Trat town is around 290 km east of Bangkok and 90 km west of the Cambodia border, where the Had Lek / Koh Kong border crossing is handy for travellers reaching the coast and islands of either country. Frequent buses and minibuses run east to the border and west to Chanthaburi and Bangkok, and the town is a transit point for the islands of Ko Chang, Ko Mak and Ko Kut.
Trat’s tiny airport is located 30 kilometres west of town, serviced only by a couple of daily flights to/from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport with Bangkok Airways. We’ve never used this airport; locals told us that minibus tickets to Trat town cost a whopping 500 baht per person. Private taxis are also available.
The provincial bus station is located off Route 3 towards the north end of the city, less than two kilometres north of the old town. Motorbike taxis and songthaews charge 30 to 100 baht for a lift to/from any guesthouse in town.
From Bangkok, regular buses and minibuses depart Ekkamai (Eastern) terminal for Trat at least once per hour from 05:00 to 23:00 for around 200 baht. Buses depart Bangkok’s Morchit (Northern) terminal for Trat at 07:30, 11:00, 18:00 and 22:00 for 240 baht. The trip from Bangkok takes around five hours.
From Trat, fares include:
Bangkok (Ekkamai terminal): First-class buses depart depart hourly from 07:00 to 14:00 and then every two hours from 14:00 to 23:00 for 230 baht. Minibuses depart every two hours from 04:00 to 18:00.
Bangkok (Morchit terminal): First-class buses depart at 08:30, 09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 14:30, 17:30 and 23:30 for 238 baht. Minibuses depart hourly from 04:00 to 19:00.
Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport): First-class buses depart at 09:30, 14:00 and 23:30 for 238 baht.
Chanthaburi: Minibuses depart hourly from 06:30 to 17:30 for 50 baht and take an hour. Nearly every Bangkok-bound bus also stops in Chanthaburi.
Had Lek (Cambodia border crossing): Minibuses depart twice per hour from 04:30 to 21:30 for 120 baht and take 1.5 hours.
Mae Sot: A first-class bus departs at 16:30 for 709 baht and takes around 14 hours, with stops in Nakhon Sawan, Kamphaeng Pet and Tak.
Nakhon Ratchasima: Buses depart every two hours from 08:00 to 18:00 and take eight hours, with stops in Chanthaburi and Sa Kaeo (near the Aranyaprathet border crossing with Cambodia).
Nong Khai: A first-class bus departs at 17:00 for 641 baht and takes around 12 hours, with stops in Khon Kaen and Udon Thani.
Pattaya: Minibuses depart at 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00, and a VIP bus departs at 14:30 for 223 baht.
Phitsanulok: A first-class bus departs at 14:30 for 564 baht and takes around 10 hours.
Rayong: Minibuses depart every two hours from 06:00 to 18:00 for 200 baht and take more than three hours. In Rayong you can transfer to a songthaew to Ban Phe to reach the Ko Samet ferry piers
In addition, tourist minibuses that can only be booked through guesthouses and travel agents depart for the Ko Samet piers (300 baht) and Pattaya (350 baht) at 12:30 and 16:30.
Songthaews wait at the bus station in Trat to shuttle passengers straight to the ferry piers for Ko Chang, Ko Mak and Ko Kut. The price tends to be 80-baht per person (a bit more for Ko Kut) if the truck is full, but the rate jumps if only a few heads are going. Expect to pay around 300 baht for a private ride.
Otherwise you’ll find that every guesthouse in Trat sells ferry tickets which likely will include a songthaew transfer to the pier. Located just north of Rhak Muang Road on the main drag through town, Family Tour (T: (081) 940 7380 ; (089) 009 1272) is a reliable source for ferry tickets.
To Ko Chang
Two year-round car ferries (Koh Chang Ferry and Centerpoint Ferry) each use a different pier in Laem Ngop, less than 30 kilometres southwest of Trat town. They both depart every 45 minutes from 06:00 to 19:00 for 80 baht per person, plus 80 to 100 baht if bringing a car. Songthaews from Trat town often stop at a travel office near the piers; you can buy tickets there or wait until you arrive at the pier—the price is the same either way. From Ko Chang the ferries return in the same timeframe and songthaews await passengers heading to Trat. The ride to Ko Chang takes around 45 minutes
Book online Bangkok to Ko Chang
In high season, four speedboat companies use Krom Luang pier in Laem Ngop and cost 450 baht per adult, with departures at 10:30, 11:30, 13:00, 14:30, 15:00 and 16:00. They return from Mak at 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:30, 12:30 and 14:00. The ride takes a little more than an hour. Expect only one or two boats in low season, weather dependent. The Boonsiri high-speed catamarans departing for Ko Kut at 10:45 and 14:20 from Laem Sok pier also make a stop at Ko Mak for 400 baht.
In high season, three ferry companies use a pier in Laem Sok, around 30 kilometres south of Trat town. Slow boats depart at 12:30 and 13:00 for 350 baht and take around two hours. High-speed catamarans depart at 10:45 and 14:20 for 500 baht and take 1.5 hours, and a speedboat departs at 10:00 for 600 baht. From Ko Kut ferries return to the mainland at 09:00, 10:00, 12:00 and 13:00. Expect fewer departures in low season.
Book online Bangkok to Ko Kut
Travel agents in Trat told us the Leelawadee speedboats departing for Ko Mak at 10:00 and 14:00 “sometimes” stop at Ko Wai. Otherwise you could head to Ko Chang and catch a boat from there. Ko Wai closes in low season.
Once you’re in the archipelago, daily slow boats and speedboats run island-hopping routes in high season from November through April.
The markets, city centre and old town are all close enough together that Trat is easy to explore on foot. At the bus station and day market you’ll find some motorbike taxis and small songthaews that serve as regular taxis.
Those looking for a bicycle should look around the old town at guesthouses like Pop, Basar, Tattoo, Sangjun and Ban Jaidee; expect to pay around 50 baht for a simple pushbike. Motorbike rental is available at Thip Barber Shop, Tattoo Guesthouse and other old-town spots for around 200 baht per day.