Trat is famous across Thailand for the yellow herbal oil mixture, yaa luang, invented by one of its residents, Mae Ang Ki, and used by Thais to treat many ailments: sniff it for travel sickness and blocked sinuses, or rub it on to relieve mosquito and sandfly bites, ease stomach cramps, or sterilize wounds. Ingredients include camphor and aloe vera. It’s well worth investing in a lip-gloss-sized bottle of the stuff before heading off to the sandfly-plagued islands; you can buy it for about B70 and upwards at Trat market and at nearby Tratosphere bookshop. There are now several imitations, but Mae Ang Ki’s original product has a tree logo to signify that it’s made by royal appointment.

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