Bangkok Day Trip: Must-see attractions in Chanthaburi province - Alvinology

Bangkok Day Trip: Must-see attractions in Chanthaburi province

Chanthaburi province, pronounced Jantaburee, is located 245 km from Bangkok, Thailand. Chantaburi is notable for tropical fruits, particularly durian, and gems. The surrounding hills are rich with lush forests and scenic waterfalls. Nearby are quiet fishing villages and peaceful beaches.

Chanthaburi is among the 12 hidden gems, or provinces that are renowned for their unique history, culture and lifestyle, recommended as part of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s 2015 Discover Thainess campaign.

To get to Chantaburi from Bangkok, you can either self-drive with a hired car or take a bus from Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) on Sukhumwit Road. The drive is around 4 hours from Bangkok. Details. 

I visited Chanthaburi with a local guide after spending a night in Rayong province.

Our first stop was at the Sea Farming Demonstration Unit in Kungkrabaen Bay, part of the  Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Centre (Khlong Khut, Tha Mai District, Chanthaburi, +66-3936-9216-8). This was set up by the Thai King back in 1981 with the objective “to conduct study, research and experimentation on appropriate development methods suitable for the development needs in the coastal area of Chantaburi Province.”

Sea Farming Demonstration Unit in Kungkrabaen Bay
Sea Farming Demonstration Unit in Kungkrabaen Bay
Beautiful place
Beautiful place
Flags
Flags
Colourful hammocks
Colourful hammocks
Specimens
Specimens
An octopus
An octopus

At the centre, the general manager shared with us some of the sustainable fishing practices which they are engaged in. One of the project is the removal of crab roes from pregnant female crabs, nurturing them into little crabs and returning it to the sea.

The centre general manager sharing his experience
The centre general manager sharing his experience
Pregnant female flower crabs
Pregnant female flower crabs
Releasing the roes
Releasing the roes
Scrubbing out the roes
Scrubbing out the roes
Closing back the shell after the roes are extracted
Closing back the shell after the roes are extracted
Another female crab with even more roes
Another female crab with even more roes
Me at work
Me at work
It's actually much harder than it looks as the crab will fidget
It’s actually much harder than it looks as the crab will fidget
Microscopic baby crabs
Microscopic baby crabs

Other projects include clams cultivation, housing of rescued sea creatures like sea turtles and sharks, with the eventual goal to return them back to the sea.

The workshops were pretty educational to me, a city folk who do not know much about fishing, much less about sustainable fishing practices.

Making ropes for use to cultivate clams
Making ropes for use to cultivate clams
Making little clay bits for the clams to grow on
Making little clay bits for the clams to grow on
Here's how they look when the ropes are ready to be dipped into the sea
Here’s how they look when the ropes are ready to be dipped into the sea
Clams cultivation
Clams cultivation
We got to feed some rescued sea turtles
We got to feed some rescued sea turtles
Dashing for food
Dashing for food
Sea turtles everywhere
Sea turtles everywhere
Sharks feeding next
Sharks feeding next
Here's a hungry one
Here’s a hungry one

Next, we made at stopover at Noen Nangphaya viewpoint, near the Nang Phaya Hill Scenic Point (Na Yai Am, Changwat Chanthaburi) to get a picturesque view of the area.

At the scenic spot
At the viewpoint
The view
The view
From another angle
From another angle
Vespa gang
Vespa gang
Locks of love
Locks of love
Here's a cute one
Here’s a cute one
 Badly vandalized tree trunk - don't do this please
Badly vandalized tree trunk – don’t do this please

We then had lunch at a popular local eatery, เจ๊เพ็ญเย็นตาโฟ ปู กั๊ง @จันทบุรี (there is no English name), famous for their Jae Phen noodle, kind of like yong tau foo noodles in Singapore, but served with seafood.

Thai yong tau foo
Thai yong tau foo
Cooking
Cooking
Jae Phen Noodles
Jae Phen Noodles
Lots of sea creatures like this inside
Lots of sea creatures like this inside
Fried tofu with thai chili dip
Fried tofu with thai chili dip
Thai satay
Thai satay
Lunch
Lunch

The dish looks really colourful when it arrived at our table. While I enjoyed the noodle, the sauce and the seafood, I feel that the portion of seafood and ingredient to noodle is way too much, especially the crayfish and other unidentified funky sea creatures which I counted at least 6 or more pieces per bowl. Still, it is a very interesting local delicacy which I feel you must try it at least once when in Chanthaburi. Try not to think of what sea creatures you are eating when you wolf everything down.

Restaurant interior
Restaurant interior
Menu on the wall
Menu on the wall

Our next stop was Ban Samet Ngam Chanthaboon Mat Handicraft Center (Nong Bua, Chanthaburi, +66-3931-1565), where we get to try our hands on weaving traditional thai mats and other handicrafts.

The staff giving us an introduction on thai weaves
The staff giving us an introduction on thai weaves
Colourful straws
Colourful straws
Professionals at work
Professionals at work
Spot the amateur
Spot the amateur
Professional at work again
Professional at work again
Another amateur
Another amateur

We then rested for the night and had dinner in the Chantaboon Waterfront Community which I will be writing a separate post in detail.

The next day, we continued touring Chanthaburi. Our first stop after breakfast and after exploring Chantaboon was Sen Chan Noodle Factory (2/3 Thachalab Road, Talad, Chanthaburi, 087-723-55-99). Here, we witnessed how the flat white noodles used for cooking Pad Thai was made.

The female boss of the noodle factory
The female boss of the noodle factory
White and yellow versions
White and yellow versions
Noodle sheets
Noodle sheets
Processing machine
Processing machine
Sliced noodles
Sliced noodles
Sorting
Sorting
Drying outdoor
Drying outdoor
Packing
Packing
Noodles models
Noodles models

After the noodle factory visit, we ended our tour in Chanthaburi at Chanthorn Restaurant (1102 / 5-8 Benjamarachutis Road, Wat Mai, Chanthaburi 22000, 039-312-339) where we got to witness a cooking demonstration, followed by lunch.

The food was fantastic and there was large lunch crowd of mainly locals, testimony that it is not a touristy restaurant, but one that appeals to local tastebuds too. For those who are looking to buy back some local delicacies, the restaurant has a retail corner which is pretty well stocked with local produces from durian cakes to coconut chips to soft-shell crabs.

Chanthorn restaurant exterior
Chanthorn restaurant exterior
The first floor of the restaurant
The first floor of the restaurant
The second floor where the cooking demonstration was conducted
The second floor where the cooking demonstration was conducted
Things which you can buy home at the restaurant store
Things which you can buy home at the restaurant store
More stuff to buy home
More stuff to buy home
Interesting snack
Interesting snack
Cook demonstration
Cooking demonstration
Pad thai noodles
Spicy dry pad thai noodles with soft-shell crabs
Ingredients
Ingredients
Seasonings
Seasonings
More seasonings
More seasonings
Noodles are almost done
Noodles are almost done
Ready to serve
Ready to serve
Dinner is served
Dinner is served
My magical colour changing drink when lime was added
My magical colour changing drink when lime was added
Coconut dessert
Coconut dessert
Assorted desserts
Assorted desserts

It was back to Bangkok after that and we arrived before dinner. A day trip to Chantaburi from Bangkok with a one night stay is very manageable and definitely worth exploring! 🙂

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