Trat – Thailand’s Destination for Islands
General information of Trat
Thailand contains many islands, especially in the south and Trat is the province that contains the most island here. Trat is a province right next on the southeastern border of Thailand which is next to Cambodia. As I already mentioned, Trat contains most of the islands here in Thailand. It contains around a hundred islands that you can go and explore! Additionally, most of the islands here are uninhabited and there are very low disturbances from human traffic as it is located in the Mu Ko Chang National Park. So, if you come here for the islands, you will be amazed by what you will see here.
How to travel to Trat
The distance from the capital city of Thailand is quite far as you need to travel approximately 400 kilometers to come here. There are several options you can choose to travel here. First is by plane in which you can only take Bangkok Airways to a very tiny Trat Airport here. However, if you are not fancy about plane that much, you can take a first-class bus service that connects to Trat directly from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Alternatively, you can depart from Bangkok at the Eastern (Ekamai) and Northern (Mo Chit) Bus Terminal which you will arrive at Trat bus depot early in the morning if you take the overnight bus. You can also feel free to drive, but try not to fall asleep as it is a pretty long drive! I also recommend that you rest for a bit after the drive before going out to explore all the islands.
Things to do in Trat
Let me start with the famous attractions in Trat for your enjoyment.
Ko Chang is the biggest island here at Trat and also the third biggest island in Thailand followed by the biggest ones which are Ko Phuket and Ko Samui. This is the place where you can do anything and everything! You can start by walking around on the beaches. Go into the transparent blue sea to see some coral reefs. You can also do some kayaking if you want to! However, if you do not want to go in the water, you can just relax and have a sunbath under the sun at the beach. These activities are just some of the things you can do here at Ko Chang.
There is literally another side of Ko Chang that you need to take a boat for a tour. In this tour, you can see the abundant nature and magnificent views of the forest. You can also the way of life of the fishermen here. In addition, you can take a trip to the forest you just saw to see some waterfalls and experience the nature like you have never experience before. If you want to really experience the way people live here on this island, there are homestays you can stay and rest. There will be activities waiting for you to learn the culture of the people that has been living here for decades.
Another island you can explore is Ko Kut or Koh Kood which is equally amazing, but it is much more beautiful than Ko Chang.
Koh Kood is selected to be one of the Dream Destination in Thailand by the Tourism Authority of Thailand because of its beautiful beaches. In one of those beaches, Klong Chao Beach is the most exceptional beach that you cannot miss! You can see crystal clear water and if you can dive, I highly recommend doing it to see the coral reefs. This place is considered to be the Andaman Sea of the eastern region because of its variety in species of fishes. Other than that, the island itself also contains a well-preserved forest, including a 500 years banyan tree and spectacular waterfalls. As mentioned earlier, Trat is the place for island exploration in Thailand, so there are a lot more islands with unique features you can go to such as Ko Kradat and Ko Kham.
The following places are not really that popular with most of the tourist, but it is definitely worth it to go and explore the characteristics of each places.
Black Sand Beach
First up is the Black Sand Beach which is the only beach with black sand in Thailand and one of the five beaches in the entire world.
You can literally walk on the black sand for two kilometers. One thing for sure is resting your feet on the water here can help your feet to be relaxed without any massage required.
Ban Tha Ranae
Next place is Ban Tha Ranae which is an unseen Thailand that you need to take a boat through the forest to get in.
You will see one of the most beautiful tropical forest in the entire province called Lan Taboon and intriguing tree roots on the ground. In fact, the tropical forest here is more than a century old.
Wat Nam Chiao
If you visit Thailand, the place you cannot miss is the temple. Wat Nam Chiao is the main attraction in this community. There are many Buddhist statues inside of the temple that has been here for many decades. One thing to be mentioned is that this community is the perfect blend of Buddhism and Islamic cultures. It means that you can see some mosques around of the place. Why not try some traditional snacks while you are here? Ya Na Rice Crackers and lamp shell (Local Tells) are really famous, and it is pretty rare to find it elsewhere in Thailand. There are also come attractions here to see the vast nature and environment. If you are up for something exclusive that let you get close to the community, head to Ban Nam Chiao where you can study and observe a very traditional culture.
Apart from learning about their traditional culture, you can also learn about their handicrafts. Another highlight of this place is the long-tail boat tour of the local fishermen such as shell collecting dive which you can also join in if you want to. You will be able to fully enjoy the nature here and there are homestays if you want to stay longer.
the things you can buy back home are fruits, especially salacca which is sweet and really famous.
Living in Trat
The motto for Trat is “City with Hundred Islands, Red Gemstones, Sweet Salacca, Great Thai Ridgeback, and Navy Battle at Ko Chang”. There are quite a lot of hotels in Trat you can choose from, ranging from a simple guesthouse around 150 baht per night to a simple hotel around 1000 baht per night. However, most of the accommodations here are guesthouses. You can get around by simply riding a bike or walk as the town is pretty small. There are also some minibuses and motorcycle taxis in which you should be very careful not to get ripped off. Try to bargain the price first before you get in. Be sure to conquer all the islands!
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