Chanthaburi a tropical fruit paradise

April 29, 2015 by  
Filed under THAINESS

BANGKOK, 29 April 2015: Chanthaburi is a dream destination for tour operators seeking a mix of attractions, all close to each other, that will appeal to clients.

It is famed for its fruits and its vast orchards inspired tours. Then there are quiet beaches, impressive national parks, touches of history and even open-cast gem mines that are open to visitors, all within easy reach of the provincial town.

This eastern seaboard province is blessed with rich, verdant forests and scenic waterfalls in national parks that are a short drive from coastal resorts.

The seaside province is 240 km from Bangkok and around 120 km from Pattaya resort.

3.1  It shares borders with Rayong and Trat provinces and to the east with Cambodia.

The Chanthaburi River flows through the provincial capital and this makes the old town a very picturesque setting for photographers.

There are also quiet fishing villages and peaceful beaches close to town and this proximity to a variety of attractions is probably the ace card for Chantaburi’s travel scene.

Bordering Cambodia, the province is starting to gain recognition as a stopover on overland tours that combine Thailand and Cambodia.

Chanthaburi town has some striking buildings that were influenced by the French who briefly occupied this area of Thailand in the 19th century. Their influence can be seen in the architecture of many buildings including the largest Catholic cathedral in Thailand. There is a Christian population, many of whom are ethnic Vietnamese, who migrated to Thailand in the early 20th century.

3.2Built in 1909, the Gothic style church stands on the river bank and is recognised as the largest Catholic church in Thailand.

The town’s Anyamanee Road, is the historic centre of the province’s gem business. It is most famous for its red gemstone known as Siam Ruby. This jewel and also topaz and amethyst are commonly found in the districts of Taa Mai and Klung.

Anyamanee Road in the centre of Chanthaburi town and is open Fridays to Sundays to tourists who will find many shops that sell gems. There are also demonstrations on the techniques of cutting, polishing and setting the gems in decorative jewelry.

The area known as Taa Luang is the old business quarter of Chanthaburi town, situated on the west bank of Chanthaburi River. This is where Chinese and Vietnamese have lived since the Rattanakosin Era. There are many old colonial style houses; a combination of western and Chinese styles. The buildings are built next to each other in a curved line and decorated with carved wood. Many shops still preserve the old styles such as a hair salon that was built with wood, and a Chinese folk medicine shop. Visitors usually pass the Chicken Droppings Prison, a jail that reminds Thai people of the Franco-Siamese War.

3.3Another popular product from Chanthaburi is Chantaboon matting made from reed – a technique derived from the Vietnamese who settled in the province.

Reed is dried out and colored before weaving. A popular producer is the Bangsrakaew agriculturist situated at 6 Moo 5 Baan Lang, Tambol Bangsrakaow, Laem Singh district. The best time to visit is from February to May during the season for weaving mats.

Travellers interested in Buddhism should visit Wat Mangkornbooppharam, which is very similar to the Dragon Temple Kammalawat at Yaowarat.

The best time to visit is during May the main fruit season, when villages display fruits at roadside stalls.

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