Thailand is so much more than Bangkok, Phuket and Chang Mai. It’s also home to a hidden paradise that few travellers have ever heard of: the province of Trat.
Sitting in the southeastern corner of Thailand, bordering Cambodia, Trat hugs the Gulf of Thailand and is still relatively unexplored territory for the vast majority of travellers, which guarantees more authentic experiences and fewer crowds.
Flaunting beautiful beaches, colourful underwater worlds, virgin rainforests and roaring waterfalls, Trat is appealing to couples, divers, eco/wellness yogis and adventure-seekers just as much as it is to the regular travellers keen on absorbing the local culture and getting stuck into that delicious Thai cuisine.
And with frequent flights to Trat from Bangkok, getting there is easy as (it’s also just a five-hour drive if you prefer taking a car).
So become a real Thai expert, and take a trip to Trat. The following awaits you…
STAY IN A LUXURY ECO-RESORT
Get back to nature whilst getting your bliss on at one of Trat’s exceptional luxury eco resorts, such as Soneva Kiri, an environmentally-friendly paradise wedged between the beach and virgin rainforest.
The resort has a “no news, no shoes” policy, and all villas come with stunning infinity pools, chic furnishings, personal electric buggies and private butlers. If that isn’t enough to tempt a stay here, how about the fact that Soneva Kiri has its very own Chocolate and Ice cream parlour and a Treetop Dining Pod?
And don’t worry, there are other accommodation option in Trat too, everything from backpacker guesthouses to home-stays to simple, modern hotels.
GO KAYAKING IN A MANGROVE FOREST
Don that life vest, grab that paddle, and enter a world of mangroves, stilt houses and traditional Thai life on a kayak.
Paddle past local fisherman carrying on their traditions amidst a wild, untamed mangrove forest, and of course stop for a delicious feast of authentic Thai food, complete with that world-famous hospitality – you’ve done the paddling, you deserve it!
BEACH HOP ON KOH KUT ISLAND
Located in the most eastern part of Trat, Koh Kut is Thailand’s fourth largest island and blessed with dozens of amazing beaches, such as Ta Pho Beach, Khlong Chao Beach, Thakian Beach and Phrao Beach.
So why not spend a day or week beach hopping around the island, snorkelling in the crystal-clear water over colourful reefs, waterskiing, visiting traditional fishing villages, drinking fresh coconut water and getting a nice tan.
GET BACK TO NATURE IN THE MU KOH CHANG MARINE NATIONAL PARK
Comprising 52 idyllic islands and sprawling 650 square kilometres, the Mu Koh Chang Marine National Park is worth the trip to Trat itself.
Mostly mountains and stone cliffs, the National Park is home to lush rainforest and many roaring waterfalls, such as the three-levelled Khlong Plu Waterfall, which is just three kilometres from Ao Khlong Prao and then a 20-minute walk. The smaller Khlong Nonsi Waterfall can be reached along a 3-kilometre sidewalk from Ban Dan Mai or a 4-kilometre sidewalk from the National Park Office.
Tourists can also stay the night in the park’s campsite if they bring their own tents.
VISIT THE BAN NAM CHIAO ECO-TOURISM COMMUNITY
Maintaining a traditional way of life, Ban Nam Chiao is a living and working eco-community of both Buddhist and Muslim fishermen who have co-existed peacefully for centuries.
You can stay the night in a local’s home here, cook and eat the catch of the day, and sample some of the local delicacies, such as ‘tang may‘ (a crispy caramel) and durian – definitely an acquired taste!
Learn more about Thailand by visiting www.amazingthailand.com.au today.