Trang is a coastal province in southern Thailand known for its multitude of islands, pristine beaches, and breathtaking limestone mountains. Though not as well-trodden as nearby Krabi, the nature-rich province offers plenty for travelers who like to veer just a little off the beaten path.

    Beach life unquestionably proves Trang's biggest lure, but there's plenty more to see besides. Famed for its early morning dim sum breakfast rituals, the regional capital of Trang City is the bustling gateway to the region, while the nearby town of Kantang brims with old-world charm. Add to this expansive natural parks and multi-coloured wildlife, and Trang's unique appeal is put firmly into focus.


    The beaches of Trang

    The best places in Trang for sun, sea, and sand

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    Despite boasting almost 200 km of Andaman coastline, the best beaches in Trang are to be found among its many offshore islands. One of the most visited islands is Koh Kraden, and the palm-lined Kraden Beach is where the majority of its visitors pitch up to relax and unwind.

    Another well-known island is Koh Muk, and it's here you'll find the compact, backpacker haven of Had Sai Yao – or Had Farrang, as the locals like to call it – with its crystal-clear waters and jungle-lined perimeter. If you're looking for a little more space, Koh Muk's nearby Ao Kham is a good deal longer, making it a blissful spot in which to lose yourself.


    Trang landmarks

    The most iconic constructed sights in Trang

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    While it's the nature that the majority of visitors aim for, Trang offers a few interesting artificial landmarks too. The charming Payoon Traffic circle is arguably the most iconic. This white, carved monument serves as a traffic island and celebrates the region's most famous marine animal: the loveable dugong.

    Phraya Ratsadanu Pradit Mahisara Phakdi Monument is another sight worth visiting when passing through town. Dedicated to one of Trang's former governors, the attractive monument set inside manicured gardens is a peaceful spot to escape the heat of the day. Finally, in the center of town, you'll find the Trang Clock Tower. The fragile-looking structure has a certain retro appeal and is colorfully illuminated at night.


    Trang's natural wonders

    The most breathtaking nature in the province

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    Trang's stunning natural beauty is famed throughout Thailand, with the whole province brimming with unspoilt, picturesque landscapes to explore. Hat Chao Mai National Park is a marine park incorporating windswept beaches, lush forests, and tropical islands. There's an entrance fee and you’ll find various food and accommodations options inside the park.

    You can experience the unique atmosphere of a subterranean boat ride through Khao Kop Cave in the Huai Yot district, with its underground stream passing through limestone walls and bizarre rock formations. Offshore, Koh Muk's Marakot Cave (or Emerald Cave) is named after the brilliant blue waters that surround it. It's strikingly beautiful, but make sure you bring a waterproof bag on your trip!



    Explore the highlights of this charming old town

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    Kantang is a sleepy town some 24 km from downtown Trang. Distinctly more relaxed than its larger neighbor, Kantang is the region's former administrative capital and a great place to take in some old-world sights.

    Opened in 1913, Kantang Train Station is a good place to start. The Rama VI-style station building was once a thriving regional hub and is now protected as a designated ‘ancient place’. The nearby Rasada Museum is another well-preserved building that attracts plenty of admiring visitors. Set inside the former commissioner's residence, the museum features original furnishings, waxworks, and exhibits. Elsewhere, the First Rubber Tree of Thailand marks the first set of rubber trees planted by industry pioneer, Phraya Ratsadanupradit, in 1899.

    photo by ::::=UT=:::: (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Dining and restaurants in Trang

    Where and what to eat in Trang?

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    Trang has plenty of dining options, with Thai and Chinese food dominating the region's restaurant landscape. Trang city is famous for its Chinese-influenced dim sum breakfasts, and Ruan Thai Restaurant Dim Sum is an excellent place to experience the local tradition. Open for breakfast only, the bustling spot serves all manner of dumpling options alongside crispy pork, greens and free-flow tea.

    Richy Bakery & Restaurant is another Trang highlight, serving Southern Thai food in a bright and breezy environment. The spicy glass noodle salad and coconut cake are highly recommended. Attached to the Sri Trang Hotel, Cafe 1952 is an excellent choice if you fancy some western food, with burgers, pasta and pizzas served alongside traditional Thai fare.

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    Trang shopping

    Where to shop in Trang?

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    The best shopping in Trang can be found in the various night and flea markets dotted around the city. The most popular option with both locals and travelers is Cinta Garden night market, where you'll find an array of food vendors, clothing stalls, souvenirs and bars.

    Another vibrant market takes place each weekend at Chan Chala Night Market. Though aimed at locals, its friendly vendors make all feel welcome and you'll find plenty of souvenirs and tasty bites here. Situated close to the Trang Clock Tower, Centrepoint Night Market is another atmospheric place to hunt for goods. Most of the items on offer are food-related, but you'll still find jewelry, clothes and trinkets in between all the mouthwatering snacks.


    Trang nightlife

    Where to enjoy an evening out in Trang?

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    Trang isn't exactly famous for its nightlife, but there are still a few good spots to enjoy a tipple or engage in some nocturnal mingling. The neon-lit Warm Up Bar is a popular choice with locals and travelers, with live music, friendly staff, and a billiards table to help while away the night. Named after the material used to construct its tables, The Pallet is a rustic roadside dive bar adorned with colorful artwork that plays upbeat Thai music while helping keep its patrons lubricated.

    If it's a rooftop wind-down you're after, check out the ambience at Hidden Something bar and bistro. Here you'll find a good selection of craft beers and local side dishes served under the stars.


    Activities around Trang

    In case you get bored of the sea and sand

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    There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Trang if you find yourself in need of a break from lounging on the beach. Thung Khai Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to experience a tropical rainforest. Specially constructed walkways allow for stunning canopy views, and there are plenty of signs giving information about the many species of trees and plants in the forest.

    The bizarre wooden carvings at Wang Thep Taro certainly leave an impression, with dragons cleverly carved from the root systems of huge native trees.


    Temples in Trang

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    You'll find many small temples and shrines throughout Trang, with many featuring a distinctly Chinese architectural style. Wat Kaphang Surin is one worthy of a visit when passing through town. Its exterior may be unremarkable compared to some of Thailand's bigger temples, but the Buddha frescoes inside are a delight to behold.

    The Kew Ong Ear Shrine is a compact, Chinese-style complex with an attractive pagoda for offerings and a larger temple at the rear. The interior features attractive red ornaments and photography is permitted inside. Khao Phra Yod Temple, meanwhile, is a Thai-style Buddhist temple in the Huai Yot district set next to a small mountain, with breathtaking views of the surrounding nature.


    Trang parks

    The most serene parks in Trang

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    Trang boasts several parks that serve as a relaxing antidote to the bustle of city life. Kapangsurin Park is one of the largest and is a popular choice with locals thanks to its lake centerpiece and open-air fitness facilities. King's Mother Park is great for a spot of people watching. Arrive early in the morning or late afternoon to see the park in full swing, as fitness enthusiasts make the most of the facilities away from the fiercest heat of the day.

    Mueang Trang Park is a small but attractively landscaped park in the town center. The green expanse features an abundance of shade-providing trees, making it an excellent place to shelter from the glare of the sun.


    How to get to Trang

    Factual travel information

    The nearest airport is Trang Airport (TST), which is located 6 km from Trang city centre. The airport serves only domestic flights, with a handful of airlines flying direct from both Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Don Mueang (DMK) in Bangkok. The flight takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

    If traveling from Bangkok other than by plane, the journey takes considerably longer, with both train and bus travel clocking in at around 12 hours. Trains run from Bang Sue terminal in Bangkok to Trang Station on the south-western side of the city centre. Buses and minivans depart Bangkok from both Mo Chit and the Southern Bus Terminal, arriving at Trang Bus Terminal on the town's eastern outskirts.

    photo by Momonga76 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Patrizio Cavaliere | Contributing Writer

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