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

UnderstandEdit

Trat is on the Cambodian border in southeastern Thailand. Most travellers will use Trat as an access point to Ko Chang.

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

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

By busEdit

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 around 248 baht 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 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 the border by minivan to cross over to Koh Kong costs ~120-150 baht.

Regular bus connections from Chanthaburi 70 baht and other provincial capitals are also available from the Trat bus depot.

By share-taxiEdit

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 to the Cambodian border and Koh Kong.

Get aroundEdit

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.

SeeEdit

  • 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, Wat Plai Khlong (วัดปลายคลอง)). A temple on Plai Khlong Road, which dates from the mid-17th century and features the oldest wooden image hall in the country. The murals are of the early Rattanakosin period. The temple's museum houses ancient relics, Buddha images, and Chinese and European porcelain.
  • 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.

FestivalsEdit

  • The Ko Chang Naval Battle Day (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.

DoEdit

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 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 10km 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.

BuyEdit

  • 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 zalacca, 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.

EatEdit

  • 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.

DrinkEdit

SleepEdit

  • Ban Jai Dee Guest House, 6 Chaimongkol Rd, +66 83-5890839. Fan room with shard 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, +66 39-521018. Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. Fan room with outside bath. Fan room from 150 baht.
  • Jane's Place Guest House (On Lak Muang Rd, conveniently in the centre of Trat near the market), +66 39 511827. They only have three double rooms but each is clean, and also have a balcony overlooking the garden.
  • James Guest House, 45/1 Lak Muang Road, +66 87-1379983. Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. Fan room with outside bath. 150+ baht.
  • Orchid Guesthouse, 92 Lhak Muang Rd, 92 (On a side street S of the market area), +66 92 765 8400, e-mail: . 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.
  • 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), +66 92 7074654, e-mail: . Check-out: 12:00. 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), +66 89 2247817, +66 85 4401477, e-mail: . 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.

Go nextEdit

Routes through Trat
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