It has coastal, as well as inland areas, and is best known for its oceanfront areas along the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand. It is home to a number of popular beach spots as well as some small islands for quick getaways from Bangkok that offer some of the closest access to the beach from Siam’s capitol city.
Many of the seafront towns in Chonburi offer some great places to just sit and eat fresh seafood along the coast, as well as offering access to the ocean with only about 1.5 hours driving from Bangkok. People who work in Bangkok often find Chonburi to be a great option for a quick weekend getaway when living and working in the city and only have short amounts of time available for taking breaks.
Chonburi has a lot of its own agricultural production, as well as being home to some of the large factories that make Thai oyster sauce and fish sauces, which are both common ingredients used in modern Thai cooking. The main agricultural production in Chonburi includes sugarcane, coconut farming, lotus flower growing, as well as having a thriving fishing industry that gathers anchovies off the coast to supply to the local sauce production factories.
The great thing about Chonburi is that it also has a more rural and untouched feel when you get further inland, away from its developed coastal regions. It is these more untouched areas that I find most interesting and where you will find cultural events taking place like traditional Siamese water buffalo races. A popular rural sport that many Thai people enjoy watching.
Off the coast of Chonburi are a number of small islands great for single day outings by speed boat or ferry. Many of the islands are uninhabited, like Koh Khang Khao (Bat Island), which doesn’t have any accommodations for overnight stays, but are great island getaways just for short visits and picnics.
The most developed island off the coast of Chonburi in the Sri Racha district is known as Koh Si Chang, which does have accommodations available for overnight stays. The island offers some great beaches, snorkeling, biking, fishing, and you can even rent a Kayak to take for a paddle out to sea.
Sri Racha itself is well known for being a fishing hub of Thailand’s the eastern seaboard and has also become known for a few different chili sauces that go by the province’s name. The original Sriracha sauce was developed in Sri Racha and is a tangy chili and garlic sauce, with a smooth consistency and used mainly for flavoring local seafood dishes.
If you are visiting Bangkok for only a few days, and find yourself with only a short amount of time available to make a trip outside the city, then I would definitely consider Chonburi. With its beautiful countryside, great beach areas, and wonderful islands just off the coast, it makes for the perfect destination for a quick holiday.