Photo: Sure is.

Exploring the southeast Trat coast

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Underrated beaches, fishing villages and fruit farms stretch between mountains and the Gulf of Thailand in Trat province’s long southeastern panhandle on the way to Cambodia, making for a worthwhile day trip from Trat town.

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Sukhumvit Road shoots for nearly 100 kilometres from Trat town to the Cambodia border at Had Lek. At one point, where the jungle-clad hills and sea press in from either direction, a sign informs travellers that they’re passing through “the narrowest part of Thailand”. How’s that for travel bragging rights?

Like Ko Chang’s Haad Sai Khao, minus the hordes. Photo taken in or around Exploring the southeast Trat coast, Trat, Thailand by David Luekens.

Like Ko Chang’s Haad Sai Khao, minus the hordes. Photo: David Luekens

The beaches are marked along the main road by English signs and it’s impossible to go more than a few kilometres from north to south at any given time, so you can’t get lost. The first beaches you’ll pass are Haad Sai Ngam and Haad Sai Kaew, which is a lot quieter than the Haad Sai Kaew on Ko Samet but almost as beautiful. This area hosts a Centara luxury resort whose presence heralds the quality of these overlooked beaches.

One of our favourites is Haad Ban Chuen, a wide and empty stretch of squeaky, powder-white sand and a few humble seafood restaurants in the shade of casuarina trees. While enjoying a phenomenal meal of squid with yellow curry and whole steamed fish, a vendor appeared to show off the saltwater crabs she’d captured that morning. We bought a bundle for 200 baht, but then felt sorry for the still-breathing crustaceans and cut them loose into the sea.

Feet in sand + squid in mouth = HEAVEN. Photo taken in or around Exploring the southeast Trat coast, Trat, Thailand by David Luekens.

Feet in sand + squid in mouth = HEAVEN. Photo: David Luekens

While some of the beaches are great, much of the area possesses a desolate atmosphere thanks to the isolated geography and heavy military presence. Some of the inland villages appeared deserted save a few scraggly dogs. But after passing a landfill we happened on a scenic fishing village with stilted houses, sun-drying fish laid out on bamboo platforms and old women selling veggies from their ... Travelfish members only (Around 400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
From Trat town, Sukhumvit Rd (Route 3) runs all the way to Had Lek and the Cambodian border. Public minibuses ply this route but you’d really need a private vehicle (car or scooter) to make it worth a day trip.

Location map for Exploring the southeast Trat coast

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Popular attractions in Trat

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Trat.

Best places to stay in Trat

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Trat.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Trat.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Trat.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Trat.
 Read up on how to get to Trat, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Trat? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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