A province of 50 islands, beautiful red gemstones, delicious fruit, ridgeback dogs and the Battle of Chang Island, at the tip of the Eastern border.
Trat is the Kingdom's eastern most province. It a famous as the source of some of the world's finest rubies and sapphires and is emerging as one of the newest international beach resorts with many unspoilt and fascinating islands.
Located some 315 kilometres from Bangkok, the province is renowned for its abundance of tropical fruit and plenty of interesting places to visit, including many historical attractions.
Historical records show tht the province was ruled for a brief period by the French during the French colonization of Indochina in the reign of King Chulalongkorn.
On March 23, 1906, the far-sighted Kong negotiated for the return of the province of Pratabong, Siamrat and Srisophon, now parts of Cambodia, to the French.
The exchange ceremony, held at the provincial hall, was presided over by representatives of the two countries. The Thai representatives were led by Phraya Srithep, who was later known as Phraya Maha
Amatayathibodi, in his capacity as "Palad Toon Chalong," a high ranking position at the Interior Ministry. The French Delegates were headed by Monsieur Rousseau Residant.
March 23, therefore, has been designated by the residents of the province as Trat's independence day, officially known as "Wan Trat Ramruk" or "Trat's Day of Remembrance".
To show their gratitude for the King's effort to grain the province's independence, they had a statue of King Chulalongkorn erected at the provincial hall.
In 1942 a French ship invadeded the Thai waters in Trat Province, and was stopped by the Thai Navy. The fighting that ensued, known as
"The Battle at Chang Island", brought fame to the Royal Thai Navy, whose men fought bravely against the invaders. Despite the loss of three Thai warships -- the
Ratchaburi, Songkhla and Thonburi -- their heroic deeds remained in the memory of the Thai people in general and the residents of Trat in particular.
The Battle at Chang Island Memorial
Trat's main attractions are the 52 islands off its coast, the most famous of which is Koh Chang, which as been made a national marine park, and its
satellite islands and islets that dot the Gult of Thailand from Laem Hgob to Muang and Klong Yai Districts.
Other important islands include Koh Laoya, Koh Wai, Koh Ngam, Koh Phrao, Koh Kradat, Koh Mak, and Koh Kud, which are within short distances from one another. Each of these island has its own natural beauty.
The province is also famous for ridgeback dogs. Tourists who have heard the slogan describing Trat's outstanding features features expect to see handsome fighter dogs of pure Thai breed, with large teeth, pointed ears,
a straight sword-like tail, and a ridged back. Ridgebacks are known for their loyalty to the point of risking their own lives to protect their masters.
In addition to beaches and ntural scenery, Trat Province also offers places of cultural interest, such as Wat Buppharam, and ancient temple about 341 years old. A museum is currently being built in its compound to house
ancient objects for towns-people and visitors to appreciate and study.
At Laem Hgob, 17 kilometres from Trat, is the pier where regular ferries are available for visitors to travel to the beautiful islands of the Koh Chang National Park
and others located nearby. Many preserved food items,
including shrimp paste and fish sauce, together with native wide-brim hats, are also for sale at Laem Ngob.
Koh Kud, about one hour's drive from Laem Ngob, is the site of the Than Sanuk Waterfall Than Sanuk, which means "stream of fun", was named by King Rama IV in 1911.