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.
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.
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.
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.
Hua Hin Located on the sunrise side of the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin lies some 200 kilometres or a three-hour drive southwest of Bangkok. Adding distinction to Hua Hin's coastal setting, is its status as Thailand's most traditional beach resort. It was here, in the 1920s, that King Rama VII built a summer palace, thus creating a vogue among high society for Hua Hin to become the favourite retreat from Bangkok's summer heat. Today, the present Royal Family continues to reside at Hua Hin for part of the year.
Hua Hin is similarly noted for its magnificent beach, running from a rocky headland, which separates it from a tiny fishing port, and curving gently for some three kilometres to its southern point where Buddhist temples cling to the cliffs.
Hua Hin is a well-established beach destinations, with full facilities. But unlike Pattaya, on the opposite shores of the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin provide a quieter, more relaxed retreat amid surroundings which preserve a typical Thai ambience. Hua Hin is well suited for families or for those who wish simply to escape city bustle.
Hua Hin Railway Station Built in the reign of King Rama VI, this is one of Thailand's most beautiful train stations of which the local people are very proud.
Hua Hin Arts and Crafts Centre This is situated in an old typical house on Naepkhehat Road. It has a collection and exhibition of many contemporary works of Thai artists, as well as old furniture and many pictures about Hua Hin in the past.
Klai Kangwon Palace King Rama VII commanded this summer palace to be built in the year 1926 to the north of Hua Hin. The palace consists of 3 spanish style mansions facing the sea. It is open to the public daily from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Call 0-3251-1115 for more information.
Khao Takiap This hill is only 4 kilometres south of Hua Hin and may be reached by local minibus. There is a road leading to the top where a temple is situated. The nearby Khao Takiap beach offers mostly bungalow accommodation.
Ko Singto Fishing lovers can enjoy a day's outing to this island, just a few kilometres from Hua Hin or Khao Takiap where some boats for hire are available.
Suan Son Pradiphat or Sea Pine Tree Garden This beachside area belongs to the Army Welfare Office and is open to the public. It is at Km. 241, some 8 kilometres south of Hua Hin. Accommodation is available.
Hat Khao Tao This beach lies about 10 kilometres south of Hua Hin and 1 kilometre along an access road. It is a pine-fringed beach, more secluded than Hua Hin. Bungalows are available.
Namtok Pa La-u This waterfall is located within a yearlong verdant forest where various kinds of birds and butterflies are found, especially in the morning. It is composed of 11 tiers of rocks, some of which can be reached along a trekking trail parallel to the stream. To get there, visitors may take local transport from Hua Hin for a distance of 63 kilometres.
Pran Buri and Kui Buri
Sam Roi Yot National ParkSam Roi Yot National Park This park is located 63 kilometres south of Hua Hin. It occupies an area of 98 square kilometres with undulating ranges of limestone mountains, mangrove swamps, and beaches. It is also home to various kinds of local and migrating birds, which are plentiful from November to February. With a large number of ridges, Khao Sam Roi Yot (or the mountain of 300 peaks) stands as a landmark for seamen and also provides a good shelter for ships during a storm. To get to the park, follow the direction signs marking the remaining distances of 38 and 15 kilometres at Km. 256 and Km.286.5, respectively.
Attractions within the park area include:
Hat Sam Phraya , located 3.5 kilometres north of the park office, is a beautiful beach lined with pine trees. Accommodation is available.
Tham Kaeo is situated some 23 kilometres from Pran Buri or 15 kilometres north of the park office. This cave is full of stalactites and stalagmites. Oil lamps can be rented at a nearby village for exploring the cave.
Tham Sai , is 9 kilometres north of the park office. Exploration inside the cave takes about half an hour. Oil lamps can be rented at nearby Khung Tanot Village.
Hat Laem Sala is located 16 kilometres north of the park office. It can be reached by boat or walking across a hill from Bang Pu Village. Walking up a beachside mountain for a while, visitors will arrive at a famous cave called "Tham Phraya Nakhon". The cave has a big hole through which a shaft of light reaches and permits the growth of various kinds of plants. Phra Thi Nang Khuha Kharuhat, a Thai style pavilion, lends the most attractive sight to the cave and has become the symbol of Prachuap Khiri Khan. It is a four-porched building first constructed in Bangkok in 1890 during the reign of King Rama V, then dismantled and moved to the cave where it was reconstructed. Its gable tops were raised by the King himself.
In addition, there is a viewpoint on Khao Daeng, 400 metres from the park office and Ban Khao Daeng, a canal side village, which is the starting point for a boat trip to watch wild birds.
Namtok Huai Yang National Park This park covers a forested area on the Tanaosi Mountain Range. Follow a sign at Km. 351 of Highway No. 4 and drive along a 7-km. access road to the park office. Namtok Huai Yang near the park office is its main attraction. The waterfall is composed of 5 small cascades situated among recreational surroundings.
Hat Wanakon National Park This is 22 kms. south of Prachuap Khiri Khan. and another 3.5 kilometres on an access road. It offers a 7-km. long beach lined with sea pine trees. For accommodation, contact the Faculty of Forest Affairs, Kasetsart University, Tel: 0-2579-0520.
Bang Saphan Noi
Ko Thalu, Ko Sang, and Ko Sing These three islands suitable for fishing can be reached within 20 minutes by boat from Ban Pak Khlong, 3 kms. east of Bang Saphan.
Hotels and accommodation
- Anantara Resort and Spa : 43/1 Phetkasem Beach Road [(66 32) 520-250]
- Chiva-Som : 73/4 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin [(66 2) 913-6030]
- Evason Hua Hin : 9 Paknampran Beach [(66 32) 632-111]
- Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa : 33 Naresdamri Road, Hua Hin [(66 32) 512-888]
- Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa : 107/1 Phetkasem Beach Road, Hua Hin [(66 32) 511-881]
- Hyatt Regency Hua Hin : 91 Hua Hin - Khao Takiap Road, Hua Hin [(66 32) 521-234]
- Kaban Tamor Resort : 122/ 43-57 Takiab Road, Hua Hin [(66 32) 521-011-3]
- A & B Guest House : 113/17 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 2711] : 500-700 baht
- Baan Busarin : 8/8 Phunsuk Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 2076] : 800 baht
- Chat Chai : 59/1-3 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 1034] : 120 baht
- City Beach Resort : 16 Damnoen Kasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 2870-5 Fax: 0 3251 2448 Bangkok Office Tel: 0 2319 1468-71] : 1,650-1,930 baht
- Damrong Hotel : 46 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 1574] : 120-400 baht
- Fresh Inn : 132 Naret Damri Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 1389] : 750-1,300 baht
- Golf Inn : 29 Damnoen Kasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 2473-4] : 585-702 baht
- Hua Hin Grand Hotel & Plaza : 222/2 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 32 513230-4, Bangkok Office Tel: 0 2 255-3054] : 2,472-7,500 baht
- Hua Hin Guest House : 5/1 Soi Binthabat, Phunsuk Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 1653] : 200-300 baht
- Hua Hin Highland Resort : 4/15 Ban Samophrong Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 2487, Bangkok Office Tel: 0 2 282-9147, 0 2280-0750] : 950-2,400 baht
- Hua Hin Palace : 55/6 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 1151, 0 3251 2436] : 1,000 baht
- Hua Hin Sport Villa : 10/95 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 1453, 0 3251 2158] : 1,260-1,800 baht
- Janchai Bungalow : 117/18 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 1461, 0 3253 2374-5] : 600-2,500 baht
- Jed Pee Nong Hotel : 17 Damnoen Kasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 2381] : 450-800 baht
- Kong Hut : Naret Damri Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 1111] : 200-250 baht
- Leng Guest House : 113/14 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 3546] : 700 baht
- Mai Hotel : 39/4 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 1108] : 150-300 baht
- Majestic Beach Resort : Klaikangwon Beach, 11-66 Ban Bo Fai, Liap Wang Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3252 0162-6, Bangkok Office Tel: 0 2316-5971-2, 0 2751-4020-2] : 2,200-7,900 baht
- Melia Hua Hin : 33/3 Naret Damri Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 2888, 0 3251 1612-3, Bangkok Office Tel: 0 2271 0205, 0 2271 4639-45, 0 2271 0041-50] : 4,237-35,310 baht
- Mod Guest House : 116 Naret Damri Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 2296] : 150-550 baht
- Nillawan Guest House : 113/18 Phetkasem Road Amphoe Hua Hin [0 3251 2751, 0 3253 3630, Fax: 0 3253 3630] : 500-600 baht
- Amphoe Muang
- Chiew Ocha : 88/1 Pitakchart Rd., Tel: 0-3261-1118
- Sai Thong : Susuk Rd., Tel: 0-3261-1293
- Pramong : 3 Kongkiat Rd., across from fishing boat dock, Tel: 0-3261-1168
- Pan Pochana : 84/2-3 Salachep, Tel: 0-3261-1195
- Ponrak : Susuk Rd., Tel: 0-3260-1909
- Plern Samut : Susuk Rd., Tel: 0-3260-1866, 0-3261-1615
- Puen Khun : Susuk Rd., Tel: 0-3260-1969
- Rub Rom : Susuk Rd., Tel: 0-3260-1677
- Amphoe Hua Hin
- Koti : Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3251-1252
- Kuang Seng : Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3251-2088
- Charoen Pochana : Nares Damri Rd., Tel: 0-3251-2168
- Chao Ley : Nares Damri Rd., Tel: 0-3251-3436
- Tuppee Kaew : Nab Kahad Rd., Tel: 0-3251-2210
- Ban Look Sao : Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3251-2366
- Mee Karuna : Nares Damri Rd., next to Sapan Pla docking pier, Tel: 0-3251-1932
- Sailom : Sailom Hotel, Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3251-1890-1
- Sang Thai : Nares Damri Rd., Tel: 0-3251-2144
- Hai Piang : Phetkasem Rd., Tel: 0-3251-1072
- Amphoe Pranburi
- Tan Ku : Near the Rural Rapid Development Office, Tel: 0-1212-4441
- Rabiang Bua : Phetkasem Rd., at entrance to Pranburi Dam, Tel: 0-3262-1555
- Ban Suan Rim Had : 3 Moo 9, Sam Roi Yod, Tel: 0-1702-6608, 0-1385-3947
How to get there
* By car
From Bangkok, drive for about 3 hours along the Highway 35 (Thon Buri - Pak Thao route) via Samut Songkhram then turn left to the Highway No. 4 (Phetkasem Road) via Phetchaburi and Hua Hin to Prachuap Khiri Khan, a total distance of 281 kilometres. Another route might otherwise be taken from Bangkok via Buddhamonthon, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan, a total distance of 320 kilometres.
Regular buses leave Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal for Hua Hin and Prachuap Khiri Khan many times daily. Call :0-2435-1199 (air-conditioned bus) or 0-2434-5557-8 (non air-conditioned bus) for more information.
* By train
Trains leave Hualamphong (Bangkok Railway Station) for Hua Hin 12 times daily and Prachuap Khiri Khan 9 times daily. Please check timetable before travelling at the nearest staion or Information Unit in Bangkok Railway Station, Tel: 0-2223-7010, 0-2223-7020.