Thailand is one of the world’s leading tourist destinations. But, when you ask someone about this country, they’ll probably mention Bangkok, Thailand’s capital. However, there’s a little-known province known as Chachoengsao, found in Thailand’s central region. This province is fed by the Bang Pakong River, making it the region’s agricultural hub. Chachoengsao, like the rest of Thailand, is steeped in history and makes for the perfect destination for travelers who want to fully immerse themselves in Thailand’s culture. Part of this culture is the geniality that’s characteristic of the locals. Wherever you set foot, a warm embrace awaits you, followed by a delectable meal.
This beautiful province is also host to numerous spellbinding sites and attractions, bound to enchant its visitors. There’s certainly lots to do so we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Chachoengsao.
1. Tour the Wat Sothonwararam Temple
Standing alongside the Bang Pakong River is this monumental temple, known as Wat Sothonwararam. Arguably the most popular attraction in Chachoengsao, this temple receives visitors from all over the world, who come and pay homage to Buddha. The temple holds an impressive statue of Buddha in meditation, rising to a height of 1.48 meters (4.9 feet) with a lap width of 1.98 meters (6.5 feet). It is this statue that gives the temple its allure, creating an aura of divinity around it. Wat Sothonwararam is accessible by bus, train or private car. Getting there from Chachoengsao town requires only a few minutes’ drive.
Wat Sothonwararam Temple
Address: Maruphong Road, Tambon Na Mueang, Amphoe Mueang, Chachoengsao
Website: Wat Sothonwararam Temple
2. Shop at the Bang Khla Floating Market
A unique and exciting shopping experience awaits you at the Bang Khla Floating Market. The market sits atop the River Bang Pakong, securely gripping the banks. Bang Khla is a region that boasts an abundance of agricultural products and it is these that are found at the market. A wonderful place for foodies, you’ll also find delectable and traditional Thai meals here. And, if you’re a lover of fish and seafood, there’s a plethora on the menu.
Bang Khla town is just 25 kilometers (about 15 miles) east of Chachoengsao. With regular buses heading here, accessibility is easy. You could opt to hire a taxi for the whole day. This will cost you about 2000 THB (60 USD).
Bang Khla Floating Market
Address: Bang Khla, Bang Khla District, Chachoengsao 24110, Thailand
3. Visit the Ancient Fortress - Suk Kasem Road
This fortress is perched near the banks of the Bang Pakong and offers stunning views of the river and the neighboring park. Built in the late 1700s, its main purpose was to protect Chachoengsao city from external invasions. And a reminder of its warring past, the cannons still stand next to the fortress wall.
A visit to this fortress yields numerous lessons on the history of Thailand and its relationship with ancient China. Found on Suk Kasem Road, in Chachoengsao City, finding your way to this attraction is painless and promises a relaxing tour, with magnificent views of the River Bang Pakong as a bonus.
Ancient Fortress - Suk Kasem Road
Address: Sukkasem Rd., Na Mueang, Muang Chachoengsao, Chachoengsao 24000 Thailand
Website: Ancient Fortress - Suk Kasem Road
4. Go rowing on Bang Pakong River
A river that breathes life into Chachoengsao, the Bang Pakong is one that should best be experienced at close range. And the perfect way to do this is by rowing. This river is a world renowned stingray fishing destination, for those interested in the sport. The river has seen some gigantic catches, which have gone on to break world records.
The section of the river in Chachoengsao is a low river basin and has given rise to numerous rice paddies and mango orchards. A simple row on the river offers an excellent view of these, taking you right to the estuary where an abundance of wildlife can be seen.
Bang Pakong River
Website: Bang Pakong River
5. Spend time with nature at the Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
Enjoy the peace and tranquility that comes when one communes with nature. At the Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary, you can enjoy 1000 square kilometers (386.1 square miles) of pristine, evergreen forest. This sanctuary is shared among five provinces, one of which is Chachoengsao. Designated as a conservation zone, the sanctuary hosts a variety of forests, which act as home to a plethora of fauna.
With elephants, deer, gibbons and porcupines in sight, a trip to Khao Ang Rue Nai is bound to be a fun-filled and exciting one. Bird life is also in abundance, with a variety of species that call this place their home. Most common of these are the hornbills. And if you enjoy the therapeutic effects of waterfalls, a variety can be found here.
Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Tambon Tha Takiap, Amphoe Tha Takiap, Chachoengsao
Website: Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
6. Learn how to make palm sap at the Muban Namtan Sot Village
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Also known as the Palm Sap Village, Muban Namtan Sot is located east of Chachoengsao. This village is Thailand’s sole producer of palm sap and is the best place to go and learn how this is done. With a genial spirit, the locals are always more than happy to receive visitors and teach them a thing or two about palm sap preparation. And when you’re done learning, enjoy the fruits of your hard work with a glass of the delectable drink. A visit here not only enlightens you on the people’s main source of income but also gives you a glimpse of their culture and traditions.
Muban Namtan Sot Village
Address: Bang Khla, Chachoengsao, Thailand
7. Visit the Old Market at Nakhon Nueng Ket
Nakhon Nueng Ket is Chachoengsao’s oldest floating market, at over 130 years. Made up of a collection of boats floating on the river Bang Pakong and bound to the banks, you’ll find an assortment of products on which to spend your money. And the benefit of shopping here is you get a snippet of the history of the area, from the old wooden houses that sit beside the river to the aged boats that make up part of the market. Food vendors sell a wide menu of traditional foods here, from noodles to mouth-watering fish dishes. There are also numerous souvenirs on sale here, at very reasonable prices.
Nakhon Nueng Ket
Website: Nakhon Nueng Ket
8. Tour Ban Santitham Village - The Bio-Science Technology Center
A trip to Chachoengsao would not be complete until you visit the Ban Santitham Village, also known as the Bio Science Technology Center. With over 700 plant species nurtured here, the center is a great place to learn about Thai herbal medicine. Each of these plants serves a purpose in the preparation of herbal medicine.
At the heart of the village is a traditional wooden house, built in the ancient Thai style. This house accommodates handicrafts and old articles that contain a wealth of information on the history of the center. And, adjacent to this house, is a library enriched with numerous books on herbs. Ban Santitham Village is open to campers who would like to spend a night or two in the forest.
Ban Santitham Village
Address: 224 Moo 1, Ladkrating Sub-District, Sanamchaiked District, Chachoengsao Province
Website: Ban Sanititham Village
An enchanting trip
Chachoengsao, though known little by visitors, is home to these and more attractions that make for a very enchanting trip. The beauty of Thailand and its people are seen at depth here, while the genial spirit of the locals is one that warms the coldest of hearts. Now that we’ve revealed this secret jewel, make sure your next holiday is in Chachoengsao.
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