Chanthaburi (Thai: จันทบุรี) is a province (changwat) of Thailand. It is located in the east of Thailand, at the border to Battambang and Pailin of Cambodia and the shore to the Gulf of Thailand. The neighboring provinces are Trat in the east and Rayong, Chonburi, Chachoengsao and Sa Kaeo.
The word Chantha originates from the Sanskrit word Chandra meaning moon, and the word buri from Sanskrit Puri meaning town or city. Therefore, the province name literally means Moon City.
After the Paknam crisis in 1893 the French colonist troops occupied Chanthaburi, returning it in 1905 when Thailand gave up ownership of the western part of Cambodia. A significant minority of Chanthaburi citizens are native Vietnamese, who came there in three waves – first in the 19th century during an anti-Catholic persecution in Cochin China, a second wave came in the 1920s to 1940s fleeing from French Indochina, and a third one after the communist victory in Vietnam in 1975. Thus the town of Chanthaburi is the seat of a Bishop of Chanthaburi since 1944.
Quiet street in Amphoe Laem Sing
While the southern part of the province is located at the shore to the Gulf of Thailand and thus is mostly coastal alluvial plains, the hinterlands of the province are quite mountainous. The Chanthaburi mountain range in the north has the highest elevation of the province, the 1556 m high Soi Dao Nua Peak. The main river of the province is the Chanthaburi River.
Together with the neighboring province Trat, Chanthaburi is the center of gemstone mining, especially rubies and sapphires. Tropical fruits are also among the main products of the province. In 2000, it produced nearly 380,000 tons of durian, which was 45.57% of Thailand’s durian production and approximately 27% of the world production of this fruit.
The provincial seal shows the moon surrounded by an aura. Inside the moon disc is a rabbit, as in Thai tradition the dark areas on the moon (maria) form a rabbit shape.
The seal symbolizes the peace and tranquility of the province. The moon also refers to the province name, which mean City of Moon.
The flag of the province also shows the seal in the middle – a white rabbit on the yellow moon disc, on a blue disc. The background of the flag is red, with the name of province in yellow written below the seal.
The provincial tree is Diospyros decandra, the provincial flower is an orchid.
The provincial slogan is Magnificent Waterfalls, Fruit City, Good Breeding Peppercorns Loads of Gems, Chanthabun Mat, Fertile Nature, Gathering Place of King Taksin the Great’s Liberation Army