The small and pleasantly unhurried provincial capital of TRAT, 68km southeast of Chanthaburi, is the perfect place to stock up on essentials, extend your visa, or simply take a break before striking out again. Most travellers who find themselves here are heading either for Ko Chang, via the nearby port at Laem Ngop, for the outer islands, or for Cambodia, via the border at Hat Lek, 91km southeast of town. But Trat itself has its own distinctive, if understated, old-Thailand charm and there are lots of welcoming guesthouses to tempt you into staying longer.

Though there are no real sights in Trat, the historic neighbourhood down by Khlong Trat, where you’ll find most of the guesthouses and traveller-oriented restaurants, is full of old wooden shophouses and narrow, atmospheric sois. The covered market in the heart of town is another fun place to wander. Out-of-town attractions that make enjoyable focuses for a leisurely cycle ride (ask at Cool Corner restaurant for detailed directions and other recommended routes) include the mangrove forest to the southeast near Dan Khao, and the ornate seventeenth-century Wat Buppharam, 2km west of Trat Department Store, and the nearby lake.

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