Sitting on the banks of the winding Bang Pakong River, Chachoengsao is a laid-back town in central Thailand. It’s the capital of the Chachoengsao Province and is anchored by a magnificent gilded temple built in the Ayutthaya period. If you want to escape Bangkok and relax in rural Thailand, Chachoengsao is a breath of fresh air.
Things to do in Chachoengsao
With its golden Buddhas and towering pagoda, locals claim that Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan is one of the largest temples in the world. After a stroll around the grounds, why not pick up a tasty plate of pad thai or sticky mango rice at the bustling market opposite the complex?
Riverside Wat Saman Rattanaram is another highlight, home to a huge reclining Ganesha statue. On weekends, locals flock from across the province to pay their respects.
In downtown Chachoengsao, you’ll find a bustling market selling everything from cheap clothes to juicy durians. There’s also a Thursday night market where you can eat your way through tasty Thai street food, while the weekend Banmai Market is a fantastic place to pick up handicrafts.
If you’re looking for nightlife head to New Sri Sothon Road, just a stone’s throw from Rajabhat University. It’s lined with an eclectic mix of trendy cafes, cheap restaurants and late-night bars.
Getting around Chachoengsao
Chachoengsao sits around 80 kilometres east of Bangkok, which makes it an easy drive or train ride from the Thai capital. The town centre is compact and walkable though it can get hot, so most visitors prefer to get around by taxi, tuktuk or motorcycle. Both temples are slightly out of town which means it can be a good idea to commission a private driver for the day.