The world is not (that) big, just only "sometimes" we still haven't seen it all....
We always mark our destination at the place that we are used to and have heard of that everyone say it is "awesome", besides sometimes those places become to be the destination that we take a journey to. However, today we would like to take you all to travel in a different kind of style; we will alternate the place that most people always mark it as "pass way route" to be a "destination route" of our journey.
Traveling Season - Every December of each year would be the "travelling season" for all of us. It is the month that has (awe-inspiring) pleasant weather, there is the chance to watch the sea mist and the blooming flowers. Let's say that we could travel to mostly all over part of Thailand. Today is the first day of the month, and in order to not to waste any more time, thus, we begin to start this traveling season by taking a trip to the place that most people might not think of.
Not just yetttttttttt (long accent). This is not the trip to feel the winter wind. We will travel to "Chanthaburi" province, the place that becomes to be our (greatest) short trip that we would like to share our story to everyone. :)
:: Chanthaburi Province located in the Eastern part of Thailand, close by many provinces such as Rayong, Chonburi, Chacheungsao, Srakaew and Trat. The province is also connected to the coastline and the climate is in the monsoon climate consists with 3 seasons which are rain season during May-October, winter season during October-January and summer season during February-April.
Chanthaburi is famous for seafood and the fruits paradise. Moreover, there are various natural attractions such as beach, waterfall and historic area. The best period to travel to Chanthaburi is around December to June. Especially the fruit season period which it would be worth than you have thought as many of the hotels will be offering the rooms' promotion package with the fruits buffet.
We usually call Chantaburi Province in short as "Chan city" or "Chanthaboon". The city is not far from Bangkok at all, it is just approximately 200 kilometers away. Actually, it is kind of drive to Hua Hin or Khao Yai. At first, from my point of view, I think that Chanthabui has renowned of the fruit only, however, it is not fruit season right now so what will we see if we travel there?
Honestly, telling you the truth, we still don't have any plan. But we only know that.....our heart is already give to this "pass way route" city and unintentionally travel to "Chan city". Thus, we think that we will find our inspiration ahead (our answer is pretty simple). Therefore, Let's go!! Get in the car together and see what we will face at Chan city. :)
We head off at 9am in the morning on the first day of December. We take a short stopover to buy some snacks and coffees for everyone and then continue travelling from Ramkhamhaeng road straight to Motorway. It is the nearest and most convenient route for me, the distance is 245 kilometers (ride on HWY No.344 and No.3 ).
As soon as reaching the highway, you will see the sign and you won't get lost for sure. we drive pass Ladkrabang to Phanthong and then take the left turn to get on Ban Bueng-Klaeng route. There are many road construction during that time (but it's still alright for us), we continue driving for a little while, I think the route to Chanthaburi is kind of simple and easy.
Our group travel on private car, we have 3 people together. This time we travel during the weekday. There is some traffic jam on the departure way from Bangkok, after that the route is no traffic at all. Yes! I believe it is the good point of travelling during weekdays. The traffic condition is great, do not need to squeeze with other cars, no need to fight for the accommodation and eating place. Hah....I feel so chill since the beginning of the trip. :)
"2 hours pass"
Turning our head to watch the sky at Chalab pier, the sky today is bright beautiful blue color with the strong sunshine, the weather is scorching. However, it is still alright as no matter how hot it is, when we watch the garden along the road, we feel some freshness and generous humidity come through the car._ _ !
Before reaching Chan City, there will be an intersection leading to Tha Chalab which is a route along the coast side. We will eat the fresh seafood for our first meal here. We then try to search Google map to the 'Poo Ja Cuisine' which is not far from where we are now.
Well, it happens that we miss our first entrance way to the cuisine, however, the brilliant intelligence of Google Map (... or not?), it tries to find and take a shortcut route through the garden of the local people to reach the destination.
By the way, we got lost because we go along the shortcut route pretty far. Then we begin to drive back out the other side of the alley to get to the wider road. Finally, we safely reach the seafood cuisine.
Indeed, if traveling by Sukhumvit road route and then enter into Tha Chalab intersection (according to the sign) and continue driving about 16 km (should not farther than that) we could see the cuisine along the street. It's pretty easy to notice.
"This trip ... is all about Food."
:: Poo Ja Cuisine (Tha Chalab) has been opened for several decades already. Very well-known for social (on-line) tourists as from what I have noticed, most of the license plate of all the cars parking here are from Bangkok.
We sit at the outdoor zone next to a mangrove forest and small playground sitting zone. The restaurant inside is an open spacious area which could contain vast number of customers. (They have an air-condition zone as well)
With the hot weather like this, the first menu we order is Salah Loi Keaw (Zalacca in Light Syrup). It is 170 baht per bottle and could be divided into three small cups. It is containing with sweet Zalacca fruit, floating in syrup and if you add ice cube in it, you will forget the heating temperature out there. :)
Let's rock it!!! We have the shrimps, clams, crabs and spawns and a lot of other kind of seafood. The food tastes great and the seafood sauce is medium spicy, not too spicy as we like.
PS. If anyone happen to visit Tha Chalab area and would like to eat some seafood in big size plate with great atmosphere, this cuisine is one of the awesome option I believed.
From Tha Chalab to our accommodation, we will search the direction from GPS navigation and it leads us to Trirat road and get into the downtown Chan city near the gem market, then goes through Baan Suan Chan housing project which is the another entrance way of the hotel. The route takes approximately 10 kilometers.
:: Maneechan Resort (downtown Chan city) is situated on Sukhumvit Road. From the intersection to Makham district, turn right and follow the sign to Trat province. The hotel is located at 336 kilometer-stone (take the U-turn before reaching Phliew waterfall) and the hotel will be on the left side. Along the road, you would see the White Clock Tower round-about for the landmark.
Along the road into the housing project is planting trees which is very shady from the entrance. The hotel's area is very spacious with a small garden and trees in the front. There are flowers that we rarely have the opportunity to see very often like Yellow Orchid Chantaboon which is the provincial flower of Chanthaburi.
"Into Nature, Fantastic Convenient"
:: Maneechan Resort is a large hotel with has a reception area on the second floor. There is the stairway that separates to left and right way and it will converge upstairs. The left side will be the reception zone and the right side is the dining room which we will come in the next morning. :)
The hotel is decorated perfectly in luxury style but also gives a friendly feeling. It is decorated with wooden furniture in shade of green and cream color. Lamp are made of woven material and decorated with fruit simulation which indicate the identity of the city as a fruit city.
Apart from reception and check-in zone, this area is also serve as a lounge area with casual sofa set provided. They will entertain guests with refreshing drinks and fruits in each season.
Our room is on the third floor (with no elevator), the building is connected with the front area reception zone. The guest rooms are arranged along the terrace surrounding the large pool at the center of the resort.
Most of the time we usually travel in Family group, therefore, the Deluxe Room of Maneechan Resort is the best choice for us with the room size of 50 square meters, Twin Bed and even put extra bed would also still very specious. The room is fully furnished such as make-up table, closet and sitting area (feel like home)
The room is very clean and in the restroom is separated with wet and dry areas with toiletries and hair dryer provided, they have everything you need really.
From the balcony, leaning out a little will find a garden view with a small pond. And there are chair set to relax in a calm atmosphere, I feel very comfortable that I don't want to go anywhere. During the afternoon time, the hotel staff will come to serve Khanom Khai (Baked Egg Cake), the delicious snack of Chan City. We eat it up in a very short time. (maybe we are hungry? Not so sure) > /// <
I think that this place is a great choice for relaxing whether come alone, as a couple or as a family are all perfect. The guest room has a high privacy; moreover, the atmosphere at the hotel is very peaceful and pleasant. If you would like to leave and abandon the stressful things in life for a while, you could take a short drive and live a slow life for two days here, charging yourself a bit, life would be wonderful. :)
Apart from the pleasant atmosphere inside the hotel that is ideal for relaxation, there is also sport club on the ground floor of the hotel which offers a spa and fitness room.
We walk along the balcony until reaching the garden room zone which is a very peaceful corner as well.
Here, there's a small lawn, surrounded by large and small trees. ...I guess, just having a good book and a cradle that would be enough.
We are always surrounding by shady flowers and trees; there are big trees and vines that climb along the balcony and surround the swimming pool. The Maneechan Resort is filled with green color, added with bright pink-violet color of Bougainvillea along the way which will make you feel relaxing, refreshing and comfortable. And you could get the beautiful picture of the atmosphere while you walk as well.
The place to eat around Chan City is a lot as well. I do not know where to start!!
Fortunately, I have a map of "Eat and Hangout place" so there would be no problem.
I will try it all, don't worry.
PS. The hotel has a shuttle van service and they provide a free ride to downtown. If you did not bring a car, it is still convenient for you. No problem at all. :)
They say… if you are at Chan City, you would have to try their local food. Therefore, this is the first restaurant in the list to try out. We head out from the hotel, drive on Trirat road and head straight to the downtown. We reach at the restaurant around 6pm.
Chan Pochana restaurant is one of the oldest restaurant in Chan City and it has been opened for more than 50 years now. Almost entirely of the outside area of the restaurant is decorated with white color tone with delicate work pattern on the balcony. There are both outside and inside sitting zone. Tonight, the place was almost fully booked. We sit in inside zone, the atmosphere is clean, spacious and comfortable. Great sitting space.
There are many astonishing recommended menus on the chalk board in the front of the restaurant. Local Chan food might be a little bit weird for us, therefore, we order the simple menu first such as Moo Cha Muang (P ork Curry with Cha Muang Leaves), Lon Poo (Thai Crab Dipping Sauce) with fresh vegetable, Stir Fried Wild Boar with Red Curry, Deep Fried Sea Bass with Fish Sauce. The food are served pretty fast, look good and taste delicious. The sweetness taste of the food would be kind of typical taste for Chan food actually.
For our beverage, there are colorful delicious Lychee Rose and Butterfly Pea with Lime drinks for us. It's my favorites! Before heading back, we shop for some souvenirs back as well. Coming to one place, you got it all stuff back home. How wonderful. :)
Ps. Chan Pochana restaurant is located at the Maharaj Road, very easy to find (use GPS tracking), They have a lot of parking spots and the food tastes good, worth the money.
This morning, we have breakfast at the hotel. The breakfast is the buffet style with various foods to choose from; the special menus would be the D eep Fried Dough Stick with local Chan style of dipping sauce and Moo Liang Noodle that has soft tender pork in hot soup, they are all delicious. Moreover, this would be our first time that we have tasted these menus. At last, we have some hot fresh coffee with Doraemon cartoon pattern, very cute one.
Maneechan Resort's restaurant is quite large and there is also a small area of table stand to worship the King Rama V. In the picture, the King wears casual style of clothing and stands in front of the stove like cooking some food (guessing to be ... Fried Mackerel), we often see this picture in most of the restaurants as well.
As we sat at a window sitting zone, so we have a better look at the garden view. With t he front of the restaurant connected with the garden and the parking lot of the hotel and the back side connected to the patio which could overlook to the pool and the garden, thus, the restaurant atmosphere is very refreshing with these wonderful views. Having the morning coffee here is such a pleasant time.
:: Maneechan Resort is a 4-star luxurious resort style, the hotel have more than 70 guest rooms with 4 different room types for service. We have a chance to walk and see the atmosphere around the hotel, moreover, we also have a look at the different kind of rooms they provide. I have collected some useful information for our friends if they would like to visit Chan city someday.
The other two types of the guest rooms are Maneechan Sweet and Premier Triple Room; they are 50 square meters room size like ours but they are more exclusive. For Premier room, the room is spacious and suitable for 3 guests without extra bed. Maneechan Sweet has 4 rooms in total. The special facilities are I-Pod speaker and a coffee machine which are provided in the room for adding the satisfaction and comfort to the guests.
I believed that If you choose the accommodation and the destination that suit yourself, every trip would surely be the impressive journey. :)
:: Thank you to Maneechan Resort and Khun Oh for providing us such a caring and friendly place to stay for this trip.
In the afternoon, we are going to taste the renowned Yen Ta Fo Noodle (Thai Pink Noodle) at Wat Phai Lom alley which is not far from the hotel. The noodle shop is opposite to the temple; upon turning into an arch way of the temple, you will see the signboard of Wat Phai Lom (royal temple), go slightly left and continue driving straight a little bit, then you will see the noodle shop sign Jae Pen noodle shop ahead on your left side; it is a small shophouse which is located just opposite to Wat Phai Lom.
"Jay Pen's Noodle Shop"
: We come to the right place! Jay Pen Yen Ta Fo noodle shop opens more than forty years now. Wat Phai Lom branch is the first branch. We order noodle in both dry and spicy taste. And while awaiting for noodle, you could order Coconut Milk Custard and Fried Tofu with sweet sauce for appetizer first.
The noodle is famous for the amount of ingredient such as shrimp, crab, crayfish altogether in the bowl. The price starts at 100 baht (special order will cost more than this).
Chan people like the sweetness taste, I order the dried noodle but the taste is so so. Anyway I do like the Coconut Milk Custard a lot.
During the Evening time, the rain suddenly pours down heavily. Therefore, we are still stuck at the noodle shop. Then a bit later, the rain begins to let up that we could run to get in the car an head back to our hotel first. _ _"
The rain continues falling for quiet sometimes, Do we better take a nap and wait for it to stop?
"Waterfront Thai-Style Community….Chantaboon Lifestyle"
The rain begins to stop and the sky starts to light up but the light would not stay with us for too long as it is already late afternoon now. It's four o'clock already, and we take off from the hotel, drive on Chan Nimit 2 road (follow the GPS). We were caught by the traffic because there are parent wait to pick up the kids in the front of the school. We stuck for around ten minutes and have to take the small one-way alley road to escape from the bad traffic. Both sides of the road are community area and finally we reach the back of the church.
We parked the car at the church parking lot which is located in the same area of
Streemandapitak School as Ms.Oh, our hotel staff recommended us. And when we across the Niramon bridge, the other side will be a waterfront community along the Chanthaburi River.
"Late Evening at Chantaboon Waterfront Community "
Niramon River Bridge connects us to the other side of Chantaboon river. From the church side to the other side which is the old waterfront community. The bridge area was originally located the pier and houses along the waterfront. There are still pictures provide on the wall to remember the old days before we get into the community.
:: Chantaboon Waterfront Community is the historic waterfront
community along Chanthaboon river (Chanthaburi river), it has more than 300 years of history since the reign of King
Narai Maharat. Formerly, the area is the residence of the Chinese, Mon and Vietnamese
people as we can be seen from the architecture, the style of house, temple, and
shrine which have been regarded as the legacies of the architecture to see today.
This place is not a tourist attraction that would stunned you instantly or packed with shops and people, however, it is a peacefully and simplicity community along the river. Furthermore, the pleasant atmosphere could make a chaotic urban life feel relaxed. Everything seems to slow down when we pass through the small alleys. When we walk in the community, we could see some houses and stores are closed, nevertheless, we still could see inside that people are taking some rest in their houses. Left only a small street with few people walking around.
Most of the shops were closed; the vendors sit back and relax at home. There is only one store that still opens, "Aunt Tai Khanom Khai" which is about to close too. The lady is very generous as she let us have some of Khanom Khai (Baked Egg Cake) that have already been ordered by the others, and we don't miss to buy it back home as well. Due to it is very late evening now so all the coffee shop and many other shops that we plan to visit are close, we missed it all.
However, the thing that we get and I think it is quiet 'worth' is a "chance" for taking some pleasant scenery pictures of the waterfront community in the most natural way instead.
"Memories never fade away"
For travelers, the place that they once visit will always remain in their memory and it may ... depend on how impressive the places really are. But for the local people themselves, I believe that the 'memory' never fade away. This is because this place is called 'home' where they live from generation to generation.
The Chantaboon Waterfront Community is also the locals' home places that the shadows of the past is still magnificent. It is the good thing that this small community had founded the community museum for helping us learn the value and reminisce the old times as many as possible.
We walk pass the house No. 69 which expected to be closed. However, I glance inside and see the housekeeping who allows us to visit inside even though it's very late. (We appreciate your kindness very much)
An interesting feature of this house is that this house is once the house of Khun Anusorn Sombat. The building is in a western architecture style and the interiors are mix style between Thai and Chinese. This ancient house is a historic heritage from generation to generation. Moreover, it also has a photo collection of the history of the Chantaboon Waterfront Community along with the ancient home appliances displaying as well.
Nowadays, house No.69 opens as a "Community Learning House of Chantaboon Waterfront Community". When you come to visit Chan City, do not forget to come to this place to learn the authentic Chan lifestyle here.
We take times at
“Community Learning House" for sometimes and then head back to the same way, cross
a Niramon Bridge back to the cathedral side.
:: The Cathedral of the
Immaculate Conception has the history back for 300 years with
a Gothic architecture style. The cathedral is regarded as “Catholic Church of
Chan City", one of the oldest and the most beautiful church in Thailand.
We only could admire the magnificent of the cathedral from the outside as the time for visiting inside the cathedral is over for quite a while. I personally think that beyond the beautiful that we can feel by our eyes, the cathedral is also the place that has been with this community for decades and it is also regarded as the symbol of the faith that nourishes the people in the community.
Ps. The cathedral is located in the same area with Streemandapitak School in Thaluang district. The direction of the place is not hard to find as when you get into Channimitr road, turn right and you will find the cathedral. The car is able to be parked in the area as well.
Ps. The cathedral is free of charge for the visitors according to the indicated open-close time at 2 times for weekdays at 06.00am-07.00am and 06.00pm-07.45pm and 3 times for Sunday at 06.15am, 08.30am and 07.00pm. No permission for visiting during the religious rituals, the visitor should dress properly and act according to the cathedral discipline.
The Cathedral, Niramon Bridge and Chanthaboon Old-Town Waterfront Community and the way of life that still stay with “Chan City" have become the charm that attract more and more tourists to travel here. For me, not just only that, but I could feel the magnetism and the marvelous in the way of Chan lifestyle.
Our tiny mission has come to an end with the pale sun light that dissolves into the sky. A herd of birds flies back to their home like they knew the time. We will find something to eat before we get back to the hotel. For dinner, we decided to have a simple meal at Thana Restaurant branch 2. The restaurant is located on Benchamarachuthit Road, and it is quite far from Thalang area. Actually, it's just a plain cuisine and even though there is simple food display cabinet in front of the shop, simple table but they have various kinds of menus provided. The foods all look pretty simple but every dish we try, the foods are awesome. The foods were served quickly at a reasonable price. We leisurely sit and relax at the cuisine, the more late the time is, the more people coming in. We like “Bamboo Soup" and “Fried Crispy Pork", I think the restaurant is quiet great and like to recommend to everyone to take a visit here.
A pleasant time always fly fast, don't you think so?
Although we would like to continue our sleep in this comfortable bed very much, we still have to wake up early to pack our stuff and have breakfast at the hotel once again. We order the same menu “Moo Liang Noodle" again. As I have told you! It's so delicious!
Before we will take a long journey approximately 2 hours back to Bangkok, we take a short visit at D.C. Coffee corner, the coffee shop that we drive pass many times and plan to visit yesterday.
We order “D.C." coffee menu, it is an iced coffee with rich flavor. Moreover, it's a signature menu of this shop and it tastes good.
For other drinks like Mocha and Lynchee Tea (hot) to eat along with some cakes and I think they go along quite well. The shop adjoins with the car motor shop which has the same name as this shop. If you travel from the hotel, the shop will be on the right side, take turn and you could park right away in front of the shop.
If you are looking for a good coffee shop in Chanthaburi, you could take a visit here and you won't be disappointed.
I will have to end our short family trip here in “The day that I unintentionally travel to Chanthaburi". Thank you all for reading and “What is my next destination?"Don't forget to follow our journey soon.
:: You could read my previous “journey diary"
at this following link below:
:: If you love traveling like I do, we can share, talk and discuss about the journey together at the page MINDJourney : :
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