Khanom (ขนอม) is a small town in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, along the Central Gulf Coast.
Khanom is relatively unspoiled by tourists and a bit off of the beaten path, but still fairly easy to get to. It is a small, quiet fishing town with lovely beaches. It is a great stopping point when travelling through southern Thailand.
Khanom has several bays and beaches stretching more than 10 km along the gulf. Khanom Bay is the main tourist area, comprising 9 km of beaches from north to south: Kor Khao, Na Dan, Nai Plao. Accommodations on the beach is mostly mid-range or high-end but there are some economical options as well.
Distances are great and there is no public transport to and from beaches.
The centre of Khanom is split into See Yak and Bangnode, about 2-3 km apart. Minibus stations are in-between.
By mini-bus - You can get to Khanom from the nearby cities of Surat Thani, an hour+ west of Khanom, (100 baht) or Nakhon Si Thammarat, an hour south of Khanom, (80 baht). Minibuses generally depart from the "old" bus terminal in the centre of Surat Thani.
By bus - Overnight buses to Khanom depart from Sai Tai Taling Chan Bus Terminal (Southern bus terminal) in Bangkok, and they pass Surat Thani's new bus terminal on the way. There are only a few buses a day, and they can get fully booked hours before departure, so buy tickets in advance.
By taxi from Donsak Ferry Pier (which is the ferry to/from Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan). A songthaew between Donsak and Khanom is about 60 baht, but runs only a few times a day.
The best way to get around is by motorbike. The town and beaches have very little traffic so it is safe to ride a motorbike around to get to the local attractions and to check out the different beaches.
To get to Khanom from Surat Thani airport: There is a bus which leaves every hour from the airport to Surat Thani, approx. 40 minutes, cost 100Baht - you can get tickets at the counter in the airport - check the times there too, and beware of anyone that tells you the times have changed, the taxi drivers try to make you miss the bus so that you will get a taxi! Get off the bus at Talad Song in Surat Thani (ask the bus driver), then cross the road and walk down the side street to the bus station, you will see lots of mini buses outside - ignore the touts trying to sell you bus tickets (they charge double the price) - buy your ticket at the bus station - cost 100Baht to Khanom, approx. 1 hour travel time, buses leave every 40 minutes - last bus at approx. 18:00. The mini bus will drop you off at the motorcycle taxi stand in Khanom, or at the bus station if you are getting picked up.
If you want a car for the duration of your stay in Khanom, rent it at the airport - it's cheaper than in Khanom. Cost is approx. 1000Baht per day if you look for offers on the internet.
Motorcycle rental costs anything between 100 and 250 Baht, depending on how long you want to rent for, and where you rent from.
The beaches are nice and practically deserted. There are 2 caves in the area, a few waterfalls, and a nice paved road up Dat Fa Mountain.
Relax, see some of the natural, unspoiled attractions in the area. Hike or mountain bike through the jungle to the waterfalls and caves or kayak and swim off of any beach.
Go to the Wednesday morning market in town and see the variety of fruits, veggies and fish and other local merchandise.
There are hotels/resorts/rooms from about 300 baht to about 5,000 baht a night. Not much need to book ahead yet, this may change in the next year or two if Khanom is "discovered".
There are mini-buses that leave from Khanom every hour from about 06:00 until 16:00 to Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat. There is also big bus and a VIP bus that goes to Bangkok every day at 17:30. It arrives in Bangkok about 12 hours later.