Trang

Trang (ตรัง) is both a town and a province on the Southern Andaman Coast region of Southern Thailand.

Understand

Trang

On the Andaman Coast, Trang is a place of unspoilt beauty, kind and friendly people, delicious food, amazing islands, and white sand beaches.

Located on the same line of historical settlements as Krabi, Phang Nga, Phuket and Ranong, Trang shares the same traditions and heritage. In the early Ratanakosin period, Kantang, which is now one of the six districts of the province, served as the main port of the Penang-Phuket land route. There were two main routes of transportation for these five coastal towns at that time: the land route and the sea route. Kantang used to be one of the main seaports of the south and for this reason Kantang was the capital of the province for many years. Legend has it that ships from other countries always landed at Kantang port at dawn, explaining how Trang got its name. "Trang" is derived from a Malay word meaning "Dawn" or "Bright" (Malay: Terang).

Trang used to be a port involved in foreign trade. It was the first city where rubber was planted. Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahison Phakdi brought rubber from Malaysia and planted it here before anywhere else in southern Thailand in 1899. Rubber is now considered an important commodity of Thailand. The important Trang River flows through the province from its origin in the Khao Luang mountain range and the Palian River from the Banthat mountain range. Trang province has an area of approximately 5,000 square km.

Climate

As Trang is located next to the Indian Ocean, the province gets monsoons all year round, resulting in a lot of rainfall.

Trang, along with rest of the south of Thailand, has just the two seasons per year:

History

According to cultural records Trang used to be one of 12 satellite towns that came into exsistence 900 years ago, but it was only during the era of King Rama II that the place was recognized and the province got its first governor. The first Westerner to arrive in Trang was Captain James Low in 1838 to negotiate commercial treaties.

In 1915, King Rama VI visited the then-provincial town and advised, for strategic reasons, that it be moved to its now current location at Thap Thiang.

The original meaning of the name ‘Trang’ is uncertain, but many historians believe that it derives from the Malay word "trangkae" which means "dawn".

Geography

Trang is a coastal province on the Indian Ocean with a long western coastline of about 119 km. The province includes an archipelago in the Andaman Sea with over 46 islands. Of these, 12 are in Amphoe Kantang, 13 in Amphoe Palian, and 21 in Amphoe Sikao. The best time for sea travel is Oct-May. The mountainous eastern region is home to dramatic waterfalls, caves, and jungle. Between the mountains and the coast are extensive plantations of rubber.

Culture

Get in

By car

  1. Hwy 4 (Bangkok-Chumphon) to Hwy 41 (Surat Thani-Thung Song-Huai Yot-Trang). Total distance: 828 km.
  2. Hwy 4 (Bangkok-Chumphon) to Ranong-Phang-Nga-Krabi-Trang. Total distance: 1,020 km.
  3. Hwy 404-416 (Satun-Palian-Trang). Total distance: 140 km.
  4. Hwy 4-407 (Hat Yai-Phatthalung-Trang). Total distance: 148 km.
  5. Hwy 4-402 (Phuket-Phang-Nga-Krabi-Trang). Total distance: 312 km.

By plane

Trang Airport (TST) is served by Nok Air and Thai Air Asia. There are roughly five flights a day in and out of Trang to/from Bangkok's Don Muang Airport (DMK).

A taxi to the airport is around 90 baht per person. There is also a public bus which costs 50 baht.

The Hat Yai airport is another alternative, served by low-cost airlines. From the airport, a songthaew costs around 30 baht to the minibus station which is between the airport and Hat Yai. The minibus to Trang (slightly more than a 2 hour ride) costs 100 baht, though you will need to pay for two seats if you have a large backpack, as the minibuses do not have a trunk.

By train

There are two daily trains from Bangkok to Trang:

Rapid and express trains depart from the Bangkok Railway Station to Trang daily, taking 15 hours for the 870 km journey. More information can be obtained from Bangkok Railway Station at Tel. 1690, +66 2 2204334, +66 2 2204444 or calling Trang station at Tel. +66 75 218012

By bus

Minibuses from the Satun boat terminal (where the boats from Langkawi arrive) to Trang charge 300 baht/person. From Satun bus terminal a bus ticket (on a bus with air-con) costs 126 baht/person.

Air-conditioned buses depart from the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok to Trang everyday. It takes 12 hours for the trip. For more information, call +66 2 8946122 or The Transport Co. in Trang at +66 75 218718. In addition, there are private bus services. Namely, Sap Paisan Tour at +66 2 8946040-1 and Sri Suthep Tour at +66 2 8946166-8

Trang bus station itself is about four kilometres out of town, and tuk-tuks rarely come out. If you don't like taking a motorbike, then there is the option of exiting the bus station by the only road that exits from it, back onto the highway. Turn right and walk for about 100 meters. There's a large mall there with a Robinson's Department Store in it, with some tuk-tuks outside. A fare to Trang centre is perhaps about 40 baht.

By van

There are public passenger vans to Trang from neighbouring provinces. They leave when they are full.

Get around

Trang offers mortorised tricycles (tuk-tuks) and motorbike-taxis for travel within the municipality. Travel between the districts can be done by buses, taxis, passenger vans, or by renting vans from tour companies in the city.

There are four main terminals. To go to beaches in Sikao District such as Pak Meng Beach, Chang Lang Beach, or Ban Chao Mai, take the passenger van opposite Tha Klaang Market on Tha Klaang Road. To go to Huay Yod, Rassada, or Tung Song, take the passenger van at the church on Huay Yod Road near Thammarin Thana Hotel. To go to Tha Khao, Palian, Thung Yaaw, or Samran Beach, take the van near the sports stadium on Rassada Road. To visit the old town in Kantang District, the passenger vans are located on Kantang Road near Trang Railway Station.

Boats to islands

Trang has 3 main piers for island-hoppers. They are Pak Meng Pier, Ban Chao Mai Pier, and Kuan Thung Kuu Pier.

Pak Meng Pier on the beach of the same name is the major pier for boats. From there, there are regular boats to all the main islands. If the island of your choice is off the beaten track, then it is possible to hire a boat privately.

Ban Chao Mai and Kuan Tung Kuu Piers also have both regular and for-hire boats.

See

Do

Trang Tourism Festival (งานเปิดฟ้าเมืองตรัง) is an activity for the public relations of Trang tourism at the beginning of the tourism season. The event is held in the third week of January.

Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony (พิธีวิวาห์ใต้สมุทร) Activities in this unusual event include a welcoming ceremony for the brides and grooms (Thais and foreigners) at the Trang Airport, a bridal procession around town, and a dowry procession by longtail boat to Ko Kradan. A wedding ceremony is performed on the beach by means of pouring blessed water from a conch shell onto the bridal palms and followed by underwater marriage registration at a depth of over 12 m. The event is held on 13–15 February.

Trang Food Festival (งานมหกรรมอาหารดี ศรีตรังบาน) is held to promote dishes of Trang Province. Food stalls of Trang restaurants offer dishes at discounted prices. Additional activities are an eating championship and diverse forms of entertainment. The fair is scheduled for 30 March – 3 April of every year at the Somdech Phra Srinagarindra Park 95 (Khao Pae Choi).

Trang Cake Festival (งานเทศกาลขนมเค้กจังหวัดตรัง) derives from Trang's renown for making delicious cakes. This is particularly true for the villagers of Ban Lam Phu Ra where making cakes dates back generations. The cakes of Trang have no frosting and have several flavours like orange, coffee, and three-flavours. The festival is scheduled for every August.

Trang Roast Pork Festival (งานเทศกาลหมูย่างจังหวัดตรัง) is a tourism promotion activity of Trang, held every September. The pork skin is crispy, the meat is tender and it is delicious due to a process by which the pig is fermented with herbs then roasted whole on a custom grill. Trang's roast pork is sold daily and eaten with morning coffee or can be a banquet dish.

Moon Festival (งานประเพณีไหว้พระจันทร์) is a tradition long observed by the Chinese people of Tambon Thung Yao, Amphoe Palian, to commemorate the fight for the nation against the Mongols. A ceremony is held in late-September or early-October on the full moon day in the eighth month under the Chinese calendar.

Vegetarian Festival (งานประเพณีถือศีลกินเจ) is a traditional festival of the Chinese in Trang, held around October every year on a full-moon night. Thais of Chinese heritage become vegetarians (no consumption of meat and certain kinds of vegetables) and dress in white for nine days and nights. This is to bring good fortune and make merit.

The Buddha Image Procession and Trang Cultural Festival (ประเพณีลากพระและมหกรรมวัฒนธรรมสัมพันธ์จังหวัดตรัง) is aimed to preserve, revive, and pass down ancient customs and traditions. It is held during the first and third days of the waning moon in the eleventh lunar month (at the end of Buddhist Lent). Activities include a contest of Buddha image boat floats, local sports competitions, Southern-style folk arts and cultural performances, concerts, entertainment, sales of Trang OTOP products, and merit-making for the Buddha image processions.

Four-wheel Drive Vehicle Competition (การแข่งขันรถยนต์ขับเคลื่อนสี่ล้อ) (The Nature Adventure of Southern Thailand – NAS Challenge) is an off-road circuit for members of off-road racing clubs in Thailand and from foreign countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, with more than 100 cars participating. It is scheduled for November of every year. The circuits in use are in Trang town and other districts of Trang.

Taphao Shell Festival (งานเทศกาลหอยตะเภา) is aimed at promoting the conservation of nature and the environment. The festival is held at Pak Meng Beach every November. There is a contest to gather Taphao shells.

Fishing Competition (การแข่งขันกีฬาตกปลา “เบิกฟ้าทะเลตรัง”) is organised around December of every year in the waters of Trang and Krabi Provinces.

H.M. the King’s Birthday Celebrations and Red Cross Fair (งานเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาและงานกาชาดจังหวัดตรัง) is an annual event of Trang, which has been continued since the reign of King Rama VII. It is scheduled for 5–15 December of every year at the Thung Chaeng Stadium in Amphoe Mueang Trang. Activities include exhibitions of agencies in the public and private sectors, sales of food and products, concerts, entertainment, and naval Red Cross activities.

Buy

Trang has a few local products which are popular as souvenirs, they are Suea Toei or Suea Panan (mats woven from screw pine), Muk (container for small things), ray leather products, namely, bags and shoes, basketry made of cattail stems, carved-wood products from Thep Tharo wood, para rubber toys, and "na muen si" local woven cloth. Local foods include Trang roast pork, Trang's cake, Khao Chong coffee, and kapi or shrimp paste.

Eat

Much of the cuisine has its origins in Malay, Indonesian, and Indian food. Favourite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman), rice noodles in fish curry sauce (khanom jeen), rice and vegetable (Natural medicine) mix with Voodo sauce (Khao Yam), pork fried with Dasheen and red toufu sauce (GoYuk) and chicken birayani. Trang also has a unique breakfast cuisine found nowhere else in Thailand.

Trang is well known for its many local foods such as Mhu Yang Trang (Trang-style roasted pork), Trang cake, Trang breakfast (Dimsum).

Local coffee shops (Ran Gafae) in Trang have their own special menu with Go pii (black coffee served with sugar) on it. The other is the local breakfast (Timsum), Ja Kuai (deep fried bread). Go pii and Pa Tong Ko (local sweet donut) make the essence of the traditional Trang breakfast.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge


Go next


Routes through Trang

Bangkok Surat Thani  N  S  END
Bangkok Krabi Town  N  S  Phatthalung Sadao


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, January 20, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.