Chantaburi – The Fruitful Land
Often called as a waterfall heaven, Chantaburi province is place blessed with natural pools, river, waterfalls, and rainforest slopes. Great for thrill seekers that prefer hiking and discovering these majestic waters. Aside from pagoda and Buddhist temples, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception welcoming the catholic settlers influenced by the French and Vietnamese during the 19th century.
Dubbed the “Land of Fruit” and the “Kingdom of Gems” by Thai people, Chanthaburi welcomes visitors with a tempting array of sweet tropical fruit , sparkling gemstones, peaceful beaches and multicultural history. Moreover, the so-called “Province of the Moon” is blessed with verdant forests and scenic waterfalls that will definitely leave visitors with lasting memorable experiences.
With flourishing fruit orchards around the province, it ‘s no wonder that Chanthaburi is considered a paradise for tropical fruit lovers, especially those favoring durian – which is claimed to be the best in the world, rambutan, mangosteen, longkong, zalacca, and dragon fruit. During the peak harvesting season between May and June , fruit lovers can take a fruit tour to one of many lush orchards or fruit plantations to indulge in a fruit buffet, in which they can pick their own fruit from the trees and taste them at their freshest. Aside from a daytrip , they can observe the way of living of the orchard growers, while sampling fresh delicious fruit by checking in at one of the orchards providing homestay accommodation. Durian aficionados won’t want to miss the World Durian Festival, held annually for 1-2 weeks in May at the Triangular Na Choei Ground, where they will find a wide variety of top-grade durian, together with many other outstanding eastern fruits.
A quiet seaside town , Chanthaburi, though , boasts the most picturesque beach road – Chalerm Burapa Chonlathit – in the eastern region, where visitors can take a pleasant drive along the 111-km long winding road, flanked by the sea and a rugged range of mountains. Cyclists will also have a joyful riding experience, thanks to the scenic ocean waves, cool sea breezes and specially-designated bike lanes . Along the way, they can take a break for breathtaking views of the city at the viewpoints of Laem Son, Nern , Nang Phraya or Chanthaburi estuary. For those wishing to just sit back and relax in a tranquil seaside ambiance , Chao Laow Beach, the most popular tourist attraction in the city, is the best choice.
A multicultural city due in no small part to the immigration of Vietnamese refugees, most of whom were Christians, from the 19th century to 1975, as well as the French occupation of the town from 1893 to 1935, Chanthaburi offers a number of interesting historical attractions. Among these are the Catholic Church Chanthaburi, the largest Catholic edifice in Thailand, which features the Gothic architectural style of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, with exquisite stained glass windows, and Tuek Daeng, a single -storey red building with a red-tiled roof, which formerly served as the French headquarters and living quarters of soldiers based at Laem Sing during their expansion throughout Vietnam and Cambodia. The Chantaboon Waterfront Community in the old town area is another lovers important place where visitors can turn back time to a bygone era through historic photos, paintings and architectural drawings displayed at the community’s Learning House. They can leisurely stroll along the 1-km stretch of classic-design , old-time shop houses to experience the way of life of Thais as well as ethnic Vietnamese and Chinese who have settled down and lived in harmony in the community for over 300 years.
Chanthaburi is renowned for its natural attractions with a long list of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and waterfalls to satisfy an insatiable appetite for adventure. Worth a visit are Khao Soi Dao Waterfall in Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, which has 16 tiers with a large swarm of butterflies, making it ideal for both butterfly watching and plant study; Khao Laem Sing Forest Park, consisting of dry evergreen forest and beach forest which are home to various species of flora and fauna, and Phliu Waterfall in Namtok Phliu National Park, a large waterfall with water all-year round which is so clear that its”sandy soil bed is clearly visible. With many tropical rain and mangrove forests, the province is also ideal for ecosystem touring. The must-visit site is Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Center (+66 3936 9216-8), featuring a 1,600-meter forest trail , where visitors will take about 30-45 minutes to explore the mangrove forest and learn about mangrove flora and the significance of the mangroves in the coastal ecological system. Raptor watching is another interesting activity for birding enthusiasts. At the mangrove forest on the Welu River in Khlung district, bird watchers will be thrilled by wonderful scenes of hundreds of Brahminy kites swooping down to catch fish.
Other famous attractions include Oasis Sea World, Wat Mangkon Buppharam, the National Maritime Museum, Taksin Maharat Memorial, Wat Phai Lorn, the fishing community of Bang Chan and Chanthaburi Gems and Jewelry Center.
Buddha’s Footprint on Khao Khitchakut
Not only a destination to admire scenic evergreen forest and three dazzling waterfalls, Khao Khitchakut is regarded as a sacred place where a large number of Buddhist worshippers climb to the towering peak of Khitchakut mountain to pay respect to the footprint of the Lord Buddha. This annual event has been held for a very long time. According to religious belief, an act of making pilgrimage to the Lord Buddha’s footprint is considered a great meritorious deed.
Chanthaburi can be reached by car via 4 routes. Taking Highway No. 3 (Sukhumvit Road) passing Bang Saen, Si Racha, Sattahip , Ban Chang and Rayong; Highway No. 344, the Ban Bueng – Klaeng route; Highway No. 33 from Kabin Buri district of Prachin Buri province , passing Sa Kaeo province, and Motorway – Highway No. 7 to Pattaya, Chon Buri, then, continue on Highway No. 36 and Highway No. 3 . Air conditioned buses leave daily from Bangkok’s Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) or Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal to the city (www. transport.co.th).
For more information, contact the TAT, Rayong office on +66 3865 5420-1 , +66 3866