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tropical almond

Trat Province

Trat (ตราด) is a province (changwat) of Thailand. It is located in the east of Thailand, and has borders with Chanthaburi Province to the northwest, Cambodia to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the south.

Trat is most famous for gemstone mining and trading.

History

The history of Trat can be traced back to the reign of King Prasat Thong of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Formerly known as Mueang Thung Yai, Trat has played an important role in the development of country’s stability and economy due to its strategic location. The town of Trat has later become a community of Chinese Merchants.

Trat served as a checkpoint and buffer city in 1767 and was responsible for providing provisions to King Taksin the Great before he moved his navy from Chanthaburi to Ayutthaya, where he expelled the Burmese and liberated the Kingdom from Burmese rule.

In Rattanakosin era, during the Paknam crisis in 1893 the French colonist army occupied the western part of Chantaburi. In 1904 in order to get back Chantaburi Siam had to give Trat to French Indochina. Trat became part of Thailand again on March 23, 1906 in exchange for many areas east of the Mekong river like Battambang, Siam Nakhon and Sisophon.

During the Indochina War, the French Navy tried to seize Trat again. The French – Thai Battle broke out on 5 January 1941. The battle ended 17 January at Ko Chang, when three Thai ships were sunk - the HTMS Chonburi, HTMS Songkhla and HTMS Thonburi. Later the Japanese ended the conflict by diplomacy.

Geography

The Cardamom mountain range forms the boundary to Cambodia in the east of the province, where Trat has borders with three Cambodian provinces: Battambang, Pursat and Koh Kong.

The second biggest island of Thailand is Ko Chang, belonging to the province. The island, together with more than 40 surrounding smaller islands, forms the Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park.

Other islands of the province include: Ko Kham, Ko Mak, Ko Phi.

Approximate centre:

Symbols

The provincial seal shows the sea with a mountain in the background. Provincial tree is the Tropical almond (Terminalai catappa).

Administration

The province is subdivided in 7 districts (Amphoe). These are further subdivided into 38 subdistricts (tambon) and 254 villages (muban).

  1. Mueang Trat
  2. Khlong Yai
  3. Khao Saming
  4. Bo Rai

  1. Laem Ngop
  2. Ko Kut
  3. Ko Chang

Tourism

Sights

Wat Buppharam (วัดบุปผาราม) or Wat Plai Khlong (วัดปลายคลอง) It is the province’s oldest temple built around the reign of King Prasat Thong (1648 A.D.). Lately, a temple museum was established and the temple’s landscape has been well tidied, so it has become a local religious centre. Wat Yotha Nimit (วัดโยธานิมิตร), also known as Wat Bot (วัดโบสถ์), is the only royal temple in Trat. The temple was once used as a place to hold the oath of allegiance ceremony. There is an old ordination hall of Ayutthayan art serving as a Wihan called Wihan Yotha Nimit for storing many antiques.

City Pillar Shrine (ศาลเจ้าพ่อหลักเมือง) It is different from other city pillar shrines because of its form as a Chinese pavilion. Every year on the sixth night of the waxing moon period of the sixth lunar month, there is a celebration called, Phli Mueang Day (วันงานพลีเมือง) or known among the Chinese as Xia Gong Sae Yit (วันเซี่ยกงแซยิด) which means the birthday of the City Pillar God.

Wat Phai Lom (วัดไผ่ล้อม) It used to be a resident of Trat’s Father of Education–Than Chaokhun Phra Wimonmethachan Worayannurak. The temple also houses a Buddhist garden for public meditation and Chedi museum of three much revered monks of Trat.

Residang Kampot (โบราณสถานจวนเรสิดัง กัมปอร์ต) a former residence now used as the Office of Probation, Department of Corrections, still in its original architectural style.

Laem Sok (แหลมศอก) was used as the residence of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, the father of Thai Royal Navel Army. Fishermen villages are found nrae the area.

Wat Khiri Wihan (วัดคีรีวิหาร) The temple features fine architecture with a blend of modern art. Principal buildings inside the temple’s precincts include a large Phra Ubosot or ordination hall, Phra Chedi, reception pavilion for HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, monk’s residence, preaching hall, and Chinese pavilion enshrining Phra Phuttha Udom Sombun, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, and Phra Sangkatchai.

Laem Klat (แหลมกลัด): A white sandy beach sticking out into the sea with not too deep water ideal for swimming.

Wat Saphan Hin (วัดสะพานหิน) Although it is unknown when the temple was built, it is assumed to be more than a hundred years old. There is an old Buddhist ordination hall in the water, approximately 1 km. from the temple.

Hat Sai Ngam (หาดทรายงาม) an approximately 200-metre long white sandy beach running parallel to a grove of pine trees.

Hat Sai Ngoen (หาดทรายเงิน) a not-so-wide beach with a pine forest more ideal for relaxing or fishing than swimming.

Hat Muk Kaeo and Hat Sai Kaeo (หาดมุกแก้ว และหาดทรายแก้ว) have a peaceful atmosphere for recreation. Hat Muk Kaeo is a white sandy beach, which lies along from Hat Sai Ngoen to Hat Sai Kaeo, with the shade of pine and coconut trees all along the beach.

Ratchakarun Thai Red Cross Association’s Khao Lan Center (ศูนย์ราชการุณย์ สภากาชาดไทย เขาล้าน) Her Majesty the Queen ordered to establish to help Cambodian refugees. However, the center was closed in 1986 since all the refugees returned to their homeland. Hat Banchuen (หาดบานชื่น), formerly called Hat Maro (หาดมะโร) This beach has delicate sand grain and clear sea water where it is possible to swim.

Thailand’s Narrowest Area (ส่วนที่แคบที่สุดในประเทศไทย) located at Mu 2 Ban Khot Sai, Tambon Hat Lek, on the Trat– Khlong Yai route between Km. 81–82. The area is only 450 metres wide.

Ban Hat Lek Border Market (ตลาดชายแดนบ้านหาดเล็ก) is a village on the Thai-Cambodian border. When fighting in Cambodia was over in 1986, it used to serve as an intermediate marketplace for grain trading between farmers in Cambodia and traders in Ko Kong.

Namtok Salatdai (น้ำตกสลัดได) is situated 7 kilometres from Km. 25 of Highway No. 3157 (Saen Tung-Bo Rai).

Namtok Khlong Kaeo National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติน้ำตกคลองแก้ว) has an area of approximately 65,525 rai (104,840 square kilometres). Interesting places is Namtok Khlong Kaeo.

Ban Nam Chiao (บ้านน้ำเชี่ยว) It is noted for Ngop Nam Chiao, a native hat to ward off the sun. The hat is woven with local palm leafs from plants grown in mangrove area. It is still widely used today as it is light and comfortable.

Ko Chang Naval Battle Memorial (อนุสรณ์สถานยุทธนาวีเกาะช้าง) at Laem Ngop, commemorates the Franco-Thai naval engagement on January 17-21, 1941. There are also the Statue of Prince Chumphon, father of the Thai navy, and a warship-shaped museum displaying old equipment and armament of the fleet with exhibits on the Ko Chang naval battle.

Ko Pui (เกาะปุย) an islet not too far from the shore that makes an ideal attraction for relaxation in shady surroundings. It is conveniently accessible in all seasons and home to coconut groves, herbs and Dinso Phong (white clay body-powder) mentioned at the time of King Rama V’s visit to Trat.

Ao Tan Khu (อ่าวตาลคู่) is a bay with fine sandy beach popular with local people during holidays.

Mu Ko Chang (หมู่เกาะช้าง) located in the middle of the sea and, thus, having an averagely pleasant climate ideal for vacation. Ko Chang is influenced by monsoons from both the northeast and southwest winds, which bar boat access to the island during May–October.

Mu Ko Chang National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติหมู่เกาะช้าง), with an area of 650 square kilometres, covers more than 52 islands. The most famous is Ko Chang. In addition, there are other islands with remaining wonderful nature.

Ko Chang (เกาะช้าง) previously an unsettled island, is now important as a harbour for ships to escape from the monsoon, and dietary or fresh water resources. Ko Chang is the second largest island of the country. The topography contains high mountains and complex stone cliffs.

Ko Chang Naval Battle Site (บริเวณยุทธนาวีเกาะช้าง) The Trat waters near Ao Salak Phet and Ao Salak Khok also added another page in the Thai history of fighting for the country’s sovereignty. 17 January has become a memorial day for the heroic fighting, of which a service is held annually at Ko Chang Naval Battle Memorial in Amphoe Laem Ngop.

Ko Ngam was the first point of confrontation in the Franco–Siamese War in which the French army sent aircraft on a reconnaissance and bombing of the island, whereas Ko Wai is the point where French patrol aircraft crashed after being fired by HTMS Songkhla and HTMS Chon Buri.

Ko Mai Si is a small private island where there is beautiful nature, sandy beaches and clear water –home to diversified marine life and ideal for diving. Various plant species grow wild on the island, which used to be a confrontation site between the Lamotte Piquet and HTMS Thon Buri that was in commission at Ko Lim.

Ao Khlong Son (อ่าวคลองสน): A bay in the northernmost west of the island where Ban Khlong Son Community is located, with a beautiful coral reef.

Namtok Khlong Nonsi (น้ำตกคลองนนทรี): A small waterfall to the northeast of the island accessible by a 3-km. pathway from Ban Dan Mai or about 4 km. from the national park’s headquarters.

Namtok Than Mayom (น้ำตกธารมะยม) a medium 4-tiered waterfall located some 500 metres through a garden behind the national park’s headquarters, with the 3rd tier being the most beautiful.

Namtok Khlong Phlu (น้ำตกคลองพลู): A large and most breathtaking waterfall on Ko Chang with water cascading down 3 tiers of the cliff to a basin, with an entrance located 3 km. from Ao Khlong Phrao.

Hat Sai Yao (หาดทรายยาว) located near Ao Salak Phet to the south of the island with a long stretch of sandy beach.

Monkey Training Centre (โรงเรียนฝึกลิง) located at Hat Sai Khao, the centre provides training as well as shows of monkey’s abilities, especially in collecting coconuts.

Ban Salak Phet (บ้านสลักเพชร) a large and the oldest community on Ko Chang located in the southern part. The villagers’ main occupation is coastal fishery in an advantageous area sheltered from winds and storms by islands and mountains. There is an old temple in front of the village known as Wat Salak Phet.

Namtok Khiri Phet (น้ำตกคีรีเพชร) a single-storeyed waterfall located 3 km. from Ban Salak Phet Community through a rubber plantation.

Namtok Khlong Nueng (น้ำตกคลองหนึ่ง) a small waterfall near Namtok Khiri Phet – Ban Rong Than, located some 2 km. deeper inside the island from the Salak Phet Community with another 480-metre walk. The waterfall cascades down from a narrow gorge for 120 metres.

Bang Bao Fishery Village (หมู่บ้านประมงบางเบ้า) a village of houses on stilts built into the sea with bridges connecting them together. Most of the villagers are descendants of the Salak Phet villagers. The area is an ideal berthing area for fishing boats, with mountains and islands providing a good shelter from wind and storms in the monsoon season.

Ban Rong Than (บ้านโรงถ่าน) a small community located near Salak Phet in the southern part of the island. It is a scenic viewpoint where the mist-covered peak of Khao Salak Phet in the north and Ko Maphrao Nai and mountains near Laem Yai in the east are visible.

Ao Bai Lan (อ่าวใบลาน) located next to Hat Kai Bae.

Hat Kai Bae (หาดไก่แบ้) a sloping and long stretch of beach connecting with Hat Khlong Phrao.

Ko Chang Noi and Laem Chang Noi (เกาะช้างน้อยและแหลมช้างน้อย) located in the north of Ko Chang and housing coral reefs between Laem Chang Noi and Ko Chang Noi.

Ko Man Nok–Ko Man Nai (เกาะมันนอก–เกาะมันใน) small islands opposite Hat Kai Bae with surrounding beaches at low tides and golden seaweeds in the nearby shallows.

Ko Khlum (เกาะคลุ้ม) an island ideal for fishing with a peculiar scenery of rocky areas.

Ko Lao Ya (เกาะเหลายา) a group of islands located to the south of Ko Chang comprising Ko Lao Ya Nai, Ko Lao Ya Klang and Ko Lao Ya Nok.

Ko Wai (เกาะหวาย) The bay to the north of the island houses coral reefs in a perfect condition whereas the western area of Ao Yai provides home to mostly hard corals and scaly giant clams.

Ko Phrao Nok or Ko Sai Khao (เกาะพร้าวนอก หรือ เกาะทรายขาว) located to the south facing Ao Salak Phet. The island has white sandy beaches and shady coconut grove.

Ko Ngam (เกาะง่าม) a twin island connected by a large sand bar located to the southeast of Ko Chang, with an inlet surrounded by the hilly topography where the sea is calm and scenic.

Ko Kut (เกาะกูด) Thailand’s easternmost island in Trat waters, the province’s second largest island next to Ko Chang and the country’s fourth largest island. The topography is generally still in its natural condition, with mountains and ridges forming the headwater of many streams from which originate various waterfalls. The most renowned waterfall on Ko Kut is Namtok Wang Chao.

Ko Mak (เกาะหมาก) The topography is mostly coastal plain with a thicket of coconut groves and rubber plantations. Scenic bays and sandy beaches embracing crystal clear water are all around the island such as Ao Ta Nit, Ao Prong, Ao Phat and Ao Daeng

Ko Kradat (เกาะกระดาษ) It has a flat paper-like topography with Alocasia plants–‘Kradat’ in Thai–growing wild in abundance. The island has a long and white sandy beach with beautiful coral reefs.

Mu Ko Rayang (หมู่เกาะระยั้ง) a group of islands comprising Ko Rayang Nai and Ko Rayang Nok. Ko Rayang Nok is peaceful with white sandy beaches and crystal clear water.

Mu Ko Kra (หมู่เกาะกระ) a group of islets to the west of Ko Mak, a swallow bird’s nest concession area and a diving spot with beautiful corals.

Mu Ko Rang (หมู่เกาะรัง) a group of islets located approximately 6 km. to the west of Ko Mak. There is not sufficient plains area for human habitation on Ko Rang, which is surrounded by islands of various sizes.

Local Products

Ruby (พลอยแดง) Trat has been renowned for its precious red gemstone known as ‘Siamese Ruby’. However, as gemstones in the province begin to reduce, the Siamese ruby is now becoming rare.

Ngop Nam Chiao (งอบน้ำเชี่ยว) a folk-style hand-made palm leaf hat identified with the Nam Chiao community. The hat is made into a distinct shape looking like an overturned frying pan or soldier’s hat in former times.

Rakam Wan (ระกำหวาน) a sweet variety of zalacca which is the most famous fruits out of the province’s vast array of fruit produce.

Trat Si Thong Pineapple (สับปะรดตราดสีทอง) a sweet and crispy variety of Trat’s juicy pineapple with yellowish skin. Seafood Products (ผลิตภัณฑ์อาหารทะเล)' dried fish and shrimp shrimp paste, processed food.

Namman Lueang (Yellow Oil) (น้ำมันเหลือง) herbal rubbing oil produced out of folk wisdom since ancient times. The aromatic vapourizing oil helps to relieve muscular pain, stiffness, dizziness, congested nose and cold.

Thai Ridgeback Dog (สุนัขพันธุ์ไทยหลังอาน) distinctive by its ridged back, smartness and honesty.

Local fighting cock (ไก่ชนพื้นเมือง) is a breed of cock famous for its talent and good tactics in fighting inhabiting Trat.

Culture

Festivals

The Ko Chang Naval Battle Day (งานวันวีรกรรมทหารเรือไทยในยุทธนาวีที่เกาะช้าง) is organised in late January at the Ko Chang Naval Battle Monument (Anuson Yutthanawi) at Laem Ngop. The event is to commemorate the bravery of the Royal Thai Navy’s action against the French on January 17-21, 1941. Merit-making and tribute rites are performed and there is exhibition by the Royal Thai Navy.

Trat Independence Day (งานวันตราดรำลึก), on March 23-27, marks the day the province returned to Thai sovereignty after the French occupation. The celebrations are held at the provincial town hall.

Trivia

  • Trat is the only province of Thailand that shares a land border with only one other Thai province (Chanthaburi).
  • Bangkok Senator Nitiphoom Naowarat is from Trat.

External links

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