There is no doubt that the main destinations for Trat visitors are the beautiful islands especially the famous Ko Chang. Most tourists pass right through the town to get to the pier as soon as they arrive in the province. And if you are planning to do that, you might have to rethink after you know about this little community well-hidden near the river estuary in Trat.
The Rak Khlong Bang Phra community is very rich in culture because it used to be a popular trading area where Chinese merchants, island farmers, and Trat natives met to exchange their goods. The preserved wooden homes on the side of the canal that are over 100 years old in the Rak Khlong Bang Phra Community do a great job at keeping the old town feel in the air. This nonchalant atmosphere reminds most visitors of the famous village in Loei so the Khlong Bang Phra Community is also known as “Chiang Khan of the East.”
The most popular activity here is biking around the community through the narrow streets and the paved way near the water to appreciate the architecture and the peacefulness of an unexplored town. Many residences have turned themselves into small home-based restaurants of different styles, coffee shops, and modest home stays for tourists especially those that enjoy eco as well as cultural tourisms. In 2007, Rak Khlong Bang Phra received an Outstanding Tourism Community award for the locals’ effort to preserve their cultural heritage.
The Rak Khlong Bang Phra Community is known for its slow lifestyle which contrasts with the rest of the built-up area around. It offers a rare atmosphere you can hardly get from anywhere else in the world so next time you visit Trat, make sure to give it an extra day to unwind yourself and fuel up here. The simple living will help recharge you so you feel ready for the next adventure.
From Bangkok, use Highway No. 3 passing Samut Prakan, Chonburi, Pattaya, Rayong, and Chanthaburi onto Trat. From Trat city center, continue until you pass the Tetsaban market and the main intersection. You will see the entrance to Thana Charoen Road on the left where the community is located.