, the most famous of the province's vast array of fruit produce.
- Trat Si Thong pineapple (สับปะรดตราดสีทอง) is a sweet and crispy variety of Trat's juicy pineapple with yellowish skin.
- Namman Lueang (yellow oil) (น้ำมันเหลือง) is an herbal rubbing oil produced out of folk wisdom since ancient times. The aromatic vapourizing oil helps to relieve muscular pain, stiffness, dizziness, congested nose and cold.
- 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.
- Oscar Bar, Thana Charoen Rd. Roughly 17:00 to midnight. One of the only places for the few expats to hang out. Run by the accommodating owner, Sao. Her opening time is variable. She will stay open as long as she has customers. No food, only beer and full bar. Also does laundry on the premises. She has a dryer, often required to dry clothing in Trat's damp climate.
- Ban Jai Dee Guest House, 6 Chaimongkol Rd, ☏ . Fan room with shared bathroom. Hot water showers. 250 baht.
- Dream Guesthouse (Small road left off Sukhumvit (Choeren Rd), just S of the market). Simple, clean rooms at fabulous rates (~100 baht for twin room with fan). Friendly advice is available in English from the resident owner. 100-450 baht.
- Garden House Guest House, 87/1 Rad-anuson Rd, ☏ . Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. Fan room with outside bath. Fan room from 150 baht.
- James Guest House, 45/1 Lak Muang Road, ☏ . Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. Fan room with outside bath. 150+ baht.
- Jane's Place Guest House (On Lak Muang Rd, conveniently in the centre of Trat near the market), ☏ . They only have three double rooms but each is clean, and also have a balcony overlooking the garden.
- Orchid Guesthouse, 92 Lhak Muang Rd, 92 (On a side street S of the market area), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The front operates as a restaurant serving Thai/Western fare. Serves good pizza and Western food, breakfast with homemade brown and white bread. The Thai selection of the menu is nicely cooked. Has air-con rooms, and free Wi-Fi for guests. Friendly advice is available in English from the resident owner. 150+ baht for fan rooms.
- Rimklong Boutique Hotel, 194 Soi Rimklong Rakmuang Rd, ☏ . Perfect small hotel close to downtown and the Oscar Bar. A little gem. Owned an operated by a friendly guy nicknamed "Tuu". ~1,500 baht.
- S.A. Hotel, 45 Soi Terdjarad 2, ☏ , , fax: . 100 rooms. 250 baht rooms are fan only and barely furnished, but with TV. 250-900 baht.
- Sangjun Guesthouse (formerly, Guy GH), Thana Charoen Rd (From Sukhumvit Rd about 500 m from center. Direction W. Go left Thana Charoen Rd. Sangjun is after 200 m), ☏ , ✉ Noinoi1988@hotmail.com. Check-out: Noon. 15 rooms, also has family room. Good price-quality balance. Nice restaurant, good location, ticket service. 200+ baht.
- Yotin Guesthouse, Thana Charoen Rd (200 m from Sukhumvit Rd, near center), ☏ , , ✉ Yotinguesthouse55@gmail.com. Seven rooms. New guesthouse in good location. Close to night market/center. Very clean rooms and very good beds. No traffic or other noise. Rooms with TV, air-con or fan. Bathroom inside. Hot shower. 350-600 baht.