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. 🙂
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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.
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.
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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