Trang , or Muang Thap Thiang used to be a port involved in foreign trade. It was the first city where rubber was planted. Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahison Phakdi brought rubber from Malaysia and planted it here before anywhere else in southern Thailand in 1899. Rubber is now considered an important commodity of Thailand. The important Trang River flows through the province from its origin in the Khao Luang mountain range and the Palian River from the Banthat mountain range.
Trang is a coastal province on the Indian Ocean with a long western coastline of about 199 kilometers. The province consists of an archipelago in the Andaman Sea with over 46 islands. Of these, 12 are in Amphoe Kantang, 13 in Amphoe Palian and 21 in Amphoe Sikao.
The best time for sea travel is during October to May of the following year. Trang has a total area of 4,941.439 square kilometers and is divided into 9 districts (Amphoe) and 1 sub-district (King Amphoe); Amphoe Kantang, Amphoe Huai Yot, Amphoe Yan Ta Khao, Amphoe Palian, Amphoe Sikao, Amphoe Wang Wiset, Amphoe Na Yong, Amphoe Ratsada, and King Amphoe Hat Samran.
Yong Lin Beach-San Beach is on the way to Chao Mai Beach and a 2-kilometer road leads to Yong Lin Beach. This curved beach parallels a pine forest. At the beach’s end is a high mountain with holes and caves that can be passed through to a cliff with more caves and rocks similar to a fortress encircling sand dunes. The beach is ideal for swimming and rest. There is a park headquarters and a tourist service center.
Yao Beach is at Mu 6 in Tambon Ko Libong. This long beach extends from a mountain in the shape of a shark’s fin to the north. Lovely sea pines line the beach. The wide beach is suitable for camping and there is private accommodation available.
Chao Mai Cave-Chao Khun Cave is a stalagmite/stalactite cave in To Nae Mountain near Ban Chao Mai. It can be reached by boat from Yao Beach onto Khlong Chao Mai for about 15 minutes. A small rowboat can go through the cave to a verdant mangrove forest where the cave is nearby. Visitors have to walk up to the cave to fully appreciate its beauty.
Ko Libong is in Tambon Libong and is the largest island in the Trang Sea with an area of 40,000 square kilometers. Around the island are seaweed and a large herd of manatees, large mammals of Thailand. It is also the home of a variety of native and migratory birds that are most abundant in winter. Ko Libong is part of the Libong Archipelago Wildlife Reserve. The park headquarters is located here. The island has many capes and beaches such as Tup Beach, Chu Hoei Cape, Thuat Cape, and To Chai Cape. People can walk across the beach at Chu Hoei Cape at low tide to Ko Tup where seabirds and mangrove birds from colder climates not found anywhere else are in great numbers. Many fishing villages are on the island. Most residents are Muslims. From Ko Libong, one can get a good view of Ko Chao Mai and Chao Mai Cape. To get to the island, take a boat at Hat Yao Ban Chao Mai Pier. A boat leaves every hour and takes 30 minutes to get to the island. The boat rent is 400 baht per boat. There is accommodation on the island. Please contact the Libong Archipelago Wildlife Reserve, P.O. Box 5, Amphoe Kantang, Trang, tel. (075) 251932.
Ko Chuak-Ko Waen are small islands between Ko Muk and Ko Kradan. They are teeming with shallow and deepwater corals and many types of fish. Visitors can depart from Pak Meng Pier for the islands. Boats leave regularly using the same route as to Ko Muk and Ko Kradan. The 50-minute trip costs 1,500 baht/day for a chartered boat.
Ko Kradan is the most beautiful island in the Trang Sea. It has an area of 600 acres. Most of the island (5/6) is under the responsibility of Hat Chao Mai National Park. The rest are privately owned rubber and coconut plantations. The island offers good restaurants and accommodation for tourists. The most striking feature of Ko Kradan is its powdery white beach and crystal-clear water that permits a great view of the coral reef underneath that stretches from the beach’s northern end to the coast. A variety of colorful fish inhabit the shallow water corals. Ko Kradan is to the west of Ko Muk and Ko Libong. Visitors can take a boat from Pak Meng Pier to Ko Kradan. The trip takes 1.30 hours.
Sea tour of Palian is recommended by taking the Trang-Palian road (Highway No. 404). The Palian coastline is a lovely, indicative of the extraordinary feature of the Andaman Sea. Famous beaches include Chao Samran and Tasae. Interesting islands are Sukon, Phetra, Lao Liang Nua, and Lao Liang Tai.
Amphoe Muang: Mu Ko Phetra National Park
is a marine national park in Amphoe Palian and Amphoe Langu in Satun. The area was proclaimed a national park on 31 December 1994 and comprises islands such as Ko Phetra, Ko Khao Yai, Ko Lanti, Ko Lidi, Ko Bulon, Ko Laoliang, and Ko Praoma. Access can be from Pak Bara Pier in Satun. The most suitable time for a visit is during December-April. There is tourist accommodation near park headquarters. For more information, please contact the National Parks Division, Royal Forestry Department at tel. 579-7223 and 579-5734 or the Mu Ko Phetra National Park Division, Mu 4, Tambon Pak Nam, Amphoe Langu, Satun, tel. (074) 781572.
Ko Sukon is a Tambon in Palian, only 3 kilometers from shore via the Trang-Palian road (Highway No. 404). The island has many lovely beaches. In addition, it is renowned in the province for its delicious watermelons, which is abundant in March and April. To get there, take a bus on Trang-Palian route or a van from Amphoe Muang for approximately 35 kilometers and cross a ferry at Tha Kham Pier in Palian. Boats leave twice daily at 10.00 hrs. and 14.00 hrs. The trip takes 40 minutes. Alternatively, embark a boat at Tase Pier in King Amphoe Hat Samran by using Highway No. 404, turn right at Ban Na intersection and drive for around 18 kilometers and then left for another 7 kilometers or so. The total traveling time is 20-30 minutes. The boat rent is 500 baht for 10 people. There is tourist accommodation on the island.
Ton Tae Waterfall is 45 kilometers from the city. Go on the Trang-Phatthalung road for about 17 kilometers, right onto the Ban Kachong-Ban Hat Lao road for (Highway No. 4124) for about 27 kilometers and left for 1 kilometer. This large and beautiful waterfall of Trang has water that drops down 320 meters of rocks. The source is in the Banthat Mountain Range. Assorted tropical flora cover the surrounding area. Visitors can go by car to the waterfall in every season.
Ton Tok Waterfall is 1 kilometer from Ton Tae Waterfall along a walking trail. Streams flow through rocks large and small. Ton Tok offers a great view of Ton Tae.
Hat Chao Mai National Park is a marine national park covering 2 districts that are Kantang and Sikao. The park’s coastline is about 20 kilometers. The park headquarters is at Chang Lang Beach in Tambon Mai Fat, approximately 47 kilometers from the city. To get there, take the Trang-Sikao-Pak Meng road (Highway No. 4162) for 40 kilometers and then 7 kilometers more on a road paralleling the beach to the park headquarters.
Land-based attractions of the park are Pak Meng Beach, Chang Lang Beach, San Beach, Yao Beach, Yong Ling Beach, Chao Mai Beach, and Chao Mai Cave. All are easily accessible by car. Moreover, there are 7 other islands in the Trang Sea for which the park is responsible. They are Ko Muk, Ko Kradan, Ko Chuak, Ko Pling, Ko Waen, Ko Meng, and Ko Chao Mai. The area was proclaimed a national park on 14 October 1982. The park also has the Marine Natural Study Center, tel. (075) 210664) and the Tourist Service Center. Accommodation is available on the island. For more details, please contact the National Parks Division, Royal Forestry Department, tel. 579-7223 and 579-5734 or Hat Chao Mai National Park, Mu 5, Tambon Mai Fat, Amphoe Sikao, Trang, P.O. Box 9, tel. (075) 210099.
Pak Meng Beach is at Mu 4, Tambon Mai Fat, 38 kilometers from the city on the Trang-Sikao-Pak Meng road (Highway No. 4046-4162). The beautiful and peaceful 5-kilometer-long beach is in the shape of a crescent moon. A lovely pine forest fringes the beach. Assorted large and small islands dot the sea, looking like a person lying face up in the ocean. Trang locals and people from nearby provinces like to come here to relax and sample spicy seafood in the restaurants. Boats from Pak Meng Pier take visitors to Ko Ngai and other islands close by.
Ko Ngai is an island that is actually in Amphoe Ko Lanta of Krabi but it is classified as a tourist destination in the Trang Sea because it is easier to get there from Trang. The island has a white beach and clear water and is surrounded by magnificent corals. A boat trip from Pak Meng Pier takes about an hour. A 10-person capacity boat rent is 1,500 baht and for 20-40 persons is 6,000-10,000 baht. Accommodation is available on the island.
HAT SAMRAN SUBDISTRICT
Samran Beach is in Tambon Hat Samran, about 59 kilometers from the city. Take the Trang-Palian road and turn right at Ban Na intersection in Palian, and drive for 22 kilometers. This Indian Ocean beach has a thick pine forest and offers a good view of large and small islands offshore. The climate on the islands is warm and breezy all day, making them great holiday spots. Tourists come here to sample fresh seafood and watch the life of local fishermen.