My journeys has no particular plan normally. I go wherever I want, I stop wherever I want to. A lot of people may wonder why I always experience only a happy journey with all good experiences. I have got to say no, it is not like that maybe because I always overlook the bad experiences and only look into the good and beautiful ones.
It is 7 PM when my journey to Trat with 4 more friends get started. The journey on a white big car comes with a lovely music playlist together with a nice conversation along the way throughout 5-hour journey. 5 hours do not seem to be long after all because of a nice chitchatting and great music in the background.
We have arrived at our accommodation for tonight around midnight. A small homestay in Rak Khlong Bang Phra Village is the place. It is 600 THB per night and the room is air-conditioned and very clean with private bathroom. The first night has gone so fast maybe because of the long journey.
I woke up around 5.30 AM. The refreshing ambiance together with a nice chill weather have faded away my tiredness.
An empty street and a quiet neighborhood in very early morning.
Every time we are out of Bangkok, we will have more chance to see local people offering food to the monks in the morning. All people are happy and feel peaceful when they are offering food to the monks with a big smile. I would call this kind of smile as a smile of making merit which can be considered as a true happiness.
I keep walking further and have found this small canal that right now is being reflected by the sunrise. It is very beautiful.
I am warm greeted by the delightful sunrise. It also has given me a power of strength both body and mind for this new day.
The beautiful sunrise has turned into a refreshing daylight in just a few minutes.
Residang Gamport Residence might not be heard by many people. It is a 3-wooden-storey building with a hipped roof. It used to be a residence of French governor who was assigned from French government to rule Trat during 1910 -1921. It was then turned into a governor's official resident from 1907 to 1928. Nowadays, it is a Probation Office, Department of Corrections but they have preserved the original architecture. You can visit this place during the operation hours.
Credit: The Tourism Authority of Thailand
I would recommend you to treasure your time here in Rak Khlong Bang Phra Village as much as you can. I am sure that you will fall in love with this lovely community in just a second.
When you travel to Trat, do not forget to stop by at this City Pillar Shrine of Trat to pray for luck and happiness.
I slowly take some joss sticks and candle to pay homage to The City Pillar Shrine of Trat. I only pray for Trat that it would attract more and more tourists to travel to here as same as what I am trying to do with this travel review of Trat.
Even though I do not have much time to spend at the city pillar shrine, I only look back and try to memorize this beautiful place as much as I can before I need to leave. I hope this place will be more popular among the tourists in the near future and I would be very happy.
Our next destination is Wat Plai Klong. Wat Plai Klong is located on the way to Koh Chang Ferry Terminal so it can be considered as a quick stop on your journey to Koh Chang. Wat Buppharam or Wat Plai Klong is a middle size temple which is rich in history and beauty. This temple is listed on my plan on this trip since it has been recommended by many people. Once I have arrived, I can feel the true inner peace. The temple is totally calm and quiet. I am sure you will love this place like I do.
We still have sometimes before noon that we need to take the ferry to Koh Chang so we have decided to come and get to know this Ban Nam Chiew Village. Once you get here, you will see a high wooden bridge firstly. You can walk up there and spot a nice view. However, you have to be careful because the bridge is high and will be shaking up there. For those who are scared of heights might not like it though.
From my point of view, Ban Nam Chiew is a small village where people from 2 different religions living well and happily together. The village is well-developed. There are numbers of budget homestays, and boat tours that take you to do various kind of activities. Moreover, the village is full of smiles of the local people.
No need to wonder why this place attracts many tourists from time to time, that maybe because local people are all friendly and they always smile at you giving you a warm welcome expression. This way puts a smile on your face to bring back with you.
Further inside the village, there is a mangrove forest. You are able to walk through the forest, to learn and explore. In other word, this place is perfect for those who like to explore the nature of the mangrove forest.
In addition, Ban Nam Chiew is famous for its variety of Siamese palm leaf hats, or Ngob hats. Different Ngob hats are used in different occasions and for different purposes. All of them are well-made so they are all durable.
We have arrived to the ferry terminal right on time. The ferry costs only 100 THB per person not as expensive as I thought. We take our car on the ferry and are ready to embark. It is a pity that today is pretty cloudy so the sky is not as beautiful as it should be.
We have safely arrived at Koh Chang not long after. Our first stop is the viewpoint along the road.
Then we do not hesitate to drive to our accommodation right away. We stay at The Stage Koh Chang for tonight. I am proudly present this place because the swimming pool is right in front of your room and it is less than 1,000 THB per night. This is such a great value for money.
I turn on the air conditioner and lie down on the bed to rest for a while. I realize once again long after in late afternoon that I was sleeping, I guess because I was tired. Luckily that I woke up before the sunset so I start to walk from Kai Bae Beach to the viewpoint for the sunset straight away. I almost give up because it is pretty far and it is up in the mountain. Suddenly, I heard a horn and a stranger lowers their window down and said.
... Where are you going?
... I hesitate for a bit and answer, I am going to the viewpoint.
... Would you like to get a ride, he asks promptly
I smile and feel so thankful.
If I did not get a ride to here from that generous person, I do not think I can get this magical photo shot.
I like the light at the end of the day like this. It is not hot and it is very romantic. I am happy to see those people expressing their love to each other through my lens.
My day ends with this spectacular sunset which is also the sign of the end of the day.
I start my day by walking on Kai Bae Beach. Even though it does not have a white sand beach like others, there are numbers of rocks in different size. It is not a bad idea to walk around and spot little fish by those rocks or little crabs walking on the sand. I have so much fun.
Today I come to Salak Phet Beach because I will stay over here tonight. One of the highlight on my today's agenda is to eat a lot of fresh seafood. Firstly, I stop at Wat Salak Phet. Wat Salak Phet is the most important temple for local Salak Phet people where it is a house of Luang Pho Phet. It is also famous as a place where the ivory compared as the letter of credence honored by King Chulalongkorn, Rama V to Luang Salak Phet Pattanakij has been well kept. In addition, Wat Salak Phet Museum is available for you to visit for free.
Ban Salak Phet's Mangrove Forest or known as Ban Na Nai's Mangrove Forest
To get to this mangrove forest is easy. There is a clear sign along the way. Once you have stepped into this forest, you will experience a refreshing surrounding and a sound of nature throughout the journey.
This pathway in the middle of mangrove forest is just like a dream. The red wooden pathway is totally contrasting well with the green forest and green mountains in the background.
The weather is not too hot so we are really enjoyed walking through the forest and taking photos.
For me, I never thought that this kind of place is ever existed in Koh Chang. I have tried my best to put its beauty into words but I do not think I can make it right, not even half of it. Moreover, there will be the estuary at the end of the walking track.
Once you approach the end of the track, you will be able to view a 180-degree panoramic view of the ocean as well as beautiful scenery on your left and right.
Sometimes we can be simply happy just to see the ocean.
To get here is not difficult because you can spot the white lighthouse along the way.
What I like here would be how people treat each other even we do not know each other at all. People are smile at each other while walking pass or running pass.
While I am chilling walking around, it let me not to think of the bustling Bangkok. A journey outside Bangkok has always brought me a lot of good thought and positive energy.
The most importance would be the true happiness that I have got.
We are back to our homestay where all ordered seafood have been well prepared for us. All seafood are so tasty and super fresh. The steamed crab, the meat is so sweet. The squid is perfectly cooked. Sizzling Spicy Fried Scallop is very spicy so it is good to eat with some rice.
I would like to recommend this homestay at Saeng Arun Seafood & Resort. It is only 500 THB per night with air conditioner. The highlight of this place would be the seafood. They are all served in a huge portion so please be aware not to order a lot at once. We, 5 people are almost not able to finish them all. ^^ We have 2 meals here. The first meal costs around 800 THB and the second one costs around 1,200 THB, please keep in mind that we are 5 people. The main highlight would be the second meal as a dinner. The Steamed Blue Crab is huge and very fresh as well as the squid, scallops, and fish. We have the dinner until like 11 PM. Hahaha
If you come to Koh Chang and look for a budget accommodation with great fresh seafood in traditional local style, this place is a perfect choice. You can contact Nong Oom through this mobile phone number 081 6502658. They even have a package with snorkeling activity as well.
The last day of this trip has come so I would like to spend it preciously by driving around the island. The first stop is Baan Rak Kala. Kala is coconut shell in Thai. Baan Rak Kala was found by P Nam Kang. She said that since there is a lot of coconut shells laying around like invaluable items, she would like to add value to them and make money from them. She then has started to use them to make decoration items. And soon after they have make a lot of money from this which also generate income to fellow locals. Nowadays, they even export these products.
Then we have left to Ao Salak Kok. This place is a sea port which is recommended to come either in the morning or late afternoon. You can also find a homestay here.
We have got a chance to see another angle of beauty of the area during the low tide this morning.
For those who love to experience local way of living Ao Salak Kok would be a perfect choice, I highly recommend.
Karang Bay Viewpoint
This is a new tourist spot that is not known by many people. One of the reason it is not well-known must be the tough journey to get here. But once you get here, you will feel so happy with the view from the top.
Even though I do not have much time to spend in Koh Chang, I am very happy throughout the time that I am here. Before going back to the main land, I am here at Koh Chang Naval Battle Monument which is not far from the ferry terminal.
Lastly, we do not miss to come to visit this Thailand's eastern-most spot to take some photos before heading back home.
From my point of view, Trat is a province where there are so many tourist attractions. All of them are very beautiful and attractive. I used to wonder what Trat has to offer and for us to explore just right before this trip to Trat get started. However, my view about Trat has changed forever after this trip ended....and I have to say that if I have a chance to come back, I will do definitely... I love Trat.
Summary of Expenses
Day 0: Tollway 15 THB, Drinking water and snacks 30 THB
Day 1: Accommodation 300 THB, Breakfast 40 THB, Ferry to Koh Chang 100 THB, Lunch 200 THB, Dinner 200 THB, and Drinking water 60 THB
Day 2: Accommodation 450 THB, Lunch 150 THB, Dinner 230 THB, and Drinking water and snacks 30 THB
Day 3: Accommodation 250 THB, Gasoline 700 THB, Breakfast complementary, Lunch 50 THB, Ferry from Koh Chang 100 THB, Bracelace 60 THB , and Souvenir 100 THB.
Remark: All expenses has been calculated for me only, some expenses that pay together for 2 or more people has already divided.
Grand Total: 3065 THB
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