The small town of Trat is the administrative and trading centre of Trat province. It is located 26km or 32km away from the departure points for passenger ferries to Koh Chang. Trat has a population of 20,000 but bustles with activity due to the fact that it is the main market town of the province.
There is an open-air market on the main street – Thanon Sukhumvit – that offers interesting Thai food and drinks late into the night. There is also a large covered day market selling all manner of foods and household goods.
Good things to shop for include the huge range of fruits that are available year round, many of which you may not have seen before. Trat province is famous for the Rakham which is a rich sweet fruit that looks a bit like a strawberry. Or there is the Durian with its spiky shell, pungent smell and unique love-it-or-hate-it flavour. Try whatever looks interesting. You can also buy good fresh seafood and vegetables in the market.
Local handicrafts include elaborately woven wicker products, especially hats. These can be found in Ban Nam Chieo, a largely Muslim village between Trat and Laem Ngop.
Trat now has a big Tesco Lotus and Makro supermarkets with accompanying shops and restaurants.
Wat Buppharam is a 17th Century temple with some interesting architecture. It lies 2km out of town (see map). There are several other temples scattered around the town centre.
Trat has good medical, communication, financial and other facilities. Locations are shown on the map above.
There are a multitude of local Thai restaurants around the town. Also Joy’s Pizza, Kruarimklong and Sea House all do good food.
There is a guesthouse area just south of the town centre with many backpacker style guesthouses and accompanying restaurants, internet cafes etc. There is little to choose between the different guesthouses that all offer clean and inexpensive rooms together with good information and a friendly welcome. If you arrive by bus you will be met by a throng of guesthouse staff all trying to take you to their own place. You might want to take a taxi to the guesthouse area yourself for 20B and then you can pick a place that you like at your leisure.
The town has some interesting evening entertainment. A good spot is Somkanay, a bar with live Thai music every night. The night market is a good place to sit with a meal or drink and watch the action.
You can find many other small restaurants and bars scattered around the town centre.
About 10 minutes from the centre is an attractive reservoir that is a pleasant spot for an afternoon stroll. There are several restaurants on the shoreside. You can see fireflies by the canal that begins here and flows through town.
Laem Ngop is a fishing village on the coast and is the departure point for passenger ferries to Koh Chang and the other islands. Places worthy of note are the Immigration Office that serves the Eastern region of Thailand and the Tourist Authority of Thailand office.
By the ferry pier there is a large monument commemorating two Thai boats that were sunk in a naval battle of 1942 off Koh Chang in which Thai forces repelled the French Navy.
Klong Yai & Hat Lek
Klong Yai is a small fishing town on the road to the Cambodian border at Hat Lek. It is the closest mainland town to Koh Kood and whilst there is, as yet, no regular ferry service you ask around if you are feeling intrepid and maybe find a boat on its way to the island.
Heading on to the border itself at Hat Lek you will find a couple of hotels on the Thai side as well as thriving market selling all manner of weird and wonderful imports and exports.
There is a long thin coastal section of Trat province that heads southeast towards the Cambodian border at Hat Lek, 90 kilometres from Trat. For detailed information take a look at our map of the region.
At the moment the area is not much visited by foreign tourists but this is slowly changing. There are a string of really attractive beaches on the long sandy coastline with a few accommodation options including the Centara Chaan Talay Resort which is a quality beachside resort located in a lovely beach of powder sand 46 kilometres from Trat Town. If you are looking for the peace and quiet of a deserted tropical beach then this is the place for you.
Heading away from Trat on highway 318 these beaches include Sai Ngern Beach, Sai Kieow Beach, Tap Tim Beach, Mai Root Beach and Ban Chuen Beach, all of which offer rewards to the intrepid explorer.
Saphan Hin waterfall is located 31 kilometres from Trat and is an attractive cataract located at the end of a ten minute walk along a riverside path through an attractive forested valley.
Places to Stay
The Trat Center Hotel is the best of Trat’s central hotels. It is a relatively new place with free WiFi and clean rooms.
Mango Beach Resort is a super place with pool beside a private beach on the long strip of coast that heads down towards the Cambodian border.
Centara Chaan Talay is on a private beach about 45km out of Trat town heading towards the Cambodian border. Facilities are as good as you’d expect from a prestigious hotel name like Centara.