A Guide to Central Provinces of Thailand

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Central Provinces

Bangkok Pattaya Hua Hin
A Guide to Central Thailand
Located in a fertile basin where the main activity is rice farming and the area is regarded as the rice bowl of our country. The northern and southern part of the region is abundant thanks to the major Chao Phraya River which is the confluence of Ping, Nan, Yom and Wang rivers flowing from the Northern region. Besides being the kingdom's most fertile land for rice growing, the Central region is also famous for its tourist attractions which focus on natural resources and ancient historic remains from different eras. This area was the establishment of the former capital city of the Kingdom.

Trips to thick forests, high waterfalls, caves and beaches are easily combined with visits to ancient ruined temples or palaces and historical places. The Eastern part of the region annually attracts hundreds of thousands tourists to the famous beach resorts of the renowned Pattaya and Rayong. The eastern sea coast reaching from Chonburi to Trat is not only rich in archaeology and history, it is also one of the most attractive seaside destinations.
Bangkok Pattya, Chonburi Samut Prakan Nonthaburi Phatum Thani Nakhon Nayok Samut Sakhon Samut Songkhram Nakhon Pathom Lopburi Suphanburi Ang Thong Singburi Kanchanaburi Ayutthaya Saraburi Prachinburi Sakaeo Ratchaburi Phetchaburi Chachoengsao Rayong, Koh Samet Chantaburi Koh Chang, Trat Koh Chang, Trat Pattya, Chonburi Hua Hin, Cha Am Prachuapkhirikhan Hua Hin, Cha Am Chainat Central Region map  
Bangkok Bangkok (กรุงเทพ):
Bangkok, also known as "Krungthep" (กรุงเทพ) meaning 'the City of Angels', is ranked as the best city in the world in 2008 by "Travel and Leisure Magazine". Bangkok is famous for its temples, the Grand Palace as well as some of Asia's largest shopping centers and Asia's largest outdoor week-end market (Chatuchak).

All sites can comfortably be reached by Skytrain (BTS) or Underground (MRT). Bangkok is highly appreciated for its wide choice of restaurants, from authentic street-side eateries to a number of fine dining establishments. In addition to probably the best nightlife in Asia. The wide choice of accommodation, from high end international hotels to guesthouses meets the demands of all travelers. In terms of relaxation – Bangkok has seen a huge development of Spas and wellness centers as well as medical facilities of Western standards.
List of Bangkok hotels
Samut Prakan Samut Prakan (สมุทรปราการ):
Samut Prakan also sometimes called Pak Nam, is located around the area where the Chao Phraya River flows into the Gulf of Thailand and is only 30 km from Bangkok. Samut Prakan is home to countless historical and cultural sites and the new Bangkok International Airport – Suvarnabhumi Airport – is located here.

Some of the major attractions in the province include the worlds largest crocodile farm (with over 60,000 crocodiles including the largest crocodile held captivewith a length of 6 meters), the newly constructed Erawan Museum and the ‘Ancient City’, Mueang Boran, where imitations of major tourist attractions around the country are situated.
List of Samut Prakan hotels
Nonthaburi Nonthaburi (นนทบุรี):
Nonthaburi is one of the central provinces of Thailand and is more or less considered a part of Greater Bangkok. It is the land of elegant palaces, magnificent royal gardens, Ko Kret's famous pottery, notably old and beautiful temples, delicious durian and the gorgeous city hall.

The most interesting place to visit is Koh Kret, an island in the Chao Phraya River, which serves as a refuge to the Mon tribes who are famous for their pottery.Ko Kret is another world compared to Bangkok and much of it retains the air of a rustic village, with wooden shacks propped against palm trees and the occasional dilapidated temple slowly crumbling.Hence the main attraction is just walking around, browsing the merchandise in the many pottery shops.Because of the closeness to Bangkok there are only few accommodation options in Nonthaburi.
List of Nonthaburi hotels
Samut Sakhon Samut Sakhon (สมุทรสาคร):
Samut Sakhon is located at the mouth of the Tha Chin Klong river, a distributor of the Chao Phraya river, to the Gulf of Thailand. Samut Sakhon was formerly called "Tha Chin" probably because, in the old days, it had been a trading port dealing with a vast number of Chinese junks.

Today it is a major fishing port, the biggest producer of brine salt and is home to the largest traditional fresh seafood market in Thailand – the Mahachai Market. Apart from seafood, Handicrafts such as wicker furniture, pottery and local sarongs are among the colorful offerings in the market. Cruising is one of the interesting water activities for tourists in Samut Sakhon. Tourists can rent a boat for an 1-2 hour roundtrip and enjoy the panoramic view of mangroves and witness the lifestyle of the fishermen and how to do mussels farming. Some small hotels and guesthouses in the city offer budget accommodations.
List of Central hotels
Samut Songkhram Samut Songkhram (สมุทรสงคราม):
Samut Songkhram it is the province of fertile land, of plants and food grains, the production source of vegetables and fruits,as well as a vast variety of seafood products. It is also an interesting historical source for the early Rattanakosin period.

Samut Songkhram is also the birthplace of the Siamese twins – Chang-Eng- who made Thailand famous around the world. Attractions in the province include floating markets, temples, a Siamese cats house and the Ban Phaya So - a house of the alto fiddle (So U) maker who combines the art of traditional Thai music with carving.
List of Samut Songkhram hotels
Nakhon Pathom Nakhon Pathom (นครปฐม):
Nakhon Pathom is a small province located just 56 Kms. from Bangkok.The province features an ancient religious structure called Phra Pathom Chedi,the world largest stupa which stands 120 meters tall. Nakhon Pathom is also renowned for its abundant fruits varieties and famous dishesand Thailands best-known floating market – Damnoen Saduak.

Other attractions include the Rose Garden, the Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo, the Thai Human Imagery Museum and Buddhamonthon -an old religious site with a huge standing Buddha image cast in bronze gold measuring 15.8 meters
List of Nakhon Pathom hotels
Sing Buri Singburi (สิงห์บุรี):
Sing Buri is located in the flat river plain of the Chao Phraya river valley 140 km north of Bangkok. Sing Buri is well known for abundant fish, particularly the Mae La catfish, and the yearly traditional boat race – an exciting and colourful event which attracts entries from many provinces viewing forthe Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Trophy.

Attractions in the province are limited to temples like Wat Phra Non Chaksi - which houses a 46 meterlong Buddha image, a hero’s monument and a museum.
List of Central hotels
Ang Thong Ang Thong (อ่างทอง):
Ang Thong is a low river flat, crossed by the Chao Phraya and the Noi river. It has neither mountains nor forests, but consists of mostly agricultural land.

It is a province which is luxurious of native handicraft like molded court dolls, firebrick, and wickerwork. It is also the origination of Li Ke, the native folk song and hometown of Nai Dok and Nai Thongkaeo, the two heroes during the Bang Rachan Battle.Ang Thong is also abundant with more than 200 clean, magnificent, and interesting temples, most appropriate for Thai chronological study.Well worth a visit is the drum making village of Ban Phae, the Court Doll Center in Ban Bangsadet, the fish park at Wat Khoi and the bird sanctuary.
List of Central hotels
Pathum Thani Pathum Thani (ปทุมธานี):
The province is located directly north of Bangkok and is part of the Bangkok metropolis. Pathum Thani has a very high concentration of higher education institutions, especially ones in the field of science and technology.From this fact, together with a number of industrial parks and many research agencies (including those in Thailands Science Park) in the province,Pathum Thani is considered an "Education and Technology Hub" of its area.

Pathum Thani is full of sites of knowledge, history and culture. There are many museums and public places that are full of knowledge to visit and learn.Other than the museums and the cultural center, there are many interesting temples in Pathum Thani to visit. Most of them are historical areas. Besides the cultural and natural places, there is the most famous and biggest amusement park in Pathum Thani.
List of Pathum Thani hotels
Ayutthaya Ayutthaya, full name Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (พระนครศรีอยุธยา):
The ancient city of Ayutthaya is one of Thailand's major tourist attractions and was the former capital of Thailand. The ruins of the old capital in the Ayutthaya historical park are a UNESCO World Heritage Site since December 1991. Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in the city and Ayutthaya celebrates its glorious past with historical exhibitions, traditional cultural processions and performances, light & sound presentations around city ruins, and numerous forms of entertainment.

There are over 400 temples in and around Ayutthaya to visit, as well as a private boat museum, arts and craft centers and Thailand’s largest freshwater fish aquarium – Wang Pla – amongst many others.Some elephant camps provide elephant riding and shows, and boat trips on the Chao Phraya are on offer to enjoy the beautiful scenery and Thai lifestyle along the river.
List of Ayutthaya hotels
Saraburi Saraburi (สระบุรี):
Saraburi, a province in the upper central region of Thailand, is rich in tourist attractions resources including natural sites, artifacts, festivals, temples as well as historical sites. Located 108 kilometers from Bangkok and 65 kilometers from Ayutthaya it is conveniently commutable within a day The most important Buddhist temple Wat Phra Phutthabat, built in the 17th century, is located around a Buddha footprint.

It is the most popular pilgrimage site within central Thailand. Two national parks are located in the province. Namtok Chet Sao Noi protects 28 km² around a scenic waterfall.Phra Phutthachai protects the Khao Sam Lan Forest, which consists of hilly landscape and is the source to several rivers and waterfalls.

Activities in the area include cliff climbing at Wat Phra Chai and exploring Saraburis longest cave - Tham Lumphini Suan Hin - with a length of 1800 meter.
List of Saraburi hotels
Nakhon Nayok Nakhon Nayok (นครนายก):
Nakhon Nayok is a destination which is often taken for granted by many tourists. The fact that it is located just 106 kilometers from Bangkok and its attractions may be visited as a day trip makes it just a stop over spot for travelers. Nakhon Nayok is famous for its refreshing natural beauty including waterfalls and parks, renowned historical sites, soft adventure activities, and its variety of fruits.

The northern part of Nakhon Nayok is covered by the Khao Yai National Park. The central part of the province is, on a contrary, a rather flat river plain formed by the Maenam Nakhon Nayok. Popular activities are canoeing in the Nakhon Nayok River, mountain biking, horse riding and jungle trekking. The Sida Resort Hotelnear Nang Rong Waterfall is a perfect base to start exploring the refreshing embrace of mountains, evergreen forests, rock gardens, bird park and orchards.
List of Nakhon Nayok hotels
Chachoengsao Chachoengsao (ฉะเชิงเทรา):
Chachoengsao is 80 kilometers from Bangkok and is an important venue for agricultural products in the Central Region, with Mango as the most popular fruit of the province. Moreover, it is the location of the sacred Phra Phutthasothon Buddha image.

Attractions include a drum making village, a court doll center and Thai-style house models producers as well as temples and the annual boat races, held in October, should not be missed.
List of Central hotels
Chonburi Chonburi (ชลบุรี):
Chonburi, Bangkoks nearest seaside town, is located on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, only 80 kilometers from Bangkok. The area boasts abundant natural resources, which are highlighted by delightful beaches, local colors, traditions, delicacies and fresh seafood.This is a popular resort among Bangkokians who seek the nearest escape from hectic weekly schedules as Chon Buri has something for everyone.

In addition, Chon Buri is the center of the Eastern Seaboard Development Project, with its industrial parks and fishing villages.
The most famous city of the province is Pattaya - Asia's premier beach resortwhich caters with equal appeal to families, couples and single visitors. Pattaya's relaxing tropical ambience is synonymous with every ingredient for memorable holidays. Accommodation in Chonburi ranges from luxuriously appointed backside hotels with superb convention facilities to simple guesthouses.
List of Chonburi hotels
Pattaya Pattaya (พัทยา):
Pattaya is nestled along a picturesque bay on the East Coast of the Gulf of Thailand, roughly 170 kilometers southeast of Bangkok.
From a fishing village in the 1960's, Pattaya has emerged as the favorite Southeast Asian vacation center. A fascinating escape where tourists, holiday makers and vacationers from around the world unfold an incomparable array of possibilities to unwind duringan exotic holiday beach vacation.

Unlike other beach resorts, where natural surroundings are used as magnets to attract tourists,Pattaya makes an all-out attempt to provide the best of everything. Here, everything means everything a tourist can imagine while on holiday: recreation, entertainment, sports, sightseeing and fun. To put it simply, Pattaya is a paradise for everyone, as it has a variety of attractions suitable for all types of visitors. This is the place where you can fill your day, from dusk to dawn, with endless activities,or you may choose to do nothing at all and relax.
List of Pattaya hotels
Rayong Rayong (ระยอง):
Located approximately 220 kilometers from Bangkok it is another delightfu resort on Thailand’s eastern coast.Most of the land is marked by a series of mountains interspersed by flat plains and large tracts of forest and fruit plantations. The province is well known for its pristine beaches stretching along a 100-kilometer coastline and scenic waterfalls amidst exotic surroundings.Aside from this, Rayong is blessed with an abundance of seafood products such as shrimp paste, fish sauce and dried seafood,and tropical fruits of which Rambutan, Mangosteen and Durian are the most famous.

Several islands in the Gulf of Thailand belong to the province, including the popular tourist destinations, Ko Samet, Ko Mun and Ko Kodi. Koh Samet offers extensive pristine beaches with clean white sand. A haven for relaxation, this T-shaped island is a perfect retreat for those looking for sun, sand and sea.
List of Rayong hotels
Chantaburi Chantaburi (จันทบุรี):
It is located in the east of Thailand, at the border to Battambang and Pailin of Cambodia and the shore to the Gulf of Thailand. Together with the neighboring province Trat, Chantaburi is the center of gemstone mining, especially rubies and sapphires. Tropical fruits like Rambutan, Mangosteen and Durian are also among the main products of the province with the Durian on top of the list.

There are national parks with waterfalls and forested hills good for nature walks, hiking, camping and white water rafting; historical monuments, traditional cultures of the old days, temples and pagodas of various religions and beaches and islands to be explored. Accommodation is available in town and along the coast at Laem Sing.
List of Chantaburi hotels
Trat Trat (ตราด):
Trat is Thailand's eastern-most province, located about 315 kilometers from Bangkok. This small province borders on Cambodia with the Khao Banthat mountain range forming a natural demarcation. With 52 large and small offshore islands, long white sandy beaches and unspoiled coral reefs, Trat offers delightful scenery and a tranquil hideout for nature-lovers. The province also serves as a major fruit-growing and fishing area.

The city of Trat forays into outlying gem and Cambodian markets and is the starting point to Ko Chang island group. The island, together with more than 40 surrounding smaller islands, forms the Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park. Other islands of the province include: Ko Kood, Ko Mak and Ko Kradad.

Trat is also a transit point for people travelling to Cambodia, as it is only a 90 minute minibus ride to the border at Hat Lek.
List of Trat hotels
Koh Chang Koh Chang (เกาะช้าง):
Chang is the second largest island of Thailand after Phuket, located on the Thai east coast 310 km away from Bangkok near the border to Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. The name means Elephant Island. Ko Chang was named for the elephant shape of its headland, although elephants are not indigenous to the island. It is a mountainous islandand Khao Salak Phet is the highest peak of all at 744 meters. Visitors are also met with several waterfalls, splendid reefs and rainforests.

Ko Chang is one of Thailand most beautiful islands with some white sandy beaches, some half deserted. Some of the beaches are rocky in parts though so it doesn't have ideal swimming beaches like Phuket.

The island is also home to a wide range of wildlife, including a good selection of birds, snakes, deer and a number of elephants. The island and its vicinity are great places for snorkeling, diving and jungle hiking.
List of Koh Chang hotels
Prachin Buri Prachinburi (ปราจีนบุรี):
The province is divided into two major parts, the low river valley of the Prachinburi River, and the higher lands with plateaus and mountains of the Dong Phaya Yen mountains. In those areas are also two national parks, Khao Yai and the Tab Larn National Park.

Prachinburi is a very prosperous town with beautiful waterfalls and canals which are very popular among nature adventurers. Many trekking and bicycle routes are available in the province and white water rafting and golfing are popular activities.
One of the festive highlights in Prachinburi is the Bang Fai Sky Rocket Festival held annually in May at Wat Maha Pho. Accommodations are available in town and near the Khao Yai National Park – a perfect place for nature lovers to relax and experience the great outdoors.
List of Prachinburi hotels
Sakaeo Sakaeo (สระแก้ว):
Located in the eastern border of Thailand, facing Cambodia at Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo is a popular province known as a trading centre. Generally, the area varies from plains to highlands. Highlands and mountains are in the north where Pang Sida National Park and Ta Phraya National Park are located, while the south is covered with wavy plains and hills.

Also, there are evergreen forests along the Chanthaburi mountain range. Accommodation is available within the parks and the Indochina Hotel just outside town is a good base to start touring the province.
List of Sakaeo hotels
Lopburi Lopburi (ลพบุรี):
Lopburi is located approximately 154 kilometers north of Bangkok. Lopburi is one of several provinces in central Thailand where many significant historical artifacts and prehistoric settlements have been discovered. These relics, ranging from the Bronze Age to the Ratanakosin period, have made Lopburi a blend of east and west and ancient and modern, revealing the citys turbulent and alluring history and a glimpse of Thailands extraordinary past. Apart from historical attractions, Lopburi provides opportunities for nature lovers to visit its famous Sap Langka Wildlife Sanctuary in the north.

Another special landmark of Lopburi are monkeys. To tourists, the city is known as the land of monkeys. The food offerings in San Phra Kan drew the monkeys from nearby forests. These mischievous monkeys have taken over several attractions such as San Phra Kan and Phra Prang Sam Yot.
List of Lopburi hotels
Chainat Chainat (ชัยนาท):
Located some 194 kilometers from Bangkok it is famous for handicrafts, basketry, sculpture, weaving, as well as the Benjarong pentachrome ceramics made in the finest and most sophisticated craftsmanship.

An important tourist attractions is the Chainat Bird Park which has the biggest aviary in Asia (26 rai) as well as an aquarium, snake park, rabbit park and wild animal park. There is also a monkey park and a crocodile farm with different kinds of animals such as crocodiles, tigers, rays, and various bird species to visit.
List of Central hotels
Kanchanaburi Kanchanaburi (กาญจนบุรี):
Kanchanaburi is located where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers converge into the Mae Klong river and where in 1942, under Japanese control, the famous Bridge on the River Kwai was built by prisoners of war (POWs). A memorial and two museums are also located here: the hailand-Burma Railway Museum and the JEATH War Museum dedicated to the bridge and the Death Railway. The city is also home to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. It is the easiest access point to the nearby Tiger Temple.

The magnificent landscape and charming beauty of Kanchanaburi have resulted in major tourist attractions including several well-known waterfalls, caves which were once inhabited by Neolithic man, pristine national parks, tranquil rivers, virgin forests, and reservoirs. Whether its fishing, rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, bird-watching, star-gazing, golfing, elephant and jungle trekking, or even living in bamboo rafts.
List of Kanchanaburi hotels
Suphan Buri Suphanburi (สุพรรณบุรี):
Just a hundred kilometers away from Bangkok, Suphanburi is an ancient town rich in natural and historical heritage.The province was once an important border town involving battles and important wars during the period of the Ayutthaya kingdom. So, today, travelling around the province is like drifting through historical novels.

Historical evidence leads you to travel to the past such as Don Chedi Monument, Wat Khao Khuen, whose abbot played a significant role in Thai history, U Thong National Museum, etc. Furthermore, various natural wonders such as Phu Toei National Park, Bueng Chawak Aquarium, as well as the famous local-style cake Sali Suphan always impress visitors.
List of Suphanburi hotels
Ratchaburi Ratchaburi (ราชบุรี):
Ratchaburi means "The land of the king". The province is full of cultural heritage, beautiful places, and historical sites. It is located 80 kilometers west of Bangkok and borders Burma to the west with the Tanaosi range as a borderline. It has Mea Klong River through the center of town. The provincial area abounds in natural attractions and historical sites. The most famous tourist spot in this area are the floating markets of Damnoen Saduak. It shows the people's life style and the importance of the river as a mean of commerce.

The Khao Ngu Stone Park offers adventurous activities on its area, such as abseiling,flying fox, rope bridge, and rock climbing. The west of the province is more mountainous,and includes the Tanawsri mountain range and there are several caves containing stalactites. Some caves are inhabited by large colonies of bats, and it is an impressive sight when they swarm out in the evening to feed. Other caves like the Khao Bin are accessible for visitors.
List of Ratchaburi hotels
Phetchaburi Phetchaburi (เพชรบุรี):
Phetchaburi, also known as Phetburi, is a town in central Thailand, capital of the Phetchaburi Province. It is approximately 160km south of Bangkok, at the northern end of the Thai Peninsula.

The Phetchaburi River runs through the middle of the city. The region is mostly flat, save for a hill (called Khao Wang) on the outskirts of town. The royal palace named Phra Nakhon Khiri and one of the many wats are on top of Khao Wang.
The hill and town is the site of an annual festival, called the Phra Nakhon Khiri Fair. It lasts for eight days in early February and includes a sound and light show and classical Thai dance.

In the south of the province is Cha-am, a popular beach resort for Phetchaburi people as well as travellers from Bangkok and surrounding areas to spend the weekend.
List of Phetchaburi hotels
Cha Am Cha Am (ชะอำ):
The premier beach resort of Phetchaburi, Hat Cha-am is just as beautiful as the neighboring Hua Hin Beach.
Located approximately 163 kilometers south of Bangkok and 20 kilometers north of Hua Hin, the casuarina-lined beach is famous for being long and clean. Cha-am is a popular lively resort town offering a large variety of accommodations and challenging activities.

Boredom is rare in Cha-am as there are a variety of water sports that can be enjoyed, while a possible alternative to water sports is bicycle riding along a 6-kilometer sandy white beach or touring Cha-am’s Forest Park.
There are also several world class golf courses nearby to enjoy a day of golfing. During the weekdays the beach is virtually deserted but on weekends and holidays it is party time with many students coming down from Bangkok.
List of Cha Am hotels
Hua Hin Hua Hin (หัวหิน):
It is a part of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. 281 kilometers south of Bangkok, Hua Hin, which literally means stone head in Thai,is the oldest beach resort of the country and is still very popular. Clean white sand, crystal clear water and a tranquil atmosphere has continued to attract tourists in search of peaceful and relaxing holidays.

Hua Hin's consequence came with the opening of the Railway Hotel (known today as the Sofitel Centara Grand), an elegant Victorian-style resort hotel, and also the countries first standard golf course.

A cluster of royal and high-society residences gradually became more visible resulting in the transformation of the whole village into the first seaside resort of the country, where visitors could enjoy swimming, fishing, and golfing. Today, Hua Hin is a well-established beach destination with word-class facilities coupled with a true sense of Thai hospitality.
List of Hua Hin hotels
Prachuap Khiri Khan Prachuap Khiri Khan (ประจวบคีรีขันธ์):
Prachuap Khiri Khan, or commonly referred to as simply Prachuap, is a province located in the lower central region 93 km south of Hua Hin. It connects with the South of Thailand and possesses various interesting tourist attractions such as beaches, islands, forests and mountains. Besides just sunbathing snorkeling and swimming, visitors can also enjoy golf, spas, caves, peaks, waterfalls, shops, seafood and nearby national parks.

The provincial capital is a fishing port with a superb location beside beautiful curving bays and amongst steep mountain outcrops. About 100 kilometers to the north of Prachuap Khiri Khan is Hua Hin, Thailand’s first beach resort which is renowned for golf and spa. Between Hua Hin and Prachuap Khiri Khan is Pran Buri with many boutique resorts and Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park with soaring peaks, numerous caves and exotic bird life.
List of Prachuap Khiri Khan hotels