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Chanthaburi (จันทบุรี)

Thai. ‘City of the moon’ or ‘moon city’. The capital of Chanthaburi province (map) in East Thailand, 245 kms Southeast of Bangkok, with a population of approximately 40,000 inhabitants in the city and around 480,060 in the province which also has a significant minority of native Vietnamese citizens. Those first arrived there after fleeing from the 19th century anti-Catholic persecutions, later from French rule in Indochina and once again after the 1975 communist victory in Vietnam. In the South the province borders the Gulf of Thailand and in the East it runs alongside the Cambodian province of Battambang. Like Trat, the city is known for the trade in sapphires and rubies and for the nearby mining of these gemstones. The province is the country's main production centre for dried rice noodles and it is the place where general Taksin formed an army to drive away the Burmese after they had conquered and destroyed Ayutthaya in 1767, causing its definitive downfall. This event is remembered in the town by a monument in King Taksin Park (map - fig.). After the Paknahm incident of 13 July 1893, in a dispute over the Laotian border in which France sent its troops into territories on the left bank of the Mekhong river and moored several gunboats to blockade the Gulf of Thailand at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River, the French colonist army on 29 July 1893 occupied the western part of Chanthaburi, not pulling their troops out until 1903, after which they went on to occupy Trat. In 1906 the French eventually pulled all their troops out of Siamese territory, after Siam gave up ownership of the western part of Cambodia. The province has several national parks, the more popular being Nahm Tok Phliw National Park (map - fig.). Due to its similarity in name, ton jan or ton chan (ต้นจันทร์, ต้นจัน or ต้นจันทน์), i.e. the Gold Apple, a tree with the botanical name Diospyros decandra, is the provincial tree of Chanthaburi province, which has 9 amphur and one king amphur, 76 tambon and 690 mu ban. Compare with Chanthabuli. See also Chanthaburi data file.