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The region of Chanthaburi

Famous for its abundance of tropical fruits and as a center of gems, the eastern province of Chanthaburi is also blessed with rich, verdant forests with scenic waterfalls. About 245 kilometers from Bangkok and covering an area of 6,338 square kilometers. The southern part of the province is located at the shore to the Gulf of Thailand and thus is mostly coastal alluvial plains; the hinterlands of the province are quite mountainous. The Chanthaburi mountain range in the north has the highest elevation of the province, the 1670 m high Soi Dao Tai Peak (southern Soi Dao Peak). The Soi Dao Nuea Peak, with its 1566 m (northern Soi Dao Peak) is home to the main attraction in the Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, the Soi Dao Waterfalls. The main river of the province is the Chanthaburi River.

Chanthaburi as administratively divided into the following ten districts: Mueang Chanthaburi (Chanthaburi City) / Tha Mai / Khlung / Laem Sing / Pong Nam Ron / Makham / Soi Dao / Na Yai Am / Kang Hang Maeo / Khao Khitchakut sub-district

History: Chanthaburi was occupied by the French during the early part of the 20th century. After the Paknam crisis in 1893 French colonist troops occupied Chanthaburi, returning it in 1905 when Thailand gave up ownership of the western part of Cambodia. A significant minority of Chanthaburi citizens are native Vietnamese, who came there in three waves - first in the 19th century during an anti-Catholic persecution in Cochin China, a second wave came in the 1920s to 1940s fleeing from French Indochina, and a third one after the communist victory in Vietnam in 1975. Thus the town of Chanthaburi is the seat of a Bishop of Chanthaburi since 1944. The influence of the French can still be seen in the architecture of many buildings including the largest Catholic cathedral in Thailand, catering to a sizable Christian population.

Chantaburi SealSymbols: The provincial seal shows the moon surrounded by an aura. Inside the moon disc is a rabbit, as in Thai tradition the dark areas on the moon (maria) form a rabbit shape. The seal symbolizes the peace and tranquillity of the province. The name Chanthaburi means city of the moon.

Chanthaburi's Beaches

Chanthaburi has three Beaches, Khung Wiman in Na-Yai-Arm, Leam Sing and Chao Lao/Laem Sadet in the Tha-Mai district. Laem Sing is well known because of the OASIS SEA WORLD where one can swim with the dolphins. The Beach there is not ideal for swimming but still very nice and quiet. A harbor was build in Laem Sing, which provides the possibility to travel by boat from Laem Sing to Cambodia and Vietnam and vice versa (opens in 2015). 30 kilometers to the west lie the Chao Lao and Leam Sadet beaches.

Chanthaburi Map Continued on page two
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