Trat, is a province in Thailand’s southeastern corner and it borders Cambodia along the Cardamom Mountains. With a coast on the Gulf of Thailand, the province encompasses numerous islands with white-sand beaches and coral reefs, many of which lie within Mu Ko Chang National Park. The largest island is Ko Chang, known for its dense jungle, waterfalls and offshore coral reefs, plus Bang Bao village with its houses on stilts. We took a road trip from Chiang Mai to enjoy the gulf of Thailand at the Centara Chaan Talay Resort and Villas. It was a great break and the facility while very isolated was wonderful, peaceful and the water was so warm and clear.
We drove south on Hwy 1, a nice 4 lane road to a point just north of Bangkok at Saraburi where we turned east to Nakhon Nayok. We stayed overnight here at a lovely roadside motel with great food, bar and pool area. The next day we headed to Sa Kaeo district and turned south on Hwy 317 a nice 2 lane road to Chanthaburi. The best part of driving in Thailand is the abundance of service stations, roadside food outlets and places to stop for a break. Here we headed on Hwy 3 (Sukhumvit Road) to Trat city. The resort is another 35 or so kilometers along the road and close to the Cambodian border.
We made this our base to relax and explore this part of Thailand. Having a vehicle was a must to get out and see the area and try the food nearby.
The pool was inviting and warm, the beach and sea were likewise and calm for swimming.
There was a nice restaurant and the rooms were villa style – all you want for a beach holiday. We noted that dogs were allowed with prior approval and they could run on the beach – next time Lex.
A few side journeys involved a trip to the border with Cambodia to see what that was about – not much. A small processing point, some markets and that was it. Another day we took a drive into Trat and down the coast where you had good view of Koh Chang Island that is popular with tourists. We ate at a seafood restaurant and had a look around. I am sure the island is much nicer than the mainland in this area.
Having spend 5 days here we moved on and drove to Rayong, where we stayed overnight, and then onto Jomtien Beach (near Pattaya) for a few days. We enjoy this area as it is quieter, close a better beach area and we are familiar with the territory. A nice apartment in the complex close to the beach is only about 600/1000 baht a night.
After another week of beach side relaxing we headed north up through the outskirts of Bangkok (not as hard as I thought), onto Hwy 1 and 12 hours later we got to Chiang Mai, with an overnight stop at Nakhon Sawan. We explored this town and ended up down a very tiny side road beside the Chao Phraya River and found some wonderful food at an open air restaurant.