:: PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN

Prachuap Khiri Khan is located some 281 kilometres south of Bangkok. After the old town was abandoned during the fall of Ayutthaya, a new settlement was established in 1845 in the reign of King Rama IV. The province, today, is more famous for its natural charm of beaches and mountains than historical attractions. Hua Hin, its major attraction, is one of Thailand's most popular seaside resorts among overseas visitors as well as Thais.

:: Attractions

The small coastal park of Khao Sam Roi Yot (300 Peaks Mountain) National Park sits in the narrowest part of the Thai peninsula overlooking the Gulf of Thailand covering an area of 98 sq km. The park is famous for their distinctive limestone pinnacles that rise vertically from the marshland to a height of 650 m. The park's wetlands provide a sanctuary for native and migratory water birds. Other attractions include extensive forest hikes and large caves. Tham Phraya Nakhon houses a large pavilion built for King Rama V in 1896 and Tham Sai contains fossilized falls.

Perched high atop a local hill inhabited by around 200 harmless monkeys, Wat Chong Kra Chok offers a panoramic view of the city and surroundings.

Hua Hin was Thailand's first beach resort with much of its success attributed to the railroad completion in 1911, making the 190 km. journey from Bangkok relatively easy. Hua Hin became a popular retreat for Thai royalties and Bangkok's affluents. King Rama V built a summer palace here, the Klai Klangwon (Far from Worry) , which is still used by the Royal Family today, though opens to the public when not in residence. King Rama VI also commissioned a nine-hole golf course in Hua Hin.

For an insight into the Hua Hin of the 1920's, visit the Hotel Sofitel Central, formerly known as the Railway Hotel.  Teakwood floors and rich Thai silk tapestries are part of the elegant d ? cor that adorn this luxurious hotel set amidst a well manicured garden filled with animal-shaped shrubs.

Khao Takiep (Chopstick Hill) lies south of Hua Hin. The picturesque spot is covered with miniature chedis and shrines. Nearby, an impressive 20-meter tall Buddha stands looking out into the sea at Wat Khao Lad.


:: City attractions

Khao Chong Krachok or Mirror Mount From the foot of the hill in the north of the town, up 395 steps, sits a much revered monastery. There is a small pagoda and a troop of playful monkeys. The hill also offers a splendid panorama of the coastline and seascape.

Ao Manao This beautiful curved bay is under the care of the Royal Thai Airforce. It is some 5 kilometres south of the town. This area used to be a battlefield between the Thai and Japanese armies during Second World War. Accommodation should be reserved in advanced at the 53rd Squadron, Tel: 0-3261-1017, 0-3261-1031 ext. 2146.

Wa Ko This locality has had historical importance since the reign of King Rama IV. The King made a trip to Wa Ko to witness the full moon eclipse. A long white sandy beach lined with pine trees offers a pleasant atmosphere. It is located at Km. 335 of Highway No. 4, about 12 kilometres south of the town.

 

Khao Hin Thoen Stone Park This is located to the west of the town. Travel along Highway No. 4 till Km. 331-332, then turn right and drive for another 8 kms. Among large stones placed by nature in the area, there are narrow walks leading to wide rocky fields on the mountain top overlooking the view of the city and the sea.

Dan Singkhon This Myanmar-Thailand border pass is located in Tambon Khlong Wan, 4 kilometres from Khao Hin Thoen Stone Park. It used to be a strategic line for military movement in the past.



:: Bang Saphan

Ao Mae Ramphung This is a scenic bay in Amphoe Bang Saphan. Travel about 75 kms. south of Phrachuap Khiri Khan to Km. 399, turn left and continue for another 17 kilometres via Bang Saphan Market. Accommodation and seafood restaurants are available.

Ao Bo Thonglang This is located 4 kilometres beyond Ao Mae Ramphung along a beach road. There is a clean and white sandy beach suitable for swimming.