Trat borders Cambodia, and is the easternmost Thai province
edging the Gulf of Thailand. Trat province covers some 2,819
square kilometers. The provincial capital is 315 kilometers
southeast of Bangkok. The inhabitants of Trat are largely
farmers and fishermen, and the province's biggest tourism
attraction is the Ko Chang Marine National Park, an archipelago
of some 50 islands named after Thailand's second largest island.
The word Trat is believed to be a corruption of Krat, which is a
tree plentiful in Trat province, and which is used in broom
production. During the 1868-1910 reign of King Chulalongkorn,
Trat was ceded to the French in order that France would withdraw
its forces from neighboring Chanthaburi province. On March 23,
1906, Trat once more became a part of Thailand in exchange for
other Thai provinces ceded to the French in Cambodia. Trat
residents celebrate March 23 as 'Trat Independence Day' and
honor the King Chulalongkorn monument at the provincial city
hall in thanks for his efforts to ensure that Trat remained part
of Thailand. Open conflict with the French occurred on January
17, 1941, during the Indochina War, when a French naval squadron
encroached upon Thai territorial waters, incurring the attention
of a Thai flotilla. The conflict became known as the Ko Chang
Naval Battle. The Thais prevailed, with the loss of three
warships and several lives. January 17 is celebrated every year
to commemorate the naval heroes who sacrificed their lives to
protect their country.
Attractions - in the city
Also known as Wat Plai Khlong (Temple at the End of the
Canal), and some 2 kilometers from the provincial capital
center, this temple dates from the 1650s.
Also known as Wat Bot, this is believed to have been the
site of the Thue Nam Phra Phiphat ceremony, the official
swearing of allegiance by military officers and state officials
to the monarch, specifically King Taksin the Great, when he
formed a Thai army to expel Burmese invaders after the 1767
destruction of Ayutthaya, the former Siamese capital. The temple
murals are particularly noteworthy.
Attractions (Marine) - out of the city
Trat's major attractions are the islands of the Ko Chang
Marine National Park, which range in size from the monumental Ko
Chang itself, Thailand's second largest island, to islets barely
large enough to supply anchorage to the traditional fishing
boats harvesting surrounding seas. The islands generally lack
commercial development, and therein lay their attraction. They
are the perfect venues for savoring the simple pleasures of
'sea, sun 'n' sand', comprise the perfect environment for
unwinding, for leading a contemplative life, or writing a novel.
The area is conveniently accessible from the Laem Ngop Pier,
which is 17 kilometers south of the provincial capital on Route
Major attractions within the Marine National Park
The 429-square-kilometre island is
characterized by long; oftentimes palm fringed beaches and a
forested, mountainous interior. The highest point is Salak Peak,
which rises 744 meters above sea level. Generally, the finest
palm-fringed beaches, and resorts, are on the western shore
facing open Gulf waters, and include White Sand Beach, Khlong
Phrao Beach and Kai Bae Beach. The Than Mayom Waterfall near the
park headquarters on the east coast is the major island cascade.
Southern waters near Salak Petch Bay mark the Ko Chang Naval
Ko Chang's coastal waters contain several lesser islands,
some contained within the 650- square-kilometer national marine
park, some not. Major satellite islands include:
Ko Chang Noi
Situated off Ko Chang's northern Laem Chang headland, this
petite island is ringed by clear waters where coral can be seen
in abundance and invites detailed snorkeling.
Ko Man Nok-Man Nai
This small island faces Kai Bae Beach. The island beach is
visible at low tide. Shallow coastal waters reveal and abundance
Located in Salak Petch Bay, south of Ko Chang, this island
is cool and shady thanks to plentiful coconut palms.
Ko Lao Ya
This island group, namely Ko Lao Ya Nai, Ko Lao Ya Klang and
Ko Lao Ya Nok, is located south of the Ko Chang Naval Batttle
area. The islands have beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters
and colorful corals.
Located east of Ko Lao Ya, the island is two landmasses
united by a sand bar. The serene area comprises a welcome
South of Ko Lao Ya, this island is noteworthy for its rocky
coves and sandy beaches and several unspoiled coral reefs.
This is the southernmost island in the marine national park.
The island is a place of birds' nest concessions. Magnificent
underwater scenery includes stone knolls and deep-water coral.
Major islands to the south of Ko Chang Marine National
This is the second largest island to Ko Chang in the area.
Some 4 hours by ferry from Laem Ngop, the island's major tourism
attraction is the Khlong Chao or Than Sanuk Waterfall, and a
Located northwest of Ko Kut, this large island is noted for
its extensive coconut palm orchards and beautiful beaches and
Located northeast of Ko Kut, and some 2 to 3 hours from Laem
Ngop Pier, this island is particularly noteworthy for the long
white beach encircling the island, and beautiful coral
formations in coastal waters.
Trat's proximity to Cambodia attracts several visitors to
the Thai-Cambodian border, conveniently accessible via Highway
318, which largely parallels the coast on its way to the Khlong
Yai fishing district. A great deal of coastal land is devoted to
commercial shrimp and fish farming. Beaches, offering little but
palm trees, sand and sea can be reached from Highway 318. Each
entail side journeys of 200 meters to 5 kilometers, and include
Sai Kaeo Beach (Km. 41-42), Sai Ngam Beach (Km. 42), Samran
Beach (Km. 57-58) and Ban Chuen Beach (Km. 59-60).
Trat is famous for its rubies. Gemstones can be purchased in
Talat Phloi or gem markets in Hua Tung and Song Ya in Bo Rai
district. The early morning markets conduct business until 10.00
The local name for the distinctive bamboo and palm leaf
headgear worn by local agricultural workers, Ngop comes in many
sizes and shapes. Ngop can be purchased from Ban Ngop Chiao, a
community 8 kilometres south of the provincial capital along
Highway 3184 to Laem Ngop Pier. Their villagers create a special
form of Ngop. The village is also a good place to purchase local
marine produce, including dried shrimps, shrimp paste and fish
Ko Chang Naval Battle Remembrance Day
Celebrated every January 17-23 at the Laem Ngop Krom Luang
Chumphonkhet Udomsak monument, a terrestrial enclave built in
the shape of a warship's superstructure, and Ko Chang, to
celebrate a Thai naval victory over the French in 1941, the
event includes merit-making and popular folk entertainment and
Trat Independence Day
Celebrated each March 23-27, at the Provincial City Hall,
this event commemorates March 23, 1906 when Trat was liberated
from French dominance. Celebrants participate in a King
Chulalongkorn (Rama V) Commemorative Parade. There are contests
featuring the indigenous Lang An dog, local produce stalls and
various cultural shows and folk entertainment.
Sweet Rakam & Red Ruby Day
Celebrated during late May and early June, at the Provincial
City Hall, this event celebrates Trat's most famous fruit,
Rakam, a kind of palm fruit with a sweetly acidic taste which is
extremely sweet when ripe, and the province's best-known
gemstone. Celebrations customarily feature exhibitions, fruit
competitions, agricultural produce sales and folk entertainment.