Located 281 km. south of Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan is a rather small province with an area of 6,367 sq.km. Although situated at the northern end of peninsular Thailand, it is considered part of the central region of the country because its climate is influenced by the northeast monsoon in winter more than the other provinces in the South. Today the province is famous for its natural charm of beaches and mountains. Hua Hin, its major attraction, is one of Thailand's most popular seaside resorts among both Thai and foreign visitors.
The following are tourist attractions in Prachuap Khiri Khan as divided into districts (= amphoe).
Lying some 200 kilometres to the south of Bangkok, Hua Hin is in fact the oldest beach resort of the country and is still as popular as ever. There are several factors which have helped transform this once quiet fishing village into a popular beach resort. The first major event which led Hua Hin to its prosperity was the construction of the southern railway line in the reign of King Rama VI (1910-1925), which was soon followed by the establishment of the Railway Hotel and the Royal Hua Hin Golf Course. But the most important of all was the construction of the summer palace by King Rama VII in 1926 which he named Klai Kangwon Palace (meaning "far from worries"). From then on, people have kept flocking to this newly-discovered seaside resort to enjoy their holidays, especially in the hot season.
It is a 5-km white sand beach stretching from the town centre to Khao Takiap hill in the southern end where a Buddhist temple clings to the cliffs. Hua Hin beach is full of large smooth stones at its ends and as a result it was named "Hua Hin" meaning the stone head.
The seaside resort attracts lots of Thai and foreign tourists who seek a nice beach holiday close to Bangkok. With full facilities and its proximity to the entertainment centre in town, the beach is lined with a wide range of accommodation from luxury hotels to budget guesthouses. Hua Hin Beach offers great opportunities for swimming and relaxing in peace as well as the special activity of horse riding. Many water sports and beach activities are also available.
Hua Hin Railway Station
This is one of the oldest railway stations in Thailand. Its unique feature, the red and white pavilion formerly served as the Royal Waiting Room, was built in classical Thai-style by command of King Rama VI (1910-1925) for use in the Sanamchan Palace in Nakhon Pathom province.
In 1968, the pavilion was renovated and moved to be settled at Hua Hin Railway Station.
Built in 1926, soon after King Rama VII was crowned, the palace consists of three Spanish-style mansions overlooking the sea. Besides the beautiful ornamental gardens, the palace also features a shell museum. Presently, it is the residence of His Majesty the King.
This hill, jutting out to sea, is lying at the southern end of Hua Hin beach, about 6 km. from town. It has a temple and a huge standing Buddha image on the hilltop, where a good vantage point is provided.
Formerly, visitors had to climb series of steps to the top of Takiap Hill to enjoy the panoramic views of the bay and Hua Hin town. But now the hill is easily accessible by car.
Accommodations and seafood restaurants are available around Takiap Beach.
Khao Hin Lek Fai
Located about 2 km. west of Hua Hin town, this is a splendid vantage point where a panoramic view of the town and Hua Hin Bay can be seen. There is also a standing statue of King Rama VII on the hill.
Suan Son Pradiphat Beach
Suan Son Pradipaht or Sea Pine Tree Garden is located in a military camp about 9 km south of Hua Hin. This beach has long been accepted as one of the most beautiful beaches in Hua Hin. Belonging to the Army Welfare office, the beach is open from around 6 a.m. until midnight.
This tiny islet, lying about 800 m. off the coast of Suan Son Beach, is good for fishing and diving. Boats can be rented at Khao Takiap village.
Khao Tao Beach
Situated at the foot of Khao Tao Hill, about 13 km. from Hua Hin town, this pine-fringed beach is clean and more secluded. Its main feature is a large Buddha image facing the sea.
Pa La-U Waterfall
This beautiful 15-leap waterfall in the middle of the rich virgin forest is located about 60 km. to the west of Hua Hin town. The fall is located in the verdant forest area of Kaeng Krachan National Park where various kinds of birds and butterflies are found.
The water of this fall flows from Tenasserim Mountain in the west through the forests and cascades down the high cliff of Pa La-U. There is a nature study trail along an 800-metre path starting from the car park and leading to the first level of Pa La-U Waterfall. The surrounding green forests are an ideal place for those interested in ecology and wildlife.
Hua Hin Night Market
Hua Hin Night Market
Situated in downtown Hua Hin, this lively market is a nice place to hang around in the evening, to enjoy fresh seafood as well as to shop for souvenirs, clothes and local handicrafts. The walking street of Hua Hin night market is closed entirely to traffic and becomes the focal point for vending stalls, particularly consumer goods and souvenirs.
The market is also packed with restaurants and food stalls selling a wide variety of foods.
Therefore, when taking a stroll through the night market and shopping some small gifts, visitors can scent the tantalizing aroma of grilled seafood.
Rajabhakti Park is a historically themed park honouring past Thai kings from the Sukhothai period to the current royal house of Chakri. It was built by the Royal Thai Army, with funds donated by the public and private sectors.
The park covers a total area of 355,200 square meters. It consists of three main sections. The first section features the giant statues of seven kings, whose achievements are well-recognized. The seven kings made great contributions to the country in each period of Thai history. They include King Ramkhamhaeng (1279-1300) of the Sukhothai period, King Naresuan (1590-1605) and King Narai (1656-1688) of Ayutthaya period, King Taksin (1767-1782) of the Thonburi period, and King Rama I (1782-1809), King Mongkut (1851-1868), and King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910) of the Rattanakosin period. Each statue is made of bronze, with an average height of 13.9 meters.
The second section is a multi-purpose plaza. It is used for major ceremonies, performed by the Royal Thai Armed Forces, such as military parades, and for welcoming foreign dignitaries. The third section includes a museum featuring Thai history, especially the biographies and achievements of the seven kings. The museum is at the base of the statues.
Thanarat Infantry Camp
If you love challenging and exciting outdoor activities, here is the place for you. Lying about 25 km. south of Hua Hin and setting in a large area of 960 sq.km., the camp offers a wide range of "soft-adventure" activities such as high-diving, rock climbing, shooting, fishing, camping, etc.
Sam Roi Yot National Park
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
This is the first seaside national park of Thailand with an area of approximately 98 sq.km. The park is located on the coast between the provincial town and Hua Hin. Its name means the Mountain of 300 Peaks. The topography of the park consists of the undulating ranges of limestone hills, mangrove swamps, canals and creeks and beaches. The unique environment of the fertile marshland gives rise to a large variety of tourist attractions. It is also a sanctuary of wildlife and various kinds of local and migratory birds, the latter of which are plentiful from November to February. Some major attractions in the park are as follows:
Laem Sala Beach & Phraya Nakhon Cave
Situated 16 km. north of the park office, this long-stretching beach are lined with guest houses, restaurants and a camp site.
Walking up the beachside mountain for a while, visitors will arrive at a famous cave called 'Tham Phraya Nakhon'. Featuring a pavilion built especially for King Rama V's visit in 1890, the cave is well-known for having been visited by three Chakri kings - Rama V, Rama VII and King Bhumibol.
Sam Phraya Beach
Located 3.5 km. north of the park office, it is a tranquil sandy beach lined with pine trees.
The southern end of the beach, which is a mudflat, is a good place for birdwatching.
Accessible by a 250-m long trail from the nearby road, this impressive cave with few huge chambers is situated 16 km from the headquarters. It consists of stalactites and stalagmites with very rocky surface which makes walking a bit challenging. The cave has two entrances and takes about 20 minutes to walk through from one entrance to the other. Visitors are required to hire a tour guide from park office.
A cave consists of stalactites and stalagmites. It is accessible by a 300-m long trail from the road on the coast line, approximately 9 km north east of the headquarters.
Khao Daeng Canal
The canal offers an opportunity for a sightseeing tour through mangrove swamps inhabited by many birds and wildlife. The trip takes about 1.30 hours.
Tourists can have a 3-hour sightseeing tour on boat to absorb the scenic views of nature, pineapple plantations, fishing villages and spot a variety of bird species.
Pranburi Forest Park
Lying about 15 km. south of Hua Hin, the park is a strip of land connecting Hua Hin and Pranburi. Visitors can have a close study of the ecosystem of the mangrove swamps by walking along the one-kilometer long wooden bridge in the park and read the information boards provided all the way.
Chong Krachok Hill
The hill's name, meaning a mirror, comes from a natural aperture near its peak which allows light to pass through. There is a flight of 395 steps leading to Thammikaram Temple or Wat Khao Chong Krachok, enshrining relics of the Lord Buddha. The hill also offers a beautiful panorama of Ao Prachuap Bay.
This lovely curved bay, situated some 5 km. south of the town, is under the care of the Royal Thai Airforce. The bay is bounded by steep limestone outcrops forming peninsulas to the north and to the south. Its quiet white beach is nice for swimming and relaxing.
Located about 12 km. south of the town, this aquarium offers a number of impressive displays of marine and freshwater fish species. The exhibit areas are designed and decorated to reflect their natural habitats. There are a number of exhibitions including origins of life on earth, underwater worlds, and various ecosystems.
The aquarium is a part of the King Mongkut Memorial Park of Science and Technology at Waghor. Its objective is to become a learning centre for scientific marine ecology and the environment for students, the general public and tourists. Opening hours are from 09.00 to 16.00.
Hat Wanakorn National Park
Lying about 23 km. south of Prachuap Khiri Khan, the park offers a 7-km long sandy beach lined with pine trees. A few dive sites can be found around the small islets offshore with some coral reefs.
Namtok Huai Yang National Park
Located between km. 350 and km. 351 of Phetkasem Road, 27 km. south of Prachuap Khiri Khan, the park covers an area of 161 sq.km. on the Tanao Si Mountain range. The 9-tiered Huai Yang Waterfall is the main attraction and most frequented by local visitors. Other beautiful waterfalls are Bua Sawan, Khao Lan, Huai Hin Dart, and Kha On waterfalls.
Ban Krut Beach
This is a wide white sandy beach hidden away in a tranquil area of Bang Saphan district.
It has a baechfront road lined with coconut palms and casuarina trees. Accommodation is available on the beach.
Khao Thongchai Mount
Here is the vantage point of Bankrud Beach. From the mount top, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the vast bay as well as the beautiful sunrise and sunset. On the mount there are also a huge golden Buddha image facing the sea and a shrine to 'Krom Luang Chumphon', the Father of the Royal Thai Navy.
This is a tiny island about 1 km. offshore, north of Thongchai Mount. It has beautiful coral reefs and plentiful marine life.
Ao Bo Thonglang
The beach shape is crescent-curved almost like a circle. The water is shallow and there are many tiny islets lined at the front of the bay. A great number of local people visit this bay for splashing water and relaxing since this bay is quite peaceful and less crowded. Tourists can buy food and drinks from the stalls along the beach.
Ko Thalu, Ko Sang and Ko Sing
These three small islands are located off the coast of Bang Saphan and can be reached in 30 minutes from Ban Pak Khlong harbour. The crystal clear water and an abundance of fantastic coral reefs and marine life around the islands of Ko Thalu and Ko Sang make them ideal for snorkeling and diving.
Cha-am is the No.1 beach resort of Phetchaburi Province. Located 41 km to the south of the provincial town, the casuarina-lined beach is long and clean and equipped with numerous accommodations. The sea here is suitable for swimming. Tourists can enjoy several water sports like scooter riding, water skiing, banana boats riding and jet skiing. Riding a bicycle along the 6-km road, running in parallel with the beach is a charming activity of Cha-am. Beach-side grilled seafood, snacks, and drinks are available.
Located on the coast between Cha-am and Hua Hin, the Mrigadayavan Palace was King Rama VI’s seaside summer palace. Mrigadayavan Palace is made of golden teak in the western style. The construction was finished in 1925. The palace comprises three two-storey buildings connected to each other by elevated airy walkways.
The palace is open from Monday to Sunday (Closed on Wednesday), 08.30 - 16.00 hrs.
Click here for the full story of “Mrigadayavan: Palace of Love and Hope”.
Huai Sai Wildlife Breeding Centre
Located 15 km from Cha-am Beach, the Huai Sai Wildlife Breeding Centre was royally initiated. It is where animal conservation and breeding projects are conducted. There is a zoo here open to the public.
From the initiative of King Bhumibol, Hup Kraphong Royal Development Project is well-known as a learning center for agriculture project since 1964. The project has started after local farmers experiencing agricultural difficulties on infertile soil. With help from Israel researchers, the local farmers have learned methods to improve their agriculture such as soil improvement, cash crops and dairy cattle.
Travelers are welcome to visit for touring and browsing some products such as fresh crops and craft works like hats or bags made from hemp which have been exported to Asian and European countries.