Eastern Thailand Blogger Trip

Every year, TAT Newsroom organize a blogger competition for bloggers from around the world. The top six bloggers get a free trip to Thailand. As I was one of the judges this year, I was kindly invited along for the ride. The five-day trip was billed as exploring the “Colours of the East”. We visited three of the provinces in Eastern Thailand. Namely Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat. The following photos were posted lived during the trip on social media.

Date of Trip: 25-29 May 2018

Google Map of the 5-day trip to the eastern provinces of Thailand for the winners of Blogger Thailand 2018: Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat. I will update it live during the trip with places we visit such as tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels (see map).

Our first stop in Rayong was in Ban Phe for a seafood lunch at J-Taipupen restaurant (ร้านเจ๊ต่ายปูเป็น). We had steamed crab, deep fried sea bass, crab curry wrapped in leaves, and shellfish. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/8S7RzdV7HBn

Drone photos of Ban Phe seafront in Rayong. This is the area where people catch boats to Koh Samet island.

One of the most popular fruit orchards in Rayong is Suphattra Land (สวนสุภัทราแลนด์) in Ban Khai district. I’ve visited before but May to July is the best time to come here as there is a greater variety of fruit.

A tram tour of Suphattra Land fruit orchard is 450 Baht. This includes the fruit buffet and the Som Tam buffet. To get your money’s worth, make sure you come hungry. Everything is very delicious and you can eat as much as you like.

Suphattra Land fruit orchard is open every day from 8am-5pm. More information on their website: http://www.suphattraland.com Map: https://goo.gl/maps/96UCQoBMvAv

Tonight we’re staying at Sand Dunes Chaolao Beach Resort in Tha Mai district of Chanthaburi. It’s not exactly a white sand beach here, but the air is fresh, which is all I ask for from a beach resort. This will be perfect for an early morning walk. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/7TXSUAJykMD2

Drone photos of Chaolao Beach in Tha Mai district of Chanthaburi.

Time for a glass of beer at the end of a long day – cheers!

DAY TWO: Good morning from Chanthaburi in Eastern Thailand. The weather is looking good at the moment, but there’s a chance of rain this afternoon. Later today we will be exploring the old riverside community in Chanthaburi.

This morning we visited the Sea Farming Demonstration Unit in Kung Krabaen Bay (กระชังปลาของศูนย์พัฒนาอ่าวคุ้งกระเบน) in Chanthaburi. It is free to visit and feed sharks, turtles and other fish, and also learn about conservation of marine life.

At the Sea Farming Demonstration Unit in Chanthaburi, we learned about how they grow oysters and also harvest crab eggs. Buckets of fish are 40B or three for 100B. Open 8:30am-6:30pm. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/wPn8DbnbADw

Drone photos of Kung Krabaen Bay and the Sea Farming Demonstration Unit (กระชังปลาของศูนย์พัฒนาอ่าวคุ้งกระเบน) in Chanthaburi.

Beautiful coastal scenery at Noen Nangphaya Viewpoint in Chanthaburi province. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/E4W7TrRY9LU2

Lunch today was at Ban Namprik Khao Suay (บ้านน้ำพริกข้าวสวย) in Chanthaburi. It’s unique in that they serve Thai traditional food in the old way. Even the waiters are wearing traditional clothes. Nice concept but not very practical & it’s expensive. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/NbEHsh33gR52

Exploring the gems market (ตลาดพลอย) in Chanthaburi. This city is famous for the gem trade. Mane people, including foreigners, come here to buy and sell gems. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ioWXvRgSfMk

The Catholic community in Chanthaburi started with Vietnamese refugees around 1700 AD. Today, there are about 8,000 Thai Catholics. The present cathedral, the fifth church on this site, was built just over 100 years ago. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/yrcRc9RSCpq

Drone photos of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Chanthaburi.

Tonight we’re staying in Chanthaburi. I love the old riverside community here that’s known as Chanthaboon. Some lovely architecture and street art too.

Drone photos along the waterfront in Chanthaburi city.

DAY THREE: Good morning from Chanthaburi in Eastern Thailand. This is Day 3 of a 5-day trip. We are staying in a hotel along the river. After last night’s heavy rain, it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day. Which is good as there’s a boat trip planned.

The National Archives building in Chanthaburi was built in 1916 in European Colonial style. It was originally used as the regional Governor’s office but became the Chanthaburi City Hall from 1933 until 1978. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/PvY9SVzzXqM2

Our first stop in Chanthaburi was to an oyster farm out in the estuary. The farm is owned by Auntie Louise & and Uncle Tom who have been farming here for 30 years. Uncle Tom showed us how he farms oysters. He said it takes a year before they are ready to eat.

The oysters we ate today were two years old & larger than average. Uncle Tom has actually won a prize for the largest oyster which was twice the size of these ones. They also run a resort on the homeland and a homestay on the floating house. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/khQABCt2R1s

Our second stop in Chanthaburi was to the Gems & Jewelry Centre. This is a good place to learn about the gem trade as the exhibits are all bilingual. You can also buy quality jewelry here. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/LR2VGUoykE22

Lunch today was at the riverside restaurant in Tamajun Hotel in Chanthaburi. Interestingly the food arrived in Pintoh food containers. When put on top of each other & fastened together, they are used to transport food to eat later. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/Sy4y6EkDhCD2

This afternoon we visited Ban Tha Ranae mangrove forest in Trat. The local community have an eco-tourism project where you can take a boat ride out to the mangrove forest. Activities include mud clam breeding and bowling with natural materials found in the forest.

A boat tour in Ban Tha Ranae mangrove forest is 250 Baht per person which also includes sampling of local food products. They also have homestay here which is 250 Baht per person. Or you can pay 950 Baht and you will also get the boat tour and three meals.

For more information about tours in the Ban Tha Ranae mangrove forest, call Khun Saichon on 081-1616694 or visit their website: https://www.facebook.com/bantharanae Map: https://goo.gl/maps/yHsv4n6nYK82

Drone photos of the Ban Tha Ranae mangrove forest (บ้านท่าระแนะ) in Trat province.

Dinner tonight at Tiw Tara Restaurant near the coast in Trat. It’s seems to be a popular place for Thais to enjoy the fresh air and views of the estuary. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/N2PLBWJADbE2

DAY FOUR: Good morning from Trat in Eastern Thailand. This is now Day 4 of our five day trip to explore Eastern Thailand. Looks like it will be another hot and sunny day.

This morning we visited Huai Raeng Ecotourism Group in Trat. Our first activity was a boat trip. Here we learned about the various uses of this tree. For example, the leaf is used as the wrapper to cook a dessert called Khanom Chak and the branch is sliced to make cigarette paper.

Our next activities at Huai Raeng Ecotourism Group were making mangosteen rind soap in a bamboo mould, making Khanom Chak, a traditional dessert, & preparing a Betel Leaf wrapped rice meal. Call 089-247-9648 for more info about this & their homestay. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/jXCwNUpPajA2

Drone photos of the Huai Raeng Ecotourism Group in Trat.

Lunch today was at Ton Plat Tin restaurant (ร้านอาหาร ฅนพลัดถิ่น) in Nong Khan Song, Trat. The highlight here was the many red hawks flying around the lake. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/L6d8ccQPq4C2

Looks like it might be a good sunset tonight. Cheers!

Sunset on the beach in Trat. The island in the distance is Koh Chang.

DAY FIVE: Good morning from the beach in Trat province. We’re staying at Mango Beach Resort near the border with Cambodia. Out to sea I can see the islands of Koh Kut and Koh Mak. A bit further away is Koh Chang.

Drone photo of the Mango Beach Resort in Trat where we stayed last night. Cambodia is on the other side of that hill.

The narrowest point in Thailand is on Sukhumwit road in Trat province. To the left is the Gulf of Thailand. To the right is Cambodia.

Wat Buppharam (วัดบุปผาราม) is the oldest temple in Trat. It was built in 1652. Of particular interest is the museum with local artifacts and the Ubosot with Thai-Chinese mural paintings. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/vd3NZ6SDXur

Lunch today at Saeng Fah restaurant in Trat province. My favorite dish was red curry with duck. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/7gYJMZT4CgC2

A good place to learn about the history and culture of Trat province is at the local museum in the city. The exhibits are all bilingual and surprisingly interesting. The Trat Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Entry is 30 Baht. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/u7D7zkjSqKJ2

Laem Ngop Harbor in Trat. The island you can see in the distance behind the lighthouse is Koh Chang.

That’s a wrap on my trip to three provinces in Eastern Thailand. I hope you enjoyed my photosand I’ve inspired you to visit.

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