24 HOURS IN Chan­thaburi, Thai­land

Epicure - - GLOBETROTT­ING EPICURE - Ar­ron Goh, founder of The In­side Ac­cess


Opened in 1962, Chan­thorn

Pochana is a culi­nary star. The open-sided din­ing room fills up with lo­cals crav­ing for gaeng muu chamuang, ten­der pork in a dark curry stew ex­ud­ing the mildly sour notes of chamuang leaf. Other lo­cal spe­cial­ties in­clude pad chaa krawan, a savoury fish stir-fry made with fresh Siam car­damom stems; soft-shell crab deep-fried with pep­per and gar­lic; and wok-fried rice noo­dles with crab known as pad sen chan buu. When in sea­son, mas­saman and som tam are made with durian rather than potato and green pa­paya. Also check out the prepack­aged prod­ucts such as Chan­thaburi pep­per and durian cook­ies.


I love to drink beer at Ta­ma­jun Ho­tel while watch­ing tour boats cruise by. The bar of­fers a huge se­lec­tion of lo­cal beers on tap, live mu­sic and pool ta­bles. As the night goes on, the vibe gets more con­vivial.

» WHERE TO STAY Baan Luang Ra­ja­maitri His­toric Inn, the for­mer home of Chan­thaburi mer­chant and phi­lan­thropist Luang Ra­ja­maitri, is a gor­geous re­stored piece of work. This 19th cen­tury teak­wood man­sion was con­served by the com­mu­nity – 500 share­hold­ers came to­gether to in­vest in the house. This prop­erty has just over 10 rooms, with each one point­ing to the late Ra­ja­maitri’s past. The Rub­ber Seed gue­stroom com­mem­o­rates his con­tri­bu­tion to the in­dige­nous rub­ber in­dus­try in Chathaburi, while the East Asi­a­tique gue­stroom, with its de­cid­edly Eu­ro­pean feel, brings to mind his busi­ness part­ners from this trad­ing firm. As the ho­tel rightly puts it, it is a mu­seum you can spend the night at.


With some plan­ning, it is pos­si­ble to have a lot done in 24 hours in Chan­thaburi. Go on a fresh wa­ter or sea wa­ter ad­ven­ture – ca­noe­ing, kayak­ing or raft­ing. Take a stroll in the man­grove for­est at the Kung Kraben Bay and be one with na­ture, watch­ing rare birds on a tree-high wooden tower. Go for a dip in the wa­ter­falls. Agri­cul­ture is still big in the prov­ince so visit fruit or­chards, pick fresh fruits and en­joy them fresh off the branch. As this is a her­itage town, the best way to do it jus­tice is to soak in the at­mos­phere of the scenic Old Town at the Chan­tha­boon Water­front.

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