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Trang Thailand

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Took the ferry from Koh Samui, with the pickup, to Suratthani and then 400km on down south to Trang Town, in the Province of Trang, where Luk (my son’s Thai wife) grew up and where her grandmother still lives.  Great roads and good speed but thank goodness Luk and her mother, Simone, were with me or I would probably still be out there somewhere trying to find my way!  Ting Tong, Doug and Luk’s dog, was no help at all…got sick…and then slept most of the way.

In the two days we were there we visited “Gamma,” we picked up Luk’s mom’s motorcycle, had our hair done and had a few good Thai meals along the way.

Trang is real Thailand. Tourists who come to Thailand are missing out…there are very few tourists here. Prices are very low.  Unabashed praise comes from Trang itself on I’ll give the people in Trang a little promotion by using their own words:

Island Life

Scattered along the 119 km coast are houses on both banks. The people here are generous and kind. The sand is delicated and the clear water of the sea reflect the white clouds in the beautiful sky. On the beaches, the forests are fertile and there is a good source of fish.

The 47 islands in the north are under the responsibility of the Chao Mai National Park office and the islands in the south belong to the Petra Island National Park. The delicate, white sandy beaches, blue clear water, attractive caves and the range of corals both in the shallow and deep water, are heaven for all tourists. Above all, it is a very good educational sea resource.

Mountain Life

Mountain Life has also created various culture and traditions. Para Rubber, fruits. vegetables are grown well because of good weather and moisture from forest and waterfalls. These products play a large part in the economy of Trang. The charms in Trang Kao (Mountain) tempt visitors because of its forests streams and waterfalls even though the noise from the water becomes less (because of natural destructions). Teenagers in Trang Kao still wade through the streams catching fish in the falls and are proud of themselves, instead of walking around town in jeans and listening to music. Old kind men and women still carry typical tools to hunt in the forests. “Sakai”, a tribe in Trang Kao still finds products from the forests to exchange for rice with villagers.


Laying across Trang is Banthad, the big mountain in the south. Plentiful forest, wildlife, and more than twenty waterfalls make Banthad a challanging but charming destination for trekker. Trang Trekking Club, founded by Khun Pratheep Jongthong, have compiled five selected routes for trekkers around the world to enjoy Trang wildlife. Guiding by villagers, tourists will learned the right trekking practice for preventing and not disturbing the forest.

  • Tontok Waterfall-Sakai Village-Klongtok Waterfall (moderately)
  • Sairung Waterfall-Nanmuang-Khao Rutu (difficult)
  • Tontok Waterfall-Bantra Ranger Center (moderately)
  • Huaysom-Sahaipakao Camp-Chedchan Waterfall  (difficult)
  • Tonte Waterfall to Khao Chedyod (very difficult)


DivingFrom Choamai National Park to Pakmeng Beach, around 20 kms in length, locating one of the best diving venue in the world. Among 40 islands in Trang, Koh Kradan is the most beatiful one. Its charms are delicate, white sandy beaches and clear water – so clear that the coral under the sea can be seen. Koh Chueak, Koh Ma, and Koh Ngai are other choices for diving also. If you plan for diving in Trang sea, check our tour packages pages for agencies who provide diving package services.

Trang Town Life

TrangMarketMajority of Trang people in town are chinese. These chinese are group of merchants from mainland China settled down in Trang. After two or three generations, these Chinese have converted themselves completely into local Thai people. Although they still practice traditional Chinese cultures, they also adopted local Trang’s agricultural cultures and mixed them together into a new culture, Trang Town Culture. 

Walking Through The Clean Markets
The two markets, Ta Klang Market and Municipal Market, selling fresh products are not far away from each other. People do not have to worry about dirty water which may be found in the markets in the other provinces here. Trang has been awarded as the cleanest town in Thailand for many years in a row. And its markets are considered to be the cleanest fresh market in Thailand. If you stay in town, it must be a good experience to walk through one of them to see how local people’s daily life is.

Bangkok To Ko Samui

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

All in one day on my street in Bangkok I saw a very good-looking farang (foreigner), who was old enough to know better, in a big wide straw hat…wearing no shirt…showing off his severely “cut” abs…attracting the stares of the Thai women and the rest of us who are not use to seeing shirtless farangs who forget they are not on the beach anymore! :))  But much better viewing, however, than the overweight European women in shorts and bra in the City of Angels where those things should never be seen!

The same day I saw a father and his 2 year old boy walking by one of those paid women beggars who sit at the foot of the stairs to the skytrain holding a borrowed infant. The little boy had been eating chips out of a small bag and he held out his bag to the infant as he passed by with no prompting from the father…so heart-warming to see his natural generosity!  I saw a young Thai guy wearing a T-shirt that said in English “Merry Clitormas” instead of Merry Christmas!  And I visited for hours with some newly-made friends at the sidewalk tables at the Parrot Cafe run by a Dutch guy and where you can get good brewed coffee.

Now I am on the island of  breezy Samui where I am helping my daughter-in-law and her mother set up a small tasteful Thai-style “restaurant” on the beach in Lamai that Doug leased before he temporarily returned to the States last month.  There is a water trench that winds through the restaurant that Luk wants to fill with fish. Yesterday we bought a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer and a wicker table and chairs.  This is great fun! Luk’s mother is gregarious and an excellent cook so we hope for success! I am suggesting to Doug that he offer good American and British breakfasts that are difficult to come by on this part of the beach. They will have a juice bar and Luk will go to Bangkok to learn how to operate and make coffee with one of those nice Bon Cafe machines.  She is all excited to make artsy fartsy designs in the foam. :))

Luk and I stopped by the Thai immigration office on Samui to check on my visa regulations.  You have to leave Thailand the young good-looking officer says.  Aren’t there any other options for me…I don’t want to leave Thailand!  You can marry, he says.  Can I marry you, I ask?  Yes, he says.  But I already marry!  Me too, I say. And we laughed!  Anything I can do for you, you come see me, he says!  So much for those mean immigration guys!  As we were leaving, I wanted to tell the young waiting backpackers in dreadlocks to SMILE! :))  It might help them a bit!

The A/C doesn’t work in Doug’s bungalow where I was originally going to stay, so I am in a lovely artsy beach hotel with an ocean view and so close to the water you can hear the waves through the sliding glass doors!  I’m walking distance half way between the bungalow and the restaurant. Luk’s mom has been bringing morning rice and pork soup to my room in the hotel and cooking the late afternoon meals for us in the restaurant-to-be. The other evening a farang from Hungary and his Thai girlfriend were walking the beach so Luk’s mom invited them to finish off our generous meal.  Talk talk, talk!

I’m driving Doug’s pickup on these narrow ring roads around the island which is much better than renting one of those little jeeps that are hard to shift.  I just have to remember to stay on the left side of the road and watch for cars and motorcycles who want to pass on both the right and left of me…sometimes on both sides at the same time!

Today we are taking time off to rest.  Luk is sore from working on the restaurant and will not be grilling pork sticks out in front of the restaurant by the road. Wednesday, Luk and her mom and I will take the ferry with Doug’s pickup to Suratani and on to Trang Province south of here where we will see grandma and pick up Luk’s mom’s motorcycle and a few household items.  Doug and Luk will be giving up their beach bungalow in February and moving into a walled off section of the restaurant to save money. Hmmm.  We’ll see how that works out! :))

I would love to take the ferry to the diving island of Koh Tao where there are no cars and where I haven’t been yet.  Or Koh Pha Nang famous for the full-moon parties…only pure white sandy beaches with restaurants jutting out into the water.  But no full-moon party for me!

So now I need to figure out how I am going to get out of Thailand before February 9th and where/when to come back in.  A van to Panang Malaysia? Or a flight to Singapore? Maybe a week on the beaches of Krabi before hitting Bangkok again?  I get the crowns on my implants in March in Bangkok before flying back to the states.  Whew!  I’m tired already!

And that, so far, with the exception of watching the heart-wrenching devastation in Haiti on my hotel TV, is my time on Koh Samui.