I am sure many Indonesians are very excited when they visit Bangkok as it is one of the heavenly places for foodies and fashion hunters, but this time, we are gonna share about our 1 day trip to Chonburi, the nearest seaside escape from Bangkok! Hopefully what we write here can inspire you to visit this place when you travel to Bangkok or even stop by before you go to the already-famous seaside escape, Pattaya.

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Chonburi is located south east of Bangkok, approximately 80+ kilometers, and with all the available highway routes, normally we can reach this city within an hour. Chonburi itself means “City of Water” and is known as the nearest seaside escape from Bangkok because of its beautiful beaches. It’s not as mainstream as Pattaya, but before you reach Pattaya from Bangkok, you’ll pass Chonburi first on the way, so you can always stop by and see around before you continue your journey.

Here is a good website explaining the ways to reach Chonburi from Bangkok (and vice versa):
http://www.pattayaconcierge.com/chonburi/transportation-to-chonburi.php

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Welcome to Chonburi!

When we drove out from the highway, sculptures of two sharks welcomed us in the round-about. These sculptures are known as Chonburi Sharks, are believed to be the symbol of the city representing the Chonburi Soccer Club which uses sharks as their symbol.

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It was only around 8.30AM and of course we decided to stop by a restaurant to have early lunch. My parents-in-law introduced us to this restaurant which is located just near the Chonburi Municipality Stadium, a popular stadium used mostly for football matches. “Krua Yai Chin” (ครัวยายชิน), or “Grandma Chin’s Kitchen” in English, is apparently quite popular among local people as even that early in the morning, we had seen many cars were parked and some tables were already occupied.
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“Krua Yai Chin”, literally translated as “Grandma Chin’s Kitchen” was our first stop in Chonburi.

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This statue welcomed us at the entrance.

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The restaurant’s situation, humble yet enough to enjoy good seafood dishes.

This restaurant served many kind of dishes but must-try ones are definitely SEAFOOD! We tried almost everything, from fish to squid, prawns to flat-head lobsters. The prices are so darn cheap and almost impossible to believe, each dish only costs about THB 100 to 400 (IDR 40,000 – 160,000) and here I am talking about nicely-cooked fresh seafood, forgodsake. It was hard for me to control myself when visiting this kind of restaurant, but since we went with my in-laws, they helped us choosing the recommended dishes and I was totally hooked!

Total of our spending in this restaurant was around THB 1,100 (+/- IDR 440,000) for 4 person. Nothing can beat this cheapness for sure!!

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Pla Meuk Pad Kai Kem (Stir-fried Squid with Salted Egg) THB 100

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Goong Tod Kra Tiem (Fried Flathead Lobster with Garlic) THB 150

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Goong Tod Kra Tiem (Fried Flathead Lobster with Garlic) THB 150

I can’t precisely mention which one is my favorite, but if I have to choose, I am gonna have to say that the Talay Pad Cha (Stir-fried Spicy Seafood) THB 100 is my #1 pick because I simply love all the extra flavorful herbs and spices used in the dish! Simply said, you just HAVE TO TRY IT to taste the glory of it. XD

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Talay Pad Cha (Stir-fried Spicy Seafood) THB 100

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Talay Pad Cha (Stir-fried Spicy Seafood) THB 100

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Nuea Poo Pad Pong Curry (Fried Crab Meat with Curry) THB 120

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Nuea Poo Pad Pong Curry (Fried Crab Meat with Curry) THB 120

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Tom Yum Goong Nam Sai (Clear Prawn Tom Yum) THB 100

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Look at how big and fresh the prawn is!

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Pla Ka Pong Tod (Deep-fried Sea Bass) THB 350

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Dessert stall in front of the restaurant, difficult not to stop by! XD

From the restaurant, we continued our journey to Ang Sila, an area located about 5 kilometers from Chonburi’s city center. Ang Sila is a seaside fishing village known for its fresh and (super) cheap seafood, but before we talk about the seafood, let’s see what Ang Sila is also famous for.

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Lines of shops selling granite-based sculptures and kitchenware in Ang Sila.

Yes, you’ll know when you have arrived in Ang Sila when you see the gigantic mortar sculpture on the street. And after that turn, you’ll see lines of shops selling various kinds of stone-based sculptures and kitchenware. It was amusing to see how many types of mortars and pestles, even stone grinders and rock sculptures sold in those shops! Of course we had to stop by and bought some to bring back to Indonesia as souvenirs.

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ANG SILA SEAFOOD MARKET

A must visit place when you go to Ang Sila is their famous seafood market, where you can get fresh seafood with ridiculously cheap prices. I heard many restaurants and people from Bangkok specially come to this market to buy the seafood, and sell them with higher prices in Bangkok. The market is very huge and the parking area is very spacious too although it’s recommended to come early as we can enjoy the freshest catch-of-the-day. The market opens daily as early as 4AM and you can choose to go to the wet market area for fresh products or the ready-to-eat area which sells mostly dried/salted seafood.

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One thing I noticed from this market is, although this is a seafood market, it’s considered very clean and not smelly. Of course in the wet market area, we can normally experience the seafood smell, but it is very minor and not annoying at all. Imagine going to seafood market in Jakarta such as Muara Angke, the smell is already so gross even before you enter the area and just open your car window to get the parking ticket, if you know what I mean! XD

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Beside all the seafood, the market also offers many local delicacies, but one thing that attracted me the most was these desserts served in bamboo stalks. “Khao Lam” or Thai Bamboo Sticky Rice Dessert is one of the most famous delicacies in Chonburi and here in the market, many shops sell them. There are many types of them but the basic ingredients are sticky rice, red beans, sugar, grated coconut, and coconut milk, roasted together inside bamboo stalks. When someone buys it, the shopkeeper will crack it open using axe or hammer, and we can enjoy the dessert easily. I think in Indonesia, this kind of sticky rice dessert is also available in some parts of the country, but still, this amused me very much, especially the method to open it up. Watch our video below to see the process! ;)


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In the wet market area, there are also some restaurants where we can sit around and eat some seafood. By the end of the market area, we can see the seaside as well as the fishing village, complete with lines of boats and fishermen houses built on the water. We tried an oyster dish in one of the restaurant, unfortunately the taste was blah, although the oysters were super fresh!

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After spending hours in the seafood market, we drove around the area and found the Ang Sila Old Market, which is also a famous attraction when you visit Ang Sila. The market has been existing for more than 13o years and it’s clearly visible from the styles of buildings in the neighborhood. We didn’t stop by because there wasn’t much activities around, probably because it was already late afternoon and many of the shops weren’t operating anymore.

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It was a fun 1 Day trip to Chonburi, and we recommend you to visit this city when you have chance. The distance to this city from Bangkok is very short and the access is also very easy, even easier than going to Pattaya because you don’t need to go through all the traffic jam, LOL. The visit to Ang Sila Seafood Market is totally unforgettable for me, and here is hoping that I can revisit this market someday!

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Currency Rate: THB 1 = +/- IDR 400 = +/- USD 0.028

** This review is written based on our visit on 4 July 2016.

 

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KRUA YAI CHIN ครัวยายชิน (Grandma Chin’s Kitchen)
Chonburi Municipality Stadium
Phat Phetra Rd.
Mueang Chon Buri, Chon Buri 20000

THAILAND
Ph. +66 8 1590 4138
FACEBOOK
Opening Hours:
Mon – Sun 9AM - 8PM

ANG SILA MARKET
Chonburi, Thailand
Opening Hours:
Everyday from 4AM to late afternoon