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I highly recommend a trip to Chanthaburi guided by Blue Smile Tours. Before I even got to Chanthaburi, the itinerary was clearly communicated and they even helped me figure out how to make my way from Bangkok to Chanthaburi. From the moment I met with the guides of Blue Smile Tours I felt well-taken care of. All I had to do was make sure that I had my camera ready to capture the beauty of the province.
The tour in Chanthaburi was a balanced mix of nature and historical sites. One of my favourite stops was the Queen's royal resort. Her home is frozen in time and is well maintained to appear as it was when she lived there in the 1950's. You can still see her clothes hanging in the closet and the stacks of English books that she read. And the most amazing part was that we were the only ones there, and we could freely walk through the house as if we now lived there!
As far as nature goes, Chanthaburi is definitely more lush than Bangkok. The waterfall is a popular spot for locals to picnic at and splash around in. If you're not afraid of climbing a few steps, the views from the temple hills are stunning, and well worth the walk up.
I also really enjoyed walking through the streets of "old town" Chanthaburi and taking in the mix of Thai and French architecture. The riverside is also very pretty, and I recommend having dinner at one of the many restaurants along the river so that you can see the sparkling night view of all the lights reflected in the water.
Overall I had a fantastic time, with super friendly and knowledgeable guides and I fully recommend this tour for anyone who is looking for a truly unique Thai experience.