Chanthaburi Province & Koh Chang
6 Days / 5 Nights
Bangkok to Koh Chang overland, in a different way. Normally visitors bypass this part of the country and wizz through to arrive in Koh Chang in a few hours. We now have the opportunity to spend a few days exploring the interesting sights and towns on the way to Koh Chang.
This tour is available with driver and guide, but also as a self-drive trip.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Thailand with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Bangkok – Chao Lao Beach (-/-/-)
This morning, meet your guide and driver in the lobby of your hotel at 07.00 and depart for the upcountry town of Chachoengsao, a trip of less than 2 hours.
Upon arrival we visit Wat Sothorn Wararam Woraviharn, the oldest temple in town, so be sure to dress respectfully! This temple contains a highly revered Buddha image, 'Luang Por Sothorn' and usually there are many Thais paying respect in various ways which is a fascinating spectacle. Of interest also is the inlaid floor with stylized animal figures. Next door is an old style amulet market which warrants a visit as well.
Further out of town we will visit 3 very different temples but all worth your time. The first one is the most colorful and gaudy; Wat Saman Rattanaram’s reclining 16 meter high pink Ganesh statue – with its elephant head and 4 arms – is hard to miss! There are also several (very!) large statues of other Buddhist/Hindu images surprisingly mixed with pop culture ones, such as Doraemon, Transformers and more. A smaller copy of Myanmar’s Golden Rock is also part of this Hindu/Buddhist/Chinese temple complex, which frequently leaves the visitor puzzled as at times it seems more like a religious amusement park. However the local visitors take it all very seriously and it’s fascinating to see how they interact with all this.
Another short drive brings us to Wat Pho Bang Khla, this temple’s main attraction isn’t religious, but natural, as the trees on its grounds are the home of giant fruit bats. They are really huge as their wingspan measures nearly 1 meter! In the late afternoon the bats fly out to hunt for food, but earlier they are clearly visible as well. In contrast, the temple grounds house a surprisingly large number of chickens!
Afterwards we continue to Chao Lao Beach, a 3-hour trip, but worth it as the beach is quite nice.
Upon arrival we check-in at our beach resort with the evening at leisure.
Day 2. Chao Lao Beach – Chanthaburi (B/-/-)
This morning you will have enough time to go for a walk along the several kilometers of beach.
At 11.00 we depart for Kung Krabaen Mangrove Forest Study Walkway, which features a 1.6 m raised walkway through the mangroves for a relaxing and fascinating walk, nicely shaded from the sun. Also worth a look is Kung Krabaen Aquarium’s impressive collection of tropical fish (not included in package price). Both places are not far from your resort.
Next we drive to Chanthaburi Town, a historic place with plenty to see and do. First stop is at Chanthaburi’s National Maritime Museum, for any history buff a place worth dropping by because it provides ample information about this town’s fascinating past. Note that some parts of the museum unfortunately are in need of repair but there is still plenty to see.
Chanthaburi is one of the few Thai towns to have been ‘colonialized’, in this case by the French for about 11 years in the late 19th century. This is important because it left a serious imprint in the form of Catholic Vietnamese continuing to live there and consequently made Chanthaburi a town with the largest church in Thailand: the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception which we will visit next. Although Thailand is mainly Buddhist, Chanthaburi has a large community of Roman Catholic Vietnamese, who made their homes here following religious persecution back in Vietnam since the 1800s.
In the old town we explore the unusual ‘hybrid’ Wat Khetnaboonyaram, a Vietnamese/Chinese Buddhist temple, which is shown clearly in its building style. Both temple and church are near Chanthaboon, the old riverfront neighborhood. Basically just a narrow, long lane with old wooden 2 storey houses in various conditions, from well preserved/renovated to dilapidated, the whole area is oozing a time of years gone by. Of course some of the old houses didn’t survive over the years and were replaced with larger concrete buildings, but the local people have realized the importance of their historical heritage and each in their own way work hard to preserve it. For the visitor it provides some nice wandering around with a glimpse of the past. The lane of course also offers some coffee shops and small restaurants serving local and international food. And in the evenings there’s no better place than to sit down in a riverside pub/restaurant enjoying a cool drink and some good food.
Afterwards we check into our nearby hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 3. Chanthaburi – Koh Chang (B/-/-)
Early this morning we depart at 07.00 for nearby Namtok Phlio, one of Thailand’s better-known waterfalls so it’s not surprising that its name is used for this National Park. The waterfall seems to ‘erupt’ straight out of the mountain and is especially impressive during the rainy season, with mist clouds at times covering the visitors.
Best is to first start with the park’s Nature Trail, if you are reasonably fit the 45 min. hike shouldn’t be a problem although some parts can be slippery. The stream near the trail’s ‘gate’ is picturesque and you’ll probably see local tourists having a blast with lots of fish swimming around them. The trail itself is clearly indicated but still adventurous enough to make it challenging at times. The signs along the trail are informative and in good condition, which is not always the case in the national parks here. Unfortunately, the trail offers only glimpses of the waterfall, which can only be fully seen at the end, but then it really is a remarkable sight.
Nearby, just in front of the waterfall’s pool, is a remarkable chedi, originally built during King Rama V’s reign as a memorial to his wife. This chedi is completely overgrown by moss and the result is a sight to be seen! Seemingly out of place is a miniature pyramid, but this turns out to be a shrine containing the ashes of the King’s wife. Near the entrance are various sitting areas to relax and enjoy some food, all well maintained.
After our National Park tour we continue driving to Thammachat Pier (65kms, about 1h drive) and board the public ferry to your final destination: Koh Chang. Drop off at your hotel and rest of the day at leisure.
Day 4-5. Koh Chang (B/-/-)
Day 6. Koh Chang - Bangkok (B/-/-)
Room at disposal until check-out.
Meet your driver in the lobby of your hotel for a private transfer (no guide) back to Bangkok (330kms, about 4.5h drive).
PRICES AND INCLUSIONS
6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS FROM £ request a quote
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Transfers and tours with local English-speaking driver guide in private air-conditioned vehicle
All entrance fees as mentioned in the program
Meals as mentioned in the program without drinks (B/L/D) = (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Thailand. Request a quote from us.
Anything not specifically mentioned above.
Optional tours, camera fees.
Tips to the guide and driver, porters and waiters.
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Peak season surcharges
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