After spending a few days in the beautiful but crowded Koh Tao Island, I decided to avoid big crowds for a moment and pack my bags to a quiet place: Prachuap Khiri Khan. This is a peaceful and quiet town that hosts mainly elder travellers that want to stay away from the big crowds in Thailand.
Nonetheless, Prachuap Khiri Khan is also a great place to practice outdoor activities and relax by the beach at the same time. Here is a list of things that you can do if you come to visit this amazing town:
Visit Ao Manao Historic Park
Rent a bicycle and head towards the Historic Park in Ao Manao for an amazing hike and the best view in Prachuap Khiri Khan. You will have to cross the Thai Army Wing 5 Headquarters where they ask you to register before you enter. This is perfectly normal, they just want to keep track of the number of visitors. After the registration, go straight until you see the sign that says “Historic Park” where you will have to turn left.
When I got there, the entrance was closed. You can only climb the mountain during festivals, at least thats what the sign said. Nonetheless, I jumped the fence without anyone noticing and climbed to the top of the mountain. The view on the top was surreal.
Its not an easy hike but its totally worth it. At the begining you have to climb stairs and steep walls of rocks. Luckily, there are some ropes on the way that can prevent you from falling. Once in the summit, I felt the mix of adrenaline, peace and calmness that only nature can give you. I recommend heading down towards Ao Manao Beach to relax and enjoy a good swim in the sea after the climbing.
Sam Roi Yot National Park
Another day-trip can include renting a scooter and heading north to Sam Roi Yot National Park at Pranburi. The ride from Prachuap Khiri Khan until you get to the entrance of the National Park is approximately 1 hour long . I recommend exploring the caves of Phraya Nakhon and Sai Cave, which are beautiful and have Buddhist Temples inside. You can also relax by the sea in Laem Sala and Sam Phraya Beach. The entrance fee of the Sam Roi Yot National Parkwas 200 baht in 2016.
Go to the top of Khao Chong Krachok
Walk uphill to the Khao Chong Krachok (or the “Mirror Temple”) for a nice sunset view of the town. There is a catch: you have to go through a big number of territorial monkeys that will try to intimidate you as you go upstairs. Its not advisable to bring food or plastic bottles. The temple at the summit is pretty and the view is superb. There are some wooden sticks at the bottom of the stairs that people leave to scare the monkeys away.
If you have the time and also want to relax for a couple of days, Prachuap Khiri Khan is worth considering.
Slow Train from Chumphon to Prachuap KK: 34 baht (lessthan USD 1)
Accomodation at Maggies Homestay: 180 baht for a private room with fan and shared bathroom (approx. USD 5)
Food: 30 baht for street food, 40 baht at night market, and 40 baht at the vegeterian restaurant next to Maggies.
Bicycle: 50 baht at Milanos.
Motorbike: 200 baht at Maggies. Petrol is 40-50 baht.
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