Hello Everyone. This year I have chance to travel numerous times to Chanthaburi province.
In the beginning of May, I have joined the trip with Barefoot Magazine as a press representative on a trip called "Once upon a time......You and Me....In Chanthaburi"
My lady is looking forward to travel with this trip as she truly loves to eat fruits. However, on the travel day, she happens to have a bad stomachache and got send to the hospital, therefore, she cannot travel with me on this trip. Leave me, the person who is not in love with fruits alone in the trip. LoL.
Nevertheless, I think I am being lucky that I have an opportunity to join in the campaign of "The Amazing Journey: Blogging Contest" which is organized by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). It is a campaign that more than 30 bloggers join in together and are divided into teams to promote 12 must-visit cities in Thailand that shouldn't be missed for any reason. My team's mission is at Chanthaburi province, a heaven of numerous fruits, my wife is pretty excited about this trip as we could make up for our previous trip.
For this review, it will be the mix review from both trips that I have been to. The travel itinerary will focus on places that I have brought my wife to and that will be two days one night weekend trip.
If you are ready then let's travel to Chanthaburi together.
This review is considered as SR review (Sponsor Review) as all traveling expense has been supported by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and as for the travel itinerary will be organized by me.
Ps 1. For those who use Facebook, you could find the review of the restaurant, attraction and accommodation by Travel Planet Xperiences before everyone at http://goo.gl/3xE5Oj
Ps 2. If everyone thinks that this review is worthwhile or like, please give a plus, Like or Share this review. Thank you very much.
Ps 3. Whoever comments in this
review is lovely ^ ^
Ps 4. All pictures in this review is the copyright of the reviewer and/or only the reviewer has the right to use them, not allowed to use the picture in the review unless the written permission was granted by the reviewer. Copy, modify or use any article or picture of this review except from sharing through this review by do not have permission from the reviewer is considered as guilty of piracy. The reviewer will prosecute to the end.
Ps 5. Photography devices used in this trip includes:
- Canon EOS 5DIII
- Canon EOS 6D - EF 16-35 f/2.8l II
- EF 24-70 f/2.8l II
- EF 70-200 f/4.0l is
The Amazing Journey: Blogging Contest
Before starting the journey, I would like to roughly introduce “The Amazing Journey: Blogging Contest campaign". This campaign is held by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) together with www.ttbn.co website which is a joining network of Thailand Traveling Blogger. The main sponsors of the journey are Nok Air and Thai Rent A Car Company. In this campaign, TAT is the one who selects the 12 main bloggers to travel to 12 must-visit cities. The selected provinces are Lampang, Nan, Loei, Buriram, Phetchabun, Trat, Chanthaburi, Samut Sakhon, Ratchaburi, Chomphon, Trang and Nakhon Ratchasima.
Myself, Ae-Aoi under the name of Travel Planet Xperiences have been selected to be the head person of the team and the destination that we will travel to is Chanthaburi, a heaven of countless fruit orchards. And this trip we will travel with Khun Aou, Medicine Doctor and Khun Tum, Tummeng Trip Travel Magazine. Everyone could follow Chathaburi review and all many more stories scoops of our team (T01) at http://www.thethailandbloggernetwork.com/teams/detail/T01
Chanthaburi - A heaven of Countless Fruit Orchards.
When hearing the word "Chanthaburi" Many people might think what we could do in this province apart from visiting the fruit orchards. In fact, Chathaburi is the province that has everything from mountain, sea, and waterfall or spending a slow life here.
Importantly, Chantaburi has an old-town community that exists here for a very long time, making Chanthaburi to be one of the provinces that has high unique identity of its own.
Chanthaburi is suitable for all kind of tourists whether they are traveling with family, couple or single backpacker. Even you are living in Bangkok or come from distant provinces, Chanthaburi suits for all.
If you have an opportunity to travel to Chanthaburi once, you would understand why King RamaV chose to give other cities to France and save our Chanthaburi instead.
Chanthaburi, the traveling attraction near the city, for 2 days 1 night stay is possible.
To go to Chanthaburi province, it is rather convenient for those who live in Bangkok and surrounding area since Chanthaburi is not far away, it is approximately 220 kilometers distance. The distance is as same as driving to Hua Hin. Therefore, Bangkok residence could easily travel to Chanthaburi all year during weekend.
For people who live in countryside, you could definitely fly to Bangkok whether it is Suvarnabhumi airport or Don Mueang airport. Nowadays, there are a lot of low cost airlines service provide such as Nok Air for example. From the airport, it will be convenient if you could rent a car which there are many companies to choose from such as Thai Rent A Car also is one of the great choice.
My journey is kind of similar to those people who live in Bangkok and do the traveling on the weekend as I need to save the holidays time (of my wife) so she doesn't need to take a vacation day off.
05:00 Leaving from Bangkok.
06:00 Breakfast at Motor Way.
09:00 Uncle Chaluay Garden - Tel:087-058-7173. 190km./3Hr.
10:00 Noen Nangphaya View Point, Kungvimarn, strap the couple lock. 15km./25min
11:00 Kung Krabaen Royal Development Study Center under the Royal initiative. Ride 15km.
12:00 Ruen Rim Nam Restaurant 15km./25min.
13:00 Suan Ban Kaew Palace (a royal residence of Her Majesty Queen Ramphaiphanni). 27km./40min
15:00 Check-in Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn 10km/15min
16:00 No.69 house - promenade around the riverside community. Khanom Khai of Aunt Tai, Wan Kumneng shop.
18:30 The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
19:00 Twilight time around the cathedral/old-town waterfront community.
20:00 Dinner at Chan Pochana (Benjamarachuthit branch)
05:30 Wake up
05:45 Give alms to the monk at front of Chanthaboon community
08:00 Breakfast at Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn/ Kuay Jap (Boiled Chinese Pasta Square) of Aunt Mai and Suna Sticky Rice House.
09:00 Check-out / City Pillar Shrine / King Taksin Shrine 1km.
09:30 Gems and Jewelry Center 3km./10min
10:30 Phlio Waterfall 16km./20min
12:45 Hoi Tod (Thai Style Fried Mussels) at Nai Lek Cuisine 2.5km./5min
13:30 Visit Ton Tum Rab Souvenir Shop 15km./10min
14:00 Ratchanee Chinese Pastry at Makham district market 0.9-361-08710 10km./10min
15:00 Kp Garden - 086-566-2419 18Km./20 min
16:00 Back to Bangkok
20:00 Arrive at Bangkok
Well, we are ready now. I
and my wife would like to take you to travel in Chanthaburi, a fruit paradise
Ps. I have summarized the GPS code
of the attractions here so you could easily follow the route
Uncle Chaluay Garden - Tel 087-058-7173
Noen Nangphaya View point, Kungvimarn, stap the couple lock.
Kung Krabaen Royal Development Study Center under the Ryal initiative
Ruen Rim Nam Restaurant
Suan Ban Kaew Palace
Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Chan Pochana (Benjamarachutit Branch)
Chan Pochana (Maharaj Branch)
City Pillar Shrine and King Taksin Shrine
Gems and Jewelry Center
Namtok Phlio National Park (Phliu Waterfall)
Nai Lek Hoi Tod
Ton Tum Rub Souvenir Shop
Ratchanee Chinese Pastry 039-361-087
KP Garden 086-566-2419
Uncle Chaluary Garden - World's best durian - Agriculture according to King's initiative ideas.
After leaving Bangkok, we take a short visit for breakfast at Motor Way and then continue the route to Ban Bueng district. We then head to Klaeng district route to Chanthaburi, it takes approximately 60 kilometers and you will find the signboard to Kung Krabaen Royal Development and Study Center, take turn to that way and you will find the signboard to Uncle Chaluay Garden.
Formerly, Uncle Chaluay is a farmer. However his land is not suitable for growing the rice field.
Therefore, he modifies to plant rubber trees instead and then again changes to durian farm at last.
However, since his land has been planted the mono-crop for sometimes, which make the soil begins to deteriorate and the product begins to decline finally.
Until during 2001 or 13 years ago, Uncle Chaluay has an opportunity to attend the session from Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development and Study Center under the royal initiative, after that Uncle Chaluay decided to do organic farming instead and grow fruit farm along to reduce the risk of crop prices decline which can efficiently lower the production cost.
Additional to the lower production cost, the fruits has a better taste as well which make the durian from his farm has been awarded as World's Durian Winner Prize in three consecutive years during 2009-2011 year. And he also has an opportunity to have an audience and offer his durian to Somdej Phrathep.
In this year, Uncle Chaluay has
participated in the project of the fruit farm for tourism with TAT to organize the
fruit buffet costs 199 baht. However, since his fruit farm is rather small
with the area just only 15 Rai, therefore, the fruit is not
enough to do the buffet campaign. Thus, Uncle Chaluay Garden has held the buffet
campaign for only 10 days and stopped the fruit buffet campaign. During we visit, the garden is
not in fruit buffet period anymore; however, we can buy fruits that we would like to eat, and he will prepare it into separate tray for us.
Actually, Uncle Chaluay Garden doesn't focus on selling fruits, he rather focuses on agricultural tourism that aims to take the tourists to visit the fruit farm and gives the knowledge about the fruit farm and various crops planting.
If Uncle Chaluay has some free time, he will be the one
to lead us to tour the farm by himself. If any trees are growing fresh eatable
fruit; he will pick for us for have a try.
Apart from the orchard, this place has the home-stay style accommodation as well.
There are 5 houses in
total and they have a lot of activities such as riding ATV car.
After (my wife) satisfying with the
eating, we also buy back as well, we buy two durians (80 baht each)
and he gives us one bag of mangosteen for free.
"Although today I am not that rich but my life is full of happiness. I don't have to strive for anything and I am comfortable and no trouble to worry about. My children have their own occupations that can self-support themselves. I think it is happy enough for this life" A short speech of Uncle Chaluy that could make us conceives about "Sufficiency" of King Rama IX's gracious idea. Although, many people have interpret this word in various meanings, the concept of sufficiency that Uncle Chaluay has interpreted is definitely in his understanding and it is the sufficiency in his own style that a lot of people might feel envious of.
Chalerm Burapha Chonlathit Scenic Road - Romantic route (The Dream Destination of Love)
After we are totally full with the fruits from Uncle Chaluay Garden, we continue to drive to one of the most beautiful roads in Thailand which is Chalerm Burapha Chonlathit Scenic Road. It is Thailand's longest road along the sea; starts from Sattahip district and extends till Trat province
However, the highlight spot of this road is in Chanthaburi province. There is a scenic route that starts at the small hill called Noen Nangphaya View Point; it is located nearby the sea, and you could walk up to watch the scenery of Kung Vimarn Bay.
Apart from the view point, there is a place for lover to strap couple lock in hope that their love could last eternity.
Certainly, I take (only one) lock with me from my home. When I arrive, I found that normally the lover will strap two locks together. My wife turns to me and asks me that "Do you intend to strap me and leave me here, right?" LoL.
Oh! Moreover, Chalerm Burapha Chonlathit Road has been built the bicycle lane for cycling. The most popular route is from Noen Nangphaya View Point, ride along the coast until Laem Sing Bridge; the distance is 36 kilometers.
Kung Krabaen Royal Development Study Center
After I have strapped the lock (only one lock) at Noen Nangphaya View Point, we drive along Chalerm Burapha Chonlathit Road detour Kung Krabaen Bay approximately 15 kilometers, and then we arrive at Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Center.
And this place is a place that changes Uncle Chaluay's life by attending the session and take the knowledge to develop his own farm based on the self-sufficiency philosophy.
This center has three main attractions which are:
- Kung Krabaen Sea Farming Demonstration Unit.
- Mangrove Forest Nature Study Trail
- The Sixth Cycle Birthday Anniversary Celebration Aquarium
And I choose to visit Kung Krabaen Sea Faming Demonstration Unit.
The center can arrange the lecturer for the visitor, however, you should contact the center in advance. There are also various activities here that the center could provide for the visitor for example releasing crab, make the oyster seed bed.
You could contact the center by telephone and e-mail, the center opens daily except Sonkran holidays. For more information please visit this website: http://www.fisheries.go.th/cf-kung_krabaen/index_1.html
Speaking of doing activities, in the
past I used to travel to do the activity by shooting the rubber seed to
afforest at Srakaew province. I asked the officer that how efficient of the
activities that we are doing?
And the answer I have received is that the afforest activity by shooting the rubber seed to the forest, the chance that the rubber trees will grow is just only 2-3%. However, arranging activities could draw people to travel and have something to do and while during that time, they could give the knowledge to those who attending the activity.
Oh. There will be various species of fish raised in floating cage which are using for studying.
If you travel on weekend, local people will sell fish food at the entrance area for feeding fish in the floating cage. But if you visit the center on weekday, you need to prepare fish food by yourselves. However, it is somehow more convenient to travel on weekday as people are not crowded, you could leisurely walk as you please.
Oyster Seed Bed – the nursing source of baby oyster
One of the activities that the center provides for us is to make oyster seed bed. There are numerous baby oysters live in Kung Krabaen Bay, but normally baby oyster will have to float into the sea and cling at the rock in order to grow respectively. Thus, the center are making the oyster seed bed by drop the cement on to the rope and then put the cement rope down to the sea for baby oyster to cling and they will bring those baby oysters to raise afterwards.
Crab Bank for sustainable crab conservation.
“If you like to eat blue crab then you should go to eastern part, but if you like to eat black crab you should go south"
I have heard this speech for quite sometimes and it is a belief that I have remembered all along.
According to my understanding, this area is a blue crab area, thus, blue crab are in large amount and not expensive. However, my understanding is half right as in fact, it is the Crab Bank Project of the center that makes Kung Krabaen Bay to become a crab breeding place.
Normally, one blue crab could spawn for
three to seven hundred thousand eggs in each time; however, baby crabs could
grow and survive just only 1% of all eggs.
That is reason why the center has launched the Crab Bank Project. The center will buy crabs from the fisherman, but only the crabs that carry eggs, and then they will take those crabs to the crab bank waiting for them to shed their eggs before, then they will sell those crabs afterwards.
After the mature crabs have shed their eggs, the crab bank will take care of those baby crabs. It is said that if only baby crab could grow up to around one centimeter wide, the chance that they will survive and mature is high to 50%. And that is the reason why this area has lots of blue crabs in cheaper price while compare with the price in the southern part.
All these things happen from the initiative of our King Rama IX. The royal project has changed the lifestyle of the villagers in this area; making them able to sustained conserve the natural resource in their area.
One person, one day and one piece of garbage project
It is an easy project that me and my wife are doing for quite sometimes now by keeping the garbage we have seen in the attractions that we have been to. I intend to do that in each day of travel, except from not throwing garbage in the attraction area but I will take garbage back at least one of it too.
Actually, I expect nothing from my action of keeping a garbage each day will help our attractions to be clean instantly. However, I would like to do and would like to propagate this idea to everyone to start doing as well.
Today I do it all by myself; I could just keep only one piece of garbage each day. However, in following day, I ask my other ten of my friends to do so, that will be ten pieces of garbage. And if all of my friends continue to tell their friends to keep garbage, and supposing that there are one million people agree with this idea, in one day we could eliminate one million pieces of garbage already.
As for this idea I have been inspired from Phu Kradueng National Park in the project that they give out the certificate for those who keep garbage in Phu Kradueng for one kilogram. I think it seems to work as well but one kilogram is kind of a lot and seems difficult to do so. Thus, I will have an easy start with one piece of garbage each day and it also not a burden to me while I'm on the journey.
Ps. I would like ask everyone to join in this project. The attraction can stay with us for a long time or who have any idea that you normally do, you can share with me too.
Ruen Rim Nam Restaurant
After promenade around fish floating cage and it is noon already. I drive along the beach and have lunch at Ruen Rim Nam Restaurant.
The highlight menu of this restaurant that you shouldn't miss out is Stir Fried Soft Shell Crab with Lemon.
Fried Crispy Soft Shell Crab stir fried with
onion and lemon. It tastes sweet and sour and it is very delicious.
Suan Ban Kaew Palace
After we are full, we will drive to the city of Chanthaburi. Nevertheless, before that I will take a visit at Rambhai Barni Rajabhat University for travel to Suan Ban Kaew Palace.
Suan Ban Kaew Palace is the royal residence of Queen Rambhai Barni, the King Rama VII's queen.
A green house that you have seen at the back is the accommodation of the queen's principal private secretary in the past. However, it uses for the office for visitor who visit Suan Ban Kaew Palace nowadays.
There will be the sculpture of Queen Rambhai Barni situated in the garden.
Phra Tamnak Thao is the residence of Queen Rambhai Barni.
In the reign of King Rama VII, Thailand has a major reforming. And there also many agitated crisis in the city such as capture hostages in many situations. During the time that King Rama VII preceded England for curing his eyes, he announced to abdicate the throne and refuge to stay in England. However, Thailand has still agitated continuously and then l ater, King Rama VII got ill and passed away in England.
During that time, Queen Rambhai Barni had to perform the funeral alone. Moreover, after that she had to be alone in England for 13 years. Until the politic in Thailand is stable, Queen Rambhai Barni has been invited to come back to Thailand together with the ashes of King Rama VII to perform the funeral ceremony alike other King of Thailand.
Nevertheless, when Queen Rambhai Barni came back to Thailand, she didn't have a residence to reside as Sukhothai Palace which she used to reside in the past has become to be Ministry of Public Health already.
Thus, she bought a land for 687 Rai in Klong Ban Kaew area to build this palace.
This is a royal car which the Queen used during she resided at Suan Ban Kaew Palace.
The tourist could take photo inside Phra Tamnak Thao except only the Queen's bedroom.
The palace was designed to have layers floor.
Many various appliances, the Queen had import from England such as the oven, Aga brand; it was said that it is the best oven during that period.
This is a dining room.
Apart from that, inside Thamnak Thao there will be the exhibition of various appliances and clothes which Queen Rambhai Barni used in the past.
Phra Tamnak Daeng - a local culture museum
Behind Phra Tamnak Thao situated Phra Tamnak Daeng.
It was a house of the queen's principal private secretary. At present, it was modified to be local culture museum already.
There is an exhibition showing various cultures of Chanthaburi province such as Chanthaboon reed mat which initiated by Queen Rambhai Barni and the gems mine industry in the past.
Until 1928, Queen Rambhai Barni proceeded back to reside at Sukhothai Palace permanently. She has offered the land of Suan Ban Kaew Palace to Ministry of Education. Later, nowadays this place become to be Rambhai Barni Rajabhat University.
Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn ……... A place where the river will return
After finish promenading at Suan Ban Kaew Palace around almost 4pm, then we drive into Chanthaburi city. This time, I choose to stay at Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn. It is the unique accommodation in boutique hotel style. There are welcome drink serving while we reach at the hotel; they are Ma Peed (Round Kumquat) juice, it could freshen up our energy.
This place just has been opened for service in the end of 2014.
The hotel was modified from an old house of Luang Rajamaitri, the venerable person of Chanthaburi province. Apart from the trendy boutique hotel Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn is a virtual museum as well.
There are official government papers, books and antique appliances in the old days exhibited in the living room
hall at a ground floor. This area opens for other people for visiting and
taking photo as well.
However, the trendier of Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn is the 12 guest rooms that differentiate in their
names. Each room will be decorated to show various historic events as well as
the story of Luang Rajamaitri's way of life.
During the visit, I stay in the room named “Herbal Forest"
There are the showcases about the herbal products which could find in the forest of Chanthaburi province such as Krawan and other documents show that Luang Rajamaitri has contacted foreigner to export those herbal products abroad.
This room is rather small, therefore, the design of the room will be 2-storey beds; lower area will use for a working desk and an area for sit back, as for the bed will be at above.
My lady is indulging in the ambience already.
For those who would like to stay here, if weekend, I would recommend you to make a reservation in advance as 12 guests room can accommodate for only 25 guests.
Moreover, since this place is the old house that still use its original structure so it is somehow still fragile.
Thus, this place has some simple rules which are
- No running around as this place made by a wooden floor which connects in all the area of the house; therefore, running could make a loud noise and disturb others.
- Close a curtain every time while showering to protect the water to splash out to the wooden floor and it might damage.
Chanthaboon Motel – the accommodation that beyond accommodation- a sustainable tourism way.
Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn is not the hotel which focuses on business and profit only as this place was established in the form of Social Enterprise Company which gives the opportunity to community's people as well as other people to hold the share to be the owner of Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn together. This is to conserve “community way" of Chanthaboon people to remain with the community for long. With this method, it could make us perceiving the great power of Chanthaboon people in protect this waterfront community to last for long by using the concept of “Culture-Led Trade". It could bring numerous people to walk and travel to this waterfront community.
The enchanting of Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn apart from its house; it is also the surrounding community that make the visitor could feel like turn back to the past, living a slow and simple life.
Chanthaboon Old-town waterfront Community….Community way of life…Where the past meets the present.
After check-in and keep our baggage, we continue to promenade in waterfront community. As apart from Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn, Chanthaboon Old-Town Waterfront Community still has a lot of interesting stories to visit.
Here is the travel map for everyone.
I start the walking at No.69 house, Chanthaboon Community Learning Center
This house is half-timbered building which belongs to
Khun Anusorn Sombat, it is over 100 years old building. Normally, since this place will have the volunteer to introduce and tell the history of the community so it will open
only on Weekend from 10am - 4pm.
However, if you visit in other time,
you could contact Teacher Prapaphan Chatmalai at 081-9455761, she will
coordinate someone to open the house for visitor.
From what I have talked to a Teacher, Ms. Prapaphan make me feel that one of highlights and strong points of Chantaboon Old-Town Waterfront Community is the old-town community that the people in the old town still really live in the same lifestyle not like other old-town community that has just only the old house left.
She tells us that this community will not compete in trading among community's people themselves as normally each shop will do one product, it is kind like who good in what thing, could sell that thing as it is their identity.
I asked Ms.Prapaphorn that whether she' s afraid or not as nowadays there are many investors come and open new shops here and this place will become to be like Amphawa or other places which seems to lose the community's identity. She tells me that although at the present there are many investors open new shops in the community which is uncontrollable, but we could live together harmoniously. This is because people in community live their everyday life like in the past.
Aunt Tai Khanom Khai Shop
After saying goodbye to teacher Praphaphan, I walk to Aunt Tai Khanom Khai Shop. Even though Aunt Tai is 80 years old nowadays, but she still does makes Khanom Khai with her descendant. Her Khanom Khai smells good and crispy. I recommend everyone not to miss out.
Wan Khum Nueng Shop
I then take a visit at Wan Khum Neng Shop which is located near to Aunt Tai Khanom Khai Shop. It is the modern shop which seems for welcoming tourist in the
present. There are a lot of corners for taking photo according to the popular
This is one point making me understand that the old shop which more than 60 years of age like Aunt Tai Khanom Khai Shop also could stay harmoniously together in the community with the new age shop.
Personally, I feel that the community should have two kinds of shops mix together; it could add the enchanting to the place and draw people to visit. As if there are only the old shops, the tourist will not have a place for take some rest. However, if there are just only the new shops, it is not different from Bangkok and we could travel in Bangkok instead, couldn't we?
A catholic church, cultural diversity of community lifestyle
Chanthaboon Old-Town Waterfront Community is the old
community that exists since around 300 years ago. At that time, this place is in
good location that convenient for all transportations. It is one of the
important commercial centers in the eastern part of Thailand.
And that is the reason why Chanthaboon community has a variety of nationalities came and settled down here such as Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and other foreigner. As the result of that, thus, there is The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception situated here.
It is said that this place is built according to Notre Cathedral as a model. Actually, in the past the cathedral also has a dome; however, during the war, the said dome has been removed.
The cathedral building has been rebuilt and restored many times. The cathedral that we have seen nowadays is the fifth rebuild. And until today, the cathedral is more than 109 years.
Chan Pochana - the delicious legend of Chanthaburi.
After finish taking photos at Old-Town Waterfront Community, we are having dinner at Chan Pochana restaurant. It is the restaurant that being together with Chanthaburi for more than 53 years now. First branch of restaurant (Benjamarachuthit branch) taken care by Phaijit.
At the present, second branch (Maharaj brach) taken care by Khun Tor, Khun Au Grit.
I have a chance to eat at both braches. Last time trip with Barefoot magazine, I ate at Maharaj branch; however, I will eat at Benjamarachuthis branch for this time as it is just 100 meters away from our accommodation.
The difference of these two branches are the original branch that taken care by Khun Phaijit is located near Chanthaboon Old-town waterfront Community and generally Chanthaboon people will eat at this branch, but the customer have to park at the roadside. As for Maharaj branch will have spacious parking lot and the beautiful colonial decoration design.
The highlight of Chan Pochana Restaurant is that they will take local ideas to apply in cooking the food, especially fruits such as “Mangosteen Sour and Spicy" and “Durian Muslim-Style Curry" which I think it is awesome.
Normally, I didn't eat durian as it is stinky. However, the first time I ate "Durian Muslim-Style Curry", I really didn't know it is durian, I think it is potato and it is really delicious, not stinky at all. If only I know before, it is durian; I will not dare to eat LoL. As they use durian instead of potato; therefore, the curry will have a little sweet taste from durian as well.
As for the local food of Chanthaburi province like “Moo Cha Muang" (Pork Curry with Herb) and "Sen Chan Pad Poo" (Chanthaburi-Style Stir-Fried Noodles with Crab), they are delicious as well.
Moreover, there is “Sang Wa", it is one kind of shrimp chili paste in southern part but this dish doesn't add shrimp paste inside.
Another highlight dish is “Stir-Fried Yardlong Bean with Shrimp Paste" it tastes a little sweet and a little salty with shrimp paste, very delicious.
And the last dish is “Lor Ma Ju" it is a sour soup with sea bass adding eggs, it is an awesome dish.
There are various desserts such as “Sala Seedless in Syrup" and “Espresso Coconut Ice-Cream" and “Durian Cake"
Ps. The smell of durian cake is quite strong that I'm not dare to take a photo, I hurriedly give it to my wife LoL.
Total price is as follow:
Mangosteen Sour and Spicy -120baht
Durian Papaya Salad - 120 baht
Chicken and Durian Muslim-Style Curry – 250baht
Stir-Fried Yardlong Bean with Shrimp Paste – 80baht
Moo Cha Muang – 100 baht
Sang Wa - 100 baht
Sen Chan Pad Poo (Chanthaburi-Style Stir-Fried Noodles with Crab), (large size) – 100 baht
Dessert - 65baht
For both branches, the taste of the food is similar to each other. However, I feel that Benjamarachuthis branch will be spicier, and Maharaj branch will have a softer taste.
As for the convenience, the tourist rather more convenient to go to Maharaj branch, I would say. Moreover, the restaurant at Maharaj branch decorates beautifully and there are more areas to take photo.
During the visit, I meet with Khun Phaijit by chance so I take a photo with her as well.
After the meal, we went back to our hotel room to take some rest. For the next day, we will give alms to the monk and travel with unique Thainess style.
Since our accommodation is situated at the center of an Old Town Chanthaboon Waterfront, we could wake up in the early morning to give alms to the monk.
The old town community located many houses; therefore, there are monks walking along the street every morning. The opposite side of our accommodation provides a package of foods for sell to give alms for monks
As you know the seller makes foods to give out to the monk for themselves as well.
Kuay Jap (Boiled Chinese Pasta Square) of Aunt Mai and Suna Sticky Rice House.
Normally, the accommodation will provide "Chanthaboon Rice Congee" to serve which is like boiled rice with minced pork but top up with sliced omelet and sliced Chai Po (Preserved Turnip).
Moreover, there is a popular menu that you should try, it is Kuay Jap of Aunt Mai, which is located diagonally across Baan Luang Ratjamaitri Historic Inn.
We could as well order at our accommodation and they will serve us here, for only 30 baht. Very delicious, I would say.
After breakfast, I walk around to chill out at the Old-Town Waterfront for a little while. I unexpectedly find one shop which is not located along the waterfront road. The shop is located on Kwang road called Suna Sticky Rice House. It is positioned not far from the waterfront area, only a block away on the left hand side.
This place makes the sticky rice day by day, very tasty and fresh. You could choose you own toppings or they have a mix favor as well.
City Pillar Shrine - King Taksin Shrine
After check-out from Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn, I drive to City Pillar Shrine and King Taksin Shrine which are located next to each other.
King Taksin had a close relationship with Chanthaburi province as Chanthaburi is the place where he gathers the troops to salvage the second time independence for our country.
Gems and Jewelry Center - The largest Jewelry Museum in Asia
After paying respect to City Pillar Shrine and King Taksin Shrine for propitious, my next destination is to bring my wife to the Gems and Jewelry Center which is well-known as the largest Jewelry Museum in Asia.
I have an honor to have a pretty tour guide, Khun Nuch taking us to explore around the center.
This place have a Video Room to watch a history of the Gems and Jewelry industry as well. Generally, to watch a video in this room, you have to come in a large group or call in advance to book a room at 039-303-118.
Then, after we finish with the video of the history, we continue to walk around the center to see other part of the museum.
There are an exhibition showing history of Gems and Jewelry and where could you discover each type of Gems and Jewelry in the world.
There is a Hologram room which is a high technology for learning as well.
Furthermore, there are imitating crowns section.
This picture is an imitating crown of Queens Elizabeth.
Being here, I have realized that when people said that there are no more Chanthaburi Gems, it is not exactly true.
The reality is that they are minor gems to be found nowadays. Chanthaburi is not a place where they focus on digging the gems; on the other hand, it is one of biggest gems market places in the world where gems are highly trade. As the overseas trader will bring raw gems to sell here, then Chanthaburi sellers will focus on increasing the value of those gems by cut and polish them and convert as necklace or ring.
At the present time, Thailand is the upper countries in the world's rank that export jewelry out.
We will take some photos together before we leave. (Today Mr.Tum, another blogger come to visit here as well)
After a tour at the Gems and Jewelry Center, now it is time for my wife to do some shopping.
Actually taking photos are prohibited in the trading section for security and plagiarize reasons.
Nonetheless, I ask for a special treat to get some background pictures for the reviewers.
As for "Ploychan" sign is the trading stamp which is issued for the Jewel shop meaning that this shop has been prove that the gems and jewelry are real. They all have to get the approval before doing the trading.
For the shopper, they have a price range from hundred to millions.
Phlio Waterfall National Park - Natural attraction......Love monument for Her Majesty Sunandha Kumariratana.
After my wife finishes here shopping, I hurriedly bring her out of the jewel place as I am scared I will be bankrupt LoL.
Next destination, we will head to Phlio Waterfall National Park. At this place, you could not ride a car into the National Park; therefore, we have to park a car at outside parking lots.
Anyway, I would suggest you to drive all the way until you have reached the waterfall entrance way first then you could look for the parking spot. As the first parking spot is pretty far from the entrance. The parking fee costs 30 baht and the entrance fee costs 40 baht per person.
The latest information I have heard is that the National Park has cut the entrance fee into half price right now for weekday which will start from 1st of July onward.
Phlio Waterfall is a place of lush tropical forest. There is a nature trail with the abundant nature along the way; the distance is approximately one kilometer.
Before we reach the waterfall, we will see the Along Khon Pagoda and a love memorial stupa of Her Majesty Suandha Kumariratana in pyramid shape situated here.
In the past, King Rama V and Queen Sunandha Kumariratana visited this place and both of them prefer this place greatly as the waterfall is magnificent; it is more gorgeous than anywhere in the world that they have been to at that time. Thus, the Pagoda is the construction which stated that His Majesty the King Rama V and Queen Sunandha Kumariratana have been here before.
At that time, Queen Sunandha Kumariratana said that she would like to visit this place once again. Unfortunately, Queen Sunandha Kumariratana passed away during the boat accident at Chao Phraya River. Hence, King Rama V commissioned the construction of a stupa in pyramid shape during year 1881 for a memorial of his love and commemoration of Queen Sunandha Kumariratana. Inside the stupa housed some ashs of Queen Sunandha Kumariratana as well.
The reason that the memorial stupa was built in pyramid shape is because it could last for long time like the Pyramid in Egypt.
Phlio Waterfall is a large waterfall that has the water flows all year round; hence, it is a great natural attraction place to relax for Chanthaburi local people as well.
I have been there during weekend, it is pretty crowded.
Besides the waterfall, Pluang-Hin Fish is one of the highlights that attracts the tourist as well.
Pluang-Hin Fish, they like to eat Yardlong bean and you could feed them with it; you could buy Yardlong bean from the local shop around the National Park.
Hoi Tod (Thai Style Fried Mussels) at Nai Lek shop - Large plate of Hoi Tod
After we enjoy our day at the waterfall, now it is time for our lunch. My target cuisine to take my wife for lunch is at "Hoi Tod Nai Lek".
It is located at Sukhumvit road in bound Chanthaburi city, when you reach the National Park exit turn right and drive around 500 meters, you will reach the cuisine.
The recommended dish is Giant Hoi Tod plate.
The smallest plate which is for around three persons costs 300 baht and the Giant plate which is for around 15 persons costs around 1200 baht.
I order the 300 baht plate dish, sharing with my wife. We think we could do take away box if we could not finish the entire dish.
However, at last, we do finish all our order.
Ps. If you do not prefer River Shrimp, I would suggest you to order regular plate. We could choose a more toppings to add up (One topping for 60 baht and two topping for 90 baht)
Buy souvenir at Ton Tum Rab souvenir shop.
After our lunch of giant plate of Hoi Tod, we go straight along Sukhumvit road. I will head to Makham district, however, before that I will stop by at "Ton Tum Rab Souvenir Shop" first.
Ton Tum Rab Shop is located at a crossroad where you could head back to Bangkok, straight to Prajinburi province and head to Northeastern part of Thailand.
Ps. I stop by at Ton Tum Rab Shop but actually I do buy a stuff from the stalls nearby LoL.
Ratchanee Chinese Pastry - Worth the wait.
After done with our souvenir shopping, I am not heading back home just yet.
I do some souvenir shopping before because two places that I will visit are on other direction and I will not come back this way anymore. From Ton Tum Rab Shop, drive to Makham district to visit Aunt Ratchanee Pastry House. There is a rumor states that we have to wait in the waiting list queue for almost two years for the Chinese pastry.
Aunt Ratchanee house is a small one-story house which located behind Makham district administration.
When we arrive, the lady is busy in making the Chinese pastry. However, after she saw us coming, she comes up and welcomes us.
We did a little talk with her, she told us that she lives alone and makes pastry as a career.
She makes to order only and does not have her own outdoor shop or put her pastry to sell in other shops.
This is her 21 years for doing the pastry. At first, she does other Thai desserts as well, however, now it is only Chinese pastry.
She starts with giving out to the neighborhood to try, therefore, this is how they order. The delicious of the pastry spreads out only from the word of mouth. There are already waiting list, now it takes around 2 years for the last order and she stops to take more order until the last order is out.
During the chatting with her, she does the Chinese pastry along at the same time.
She said, she used to do the Chinese pastry around 1000 pieces per day; however, right now because of the age she could bake only 600 pieces per day.
Additional to that she does not have any worker to help her as she would like to control the quality of the pastry by herself; these are the main reason why it takes such a long time to taste her pastry.
She also said that she once hires some workers, anyway they are not as good as she wants them to be. Therefore, for the best she thinks that she could do it all alone.
Between the baking processes, the oven got a Beep sound. Aunt Ratchanee went to take the pastry out of the oven and bring the new one inside.
After that she let us try her pastry, I would say that the delicious of her pastry is at the paste powder. (which is her secret recipe)
I could feel the thin crispy layer similar to puff pastry and the stuff of pastry tastes a little more salty than others as she adds more salted eggs inside. The pastry is soft and smooth when eating hot.
We are willing to pay for the sample, however, Aunt Ratchanee refuses to take our money. Sample is for free, she said.
I'm afraid to request an order from her as there are many people on the waiting list. However, she said today she made more than 600 pieces and could sell one box to me. If there are less than 600 pieces, she could not sell out to whom not on the waiting list.
As we talk, I realize that she is not arrogant and she is not doing any marketing unlike what they have heard. On the other hand, she knows what is meant by understand her own energy, sufficiency and royal to the customer. She wants the best for the customer by every pieces that she made, it needs to be on the standard.
For those who would like to press the order, it will only be after the previous waiting list is done. The date of the next order will be on the 1st of June 2016 onward.
You could reserve by calling at 039-361-087 from 06:00am - 06:00 pm.
KP Garden - Fruits Buffet Festival.
After unexpected Chinese pastry taste from Aunt Ratchanee, we say goodbye to each other then head to our next destination "KP Garden"
This is one of the eleven places that joins in "Fruits Buffet Festival" which is held by Tourism Authority of Thailand.
KP Garden organized for the Fruits Buffet in rounds and only during weekends. It is 4 rounds per day at 09:00am, 11:00am, 01:00pm and 03:00pm and they limit only 50 people per one round.
Additional to that you have to call in to reserve in advance as they will be fully booked in each round. And they prepare the fruits limited for only 50 people per round as well.
When you call in advance, they will ask you what kind of fruits is your favorite and they will prepare it for you. For example, you prefer the ripe durian over the half-ripe. Whatever you request in advance is grant.
I reserve the last round at 03:00pm in the evening.
Upon arriving, they will bring us walk around the fruits farm first. The tour person will give you some knowledge about planting various kinds of fruits and let us try to collect some fruits by ourselves.
The durian is just as we request, ripe durian. Fresh from the durian tree. (Actually they already cut some of those and prepare for us inside)
Then after we walk around the fruits farm, they teach us how to cut the durian. My wife volunteers to go first. LoL.
As she cut like a professional, thump up.
Normally, I do not like the durian smell and I could detect the smell from far away, however, I will let my wife only for today to eat durian.
Now I see the shining smiles from her.
This is the atmosphere of the table where we have been served.
You could request for more as you like.
My round is not fully booked and there are some places left.
After we have finish eating, we could buy back the fruits.
Look at how my wife choose all the fruits. LoL.
After (my wife) tasted fruits from both KP Garden and Uncle Chaluay Garden, she told me that between KP Garden and Uncle Chaluay Garden, KP Garden is a lot more tasty as their fruits have sweeter taste. Uncle Chaluay's durian that we bought back home is still a little raw and not tasty as KP Garden.
This perspective is rather different from what I have had with Barefoot Magazine as during that time all of my friend in the trip said that Uncle Chaluay's durian is very tasty.
From our discussion, we think it might be because of the different management between two gardens. As Uncle Chaluay Garden has smaller land at only 15 Rai, on the other hand, KP Garden has 50 Rai.
Moreover, KP Garden has a better management for example they organize the buffet in to rounds and limit the number of people per day. However, Uncle Chaluay Garden opens fruits buffet campaign for only 10 days by not limit the number of people. Therefore, during the fruits buffet time, there are a lot of people visited at Uncle Chaluary Garden that the fruits might not enough and not all the grade A fruits left.
Ps. The taste perspective is from personal judgment.
Furthermore, as I am not a fruit eater so I just listen to my wife comments LoL.
The conclusion - Chanthaburi, land of countless fruits orchard.
After tasted fruits from KP Garden already, we are ready to head back home. On the way back, my wife would like to do some window shopping again at Noen Soong market. Then we drive back home, it takes approximately 4 hours. A little bit later as we have faced some traffic jams around Ban Bueng district.
This is the happy ending of Chanthaburi province (especially for my wife) by exploring fruits gardens in the festival of "Fruits Buffet".
For those who have not been to Chanthaburi before might think that this province has only fruits orchard. Personally at first I think like that as well, however, I am terribly wrong as when I travelled there, there are lots of unexpected things. Not only the Old Town Chanthaboon Waterfront Community way of life which is undeniable unique. Moreover, people at the old town community are kind and live a simple life which make me realize to the word "Sufficiency" according to our King's idea.
Chanthaburi province has many incredible places and lots of famous delicious foods to eat.
They have many natural attractions from waterfalls, mountains to beaches.
This province is full of many attractive places to travel more than you could imagine.
If you ask me right now whether I would travel to Chanthaburi again or not.
I would say yes right away.
Chanthaburi, wait for me until next time. I will visit (many times) again for sure.
Today, I and my wife will have to end our review now.
Sawasdee and Thank you everyone for follow the review to an end. This review is longer than my regular review, I would say.
Ps. Thank you to Tourism Authority of Thailand and our kind sponsors, Nok Air and Thai Rent A Car for the Amazing Journey Campaign. Moreover, thank you for giving me and my other two blogger friends an opportunity to travel in this amazing trip to Chanthaburi. This trip is very impressive.