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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Top 4 Places to See in Chanthaburi Thailand – The timeworn town far away from the tourist trail
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 4 Places to See in Chanthaburi Thailand – The timeworn town far away from the tourist trail

Hidden in the east of Thailand, Chanthaburi is an old town that gives visitors a peek into the rural side of Thailand. Although less developed, the town has plenty to see and do.

1

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Easily a contender for the most beautiful church in the country, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is over two centuries old. A little away from the Chanthaburi river, the cathedral's twenty metre high towers make it an iconic landmark in the town's skyline. Founded by the Vietnamese Catholic community, the church features the classic Gothic architecture complete with stained glass windows – which are decorated with saints. The highlight of the cathedral is the Virgin Mary statue next to the altar. Covered with all kinds of precious stones, this glittering statue is a fine example of the town's gem trade and craftsmanship. Regardless of whether you are staying in town or a golf resort in Thailand, for example like Chatrium Golf Resort Soidao, a visit here is a must!

2

Chanthaboon Old Town

Looking for your cultural fix? Make a beeline for the old town. The city was also home to the French and you can see evidence of their stay thanks to the many buildings that feature French architecture. Most of the old town has been left untouched and walking down down the narrow lanes will transport you back in time. The first settlement in the town dates back to the thirteenth century while King Taksin The Great used the town to regroup during the war. What I am saying is that this town has a glistening history that is absolutely worth checking out.

3

Gem Market

As I mentioned above, Chanthaburi is well famed for its gem trade. In order to get to know the extent of it, visit Th Si Chan during the weekends. It's a very humble setting when you consider the value of products on offer. Chances are you are not looking to buy, but a visit here allows you to gain a fascinating look at a centuries-old trade. Although locally mined gems are no longer of international quality, traders acquire gems from other parts of the world and trade it in this town. All in all, an interesting interaction to witness.

4

Khao Khitchakut National Park

Although one of the smallest parks in the country – at a size of only fifty-nine kilometres – the Khao Khitchakut National Park still has plenty to offer. Surrounded by nature reserves and housing elephants, the park has a diverse amount of fauna too. Add to that a couple of waterfalls and you have quite a show! Somewhere in the midst of it all is a temple where it is believed the Buddha left a footprint. The reservation office can help with bookings or even your hotel should have no problem getting it done for you. Getting to the Khao Khitchakut National Park through public transport can be quite a task, so keep that in mind when planning the journey to the park.