borders Cambodia, and is the easternmost Thai province
edging the Gulf of Thailand. Trat province covers some 2,819 square
kilometers. The provincial capital is 315 kilometers southeast of
The inhabitants of
Trat are largely farmers and fishermen, and the province’s biggest
tourism attraction is the Ko Chang Marine National Park, an archipelago
of some 50 islands named after Thailand’s second largest island.
The word Trat is believed
to be a corruption of Krat, which is a tree plentiful in Trat province,
and which is used in broom production.
During the 1868-1910
reign of King Chulalongkorn, Trat was ceded to the French in order
that France would with draw its forces from neighboring Chanthaburi
province. On March 23, 1906, Trat once more became a part of Thailand
in exchange for other Thai provinces ceded to the French in Cambodia.
Trat residents celebrate March 23 as ‘ Trat Independence Day’ and
honor the King Chulalongkorn monument at the provincial city hall
in thanks for his efforts to ensure that Trat remained part of Thailand.
Open conflict with
the French occurred on January 17, 1941, during the Indochina War,
When a French naval squadron encroached upon Thai territorial waters,
incurring the attention of a Thai flotilla. The conflict became
known as the Ko Chang Naval Battle. The Thais prevailed, with the
loss of three warships and several lives. January 17 is celebrated
every year to commemorate the naval heroes who sacrificed their
lives to protect their country.
Trat is famous for its rubies.
Gemstones can be purchased in Talat Phloi or gem markets in Hua
Tung and Song Ya in Bo Rai district. The early morning markets conduct
business until 10.00 AM.
The local name for the distinctive
bamboo and palm leaf headgear worn by local agricultural workers,
Ngop comes in many sizes and shapes. Ngop can be purchased from
Ban Ngop Chiao, a community 8 kilometers south of the provincial
capital along High way 3184 to Laem Ngop Pier. There villagers create
a special form of Ngop. The village is also a good place to purchase
local marine produce, including dried shrimps, shrimp paste and