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In Taksin Park (the center of Chanthaburi), there's a statue of King Taksin on horseback, commemorating the victory over the Burmese in 1767, and a few temples built over Khmer ruins, highlighting the city's Cambodian connections. A large Catholic church, built in 1909, still stands in the center as well.

Gem Markets line the predictably named Gem Street, near the main market. If you are traveling in early December, take note -- the annual Gem Fair packs the town with visitors. You may find a few choice rubies on offer, but no room at any inn.

The 17,000-hectare (42,000-acre) Namtok Phlio National Park is a popular day trip from Chanthaburi, as is Laem Sadet, a stunning beach and rocky cape located some 35km (22 miles) southwest of the city. Both sites can be visited by private car or taxi. Contact such agents as Thai South (www.thaisouth.com) for more details.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.