The 7 Best Things To Do in Trang, Thailand
While this offbeat destination may not be on every traveler’s radar, it offers a wide variety of unforgettable experiences that are sure to satisfy an adventurous soul. From stunning natural landscapes to intriguing cultural sites, Trang is a hidden gem that is waiting to be discovered.
Population: ~595,000 (2022)
Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
Time Zone: Indochina Time (ICT), UTC+7
Length of Trip: 3-7 days.
Trip Type: culture / adventure / gastronomic.
Our Experience: We lived in Trang for ~6 months.
Disclaimer: Before planning your trip, it’s essential to check for any travel restrictions, visa requirements, and other relevant information, as these might change over time.
Trang is ideal for:
Trang isn’t ideal for:
As the first rays of dawn break through the ocean’s horizon, the sky transitions from deep hues of indigo and violet, gradually giving way to a palette of pastel blues.
While the sun slowly rises, its warm golden rays illuminate every detail on Koh Kradan’s casuarina-fringed shoreline with an ethereal glow.
As the sun reaches its zenith, the turquoise waters surrounding the island turn soothingly warm, inviting you to explore the vibrant marine life beneath the surface.
Once the sun sinks below the ocean’s horizon, the ships idling off the coast take on a mystical silhouette against the backdrop of the orange-tinged sky.
After spending one or two nights relaxing on Koh Kradan, you take a private longtail boat to the neighboring island of Koh Mook – a mere 30 minutes away.
As the boat glides through the water, you can feel the rush of the wind in your hair and the splash of sea spray on your face. The distinct rumbling sound of the engine hums in the background as you navigate through the Andaman’s picturesque coastline.
Approaching Koh Mook, you’ll notice the island’s lush greenery and pristine beaches coming into view as the longtail boat navigates towards the island’s main pier – where you’ll disembark onto the soft, powdery sand.
Once you step ashore, you’ll be welcomed by the warm hospitality of the locals and the island’s laid-back atmosphere.
Koh Mook offers a range of accommodations, from cozy beach bungalows to luxurious resorts, ensuring a comfortable stay for every visitor. Take your time to explore the island’s scenic Emerald Cave or simply unwind on the beach and soak up the tropical vibes.
Walking around Trang’s morning market (ตลาดสดเทศบาลตรัง) is a sensorial journey filled with the enticing aroma of freshly cooked delicacies and the lively chatter of vendors and shoppers. As you wander through the market, the scent of herbs and spices fill the air, tempting you to sample the rich flavors of Trang’s cuisine.
Minute by minute, you observe the lively interactions between vendors and customers – the haggling over prices and the exchange of laughter and stories. In a way, the market serves as a melting pot of cultures, with vendors from various backgrounds proudly presenting their culinary creations. Its buzzing with energy and the friendly smiles of the locals creates a welcoming mood that makes you feel like a part of the community.
Exploring a Taoist shrine in Trang is a deeply spiritual experience. As you step through its ornate entrance, you’ll be enveloped by the thick scent of incense wafting through the air.
Inside the shrine, intricate architecture, vivid colors, and symbolic decorations that reflect Taoist beliefs, surround you. Elaborate carvings, imperial guardian lions, and depictions of dragons adorn the weathered walls, each with its own significance and meaning.
While exploring ศาลเจ้าท่ามกงเยี๊ย (ยุวเทพ), you’ll encounter altars graced with offerings of fruits, garlands, and incense for the worship and veneration of Taoist dieties. The opportunity to observe these ancient rituals and ceremonies offers a rare glimpse into time-honored practices that have been passed down through generations.
Throughout Thailand, Trang’s dim sum is renowned for its mouthwatering appeal and authentic Thai-Chinese fusion. As you take your first bite, a symphony of flavors will explode on your palate.
From the soft texture to the harmonious blend of seasonings and spices, every bite is a delightful surprise that leaves you craving for more. Whether you savor the classics or venture into local variations, the dim sum in Trang is a fiesta for your taste buds that promises an unforgettable gastronomic experience.
Trang offers a variety of dim sum eateries scattered throughout the city. These establishments serve up a wide selection of steamed, fried, and baked dim sum, prepared with skill and authenticity. In our experience, it’s best to look for restaurants that have been serving the community for generations, as they tend to offer a more traditional menu.
In our humble opinion, the 3 best dim sum restaurants in Trang are:
In the evenings, Trang’s sky comes alive with golden and amber shades that dance across the vast expanse of the sea, painting Pak Meng’s coastline (หาดปากเมง) aglow with a vivid vibrancy.
Nearby, the waves crashing on Rajamangala’s shore (หาดราชมงคล) provide a soothing melody as they harmonize with the gentle breeze that carries a salty tang in the air. As the fiery sun bids farewell, it casts a kaleidoscope of colors over the ocean. It’s a moment of pure visual magic, where nature’s magnificence takes center stage.
From traditional favorites to innovative creations, Trang’s Cinta Night Market offers a tantalizing journey that showcases the culinary prowess of the region. Below are three must-try foods:
Gaeng Som: This zesty and flavorful Thai sour curry is a southern specialty that’ll punch your taste buds with its combination of tangy and spicy notes. Made with a variety of fresh seafood, such as fish or shrimp, and seasoned with tamarind, lemongrass, and chili, gaeng som is a very spicy dish that isn’t for the faint of heart.
Khao Yam: A refreshing yet spicy rice salad, Khao Yam is a delightful mix of fragrant rice, fresh vegetables, shredded coconut, and a medley of herbs, all topped with a savory dressing made from fish sauce and lime. This light yet satisfying dish highlights the region’s commitment to using a mind-boggling array of ingredients.
Kanom Krok: A beloved Thai dessert, kanom krok, or coconut pancakes, are a delightful treat with a stark contrast of textures. Made from a batter of coconut milk and rice flour, these bite-sized pancakes are cooked in a special pan, resulting in a crispy outer layer and a soft, creamy center. Its an irresistible, sweet indulgence that’ll hook you from the first bite.
Trang’s Peninsular Botanic Garden is a nature lover’s paradise with a canopy walk that offers a unique perspective of the park’s lush surroundings. As you embark on the canopy walk, you’ll find yourself suspended amidst the towering trees, immersed in a tropical ecosystem brimming with life.
The walkway itself, meanders through the treetops, offering panoramic views of the dense foliage as well as glimpses of the diverse flora and fauna that call this habitat home. The undeniable sensation of being at such heights, surrounded by the green canopy, will instill you with a child-like sense of awe and wonder.
To get to Trang from Bangkok, you have the option of traveling by air or train. Below is a basic guide on how to reach Trang using either mode of transportation:
By Air: The most convenient way to reach Trang is by taking a domestic flight from Bangkok. Several airlines offer daily flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to Trang Airport (TST). Flight durations typically range from 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on weather conditions and the aircraft used.
By Train: Traveling by train offers a relatively scenic and affordable option to reach Trang. From Bangkok, you’ll depart from Bang Sue Grand Station. The overnight train journey usually takes around 16 to 17 hours, depending on thetrain and its schedule.
Each train offers different classes of accommodation, including seats, sleepers, and private cabins. We highly recommend booking a private cabin with bunk beds that provide a relatively comfortable sleeping arrangement.
Insider Tip: It’s advisable to book your train tickets well in advance, especially during peak travel seasons – at least 2-4 weeks before your departure date.
Getting around Trang is relatively easy and convenient, thanks to the availability of various transportation options. Below are some of our recommendations on how to navigate the city and its surrounding areas:
Tuk-tuks: Tuk-tuks are a popular mode of transportation within the province. These three-wheeled vehicles can be found throughout the city and are suitable for short distances or exploring nearby attractions. Just remember to negotiate the fare before hopping in, as they don’t have meters and pricing is arbitrary.
Motorbike Taxis: Motorbike taxis are another common sight in Trang. These drivers can be found at designated stands or cruising around the city. They offer an inexpensive, quick and efficient way to reach your destination, especially in areas with heavy traffic or narrow streets.
Songthaews: Songthaews are shared pick-up trucks with covered benches in the back. They serve as a common form of public transportation within the province, operating on fixed routes. They are an affordable option for getting around the city and nearby towns. Look for the sign or ask locals to identify the correct songthaew for your desired destination.
Rental Motorbikes: Renting a motorbike is a popular choice for independent exploration in Trang. Numerous rental shops offer motorbikes for a reasonable daily rate – most shops are located near the train station. Before renting a bike, ensure that you have a valid driver’s license and wear a helmet for safety. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with local traffic rules and road conditions before setting off.
Private Taxis: Private taxis are available via hotels and can be hired for a more comfortable and personalized transportation experience. They are particularly convenient for longer distances or day trips to nearby attractions, but are the most expensive option available.
Walking: Trang’s town center is relatively compact and walkable, allowing you to explore many attractions on foot. Walking not only allows you to immerse yourself in the local environment but also gives you the freedom to discover hidden gems and soak in the city’s charm at your own pace.
Note: Some attractions have organized tours that include transportation in the ticketed price, which is a common practice for day trips or visits to the nearby islands.
The best time to visit Trang is during the dry season, which typically spans from November to April. This period offers pleasant weather with lower humidity and minimal rainfall, allowing for comfortable exploration of the provinces attractions. Just keep in mind that peak tourist season is from December to February, which means that resorts on the islands will be consistently full during this time. .
During the dry season, the province experiences mild temperatures, usually ranging from 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F). The skies are generally clear, and you can expect ample sunshine, making it perfect for outdoor activities, beach excursions, and island hopping.
If you prefer to avoid large crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder months of November or April. These months offer slightly fewer tourists and the weather is still favorable – although April is one of Thailand’s hottest months.
It’s worth noting that Trang’s climate is influenced by the monsoon season, which occurs from May to October. During this time, the province experiences higher chances of rainfall and occasional storms. While some travelers may still choose to visit during the monsoon season, it’s important to be prepared for unpredictable weather patterns and potential disruptions to outdoor activities (especially water-based ones).
Whether you seek tranquility by the beach, convenience in the city center, or a blend of both, Trang has has a variety of options to suit different preferences. Below are some of the best areas to consider when choosing your accommodation :
Mueang Trang: Staying in the heart of the city, near the train station, provides easy access to markets, local eateries, and cultural attractions. Accommodations in this area range from budget-friendly guesthouses to mid-range hotels, offering a comfortable base for exploring the city’s heritage, including the Clock Tower and the Historical Museum.
Trang Riverside: For a scenic and tranquil stay, consider accommodations along the the riverside. This area offers a serene ambiance, with views of the river and jungle-clad scenery. Here, you can find boutique hotels and guesthouses that provide a cozy and relaxing environment, perfect for those seeking a peaceful getaway.
Hat Yao and Pak Meng Beach: If you’re seeking a serene beachside retreat, Hat Yao and Pak Meng Beach are idyllic choices that are located a short distance from Trang city (a ~45 minute drive). Accommodations in this area ranges from cozy beach bungalows to luxury resorts, providing a tranquil escape where you can relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy beach vibes.
Trang has a storied past with evidence of human settlement dating back thousands of years. The province’s location along the coast of the Andaman Sea and its proximity to trade routes made it an important hub for maritime activities in ancient times. Archaeological findings suggest that Trang was once part of a maritime trading network that connected India, Southeast Asia, and China.
The province’s recorded history began around the 13th century when Trang was part of the Sukhothai Kingdom. It later became a vassal state under the Ayutthaya Kingdom before gaining its autonomy during the late 18th century. The transition from a vassal state to an independent province marked a turning point in Trang’s history, allowing it to develop its distinct cultural identity.
One significant aspect of the province’s history is the immigration of Hokkien Chinese communities to the area. These settlers from the Fujian province of China, arrived in Trang in the 19th century, bringing with them their Han cultural heritage and entrepreneurial spirit. These immigrants played a vital role in shaping the local economy and society, particularly in the realm of trade and commerce. Their contributions are still evident today, as evidenced by the numerous Taoist temples, traditional shop houses, and vibrant markets that are found throughout the province.
During the early 20th century, Trang experienced further growth and development under the reign of King Rama VI. The construction of a railway connecting Trang to Bangkok contributed to the province’s economic prosperity, enabling easier transportation of goods and people. Additionally, rubber and tin mining industries flourished, adding to the pronvice’s economic significance.
In the latter half of the 20th century, Trang continued to thrive, attracting both domestic and international travelers seeking its untouched natural beauty and serene ambiance.
Trang is generally considered a safe destination for tourists. The province has a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, and the local community is accustomed to hosting visitors. However, it’s always important to exercise caution and take necessary precautions while traveling, regardless of the destination. Below are a few tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip:
Stay Informed: Stay updated on the current travel advisories and follow any recommendations or guidelines provided by your country’s embassy or consulate. It’s also helpful to research and familiarize yourself with local customs, traditions, and laws.
Personal Safety: Take common-sense measures to ensure your personal safety. Keep an eye on your belongings, particularly in crowded areas or tourist spots. Be cautious of your surroundings, especially at night, and avoid walking alone in isolated areas.
Transportation Safety: Use licensed and reputable transportation services when traveling. Ensure that seat belts are available and used in vehicles, and exercise caution when riding motorcycles or bicycles. Follow road safety rules and be mindful of traffic conditions.
Health & Hygiene: Take necessary health precautions, such as staying hydrated, practicing good hygiene, and using mosquito repellent to minimize the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. We recommend that you consult with a healthcare professional or travel clinic before your trip for any specific medical advice or vaccinations.
Water & Food Safety: While Trang is known for its delicious cuisine, it’s important to be cautious about food and water safety. Consume food from clean and reputable establishments, ensure that fruits and vegetables are properly washed or peeled, and opt for bottled water at restaurants.
After visiting Trang, you have several options for your next destination, depending on your interests and preferences. Below are a few destinations that we typically recommend to our friends and family:
Krabi: Located just north of Trang, Krabi is a popular destination known for its stunning limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and beautiful islands. You can explore the famous Railay Beach, go island hopping to places like Koh Phi Phi or Koh Hong, or visit the Emerald Pool and Hot Springs. Krabi is easily accessible from Trang by road or ferry.
Koh Lanta: For a quieter and more laid-back island experience, consider heading to Koh Lanta. This island is known for its relaxed beaches and ethereal sunsets. You can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or diving in its clear waters, or opt to explore the island by scooter. Koh Lanta is easily accessible from Trang by ferry.
Thale Noi Lake: Thale Noi is a stunning freshwater lake known for its abundant lotus flowers and diverse birdlife. It’s located in Phatthalung Province, about 100 kilometers northeast of Trang.
Thale Noi Lake is a haven for nature lovers and birdwatchers. You can explore Thale Noi by renting a boat and taking a peaceful cruise around the lake, enjoying its surroundings and beautiful scenery. The lotus blooms are especially picturesque during certain times of the year, adding to the charm of the area.
Trang is a destination that offers a unique experience for travelers. While it may not be as well-known as some of the more popular tourist spots in Thailand, it’s attractions make it worth visiting.
If you’re looking for a quieter, off-the-beaten-path destination in Thailand with beautiful natural scenery, unique cultural experiences, and delicious local cuisine, Trang is worth considering. It can be a great choice for a more laid-back and authentic Thai experience.
Trang boasts beautiful natural landscapes, including stunning islands, pristine beaches, and lush forests. If you enjoy outdoor activities such as snorkeling, diving, or exploring national parks, the province has a lot to offer. The nearby islands, including Koh Mook and Koh Kradan, are renowned for their crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and secluded beaches.
Another highlight of Trang is its food. The province is famous for its local cuisine, especially the Trang-style dim sum, which is a must-try.
Among the Trang islands, Koh Kradan stands out as a true gem and arguably the best island to visit. With its idyllic white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Koh Kradan is the definition of paradise. Its underwater world is also a haven for snorkelers and divers eager to explore coral reefs teeming with marine life.
Overall, Koh Kradan’s unspoiled nature, coupled with its stunning natural beauty, solidifies its position as the top choice for those seeking an unforgettable island escape.
To reach the pristine shores of Koh Kradan from Trang, head to Pak Meng Pier, which is the primary departure point for private longtail boats to the nearby islands.
At the pier, there are also scheduled ferries that regularly operate routes to Koh Kradan, which provide a more budget-friendly travel option.
The boat ride typically takes around 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the sea conditions. Ferries take longer and will first make a stop at Koh Mook on the way to Kradan.
A general guideline is to spend at least 3-4 days in Trang to allow for a well-rounded experience. This duration allows you to visit a couple of islands, engage in water activities, explore the local culture, and relax on the beaches. However, if you have more time and want to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of the province, extending your stay to a week or more would provide a vastly more diverse experience.