Before I get into my usual spiel of my faraway, ever so exciting weekend explorations, I would love to dedicate this post to my best boy and my biggest fan; John G, John doggy dog, Grogey Bear, Irish, the Italian Stallion- John Grogan. You annoy me more than anyone I know and sometimes I want to do nothing more than shake some sense in to you but I love you like a brother and can’t imagine not seeing you every weekend when I move to the South. Keep spending those big bahts on plane tickets so I can see that Irish nose and sunburnt face of yours please. Love the best roommate you’ve ever had and are ever going to get. Okay enough with the soppiness, the show must go on…
Chanthaburi is the ‘hidden gem’ of the East coast and is in fact my favourite place I’ve visited in Thailand so far. It took us absolutely ages to decide where to visit this weekend; we’ve been to most places in the local vicinity, didn’t fancy a 14 hour nightbus to the places we want to see in the North and our other ideas were just too difficult to get to. When Joe suggested Chanthaburi, it seemed as if he plucked the name from thin air; I’ve heard of it but seen very little information on it, we’d not researched it before and it hadn’t ever come up. Nevertheless he assured me it would be nice enough so along with John we packed our things and left our province for a weekend adventure.
Chanthaburi’s coastline is magnificent- one of the best I’ve seen in SE Asia, the landscape is breathtaking, there are waterfalls to swim in, mountains to climb, lakes to look at, trains to scoot around, delicious vegan food to be devoured, hipster coffee shops to sit in, quirky bars to frequent at night and a cool cathedral to see. The best thing about all of this? There are literally no western tourists. Bad for you but great for me! Prices here are dirt cheap and are nothing compared to it’s more frequented but much less nice neighbours such as; Pattaya and Koh Chang.
So please, I beg you. No matter how nice I’m telling you Chanthaburi is…don’t go, you’ll ruin it for me. (But if you WERE to go despite what I’m telling you, you won’t regret it, it’s beautiful).
P.s If you are going to be rebellious and see my new favourite place, then I would highly recommend you; renting a scooter and making your way along the coastline- stopping at the signposted beaches along the way, going to the 2 Jay/vegan buffet’s for breakfast, eating a Chanthaburi noodle soup for tea, going to the cathedral at nighttime to avoid the crowds and buy in bulk their infamous dessert; coconut, sugar and flour wrapped in bamboo and then grilled… I’m salivating just thinking about them now.