If you’re searching for a relaxing Thai getaway, make a detour from Bangkok to Prachuap Khiri Khan province and be rewarded with pristine beaches, mountaintop temples and cascading waterfalls. Prachuap Khiri Khan has all the amenities a modern tourist needs but retains its old-world charm.
While still easygoing, Prachuap Khiri Khan is part of a well-connected tourist route and no longer the sleepy fishing village it once was. It is just a few hours' drive from Bangkok and is easily reached by road or rail making it a popular escape from the city.
Hire a tuk tuk driver to show you some more of the area. Start at the Wat Thammikaram, Worawihan the town’s landmark hillside temple. The mountainous region behind the village is an adventurer’s dream. From Khao Chong Krajok mountain, look out over the Gulf of Thailand and over the southern tip of nearby Burma (Myanmar). Head to the peaks in Hat Wanakorn National Park to see small monkeys and towering waterfalls. Pack your swimming gear and book a half-day trip to the seven-tier Huai Yang Waterfall.
Work on your tan on the long stretches of pristine beaches that characterise the Malay Peninsula. Snorkel in the warm waters of Koh Talu Beach or at Ao Manao Beach. If you get hungry, you can order spicy street food from the comfort of a beach chair. Back in town, the Kong Kiat Road Night Market is an even cheaper place to try delicious local seafood and noodle dishes.
Reach Prachuap Khiri Khan from Bangkok by road or rail or take one of the air-conditioned buses that travel the route regularly. It is also 65 miles (104 kilometres) south of Hua Hin, another popular Thai resort beach. Accommodation is plentiful and you can choose to stay in modest bungalows or luxury resorts.
While there’s a distinct wet season from May to October, temperatures remain warm year-round and swimming is always pleasant in Prachuap Khiri Khan.