for its abundance of tropical fruits and as a centre of gems, the
eastern province of Chanthaburi is also blessed with rich, verdant
forests with scenic waterfalls. The Chanthaburi River flows through
the town which has been the home of ancient communities. Quiet
fishing villages and peaceful beaches are not far from town.
Chanthaburi was occupied by the French during the early part of the
20th century. Their influence can be seen in the architecture of
many buildings including the largest Catholic cathedral in Thailand,
catering to a sizeable Christian population.
About 245 kilometres from Bangkok and covering an area of 6,338
square kilometers, Chanthaburi as administratively divided into the
following districts:- Mueang Chanthaburi, Tha Mai, Khlung, Laem
Sing, Pong Nam Ron, Makham, Soi Dao, Na Yai Am, Kang Hang Maeo and
Khao Khitchakut sub-district.
Wat Phai Lom
Going across the Chanthaburi River from Si Chan Road and taking a left turn 1
kilometre from the bridge, 800 meters off the main road is Wat Phai Lom. The
Rama III-era Ubosot features wall murals on all four sides portraying the story
of Lord Buddha with Chinese floral designs as well as illustrations of
foreigners with must have been commissioned after the time of his reign. There
is also a ubosot of western architectural influence attesting to Chanthaburis
artistic and cultural contact with the western world.
Wat Khao Sukim
Situated on a hill covering an area of some 1,320 acres, Wat Khao Sukim was
built in 1966 by devout Buddhists who had faith in Phra Achan Somchai
Thitawiriyo. The objective of the temple is to be used as a meditation venue.
The expansive temple compound offers a peaceful haven surrounded by shady
orchards. The temple also houses a large collection of religious items and
valuable antiques donated by the public. On display are wax sculptures of over
twenty Buddhist monks highly revered by the public. In the temples newly built
Ubosot (ceremonial hall), mural painting created by Chakrabhand Posayakrit,
National Thai Artist in Painting of the year 2000, can be appreciated. The
temple is near Khao Khitchakut National Park, 20 kilometres from downtown
Chanthaburi and can be reached through three accesses branching off Sukhumvit
Road (Highway No. 3):- at Km. 305 (Ban Huai Sathon); at the Ban Noen Sung
intersection; or at Km. 324 (Khao Rai Ya intersection)
The Khao Khitchakut National Park
The Khao Khitchakut National Park has its headquarters at a site which can be
reached by taking a turning at Km. 324 (Khao Rai Ya intersection) on Highway No.
3 and proceed on for a further 21 kilometres.
The park covers a rich, verdant forestland of some 58
square kilometres where many herbal plants are found. It is also rich in
wildlife. An attraction is the Krathing waterfall with its nature trails cutting
through all 13 levels of the fall. There are clear ponds where swimming is
possible. Camping is allowed in the park. There are also accommodations for
visitors who should make advance booking at the Forestry Department in Bangkok.
Admission Fee : Adult 200 Baht Child 100 Baht
For more information visit www.dnp.go.th
Chanthaburi Cultural Centre
Located at Rampaipannee Rajabhat Institute. In three buildings that have been a
residence of Queen Rampaipannee - the Queen of King Rama VII. This centre
displays many utensils used by the Queen, such as clothes, shoes, golf
equipment, etc. There are also local ancient collections.
How to get there
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 34 (Bang Na-Trat) or Motorway to Chonburi, then
use Highway No. 344 (Ban Bung-Klaeng) and proceed to Chanthaburi along Highway
Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses depart from
Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) to Chanthaburi every hour from 4 a.m.-midnight.
For more information, contact Transport Co. Ltd at Tel: 0 2391 2504; Choet Chai
Tour Tel: 0 2391 4146; Phonnipha Tour Tel: 0 2391 5179.