The provincial Thai city of Trat is a popular launching pad for other destinations in southeast Thailand and Cambodia. Bit this laid-back city is worth more than just a transit visit. Trat offers great seafood, markets and outdoor adventures, making it a relaxing place to linger for a few days.
Thanks to the compact nature of its downtown area, it is easy to get around Trat on foot. Enjoy freshly caught seafood in one of Trat’s restaurants and pass the evening listening to live music in the many outdoor cafés. Markets and craft fairs occur in the town throughout the week. Don’t miss out on Trat’s famous night markets, where you can enjoy local seafood and fresh produce.
Rent a bicycle for an afternoon to explore the historic wooden shophouse district. Be sure to have your camera ready for the City Pillar, a Chinese-style shrine. Admire ancient relics and colorful murals in Wat Yotha Nimit and stroll through the gardens of Wat Phai Lom. Wat Buppharam has a small museum that offers insight into Trat’s rich history.
Trat is an access point to Mu Ko Chang National Park. Comprised of 52 islands, the park is known for its clear blue waters and exotic wildlife. Take your pick of the islands to enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming or hiking. The sunsets from the park’s pristine beaches are unforgettable.
Surrounded by Thailand’s natural beauty, Trat offers a wide range of different parks and habitats within close proximity. Rent kayaks and paddle up the river that borders the town or hike through the surrounding mangrove forests. Elephant camps abound in the region; before purchasing tickets to any elephant camp, do a little research to make sure the establishment treats the animals humanely.
Buses run between Bangkok and Trat daily. The journey can take up to five hours. Alternatively, you can fly into Trat Airport, which serves flights only through Bangkok Airways. Cambodia borders the town to the east and can be accessed from Trat via Hat Lek.