Trat beach in southern Thailand

Beached in Trat, Thailand

This was my view for the majority of the afternoon today.Beach in Trat Thailand

To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations for Tan Ku Bay. Since Trat is the hub for reaching the islands (Koh Chang, Koh Mak, Koh Kood) that made this province famous, most people skip over the mainland beaches. But because I’m substitute teaching in a Trat preschool for the week (more on how I ended up here tomorrow), and finished with work by noon each day, I thought I might as well check out the coast.

I rented a motorbike, put $2 worth of fuel in it (they always come on empty), and scooted my way 32 kilometers to the nearest patch of sand. I was impressed to find a generous stretch of gold, backed by palm trees that lean so far toward the ocean I thought they might be thirsting for it. Beach in Trat Thailand On the south side, a row of small mountains jut into the sea, backed by a perfect sky blue with clouds so fluffy they look computer generated. Not quite perfect – the sand was a bit rocky, and nobody clears the debris and trash away – but Tan Ku Bay definitely surpassed my expectations in the looks department.

The downfall, however, was precisely what I did expect – no swimming suits. Having probably seen only a handful of foreigners, the locals who frequent this beach are like all traditional Thais – they swim in their clothes. I could have stripped down to my bikini of course, but the stares I received as the only foreigner on the beach were enough; I didn’t need to be a half-naked one too.Beach in Trat Thailand

Tomorrow I’m going to Koh Kood for my first time, where I’m sure I won’t have this problem. Any recommendations (where to stay, what to see, best sunset spot, etc.)?

Beached in Trat, Thailand
Written by:Jessica J. Hill


  1. Man, I am SO jealous! Today the smog was featuring one of its “bad” days, only to be finally washed away by an afternoon rainstorm. I am SO excited to get back to beautiful beaches and sunny skies! They feed my soul!

    • jessicajhill says:

      The sun really does do amazing things for the soul! The rain is often welcomed to cool things off and, in China, get rid of that nasty smog! I realized I was actually craving the beach, and it’s only been one month since my last visit. This is going to be a problem when I return home…

      Do you have plans to go back to Hainan?

  2. Nitin says:

    looks amazing…its good to explore unexplored …..have fun n keep on posting pics…that would help me plan my next trip to Thailand πŸ™‚

  3. jasmine says:

    wow where is this in relation to bangkok, or chaing mai, or phuket areas. I am currently in bangkok – looking to move to somewhere more coastal / or rural etc.. THIS LOOKS AMAZING – is it hard to get a full time teaching position in a place as nice as this?? great blog site too by the way πŸ™‚

    • jessicajhill says:

      Hi, Jasmine! Thanks for stopping by. Trat is on the eastern peninsula, the gateway point to Koh Chang. Trat city is a small, very typical Thai town, and this beach is 32 kilometers away. Unfortunately, I’m not teaching here full time – just a sub for a week!

  4. Rajesh says:

    !happy to see u happier !

  5. James says:

    Hey Jessica:
    I was in Bangkok last year desperately trying to find the perfect beach. Koh Kood was a close second but looked a wee bit too deserted. I was looking at an eco-lodge that was kind of by itself. On another occasion, transited in Trat on my way to Koh Chang. Can’t wait to see your pics from the smaller islands! Safe travels!

    • jessicajhill says:

      Thanks, James! I didn’t think Koh Kood was that deserted…but I just looked and can’t find it on, so that probably means something. Don’t worry, I’ll do the research for us both πŸ˜‰

  6. Autumn Curtis says:

    Oh my gosh Jess! That looks so amazing! I am so jealous. I love that you are just exploring your little heart out!

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