Like most travellers, the first places I have visited in Thailand were the islands in the south, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Undoubtedly, all are amazing places, offering splendid nature, tasty food and numerous activities that will make your holiday an unforgettable experience. Today I would like to introduce you to three provinces in Eastern Thailand that in my opinion are slightly neglected by tourists. Even for me, it took a few years to actually explore them. Here are some of the biggest highlights of Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat provinces that can serve as great stops on your way from Bangkok to Cambodia. I was lucky to be able to visit these places with Tourism Thailand.
Lunch at J-Taipupen restaurant at Ban Phe / Rayong
For all sea food lovers, this is a place not to be missed. Here you will find super fresh crabs, shrimps, sea bass, shellfish and other delicacies that you can enjoy sitting on the terrace overlooking the sea and watching the fisherman getting ready for the next fish harvest.
Fruit orchard Suphattra Land / Rayong
A great way to learn about all the local fruit is to visit the Suphattra Land fruit orchard. This is one of the most popular. For 450 baht you can enjoy a train tour, eat as much as you can in the fruit bar and also taste freshly made papaya salad. The biggest specialty here is durian, otherwise known as “the king of the fruit”.
Sea farming demonstration / Chanthaburi
Ever wondered how oysters are bred? You can learn this and also much more about marine conversation at the Kung Krabaen Bay where, for a small fee you can buy a bucket filled with fish to feed the local sharks.
Gem market in Chanthaburi / Chanthaburi
A new thing I have learned on this trip to Thailand was that the city of Chanthaburi is big in the gem trade. People come here from all around the world to buy sapphires and other expensive stones. Si Chan Road is the place where it all happens.
Flower lunch / Chanthaburi
Interested in trying traditional Thai meals that are served in a different way? I was amazed by Ban Namprik Khao Suay restaurant where they decorate all meals with beautiful flowers. They even have purple rice, that gets its colour by adding a few drops of extract from a butterfly flower.
Chanthaboon waterfront / Chanthaburi
I fell in love with the city of Chanthaburi. It’s full of nice architecture and cosy cafés. It kind of reminded me of Chiang Mai. My favourite area was the Chanthaboon waterfront where we stopped for lunch at Tamajun restaurant which offered tasty food and tables on the terrace overlooking the river. Highly recommended!
Oyster farm / Chanthaburi
You either love them or hate them. If you belong to the first group then don’t miss visiting Auntie Louis & Uncle Tom oyster farm. Uncle Tom will show you how he farms the oysters and also how to eat them in the proper way. These oysters were the biggest ones I have ever seen!
Mangrove forest / Trat
I have never been to a mangrove forest before, so this was a great experience for me. We sailed through the forest, learned about mud clam breeding and even had a game of bowling in the middle of the forest. After that, we tasted some local specialties that were prepared by the lovely people of the community of Ban Tha Ranae.
Huai Raeng Local community / Trat
This is definitely an activity not to be missed. First we took a boat to learn about how nipa trees are used for various purposes. Then we prepared traditional desserts and were given a demonstration of the production of mangosteen cosmetic products.
Trat museum / Trat
This museum will give you a great insight into the history and life of Trat province. I have to admit I am not a big fan of museums, but this one I enjoyed especially because of how nicely all the displays were made. We even watched some short movies.