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Chaochoengsao: Dolphin and Bird Watching

When talking about a trip in the east of Thailand, most people would think of Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi, or Trat where there are several magnificent islands and national parks. In terms of tourism, Chachoengsao is not in a spotlight comparing to its neighboring provinces. There are no big amusement parks, famous nightlife entertainment, and white sandy beaches to boast about, but Chachoengsao is a wonderful place for nature lovers and those who are ready to spice up their life with a little adventure. This less crowded tourist spot is only an hour’s drive from the capital city of Thailand. Also, it can be reached by train.

What to see and do?

Bang Pakong is a major river which winds its way through this province for approximately 100 kilometers before flowing into the Gulf of Siam. Spending a night or two at a homestay near the river is recommended. The fertile land along the riverbanks is good for mixed orchards and rice fields. The river is home to the giant freshwater stingray which is believed to be one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. Its size can reach two meters and its weight can reach 600 kilograms. If you are lucky, you will see one as it is an endangered species.

Bird Island or Ko Nok in Thai is a worth-visiting place located in Tha Kham sub-district, Bang Pakong district. This small island of mangrove forest provides natural habitat for more than 50 bird species such as cormorants, chicken bats, and egrets. There are also long-tailed macaques on the island. A 1,500-meter nature trail and a bird-watching tower are available as well.

You can enjoy not only bird watching, but also dolphin watching. 26 species of dolphins and whales have been reported in Thai seas. Irrawaddy dolphins are the most commonly found on Bang Pakong estuary where there are plenty of fish for them to feed on. Please study dolphin watching guidelines and follow the instructions to keep these lovely animals away from danger. For example, do not feed wild dolphins or swim with them.

Visitors can go to the bird island all year round, but the best time for dolphin watching trip is from November to February. A three-hour dolphin watching trip is around 2500 THB (83 dollars) for 10-12 people.

How to get to Chachoengsao?

You can get to Chachoengsao by private taxi from Bangkok and Pattaya.

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