Prachuap Khiri Khan

Prachuap Khiri Khan (ประจวบคีรีขันธ) is a coastal town of roughly 27,000 inhabitants (2012) in Western Thailand, roughly 100 km south of Hua Hin and 200 km north of Chumphon. Culturally it could be considered part of the Central Plains, but is geographically connected to Southern Thailand as it is a part of the Malay Peninsula. It possesses various interesting tourism attractions such as beaches, islands, forests and mountains.

Understand

Thailand's royal family and especially former kings were the first to set this location on the map as the original seashore destination in Thailand. The long white sandy beaches themselves are clean, spotless and pretty, much more so than Pattaya's, and the sea is relatively clean. Besides just sunbathing snorkelling and swimming, visitors can also enjoy golf, spas, caves, peaks, waterfalls, shops, seafood and nearby national parks. The town is warm and laid-back making it ideal for families and couples.

Prachuap Khiri Khan is in fact more of a holiday destination with local Thais than foreigners. Many Bangkokians purchase condominiums here. This guarantees a bit of a quiet atmosphere if you are fed up with noisy foreign tourists at their favourite locations, such as Pattaya or Ko Samui.

Geography

Prachuap Khiri Khan Province covers an area of 6,368 square kilometres. It is a long and narrow coast stretching to the south. At the Singkhon Pass in the Mueang district, there is a border crossing into Burma. Near there, the distance from the Burmese border to the Gulf of Thailand is only 11 km. The length of the province from the north to the south is approximately 212 km.

History

Once known as Muang Bang Nong Rom, Prachuap Khiri Khan was left to decay after the sacking of Ayutthaya at the end of the 18th century. The town was rebuilt at the mouth of the Ron River during the 19th century and renamed Prachuap Khiri Khan.

It was an old seaside resort during the reign of King Rama V. From historical evidence, Prachuap Khiri Khan was a location of Mueang Na Rang during the Ayutthaya period. In the reign of King Rama II of Rattanakosin, a new city was established at the mouth of the I Rom Canal and was named Mueang Bang Nang Rom. During the reign of King Rama IV, Mueang Bang Nang Rom, Mueang Kui, and Mueang Khlong Wan were combined into Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan which means "city of mountains". The city hall was situated at Mueang Kui until 1898, when it was moved to Ao Ko Lak or Ao Prachuap, the location of Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan today.

Get in

By car

From Bangkok, there are 2 routes as follows:

First Route Take the Thonburi–Pak Tho Rd (Hwy 35), passing Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, and turn left into Phetchakasem Rd (Hwy 4), passing Phetchaburi into Prachuap Khiri Khan. The total distance is about 280 km or 3.5 hr.

Second Route Take Phetchakasem Rd or Hwy 4, passing Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, and Phetchaburi into Prachuap Khiri Khan. The total distance is approximately 320 km or 4 hours.

By bus

From the Southern Bus Terminal on Borommaratchachonnani Rd, the Transport Company Ltd offers various daily bus services: Bangkok–Prachuap Khiri Khan; Bangkok–Hua Hin; Bangkok–Pran Buri; and Bangkok–Bang Saphan. Companies providing bus services on the Bangkok–Prachuap Khiri Khan route are the Hua Hin–Pran Tour Co., Ltd., Tel. +66 2 8846191-2 (04:00-22:20), the Phuttan Tour Co., Ltd., Tel. +66 2 4355302, +66 2 4357414 or Prachuap Khiri Khan Office, Tel. +66 32 611411 (06:00–01:00), the Bang Saphan Tour Co., Ltd., Tel. +66 2 4355105, +66 2 8848895 or Bang Saphan Office, Tel. +66 32 691267 or Ban Krut Office, Tel. +66 32 695074 (Bus leaves at 07:30 and from Ban Krut at 12:30 There is also a 07:30 bus provided on Saturdays.) For further information, contact the Southern Bus Terminal Tel. +66 2 4351199, +66 2 4347192, +66 2 4355605.

By train

Prachuap Khiri Khan Station

From Hualamphong Railway Station, there are many southbound trains daily passing through Prachuap Khiri Khan. A typical one is the second-class Train 43 to Hua Hin, Pranburi, and Prachuap Khiri Khan, departing Bangkok at 08:05 and arriving at Hua Hin at 11:26, then Prachuap Khiri Khan at 12:28. Fare is 455 baht. For further information, contact the State Railway of Thailand at Tel. 1690, +66 2 2204334.

By plane

Nok Air operates a daily flight between Bangkok (Don Mueang, DMK) and Chumphon airport (CJM), the closest airport. Hua Hin has no scheduled domestic air services.

Get around

The town itself is small enough to get around on foot. For access to the beaches you can easily catch a tuk-tuk. Tuk-tuks are popular for short and quick journeys. Fares must be bargained in advance.

Pedal-powered rickshaws ("samlor") are for relatively short distances. Short rides within the town cost between 20 and 30 baht. Longer rides may cost as much as 50 baht.

Songthaews travel fixed routes when on-duty and pick up as many passengers as they can and drop them off as they reach their destinations. Off-duty songthaews can be hired just as if they were taxis.

Motorbikes can be hired but it is advised to be extremely careful when hiring a motorbike. Use only a reputable agency.

For those travelling only short distances, bicycles can be rented downtown.

You can rent a car at Sombat Car Rent & Taxi Service, located on 204/3 Thanon Sukjai (phone 032-601 109) English and German Speaking. Prices start from 1500 THB / day

Motorbike taxis are the most popular form of public transportation in town and the prices are low (some bargaining is advised before getting on). Trips cost about 10-40 baht depending on the distance. Make sure the driver has a helmet of good quality for you.

Boats can be hired at the pier for travel to nearby islands.

See

The beach on Ao Manao, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand
Prachuap Khiri Kahn City Gate
The stairs leading up to Wat Thammikaram, Prachuap Khiri Khan
Sign on top of stairs of Wat Thammikaram, Prachuap Khiri Khan
The view from Wat Thammikaram, Prachuap Khiri Khan

Do

You can rent sea kayaks at the vet's office near the waterfront. Don't hesitate to ring as she is not always in the front of the store.

On Ao Manao you can ride horses, do some archery and have a Western BBQ.

Also on Wing 5 there are lovely monkeys (langurs) you can feed (much friendlier then the Macaques on the mountain).

Another nice trip is to see the Waghor Aquarium which is part of the King Mongkut Memorial Park of Science & Technology, except when there's a class of Thai school kids with a teacher narrating the aquarium over the speaker system...

Buy

There is a little breakfast joint/ice cream parlour near the night market where you can buy organic coconut-shaped soaps, massage oils, and body scrubs. Great quality for a more than reasonable price. They make great gifts.

Eat

Budget

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Connect

There is an Internet cafe down Salacheep Rd near the school.

Go next

Routes through Prachuap Khiri Khan

Bangkok Hua Hin  N  S  Ban Krut Butterworth
Bangkok Hua Hin  N  S  Ban Krut Sadao


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 05, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.