Difference between revisions of "Prachuap Khiri Khan"
Revision as of 15:19, 24 February 2013
Prachuap Khiri Khan (ประจวบคีรีขันธ) is a coastal town in Western Thailand. 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 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.
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 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.
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 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 .
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.
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.
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!
There is a regular Internet cafe down Salacheep Rd near the school.
There is a train station and a bus station within walking distance of each other.