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Prachuap Khiri Khan

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Southeast Asia : Thailand : Central Thailand : Northern Gulf Coast : Prachuap Khiri Khan
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Prachuap Khiri Khan (ประจวบคีรีขันธ) is a coastal town in Western Thailand. 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 the local Thais than foreigners with a hoard 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.

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 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.

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 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.

Get in

By car

From Bangkok, there are 2 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.

By bus

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 [1].

By train

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 3rd class train from there. You could take a 3rd 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 [2].

By plane

  • Siam General Aviation Co., Ltd., +66 26 646 099 (, fax: +66 21 343 235), [3]. Bangkok-Hua Hin flights 4 times a day at 07:30, 10:45, 14:15, and 17:15, taking approximately 45 minutes. Bookings made at the Nok Air Mini website.

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.

Rickshaws (samlor) are for relatively short distances. Tourists can take short rides within the town costing between 20 and 30 baht. Longer rides may cost as much as 50 baht.

Tuk-tuks (three-wheeled motorized rickshaws) are also popular for short and quick journeys. Fares must be bargained in advance.

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.

Bicycles can be rented all over town, as cheaply as 50 baht per 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. Due to safety however, make sure the driver has a spare helmet of decent quality.

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

See

Prachuap Khiri Kahn City Gate
  • Ao Manao Beach - a couple of miles south of the town centre so tuk-tuk or bicycles recommended. It's on the Wing 5 Air Force base - you will be asked to sign in with your passport number, but this is just a formality. The air force keeps the beach lovely and clean. Sit on the provided deck chairs under umbrellas (10 baht per person) at the south end of the bay, near the food courts, or walk along the beautiful empty northern stretch, see tiny pink seashells and watch crabs digging holes in the sand. You can also see spectacled langur monkeys at the northern end (there are usually plenty near the Khao Lommuak mountain). These are less aggressive than most monkeys and will politely take food from you when offered - but beware, they can still get over-excited and bite, especially if they notice you have a whole bag of peanuts.
  • City Gate, reportedly one of the prettiest in Thailand
  • Wat Thammikaram - excellent views of the bay and city, with wild monkeys crawling all over the place.

Do

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

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 when coming home.

Sometimes (possibly Friday evenings only?) there is a nice market along the sea front to the north of the pier selling clothes, bags and souvenirs.

Eat

Budget

  • The night market on Kong Kiat Rd is open every night and offers a variety of meals for around 25-30 baht.
  • Delicious breakfast can be found at the morning market, which starts by the post office (behind Hadthong Hotel) and stretches back a block from there away from the sea front. Highlights include fresh pineapple with chilli salt, tiny coconut treats wrapped in banana leaves, and freshly fried fish.
  • There are a few restaurants along the shoreline. The first one, in the vicinity of the Suksant Hotel offers great crab with curry for 100 baht. The next one over has great green pepper hot plate crab.
  • On Sala Cheep Rd there's a lunch room called Krua Chaiwat which serves Western and Thai food (closes early).
  • On Koalak Rd near Soi 5 you can get a nice, affordable pad Thai.
  • The best curry however, can be found north of Monkey Mountain in a British-owned pub/restaurant called Ann's.

Drink

Sleep

Budget

  • Khum Chao Lai Hotel, clean and friendly hotel. Staff doesn't speak a lot of English, but it's sufficient. On the Prachuap Khiri Khan Rd (the one which leads from the northwest almost directly to the Wat Thammikaram) where some mini buses from Bangkok will arrive.

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!

  • Maggie's Homestay [4] at 5 Soi Tampramuk 4, tel: +66 32 604 216 mobile: +66 87 597 9720 E-mail: [5] Maggie's is a lovely traditional Thai family house, set in a shady garden. The quiet Tampramuk St runs in from the beach road between the Suksant and Had Tong Hotels and the house is about 100 m from the sea, and about 400 m from the train station. Large lounging areas in the garden and inside, cable TV, free use of kitchen, dining areas. Clean bathrooms. Free Internet use and Wi-Fi in every room and in the garden. Laundry service, scooter and bicycle hire. Rates vary depending on bedroom size, 150 baht for a single bedroom up to 500 baht for the largest family room. Clean, cozy, quiet, and friendly.
  • Yuttichai Hotel, clean, friendly family-style hotel on Kong Kiat Rd, which is the street leading from the train station in the direction of the town pier. Free Wi-Fi, Laundry and scooter rental available from the hotel. Single room for 150 baht with shared bathrooms; double rooms with shared bathrooms from 230 baht, more for en suite rooms.

Mid-range

  • Hadthong Hotel, still Prachuap's only true full-service hotel option, the Hadthong has seen better days, but offers reasonably spacious rooms with views of the bay on the water side. It is very centrally located only a stones throw to the pier in the middle of the bay. Rates vary slightly, but are around 950-1,050 baht with a good buffet breakfast included.
  • Prachuap Beach Hotel, is a new place on the bay, south of the centre of town. Rooms are nicely appointed, modern and comfortable. Most have great views over the bay and town. The staff are eager to help and parking is available on the ground level. The breakfast noodle and wonton shop next door is highly recommended to start the day. Double rooms cost 650 baht a night and larger family rooms are available.

Contact

There is a regular Internet cafe down Salacheep Rd near the school.

Get out

There is a train station and a bus station within walking distance of each other.


Routes through Prachuap Khiri Khan
BangkokHua Hin  N noframe S  Ban KrutButterworth
BangkokHua Hin  N noframe S  Ban KrutSadao





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