|Chanthaburi, commonly called Muang Chan, is another major eastern seaside province which has, played an important role in the history of the nation both before and during the Rattanakosin (Bangkok) Period. It is wealthy and rich in natural resources. Particularly gemsin addition to the plentiful field of tropical fruits including Rambutan, Durian, Mangosteen and Langsad. Products from the seas are also extensive. It is also blessed with natural beauties and attractions equal to any sister provinces.
Best known for its sparkling gems and national parks, Chanthaburi province borders Rayong to the west, Trat to the southeast and Cambodia to the east.
Chanthaburi province is predominantly rural, though unusually for Thailand much of the land is dedicated to flourishing fruit orchards rather than rice -- across Thailand, Chanthaburi is famous for fruit. The province also boasts a considerable number of pretty much totally undeveloped beaches which are worth exploring if you have your own transport.
The famed ruby and sapphire trade of the eponymous provincial capital has died off relative to years gone by, when Khmer Rouge cadres sold off Cambodian gems to finance their fighting, but it is still a thriving town when the market is open. Today Chanthaburi town has little in the way of photogenic sights but is a rather charming spot to while away a day or two.
Chanthaburi province is famous for its fruit, especially durian, the so-called king of Thai fruits -- many claim the best durian in the world comes from this area. The province also cultivates rambutan and jackfruit, and is known for its noodles and grassmats.
Give yourself a few days to explore Chanthaburi, particularly if you are interested in spending a few days in one of the two national parks, both of which have accommodation.
Chanthaburi is about 245 kilometers from Bangkok and 110 kilometers from Rayong
The climate is tropical. Generally warm and humid with abundant rainfall of average 6 months. Average temperature is around 28.13 c. The best months are November through February.
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|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.
The Taksin barracks are situated in an area where the old town once stood. There are ancient temples in town such as Wat Bot Muang and Wat Klang.
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 Muang 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).
Now within the grounds of the Rambhai Barni Rajabhat Institute, Wang Suan Ban Kaeo used to be the residence of the late Queen Rambhai Barni, royal consort of King Rama VII. She was instrumental in developing the local Chanthabun mats made from reed. Today, the palace houses her personal effects and products made from the Kok reeds and Chanthabun mats of lovely patterns. Visitors need to apply for entry permission in advance by calling the Institute at (039) 335408-10.
Oasis Sea World
The fascinating show presents creatures like Irrawaddy Dolphins and Pink Dolphins to the lovers of city life. The visitors get the chance to watch these wonderful creatures in close quarters. The Sea World makes for a wonderful experience for the visitors, making even the disinterested inclined towards the ways of city.
Chanthaburi Fruit Fair
This annual fair is held in the provincial capital, usually during the middle of May, to celebrate the abundance of such local fruits as rambutan, durian, mangosteen and zalacca, then at their peak of succulent ripeness. Besides stalls selling the produce of surrounding orchard, there are cultural show and exhibitions of provincial handicrafts.
Chak Phra Bat
This is another traditional event which is held during the Songkran Festival in April at Wat Taphon Yai in Khlung district. A fair established more than a century ago, it involves paying respects to the elderly by sprinkling scented water over their hands, and the exciting tug of war by carts.
Chanthaburi is famous for in mineral resources and is a major producer or gem stones of world wide appeal. It is particularly noted for the so-called Tab Tim Siam or Red Sapphire or Ruby.
One of the most well known local handicrafts of Chanthaburi are Kok reed mats. Kok is also made into products such as purses, coasters etc. These products are on sale in various markets in town.
The main occupation of the people are fruit growing. The province is famous for such tropical and exotic fruits as Durian, Rambutan, Mangosteen, Zalacca and Langsat. It is not surprising that visitors flock to Chanthaburi during seasons of different fruits.
Mostly made from seafood products. The Kuay Tiew Moo Liang is a popular noodle dish with its soup seasoned with herbs. Another is the Moo Chumuang, a local sweet and sour curry.