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Chonburi (Thai: ชลบุรี, RTGS: Chon Buri, [tɕ͡ʰōn bū.rīː] ( listen)) is an eastern province (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, and Rayong. To the west is the Gulf of Thailand. Chonburi is home to Thailand's largest tourist oriented city, Pattaya (also spelled Phatthaya), it is the only province outside the Bangkok Metropolitan Area to connect by an eight-lane motorway to Bangkok, 80 km distant. It is home to Thailand's largest and primary seaport, it has a thriving migrant and expatriate population. Due to these factors, the province's population is growing rapidly, with currently some 1.7 million residents (albeit with a large floating or unregistered population). The registered population as of 31 December 2012 was 1.36 million.
Map of Thailand highlighting Chonburi Province
|• Governor||Phakkhrathon Thianchai (since October 2016)|
|• Total||4,363 km2 (1,685 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 51st|
|• Rank||Ranked 16th|
|• Density rank||Ranked 13th|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-20|
From historical evidence, Mueang Chonburi has been settled since sometime during the Ayutthaya period of Thai history. The region for centuries was one of small towns such as Bang Sai, Bang Pla Soi, and Bang Phra. King Rama V combined these to form Chonburi Province.
The word "chon" originates from the Sanskrit word "jala" meaning water, and the word "buri" from Sanskrit "puri" meaning "town" or "city". Hence the name of the province literally means "city of water".
The province is on the Bay of Bangkok, the northern end of the Gulf of Thailand. The Khao Khiao mountain range stretches from the northwest to the southeast of the province, while the fertile plains of the north were long used for farming. In Laem Chabang, in the south of the province, is one of the few deep-water harbours of Thailand.
The provincial permanent legal population has risen at nearly 4% annually from 1,040,865 in 2000 to 1,554,365 in 2010. There is a large floating population of long term residents (non-Thai) without permanent status, on perpetual tourist visa and/or migrant workers (legal or not), as well as heavy, short term tourist influxes.
The provincial seal shows the hill Khao Sam Muk, on which there is a sala with a statue of the goddess Chao Mae Sahm Muk of whom it is believed that she protects seafaring fishermen and the local population.
The provincial motto is "Beautiful beaches, delicious khao lam, sweet sugar cane, delicate basketry products, and buffalo racing."
Cities and townsEdit
|Rank||City/town||Amphoe (District)||population||Area(km²)||community town of|
|1||Chaophraya Surasak||Si Racha||128,664||306.44||Si Racha|
|3||Ban Suan||Mueang Chonburi||61,072||n/a||Chonburi|
|4||Laem Chabang||Si Racha(and a part of Bang Lamung)||64,607||109.65|
|5||Nong Prue||Bang Lamung||49,558||45.54||Pattaya|
|6||Saen Suk (Bang Saen)||Mueang Chonburi||42,843||20.843||Chonburi|
|8||Ang Sila||Mueang Chonburi||25,673||18.6||Chonburi|
|10||Huai Yai||Bang Lamung||22,208||153||Pattaya|
|11||Si Racha*||Si Racha||19,221||4.058|
|12||Ban Bueng*||Ban Bueng||16,336||n/a|
|13||Huai Kapi||Mueang Chonburi||15,297||14.5||Chonburi|
|14||Mon Nang||Phanat Nikhom||13,522||52.58||Phanat Nikhom|
|15||Phanat Nikhom*||Phanat Nikhom||11,717||2.76|
|16||Bang Sai||Mueang Chonburi||11,140||2.16||Chonburi|
|17||Nong Mai Daeng||Mueang Chonburi||10,689||10||Chonburi|
|19||Don Hua Lo||Mueang Chonburi||7,670||18.5||Chonburi|
|20||Tha Bun Mi||Ko Chan||6,348||5.692|
|21||Ko Sichang*||Ko Sichang||4,975||7.9|
|22||Nong Phai Kaeo||Ban Bueng||2,018||11.692||Ban Bueng|
* capital of district
Chonburi is about 120 kilometres (75 mi) by road from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), the country's largest International airport. By road, it is accessed from Sukhumvit Road and Motorway 7 from Bangkok. Chonburi is also served by scheduled flights via U-Tapao International Airport (UTP) which is 45 minute drive south of the city.
The main road through Chonburi is Thailand Route 3, also known as Sukhumvit Road. To the north-east it connects to Bangkok and to south it connects to Rayong Province, Chanthaburi Province and Trat Province. Route 344 leads east to Klaeng (which is also on Route 3). Route 7 runs parallel to Route 3 but bypasses the densely populated coastal area, connecting to the beach resort city of Pattaya.
There has been heavy investment in the tourist city of Pattaya, the nation's primary port of Laem Chabang (at Si Racha), the Bangkok-Pattaya motorway, and Suvarnabhumi airport (outside but close to the province). Pattaya is the destination of local and international tourism alike within the province, which has seen a spike in skyscrapers and malls. Some nine million visitors to the province were recorded in 2012, of which 6.1 million were from abroad, the largest of these being Russians with 2.2 million visitors. The character of the city has been changing from "sin city" to one which caters to all visitors including families, albeit the "sin city" continues its seemingly unstoppable growth. In addition the nationality of visitors to Pattaya and environs has been changing, with a surge of Chinese in the past five years, as well as migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, as opposed to being formerly dominated by Westerners and Thais.
Besides Pattaya, neighboring cities such as Bang Lamung, Si Racha, and even Muang Chonburi itself have developed over the past decade supporting a larger middle class and a "long-stay" expat population.
Chonburi Annual Festival (งานนมัสการพระพุทธสิหิงค์และงานกาชาดประจำปีจังหวัดชลบุรี) fair held mid-April during the Songkran Festival. Phra Phutthaishing, Chonburi's principal Buddha image, is carried in a procession around the city.
Wan Lai Festival (ประเพณีวันไหล) is a Chonburi merit-making day of the seamen on the Thai New Year during the Songkran Festival, running from 13–20 April every year. There is almsgiving to the monks, the ritual pouring of water onto the Buddha's image, sand pagoda making, splashing water and local games and sports in Chonburi. The areas where the Wan Lai Festival is organized are as follows:
- Pattaya–Na Kluea Wan Lai Festival and Na Kluea Kong Khao Fair (งานประเพณีวันไหล พัทยา- นาเกลือ และงานกองข้าวนาเกลือ) are organized on 18–20 April every year at Lan Pho Public Park, Na Kluea and Wat Chai Mongkhon in south Pattaya.
- Songkran Si Maha Racha Festival and Kong Khao Tradition (งานประเพณีสงกรานต์ศรีมหาราชาและงานประเพณีกองข้าว) an ancient festival of the locals. Si Racha District preserves this tradition and organizes it every year, during 19–21 April, to worship the gods who have been protecting them throughout the year. Activities include the procession led by the elderly and organizations in traditional Thai costume, a worship ceremony, spirit offering ceremony, Kong Khao tradition demonstration, local games, demonstrations, and sales of traditional desserts and local food.
- Ko Phra Sai Wan Lai Festival, Bang Saen (งานประเพณีก่อพระทรายวันไหล บางแสน) Originally, it was called "Ngan Thambun Wan Lai", a gathering of people from villages to do the merit making in the Songkran Festival or the Thai New Year's Day, taking place on 16–17 April, every year. Monks from every temple in Saen Suk sub-district are invited to perform the religious ceremony. There is merit-making, food offering and bahting ceremony. Later, there are activities of sand pagoda making, water splashing, local games and sports.
Ngan Bun Klang Ban and Phanat Nikhom Basketwork (งานบุญกลางบ้าน และเครื่องจักสานพนัสนิคม) On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the first week of May or the Thai 6th lunar month. The locals bring food, offer it to the monks, and dedicate the merit to the guardian spirits, enemies from a former life, deceased relatives, as well as, to drive out bad things, to ask for rain during the season and to wish for abundant food and plants. After the religious ceremony, there is lunch, local games, and a demonstration of Phanat Nikhom basketry making.
Chonburi Buffalo Race (งานประเพณีวิ่งควาย) In Ban Bueng and Nong Yai districts. The animals are dressed outrageously or with creatively by owners. Assembled in the courtyard in front of the town hall, the buffaloes partake in racing, or take part in physical fitness and fashion contests. The Chonburi Buffalo Race festival started more than 100 years ago. Usually, the races will be complemented with booths selling locally made items, stage performances, games and beauty contests. The annual Buffalo Race, held around the 11th lunar month, normally in October. It takes seven days and takes place on the field in front of the city and provincial government offices. The highlight of the festival is the buffalo race which is on the last two days. This race is 100 meters– long. The prize for the first nose past the finish line is a trophy and some money.
Bangsaen Beach LegendEdit
Bangsaen Beach is a tourist attraction in Chonburi that has a legends of love story in a fisherman’s village. There is a couple who flight to living together even though they had to face many obstacles.
A long time ago in Chonburi province, Thailand, there was a fisherman’s village that had Kamnun Bire as the headman. He was widowed and had a handsome son, who was named Saen. Many ladies in the village aimed to marry him, but he did not care about any of them. One day, Saen went to play with a kite on the beach, but the waves and wind were very strong, so the string snapped and his kite flew away. After the storm gradually subsided, Saen tried to find his kite, so he climbed a mountain. Then he found a lady who had picked up his kite on the mountain peak. Her name was Sammuk, and she was so beautiful that Saen fell in love with her. He wanted her to give his kite back and got to know each other. After that, he came to see her every day, and both of them loved each other more and more. A couple of months later, Sean gave a ring to Sammuk and promised that they would love each other till the end of the world. If they broke the promise, they would commit suicide by jumping down the mountain where both of them first met. Then one day, Bire found out the truth then he was furious and did not allow Sean to see Sammuk. She waited for Saen every day until she heard a rumor that Bire would provide a lady to marry Saen. Both Sammuk and Saen felt sad, but they could not do anything. During blessed water ceremony on the wedding day, Sammuk turned over the ring to Saen and jumped off the mountain immediately. She jumped off the mountain as their promised. Then Saen jumped off following Sammuk. Bire was very upset, but he built a memorial monument for Saen and Sammuk.
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