Chanthaburi is located in Eastern Thailand bordering Battambang and Pailin of Cambodia. Chanthaburi is culturally eclectic and is home to a migrant community such as the Chinese, Khmer and the Vietnamese. The town has an interesting landscape with several pristine beaches, waterfalls, temples and a diverse selection of food. Find out what Chanthaburi has to offer as a tranquil, old town. There are lots of varied activities to keep you entertained during your stay.
1. Chantaboon area
The Chantaboon area is a waterfront community and is an old town in the Chanthaburi province. This town is steeped in history and has a rich Chinese influence. This is reflective in the various Chinese architecture present in the town, the temple and the kinds of food that the locals eat. Chantaboon has over the years developed into a small tourist town. It is possible to wander around this small town without a map. You will be able to find main attractions in the town like the very famous Catholic church which the Catholics brought into the city. As you walk along the streets in Chantaboon, you will be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the community. Stop by one of the local restaurants and enjoy the local cuisine.
Address: Sukhaphiban Road | Wat Mai subdistrict, Chanthaburi, Thailand
Access: Take a minibus or a taxi
Facebook: Chantaboon area
2. Visit the gem markets
The gem market or gems road is a popular commercial strip in Chanthaburi. This market strip is known to be one of the most bustling areas in Chanthaburi. The shops which cluster together stand at around 120. The gems market usually opens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. The actual trading takes place on Saturdays and one can buy the best precious stones and gems at the best wholesale prices at this market. It is fascinating to just visit this market to see how buyers and sellers trade and negotiate on prices.
Address: Srichan Road, Tambon Wat Mai, Amphoe Mueang, Chanthaburi
Website: Gems Market
3. Visit the biggest cathedral in Thailand
This cathedral is known as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and is one of the most beautiful churches in Thailand. A visit to this cathedral should not be missed when making a trip to Chanthaburi. This cathedral is only a short distance from the Chanthaburi River and a footbridge separates it from the city’s historic waterfront. The cathedral has been built in Gothic-style and is the fifth reincarnation of the church since the foundation stone was laid back in 1906. When you enter the church, admire the decorative features such as the stained-glass windows that beautify the church. A unique feature of this cathedral is the statue of Virgin Mary, which stands at the front of the altar.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Address: 110, Soi 1 MU 10, Chanthanimit, Mueang Chanthaburi District, Chanthaburi 22000, Thailand
Duration: about 1 hour
Contact: +66 39311578
4. Namtok Phlio National Park
The Namtok Phlio National Park gets its name from a famous waterfall in Thailand. The national parks consists of a range of mountains. It is said that the tallest mountain peak belongs to Map Wa Krok and stands at 924 m high (3,031 feet). It is this mountain in the Namtok Phlio National Park which provides waterways in the form of streams like Klong Phlio and Klong Narai. The park is located about 14 km (8.6 miles) southeast of Chanthaburi and has food stalls which line the entrance. Explore a leisurely 1 km (0.6 mi) trail which loops around the waterfall and take in the splendor of the natural environment.
Namtok Phlio National Park
Address: Phlio Sub-district, Amphur Lam Sing, Chanthaburi 22190, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8am - 6pm
Duration: around 3 hours required
Access: From the city center, take Highway No.3 until reaching Km. 346 and take a left turn to Namtok Phliu National Park
Website: Namtok Phlio National Park
5. Wat Khao Sukim
Wat Khao Sukim is a sacred Buddhist site in Chanthaburi and sits strategically on a hill. It was built by devout Buddhists in 1966 and was mainly meant to be used as a meditation venue. The temple stretches over a large area and provides a peaceful and tranquil ambience. One will also find the entire area shady with the abundance of orchard trees. When you step into this temple, you will notice that there are lots of religious artifacts and also antiquities which have been donated by the general public. You will also notice that there are wax sculptures of several Buddhist monks who were revered by Buddhists.
Wat Khao Sukim
Address: Sukhumvit Road (Highway No. 3) at Km. 305 (Ban Huai Sathon), Chanthaburi, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8am - 5pm
Access: The temple can be reached through three accesses branching off Sukhumvit Road (Highway No. 3)- Km. 305 (Ban Huai Sathon); Ban Noen Sung intersection and Km. 324 (Khao Rai Ya intersection)
Website: Wat Khao Sukim
6. Enjoy the sun, sea and sand
While Chanthaburi may not be your typical beach destination, there are beaches for you to laze on and enjoy the sun, sand and sea. The beaches of Chanthaburi open up into the horizon, leading you to spectacular peninsulas and inlets. There are several fishing villages which will be of interest to you. As such, it is worthwhile skipping the usual touristy beaches and instead exploring the Chanthaburi coast. If you would like to stick close to the sea, consider a drive towards the east along Laem Sing town before reaching the area where you can see tons of fishing vessels that head out to sea.
Laem Sing Beach
Address: Tambon Pak Nam Laem Sing, Amphoe Laem Sing, Laem Sing 22130, Thailand
Opening Hours: Open all day
Access: via the road marker number 347
Website: Laem Sing Beach
7. Visit the famous, Chanthorn Phochana
If you are in Chanthaburi, then you should not miss visiting the local restaurants and enjoy the local cuisine and desserts. One of the best local restaurants in Chanthaburi is Chanthorn Phochana. It is said that even the locals make a beeline for the food offered in Chanthorn Phochana. The humble eatery not only sells delicious Thai food, it also sells Chanthaburi delicacies as souvenirs. On offer for those wishing to try the cuisine at Chanthorn Phochana is Lon Puu, a salad dip with crab, tasty Thai curries, yam salads and so on. If you really want something authentic, then go to Chanthorn Phochana to make your tummy happy.
Address: 102/5-8 Behind Benchama Rachuthit School, Benchama Rachuthit Road, Wat Mai Subdistrict, Mueang Chanthaburi District, Chanthaburi, Thailand
Contact: +66 39312339
Facebook: Chanthorn Phochana
8. Wander along Chanthaburi streets
During the 19th-century, Chanthaburi was ruled by the French and therefore some influence still exists in the city. This is shown in the architecture of some buildings in the city. Owing to the Thai and Chinese communities co-existing in Chanthaburi, there are several temples around the city and Chinese-influenced buildings. Wander around the streets and enjoy the sights and sounds of the narrow streets. One iconic building is the Tuk Daeng or Red Building which is located in Laem Sing. This is a building which was built by the French army and is a single story building that has been painted red. Bricks used to build this building were derived from the Pikardsuuk Fortress. It was once used as a guard house for French officers, and it is now a registered historic place.
Address: Tambon Pak Nam Laem Singh | Near the pier, Chanthaburi
Opening Hours: 8am –7:30pm
Access: From Sukhumvit route heading Trad Province, turn right into Laem Sing Beach at the 347th kilometer and proceed for 16 km (9.9 mi)
Website: Tuek Daeng
Enjoy Chanthaburi for its authenticity
This is one city you will truly fall in love with as the charm of French-inspired architecture and bustling streets will welcome you. Put Chanthaburi on your bucket list as you travel through Thailand. Enjoy the coastal roads, natural environment, gem markets and the local cuisine.
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