Apart from the beautiful beaches, the gem market on Srichan Road, and the fruit farms, Chanthaburi also has an important historical site right in the middle of the city that, surprisingly, not many know about.
The Chantaboon Waterfront Community is an old town sitting on the side of Chanthaburi River. It used to be called the Chinatown of Chanthaburi as the first founders were Chinese and Vietnamese refugees 3 centuries ago. Chantaboon was one busy and prosperous community as a major trading and transportation hub back in the age of King Narai. Furthermore, in the reign of King Rama V, the first road in Chanthaburi, Sukhapiban road, was constructed through this area. It currently serves as the main street for tourist to wander around this charming little town and fill up their days with wonderful memories.
One charisma of Chanthboon comes in the timeworn buildings with architectural influences from Chinese, Western, and Thai cultures. Among the Thai wooden homes, the Catholic Church, and the Chinese temples, the most famous building has to be the Sino-Portuguese styled, Baan Luangrajamaitri Historic Inn. This 150-year-old home was a property of Chanthaburi’s father of rubber plantations and was donated to a local non-profit organization to renovate and turn into a good use for the community. Now the townsmen themselves hold shares in the business as well as take turns to help maintain the building and take care of the guests hence it is not just a hotel or a museum, but a place that unite local hearts together through the pride of their homeland.
Every corner of Chantaboon has a story to tell. Clear your mind of the busy life and let yourself be taken back into time here. The random wall paintings, the wooden windows, the traditional breakfast, the egg cakes from Aunt Tai’s Shop, and even the nonfunctioning objects passed down for generations will surely keep you busy during your stay.
From Bangkok, take Highaway No. 3 (Sukhumvit) through Chonburi and Rayong provinces. Turn right onto Highway No. 316 and turn left on Tha Luang Road. You will pass King Taksin Shrine and the City Pillar of Chanthaburi to the bridge to Wat Chan (temple). There, you will find the Chantaboon Community on your right.