In a nutshell
From azure waters and shady beaches, to monkeys and temples, waterfalls and golf courses, sights and seafood, there is very little that needs to be done to motivate a trip to this wonderful city.
Why go to Prachuap Khiri Khan
Outdoorsy, adventurous, and food-loving folk will find a home away from home in Prachuap Khiri Khan. Between the countless outdoorsy activities, the nearby national parks, and the relaxed placed to kick back at afterward, it is a little stressful thinking about how you will fit it all in. Clearly a first world problem, though.
A day spent at Khao Lommuak is a day well spent. Adventurous hikers and beachgoers alike will be in their element. Climb a steep and extremely challenging rock face to the peak of the small mountain and gaze at the surrounding tropical views. Spend the rest of the time on a beach so beautiful and so secluded that you may just find yourself alone in paradise. T
National parks abound in the province and are never far away for the green seeking nature enthusiast. Closer to the city, just a few minutes’ drive away though are the likes of Khao Chong Krachok and Namtok Huay Yang. Waterfalls and temples and other enticing activities can be found here.
Viewpoints and casual rides on your scooter are a great way to spend a day. Within this part of the country, there may not be a better way to spend it. This is, of course, somewhat subjective. You do you!
The sporty inclined are well catered for around these parts, too. A golf course, water sports and family oriented activities are in good supply in the jungles and on the beaches.
When to go to Prachuap Khiri Khan
Most of us enjoy clear skies and hot days – the kind that requires a hat and a good supply of sunscreen. If this is the case with you, head to the region between the months of November and April. If you don’t mind a few rainy days though, the odd torrential downpour, and are looking to capitalise on lowered hotel rates, then plan your trip between the months of May and October.
Where to stay
The most picturesque places to spend the night are located around Khlong Wan. These places have astounding views of the sunset and are short walks away from long stretches of brilliant beaches. The accommodations here are more high-end and will suit the traveller seeking a touch of indulgence.
Overall, prices in the city vary between 300 and 1200 THB. Simple night stays can be found along the beachfront, while more upscale joints are available too. Cheap establishments with fantastic amenities include Milano Coffee and Guesthouse and the Mont Talay Hotel. Both of these places have rooms for less than 500 THB, and both have air-conditioning to boot!
Mid-range options are in good supply, too. For 800 THB and up, expect a BBQ, a swimming pool, a nearby beach, and some quality entertainment options. Check out Happy House on the Beach for incredible value for money.
Expensive, luxurious and downright dreamy resorts grace the beaches of the Prachuap Khiri Khan. If you can spare the change, do yourself the favour and google Aleenta Pranburi. Herewith is a warning – do not do so if you have already booked your accommodation, or if it is out of your price range – don’t spoil what you have!
Where and what to eat
While the area is not the mostly finely tuned to the pallets and preferred eating habits of the Western traveller, there is a plethora of fantastic local spots that will have you engrossed in the moment, stupefied by the taste sensations, and cueing to get your second plate.
Being a coastal city, the seafood of the area is impeccable. It is also very, very cheap – even by Thai standards. As with anywhere else in Thailand, there are also many markets to grab a smoothie, some typical Thai dishes, and a few interesting desserts. All in all, the food scene is a fantastic mix of non-descript seaside huts, small and informal seafood joints, and colourful vibrant markets.
How to get around
Getting around the city is very easy. Much like the rest of the Thailand, public transport is cheap, always accessible, and somewhat informal. If you can speak a little bit of Thai, or are proficient with Google Translate, then songthaews are a great way to get around – they are very cheap and easy to navigate once you have the hang of it. If you can’t find one immediately, you can always hop on the back of a motorbike taxi and point to where you’re going. You can expect to pay anywhere between 30 and 50 THB for these trips around town.
The independent traveller can find a reputable company to hire a motorbike from. Most hotels rent motorbikes for anywhere between 200 and 350 THB. One up on this is the car rentals available through companies like Avis and Hertz. Moreover, any trips out of the city toward the national parks or to other provinces can be easily done via a minibus or bus for a few hundred baht – head to the bus station to book these.
How to get to and form Prachuap Khiri Khan
The three ways to get to Prachuap Khiri Khan from Bangkok or elsewhere in Thaialnd is by bus, van or train.
Most buses from Bangkok stop outside the city itself. From there, you’ll have to get into the city yourself. However, there is one bus that goes directly into the city. To get this bus, you need to leave from The Southern Bus Terminal. There are bus two busses daily that depart at 11.00 am and 16.00 pm respectively. Purchase your ticket form window 92 and find your seat. For the return or opposite leg, make your way to the 7-eleven on Phikat Chat, near the Yuttichai Hotel. You’ll grab a bus from here and will buy your ticket on the bus. Tickets for trips both ways will cost around 200 THB.
If you want to save a little time, but sacrifice on some comfort, grab a minibus from the Southern Bus Terminal, or Mo Chit Bus Station. The trip to the city will take around 5 hours and leave hourly from the early hours of the morning. Tickets costs around THB 200. Minivans depart from several spots in Prachuap Kiri Khan, including the corner of the City Shrine, and outside the Intila Hotel. They are frequent, departing around every 30 minutes.
If you’re into the old school, and would like to read an enticing novel while the sounds of the rails on the track fill your ears, then treat yourself to a train trip instead. Tickets are more expensive but vary largely (between 40 and 1500 THB) and the trip is a little longer (about six hours), but the romance of it all, is to some, priceless. The train leaves from Hua Lamphong Railway Station nine times a day from the early hours of the morning. Return legs mostly leave in the late evening.
The closest airport is in Hua Hin but currently the flights there have been suspended. The next closest one is in Chumphon, almost 180 km south. It makes absolutely no sense flying there and then taking a bus to Prachuap.
Is Prachuap Khiri Khan a safe place to visit?
Safety concerns around these parts are really non-existent. Insofar as you remain a vigilant and cautious traveller, there is very little chance that harm will come to you. Keep your belongings safe and near you in crowded places and avoid wearing overtly flashy jewellery.
Prachuap Khiri Khan station guide
Ban Krut - train
There are several trains going to Ban Krut that call in Hua Lamphong Station, but the most convenient and the fastest is the 'Splinter' train number 43 that normally takes only five hours or less to get to Ban Krut, compared to other trains bound the province.
Ban Krut railway and the province itself is accessible to the north-south train line. That's why it could easy to travel to Ban Krut especially coming from Bangkok. The Train station is a 20-minute walk from the beach, sided by temples and restaurants along the way.
Prachuap Khiri Khan - Bus
Prachuap Khiri Khan's train station is handily situated in the centre of town and is served by nine daily trains from Bangkok’s Hua Lumphong station. The journey takes between four and a half and six hours. It's possible to get a train on the day, but it usually makes sense to book in advance; that way you are guaranteed a ticket.
Other trains run to Hua Hin and Chumpon, the drop off point for those travelling onwards to Koh Tao, Koh Phan Ngan and Koh Samui. From Prachuap's train station you can easily hail a tuk-tuk to take you on to your destination.
There are several bus stops around Prachuap Khiri Khan, and which one to use depends on the destination. Air-conditioned buses depart from Phitak Chat in the centre of the city. This stop serves Bangkok’s Southern terminal, Hua Hin, Petchaburi and Cha-am. Opposite the bus stop is a 7-Eleven which is handy for buying food and drinks for the journey. There is also the usual array of street vendors selling tasty treats.
Slower, cheaper buses for Hua Hin, Bang Krut, Chumpon and Bang Saphan leave from the southeast corner of Thetsaban Bamrung, where it meets Pithak Chat. Minibuses serve many destinations, but buses and trains are more comfortable.
The town is small enough to traverse on foot. Tuk-tuks are available for private charter, and are useful for getting to the beaches. Bicycle taxis can also be hired for short rides around town and bicycles are also available for rent. There is a selection of budget and mid-range places to stay here, along with various places to eat, including the night market. There is also a market that sells clothes and various souvenirs held by the pier on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The beautifully clean Ao Manao Beach is Prachuap's must-see attraction. At the northern end is a colony of tame langur monkeys. Wat Thammikaram boasts stunning views over the bay and city.
Prachuap Khiri Khan - train
There are 5 major stations serving Prachuap Khiri Khan namely: Hua Hin, Muang, Bang Saphan Yai, Bang Saphan Noi and Pran Buri. From Bangkok via rapid or express train, travel time usually takes around 3-4 hours. There are 1st, 2nd and 3rd class trains to choose from.
From Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok, there is a daily southern train (number 43) that passes Hua Hin, Pran Buri and Prachuap Khiri Khan. If passengers would like to get as far as Hua Hin for a cheaper price, it is possible to book a 3rd class train ticket in Thonburi Station.
Moreover, there are one-day tour trains that operate during weekends and public holidays. However, passengers should contact State Railway of Thailand for confirmation and make a reservation in advance.
Bang Saphan - Bus
The town of Bang Saphan sits midway between the northern Gulf coast and Myanmar in central Thailand, around 360kms south of Bangkok. There is no bus station in the town, though plenty of buses will drop passengers off on Petchakasem Road (Highway 4) en route to other destinations in southern Thailand.
Trains depart from Thon Buri, Bangkok for Bang Saphan Yai 13 times per day, making arriving by train easy. Places of interest in Bang Saphan include Ko Talu National Marine Park, Wat Tham Manrong and Phra Mahathat Chedi Phakdi Prakat. There are numerous places to stay, such as Bang Saphan Resort, Banito Beach Resort and Sailom Resort Bangsaphan Prachuabkirikhan.
Bang Saphan Noi - Bus
Bang Saphan Noi is a small resort town that sits along the Gulf coast on the north side of the Bang Saphan Noi River. The town has its own bus station and train station, with buses arriving from nearby Bang Saphan Yai and other destinations in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.
Trains arrive at Bang Saphan Noi railway station infrequently, while 13 trains a day leave from Bangkok’s Thon Buri station for Bang Saphan Yai. From here, passengers can take a local bus or taxi into the town. Places of interest in and around Bang Saphan Noi include Wat Tham Khao Noi, Tham Thong-Bang Boet Beach and Koh Talu. There are also a few beachfront hotels, including the Sunrise, Star and Koh Talu Island resorts.
Thap Sakae - Bus
Situated on the main Route 4 that runs from Bangkok to the south of Thailand, Thap Sakae is a district of just under 50,000 inhabitants in the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan. VIP, air-conditioned buses running between Bangkok’s Southern bus terminal and the Gulf of Thailand side of the south pass through Thap Sakae, but check at the ticket office beforehand to make sure they stop in the town.
Provincial first- and second-class buses pass through the district at regular intervals during the day, as to buses between the cities of Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon. There are three national parks in the district: Huai-Yang Waterfall, Hat Wanakon and Lenya.