Introducing Trang Edit
Few foreigners are likely to have heard of his picturesque birthplace in Trang - far less know where it is. Indeed, relatively small numbers of Thai people can claim to have visited this splendidly scenic part of their own land, and if it is amazingly well endowed with natural beauty, its other great asset is being one of Thailand's little-known tourist secrets. Whilst an average of one plane every few minutes uses Phuket's busy runway, Trang's tranquil airport (opened in 1999) welcomes just a handful of flights a day, with the few overseas visitors on board generously outnumbered by Thai businessmen and local citizens. At the nearby seaport of Kantang, the charming 19th century train station marks the terminal of the Southwestern Thai railway, adding to the comforting end-of-the line feeling in this lovely part of the Kingdom, with the noise and pollution of Bangkok some 830 kilometres and 15 hours up the track.
Given that it boasts as many lovely sights as Phuket, yet is free of high rise beach hotels, Trang is an ideal retreat for people who seek a holiday in a relatively undiscovered place, untrampled and untrammelled by fellow-vacationers. Here, lazy beach lounging and stunning sightseeing attractions can be enjoyed without the standard recipe that tends to define and often defile tourist resorts everywhere, and since over two thirds of the province has been designated as national parkland, thoughtful ecological considerations are likely to shape future development.
Pronounced Dtrang with a hard consonant, the small and cute capital of around 65,000 folks gives its name to the province of approximately 5,200 square kilometres, and a relatively low population density of some 600,000 friendly inhabitants, whose motto translates as "Helping Hands and Open Minds." As is often the case, the origin of the name is disputed. Many attribute it to Bahasa Malaysia word terang meaning "there is light" a somewhat unconvincing reference to Malaysian merchant sailors supposedly with a preference of arriving here at dawn. There are several other theories put forward by competing pundits, but correct or otherwise, the most fitting would seem to be the local symbol - the sri-trang flower, whose pale violet blossoms in season are pleasantly ubiquitous everywhere.
Trang's tourism treasures combine several chests of jewels. The topography delineates three general regions, with relatively flat coastal areas in the south rising through an undulating central section, punctuated by distinctive and striking limestone outcrops. The northern area is mostly mountainous with rolling hills, tropical rain forests and verdant valleys. The 120-kilometre stretch of alluring coastline protects some of Thailand's most beautiful and least visited beaches. Dozens of tropical islands, many of them uninhabited, beckon offshore. Inland, densely forested hillsides and protected National Parks conceal spectacular limestone caves and rushing waterfalls. Naturalists and nature lovers will thrill at the endlessly changing panoramas that unfold as you explore, either by vehicle, bicycle, or on foot. The sanctuaries on land and at sea are home to many varieties of interesting wildlife, including a large number of bird species, land mammals, and marine creatures, including the endangered Dugong or Sea Cow. There are excellent prospects for trekking, mountain biking, cave explorations, nature study tours, and rock climbing activities on land, plus diving and canoeing opportunities along the coast, and on the islands. For those who simply want to rest, Trang offers the ultimate in relaxation amongst some of the most idyllic scenery in Asia.
Amari Trang Beach Resort Edit
The white sand beaches, virgin tropical rain forest, incredible caves and waterfalls and provincial town charm make Trang Province one of Thailand’s best kept secrets. Blending perfectly with the pristine environment of Changlang Beach and framed by whispering casuarina trees and a backdrop of beckoning tropical islands, the elegant, five star, Amari Trang Beach Resort, is a sun worshiper’s paradise.
Dining: The resort has a choice of dining options serving both International and Thai cuisine. Vistas Restaurant has all day dining and guests can enjoy Thai and seafood specialities at Crabs and Co, plus innovative Italian cuisine at Acqua. The casual Beach House is a great place to enjoy cocktails, drinks and light snacks and the Sunset Bar is perfect for whiling away the evening and has live music every night (except Sundays).
Sports: There are a variety of sporting options available at the activity center including biking, kayaking, sailing and wind surfing. Scuba diving, for which the region is renowned, is also available through the dive centre. The resort has a speed boat for exploring the nearby islands and beaches and the tour desk can advise on sight seeing options to the interesting local villages and a selection of beautiful waterfalls and caves.
Additional features: For complete relaxation, the Sivara Spa offers a range of massage body and facial treatments. There are also banqueting facilities for up to 200 people. In addition, the resort operates a private day resort on the nearby tropical island of Koh Kradan and offers a daily transfer service in the resorts speed boats.
Accommodation: The luxurious resort has 138 sea facing rooms including superior, deluxe and suite categories. The superior rooms are a stylish 45 sq. m. and feature a terrace with a ceiling fan, couch and table and chairs. The large bathroom is separated from the bedroom by sliding glass panels.
Deluxe rooms are similar but are located on the top floor with high ceilings, an indoor ceiling fan and upgraded amenities. All rooms have tea and coffee making facilities.
For more information on Trang  www.amari.com/trangbeach