Khao Kitchakut National Park



Eastern Seaboard

Posted By : chauthihoaithuong/ 3 0

The eastern Seaboard of the gulf of Thailand, stretching from Bangkok to the Cambodian border, is a region of contrasts. Remarkably picturesque and unspoiled islands lie within easy reach of brash, over developed resorts; oil refineries and industrial complexes are scattered along much of the coast, but not far inland are little-visited and spectacular national parks.

The Eastern Seaboard was a frontier between the Khmer and Sukhothai empires in the early 15th century. As Khmer power waned, large numbers of ethnic Tais settled here and discovered gem-rich deposits in the lush countryside. Chanthaburi became a centre for gem trading and in the 18th and 19th centuries had to expel first Burmese then French occupying forces. Numerous Vietnamese refugees have since settled in the town.

Though still a forested region with orchards, gem-mining, and fishing communities, the Eastern Seaboard has seen dramatic changes in the late 20th century as the oil and tourist industries have grown dramatically. However, some seaside towns have retained their charm, and in Si Racha excellent seafood can be sampled in open-air restaurants overlooking the bay. In contrast to this are the neon lights of Pattaya, an infamous destination for US marines on R&R during the Vietnam War. Despite a seedy image, it is an excellent center for water sports. South and east of Rayong there are beautiful mountainous islands and dense rainforest sheltering a wealth of fauna and flora. Trails, waterfalls, and eerie limestone caves characterize Khao Chamao, Khao Kitchakut, and Namtok Phlio national parks.

The relaxed island of Ko Samet is a popular vacation destination, with its white-sand beaches. Farther south, Ko Chang has many beautiful beaches and has become increasingly popular, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

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