Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chantaburi-a charming town with French influences

Immaculate Conception Cathedral, 1907. There is also a LaSalle school in town. Though Thailand is 95%+ Buddhist, this area has about 8,000 Catholics with churches and schools to serve them. The roots of this church go back to about 1700, when Vietnamese Catholics fled upheavals at home and settled in this tranquil, peaceful place.

We had a noodle lunch in a stand nearby and admired the French-influenced architecture and the beautiful church. The church faces a charming, hump-back bridge across the river facing the old town area to the west.

This area was occupied for a time by the French, who eventually ceded it back to the Thai King, because he gave them concessions in what is now Cambodia.

The area is famous for fruit-growing.
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