Trat is Thailand’s eastern-most province, located about 315
kilometers from Bangkok. This small province borders on Cambodia with
the Khao Banthat mountain range forming a natural demarcation. With 52
large and small offshore islands, long white sandy beaches and unspoiled
coral reefs, Trat offers delightful scenery and a tranquil hideout for
nature-lovers. The province also serves as a major fruit-growing and
The city of Trat is a starting point for Ko Chang island group or forays
into outlying gem and Cambodian markets. Those enthralled by shopping
will be delighted as Trat has more markets for its size than almost any
other town in Thailand due to Cambodian coastal trade.
Like Chanthaburi, Trat is a very important ruby-mining province, with
the most famous gem market located in Bo Rai District, some 50
kilometers north of the Cambodian border.
With an area of 2,819 square kilometers, the province is
administratively divided into the districts of Muang, Khao Saming, Laem
Ngop, Khlong Yai and Bo Rai, and the sub-districts of Ko Chang and Ko
The weather in and around Trat is very comfortable with warm
temperatures throughout the year. The region is influenced by the
northeastern and southwestern winds, which sometimes limit sea transport
to a group of islands particularly from May to October when the
southwest monsoon blows. During this period the western coast can be wet
and stormy and occasionally unsafe for ferries and smaller boats to lift
anchor. However, visitors can still visit the islands via the normally
more popular routes, most of which are to the northeast of Ko Chang,
The history of Trat can be traced back to the reign of King Prasat Thong
of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Formerly known as Muang Thung Yai, Trat has
played an important role in the development of country’s stability and
economy due to its strategic location. The town of Trat has later become
a community of Chinese Merchants.
Trat served as a checkpoint and buffer city in 1767 and was responsible
for providing provisions to King Taksin the Great before he moved his
navy from Chanthaburi to Ayutthaya, where he expelled the Burmese and
liberated the Kingdom from Burmese rule.
In the Ratanakosin period, during the reign of King Rama V, Trat played
an important role again in stabilizing the country’s sovereignty. King
Rama V made an agreement with the French government (who had also taken
Chanthaburi under its supervision) to get Trat back. In doing this, Phra
Tabong, Siamrat and Sri Sophon were traded off.
During the Indochina War, the French Navy tried to seize Trat again. The
French Thai Battle broke out on 17 January 1941 at Ko Chang. The Thai
Navy successfully drove out the French Navy.
How to get there
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 34 (Bang Na-Trat) or Motorway to Chonburi,
then use Highway No. 344 (Ban Bung-Klaeng) Arriving at Klaeng, turn onto
Highway No. 3 and proceed to Trat. The total distance from Bangkok to
Trat is 318 kilometers.
Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses depart from Bangkok's
Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) to Trat every hour from 6 a.m. to
midnight. From Bangkok the buses to Trat cost 169 baht for 1st class air-conditioned
buses (132 baht for 2nd class) and 197 baht for 24-seat VIP air-conditioned
buses or 113 baht for regular buses. The trip takes five to six hours by
air-conditioned bus or about eight hours by regular bus.
For more information, contact Transport Co. Ltd at Tel: 0-2391 -4164,
Choet Chai Tour Tel: 0-2391-2237, Chok Anukun Tour Tel: 0-2392-7680 and
Suppharat Tour Tel: 0-2391-2331.
Several non air-conditioned buses leave daily, starting from
07.00a.m.-11.00p.m. Fare is 78B (Tel.02 391-2504). Air-conditioned buses
leave every 1.30 hours, starting from 07.00a.m.-11.00p.m.. Fare is 140B
(Tel. 02 391-4164).
From Chanthaburi to Trat, the regular bus takes about 30 minutes. If one
goes by taxi from Chanthaburi to Trat, it takes around 45 minutes.
Travelling around Trat
Car rent in Muang District
Suppharat Opposite to Choet Chai Tour, Sukhumvit Road, Tel: 0-3931-2011,
Getting around the city
Sam lors around town should cost about 10 baht per person. Small song
taews cost about 5 baht per person on a share basis or 20 baht to 40
baht for the whole vehicle.
Getting to Islands
Ferries depart either from Ao Thammachat Pier, or Ko Chang Centre Point
Landings between 07.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m., with a travel time of 30
minutes. Private vehicles can be loaded onto the ferry. Please note that
vehicles used on the island should be 4 wheel drive vehicles as road
conditions are bumpy and there are steep slopes to be negotiated. From
the landing on Ko Chang there are song taew services to various points.
Fares should be settled beforehand.