Also known as Paet Riu, Chachoengsao is located around 100 km from Bangkok and is best-visited on a day trip or to break the trip to somewhere else. Established around the mid 16th Century during the Ayutthaya era, Chachoengsao was initially used as a recruiting ground for the armed forces but today it's primarily an animated market town with a very famous temple.
Scenically set on the Bang Pakong River, 24 km upstream of the river mouth, Chachoengsao is best known as home to the bustling Wat Sothon -— if you're in town on the weekend, don't miss it.
Chachoengsao also seems to have a disproportionate number of food stalls for its size making it easy to spend much of the day sampling market and street food. Otherwise it's a typical Thai market town with a couple of attractive shop front lined streets and some good examples of traditional housing.
Its river setting is scenic and an afternoon stroll down the boardwalk is a pleasant way to round off the day, making this a suitable destination for those looking for a slice of "real Thailand" -- though be warned, very little English is spoken.
By Stuart McDonald.