The Beauty of The East
Trat is Thailand’s eastern-most province, located about 315 kilometers from Bangkok. This small province borders Cambodia with the Khao Banthat mountain range forming a natural boundary between the two countries. With 52 large and small islands featuring long, white, sandy beaches and unspoiled coral reefs, Trat offers delightful scenery and a number of tranquil hideouts for beach and nature-lovers. The province also serves as a major fruit-growing, fishing, and gem mining region.
The city of Trat is the primary launching point for trips to the popular Koh Chang island group as well as for forays to visit both gem markets and Cambodian border markets. Like Chanthaburi, Trat is a very important ruby-mining province, with the most famous gem market located in Bo Rai District, some 50 kilometers north of the Cambodian border. Those enthralled by shopping will be delighted as Trat has more markets for its size than almost any other town in Thailand due to bustling Cambodian and coastal trade.
TOP THINGS TO DO
Visit the famous islands of Trat where you can enjoy islands hopping, beach swimming, snorkeling, and water activities. Pay respect to the statue of Prince Chumphon, father of the Thai navy at Ko Chang Naval Battle Memorial and stroll around the city of Trat to see historical and religious sites.
The markets, city centre and old town are all close enough together that Trat is easy to explore on foot. At the bus station and day market you’ll find some motorbike taxis and small songthaews that serve as regular taxis.
Those looking for a bicycle should look around the old town at guesthouses like Pop, Basar, Tattoo, Sangjun and Ban Jaidee; expect to pay around 50 baht for a simple pushbike. Motorbike rental is available at Thip Barber Shop, Tattoo Guesthouse and other old-town spots for around 200 baht per day.
Trat town is around 290 km east of Bangkok and 90 km west of the Cambodia border, where the Had Lek / Koh Kong border crossing is handy for travellers reaching the coast and islands of either country. Frequent buses and minibuses run east to the border and west to Chanthaburi and Bangkok, and the town is a transit point for the islands of Ko Chang, Ko Mak and Ko Kut.
Trat’s tiny airport is located 30 kilometres west of town, serviced only by a couple of daily flights to/from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport with Bangkok Airways. We’ve never used this airport; locals told us that minibus tickets to Trat town cost a whopping 500 baht per person. Private taxis are also available.
The provincial bus station is located off Route 3 towards the north end of the city, less than two kilometres north of the old town. Motorbike taxis and songthaews charge 30 to 100 baht for a lift to/from any guesthouse in town.