The Magic of Chanthaboon Waterfront Community, Chanthaburi

Don’t we all wish the clock to be turned back to before the pandemic? We almost did once, when we visited the Chanthaboon Waterfront Community in the Chanthaburi province of Thailand! We hope our readers do too. πŸ™‚

Rediscovering the Chanthaboon Waterfront Community

When you start walking towards the Chanthaburi riverfront you will be transported back a couple of centuries! This river has served as a lifeline for the Chanthaboon waterfront community in the Chanthaburi province for years. 

Some 300 years ago, people of Chong, Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese origin settled on the river banks. The community soon thrived because of agriculture, commerce and gemstones. 

The people of this 1KM long one-street quaint town of Chanthaboon have retained the culture of their ancestors and also have a committee to preserve their priceless heritage and architecture.

Architecture 

A walk through the street tells you that it also doubles up as the market street with every house having shops at the street level and living quarters above. 

Many of the houses are wooden where you may glimpse a mix of Chinese, Thai and even Portuguese architecture of the yore. These houses are embellished with intricate woodcutting or plastering techniques that are unique to this region. 

cathedral at Chantaboon waterfront community @www.lemonicks.com

Rejoice at Preservation of Culture and Heritage 

The Toulaoeia Chinese Buddhist Temple is a classic example of the fusion of Thai and Chinese Temple architecture with their ubiquitous Dragons. It also has Hindu religious symbols like Garuda .

The Vietnamese Christians came in with the French priests. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is one of the biggest and the most beautiful Cathedrals in Thailand and is still in service. 

The highlight of the Cathedral is the statue of the Virgin Mary covered with around half-a-million precious gemstones donated by the locals. This cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of Chanthaburi. 

Rejuvenate by Shopping at the Markets

The main street is divided into Talad Nua (North-Market), Talad Klang (Middle-Market) and Talad Lang (End-Market). While they may have had dedicated purposes in the past, now they are mixed shops with many modern ones springing up due to increased tourism and who does not rejuvenate at the sound of shopping!

The street food is interspersed with chic coffee shops and hotels. The middle market has a lot of wholesale and retail shops including river-side shops often on little piers.

The End-Market is known for handicrafts, Gemstone Jewellery, local food and Souvenirs. One can even learn the intricate steps to make the famous Chanthaboon woven mats here.

Relax while tasting the Cuisine of this region

The street food is aplenty here with fried banana, egg cakes and fish dishes to be consumed on the go.  

The local cuisine Mu chamuang: a curry is made from pork belly, herbs and sour Chamuang leaves. 

The traditional dessert Khanom khuai ling, made from glutinous rice, is also quite popular.  

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87 thoughts on “The Magic of Chanthaboon Waterfront Community, Chanthaburi”

  1. So interesting to visit a spot like Chanthaboon Waterfront Community that instantly transports you back in time. I love when different architectures are blended together to create something unique. Local markets are always a treat to discover. Even if I missed learning to make Chathaboon woven mats!

    1. Yes. I agree with you. The way they have created a committee to preserve their heritage shows they serious about it.

    1. I can quite imagine what you are seeing. I assume you are from South America. That’s one place that has been eluding us. Hope to go there in a couple of years.

  2. Wow I never knew this part of Thailand. I have been there many times but have mostly spent my time at the touristy locations. I have learned something new today and would love to visit Chanthaboon Waterfront community and learn about their culture. I especially would love to visit the markets.

    1. I concur wholeheartedly. πŸ™‚ It is just 2-3 hours from Pattaya. If you ever get there, I would also recommend you to visit Trat. You may thank me later! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  3. I lived in a town that had businesses with residences above them. I haven’t heard of that in such a long itme!! Thank you for the inside look..

  4. We may be visiting Thailand next year, so I’ll make a note of the Waterfront Community in the Chanthaburi and hope to visit it. I like places on the water and I also love Thai cuisine. The architecture seems very interesting also: a mix of Chinese and Thai.

  5. What a great story. I was in Thailand twice, and I visited Chanthaboon Waterfront Community. It’s an amazing place, full of culture, tradition, and history. It’s amazing how people live on the riverbank in harmony with nature. I also enjoyed Talad Nua (North-Market), Talad Klang (Middle-Market), and Talad Lang (End-Market). Thai cuisine is one of the best for me.

    1. You are one of the very few who have visited Chanthaboon. Good to know that you enjoyed it as much as we did, if not more. Thanks.

  6. I miss shoppin at the markets. I really hope we can turn back time. It would be nice to learn how to make the famous Chathaboon woven mates. πŸ™‚
    Can’t wait to visit soon after this all over.

  7. Sounds like a great place to learn about the culture through its architecture and street food! I’ll try the fried banana!

  8. Never heard about Chanthaboon Waterfront Community before. Looks like a great place to visit post-COVID. The mix of Chinese, Thai and Portuguese architecture is definitely a good pull for architecture lovers.

  9. MELANIE EDJOURIAN

    There are some amazing places in Thailand. This seems like one that would be great to visit when restrictions are lifted. I’d love to go shopping there and try the local foods.

  10. Sometimes, it’s in the small towns where you find the storyteller in you. It’s amazing that Chanthaboon have a committee for preservation of their unique community. It’s fascinating to know about a place like this where there is an amalgamation of the different religions, shops for tourism, streetfood for diversity!

  11. I love the mix of Chinese, Thai and Portuguese architecture in Chanthaburi. The town at the waterfront looks so peaceful and relaxed. And of course Thai food is always a big plus!!

  12. I sure wish we could turn back the clocks to pre pandemic, I’d have been able to travel so much more. This looks like a beautiful place x

    1. That is the thing. There is always some part of any country which we miss and hope to visit, next time around. Best wishes. πŸ™‚

  13. I must, must, MUST go see the Virgin Mary surrounded by 1/2 million gemstones. I wonder if she sound approve… My petsitting adventure in Thailand got canceled by the pandemic-monium. Your article has reignited my desire to go there. Perhaps it’s time to rebook – AND add Chanthaburi to my itinerary! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I hope while the virus will be around for a while, the pandemic won’t be. Some parts of Thailand is already open for international visitors. However, the home country’s rules and flights etc may still be a challenge. Best wishes.

  14. The waterfront looks so pretty, looks like a peaceful place to go with friends. I’ve always wanted to go to Thailand since I was in college, this makes me want to go even more! Thanks for sharing.

  15. It sounds like quite an educational place, where you can learn about time and cultures. A mix of different regions really gives birth to a brand new way of life. It certainly looks worth a visit.

  16. As a Hindu and as an art enthusiast, it is in my wishlist to go visit the Hindu temples in far-eastern countries. I love the way Hindu Gods are depicted in Thai temples. Interesting to see the beautiful blend of so many cultures from eastern Thai & Chinese to western Portuguese. Statue of Virgin Mary covered in Gem Stones? Wow!

  17. Chantaburi is such a beautiful place. It has so much history in it. Chantaburi is one of my favourite places to visit in Thailand. I am waiting to go there again!

  18. This looks like an amzing place and I do love anything on the water πŸ™‚ Will have to check it out if I am ever over there.

  19. Gosh those wooden houses look super cute. There are so many different places to visit in Thailand, you can definitely go back there again and again. Hopefully, we’ll get to re-visit soon.

    1. I can’t agree with you more. I believe some parts of Thailand is already open but it is up to the travelers and the originating country .

  20. There is so much more to explore in Thailand apart from Bangkok, Pattaya & Phuket which sometimes I find so enticing. Waterfronts are my favorite places to be in and this lovely place Chanthaboon has caught my imagination. Thanks for bringing it to notice.

  21. I visited Thailand twice but didn’t know about Chanthaboon Waterfront Community. Would definitely add it to my next trip to Thailand. The village looks really amazing and has so much history. I love that you can transport back in time when you visit here.

    1. There are so many hidden gems in Thailand. Thanks to the local committee which has ensured, by preserving their heritage you can enjoy the same culture that they have had for centuries.

  22. I have always wanted to visit Thailand as it is at the top of my travel list. The culture, food, and landscapes just look beautiful there! Chanthaboon looks like a wonderful community to plan a daytrip to. I love how it is a waterfront town as well. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Sounds like it’s a good place to immerse with Thai cultures. Walking along the riverfront while visiting shops and eating local food. Mmm… To learn that the architecture in this town is a mix of Chinese, Thai, and Portuguese, I know I will have good times hunting for old houses and landmarks.

  24. First of all, fried banana and egg cakes sound particularly delicious at the moment! I appreciated your mini tour of Chanthaboom Waterfront community. I found it interesting that a Catholic cathedral would end up being kind of front and center — that surprised me. Loved your photo of the waterfront with buildings reflected in the water!

  25. I didn’t explore as much of Thailand as I wanted, but Chanthaboon looks wonderful. I hope to revisit one day to try the local food and visit the markets.

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