Unseen - Trang Province

Discussion in 'South Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by rcm273, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. rcm273

    rcm273 Ol'Timer

    We took a couple of days to explore Trang over the New Year holiday. I have lived in the South, on-and-off for about 15 years now but never really explored the province, rather travelled through on my way to Krabi.

    Accommodation

    We struck lucky and found the Wassana guesthouse on the web ( N 7.526700°, E 99.587303°), on the ring road - 4 minutes from the 403 ( If you are returning from Krabi or Phuket ). Reasonably priced, nice design, quiet location with lots of safe parking for bikes - Excellent clean rooms with perfect air-con.

    Its a way out of town, I think there is a food service available at the guesthouse, but we found a menu in the lobby, for a local restaurant who deliver to your room if you are too lazy.

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    Food

    There's plenty to eat in Trang - Famous for it's roast & belly pork ( Moo Krawb ). Theres a big Chinese influence to the city, so expect to find plenty of Chinese noodle / rice shops to the ride into the centre of town.

    In the evening we found a lot of Issan restaurants, we stumbled upon 'Dam La Lao' ( N 7.541500° E 99.594002° ) which served nice somtam, fried duck heads, spicy duck salad and BBQ beef (4 dishes + sticky rice + soft drinks ) for less than 350B.

    Trang is also famous for its cake - You will see huge stacks of yellow / orange / green boxes - I have lost count of the number of boxes that have been bestowed upon me as people travel through trang ( bus station ).

    Nightlife

    We saw some nice looking bars with live music surrounding a small park ( N 7.564300°, E 99.622299° ) close to Robinsons.

    There seems to be a night market in the carpark of the railway station, although we didn't stop to check it out.

    Parks

    We visited Kraphing Surin park to stretch our legs only to find a road running around the outside of a lake, with the local 3-up fino racing society getting in some practice laps around it. ( N 7.573700°, E 99.624397° )

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    Things to see

    Fall into several categories temples / waterfalls / caves / beaches.

    Wat Kao Pina ( N 7.748600°, E 99.527100° ) About 20 km from Huai Yot on Route 4.

    A temple built into the side of a limestone stack. Worthwhile exploring.

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    Around 5 km before Khao Pina temple, you will find Khao Kop Cave ( N 7.793900°, E 99.572098° ) ..

    The trip started on the boat with two oarsmen, a visit to a couple of caves with the usual elephant stalagtites and the phalus shaped stalagmite. After a walk around a couple of caverns I was unimpressed, having visited so many caves in Asia.
    Next we were ushered into the boat and told to lay down flat. The oarsmen then proceeded to drag us through a low lying cave for 500m with the roof of the cave just centimetres away from my face, at times with the height of the water and the headroom, the boat grounded to a halt. Not an adventure for the claustrophobic.

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    Here is a recycled image from the web, the proximity to the cave ceiling all depends on the height of the water ( some times in the rainy season this part of the cave cannot be visited ) and the number of passengers in the boat. The staff decicided as a westerner we would want the whole boat to ourselves at the end of the rainy season. The guys really had to work to drag us through, stalactites were touching our feet and bodies and we ground out more than a few times. Im not too sure how they got us through but I'm thankful they did.

    Well worth a trip if you are coming past on Route 4 from Phuket or Krabi. Prices are 60B per person / 300B per boat ( max. 5 persons ). Best to go early to avoid the coach parties.

    We called into Pak Meng beach for a drink, but it was very busy over the holiday period. Quite strange to see westerners taking their holiday amongst the hoards of day tripping locals. There seemed quite a few bungalow resorts and restaurants.

    Further down the coast is Hat Chao Mai national park ( N 7.424300°, E 99.348900° ) - Again, very busy over the holiday period. Not the nicest looking national park I have visited, but OK for a stroll. Prices 200B for foreigner / 40B for Thai national or show your work permit / driving licence. Lots of people camping, there are some Bungalows there - not too sure about food.

    After visiting a few national parks in Thailand, I'm always pretty impressed of how well kept they are and the quality of the accommodation, staff, etc .. This park fell way short of expectations, little organisation and infrastructure, the only staff we saw were at the ticket booth, too much rubbish on the ground.

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    The waterfalls signposted near Huai Yod weren't too impressive ( Ton Khlan & Ban Boon ) more of a muddy paddling pool for the local under 13's scooter chapter ( N 7.771000° E 99.666000° )

    We managed to find Pak Jaem waterfall ( N 7.737100°, E 99.686501° ) After riding some nice roads but it was more of a set of rapids than a waterfall.

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    Ang Thong Waterfall ( N 7.553000°, E 99.413002° )

    I'm sure anyone who's been on the 403 from Trang to route 4 has noticed this little pool by the side of the road.

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    We hope to return to the area to take a further look around, until then, heres a link to a google map of the area with the waterfalls / temples / beaches we visited.

    Further reading

    http://www.tourismthailand.org/Where-to-Go/Trang
    http://thailand.trangzone.com/index.php
    http://www.trangonline.com
     
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  3. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Nice, compact, informative post. Very useful to those looking to ride in the area. Many thanks.
     
  4. Russ McDermid

    Russ McDermid Active Member

    Very useful, and I trust you don't mind me adding the locations onto Open Street Map ?
    Russ
     
  5. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Really nice detailed report.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Brian
     
  6. rcm273

    rcm273 Ol'Timer

    Not at all, I'm just starting to grips with the gps tracking / landmarking thing. This years new years resolution is to get out and about and log all those tourist spots in Phattalung / Trang. Seems some interesting stuff in my neighbouring provinces.

    The tourist info sites are so vague, it took a few passes to find some places and we gave up on more than we visited. We searched high and low for one temple mentioned, after asking 20 people, we found one guy who knew where it was - into Nakhon Si Thammarat and back into Trang on this one little road that leads to the base of the national park BUT don't go there, there are too many ghosts !! apparently.
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Good report - thanks for posting some of the highlights in your neck of the woods.
    If you want to post any more tips & info on attractions there please do - it would be cool to have a nice stack of info for the south .
     
  8. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

    I was in this area in November on a hire motorcycle and I had a good trip but this information would have made it better.Well done very intresting and informative.
    Thanks and safe riding
    Paul
     
  9. rcm273

    rcm273 Ol'Timer

    I spent a few days up in Krabi and decided to drop back along the coast through Trang and into Satun.

    Had a few tech issues but i managed to find a few lovely deserted beaches along the way.

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    I started off at Pak Meng beach ( 7.494731º 99.327275º ), before following the coast road past Hat Chao Mai Nation Park, which we had visited on the previous trip.

    First off the 4008 was Hat Yong Ling ( 7.494731º 99.327275º ), there was a national park gate which i rode to and turned back as I didnt wish to pay and walk about, but I'm unsure if this is a ticket entry park. I saw the beach from the entry road, looked like the pretty standard Trang beach.

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    Not far is Hat Yao ( 7.309395º N 99.395197º E ) there were a couple of bungalow operations and basic restaurants, I saw a few western tourists taking breakfast. The area would make a great coffee / overnight stop, as the area seemed quite cool, with the shade of the limestone cliffs and the trees.

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    I continued along the 4008 and took the blue sign to Hat Mot Tanoi, after a decent slice of tarmac, the road heads downhill rapidly, with several stretches that were straight out of Mogadishu. The dead end road ends in a small Muslim fishing village.

    The first thing i noticed was the number of speed humps dotted along the small roads, so small, that 2 cars would have a problem passing one another. I noticed signs to a resort but followed my nose until I ended up at the beach ( 7.300941º 99.419239º ) A pristine bay, devoid of people.

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    With a dying battery, I needed to get to Satun rather quickly along the 416. I neglected to check the blue signs around Palian and Kantang, which can wait for another day.

    I have updated my google map with waypoints and routes.
     

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