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First visit to Chan - where to stay?


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We're an older but still mobile couple just wanted to get to some clean quiet beaches to relax (during this rainy season!) for a week and to visit Chanthaburi for the first time. Would like some recommendation for an area to stay where it's convenient to do both the above. Our budget limits us to under 1k per night for lodging and since we don't drive would have to rely on public transportation to get around. Thanks in advance for any advice you can come up with;-)- and have a nice day.

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Hi smo, and welcome to Chanthaburi ... Unsure where you're coming from so some general info

Chanthaburi city is inland, and 30km to the best stretch of beach on this coastline at Chao Lao

Note there's not much English spoken here, many signs are in Thai script only so a huge advantage of you have aThai with you

Transport option to the coast is a Chanthaburi 'taxi' they are all Mazda pickups with a covered in tray with bench seats, guessing cost one-way would be 400-500 baht

Chao Lao has resorts at costs from 500 to around 10,000 a night. 

We first stayed at Ton Wa when we were holidaying in 2010 and still go there one-two times a year for a weekend break, nice family run business on the main road, about 300m walk to the sea, their chalets are 600b a night, clean, basic (double bed, tv, aircon - no cooking facility, small pool) 

This time of year it'll be quiet. 

Without your own transport, ideally the owners can arrange for you to get dropped off/picked up from Laem Sadet 3km away, there's the Khung Krabaen Royal Development area, raised boardwalk thru mangroves to an estuary of over 8sqkm, an aquarium, demonstration areas of fruit trees, a few small cafes, cool under the trees

Let me know when you're thinking of going I'll come up with some more details for you


Ton Wa Resort, Chao Lao pH 086 017 5726






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7 hours ago, gomangosteen said:

Chao Lao beach 16 July 2019

I wouldn't recommend swimming at this time of year, despite the small waves there can be a strong drift current




Hi gomangosteen, thanks for the tips, very informative and helpful. One of us is Thai so communication should not be a problem, and we plan to go for something comfortable, on a say, "budget-deluxe" range. Also as non-driving Bangkokians we will have to be at the mercy of the local taxi mafia, thus some price reference regarding this issue (how far for how much and go to/from where, etc.?) would help. To begin with we'll be arriving on a government bus from Ekamai and take it from there.


The Ton Wa resort's look and price are perfect...as I mentioned we have roughly a week to spend in the area and would like to spread it between beach chilling time and city exploration (eating and soaking up the old city charm) - Chan looks like a walking town so maybe we can cover it mostly on foot? Any recommendation for inner city accommodation? I am trying to decide between River Guest House (for atmosphere) and KP Grand (for a splurge, though their rooms don't look that "grand"...)


A mention regarding the sea, yeah, it does look rough, reminds me of Ko Samet where I dared not stay with the waves for longer than 5 minutes. Thanks for the nice pics! Btw we're thinking of making the trip next week, taking off this coming Monday holiday already.

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Hi again


Wouldn't necessarily say we have taxi mafia, just taxi drivers. We live 15km from Chan city, in 2011 it cost 150b, in 2019 180-200b. There's agreed fees for the longer-distance towns. Often see the coast resorts with their own minivans, i dont know if Ton Wa do pickups but they do have their resort vehicle.


Rain. Been a lot of it in the last week. This from the office at Noen Sung on Sukhumvit 3 yesterday, lasted almost two hours. There was some surface flooding in the city on Tuesday.



KP Grand - I've been told it's not so Grand anymore, old and tired ... one day I'll go in and ask if I can go to the top for some photos, it's the tallest landmark building in Chan city, on clear days can see it from the coast - Laem Sing bridge. 


The riverside area of old Chantaboon is a nice place to spend an hour or two, have a meal at one of the cafes with a balcony over the river, coffee at our favorite [email protected], cross the bridge to the cathedral


I'm not a fan of the city, holds little appeal and we don't go there very often. The lake in Taksin Maharat Park (one block away from the bus station) is a nice walk, cross over to the island from one of the three bridges





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Hi gomangosteen, thanks again for the info and the nice pics. I didn't mean (taxi) mafia in a bad way, it's the term we use in Bangkok in regards to drivers who insist on a flat fee instead of using the meter, hence some haggling might occur. I'm surprised that you're not that interested in Chan city (this coming from me first time tourist who have heard/read all the neat things about, that's why first-hand experience is always more preferable)- but Chantaboon looks like a must! I would probably prefer that area to the rest and maybe we will have just enough time to hang out along the riverside coffee shop row there, then a couple of days at the beach is perfect.


Oh I want to ask you about the aquarium at Chao Lao beach: I alerted my muslim cook last night about the upcoming trip (just sounding grand, but actually my every night dinner soi food vendor): Chao Lao beach got a big thumb up from her ("water is crystal clear") but the aquarium itself got a thumb down, then again she was deterred from going in during her visit there because some local outside said that there're "only a few fish and that's it!" On the other hand she was all rave about the Pliu (spelling?) waterfall.


Last but not least, the rain! I don't really mind that - sometime it's a nice zen-ish moment to be forced to stop and take a breather and look around - but flooding would really hamper our footing, in every sense of the word...Again, thanks for taking the time for the advice and the visuals. It really helps. Wishing you a sunny day in Chan,

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The aquarium at Laem Sadet ... it's small, not a commercial venture and often see marine science students from Burapa Chanthaburi University working there


It's free. 30 minutes probably enough, we go often (daughter and her friends love it). Has small walk-thru tank, as below



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Namtok Phliu National Park


Last visited here in May, very low water flow, the waterfalls and rivers will be much higher now, possibility they are closed for swimming


Entrance off Sukhumvit Rd 3 about 20km from Chan city heading south towards Khlung and Trat


More of my pics at link in header.  It's a huge area, there are other entrances but this is the most popular one






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Thanks gomangosteen for the links, very interesting and pictorial. I definitely would not pass up the aquarium (which btw reminds me of the little one in my hometown in southern california) and the national park. We also found out that the Ekamai bus would route to Chao Lao beach twice a day so we are going to catch the early one at 8am tomorrow. And there are (public) songthaews serving the beach-town route, what more can one ask for? Our plan is to stay at the beach and make day excursions into town when the mood strikes. I wouldn't mind if it rains most of the time there's always plenty of things to do on the beach rain or shine (except hurricane of course;-) Will dutifully make a report post-trip and big thank you for all your helpful advice and pictorial spreads. Without your input I wouldn't have known about Chao Lao beach and the Tonwa resort, where we are going to stay.

(btw this year we have a harvest surplus of mangosteen so even in BKK I've been splurging on kilos of mangosteen daily!)

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Best wishes for your trip, and hope all your transport arrangements work out ok


Just one more ... directly inland from the aquarium a road leads to the Khung Krabaen estuary, about 1.5-2km around there's the marine education centre, free entry, there's a series of netted enclosures with walkways, usually some big turtles recovering from injuries when caught in nets, the occasional shark ... really does depend on time of year and water clarity as to what can be seen


Nice views across the entrance to the gulf of Thailand, the area on the other side is Khung Wiman, popular tourist area spread along 3-4km of coast,  about 12km around the estuary from Chao Lao to get there though






tumblr_nz0yveVreD1r8w5s5o5_r1_500.jpg tumblr_nz0yveVreD1r8w5s5o4_r1_500.jpg


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  • 2 weeks later...

Impression of Chan

at the beach - we've been to Chao Lao beach only. The public transportation turned out to be almost non existent, the couple of taxis we saw are salengs driven by young housewives usually with kids, so I didn't think they would go anywhere but from one end to the other of the main drag. Beachside is ok, not better than Hua Hin! My one complaint is that the area has become a well-oiled money making machine, any bit of hospitality comes at a price even in off-season.

in town - much better time. A pedestrian town you can walk anywhere. But for the horrendous traffic, vehicles coming at you in all directions any time of day, now I understand why you would by pass the town center. Food are pricey somehow, compared to Bangkok. Maybe the living cost is elevated by the gems trade? The riverside could be tended a bit better, the old town remains delightful, the church a spot for respite - we got a chance to explore the sleepy one hundred year market in the back (nothing really) and the old folks neighborhood there which is more interesting. The food and produce at Talad Nam Phu are mind-boggling.
In all, worth visiting but own transportation is a must!


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  • 2 weeks later...


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