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Trang Thailand – A ‘Real Thai’ Town

sunset - Koh Ngai - TrangTrang Thailand – A ‘Real Thai’ Town 

Trang Province lies in southern Thailand along the Andaman Sea on Thailand’s west coast. Trang is situated directly south of Krabi Province (think Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta) and north of Satun Province, Thailand’s southernmost province.

Like all of Thailand’s southern provinces, Trang’s interior is mountainous with waterfalls and some lush parks. The Trang coast is lined by long, lovely beaches and sporadic rock outcroppings. The idyllic sea is dotted with small, laid-back tropical islands. For more details, read my Guide to Tropical Islands of Trang Province

Trang train station- Thailand

Trang train station

The capital town, also named Trang, is what I think of as ‘a real Thai town’. It was established and is run for its Thai residents. And compared to most other southern Thai towns, Trang has very little tourist influence. The few tourists who do pass through are inevitably en route to/from Trang’s beautiful islands. A handful of small tourist and resort offices are clustered near the train station, and that’s about it for tourism in Trang town.

Trang town is also distinctive on the Andaman coast as the only place with a train station and trains heading to other parts of the country. If you want to catch a train in southern Thailand, you have to go to Trang or else all the way across the peninsula to Thailand’s east coast cities.

train conductor - Trang

train conductor at Trang Station

Trang is one of my favorite towns in Thailand. It has a lot of charm and some distinctive points of interest, which makes it an interesting place to visit for a couple days. If you’re heading to/from Trang’s lovely islands, consider staying for a night or two. I always do.

 What’s worth seeing and doing?

First off, Trang town is the capital of the province. As a result, several large, attractive and somewhat imposing government buildings are located a few blocks north of the train station. You don’t find many grand buildings like these in Thailand, so they’re quite a curiosity. A tall clock tower rises from the intersection nearby.

Secondly, an unusually extensive morning market sells the usual fresh tropical fruits, vegetables, seafood, meats and a truly amazing variety of Thai sweets, as well as home goods and clothes. A great evening market opens about 6 pm on the road bordering the north side of the government buildings. The entire street is blocked off to traffic while vendors pop up selling a huge variety of cooked meals, snacks and more Thai sweets.

Trang Thailand - coffee

Third: Trang is famous in Thailand for its traditional coffee. It’s thick and strong, comparable to an espresso. A well-established traditional open-aired coffee shop is located just beside the train station. It’s a charming & unique shop, something like an old-fashioned soda shop. It sports a marble floor, quaint wooden tables & chairs, and old-fashioned photos on the walls. The shop also sells Chinese steamed buns in the mornings, a selection of pastries, rice porridge, and a few other dishes.

Trang tuk-tuk

the very cute Trang tuk-tuks

Fourth: Trang is also somewhat famed for one other quirk: its unusually tiny, pale green, 3-wheeled tuk-tuks. They are very distinctive from tuk-tuks elsewheree in Thailand. And I was told by a local that the Trang drivers pride themselves on their unusual vehicles, which are all in impeccable condition. Go for a ride!

The town has a lovely park, located just beside the government buildings, to the northwest. And of course, Trang has its share of beautiful Thai temples as well.

One other reason I personally enjoy Trang town is the Koh Teng Hotel. It’s a big old rambling hotel with wood floors, wide hallways, very high ceilings and spacious rooms. It’s like a vintage 1950s hotel, slightly fading around the edges. Huge ceiling fans cool the rooms, all of which have en suite bathrooms. And the rooms still cost only 200 BT, which is getting harder and harder to come by these days.

Downstairs is a very spacious restaurant with a menu in English for western visitors, serving all the usual Thai dishes, although at somewhat high prices. Koh Teng Hotel is located on Thanon Rava V, the main N-S road running up from the train station. It’s about three blocks from the station and one block down from the clock tower. (You’ll see what I mean by ‘up’ and ‘down’ – the road actually runs slightly uphill.)

Of course the main reason visitors go to Trang (both Thais and foreigners) is to luxuriate on Trang’s beautiful tropical islands. But that’s a whole separate post in itself: Tropical Islands of Trang Province.

Thai longtail boats - TRang - Thailand

Thailand’s famous longtail boats in Trang

Getting to Trang

Bus – local and express buses run between Trang and Krabi, Phuket, Satun, Hat Yai and even Surat Thani on the east coast.

Train – trains run to Trang from Bangkok and the major cities on the East Coast, including Surat Thani and Chumpon. However, no trains run between Trang and Hat Yai. (mountains in the way)

 Boat – boats run from most of Trang’s islands to the coast. From there, minivans go to Trang town. Boats head to certain Trang islands from Koh Lanta in Krabi Province and from Koh Lipe in Satun Province.

 Air – flights run regularly between Bangkok and Trang

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For more information on Trang Province and Trang’s interesting history, check out:

TAT (Tourist Authority of Thailand) website pages for Trang

My Guide to Tropical Islands of Trang Province

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6 comments

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  1. JR Riel

    Any place which has a tradition of serving coffee that is thick, strong and espresso like is definitely worth checking out!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      hi JR,

      I definitely agree with you on that point!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, Lash

  2. Ben

    Hi!
    I wanted to ask a question regarding Trang. Im 24, plan on doing a solo trip in Thailand and malysia. I will be stopping at Trang. I was wondering from your experience how long I should stay there before moving on to Ko Lanta/Koh Bulon. is it worth renting a scooter and exploring the wider area?
    Is it possible to suggest a good 1 or 2 day intinerary in the village maybe including, day trekking in the Khao Banthat Mountains, Thung Khai Peninsular Botanical Gardens, night market, cafe for that strong coffee, Day trip Hat Chao Mai ?
    Any suggestions are appreciated!

    Also..you said that going to the less touristy islands are better..I agree on that but I am a bit curious on whether westerners are welcomed on the smaller less visted islands and if there was any tension between locals and yourself when for example going to Koh Bulon?

    Thank you in advance.

    Ben

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for stopping by. Sounds like you have an exciting trip planned.

      All of the small islands do welcome travelers. Of course they’re much happier with friendly, down to Earth travelers rather than demanding, inflexible ones. :)) So depends on how you behave, of course.

      I’ve never had any problems, but I speak Thai and chat with locals in their own language, which they appreciate.

      I haven’t explored the interior of Trang Province. But I have explored some interior parks in Krabi and Phang Nga Provinces, so based on that, you could stay anywhere from 2 days to a week – if you wanted to camp at the parks, for example.

      Also, the coast has several beach areas with bungalows, so you could potentially stay at those places up to a week as well.

      It really depends on how much time you have in total & how you want to divide it up.

      For Trang town, itself, (definitely NOT a village, btw!) I’d say 1-2 full days is enough. For the other regions, as I said, you have to decide how much time you want to devote to TRang mainland vs the islands.

      Hope that helps! Have a great trip.

      cheers, lash

  3. Maciek

    Hi from Poland,
    Congratulations with a fantastic work you diid here,
    I bought tickets to KL in August, And now I’m planning what to do with my family of (2 forties+2 adult children+ one friend).We are on tight budget..
    2 weeks time- but I I want to do in planned spontaneous manner hahaha,
    One of my idea is heading from Penang towards Khao Sok N.P, My concern is monsoon season.
    I have found by chance Trang and its islands as a possible stop over from Penang to Krabi.
    Is it good idea to visit this area in low season? Is there any reasonably priced access to any of interesting islands in August?
    Cheers,

    Maciek

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Maciek,

      Welcome!

      To start, let me point out that I am not a travel agent. I’m not based in Thailand.

      But with my experience living and working in southern Thialand, August is hit or miss for weather. YOu could end up with all sunny days or all rainy days or a mix.

      You’ll also have to check about boats to the islands in August. I dont’ know if they run regularly or not.

      Please consult a Thailand guidebook or a travel agent in Trang. Find them online.

      Best luck!

      cheers, Lash

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