Trat (Thai: ตราด) is a province (changwat) of Thailand. It is located in the east of Thailand, and has borders with Chanthaburi Province to the northwest, Cambodia to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the south.
Trat is most famous for gemstone mining and trading.
The history of Trat can be traced back to the reign of King Prasat Thong of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Formerly known as Mueang Thung Yai, Trat has played an important role in the development of country’s stability and economy due to its strategic location. The town of Trat has later become a community of Chinese Merchants.
Trat served as a checkpoint and buffer city in 1767 and was responsible for providing provisions to King Taksin the Great before he moved his navy from Chanthaburi to Ayutthaya, where he expelled the Burmese and liberated the Kingdom from Burmese rule.
Occupation of Trat by French troops in 1904.
In Rattanakosin era, during the Paknam crisis in 1893 the French colonist army occupied the western part of Chantaburi. In 1904 in order to get back Chantaburi Siam had to give Trat to French Indochina. Trat became part of Thailand again on March 23, 1906 in exchange for many areas east of the Mekong river like Battambang, Siam Nakhon and Sisophon.
During the Indochina War, the French Navy tried to seize Trat again. The French – Thai Battle broke out on 5 January 1941. The battle ended 17 January at Ko Chang, when three Thai ships were sunk – the HTMS Chonburi, HTMS Songkhla and HTMS Thonburi. Later the Japanese ended the conflict by diplomacy.
The Cardamom mountain range forms the boundary to Cambodia in the east of the province, where Trat has borders with three Cambodian provinces: Battambang, Pursat and Koh Kong.
The second biggest island of Thailand is Ko Chang, belonging to the province. The island, together with more than 40 surrounding smaller islands, forms the Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park.
Other islands of the province include: Ko Kham, Ko Mak, Ko Phi.