Trang is a southern Thai province, located along the beautiful Andaman Coast. The provincial capital is also called Trang. Whilst it is starting to see more international visitors, it is largely popular with domestic tourists. A scenic province with plenty of pretty beaches, it offers a quieter alternative to Thailand’s busier southern hotspots, such as Phuket, Koh Samui, and Krabi.
Boasting gorgeous coastal scenery, attractive islands, waterfalls, caves, and plenty of cultural experiences, here are five great things that you can enjoy on a trip to Trang:
1. Collect seashells on the mainland beach of Had Pak Meng
Had Pak Meng (Haad / Hat Pak Meng) is one of Trang’s mainland beaches. Stretching for around five kilometres (3.1 miles) and curved like a large crescent moon, palm trees line the beach’s edge and provide some welcoming shade during the heat of the day. Easily reached by local bus from the main provincial town, accommodation options and restaurants sit alongside the main beach road. Seafood is particularly popular here, with menus featuring dishes like fried rice with seafood, mussels, and crab omelette.
Small islands and limestone islets are dotted in the sea, and the soft sands are perfect for lazy days of sunbathing. Parts of the beach have many seashells, with lots of twisty auger shells that were once home to sea snails. You might also find various conch shells, cockles, and others. Wander along the beach and find the perfect shell! Small ghost crabs dart hither and thither across the sands, named because of their almost translucent appearance.
Other pretty beaches on Trang’s mainland coast include Ban / Baan Chao Mai and Had / Haad / Hat Chang Lang.
2. Join snorkelling trips and visit nearby islands
Several islands, collectively known as the Trang Islands, are located just a short way from the coast. Numerous operators in the main town arrange boat trips to visit several of the islands and enjoy snorkelling in the clear blue waters. Itineraries and prices vary between operators, but most usually stop at several of the main islands as well as dropping anchor at a few great snorkelling spots. Enjoy the warm waters and gaze at interesting reefs whilst colourful tropical fish swim all around you.
As the boat journeys from place to place, lap up the lovely sea and island vistas. Koh Mook / Koh Muk is known for its dazzling Tham Morakot (Emerald Cave), where you enter through a dark sea cave and emerge on a stunning enclosed lagoon. Koh Libong is surrounded by sea grass, attracting the rare dugong (a type of sea cow). Other islands include Koh Ngai, Koh Kraden, Koh Rok, and Koh Sukorn.
3. Hop on a bike and explore Had Chao Mai National Park
Many guesthouses and shops around Had Pak Meng have bicycles to rent for really affordable prices. Expect to pay around 150 THB (approximately 4.20 USD) for a day’s rental. You can then cycle around the scenic coastal area and explore Had / Haad / Hat Chao Mai National Park. The national park includes several beaches, as well as caves and forested areas. Take a torch if you plan on exploring the caves. Creatures that live in the national park include an abundance of different insects, birds, and butterflies, small lizards, wild pigs, and monkeys. If you access the park via one of the main entrance points you will need to pay an admission fee of 200 THB (approximately 5.60 USD).
You will ride past local villages and will likely spot small fishing boats bobbing on the waters close to the shore. Fishermen also stand on bridges and at the edge of rivers, casting their nets and rods to see what they can catch. Cycling around is a great way to see the local way of life.
4. Enjoy the serene atmosphere in local places of worship
Multicultural Trang has long been the home of Thai, Malay, and Hokkien people, and the blend of cultures is noticeable in the traditions, architecture, and cuisine of Trang. Perhaps some of the best places to see how the different groups have made their mark on the province are the diverse religious buildings and places of worship.
Masjid Madinatul is one of the main mosques in Trang city, catering to the sizeable Muslim population. There are many Chinese temples and shrines, with ornate features like fearsome dragons and statues of gods, goddesses, and mythical figures. Wat Saingam and the Meunram Shrine are good places to start if you want to visit revered Chinese sites.
The Buddhist temple of Wat Tantayaphirom is close to the main part of the city. Its white and gold stupa / pagoda is particularly eye-catching, and you can see a replica of the Buddha’s footprint. Another lovely Buddhist temple is Wat Phu Khao Thong. A serene monastery, it is home to a beautiful and unique reclining Buddha statue. Thousands of years old, the statue is called Manorah. It is the only such statue in all of Thailand.
5. Enjoy nature at Khao Chong Wildlife and Conservation Centre
Located around 21 kilometres (13 miles) from Trang city, Khao Chong Wildlife and Conservation Centre was the first dedicated wildlife study area in Thailand. There are several nice walking trails that are surrounded by various species of tree, and you will probably see plenty of wildlife like birds, small lizards, and insects. The large park area also has three waterfalls: Ka Chong, Ton Yai, and Ton Noi. There are no admission fees and a local songthaew (a converted pickup truck with two rows of seats in the rear) from Trang stops outside the main entrance.
Other things to see and do in Trang
The province’s mountainous interior has several nice waterfalls, such as the beautiful Praisawan and Sairung Waterfalls and the impressive Tone Teh. There is a well-maintained aquarium en route to Had Pak Meng from Trang city. The old town of Kantang features one of Thailand’s oldest train stations, charming buildings, and the informative Phraya Rasadanupradit Mahisorn Phakdi Museum. A lively street market sets up each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening outside Trang Station, and you can peruse an assortment of clothes, shoes, jewellery, accessories, handicrafts, and home supplies, as well as sample local dishes and snacks. A recommended local speciality is Trang cake, a light and fluffy sponge cake, available in a variety of flavours.
Plan your trip to Trang and enjoy beaches, nature, and culture away from the large tourist crowds.
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