:: City attractions

The Chanthaburi City Pillar and the Taksin Maharat Shrine are located on Tha Luang Road in front of the Taksin Military Barracks within town limit. Opposite stands an old building erected during the reign of King Rama VI which was formerly the town hall.

Located in the public park near the town hall on Liap Noen Road, is the Taksin Maharat Memorial .The equestrian statue is guarded by statues of his four royal guards. the expression on the king's face clearly shows the resoluteness and determination to carry out the task of restoring the national independence. The large pond in the park serves as a popular recreation area and is stocked with a large variety of fish.

Si Chan Road is the commercial area and centre of gem business. Even though actual gem-mining in the province is not as extensively as it used to be, Chanthaburi remains a major centre for gem dealings with stones from neighbouring countries and abroad being bought and sold. The Gems Market during the mornings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday attracts large crowd of gem dealers and visitors alike.

 
 

Going across the Chanthaburi River from Si Chan Road and taking a left turn 1 kilometre from the bridge, 800 meters off the main road is Wat Phai Lom . The Rama III-era Ubosot features wall murals on all four sides portraying the story of Lord Buddha with Chinese floral designs as well as illustrations of foreigners with must have been commissioned after the time of his reign. There is also a ubosot of western architectural influence attesting to Chanthaburi's artistic and cultural contact with the western world.

The Catholic Church on Chanthanimit Road on the river bank is the largest Catholic edifice in Thailand. Built in 1909, it is of Gothic architectural style. The original tall roof was taken down during World War II to make it less conspicuous as a possible target.

Wat Thong Thua , 4 kilometres from town on Sukhumvit Highway, is the site of an ancient Bot which was built over a Khmer-style temple. It also has a large collection of ancient Khmer sculptures such as lintels, sandstone door columns carve in various designs and inscription stone. Nearby is the Mueang Phaniat archaeological site with its remains of laterite base of a large Khmer religious sanctuary and moats marking the town limit the south. The ancient town is believed to have been dated from the 12th-16the centuries B.E. (Buddhist Era).



:: On Chanthaburi-Tha Mai-Khung Wiman Route

Wat Phlup at Tambon Bang Kacha to the southwest of town was the site of an old community during the late Ayutthaya period. Special features are two ancient pagodas of different styles and an old Thai wooden pavilion.

The ancient site of Khai Noen Wong , also at Tambon Bang Kacha, was established as the town in circa 1834 during the reign of King Rama III. The town was moved from Ban Lum to this location because of its high grounds which were more suitable for defensive purposes against the invading Vietnamese. The laterite walls and bricks from the old town were also dismantled and moved to the new site. A serve drought during the reign of King Rama V forced its return to the original site at Ban Lum.

The old town at Khai Noen Wong was square-shaped with extensive laterite walls mounted with large cannons. Each side had its own ramparts and defensive moats. It was regarded as a powerful military camp of the time. The town's principal temple was Wat Yothanimit


Soon to be established as a national maritime museum, the Underwater Archaeological Office is located within Khai Noen Wong specialising in exhibits on Thailand's merchant marine and items discovered from underwater archaeological explorations from all over the country. There are also exhibits of ancient sailing routes and products. An exhibition chamber deals with the history and culture of the people of Chanthaburi.

Using the Tha Mai-Bang Kachai route cars can easily access the Khao Laem Sing Forest Park ,some 25 kilometres from Tha Mai. The route passes through Wat Khao Laem Sing right up to the park headquarters on a hill. Alternatively, visitors can charter a boat from Laem Sing beach to Ao Krathing Beach ,just 400 metres away, and walk up to the park. Camping is allowed on application.

Khao Laem Sing is a small hill 172 metres above the sea. Located to the east of the mouth of the Chanthaburi River, it has a cape jutting into the sea which looks like a sprawling lion. There is an old fortification called Pom Phairi Phinat built during the reign of King Rama III.

 


Hat Ao Yang is a small beach some 2 kilometres before the park. Cool and shady, it offers accommodation facilities for visitors.

 

Hat Khung Wiman, Hat Khung Kraben, Hat Laem Sadet and Hat Chao Lao are all peaceful beaches in Tha Mai district and clustered in an area about 30 kilometres from town. At Km. 310 of Highway No. 3 is a right turn into Highway No. 3399 which leads to the area. Or one can proceed from Tha Mai district on the route passing through Wang Tanot dam.

There are accommodation facilities for tourists, particularly at Hat Chao Lao where there are several hotels and bungalows to choose from. About one kilometre off shore from Hat Chao Lao are ranges of shallow water coral reefs covering an area of 14 square kilometres. Glass-bottomed boats are available. Over at Ao Khung Kraben are nature trails to study mangrove areas.