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Prachinburi | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Wolfgang Holzem

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Prachinburi (ปราจีนบุรี) is a sleepy town, usually used as the southern gateway to Khao Yai National Park.

Understand

About 135 kilometres northeast of Bangkok, Prachinburi, a province next to the border, covers a total area of approximately 4,762 square kilometres. It was a particularly prosperous town from the Dvaravati to the Lop Buri period, dating back 800 years.

Visit our Hotel Partners in Prachinburi

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Get in

By car

From Bangkok:

  • Take Phahonyothin Road to Rangsit, and keep left to use the overpass. Exit to Hwy 305. Drive along Khlong Rangsit through Ongkharak, Nakhon Nayok. Change to Hwy 33 (Nakhon Nayok – Prachin Buri route), and turn right at Nong Cha-om T-junction at km155. Then, change to Hwy 319 before reaching Prachinburi. The total distance is about 132 km. Or use Hwy 33 and turn right at the roundabout near the King Naresuan the Great Shrine. The total distance is 136 km.
  • Travel along Hwy 1, pass Wang Noi, Ayutthaya. Turn right at km90, and change to Hwy 33. Travel through Wihan Daeng, Saraburi, and Nakhon Nayok. Turn right at Nong Cha-om T-junction at km155. Then, change to Hwy 319 before reaching Prachinburi. The total distance is 164 km.
  • Take Hwy 304 through Chachoengsao, and Phanom Sarakham. Then, change to Hwy 319 and go through Si Mahosot before reaching Prachinburi. The total distance is 158 km.
  • Travel along Hwy 3481 to Khet Nong Chok and pass through Bang Nam Priao, Chachoengsao, and Ban Sang, Prachinburi. The total distance is 70 km.

By bus

The Transport Company Limited provides buses from Bangkok Northeastern Bus Terminal on Kamphaeng Phet Road (Mo Chit 2) to Prachinburi many times daily, which takes around 2 hours to get to the province. For further information, contact the Transport Company Limited, Tel. 0 2936 2852-66, 0 2936 3670, 0 2936 2816 (reservation). The Prachin Buri Provincial Bus Terminal, Tel. 0 3721 1292

Buses travel via these two main routes:

  • Bangkok – Hin Kong – Nakhon Nayok – Prachinburi route: The first-class and second-class air-conditioned Buses 58 and 59, cost 110 Thai Baht and 85 Thai Baht, respectively. The first bus from Bangkok leaves at 04:50 and the last bus leaves at 21:00. Buses depart every 30 minutes.
  • Bangkok – Ongkharak – Nakhon Nayok – Prachinburi route: The first-class and second-class air conditioned Buses 920 cost 92 Thai Baht and 71 Thai Baht, respectively. The first bus from Bangkok leaves at 05:25 and the last bus leaves at 18:25.

Travel by train to Prachinburi

Trains between Bangkok and Prachinburi are available 4 times daily: 05:55 (arrives 08:55), 08:00 (arrives 10:41), 09:40, and 15:25. For further details, contact a travel agent or the Thai State Railway.

What to see and do

Amphoe Mueang (อำเภอเมือง)

King Naresuan the Great Shrine (ศาลสมเด็จพระนเรศวรมหาราช) The shrine houses a standing statue of King Naresuan the Great to commemorate his camping at Prachin Buri on the way from Ayutthaya to Cambodia in 1589. People in Prachin Buri and nearby provinces normally come to pay respect.

Phrakhru Uthai Thammathari (Seng Sukhito) Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์พระครูอุทัยธรรมธารี (เส็ง สุขิโต) This museum houses prehistoric archaeological finds, various artefacts and art objects from neighbouring countries, as well as, reproduction of antiquities. There are about 900 pieces of these archaeological objects such as bronze bangles, pottery, ceramics, Buddha images in various positions, Thai coins, ancient coins from the neighbouring countries, spur disc supports, etc.

2nd Infantry Division, Queen’s Guard (กองพลทหารราบที่ 2 รักษาพระองค์ฯ) This Queen’s Guard Unit offers many activities such as golfing, horse riding, and shooting.

Yusuksuwan Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์อยู่สุขสุวรรณ์) This museum houses everyday objects from the past. Many collector’s items feature various pressure lanterns, coins, bank-notes, different types of cabinets like teak cabinets, dressing tables, and fans using kerosene. Another interesting item is the 70-year-old lottery (Thailand’s first issue).

Wat Kaeo Phichit (วัดแก้วพิจิตร) Being the very first Dhammayutika Buddhist temple in Prachin Buri, it was built in 1879 by a Prachin Buri millionaire who was a wife of Khun Pramunphakdi. In 1918, Chaophya Abhaibhubejhr (Chum Aphaiwong) constructed a new ordination hall (Phra Ubosot) to replace the old dilapidated one. The unique characteristic of this hall is the combination between the Thai, Chinese, European, and Cambodian art.

Prachin Buri Cultural Centre (ศูนย์วัฒนธรรมจังหวัดปราจีนบุรี) This centre was built by Phra Prichakonlakan (Sam-ang Amattayakun) in the reign of King Rama V. Its architecture is a mixture of the Thai and western style. After having undergone renovation and been registered as an ancient monument by the Department of Fine Arts, it is currently the Prachin Buri Cultural and Red Cross Offices.

Prachin Buri National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ ปราจีนบุรี) This archaeological museum displays artefacts discovered within the eastern region and neighbouring provinces like Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Chanthaburi, Trat, and Rayong. The museum mostly displays important artefacts discovered from the ancient city of Mueang Si Mahosot.

Chaophya Abhaibhubejhr Building (ตึกเจ้าพระยาอภัยภูเบศร) It was constructed by the personal budget of Chaophya Abhaibhubejhr in 1909 as a residence for King Rama V on his next royal visit to Prachin Buri. He died in 1910. King Rama VI and his family stayed here instead during his royal visit in 1912. It can be seen that the owner never did stay in this building at all. The building used to serve as the administrative office of the hospital. Chaophya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, a pilot hospital on Thai medicine, won the 4th Thailand Tourism Award (2020) in the category of tourism promotion and development project.

Wat Sa-nga Ngam (วัดสง่างาม) Wat Sa-nga Ngam was granted consecrated boundaries on 10 April 1917, and the Ubosot, where devoted Buddhists duck under and pass through it for good luck and pray to recover from their illnesses, was officially constructed on 12 March 1971.The whole Ubosot was lifted and underwent major renovation on 15 February 2002. This was when the ducking ritual and gilding the statue of Luangpu Phio, a former abbot (Phrakhru Silawisutthachan), began.

Wat Bot (วัดโบสถ์) Located in Tambon Wat Bot, the temple is on the west of town. It was built in 1278 on the bank of the Prachin Buri or Bang Pakong River and covers an area of 45 rai. There are 3 Buddha images along the bank; namely, Phra Siri Mongkhon Nimit (the walking Buddha), Phra Sapphasitthi Nawa (the Buddha sitting in the European style), and Phra Maha Chinasaiyat (the reclining Buddha). The temple is peaceful and shady.

Bamboo Garden (สวนพันธุ์ไผ่) Supervised by the Department of Corrections, the garden is located in Tambon Noen Hom with an area of about 300 rai. It has a wide collection of bamboo species for research and breeding. One area is allocated as a training centre – cut bamboo, growing vegetables, building furniture – for good behaviour inmates.

Namtok Heo Narok (น้ำตกเหวนรก) Located on the Prachin Buri – Khao Yai route, Namtok Heo Narok is part of Khao Yai National Park, which covers the area of Prachin Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Saraburi provinces. It is a gigantic and beautiful waterfall 60 metres in height and a steep cliff. The water, running to the valley down below, is very vigorous during the rainy months.

Chakkraphong Dam (อ่างเก็บน้ำจักรพงษ์) The reservoir is an earth dam of 16.50 metres high and 740 metres long. From the entrance to the dam on the left, there is an 11-kilometre road up to the top of the mountain for viewing the scenic atmosphere. At km. 7-8, there is a 150-metre long wonder hill. It is believed that if you stop your car and leave it in neutral gear, the car seems to run up hill because of illusions affected by the surroundings.

Namtok Khao Ito (น้ำตกเขาอีโต้) This not-so-high waterfall in Tambon Ban Phra is a popular tourist attraction, which runs through rocks at different levels. Surroundings are full of timber forests. There is plenty of water only in the rainy season.

Amphoe Ban Sang (อำเภอบ้านสร้าง)

Bats at Wat Bang Krabao (ค้างคาวแม่ไก่วัดบางกระเบา) The highlight of this temple is the spectacular sight of thousands of bats living on the trees.

Amphoe Si Mahosot (อำเภอศรีมโหสถ)

Ton Pho Si Maha Pho (The Great Bodhi Tree) (ต้นโพธิ์ศรีมหาโพธิ) The country’s oldest and largest bodhi tree, it was recorded that 2000 years ago, the seedling stock of this bodhi tree was brought from Buddhgaya, India. The tree is about 20 metres in circumference, 30 metres in height, and 25 metres in diameter. Legend has it that Phrachao Thawanampayadit, the ruler of Mueang Si Mahosot during the Khmer empire sent his representatives to Nakhon Patuliputra in India for a branch of the Pho tree, under which the Lord Buddha had sat during his enlightenment. This Pho tree has been the symbol of Prachin Buri.

Luangpho Thawarawadi(หลวงพ่อทวารวดี) Currently situated in the Wihan in front of the Si Mahosot District office, this 1.63-metre greenish sandstone Buddha image in a standing posture and giving the sermon, believed to be from the 7th -9th Century or Dvaravati Period, was discovered at the leprosy settlement, Camilo Hospital, to the south of Mueang Si Mahosot.

Sa Morakot Archaeological Site (กลุ่มโบราณสถาน สระมรกต) This gigantic complex of Buddhist ancient monuments, lying on top of one another since the 9th – 13th Century, comprises laterite and brick architectures – with only the bases left. The most fascinating attraction is Thailand’s largest and oldest Lord Buddha’s Footprints (รอยพระพุทธบาทคู่) – – like a human’s – – carved on the natural laterite floor. More attractions are holy well (บ่อน้ำศักดิ์สิทธิ์) and a rectangular pond called Sa Morakot (สระมรกต).

Si Mahosot Ancient Town (โบราณสถานเมืองศรีมโหสถ) This oval or rectangular shape with round edge ancient town dates back to the Dvaravati period, covering an area of about 700 rai. Remains of the moat, mound, and more than 100 interesting ancient monuments such as various architecture, knolls, ponds, and wells are found scattered in the area. Most of the archaeological finds are related to Hinduism such as shrines, graven images, and Shiva Linga. The most important venue is the complex in the centre of town (กลุ่มโบราณสถานกลางเมือง).

Amphoe Si Maha Phot (อำเภอศรีมหาโพธิ)

Royal Handwriting Monument (อนุสาวรีย์ลายพระหัตถ์) This inscription of the royal initials was made during the visit of King Rama V to Prachin Buri in 1908. The inscription was made on a laterite artefact from the Lop Buri Period, dating back to the 7th – 8th Century.

Lum Mueang (หลุมเมือง) This is a place with about 48 holes or “Lum” of different sizes dug deep on laterite ground. The date of the digging is unknown. During his royal visit on 18 December 1908, King Rama V assumed that the holes were mortars for mixing cement for architectural decoration. But some elderly believed that these holes were meant for a local game known as “Lum Mueang”.

Phan Hin Ancient Monument (โบราณสถานพานหิน) This large square Phan Hin ancient monument is made solely of laterite. It is 15.50 metres wide on each side, and 3.5 metres high, with 4 porches. It is assumed that the building was a shrine for the Hindu God, Vishnu, built during the 7th – 9th Century in the reign of King Jayavarman I of Chenla. The shape of a sculptural pedestal found in the centre of the ancient remains is similar to a tray or “Phan” in Thai. Therefore, the place has been called “Phan Hin” or stone tray since.

Amphoe Prachantakham (อำเภอประจันตคาม)

Namtok Than Thip (น้ำตกธารทิพย์) The waterfall runs through different rocky levels. At some point, it passes a wide rock terrace, and some points are a deep pool. People can swim here. There is a rock terrace for recreation.

Namtok Som Poi (น้ำตกส้มป่อย) This not-so-high waterfall runs through cataracts at different levels. The stream stretches some 400 metres and there are pools suitable for swimming.

Namtok Takhro and Namtok Salat Dai (น้ำตกตะคร้อและน้ำตกสลัดได) This waterfall has wide rapids and there is a suspension bridge spanning across it. The left side features a hill while the right hand side features a timber forest –a relaxing stop.

Amphoe Kabin Buri (อำเภอกบินทร์บุรี)

Kabin Chaloem Rat Park (อุทยานกบินทร์เฉลิมราชย์) This large park/swamp occupies an area of approximately 900 rai. During October – May, thousand of grebes migrate from Siberia.

Mueang Thong Kham Ban Bo Thong Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์เหมืองทองคำบ้านบ่อทอง) Intended as a knowledge and cultural hub, this museum features history of gold mining, archives, as well as, mine-related objects such as artefacts, or local tools. Exhibitions inside displays the history of the gold mine such as underground mining, and separating the ores.

Amphoe Na Di (อำเภอนาดี)

Thap Lan National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติทับลาน) occupies an approximate area of 2,240 km2 (860 sq mi) or 1,400,000 rai. It was established in 1981. Usually there is no accommodation available in the Park. Tourists need to bring their own tents.

Kaeng Hin Phoeng (แก่งหินเพิง) These beautiful and large rapids are in the Sai Yai River. It is most popular for the challenging and enjoyable whitewater rafting during the rainy season (July–November) — the water is very vigorous and flows through different cataracts. After the rainy months, Kaeng Hin Phoeng becomes a large rock terrace.

Suan Nongnuch Camping Resort (สวนนงนุช แคมป์ปิ้ง รีสอร์ท) Occupying an area of approximately 2,000 rai, Suan Nongnuch Camping Resort, filled with a variety of flowering plants and exotic gardens, is adjacent to Khao Yai National Park.

What to do

Trekking: Many trekking routes are available as follows:

  • Trekking in Thap Lan National Park (เดินป่าในอุทยานแห่งชาติทับลาน)
  • Khao Samo Pun Route (เส้นทางเขาสมอปูน)
  • Namtok Som Poi -Tat Hin Yao – Thung Ngu Lueam Route(เส้นทางน้ำตกส้มป่อย ตาดหินยาว ทุ่งงูเหลือม)
  • Namtok Takhro – Namtok Heo Chakkachan Route (เส้นทางน้ำตกตะคร้อ-น้ำตกเหวจั๊กจั่น)
  • Khao Yai National Park Safeguard Unit 10 Route (Prachantakham – Namtok Fong Sabu) (เส้นทางจากหน่วยพิทักษ์อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาใหญ่ หน่วยความรับผิดชอบที่ 10 (ขญ.10 ประจันตคาม-น้ำตกฟองสบู่)
  • Namtok Takhro – Namtok Wang Heo – Sai Yai Route (เส้นทางน้ำตกตะคร้อ-น้ำตกวังเหว-ใสใหญ่)

Whitewater Rafting at Kaeng Hin Phoeng

Bicycling Those who bring their own bicycle can tour along the routes as follows:

  1. Khao Yai Grand View Thani Resort to Namtok Khao
  2. Sa Morakot Archaeological Site Route starts from the Buddha’s Footprints.

Golf Prachinburi has two major golf courses, being:

  • Hillside Country Home Golf and Resort (ฮิลล์ไซด์ คันทรี โฮม กอล์ฟ แอนด์ รีสอร์ท)
  • Phrom Yothi Camp Golf Course (สนามกอล์ฟค่ายพรหมโยธี)

Ban Dong Bang Agro-tourism Attractions

Ban Nong Chuang – Ban Nong Kankrao Fruit Streets, filled with different types of orchards such as:

  • Santol Orchards
  • Durian Orchards
  • Pomelo Orchards
  • Mangosteen/ Marian Plum Orchards
  • Mangosteen/ Durian Orchards

Events and Festivals

Makha Purami Si Prachin Festival (งานมาฆปูรมีศรีปราจีน) takes place yearly on Makha Puja Day at Wat Sa Morakot, Amphoe Si Mahosot. In the event, both monks and the public will practice meditation, as well as, pay respect and participate in the candlelight ceremony around the biggest and the most ancient Buddha’s Footprints in Thailand with lighted candles, incense and flowers.

The Bang Fai Sky Rocket Festival (งานแห่บั้งไฟ) is organized annually on Visakha Puja Day at Wat Ton Pho Si Maha Pho, Amphoe Si Mahosot. There is the lighting of the Bang Fai sky rocket, the competition of Soeng Traditional Dance in the Sky Rocket Procession, as well as, performances celebrating the event.

Agriculture and Well-known Products of Prachin Buri Fair (งานวันเกษตร และของดีเมืองปราจีน) happens approximately during May–June every year in front of the city hall. In the fair, there are fruits and agricultural product market, fruits and vegetable contests, agricultural competition and demonstration, exhibitions by various authorities, as well as, competition of agricultural vehicles and entertainment celebrating the event.

Whitewater Rafting at Kaeng Hin Phoeng Week (งานสัปดาห์ล่องแก่งหินเพิง) is organized yearly around August–September at the 9th Safeguard Unit, Khao Yai National Park, Amphoe Na Di. In the event, there is a rafting competition and an economical whitewater rafting at Kaeng Hin Phoeng.

Traditional Long Boat Races (งานแข่งเรือยาวประเพณี) takes place during the second week of September every year on the Bang Pakong River, in front of the Mueang District Administration Office. There are both traditional long and local boats competing to win Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup.

Loi Krathong Festival (งานลอยกระทง) is organized on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month at the edge of the dam next to the conference hall of the Mueang District Administration Office. There is the Nang Nopphamat Beauty Contest, Krathong procession contest, students’ performances, as well as, performances celebrating the festival.

Buy

  • Fruits and Agricultural Produce of the province are well-known because they are generally recognized of high quality such as durians, rambutans, pomelos, santols, mangosteens, marian plums, Ma Fai, Long Kong and Phai Tong bamboo shoot.
  • Chaophya Abhaibhubejhr Herbal Products (ผลิตภัณฑ์สมุนไพรเจ้าพระยาอภัยภูเบศร) are produced from Thai herbs with various qualities. They are in easy-to-use forms such as curcuma and mangosteen soap, tamarind facial foam, shampoo, toothpaste, skin lotion, lemongrass mosquito repellent, Salet Phangphon balm, herbal tea and juice and various kinds of medicine from herbs. The products are available in the Chaophya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital.
  • Bamboo Furniture is produced in Ban Ngong and Ban Pho, Amphoe Prachantakham into tables, chairs, garden furniture, shelves, etc. These products are sold along the route through the production area (the way to Amphoe Phanom Sarakham).
  • Grass Brooms’ production areas are Tambon Prachantakham and Tambon Pho Ngam in Amphoe Prachantakham.
  • Reed Mat is generally produced in Amphoe Ban Sang, especially widely throughout Tambon Bang Plara. It is made of reed plants including Krajut, Kok Sam Liam and Kok Langka. Most of them are woven into large mats for lying on, folding mats and bags. There are both in natural colour and in dyed ones.

Former founder of Asiarooms.com and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Now based on Mallorca, Spain.

Central Thailand

Hua Hin Cha-am | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Wolfgang Holzem

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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

Things to see and do in Hua Hin

Dive In
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.

Tee Off
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.

Royal Palace

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.

Take off
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.

Monkey about
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 ★★★★★ -26% 181 134 View Isaan Hotel Deals
G Hua Hin Resort & Mall ★★★★ -13% 66 58 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa - SHA Certified ★★★★★ -19% 119 97 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Hop Inn Hua Hin ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Anantara Hua Hin Resort ★★★★★ -22% 116 91 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin ★★★★★ -38% 126 78 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Asira Boutique HuaHin ★★★★ -9% 372 339 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Blu Marine Hua Hin Resort and Villas ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Amari Hua Hin - SHA Certified ★★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Bann Lom Le Guest House ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
The Herbs Hotel Hua Hin ★★★★ -20% 191 153 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Corner Cafe Bed & Breakfast ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Whale Hua Hin - SHA Certified ★★★★ -60% 653 262 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Putahracsa Hua Hin Resort ★★★★★ -8% 128 119 View Isaan Hotel Deals
The Restro ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
InterContinental Hua Hin Resort, an IHG Hotel ★★★★★ -20% 168 134 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Dadddy's home Huahin ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Ruenkanok Thaihouse Resort ★★★ -37% 323 204 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Hyatt Regency Hua Hin ★★★★★ -23% 575 444 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Villa Baan Malinee ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
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Central Thailand

Ko Mak Covid-19 Safe Travel Trat Thailand

Wolfgang Holzem

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Ko Mak is an island in Trat Province, Eastern Thailand. It is fairly undeveloped and natural.

Understand

There are very few islands in Thailand which are still in the same hands as they were over a century ago. There are even fewer which have a written history covering this period. The extended family, descended from a royal tax collector, Luang Prompakdee still own 80% of the island and run many of the resorts. The islanders, in conjunction with the Thai government and a German NGO have been piloting many schemes aimed at making the island Thailand’s first environmentally friendly, low carbon destination by showcasing how sustainable development can improve livelihoods and been done in an affordable manner. There are several projects up and running, including hydroponic farms, a biogas plant, solar powered tour boat and hop on, hop off electric bus service.

Stay with our Hotel Partners on Ko Mak

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Get in

From the Ko Mak pier in Laem Ngop (Trat): Leelawadee Speedboats and Panan Speedboats provide daily speedboat service to Ko Mak, with the last boat leaving for Ko Mak at 16:00. Leelawadee provides service to the Makathanee Pier on Ko Mak’s south shore, while Panan provides service to the Ko Mak Resort Pier on Ko Mak’s north shore.

From Bangkok / Pattaya: Boonsiri Ferry daily service with (mini)bus transfers from Bangkok and Pattaya to connect with their Catamaran ferry service to Ko Mak and Ko Kood.

From the Laem Sok pier (Trat): Siriwhite Speedboats/CP Laem Sok Group provides daily service to Ko Mak’s largest pier at Ao Nid, before continuing on to Ko Kut. There is also a new once-daily catamaran service between Laem Sok and Ao Nid .

From Ko Chang: during the high season there is a twice daily speedboat transfer from Kai Bae Beach at 09:00 and 11:00 to the Makathanee Pier on Ko Mak. First boat is a sure bet, the 2nd only if there are enough passengers. In the low season this service won’t run. On the south end of Ko Chang you can catch either a speedboat or slower wooden boat from Bang Bao.

From Ko Kut: there is twice-daily speedboat service running from most resorts that own private piers at 09:30 and 12:00, arriving at Ko Mak about 45 minutes later. These boats typically continue to Ko Chang or the mainland after docking at the Makathanee Pier, Ao Nid, or Ko Mak pier.

Get around

Ko Mak has a 27 km long coastline, many long sandy beaches, a few hills. It is about 16 km2 in area.

Ko Phi, also northwest of Ko Mak but southwest of Ko Kham, is unoccupied.

At low tide, it is possible to walk to Ko Kham (privately owned), which is a smaller island less than 1 km northwest of Ko Mak. It can be reached with a sea kayak from Ko Mak or by walking during low tide. Ko Kham has nice places to snorkel, depending on the direction of wind. Especially the south beach has calm sea, a nice sand dune, black lava rocks with shells, and crabs (or crayfish or shellfish). Near rocks, you may see (or swim over) black sea urchins that have 15–30 cm (6–12 in) radius and many thin black spines about 30–50 cm (12–20 in) long. Locals say that the spines contain small needles and poison: if one touches the spines and is stuck by a needle, the needle should be crushed with a rock. The poison is only irritating and not lethal. In Thai, the name is hoi men (หอยเม่น).

For exploring the island, motorbikes and bicycles are available for rent at numerous locations, and most beaches and restaurants are within easy walking distance.

What to see and do

Ko Mak is a working island with the majority of the island being covered in rubber plantations and pineapple farms.So the main attractions are the beaches. The two main beaches are Ao Suan Yai on the northwest shore of the island.  And Ao Kra Tueng and Ao Kao which run along the southwest facing beach. Other smaller, less developed beaches include Ao Pra, Ao Tao Khai, Ao Tan, and Ao Talong.

What to do

  • Smile Koh Mak (Learn Thai Cooking) (In Baan Ao Nid, next to Ko Mak Seafood Restaurant and Museum).  Leng has been teaching Thai cooking for 5 years now, so relax and enjoy.
  • Kayak to nearby islands
  • Explore Ko Mak’s quiet bicycle trails and roads on a rented bike or scooter
  • Visit nearby Ko Kradad’s wild deer population
  • Enjoy Ko Mak’s many small Thai and Western restaurants

Dive

  • Koh Mak Divers.

Buy

The Island does not have an ATM. There is reportedly one resort which can charge your plastic card and take an additional 5% for the pleasure. There are a few small shops on the island but no 7-Eleven.

Where to stay in Ko Mak

Hotels Island Mak: Popularity

HotelStarsDiscountPrice before and discountSelect dates
Seavana Koh Mak Beach Resort★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Koh Mak Ao Kao White Sand Beach★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Koh Mak Resort★★★-27%525 385 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Baan Koh Mak★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Ao Pong ResortView Isaan Hotel Deals
Islanda Resort Hotel★★★-22%486 380 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Plub Pla Koh Mak Retreat★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
The Cinnamon Art Resort and Spa★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Villa Sugarcane Koh MakView Isaan Hotel Deals
The Mak TratView Isaan Hotel Deals
Little Moon VillaView Isaan Hotel Deals
Good Time Sports Resort Koh Mak★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
By The Sea Koh MakView Isaan Hotel Deals
Villa Allure Koh MakView Isaan Hotel Deals
Baan Chai Lay Krua TonhomView Isaan Hotel Deals
Makathanee Resort★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Sweet Home 2View Isaan Hotel Deals
Coconut Villa★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Villa Ginger Koh MakView Isaan Hotel Deals
Koh Mak Cococape Resort★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
  • Good Time Resort.  Thai-style resort with pool, spa and tropical gardens. 1,880-5,100 Thai Baht.
  • Koh Mak RetreatPrivate sea view villas in a secluded location. 1,700-5,500 Thai Baht.
  • Makathanee Resort.  Has beachfront bungalows, pool and sea view hotel rooms at one of the best beaches on the island. 1,000-8,000 Thai Baht.
  • Thaidaho Vista Resort ,   Non-smoking boutique guesthouse (only 5 rooms) with spectacular ocean views and tropical garden.

Go next

There are daily speedboats from Ko Mak to the mainland, Ko Chang, and Ko Kut; slow wooden boats to Ko Chang and the mainland; and daily catamaran service to the mainland.

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Central Thailand

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. […]

Wolfgang Holzem

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Suphanburi (สุพรรณบุรี) is a town and a province in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand.

Introduction

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 FCSuphanburi’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.

Get in

By car

Within an hour of Bangkok, Suphanburi is accessible via many routes:

  1. Via Bang Bua Thong of Nonthaburi Province, tourists can drive directly to the province, a distance of 107 km, which is the shortest route.
  2. Via Lat Lum Kaeo of Pathum Thani Province, the route leads to Suphanburi, a distance of about 115 km.
  3. Via Ayutthaya to Suphanburi, the route is 132 km.
  4. Via Singburi Province, Suphanburi is accessible at Doem Bang Nang Buat. The route is 228 km.
  5. Via Ang Thong Province, the road leads to Suphanburi, a distance of 150 km.
  6. Via Kamphaeng Saen of Nakhon Pathom Province, Suphanburi is 164 km from Bangkok via this route.

By bus

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.

By train

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 .

Get around

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.

See

  • 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.

Museums

  • 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

Festivals

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.

Buy

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.

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