Christmas trip to Chanthaburi

When many tourists talk about Thailand they mention the Buddhist temples and monks as being among the highlights. But what many of them don’t realize is that there are also a number of large and beautiful churches and cathedrals. Not everyone in Thailand is a Buddhist. There are small Catholic communities scattered around the country. One of these communities can be found in Chanthaburi around the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. I visited this city at the weekend to take part in their annual celebrations for Christmas. The following are the photos that I tweeted live during the trip.

Date of trip: 22-24 December 2017

DAY ONE: This morning I’m driving down to Chanthaburi, about 240 km southeast of Bangkok. I will be there this weekend for the Christmas celebrations.

Noen Nangphaya Viewpoint in Chanthaburi province. Great weather today for a coastal drive. Beautiful scenery too. Map:

Drone photos of the coastal road in Na Yai Am district in Chanthaburi province. Taken from Noen Nangphaya Viewpoint.

KKB Aquarium in Tha Mai district of Chanthaburi. Open daily 8:30am-4:30pm. Not really a lot to see, but the kids might enjoy if you’re in the area. Free entrance. Map:

Drone photos of Khung Kraben Bay in Tha Mai district of Chanthaburi. The coastal side of the bay is protected by a mangrove forest.

I had a very enjoyable 90 minute walk through the mangrove forest at the Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Center in Chanthaburi. You can also rent kayaks for 50B/person. Entry is free. Open daily from 6:30am-6:30pm. Map:

I was planning on taking a picture of an attraction called Pink Stone along the Chanthaburi coast even though Thais gave it mixed reviews saying 20B not worth it. When I got there I saw it was 200B for foreigners + 60B for my car, and so I left straight away.

Drone view of the bridge at Paknam Khaem Nu in Tha Mai district of Chanthaburi.

Lighthouse at Laem Sing in Chanthaburi. It is a steep climb up here. It does have some nice views. But the best pictures are with my drone as it can go higher than the trees. Good exercise. Fresh air. That’s it really. Map:

The Chicken Dung Cell in Laem Sing district of Chanthaburi was built by the French in 1893. It was so called because there was a chicken coop on the roof as a kind of torture for the Thai prisoners. Map:

Tuek Daeng, the Red Building, in Laem Sing District of Chanthaburi, was built by the French in 1893. They used it as their HQ during the conflict with the Siamese. Map:

The evening Walking Street along the waterfront in Chanthaburi city.

Preparations are being made this evening at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Chanthaburi for this weekend’s Christmas celebrations. There will be a light show here on Saturday and Sunday nights.

DAY TWO: Good morning from Chanthaburi. I’m staying in a hotel along the river in the old quarter. I’m looking forward to the Christmas celebrations this evening at the cathedral. It’s only a short walk from here.

Guay Jub Nam Kon (Rolled Noodles in Five Spice Broth) for breakfast in an old wooden house on the Chanthaburi waterfront. 30 Baht.

The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Chanthaburi dates back to 1909. However, there has been Catholics based here for three hundred years. Map:

The gothic style cathedral in Chanthaburi was partly built by the French during their occupation of the city from 1893–1904. The cathedral is open for free as it is a place of worship.

Drone photos of The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Chanthaburi.

The giant Reclining Buddha at Wat Phai Lom in Chanthaburi is 18 meters long. Map:

For a light lunch I had Pak Moh Kai and Pak Moh Boran (ปากหม้อ), Steamed Rice Skin Dumplings. 35/30 Baht along the waterfront in Chanthaburi.

Today, I’ve been exploring the old quarter along the riverfront in Chanthaburi. A lot of the architecture here is influenced by the French colonists who occupied the city at the end of the 19th Century.

Some of the street art that can be seen in Chanthaburi’s old quarter along the river.

Drone photos along the waterfront in Chanthaburi city.

Merry Christmas from the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Chanthaburi.

3D light show on the side of the cathedral in Chanthaburi.

Good morning from Chanthaburi. This is my third and last day exploring this province. I’ll be back for sure as there is more to see.

Guay Jub Nam Kon again for breakfast. This time with a hard boiled egg. This is a famous food shop along the waterfront in Chanthaburi. 30 Baht.

This morning I’m exploring Namtok Phlio National Park in Chanthaburi. It’s famous for the many fish, a pagoda and the waterfall. I’m doing the 1.2km nature trail first. It takes you up and around the waterfall. It takes about 45 minutes. There is some hard climbing which is probably why I didn’t meet anyone on the trail. Map:

The moss covered pagoda in Namtok Phlio National Park in Chanthaburi. It was built by King Rama V who visited the waterfall a number of times. There’s also a statue for his Queen Consort Princess Sunanta Kumarirat.

The waterfall at Namtok Phlio National Park in Chanthaburi. Entry to the park is 200B for foreigners & 40B for Thais. I spent about two and a half hours here and enjoyed it.

Wat Chak Yai (Wat Buddha Park) in Laem Sing District of Chanthaburi province. It’s an interesting temple to wander around to see statues depicting moments in the life of the Lord Buddha. Map:

Drone photos of the Buddha Park at Wat Chak Yai give a much better viewpoint of the disciples who came to hear the Buddha’s first sermon.

Taksin Monument in Somdej Phra Chao Taksin Maharat Public Park in Chanthaburi. Map:

Chanthaburi City Pillar Shrine. Map:

Taksin Camp in Chanthaburi.

That’s a wrap on my stay in Chanthaburi. I next drove straight home.


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