Trat in detail

Sights

Walk down Th Lak Meuang and you will see that the top floors of shophouses have been converted into nesting sites for birds that produce the edible nests considered a Chinese delicacy. Swiflets’ nests were quite rare (and expensive) in the past because they were only harvested from precipitous sea caves by trained, daring climbers. In the 1990s entrepreneurs figured out how to replicate the cave atmosphere in multistorey shophouses and the business has since become a key operation in Trat.

Accessed from Th Thana Charoen is a sweet little canalside walkway with French-style lamps and benches; it's a short but picturesque stroll. Look out for the raised water cannons installed in case the shophouses catch fire.

Beaches

If you are going through coastal withdrawal, the sliver of Trat province that extends southeast towards Cambodia is fringed by sandy beaches. One of the easiest beaches to reach is Hat Mai Rut, roughly halfway between Trat and the border crossing of Hat Lek. Nearby is a traditional fishing village filled with colourful wooden boats and the sights and smells of a small-scale industry carried on by generations of families. Mairood Resort is a lovely spot to stay overnight, with cottages by the sea and in the mangroves.

You can get to Hat Mai Rut from the Trat bus station via Hat Lek–bound sŏrng·tăa·ou. The resort is 3km from the Km 53 highway marker.

Around 7km beyond here, Hat Ban Chun has several resorts and hotels.