Chanthaburi (จันทบุรี) is an absorbing riverside town where precious stones ranging from sapphires to emeralds are traded every weekend in a bustling street gem market. Nearby, restored waterfront buildings in the historic quarter are evidence of how the Chinese, French and Vietnamese have influenced life – and architecture – here.

Vietnamese Christians fled persecution from Cochin China (southern Vietnam) in the 19th century and came to Chanthaburi. The French colonized Chanthaburi from 1893 to 1905 due to a dispute over the border between Siam and Indochina. More Vietnamese arrived in the 1920s and 1940s as they fled French rule, then a third wave followed in 1975 after the Communist takeover of southern Vietnam.

The surrounding area has waterfall-heavy national parks and charming beach villages to discover.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Chanthaburi.