Prachuap Khiri Khan
Prachuap Khiri Khan (ประจวบคีรีขันธ์) is a city in the South Eastern Coastal part of Central Thailand and is the capital of the province of this name. It possesses various interesting tourism attractions such as beaches, islands, forests, and mountains.
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 the local Thais than foreigners with a horde of Bangkokians purchasing condominiums there. This guarantees a bit of a quiet atmosphere if you are fed up with rowdy noisy foreign tourists at their favourite locations, such as Pattaya or Ko Samui (or Hua Hin, which is in the north of this province).
It is actually pronounced Prajuap Kiri Kan, and usually just referred to as Prajuap.
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 Mueang district there is a border crossing into Burma. Near there, the distance from the Burmese border to the South China Sea is only 11 km. The length of the province from the north to the south is approximately 212 km.
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 already 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. Moreover, 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. It was then it was moved to Ao Ko Lak or Ao Prachuap, the location of Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan today.
From Bangkok, there are two routes as follows:
First Route Take the Thon Buri–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 approximately 280 km or 3½ hours.
Second Route Take Phetchakasem Rd (Hwy 4), passing Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi into Prachuap Khiri Khan. The total distance is approximately 320 km or 4 hours.
There is only one bus that actually comes into the city itself, and this is the aircon one from the Southern Bus Terminal. All other buses stop on the main highway outside the city, and you have to get into the city from there.
From the Southern Bus Terminal on Borommaratchachonnani Rd, the Transport Company Limited offers various routes of daily bus services. Namely, Bangkok–Prachuap Khiri Khan, Bangkok–Hua Hin, Bangkok –Pran Buri, and Bangkok–Bang Saphan. Companies providing bus services of the Bangkok–Prachuap Khiri Khan route are the Hua Hin–Pran Tour Co., Ltd., Tel. +66 28 846 191-2 (04:00-22:20), the Phuttan Tour Co., Ltd., Tel. +66 24 355 302, or Prachuap Khiri Khan Office, Tel. +66 32 611 411 (06:00 – 01:00), the Bang Saphan Tour Co., Ltd., Tel. +66 24 355 105, or Bang Saphan Office, Tel. +66 32 691 267 or Ban Krut Office, Tel. +66 32 695 074 (Bus leaves at 07:30 and from Ban Krut at 00:30 There is also a 07:30 bus on Saturdays.) For further information, contact the Southern Bus Terminal Tel. +66 24 351 199, or .
From Bangkok, there are minibuses from Victory Monument for 220 baht. It takes 4 to 5 hours, with a stop at Hua Hin. It terminates at the minibus stop in Prachuap City which is in the center of the town.
The minibus leaves from about 100 metres from the BTS station along Phaya Thai Road heading toward Phaya Thai BTS station, on the left, as at Dec 2014 and stops at the Clocktower in Hua Hin on the way. As at April 2015 there is also one from the centre of Victory Monument, and it stops in Hua Hin well south of the Clocktower before continuing onward.
If you are coming from Hua Hin, take a minibus from the Clocktower in the main street. Will cost 80 baht, and will deliver you to the minibus stop in Prachuap City, where minibuses can be taken to Chumphon and Hua Hin. Toilet facilities are available near the stop.
If coming from Chumphon, take a minibus from the minibus stop in Krumliang Rd(see Chumphon listing) for 180 baht; takes 2.5 hours.
From Hua Lamphong Railway Station, there is a daily southern train (number 43) passing Hua Hin, Pran Buri, and Prachuap Khiri Khan departing Bangkok at 08:05, arriving at Hua Hin at 11:26 and Prachuap Khiri Khan 12:28. Coaches are second class and air conditioned - the seats are padded but quite old and rickety. You get food and drink included in the ticket price (455 baht) but it's nothing to write home about and you might prefer to bring your own snacks.
The service can get booked up, especially if you just walk up half an hour before the train leaves. but it's worth checking whether you can get as far as Hua Hin as it's usually possible to get a third class train from there. You could take a third class train all the way from Bangkok's Thonburi but the hard seats can get uncomfortable after a couple of hours.
Moreover, on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, there is the one-day trip touring train to Suan Son Pradiphat; and from the Thon Buri Railway Station, there is the Thon Buri–Lang Suan train, departing at 07:20 and arriving at Hua Hin at 11:52. For further information, contact the State Railway of Thailand at Tel. 1690, +66 22 204 334 or .
The town itself is small enough to get around by foot or bicycle. Bicycles can be rented for about 50 baht per day; best availability is on the waterfront road.
Tuk-tuks (three-wheeled motorized rickshaws) are popular for short and quick journeys. Fares must be bargained in advance. If you want to go from the minibus stop in the city to Ao Prachuap (which is Prachuap Bay), it will cost you 80 baht as at March 2013).
Motorbike taxis are the most popular form of public transportation in town and the prices are low (bargaining is advised before getting on). Trips cost about 10-40 baht depending on the distance. Due to safety however, make sure the driver has a spare helmet of decent quality.
Songthaews (public passenger pick-up vehicles) pick up as many passengers as they can and drop them off as the drivers reach their destinations. They are a very reasonable way of getting around.
Motorbikes can be hired but it is advised to be extremely careful when hiring a motorbike. Use a reputable agency.
Cars can be rented from trustworthy companies such as Avis, Budget, and Hertz.
Boats can be hired at the pier for travel to nearby islands.
To orient yourself within the city: As you come into town from Bangkok/Hua Hin,you will turn left from the main highway. You will then travel roughly one Km, crossing the railway line via a bridge.
The main road is to the right,and if coming by minibus you will turn into this,then go a couple of blocks (past the Roman Catholic Church on your right), to where the minibuses stop.
Another street south from the minibus stop is Kongkiat Rd (Pronounced Gawnggiat!)- ถนนก้องเกียรติ.
To the right is the railway station, a block along, with the Yuttachai Hotel on the left a short distance along as you walk towards the station. Looks like a cheap tourist hotel.
There are three main roads parallel with the beach, and one along the beach. The first one is where the minibuses stop.
Towards the southern end of the road a little, is also a bus stop for buses to Bangkok. On the next parallel road are more shops and the same on the next one. Then there is the beach road.
As you look at the beach road, it is bisected by a pier-each section about a kilometre in length. As you walk from the minibus stop to Kongkiat Road and then turn left,you will come to this point.
The northern end has no hotels - these are at the southern end.
As you walk from the pier, you will see the Suksant Hotel, which appears to be about a B800-B1000 hotel,followed by the Hadthong Hotel, of 8 storeys and looking to be about a B1000 to B1200 hotel.
Next to it is Nings Guest House, with advertised prices outside at B450 aircon and B300 fan. It also does American breakfast at the restaurant. There are a couple of other rooming houses. And about another 300 metres along is the Prachuap Beach Hotel, which looks like a 800-1000 baht hotel. Along this strip also are several decent restaurants, and seafood is a speciality.
From all of the above, there is an uninterrupted view of the beach.
This is a little to the left of the road as you come into the city from the main road. There are some 400 steps to the top, but the view is 360 degrees, and totally worth the climb! Beware of the monkeys though, some are quite aggressive!
The Wat Thammikaram is at the top of the "mountain".
Is a long and beautiful beach to the north of the city itself, but few people use it as a beach. There are a couple of budget and mid-range hotels along the Ao Prachuap beach road, which is pretty quiet and unspoiled by too many tourists. There are also good and reasonably priced restaurants, especially for seafood.
Fishing boats actually use the city beach,(which in itself is not very much of a beach, with little sand area available), and they go out at night and return in the early morning.
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 when coming home.
Friday and Saturday evening there is a nice market along the sea front selling food, clothes, bags and souvenirs.
Afternoon Market - On the road parallel to the railway line (under the long sheds, just south of the station), or north end of Maha Raj 1 (parallel to train tracks, located in a dirt field behnd the buildingstreet. possibly one across from Pitakchart Road. This market is at different locations on different days. Here they sell fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, prepared foods, etc, and also clothing; it's where the locals go to buy food for dinner.
Day market - Corner of Mitri Ngam and Sue Suk roads. Wet, fruit, veg, etc, and clothing across the street.
From the train station take first the Kong Kiat Rd (direction to the beach, turn left at the Phitak Chat Rd and when you reach Thanon Prachuap Khiri Khan you turn left again and you'll reach the hotel after 200 m. Total distance about 15-20 minutes. Prices for a double with fan from 250 baht (private bathroom). During the week ask for a discount!
It is a nice place at the south of the bay, south of the centre of town. Rooms are nicely appointed, modern and comfortable. Rates (as of Dec 2013) are B800 for sea view room (B900 on weekend and holiday), and B700 for mountain view room (B800 as above. Family rooms also available at B1300. From the minibus stop is B30 per person in a tuktuk. The hotel will organise one back to the minibus stop for you when you leave. The view from the seaview rooms either side on the upper floors is phenomenal! There is free coffee and tea in the lobby, and free English and Thai language newspapers daily also. Breakfast is available in the back of the lobby towards the beach at about B100. American breakfast if you want that, toast also, and for those who like Thai food, they have Khao Tom (boiled rice soup!) English is spoken by most of the staff. Well worth it at the price.
As at Dec 2014 the hotel is under renovation, and the old front part is removed. However, it is still in business for the new back part.
There are plenty of good restaurants nearby. Staff at reception are friendly,and speak some English. Breakfast (American) is included in the price at March 2013, which is B1000.
There is a regular Internet cafe down Salacheep Rd near the school.
There is a train station, minibuses, and big buses; minibuses are the most frequent and travel to the most places.
The main area for minibuses is one block east then one block north of the train station. There are three separate minibus companies, one on each of three corners. Just ask at any of the ticket booths, and you will be directed to the correct one for your destination.
There is another minibus just to the south of the above, at the next intersection. These minibuses go directly to Bangkok without going through Hua Hin and are very much faster than the ones which do go through there. They stop at both the Victory Monument, and Mo Chit Bus Station.
Trip to Victory Monument via Hua Hin takes 4 hours in moderate Bangkok traffic (midday, midweek) including a 10 minute toilet & fuel break at 3 hours. Drop off at the North edge of Victory Monument, but this may vary.
If you buy your ticket in advance, ask if they will pick up at your hotel. Be ready early as they may not wait for you.
There are also blue coloured big buses to Bangkok's Southern (Sai Tai Mai) bus terminal. They run at 900, 1100, and 1300 (and possibly additional times) [Jan 2016]. The stop is on the west side of Pitakchart Road (same road as the minibuses) half a block south of Kongkiat Rd. The ticket office is a tiny storefront with a glass booth and wooden benches visible inside.
Direct buses to Suvarnabhumi Airport are available from Hua Hin (http://airporthuahinbus.com).