Chiang Rai Province is the northernmost province of Thailand. As the province is at the very top of Thailand, it borders Myanmar and Laos. The close proximity to these countries has allowed the cultures to influence the province of Chiang Rai.
The province is average sized and is home to approximately 1,130,000 citizens.
There are an abundance of different people from the different cultures from the surrounding countries, and the rest of Thailand obviously. The provincial capital, also named Chiang Rai is a honey pot of mixed races and mixed language citizens.
Arriving by plane really is a joy when flying into the nearest airport to Chiang Rai. ‘Mae Fah Luang-Chiang International Airport’ is only 8km from the city centre, so really isn’t far. Flights are available from all parts of Thailand.
The Mekong river, although not the biggest river, runs through the centre of the provincial capital, and is home to many hill-tribes along its banks. The Mekong links to other rivers such as the Mae Rim Valley River and acts as a carrier river. It has an amazing and fascinating mix of colours that varies between locations.
Chiang Rai city lies 565 metres (1885 feet) above sea level in a large fertile valley. Along the valley there’s an abundance of wildlife and vegetation of all different kinds. The river banks are lined with trees. The cool refreshing climate is a favourite of local Thai people and of world travellers alike.
There is a very famous and popular night market with a more subdued atmosphere than that of the bustling city centre of the provincial capital and the other cities and towns in Chiang Rai Province. Surprisingly, the pollution levels around the night time market are very low, some of the lowest levels in the whole of Thailand in fact. Local sellers are given special precedence in the market to sell their wares to the weary travellers. The market is not for from the city centre of Chiang Rai, and if you don’t want to walk you can always take a ride on a local form of transport, such as the Tuk-Tuk.
Hill tribe fabrics, beads, needlework, and silver dominates the city and whole province of Chiang Rai. There are many food courts in Chiang Rai city, selling a number of northern Thai dishes, and Asian dishes. Day time and night time snacks are available. Or, you can go into one of many pubs and just relax, enjoy the city, and people watch.
Stay with our Hotel Partners in Chiang Rai
The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.
Geography of Chiang Rai
The province of Chiang Rai, and its capital city that is also called Chiang Rai is Thailand’s northernmost province. The province is situated between north latitude 14 degrees and east longitude 49 degrees.
The whole province covers an area of 11,678 square kilometres, making it the 12th largest province in Thailand. The provincial capital is approximately 785 km north of the capital of Thailand, Bangkok.
The province is divided into administrative districts, sub-districts, amphoes, or king-amphoes. There are 13 in total, some larger than the others for political and economical reasons.
Chiang Rai city is 62 km from the Burmese border, so is easily and quickly accessible from Myanmar. The city is also only 60 km from the Laos border, so again is easily accessed from Laos. This has allowed an influx of immigrants from the border countries to move into the city and province of Chiang Rai.
The landscape within and surrounding Chiang Rai is flat and heavily vegetated, or is hilly with various rivers running through and around them. Many of the hill tribes are located within the limestone hilled areas of the province. Limestone cliffs are visible from miles around, and the view really is breath taking.
The climate of Chiang Rai province is actually quite stable throughout the year. On average the yearly average high temperature is approximately 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) and the yearly average low is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). The hottest month is April with an average high of 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). During this month weather warnings are often issued due to the hot and humid weather and the frequent thunderstorms experienced this time of year.
The official population of Chiang Rai city is 62,000 people, but this does not include the suburbs, towns, villages, and local tribes, so the actual population could be well over 200,000 citizens. 12.5% of the population of the city are members of local hill tribes, which is a collective term for the ethnic minority groups of northern Thailand such as the Karen, Akha, Lisu, Meo, and Muser tribes.
Many Chinese immigrants have moved to the province of Chiang Mai. The Chinese population has merged in with the native Thai citizens, and has created a “Thainese” ethnicity. Well over half of the businesses in the Chiang Rai are owned by the Chinese population.
Transportation in Chiang Rai province, and especially within Chiang Rai city is relatively well organised, if not a little hectic at different times of the day and at different times of the year. The province is easily accessible by plane from the major cities of Thailand. As Bangkok holds the country’s largest and most important International airport, daily flights are available from the airport to Chiang Rai International Airport with flight times of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, with flights run by Thai Airways, Air Asia, Nok Air, and One to Go Airlines. Trains are not available to the city, as the train lines end at Chiang Mai city, but boats along the rivers, and buses which run along the Burmese border are available with travel times of approximately 14 hours.
The geography of Chiang Rai is very complicated and a little confusing, but it is an amazing province, and must be visited.
Cheap Flights to Chiang Rai
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The History of Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is absolutely steeped in history, both from its past rulers, and from its past inhabitants. Many reminders of these historical events can be still be seen today.
Chiang Rai was founded in the year 1262 AD by King Ramkhamhaeng (1279-1299 AD) of the Sukhothai Kingdom of Thailand. Thirty four years later, King Ramkhamhaeng founded Chiang Rai as a capital city, and centre of the Lanna Thai Kingdom (circa 1262-1558 AD). The Lanna Thai Kingdom covered the areas of Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phayao, Nan, and many other provinces in the North of Thailand at present.
During the years 1558 to 1774 AD, the Lanna Kingdom was a Burmese colony, and many of the native Thai people were oppressed by their rulers. But finally, King Taksin (1767-1782 AD), the King of Siam of the Thonburi period, won the realm back from the Burmese, and the Lanna Thai Kingdom became a dependency of Siam (former name of Thailand). Until 1933 Chiang Rai was ruled as a frontier town when it became a province of Siam.
Legend has it that King Ramkhamhaeng was chasing down a runaway prize elephant and finally recaptured it at the foot of Doi Tong Hill. Taking this as a good sign, the King founded the city of Chiang Rai on that spot. The King built the temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Tong at the top of the Doi Tong hill. A short way down from the hill there is a Chinese shrine that backs into the hillside under the temple. The sign reads Hall of the Godfather of Doi Tong. It is written in Thai, and was erected as a thank you shrine to the founding Father of the city and province of Chiang Rai.
The Capital Chiang Rai was once a walled city along with the neighbouring city of Chiang Mai. The walls were constructed as defences and the protection of the city, as being on the border it was prone to attack from neighbouring forces. In the 19th century the walls were knocked down on the advice of a visiting Dutch engineer who believed that the walls were bad for public health.
Apparently, the walls restricted the flow of fresh air to the city. A few years ago, the city Fathers tried to make the city walls more appealing to visitors, but due to the lack of any actual archaeological of photographic evidence, the rebuilding effort failed.
In the last 50 years, many Chinese immigrants have arrived into the city to escape from Chinese Communist oppression. The village of Doi Mae Salong is extremely unique and over the years since the Chinese arrived, the village has changed and merged with the local Thai traditions. The Chinese have planted hundreds of Soolong tea plantations.
Remnants of Ancient Burmese occupation are very evident in the local traditions and buildings in the different areas of the city. Kaow Soy curries, which are an ancient Burmese food, are widely available in Chiang Rai.
Local citizens are just as proud of their ancient historical Bangkok royal family as they are of their founding father, and of the multiple cultures that have merged over the years to create the modern city and province of Chiang Rai.
Local Thai people and expats really are friendly and welcoming in Chiang Rai. The Thai people will show you their legendary charm and will always be there for you, just to have a chat with, or to help you if you are in need of it.
There are many adventure and health resorts in the province of Chiang Rai. You can take a relaxing break to forget the world and your problems at home, or you can take an adventure break, taking elephant treks along the rivers and in the forests.
What to see and do
Chiang Rai is famous for many things. There are popular events that tourist and locals alike all love. The cultures and traditions in Chiang Rai city and the Chiang Rai province have all added to the effect.
Everyone knows about the famous Thai food, so what can be better than learning to cook and create the food for yourself? The Suwannee Thai Cooking Class is a privately run cookery school. The school is run by Suwannee, who takes you around the Chiang Rai city market to gather the necessary ingredients for your Thai dishes, and then she takes you to the school and shows you how to cook the food using traditional Thai methods. This is a must for the food connoisseur, and you get a free tour of the famous city market included.
Chiang Rai night market is a magnet for all kinds of visitors to the province. Every tourist wants to buy something as a souvenir to take home for family and friends, or to keep so that they can remember their trip. At the Chiang Rai night market you will be able to buy local Thai clothing, pottery, beads, etc. and when you have no energy left after all the shopping, then why not have a relaxing foot massage by a local Thai woman? It’s cheap and relaxing, and you won’t want it to stop.
Chiang Rai may not have a beach, but it does have many different bodies of water that should be visited at least once whilst in the province. The ‘Golden Triangle’ is the most famous body of water in the region, where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. The rivers of Chiang Rai provide the people with transport, food and leisure and getting out of the water allows you to get closer to the culture of Chiang Rai.
January is probably the most lively and eventful month in the Chiang Rai calendar. The whole month is set aside to commemorate the founding Father of the city and province. The ‘King Meng Rai Festival’ is an event to celebrate the 13th century creation of the city. Parades, culturally driven performances and songs are sung to celebrate the past. Extremely colourful and atmospheric, it’s undeniably an unforgettable experience.
The most important Buddhist festival in the Buddhist calendar is the ‘Visakha Bucha’ which is held on May’s full moon. On this day in history, Buddha was supposedly born, achieved enlightenment, and died (all on separate occasions).
Candlelight vigils, parades, and religious ceremonies are held in temples right across Chiang Rai. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to help the locals celebrate the event. Travellers and pilgrims from right across the globe come to Chiang Rai and you should join them.
There is always something to do and see in Chiang Rai. Once you have seen and experienced the sights and sounds of the city and province, you will want to return with all of your friends and family.
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Attractions of Chiang Rai
There are many tourist attractions in the city and province of Chiang Rai. With many a reference to the history and culture of the region, the attractions range from markets to temples. There is always something to do and plenty of experiences for all travellers, young and old.
Located outside of the city walls, some 200 metres from the visitors centre, the most famous historic site, Wat Pa Sak lies. On the site there is a deserted temple with ornamental stucco motifs. The temple is regarded as one of the most beautiful examples of Lanna architecture in Northern Thailand. In 1925, Prince Saen Phu built the temple to contain Buddha’s relics. He planted 300 teak trees in the grounds of the temple. There are 22 historic remains on the site of the temple, the most famous of these being the main bell-shaped chedi with its 5 tapering spires. The spires were designed in the design of the pagan (Phukam) architecture.
A major attraction that is popular with both tourists and locals is called ‘The Golden Triangle’ in English. The English name comes from the meeting of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, but to the locals it is called ‘Sop Ruak’, since this is where the Mekong and Ruak rivers meet.
The area has in the past been famous for the sinister growth of opium, but those days have passed and today the area is one of the largest tourist traps in Thailand. At the ‘Golden Triangle’ you will see the natural boundaries that the river provides between the 3 neighbouring countries. The rivers flow through the hills and forested areas of the area and the views are absolutely stunning. Many people take a private boat ride on the rivers, and visit the Phra That Doi Pu Khao temple which is located on the hill just before the Golden Triangle and is believed to have been built by a King of Wiang Hirannakhon Ngoen Yang in the mid-8th century. Remains of antiquities are in the Viharn with crumbled Chedis.
The Chiang Rai province is very famous for its natural healing and relaxation centres. The most famous of these is Wang Jao Clinic and Spa in which you can have certified massages by professional therapists to help you forget your troubles and relax. There are various treatments available for all of the troubles that everyday life may bring with it. The most famous massage offered in the spa is a coffee spa and coffee massage. Locally grown coffee is used in many various ways. You will just have to experience these for yourself to understand the true potential that is offered.
Chiang Saen, next to the city of Chiang Rai, but still in the province of Chiang Rai, south of the Golden Triangle is home to the Chiang Saen wall ruins. The walls that were built during the occupation periods from 1262 to 1803 as homes and businesses can still be vaguely seen today. In 1803, Chiang Saen was left as a ghost town until 1900, but the town has still not repopulated much since then. The walls really are a must-see and cannot be missed for all travellers to Chiang Rai province.
Chiang Rai Hotels
Hotels Chiang Rai City: Popularity
|Hotel||Stars||Discount||Price before and discount||Select dates|
|Nak Nakara Hotel||★★★★|
|Hop Inn Chiang Rai||★★|
|Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort, Thailand - SHA Certified||★★★★★||-18%||2 336 1 919|
|Homey Dormy Chiangrai||★★★|
|Na-Rak-O Resort||★★★||-25%||492 371|
|Hi Chiangrai Hotel||★★★|
|Le Patta Hotel Chiang Rai||★★★★|
|The Imperial River House Resort, Chiang Rai||★★★★★||-18%||814 664|
|Laluna Hotel And Resort, Chiang Rai||★★★★|
|Ariya inn Chiangrai||★★★|
|Meesuk ChiangRai Hotel||★★|
|The Riverie by Katathani||★★★★★|
|Chiangrai Green Park Resort||★★★|
|Jansupar Court Hotel|
|See View Place||★|
Hua Hin Cha-am | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
Hua Hin Travel Guide
Hua Hin is a district in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province of Thailand, 295 kilometers from Bangkok and 90 km from the provincial capital. It is the oldest and most traditional of Thailand’s beach resorts combining the attractions of a modern holiday destination with the charm and fascination of a still active fishing port. Beaches are located in the east of the province, including a 5km stretch of white sand and clear water. Although it has developed to cater for tourists from all over the world, the resort which began its development over 70 years ago, remains popular with Thais too, a good sign for those looking for an authentic experience.
The resort was originally founded in 1830s, when farmers, moving south to escape the results of a severe drought in the agricultural area of Phetchaburi, found a small village beside white sands and rows of rock, and settled in. The tranquil fishing village was turned into a ‘Royal resort’ becoming popular among Siam’s nobility and smart-set.
Accessibility was greatly enhanced by the construction of the railway from Bangkok, which brought visitors from wider social groups, and kick-started the industry which would bring tourists from other countries. The first hotel – The Railway Hotel – was built in 1921 and it still stands today continuing to serve tourists as the Sofitel Central.
Hua Hin was made famous in the early 1920s by King Rama VII, who decided it was an ideal getaway from the steamy metropolis of Bangkok. He built a summer palace and this was echoed when King Rama VII ordered the construction of the Palace of Klaikangwon (“far from worries”). The latter is still much used by the Thai Royal Family today.
The resort continued to develop slowly, protected to some extent by its Royal reputation. Its fishing port grew alongside golf courses and all the big hotel chains are now represented. Many of Bangkok’s rich and famous and a growing number of expats have built their own summer homes along the bay, making the resort more cosmopolitan every year.
Development has taken over much of the prime government land, so the coast road suffers from obstructed views of the sea these days, but Hua Hin is trying hard to retain its beach-side atmosphere. Compared to Pattaya, the resort remains relatively serene and attracts families and older travelers. The beach has a gradual slope, into clear warm water which so far has escaped pollution of any kind.
Further afield, the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province is a charming region, where limestone cliffs and islands, bays and beaches, are home to a national park, and several temples, and travelling through this area will be a welcome experience for those hoping to avoid the tourist traps found further South. Driving from Bangkok through Prachuap Khiri Khan takes around three hours, a journey punctuated by summer palaces, huge temples, beautifully kept gardens and salt flats.
Visitors head to Hua Hin all year round. The area has one of the lowest rainfalls in the country, and there’s usually a gentle sea breeze to punctuate the heat, particularly welcome in the summer season between March and September.
Stay with our Hotel Partners in Hua Hin
The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.
Flights to Hua Hin
Cheap Flights to Hua Hin
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Things to see and do in Hua Hin
As you would expect with a resort boasting a 5km clean white beach, sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling are popular pastimes. Swimming is safe, and with one of the driest climates across Thailand, there’s plenty of opportunity to dry off in the sun afterwards.
Possibly due to its noble history and elegant clientele, Hua Hin has the highest density of world class golf courses anywhere in Thailand, although it has yet to be discovered by the international golf tournament circuit. Green-fees and other costs are surprisingly low, given that course maintenance and services are superb. The Royal Hua Hin course is one of many, but considered to be the best.
Shop till you drop
Chatchai Market is colourful and inexpensive and is one of Hua Hin’s major attractions. Vendors gather nightly in the centre of town, where they cook fresh gulf seafood for hordes of hungry Thais and provide a spectacle for visitors. As well as plentiful food shops, it offers much that will appeal to souvenir hunters too.
Klai Kangwon (which means ‘Far From Worries’ ) is the Royal Palace built by King Rama VII in 1928. It was designed by Prince Iddhidehsarn Kridakara, an architect and the Director of the Fine Arts Department at the time, and officially opened in 1929. Further structures have been added over time, including a mansion ordered by King Bhumibol (Rama IX) for Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and accommodation for the royal entourage, built in the style of the original buildings so as to preserve the harmony of the palace. Although Klai Kangwon is still in regular use by the Royal family, it is also open to the public.
Hop on a train
Or more importantly, visit the railway station. Built in the reign of Rama IV, the brightly painted wooden buildings somehow combine traditional Thai ideas with a Victorian feel, and in 2009 Hua Hin made it onto NewsWeek’s Best Stations list, in great company such as New York’s Grand Central, and London’s St Pancras.
Although one of the joys of Hua Hin is its serenity and calm, if you’re keen to take in more, its fairly easy to find trips which will take you to many of the other southern beach destinations such as Koh Nangyaun, Koh Toa, Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi and Koa Sok. You may find however that some of these legendary destinations have suffered more at the hands of the global tourist industry than Hua Hin has.
Khao Takiab is referred as Monkey Mountain, but as well as the mischievous residents, it also boasts a hilltop temple with sensational views of Hua Hin, a pagoda-style shrine and a giant golden Buddha which faces the sunrise.
Walk in the Park
The region boasts several parks, and natural attractions, such as the Kangajan National Park, and the Koa Sam Roi Yod Marine Park. You’ll find miles of good walking, amongst lakes, caves and waterfalls, and you’ll be in the company of as elephants, tigers, wild dogs and leopards.
Eat, drink and sleep in Hua Hin
As more affluent ex-pats from all over the world gather to weather the winter, or snap up beachfront properties in Hua Hin, the restaurant scene becomes more cosmopolitan. French, Italian, German and Scandinavian restaurants are all here, in case anyone feels homesick. However, there are also rustic seafood restaurants, especially on the pier, and at several of these you can choose your own fish from the fish market right outside and waiters will bring you the finished result.
There are plenty of simpler local restaurants both inside and out on the streets where you can sample authentic Thai food too.
If you want to try to cook your own Thai food in Hua Hin, the very best place to buy your ingredients, not because it’s the cheapest, but because it is a fabulous experience, is the night market. Right in the centre of town, it opens at 18:00. It’s also a terrific place to buy handicrafts, souvenirs and clothing.
The Chatchai market is a great day market and the place to go for the best street food, as vendors grill, fry, boil and dress the fabulous local fish and shellfish, but don’t forget to leave room for a real local speciality. Roti Hua Hin is a delicious dough-based snack filled with strawberries, custard or raisins.
In a side street just off the market is the Hua Hin Thai Show, a pagoda-style restaurant which combines great food with a nightly musical performance, where you can sample folk with your fish or classical over your clams.
Unlike many Thai resorts, here you will also find more elegant dining, including Thai and Vietnamese food with a more upmarket touch for a real treat. Monsoon is the most romantic and expensive, but it’s worth it for the wine list and the elegant atmosphere. If your budget doesn’t run to dinner, you can enjoy afternoon tea on its teak-decked terrace.
Hua Hin isn’t as lively as many of its neighbours, but that doesn’t mean it’s no go for night life. There are quite a few live music venues, including El Murphy’s the Irish bar, which has its own local band rocking the town with rock and blues classics. There are a couple of country music pubs, and several nightclubs, but for a really classy experience, head to Satchmo’s where a vibrant Filipino band will serenade you as you drink the best Mojito outside Mexico.
Hua Hin has more than its share of upmarket and luxury accommodation. All the main hotel chains are here, and most have lovely grounds, top facilities and restaurants. There are elegant luxury boutique-style hotels too, many with villas and private pools. Sadly, there aren’t as many budget options as there used to be, but if you’re prepared to do some research you can find clean an friendly guesthouses and bed-and-breakfasts at reasonable rates. If you’re planning to stay a while, a rental apartment can be a good option; many of the holiday homes owned by people who live abroad can be rented for at least part of the year. Wherever you stay, Hua Hin is an oasis of calm in a country of exciting contrasts.
Hotels/Resorts in Hua Hin
Hotels Hua Hin: Popularity
|Hotel||Stars||Discount||Price before and discount||Select dates|
|Hua Hin Marriott Resort and Spa||★★★★★|
|G Hua Hin Resort & Mall||★★★★|
|Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa - SHA Certified||★★★★★|
|Hop Inn Hua Hin||★★|
|Anantara Hua Hin Resort||★★★★★|
|Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin||★★★★★|
|Blu Marine Hua Hin Resort and Villas||★★★|
|Asira Boutique HuaHin||★★★★|
|Amari Hua Hin - SHA Certified||★★★★★|
|Bann Lom Le Guest House||★★|
|The Herbs Hotel Hua Hin||★★★★|
|Corner Cafe Bed & Breakfast||★★|
|Whale Hua Hin - SHA Certified||★★★★|
|Putahracsa Hua Hin Resort||★★★★★|
|InterContinental Hua Hin Resort, an IHG Hotel||★★★★★|
|Dadddy's home Huahin||★★|
|Ruenkanok Thaihouse Resort||★★★|
|Hyatt Regency Hua Hin||★★★★★|
|Villa Baan Malinee||★★★|
Ko Kut Covid-19 Safe Travel Koh Kood Trat
Ko Kut (also Koh Kood), Thailand’s 4th largest island (25 km long and 12 km wide), is in Trat Province in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s the Thai island closest to Cambodia.
The island is a popular spot for package tourists and families. The island has virtually no nightlife, so if you are looking for parties, it’s not the place to go.
Koh Kood Princess ferry 350 Thai Baht per person one-way. 1 hour 45 min. The boat ticket includes a free taxi from Trat to the pier in Laem Sok and on Ko Kut from the pier to your resort. Taxis in Trat depart from the market near the big clock/thermometer or your lodging. Leaves the market in Trat at 11:30 sharp! Departs from Laem Sok daily at 12:30. Departs from Ko Kut daily at 10:30, both high- and low-season.
Stay with our Hotel Partners in Ko Kood
The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.
Ko Kut Express Ferry 350 Thai Baht per person one-way. 1 hour 15 min. The ~140-person boat includes a free taxi from Trat to the pier in Laem Sok and on Ko Kut from the pier to your resort. Taxis in Trat depart from the market near the big clock/thermometer or your accommodation. Leaves the market in Trat at 11:30 sharp! Departs from Laem Sok daily at 1pm. Departs from Ko Kut daily at 10:00, also during low season.
Koh Kut Express Speedboat 600 Thai Baht per person one-way. 60-90 min. Two speedboats depart daily from Laem Sok on the mainland near Trat. Stops are made on demand at most west coast piers on Ko Kut, finally terminating at Ko Kut’s Bang Bao Bay. First boat departs from Laem Sok at 10:00 and the second boat departs at 15:00. Two boats depart from Ko Kut daily at 11:00 and 13:00. Times change each season so confirm when booking. The speedboat tickets also include a free taxi from Trat to Laem Sok Pier. The speedboats do not operate during low season due to weather conditions.
Boonsiri ferry 500 Thai Baht per person one-way. 75 min. Two departures daily from Laem Sok. The boat tickets also include a free taxi from Trat to Laem Sok Pier and from the pier in Koh Kood to most resorts on the west coast. Also stops on Koh Mak once a day.
Koh Kood Speedboat / Ao Thai Marine Express This service is only available for private charters.
Boat fares (350 Thai Baht slow boat, 600 Thai Baht speedboat) include transport to/from Trat, but only when using taxis that are associated with the boat companies. If you take the speedboat, you will usually be dropped at or very close to your destination.
Some hotels will try to rip you off by requesting hundreds of Thai Baht for the transport to the pier. Do not agree to this, and if you find the deal changes when you arrive at the pier and the boat operators (who run the taxis as well) try to force you to pay this fee, and taxi drivers/boat operators are connected in a sort of mafia-style operation. Politely mention that you may need to phone the tourist police and wait for a resolution if this happens to you.
If you take the speedboat, you will usually be dropped at or very close to your destination so this is not required.
To/From Ko Chang
Check timetables at KohChangFerries.com/ for inter-island boat services.
Bang Bao Boat (speedboat) 900 Thai Baht per person one-way. Daily from Bang Bao pier on Ko Chang (09:00 and 12:00)
Kai Bae Hut Express (speedboat) 900 Thai Baht per person one-way. Daily from Kai Bae Pier on Ko Chang at 09:00.
The trip can take 1-2 hours depending on conditions and the number of stops at the islands between Ko Chang and Ko Kut, (Ko Mak, Ko Wai, etc.) and the number of stops around Ko Kut. The boat ticket includes a pick up or drop off at most hotels on Ko Chang/ Ko Kut.
Note that services between Ko Chang and Koh Kood only run during the High Season ( 1 November to 1 May ) There aren’t any inter-island services during the low season.
Public taxis are available on Ko Kut. Siam Beach Resort (in Bang Bao Bay) also runs a taxi service. Another fun way to travel around is by motorbike. Expect to pay around 300-350 Thai Baht per day. Resorts often charge 400-450 Thai Baht. Road conditions vary between dirt roads and paved roads, but there is a small concrete road covering the western coastline from north to south. Maps are available though a bit confusing. Bicycles can also be hired (around 150 Thai Baht per day), but the heat and the hilly nature of the roads makes them of limited usefulness for all but diehard cyclists. For those not in a hurry, small fishing boats can be hired to tour around the island.
What to see and do
There are virtually no towns on Ko Kut, so sightseeing is pretty limited.
- Ao Salat (Island’s northeast). The fishing village of Ao Salat is home to around 300 people, making it the largest settlement on the island. The village is built on stilts in the water, and is quite interesting and well worth the rather long road trip to get there. This is also the departure and arrival terminal for the Koh Kood Princess ferry. It has a few very good seafood restaurants (including a homestay and souvenir shop) where you can choose your own seafood straight from the fishing nets. Expect to pay around 500 Thai Baht for the trip, as cars are quite scarce. Or rent a scooter.
- Ao Yai (Far southeast island). A typical fishing village. The concrete road takes you all the way to it. Good place to enjoy fresh seafood. Cheap snorkelling and fishing trips can be arranged here with local fishermen. Crowds of nice people will be happy to receive you there.
- Khao Rearub. Hiking path connecting Klong Chao and Ngamkho Bay. There is an impressive, old rock formation. What it resembles is the subject of some dispute. It’s a religious site for Thais.
- Macca Tree (Just north of island centre. Follow signs). A grove of massive 300-500 year old trees in the middle of the rain forest. Worth a visit.
What to do
Swimming in the crystal clear waters, sunbathing, scuba-diving, snorkelling, kayaking, hiking to the waterfall, checking out the view of Klong Chao Beach from the viewpoint which can be accessed by motorbike or by foot along a path that originates at the southern end of the beach and winds through some trees and has a short climb along a paved path to the viewpoint. Good coffee can be enjoyed here. Or just relax and read a book.
- Beaches. Most beaches are on the west coast. From north to south they are: Ao (“bay”) Tapao; Ao Noi; Klong Chao; Ao Ngamkho; Sai Daeng; Ao Bang Bao; Takean; Khlong Hin; Ao Jark; and Ao Prao. Most resorts are along this coast.
- Huang Num Keaw Waterfall (The Secret Waterfall) (Island centre, on the road to the Macca Tree). Year-round. At the end of a strenuous, steep 100 m path. Free.
- Klong Chao Waterfall (Follow the signs). Year-round. The largest waterfall on the island, with a huge pool that you can swim in. About 20-30 min walk from the turn-off, sometimes you can hitch. Organised tours usually visit the waterfall in the afternoon. Free.
- Klong Yai Ki Waterfall (In NW Ko Kut. Follow the signs to Baan Makok, turn off to right). Year-round. This waterfall is smaller, more quiet and also with a pool where you can swim. Free.
- River Estuary (Near the turnoff to the Klong Chao Waterfall). A mangrove-lined estuary. Many places (hotels, restaurants, guesthouses) rent kayaks cheaply here. The top of the estuary is a rocky area. If you want to be alone, you can pass by it carrying the kayak, then swim in a natural pool surrounded by forest. Very few people can be bothered to go here, so it is very clean. There is also a tributary flowing from a mangrove forest partway up, on the west side. This is quite spooky and has more pollution as the top is a road and there are some houses at points the way, but you can still appreciate the natural environment, which is pretty spectacular at points and maybe see some rare bird life. You can also kayak out to the ocean, which is often very still and without waves, and being shallow the water is warm a long way out.
Scuba diving is a great way to discover the underwater world around Ko Kut. Diving off Ko Kut is easy, fun, and you can see turtles, stingrays, barracudas, lots of small fish and sometimes sea horses.
Nearly any time of the year except from July till the end of September is good diving weather in Ko Kut and visibility can exceed 30 m. Average visibility is around 15-20 m. From July-September visibility is reduced to 5 m and the seas are choppy. It is possible and perfectly comfortable to swim and dive without a wet suit year round. However, as with most diving, a wet suit is recommended to help reduce risk of cuts or injury. Avoid contact with coral reefs.
Various dive locations around Ko Kut are:
- Ao Tum
- Bang Bao
- Clong Hin
- Hin Jedi
- Hin Loi
- Ko Reat
- Ko Rang National Marine Park
There are three dive shops on the island:
- BB Divers (The main office is in Khlong Chao at Away Resort and within walking distance from Away Resort speedboat pier and Mark House Speedboat pier. The shop at Siam Beach Resort in Bang Bao is their latest addition.) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This dive school is a branch of 5 Star PADI IDC Center BB Divers on Ko Chang where it has been active since 2003. This Belgian-run shop has very nice staff and can provide all PADI courses from Open Water up to divemaster and even beyond. Courses can be done in many European languages as well as in Thai. They also cater to the snorkelling crowd. With the privately-owned speedboat all local dive sites as well as Ko Rang National Park, Ko Mak and Ko Chang are within easy reach. They also offer the new wreck dive on the HMS Chang at Ko Chang, one of the best wreck dives in Thailand
- Koh Kood Divers (On the left side of Bang Bao Bay in SW Ko Kut) , ✉ email@example.com. Small family-run dive shop with new equipment, flexible boat schedules, and friendly multilingual staff including German, Dutch, French, Spanish and English. They teach all PADI diving courses from beginner to professional level in small groups in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Also they offer snorkelling trips as well.
- Paradise Divers (opposite S-Beach resort, easily accessible from both Bang Bao and Khlong Chao) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Friendly staff. Courses can be done in German, Dutch, French, Spanish, English and more.Have their own bar and restaurant so can stay and have a drink after diving. Also have their own guesthouse Happy Days which has been newly renovated. Their dive and stay specials are great value but sell out easily
There is a souvenir shop in Ao Salat. Other than that, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything in particular to buy outside your resort.
Many of the resorts, but not all, have good restaurants. Outsiders are always welcomed. Prices are slightly above mainland. The cheapest feed is roughly 60 Thai Baht for a bowl of noodles. Expect to pay 80-200 Thai Baht for a main course at non high-end places (usually 100-150 Thai Baht).
If you want to cook for yourself then a small selection of fruit/vegetables is available at a stand/shop operating some distance across the bridge from Ban Klong Chao, before the Sunset Bar. Basic staples and ice cream are available at a number of shops around the Klong Chao.
- Chiang Mai Restaurant. 18:00 – 21:00. Seafood.
- Pizza & Pasta, 119/2 Khlong Chao. 09:00 – 22:00. Thai/Italian-run pizza and pasta house. Open Sep-May.
- The Fisherman Hut (in the middle of Ban Klong Chao just north of the concrete bridge.). Specializes in very fresh seafood dishes, also offers other standard Thai food & some Western dishes. 80-350 Thai Baht.
- Sunset Bar (Across the bridge (1 km) down the road from Klong Chao, just before you reach Away Resort). Admire the sunset there around 18:00 or just go later to enjoy the drinks in a cool atmosphere. Parties going on every Saturday and on special occasions.
- View Point Cafe (Near Away Resort on the main road near the bridge). Built directly above the water with magnificent views, sunsets, and ambiance. Real fresh-ground Vietnamese-style coffee, fruit shakes, and interesting non-alcoholic cocktails. The Australian/Thai proprietors are a great source of local and SE Asia information. Closes for low season in mid-May.
Where to stay in Ko Kut
For high season (Nov-Feb) it is recommended you book ahead, especially weekends. Although there are many different places to stay, most of them can easily be fully booked during Thai holidays that Western tourists are unaware of. Also, apart from the Klong Chao area, Ko Kut is not an island where you can easily stroll from resort to resort. About 40% of the resorts remain open during the rainy season (May-Sep). Expect services to be limited during that period. Some restaurants, bars, and shops close, and diving is not always possible. Accommodation is widely spread out over the island with Klong Chao in the middle where most activity is. Low budget/backpacker accommodation can be found there. Most beach resorts are connected to the main road by dirt tracks.
Hotels Kood Island: Popularity
|Hotel||Stars||Discount||Price before and discount||Select dates|
|Shantaa Koh Kood||★★★|
|Ko Kut Ao Phrao Beach Resort||★★★|
|The Beach Natural Resort Koh Kood||★★★★|
|Koh Kood Beach Resort||★★★|
|Captain Hook Resort||★★★|
|High Season Pool Villa & Spa||★★★★★|
|Koh Kood Resort||★★★|
|Peter Pan Resort||★★★|
|Away Koh Kood Resort||★★★★|
|To The Sea The Resort Koh Kood||★★★|
|Siam Beach Resort Koh Kood||★★|
|The Canale Boutique Stay Koh Kood|
|captain Nhong seafood and homestay|
|Koh Kood BED's||★★★|
|Baan Kon Kan Resort|
|Ban Tonkatin Resort|
- Away Resort, Klong Chao. The resort recently added a man-made beach behind a rock seawall which makes access to the water difficult. Their advertisement in Bangkok Airways in-flight magazine showing a gently sloping beach has been heavily Photoshopped. The resort features luxury bungalows, with private terraces and sea views from almost every room. Free Wi-Fi. Free kayaking. 3,800-10,500 Thai Baht.
- Beach Natural Resort. Neither a naturist resort nor particularly natural, but the deluxe bungalow is really nice, and the chairs at the end of their long pier is a perfect place to watch the sunset. 2,400-6,900 Thai Baht.
- Cozy House, Ban Khlong Chao (About 200 m down the road to the waterfall). Aimed at backpackers. Choice of old bungalows (with shared toilet/shower), new clean fan bungalows with ensuite open air bathroom, and A/C rooms with ensuite bathroom (as of November 2020). Washing machine 50 Thai Baht/use. Easy walking distance to a white sandy beach, as well as the waterfall. Backs onto the river estuary for kayaking, visiting waterfall. Sand volleyball court. Weekend BBQs (Sun, Tues, Thurs in high season) with fresh seafood (typical are three kinds of fish, squid, giant prawns, chicken, potatoes and salad for vegetarians). Relaxing atmosphere and a congenial local proprietor. Free, fast Wi-FI Internet for residents (occasionally goes down). Free coffee/tea all day. Kayaks free with stay (150 Thai Baht/day otherwise), bicycles (150 Thai Baht/day) and motorbikes (250 Thai Baht/day) for hire. Visa and MasterCard accepted. 300-1,200 Thai Baht.
- Dusita Resort. A family-run operation featuring spotlessly clean air-conditioned bungalows around a well-maintained lawn that spills out onto the beach. Good homemade food available throughout the day. Dusita has its own pier so you can be dropped off directly at the resort by taking the speedboat, which saves the 20-30 ride from the main pier. 1,290+ Thai Baht.
- For Rest Boutique House, Ban Ao Prao, Ao Prao Beach. Boutique-style guest house built on stilts in an beautiful estuary, next to mangroves, tiny fisher village, and an endless empty beach. 1,200-2,800 Thai Baht.
- Horizon Resort (Formerly Hindard Resort) (Northern headland, Ngamkho Bay). A lovely small resort right on the water. Sit on the veranda of your bungalow and enjoy the ocean views. Or enjoy a lovely meal in the restaurant with fantastic views. Snorkelling on your doorstep, or rent a kayak or motorbike and go exploring. 1,500+ Thai Baht.
- Koh Kood Ngamkho Resort. One of the cheaper resorts on Ko Kut, if not the cheapest. Laid-back resort on the west coast run by a guy called Uncle Joe and his family. Has basic bungalows only 20 m from the beach for 500 Thai Baht during low season and 650 Thai Baht during peak season (sometimes includes breakfast), bungalows with toilets are 750 Thai Baht. Also offers tents for 200 Thai Baht. The resort is on a beautiful strip of a white sand beach lined with coconut trees. Motorbikes and kayaks are available for rent on a daily/half-day basis. 15 minute walk or boat ride to one of Ko Kut’s main attractions, Klong Jao Waterfall. 850+ Thai Baht.
- Koh Kood Resort ((Formerly Holiday Cottage Koh Kood)), Bang Bao Bay. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Japanese-style bungalows in a botanical garden starting from 700 Thai Baht in low season. Free use of kayaks. Free Wi-Fi for guests. 700-2,700 Thai Baht.
- Klong Chao Garden View (Formerly Klong Chao Seaview), Klong Chao. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Close to Klong Chao Beach (200 m) and waterfall (3 km). Family restaurant and motorbike rentals. 400+ Thai Baht (500 high season, 700 with breakfast).
- Neverland Beach Resort, Ao Jark Beach. Popular among Russian tour groups. Features sweeping coconut groves with well-manicured lawns with a boules and football facilities. Hammocks and sun chairs are positioned on the threshold of the shoreline, as does a beachside bar (apparently high season only). Many a pleasant hour can be had sleeping to the sound of the waves. The downside is that it’s miles from anywhere, so your “stuff to do” list is going to run short without access to transport. Paid access to taxis advertised at the resort seems expensive at 800 Thai Baht per trip. Snorkelling equipment available and a series of rocks on the south end of the beach allow the observation of some sea creatures. The owner speaks Russian and a Russian language menu and sign are visible in the restaurant, which offers a fair selection, though island-inflated prices top some cheaper venues. Single kayak available with single-ended paddle. 1,300-2,600 Thai Baht; tent 500-600 Thai Baht.
- Soneva Kiri Koh Kood, 110 Moo 4. Free Wi-Fi. 23,077-158,663 Thai Baht (low-season).
- Sea Far Resort, 26/5 Moo 2, Koh Kood, Trat 23000 Thailand (www.kokutexpress.com , www.kohkoodcatamaran.com). Beautifully converted old Sea Containers stand right on the seemingly endless Ao Tapao beach. More spacious family and couple bungalows stand only 20 meters further from the sea in an old coconut plantation.
- Happy Days Guesthouse, 42/5 M2 Ban Klong Chao. Koh Kood. Trat 23000.bThailand , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2 pm, check-out: 12 midday. Happy Days is a budget guesthouse. Air and fan rooms in a tropical garden. Close to Klong Chao beach. Part of Paradise Dvers.
Telecommunications in Ko Kut
Compared to neighbouring Ko Chang, infrastructure is generally thin. Some resorts, such as Siam Beach Resort and Koh Kood Resort, offer Internet access while others do not. Internet appears to be offered via 3.5G UMTS (i.e., mobile, quite slow) and is prone to dropping out.
Local tourist information is hard to come by, but Internet searches will reveal maps of the island.
As of January 2018, there are 2 ATMs on the island, one near the hospital which only accepts visa cards and the other, a Kongsri Bank Atm, behind High Season, which accepts Mastercard and visa. Only higher end resorts take credit cards. If you run out of money, second hand sources report that credit card cash advances are possible at the larger resorts for a 5% fee.
Suphanburi | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
Suphanburi (สุพรรณบุรี) is a town and a province in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand. Understand Just a hundred kilometres away from Bangkok, Suphanburi is an ancient town rich in natural and historical heritage. The province was once an important border town involving battles and important wars during the period of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. […]
Suphanburi (สุพรรณบุรี) is a town and a province in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand.
Just a hundred kilometres away from Bangkok, Suphanburi is an ancient town rich in natural and historical heritage. The province was once an important border town involving battles and important wars during the period of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Artefacts and archaeological evidence shows that Suphanburi is history dates back to 3,500-3,800 years ago. Archaeologists found artefacts from the New Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age.
Suphanburi’s politics have long been dominated by the rich building contractor Banharn Silpa-archa (1932–2016). He held different ministerial posts (including transport and communication) and even served as prime minister from 1995 to 1996 (drawing international ridicule when he addressed the Queen of England as “Queen Elizabeth Taylor”). He redirected considerable amounts of state funding into the infrastructure of his home provinces hence its roads and telecommunicazion networks are much better than in most Thai provinces. Several public institutions in the province are named in honour of Banharn and his wife Jamsai, leading to jokes that the whole city was “owned” by Banharn or might be renamed “Banharn-buri”.
Visit our Hotel Partners in Suphanburi
The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.
Within an hour of Bangkok, Suphanburi is accessible via many routes:
- Via Bang Bua Thong of Nonthaburi Province, tourists can drive directly to the province, a distance of 107 km, which is the shortest route.
- Via Lat Lum Kaeo of Pathum Thani Province, the route leads to Suphanburi, a distance of about 115 km.
- Via Ayutthaya to Suphanburi, the route is 132 km.
- Via Singburi Province, Suphanburi is accessible at Doem Bang Nang Buat. The route is 228 km.
- Via Ang Thong Province, the road leads to Suphanburi, a distance of 150 km.
- Via Kamphaeng Saen of Nakhon Pathom Province, Suphanburi is 164 km from Bangkok via this route.
Scheduled buses and air conditioned coaches leave the Northern Bus Terminal at Mo Chit 2 daily for Suphanburi. Contact the Transport Co. Ltd. Tel. +66 2 9362852-66 ext. 311 or 442 for more information. Buses to Suphanburi also leave from the Southern Bus Terminal, on Boromma Ratchachonnani Road. Check the bus schedule at Tel. +66 2 4351199, Dan Chang Tour Co. Ltd., Tel. +66 2 4352727, Tha Chang Tour Co. Ltd., Tel. +66 2 4357502. and air conditioned coach at Tel.+66 2 8849522.
A train leaves Bangkok Station daily for Suphanburi at 16:40 and reaches the province at 19:32. On the return trip, the train leaves at 05:00 and arrives at Bangkok at 08:10. For more details, call the service centre at Tel. 1690, 0 2220 4334 or visit the website .
You can use many public transportations in Suphanburi such as a motorbike, a tuk-tuk, a songtaew, a bus or a van. In the city, tuk-tuk, songtaew or bus can be used for traveling around the city of Suphanburi. At the same time, you can use a songtaew, a bus or a van for going to other districts.
- Banharn-Jamsai Tower (หอคอยบรรหาร-แจ่มใส) This country’s first and highest viewpoint tower overlooking Chaloem Phatthara Rachini Park allows to enjoy a bird’s eye view over the province at a height of 123 metres. The tower has four viewpoint decks.
- Chaloem Phatthara Rachini Park (สวนเฉลิมภัทรราชินี) The park houses many spots of interest; namely, Ex-Prime Minister Banharn’s performance building, water park, Thai design garden, pigeon garden, flower garden, child playground, dancing fountain and an exercise area.
- Ban Yamaratcho (บ้านยะมะรัชโช): This group of traditional Thai houses on stilts was honoured and awarded for good urban architecture conservation. The house once belonged to Chaophraya Yommarat (Pan Sukhum), the regent of King Rama VIII.
- Ancient Town Walls and Gate (กำแพงเมืองเก่าและประตูเมือง): An earthen wall and moat remain between Wat Pa Lelai and the City Pillar Shrine. The wall on the eastern side has all disappeared as it was dismantled during the reign of King Maha Chakkraphat. The Fine Arts Department rebuilt the town gate, on Malai Maen Road, on the location believed to have been the site of an old gate.
- Bueng Chawak Chalerm Phra Kiate is a zoo and an aquarium on the shore of the Chawak Lake. There are lots of different types of animals and aquatic animals. If you visit there, you need to walk through the tunnel under the water like you walk under the ocean. Bueng Chawak is opened during 08:00 am – 4:30 pm on Monday – Friday and 08:00 – 18:00 on Saturday – Sunday.
Wat Pa Lelai Worawihan (วัดป่าเลไลยก์วรวิหาร): It is a royal temple as evident from the royal emblem of King Rama IV on the gable of the wihan. A huge Buddha image known as Luangpho To in the elegant image hall or wihan is the centre of faith for Buddhist people. In the backyard of the temple is a showcase of a traditional Thai house known as ‘Khum Khun Chang’.
Industrial Promotion Centre Region 8 (ศูนย์ส่งเสริมอุตสาหกรรมภาคที่ 8): Only a kilometre away from Wat Pa Lelai, on Malai Maen Road opposite Suphan Buri Water park.
Tha Sadet Bird Park (Tha Sadet Bird Sanctuary) (สวนนกท่าเสด็จ): The sanctuary is in private fruit orchards whose owners are kind enough to let the birds live undisturbed. Presently, the area has been developed as an attraction of the province under the management of the Royal Forestry Department.
Sa Saksit (Sacred Pond) (สระศักดิ์สิทธิ์): The six ponds here are considered as sacred ponds whose water has been used for royal ceremonies. The Fine Arts Department has registered them all as historical sites, but none has been renovated.
The Western National Theatre of Suphan Buri (โรงละครแห่งชาติภาคตะวันตกจังหวัดสุพรรณบุรี) The regional theatre is established for promoting and supplying knowledge about local cultural performances, music and classical dances of western provinces.
Don Chedi Monument (พระบรมราชานุสรณ์ดอนเจดีย์): The royal monument of King Naresuan the Great and the pagoda were built to commemorate the victory over the Burmese troops. The Royal Thai Army renovated the pagoda in 1952, and built a new pagoda over the ancient one.
Bueng Nong Sarai Historical Site
(โบราณสถานบึงหนองสาหร่าย): The huge lake was involved in the war when King Naresuan defeated a Burmese army. It is pitiful that the lake, at present covering an area of only 29 rai (11.6 acres), is in poor condition.
Wat Pa Phruek’s Fish Sanctuary (อุทยานมัจฉา วัดป่าพฤกษ์): Around the temple’s waterside is a big school of various fish such as Nile tilapia, iridescent shark-catfish, and black-eared catfish.
Buffalo Villages (บ้านควาย) features the rural lifestyle in the central region such as Thai farmer villages, rice-threshing ground water, buffalo ranch, traditional Thai houses on stilts.
Soil-less Cultivation Centre (สวนพืชไร้ดิน): The country’s largest soil-less plantation acquires an area of 200 rai. The vegetables are grown on sponge, sand, pebbles sawdust or on a hydroponics system.
Old Sam Chuk Market along Tha-Chin River (ตลาดสามชุกริมน้ำร้อยปี): This Chinese community and old-fashioned market with wooden shop houses remain in Thai original style a century ago.
Bueng Rahan (บึงระหาร): The large lake is 38 kilometres from Mueang District. Restaurants and the rest area around the lake make it a nice place for relaxing
Bueng Chawak (บึงฉวาก): This natural freshwater lake covers a huge area of over 2,700 rai (1,080 acres). The lake was declared a wildlife sanctuary area in 1983 and by its great variety of flora and fauna, the government registered Bueng Chawak as an important wetland under the Ramsar Convention. As a new destination of Suphanburi, Bueng Chawak houses many interesting attractions as follows:
Bueng Chawak Aquarium (สถานแสดงพันธุ์สัตว์น้ำบึงฉวากเฉลิมพระเกียรติ) exhibits various species of fresh-water fish. Its first building exhibits fresh-water fishes such as Mekong giant catfish, clown feather back, bony tongue, tiger perch.
Freshwater Crocodile Pond (บ่อจระเข้น้ำจืด) Landscaped for a natural look, the pond houses 60 Siamese crocodiles of 1.5-4.0 metres.
Tiger and Lion Cages (กรงเสือและสิงโต) The cages house different kinds of the cat family such as lions, tigers, clouded leopards, leopards, Indian leopard cat, as well as tiger cubs fed by milk from pigs. Nearby are rare animals such as waterfowl, peacocks, pheasants, zebra, camels, and ostriches.
Native Vegetable Garden (อุทยานผักพื้นบ้าน): The landscaped garden houses over 500 species of native vegetables nationwide, including herbs, annuals and perennials. Attractions in the compound include agricultural produce exhibition, agro-tourism centre, and nursery.
Lao Si-Lao Khrang Weaving Group (กลุ่มทอผ้าพื้นเมืองจกลวดลายโบราณลาวซี่-ลาวครั่ง) The village is the last place in the province that keeps the Lao Si-Lao Khrang textile pattern alive. Until now, the colourful woven textiles of the last century have remained.
U Thong National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ อู่ทอง): It exhibits archaeological evidence and art objects from different periods found in Suphan Buri. Outside is a mock-up house in the style of the Lao Song ethnic group featuring traditions, clothing and tools.
Phu Muang Forest Park (วนอุทยานพุม่วง) Phu Muang Forest Park acquires a total area of 1,725 rai (690 acres), which is covered by mixed and bamboo forests. Its attractions include:
Nature trail (เส้นทางเดินศึกษาธรรมชาติ): The 1.5-kilometre trail leads you through forests packed with various kinds of trees such as Makha, bamboo, etc.
Ancient elephant kraal (คอกช้างดินสมัยทวารวดี): The earthen elephant kraals date back to 1,500 years ago. There are a total of three kraals covering an area of 10 rai (4 acres).
Laterite Base of Draravati Building (ฐานวิหารศิลาแลงสมัยทวารวดี): The laterite foundation dates back to the Draravati period. It is presumed to have been a venue for royal rituals before catching wild elephants.
Namtok Phu Muang (น้ำตกพุม่วง): This waterfall was mentioned in the literature Khun Chang -Khun Phaen. With five tiers, it cascades by the elephant kraal and laterite foundation. Lush forest on the mountain range, Khao Phra, has various kinds of tree and stony field where cycads dot around.
Wat Khao Di Salak (วัดเขาดีสลัก): It houses quite a special Buddha’s footprint, a bas-relief footprint carved out of red sandstone. Archaeologists presumed that the footprint is an art object of the Dvaravati style, dating back to 9th -11th century. Furthermore, Buddha images and artefacts were discovered from a rock cavity.
Agricultural Promotion and Development Centre (ศูนย์ส่งเสริมและพัฒนาอาชีพการเกษตร (พันธุ์พืชเพาะเลี้ยง)): Located in Tambon Phlapphla Chai. The centre was established to develop agriculture and plants.
Biotechnological Pest Control Centre (ศูนย์บริหารศัตรูพืชโดยชีวภาพ) The centre educates farmers about agricultural methods to control plant pests by natural resources rather than chemical treatment. The centre comprises a nursery for attacking insects, hydroponics plant house and chemical.
Affinite Orchids (สวนกล้วยไม้แอฟฟินิท) At Mu 9 Tambon Chorakhe Samphan, the orchid nursery grows orchids of different families for study and sale such as Dendrobium, Cattleya, Vanda.
Wat Phai Rong Wua (วัดไผ่โรงวัว)]: Around its compound are mocked-up important venues of the Lord Buddha. Furthermore, there is the world’s largest cement Buddha image, the world’s largest bronze multi-spired building known as ‘Phra Wihan Roi Yot’ and Dharmmacakra or ‘Wheel of the Doctrine’ as well as various other things in huge size. Its most exciting attraction is the “Hell Garden” with thousands of statues showing punishment in afterlife for Buddhist rules broken on earth.
Wat Thap Kradan (วัดทับกระดาน) The temple has a museum dedicated to a famous singer of Thai folk song, Phumphuang Duangchan. She spent her childhood around this temple. So, her belongings, equipment, photographs and news clipping are displayed in this temple. An annual ceremony to commemorate her death attracts lots of people to the temple.
Tham Weruwan (ถ้ำเวฬุวัน): The cave houses a Buddha image in the Pa Lelai posture. In the temple compound, district official have set up a bamboo garden in honour of Their Majesties where over 10 bamboo species are grown.
Krasiao Dam (เขื่อนกระเสียว): This country’s longest earthen dam is built on Krasiao Stream in Tambon Dan Chang. Its reservoir, with maximum water storage of 240 million cubic metres, is also a major fish-breeding site.
Phu Toei National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติพุเตย): The park occupies an area of 198,422 rai (79,368.8 acres). The lush forest with a lot of flora and fauna is a major watershed of Suphanburi and Kanchanaburi. The mountain range of Phu Toei is home of thousands of mountain pines and also the best viewing point. Attractions in the park can be divided into two groups, according to its units as follows:
Unit 1 (Phu Toei) (หน่วยพิทักษ์อุทยานที่ ๑): The unit comprises a camping ground and exhibition about the forest.
Phu Toei National Park Headquarters (ที่ทำการอุทยานแห่งชาติพุเตย): The headquarters is at Ban Huai Hin Dam, Tambon Wang Yao, Dan Chang District, 12 kilometres from Unit 1.
Mountain Pine (ป่าสนสองใบธรรมชาติ): The mountain pine forest grows up naturally on the mountain range of Phu Toei 12 kilometres from Unit 1. Four-wheel drive vehicles can only go for 10 kilometres and then trek the rest.
Giant Cycad tree (ต้นปรงยักษ์): The big cycad trees grow on Phu Toei Mountain, dotting around the pine mountain forest. At a height of 6–8 metres, each cycad tree is 200–300 years old.
Namtok Taphoen Khi (น้ำตกตะเพินคี่): The two-tier waterfall cascades all year round to nourish the forest and Karen village, which has settled there for over 200 years. Lush forests allow naturalists to enjoy ecotourism and adventure.
Taphoen Khi Karen Village (หมู่บ้านกะเหรี่ยงตะเพินคี่): The drug-and-drink-free village is Buddhist. In the full moon period of the 5th lunar month, the village holds a large celebration for three days and three nights to worship Chulamani, the sacred place of worship made from sharpened bamboo at the village’s ground.
Unit 2 (Phu Krathing) (หน่วยพิทักษ์อุทยานฯที่ 2 (พุกระทิง): The unit is in Ban Wang Hora of Dan Chang District. Around the unit are:
Lam Taphoen Reservoir (อ่างเก็บน้ำลำตะเพิน): The large reservoir is next to the unit.
Namtok Phu Krathing (น้ำตกพุกระทิง): The waterfall is seven kilometres from the unit, near the reservoir.
Tham Nakhi, Tham Mi Noi, Tham Yoi Raya, and Tham Pha Yai (ถ้ำนาคี ถ้ำหมีน้อย ถ้ำย้อยระย้า ถ้ำผาใหญ่): These caves are only two kilometres away from the headquarters.
- National Museum, Suphan Buri (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ สุพรรณบุรี): Exhibitions feature development of the town from the pre-historical, through Dvaravati, Lop Buri, Ayutthaya, and Rattanakosin periods. The museum also displays ethnic groups in the province, noteworthy persons, famous votire tablets from different temples and songs of different famous folk singers.
- National Museum of Thai Rice Farmers (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ ชาวนาไทย) On Phra Phanwasa Road, in the compound of Mueang Suphan Buri District Office, the museum building is a blend of a traditional Thai house and farmer’s granary.
Temples and shrines
- Wat Pa Lelai Woraviharn (Pa Lelai Woraviharn Temple) is the most important temple in Suphanburi. This Buddhist temple is located in the center of this province. There is the great golden Buddha image “Luang Pho To”. Don’t miss this temple! Sam Chuk Market is the 100-year-old classic market. There are traditional desserts, food and cheap souvenirs. This place shows the traditional life style here.
- Wat Suwannaphum (Wat Klang or Wat Mai) (วัดสุวรรณภูมิ) In the temple’s compound, the Museum of the Supreme Patriarch (Pun Punnasiri Mahathera) displays many special items of antiquity as well as a glazed ceramic alms bowl of the Sukhothai period or around the 13th century. It is the only one of its kind in Thailand.
Wat Phra Rup (วัดพระรูป) The ancient temple houses a reclining Buddha statue, which is said to have the most beautiful face in Thailand. Another interesting antique is a wooden Buddha footprint. Delicately carved on both sides of Paduak wood, it is the only one of its kind in Thailand. Wat Phra Rup is also the original place of the famous Phra Khun Phaen amulet.
Wat Pratu San (วัดประตูสาร): Beautiful murals in the Phra Ubosot are worth a visit. In 1848, a royal painter painted the delicate murals featuring the life of the Lord Buddha. Besides, a series of painting on wood pieces, which seem to copy the murals, are well kept in the temple’s image hall.
San Chao Pho Lak Mueang (ศาลเจ้าพ่อหลักเมือง): The shrine was rebuilt as an edifice in Chinese style, housing a Mahayana Buddhist bas relief of Bodhisattra Avalokitesvara. On the full moon day of the 7th Chinese lunar month, the shrine with support from Chinese Association, hosts an alms-offering ceremony for the poor.
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (วัดพระศรีรัตนมหาธาตุ): The temple was once in the heart of the ancient town Suphannaphum. The main stupa once housed relics of the Lord Buddha, but it was raided for treasure and neglected in ruins.
Wat Khae (วัดแค): houses a huge tamarind tree, which is around a thousand years old. Nearby the tree is “Khum Khun Phaen”, a traditional Thai house built as part of the literature and historical conservation park. The temple houses special antiques such as Lord Buddha’s footprints called “Phra Phutthabat Si Roi”.
Wat Phra Loi (วัดพระลอย) was built to house a Buddha image that drifted along the river. The white sandstone Buddha image seated under the Naga hood, presumably carved in Lop Buri period, was taken from the water to be enshrined here.
Wat No Phutthangkun or Wat Makham No (วัดหน่อพุทธางกูรหรือวัดมะขามหน่อ) Buddhists flock there for admiring beautiful murals in the old Ubosot. Painted in 1848 during the reign of King Rama III but still remains in excellent condition, the delicate murals feature the story of Lord Buddha’s life.
Wat Phra Non (วัดพระนอน) is famed for its large fish sanctuary that occupies some part of the river as well as beautiful shady park which is the main recreational area of the province. The image hall or Wihan of Wat Phra Non houses a special reclining Buddha image. While most reclining Buddha images lie on one side this Buddha image lies supine.
Wat Phrao (วัดพร้าว) The temple’s Wihan has distinguished architecture in the Burmese style. The hall houses a Buddha footprint. In the backyard is the library for Buddhist scriptures, which is located in the middle of the pond. Large flocks of flying foxes live on the Java plum trees in the backyard of this temple.
Wat Sanam Chai (วัดสนามชัย): The Northern Chronicle says that King Katae assigned his brother to build this temple and to renovate Wat Pa Lelai at the same time. There is a big ruined octagonal pagoda surrounded by a wall with small pagodas at four points of the compass.
Wat Phra That or Wat Phra That Sala Khao (วัดพระธาตุหรือวัดพระธาตุศาลาขาว) The locals call it Wat Phra That Nok because of the stupa which is similar to the one in Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat. With a height of 25 metres, the ruined stupa is a bit smaller with a rounder spire.
Wat Ban Krang (วัดบ้านกร่าง): This temple is famed for sacred votive tablets known as Khun Paen. It is presumed that, this temple was built after the war between King Naresuan and the Burmese troops. At the temple entrance, old-fashioned wooden shop houses reflect the easy lifestyle of the people.
Wat Sam Chuk (วัดสามชุก): The ancient temple houses the Buddha footprint, sandstone Buddha statue from the Ayutthaya period, and a pair of bronze swans.
Wat Lat Sing (วัดลาดสิงห์): The temple houses a 500-year-old Buddha image and three pagodas standing for King Naresuan, King Eka Tossarod, and Phra Suphan kanlaya.
Wat Khao Khuen or Wat Khao Nang Buat (Wat Phra Achan Thammachot) (วัดเขาขึ้น หรือ วัดเขานางบวช) A former monk resident of this temple, Phra Achan Thammachot, played a key role in the ancient war against the Burmese troops. The temple’s image hall houses the Lord Buddha’s footprint. And nearby is a pagoda made from a pile of stone slabs.
Wat Hua Khao (วัดหัวเขา): The temple’s entrance is at kilometre 2 or 3, and then 212 steps lead to the temple on the hill. To mark the end of Buddhist Lent, the temple always organise a large merit-making ceremony on the 2nd day of the waning moon of the 11th lunar month.
Wat Doem Bang (วัดเดิมบาง): The temple houses precious wooden pulpit carved delicately in a mixed Thai and Chinese style by a Chinese artisan. The temple also keeps oyster shell alms bowl cover, ceremonial fan and food carrier, which were presents from King Rama V. There is also a beautiful bell tower and murals in the Ubosot here.
Wat Khwang Weluwan (วัดขวางเวฬุวัน): The temple houses a 400-year-old Buddha image from the Dvaravati period.
Wat Khao Phra Si Sanphetchayaram or Wat Khao Phra (วัดเขาพระศรีสรรเพชญาราม หรือ วัดเขาพระ): It is presumed that this hilltop temple was founded since the Dvaravati period as a lot of archaeological evidence has been found. On the hill, a ruin of a pagoda from the Ayutthaya period is found together with the Buddha’s footprint carved from stone.
Lauda Shrine (ศาลเลาด้า): It was built to commemorate the 223 passengers of Lauda Air Flight 004 who died when the plane crashed on 26 May 1991.
What to Do
Don Chedi Memorial Day (งานอนุสรณ์ดอนเจดีย์): The annual celebration is held on 18 January of each year. Fair goers can enjoy watching a mock-up war on elephant back, performance on stage. The fair always runs for nine days.
Kam Fa Tradition (ประเพณีกำฟ้า): The ancient tradition of the Thai Phuan ethnic group is always held in February. Thai Phuan people dress up in traditional attire, offering food and sweets to monks and celebrate in a large party at night. This traditional practice remains in Thai Phuan villages in Amphoe U Thong, and Tambon Makham Lom of Bang Pla Ma District.
Bun Bang Fai or Rocket Festival (ประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ): Thai Phuan and Thai Wiang also enjoy the local rocket festival on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month, worshiping the rain god in the monsoon season. A parade of great fun will be held before the rocket launching at the temple. The tradition remains in many tambons such as Ban Khong, Ban Kham, and Don Kha in U Thong District, and Tambon Wat Bot, and Makham Lom of Bang Pla Ma District.
Thing Krachat (งานเทศกาลทิ้งกระจาด): The merit-making festival is held annually around August–September in the municipal area. Thousands of poor people gather for free food and necessities.
Tak Bat Thewo (ประเพณีตักบาตรเทโว): A large event of merit making is always held to mark the end of Buddhist Lent in October. Buddhists prepare various food and items, particularly the so-called ‘Khaotom Luk Yon’ or seasoned sticky rice wrapped in coconut leaves to be offered to monks.
Lao Song Wedding Tradition (ประเพณีแต่งงานของไทยโซ่ง): Lao Song or Thai Song Dam ethnic group always hold a wedding ceremony during the waxing moon periods of the 4th, 6th and 12th lunar months. Thai Phuan people in Tambon Suan Taeng, Amphoe Mueang, and Tambon Ban Don, Tambon Don Makluea, and Tambon Nong Daeng of U Thong District still have such ceremony.
Well-known products from Suphanburi Province include bamboo and rattan basketry. Suphanburi artisans show their talents by putting patterns of bullet wood flowers, plumeria blossom and Suphan Buri’s durian thorn in the basket. Suphanburi is famous for local chiffon soft cake Sali Suphan, canned water chestnuts, canned bamboo shoots, termite mushroom, honey roasted duck, baked chicken, small-scale croaker, sun dried fish and sun-dried beef.
Salee Ekachai is the most popular store where every tourist buys souvenirs. There are lots of desserts, especially salee, to be souvenirs. This store is opened daily during 07:30–21:00. You can pay by using cash, Visa, MasterCard or JCB.
Where to stay in Suphanburi
- Mind Hotel (From the bus station: walk out of the bus station, turn left, along this road, after the first intersection, you can see the hotel sign). Clean rooms with private bathroom, 400 Thai Baht for air-con, 250 Thai Baht for fan-cooled room. Includes TV, towel, soap and toilet paper. Free coffee and cooled water downstairs. 250-400 Thai Baht.