:: CHANTHABURI

Famous for its abundance of tropical fruits and as a centre of gems, the eastern province of Chanthaburi is also blessed with rich, verdant forests with scenic waterfalls. The Chanthaburi River flows through the town which has been the home of ancient communities. Quiet fishing villages and peaceful beaches are not far from town. It is about 245 kilometres from Bangkok and covering an area of 6,338 square kilometers.

:: Attractions

The huge, pale orange Wat Khao Sukim is perched on the side of the Sukim Mountain. Accessible by either cable car or a naga-lined staircase, the temple is home to Luang Phor Somchai, one of the nation's most popular meditation master. A museum displays a wealth of donations by merit makers consisting of jewelry and a vast collection of ancient pottery.

Khao Kitchakut National Park is one of Thailand's smallest parks. Its best-known sites are the Tham Rusi (Hermit's Cave) and the 13-tiered Krathin Waterfall where a relatively easy trail takes you to the top. A more arduous 4-hr long trail climbs to the summit of the Phrabat Mountain for viewing of the Buddha's Footprint etched in granite and a strange collection of natural rock formations shaped like an elephant, a turtle, a pagoda, and a monk's bowl. Nearby is the larger but less visited Khao Soi Dao Wildlife San ctuary.

Like Rayong, the most revered monarch by the locals is King Taksin. After the fall of Ayutthaya, he mobilized the Thais and expelled the Burmese from this town, the last Thai stronghold, in the 18 th century and regained the nation's freedom. Two monuments were erected in town in his honor: the San Sadej Prachao Taksin is a huge statue in the shape of the king's hat and the Taksin Park is dominated by an impressive equestrian bronze statue, seen featured on the green 20 baht banknote.

On the bank of the Chanthaburi River is the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The French-style Catholic cathedral is the largest cathedral in the country and dates from the late 1800s.

The Gem Quarter attracts gem traders from all over the world to the provincial city. During weekends, a rainbow array of gemstones from Myanmar, Cambodia and the rich mines of Chanthaburi are traded at street stalls.

Some of Thailand's richest rainforests are contained within Namtok (waterfall) Phliu National Park , a haven for wildlife, located on Sabap Mountain. The park contains a number of waterfalls, but the most spectacular is the Phliu Waterfall. Facing the waterfall are 2 chedis built by King Rama V in honor of one of his queens who drowned in Bang Pa-in Palace in 1876.

Noen Wong Fort is part of the original city wall built during mid-1800s to defend against invading Vietnamese forces. Still evident are old cannon fortresses. A Maritime Museum in the compound behind the fort walls houses archeological treasures, mostly medieval pottery, recovered from sunken merchant vessels in the Gulf of Thailand.

Dolphin shows are staged daily at the Oasis Sea World , located nearby the Laem Sing Cape. The center also breeds and preserves dolphins from local waters.

Laem Sing Cape is mainly a fishing community with beachside restaurants. Within the area are 2 historical structures. The Khuk Khi Kai (Chicken Defecate Prison) was a jail built by the French in 1893 to house Thai prisoners, upon whom chickens defecated on. The Tuk Daeng (Red Building) was original the headquarters of the Thai fort but was transformed into a residence by the French officers.

The natural combination of beach, cape, mountain, and bay at Laem Sadet, Khung Wiman and Chao Lao Beach offers a panoramic and relaxing environment for swimming and other water activities.

 
 
Provinces consists within Region

01. CHANTHABURI
02. CHONBURI
03. RAYONG
04. TRAT