If I close my eyes and think of Trang, it would be only beautiful beaches, and amazing islands that come to my mind.
And if I have to pick a place for a trip, “Trang" will not be listed as one of the priorities.
........Soon after, my view about Trang has changed forever once I have experienced the true
This is one of my-style journeys, Muang Mahakarn LIFE FOR TRAVEL.
The very first page of my journey begins from Wang Maprang, Wang Wiset District in Trang to
a newly opened ecotourism attraction,
“Wang Pha Mek".
From a developed-road route to a non-asphalt road with palm trees and rubber trees along the way,
this has shown the local way of living.
We have arrived in the late afternoon.
Our accommodation for tonight might not be as comfortable as 5-star hotel's room but it is full of kindness and sincerity from the locals.
“Wang Pha Mek" is a group of local people who volunteer to sustain the local forest and manage the
ecotourism with the highlight of Wang Pha Mek Peak.
They do not have the salary, every feature comes from the kindness of the locals who truly love this forestland.
There is no electricity and proper housing, but a small hut with some tents to stay over plus a bathroom.
They are happy when there are people coming in and pay a visit here.
The dinner is freshly cooked and the main ingredients are from the local area.
The dinner is nicely set and served on a marble table at this Wang Pha Mek Center.
This small hut is a meeting venue, tourist office, kitchen hub, and dining room where all local rapport connected.
Tom Som Bai Som Mao (Som Mao Leave Sour Soup), the traditional menu of the southern part of Thailand. It taste sour.
This menu is recommended by the village headman.
The new refreshing day has come and I woke up in the middle of the cold as if I were in the north right now.
5 AM is the time that has been set to start our trip to the top of Wang Pha Mek.
The local who used to be a chef yesterday has changed his position into a tour guide today.
The path is pretty tough and not convenient especially this time when it is slippery after the rain.
It is about 700-meter far and it takes more than one hour to get here.
I think the reason why it takes time is that the path is difficult and some part is very steep.
I am pretty tired but what is in front of me has faded this feeling away and replaced with the happiness.
"Once in a lifetime experience, we have reached the peak of Wang Pha Mek", the sign clearly states.
My feeling is a combination of happiness and pride right now.
I have never thought that there is a sea of mist existed in Trang.
I have never thought that there is some other attractions rather than beautiful beaches and amazing islands existed in Trang.
My view about Trang started to changed when I have received a brochure about this place back at my office.
I stopped and stared at the brochure while seeing a stunning view of the sea of mist.
That brochure only attracted me to come and experience Trang myself.
And today I am here, I have come and experienced it myself. It is like a dream comes true.
The tour guide states that this forestland was so much bigger in the past.
But the deforestation has started when people want to occupy the land for palm tree and rubber tree farming.
There is a group of locals who love and has seen this forest since they were born and they know how important it is.
This group of people then has assembled voluntary to preserve this Wang Pha Mek and they have reduced the rate of deforestation so far.
Nowadays, Wang Pha Mek forest covers more than 1,770 acres.
It is a house of many wild animals and rare plants.
"I walk up here every day even though there is no tourist.
Sometimes I come to adjust and repair the path even though it can be tiring.
I would like the path to be safe and in a good condition but there is no certain budget for that.
The path that you see is done by us, by our own money.
Sometimes the budget is from the tourists.
But sometimes we do not even get a penny from guiding them up here, cannot complaint though" said one of the tour guides
“Actually, it would be great if the government could come and have a look through this forestland and it would be even better if it could be authorized as a national park. We know it is not easy but what we can do is try our best to take care of this forestland" said the tour guide
"Anyway, for now it would be nice if you could help us to creating the awareness of this place as well as introduce this place to the tourists. We would love to have more tourists to get to know this hidden gem"
“This place is truly beautiful but not known and not touristic"
The stunning view together with the sincere conversation have delivered such a huge impression and happiness on me.
It is cold up here at the peak of Wang Pha Mek.
There is not that much of the sea of mist because it is windy but it is still breathtaking.
Turning around to the west, you will see this magnificent limestone mountain range.
This kind of mountain range can be found here in the southern part of Thailand only.
I am very happy to be able to see these two types of the true beauty of nature at the same time.
The golden sea of mist on the east.
And the magnificent limestone mountain range on the west.
The tour guide continues to tell me that the name of Wang Pha Mek is actually from this mountain range that we see right now.
If you are lucky you will see the pure white sea of mist fulfill the space between each mountain top that is why it is called Wang Pha Mek.
And from here you will also be able to see the Andaman Sea on a clear sky day,
On the other hand, once the sea of mist is gone on the east;
the Downtown Trang can be seen as well.
Apart from the pure natural beauty,
the strong bond between the locals and this forestland has
passed on very well to the tourists like me
as well as the thoughtful knowledge.
Spending more than one hour to get up here and being here for only an hour sounds not worth it.
But actually the good feeling of being up here plus the great story telling from the tour guide, even I have to spend like a day to come up here; I definitely will. It is totally worth it.
The sea of mist seems to get bigger but the time of happiness is running out.
We have spent time up here for around one hour and have to go back down.
The way down is pretty easy compared to the way up so we spend less time to go back to the tourist center.
Not only the natural beauty that I have experienced
but also the love and harmony of local people towards this forest land that I have heartily felt.
I would like to thanks to Wang Pha Mek Conservation Center Volunteer who have given me such a valuable experience.
I hope I would have a chance to be back here and hopefully that there would be more tourists during that time .
Or it would be the best if Wang Pha Mek is officially authorized to be a national park.
This is the map I use to travel through Trang in this entire trip.
From Wang Pha Mek to Khlong Tha Ngiew Dam and Waterfall route before going to see the sunset at Laem Yong Star. And then come back to Downtown Trang after stopping by at Peninsular Botanical Garden (Thung Khai).
It seems to be raining the whole time all days and night while I am here in Trang.
This rubber tree farm can be seen everywhere and it is pretty charming how it looks after the rain.
It is such a refreshing and relaxing view.
“Khlong Tha Ngiew Dam Under the Royal Initiation of His Majesty King" located at Tha Ngiew in Huai Yot District.
Because of its tranquility and beautiful scenery surrounded by greenery mountains,
Khlong Tha Ngiew Dam has become more popular these days.
The primary purpose of this dam according to the Royal Initiation of His Majesty King is to
retain water especially to be use during dry season in agriculture for locals.
The secondary purpose would be to be a place for relaxation where people can come and enjoy the beautiful and refreshing scenery.
Once the rain stops, it always be pretty foggy all around the mountain range.
This is as same as the kindness and care of His Majesty King towards Thai people that is always there.
Our next destination is on Highway no. 4264 where it is known for its numbers of waterfalls, the highway is parallel with Banthat Mountain Range.
It is about 20 kilometers from Downtown Trang.
There are many waterfalls along the way but one of the most beautiful waterfall would be
"Sai Rung Waterfall (Rainbow Waterfall)".
On a beautiful day, you will be able see the rainbow in the spray of a waterfall.
This is the reason why this place is called Sai Rung Waterfall (Rainbow Waterfall).
It is about 28 kilometers from Sai Rung Waterfall on highway no. 4264
where The Queen of Waterfall of the South is located,
"Ton Tok Waterfall"
"Ton Tok Waterfall" is not too big but it is famous for its beautiful greenery surroundings.
It is easy to get to the waterfall since it is not far from the parking space.
My view toward Trang has started to change, from what I thought that Trang only have beautiful beaches.
From Wang Pha Mek to Khlong Tha Ngiew Dam and the Waterfall route.
Every single spot has changed my view toward Trang little by little.
For now, if I have to look for a province that have all mountains, sea, beaches, and good food
"Trang" would be definitely my final answer.
It is only 1 kilometer from Ton Tok Waterfall where "Ton Teh Waterfall" is located.
Ton Teh Waterfall can be seen from far away.
Because of its size and its clear water where the fall is dropped from more than 300 meter-high,
Ton Teh is considered as The King of Waterfalls of the South.
The surroundings are very refreshing and the water is clear as a mirror.
That is why it is always full of both locals and tourists.
From Ton Teh Waterfall, I take highway no. 4125 to Laem Yong Star in Palian District.
It is about 42 kilometers.
“Laem Yong Star" is a piece of land projecting into the sea.
More than 95% of local people are Muslims.
The rest are likely to be Chinese people who have moved here since their ancestor.
Their occupations are mainly fisherman and rubber tree farming.
A lot of locals are still using their traditional way to preserve and prepare the sun-dried salted fish.
The use of chemical substance is none. The fish are dried by the sun and then they will be delivered to the market to be sold right away.
This is the reason why the sun-dried salted fish has become a famous local product and souvenir of Laem Yong Star.
Uncle and auntie firmly said that they have known and done this job for living since they were young.
And this has been descended from generations to generations.
This local way of living is in accordance to the philosophy of the sufficiency economy.
The fish are king mackerel and tuna. They are pretty much in the average size, not too big.
They are sold at 150 THB per kilogram or a bunch of 3 - 4 fish at 20 THB.
Apart from the primary occupation of fisherman and rubber tree farming,
some locals also work on their shrimp farming.
The view of Laem Yong Star during the sunset is totally stunning.
I feel like the lower the sun going down, the more beautiful scenery it becomes.
It seems like this bridge at the pier is the central gathering spot at the end of the day where the happiness are all around.
There is a lot of people assembled at this spot during this time. Some people are bicycling and some are having family dinner with this beautiful view and a nice refreshing sea breeze.
You may find a similar golden light at the end of the day somewhere else.
But you are not able to find Banthat Mountain Range in the background like this which make this place outstanding.
The sun has gone and left only the golden light in the sky where it is reflected on the water surface.
I am not sure what kind of fisherman work they are working on in the middle of the sea.
But what I am sure is that the view right in front of me right now is totally compelling.
The accommodation for tonight costs only half a thousand.
There are not many accommodations available around the area.
If I am not mistaken there are only 2 or 3 of them and they are totally cheap with spectacular sea view.
However, there are not many tourists come and stay over here.
The new day is here and I am going back to Downtown Trang since I did not spend much time and attention on the first day.
We have decided to stop at The Peninsular Botanical Garden (Thung Khai) before approaching to the downtown. It is about 12-kilometer far from Downtown Trang.
"Peninsular Botanical Garden (Thung Khai)" is established in 1986.
It was the time that Mr. Chuan Leekpai was a Minister of Education of Thailand.
Peninsular Botanical Garden (Thung Khai) is where rare local trees, flowers, and plants are well conserved.
It is the one and only Botanical Garden in Thailand as well that has a canopy walkway at the tree top which offer a closer look into the nature.
The nature trails at "The Peninsular Botanical Garden (Thung Khai)" can be divided into different sections in the total of 3-kilometer path.
Even though it is 3-kilometer long, I do not feel tired at all maybe because I am enjoyed the beautiful surroundings along the way.
Along the nature trails, you will experience with many rare plants and flowers.
This Arundina graminifolia is one of the most common flowers that can be seen throughout the trail.
We have arrive in the downtown and found that It is still raining here as same as the first day that I arrived.
A lot of Sino-Portuguese buildings is seen throughout the town as well as in other districts.
Being here makes me feel like I were back in the old days.
“Trang Church" is located right in the middle of the town on Huay Yod Road.
It was built in 1915 so it is exactly 100 years old this year.
Its architectural style's value cannot be estimated.
In addition, it is listed as 1 of 20 ancient remains in Trang that tourists should not miss.
One of the highlights in Downtown Trang and it is also considered as a symbol of the town is this Frog-Face Tuk-Tuk.
You can spot one of them all around and it is one of the charms of Trang.
Moreover, if I miss to mention about the famous Trang Grilled Pork, it would seem like I am not in Trang.
Trang Grilled Pork is well-known and it is sold throughout the province.
The recipe of each restaurant might be slightly different but their tastes and smells are pretty much the same and unique.
The variety of dim sums are nicely served with hot tea.
This is the signature breakfast of Trang.
“Phraya Ratsadanu Pradit Mahisorn Phakdi Monument", the former city governor and the King of Rubber Industry of Thailand.
The monument is situated in Phraya Ratsadanu Pradit Mahitson Phakdi Park and it is about 1 kilometer from the city hall.
The monument is also surrounded by beautiful flower garden and lush greenery that is the reason why this is a perfect place for a relaxation.
Every single step in Trang seems to be a very enjoyable one. Every one of them also bring out the happiness.
From the beginning of the journey toward the very end, my view of Trang has changed incredibly.
“Trang, the city of happiness", Trang offers you all types of tourist attractions and you can rest assure that the whole journey bring out the happiness in you.
Every single journey has given us a chance to experience everything for real, not just a dream nor imagination.
And because of this journey, it educates me that Trang has the true beauty of nature.
If there is any mistake on this travel review, I would like to use this opportunity to apologize.
Lastly, I would like to truly thank to The Tourism Authority of Thailand who have organized and managed THE AMAZING JOURNEY BLOGGING CONTEST "12 Must-visit Cities in Thailand" as well as NOK AIR, THAIRENT A CAR, OUTDOOR, TTBN, and One22.
This journey to Trang is not covered all tourist spots in Trang. So please stay tuned and wait for another travel review of Trang from one of our team members at https://www.facebook.com/Tamkarnwelatrips which will complete the journey in Trang perfectly.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015 9:39 AM