Cha-am Beach is mostly a beach for Thais or "local beach". As I described before in my post "East and West Meet at the beach", Thais avoid the sun as much as possible keeping them away from the beach and the mid day sun. But Thais still love the beach as much as anyone else. The photos in this post were taken at 9 in the morning at the Cha-am Beach and as you can see the beach is full. The area adjacent to water is stacked with beach umbrellas creating something of a cave offering shelter from the sun for those either not interested in swimming or taking a break from the water fun.
The beach will clear out as the mid day sun warms the area, especially now that it is summer here in Thailand. That is when the locals enjoy the seafood bountiful from the Thai Gulf.
Ko Phi Phi is a small archipelago of six islands in Krabi Province, Southern Thailand within the Andaman Sea and south of the Krabi Beaches. The two main islands are Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Ley with three smaller islands of Koh Mai Phai, Koh Yung, and Koh Yung. The islands main features are awesome limestone cliffs which often surround white sandy beaches. Most of these islands are part of a Thailand Marine National Park System, established, in part to protect the marine wildlife. So there are areas around the archipelago that are great for snorkeling.
Koh Phi Phi Don is the largest and only populated island and contains a whole community of resorts restaurants and shops to service the visitors to the island.
Koh Phi Phi Leh is the a smaller of the main islands and was popularized by the year 2000 movie "The Beach" starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed on Maya Bay located on Koh Phi Phi Ley. There are great areas around Koh Phi Phi Ley for snorkeling,
Ko Mai Phai pr 'Bamboo Island' is a small low-lying islet to the north of Phi Phi Don with a broad sunny beach and some very limited snorkeling.
Within the Phraya Nakhon Cave in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is the home of the Kuha Karuhas Pavilion, a part of Thai History. Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is part of Prachuap Khiri Khan province and about a 45 minutes drive South of Hua Hin. The cave is located surrounded by beatiful Mountains and wildlife with magnificent views of beaches, mountains and forests.
The Phraya Nakhon Cave consists of two huge chambers and both chambers are open to the sky allowing the rays of the sun illuminate the chambers giving the cave a magical feel that is both tranquil and serene. The Phraya Nakhon Cave is best known for the Kuha Karuhas Pavilion found in the main chamber (shown in the photo above). The Pavilion was built at the end of the 19th century for the visit of King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V). The cave was later visited by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) and the present King of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). The cave wall of the main chamber contains the signatures of both King Rama V and King Rama VII, further documenting their royal visits.
James Bond Island became famous by providing a beautiful backdrop for the 1974 James Bond movie 'The Man With the Golden Gun' staring Roger Moore. This famous landmark local name is Koh Ta-pu ('Nail Island'), and can get quite crowded with tourists. Try to be patient and take the less traveled paths on the island to get the best photos.
Koh Panyee is the home of a remarkable fishing village that is built adjacent to karst cliff of the island and extends over the water on a large pier structure into the emerald water of the bay. Many tourists are brought here from James Bond Island to eat tasty fresh seafood and shop for local handicrafts. After the tourists leave, the community closes up its restaurants and trinket shops and transforms back into a working fishing village.
Hua Hin is located about 200 km south of Bangkok or about a three hour drive from the center of Bangkok. Hua Hin is on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand and has a population of around 80,000 people. The King of Thailand, King Rama IX, has his summer palace in Hua Hin called Klai Kang Won, which means "Far from Worries", in the center of the northern beach area. This helps to keep this resort town low key and quiet and you will see a few Royal warships anchored off the coast when he is in town. You really can't see much of the palace but the pictures below show what you can see from the road. Word of warning: the palace guards do not like picture taking too close to the royal grounds.
The beaches of Hua Hin are what mostly bring the people from all over the world who enjoy warm waters of the Thai Gulf. The beaches are of white sand and perfect for a relaxing vacation. The beaches are bounded by several temples, which are conveniently place to give the visitors of awesome view of Hua Hin Beaches.
Hua Hin has a public park (Hin Lhek Fai Park) on a hill overlooking to town which affords awesome panoramic photos. I have posted one below for your enjoyment.
One of the best things to do in the evening is to visit the Hua Hin Night Market. There are many places to get great Thai Treats for dessert or there is even great places to get your dinner. You can also get a Thai gift made by a Thai Artisan.
Near the town center is the railroad station for Hua Hin, very historic and well maintained because of the King, show still travels through the rail system on occasion. The old style wood platform is highlighted by freshly painted trim. There is a railroad museum located across the rails from the station where you can see old style steam engines.
Ban Puen Palace, also called Phra Ram Ratchaniwet, is located at Ban Puen sub-district of Muang District in Phetchburi about 2 hours drive south of Bangkok and an hour noth of Hua Hin.
The construction of this palace was originally ordered by King Rama V in 1909 and it was funded out of his own coffers. The construction was completed in 1916 after the death of King Rama V. The palace is pure western style, as the designers, architects and engineers were all German, with the lead architect of Mr. Carl Dohring. The two-storey building is styled after Kaiser Wilhelm's Palace in Germany. The interior is decorated in typical early 20th century Europe style, with the use of porcelain dolls and ceramics, with spiral staircases and a liberal use of local woods.
The palace has been used for many purposes over the years including Boy Scout School and Agricultural Teacher Training College and is now the used as the Phetchaburi National Museum.
The Province of Krabi is world renowned for its beautiful and peaceful beaches which is located on Thailand’s Southern Peninsula on Phang Nga Bay east of Phuket on the main part of the peninsula. Along with their beauty, Krabi beaches are all quiet and peaceful places to visit with very low key nightlife. The main beaches in Krabi are Ao Nang and Railay.
Ao Nang Beach is easily accessible from the Krabi airport, which brings in a bigger crowd, but it doesn’t get too crowded. There is also a bit more to do in Ao Nang, having more restaurants and bars to enjoy at night. At the east end of Ao Nang Beach is a cliff face with a trail leading to the next beach owned by a 5 star hotel - Centara Grand. This beach is quite secluded and worth the hike but it is private so Centara requires visitors to sign in and out. The Ao Nang sunset is an added bonus, so have your camera ready!
Ao Nong Beach
Railay Beach is further to the east and is located on a peninsula jutting into Phang Nga Bay. There are two beaches on this peninsula Railay Beach East and West. The only access to these beaches is from the water and most people come from Ao Nang Beach via longtail boat taxis. Railay Beach is famous for the limestone rock walls surrounding the beaches that are used by climbers. This beach is quiet and a great place to relax the day away in the sun.
Krabi Beaches allow great access to other awesome places to visit, most within Phang Nga Bay, such as Phi Phi Islands, Hong Islands and a few other choices. There are several agencies to book your trips to choose from at any of these locations, each specializing in slightly different trips, so look around and pick a trip suited for your tastes. Most trips are just for the day and vary from sightseeing from the boat to snorkeling and SCUBA. The agency will coordinate with your hotel where they will pick you up and bring you back at the end of the day.
The Mrigadayavsn Palace (often referred to as the “Palace on the Beach”) was built by King Vajiravudh in 1925. The palace is made up of 16 buildings in 3 groups, one for men, one for women and one for gatherings and assemblies. Most of the buildings are connected in long wooden covered corridors. The vibrant yellows and blues that dominate to palace buildings make the palace stunning against the blue waters of the Thai Gulf.
The grounds have wonderful garden areas surrounding the palace area and there is often a presentation of Thai Traditional music to enjoy on your tour of the palace.
Mu Koh Surin is located on the northern rim of the Andaman Sea, and only 8 km. from the Thailand-Myanmar border. Getting to Mu Koh Surin isn't easy, being 50 kilometers off the coast of Thailand, you have to catch a ride on a fast moving ferry which takes a full two hours from the mainland. The ferry leaves from a pier in Khura Buri, more than 700 kilometers from Bangkok, which is also the mainland headquarters for the park.
As a cultural site of interest, there is a community of Sea Gypsies who still live their traditional lifestyle according to the life abundant local seas. These Sea Gypsies are called the Morgan and they continue to live a primitive life in their houseboats and inhabit Ko Surin Tai beach which is opposite to the national park office. You will find carved wood sculptures similar to an American Indian totem which is a Morgan tradition.
Mu Ko Surin is where Thailand's tropical rain forest come in contact with the largest, most amazing, life bundant, shallow water coral reef. Mu Ko Surin is the best place for snorkeling in Thailand, with rich marine life such as sea turtles and many varieties of marine life. Mu Koh Surin consists of two main islands, Ko Surin Nua and Ko Surin Tai (north and south) and have more than 10 bays renowned for the most beautiful shallow coral reefs. Thailand keeps the island rustic, limiting the number of visitors and the types of boats allowed into the shallow waters. There are a few nice bungalows on the island but most who visit stay for a few days in tents enjoying the quiet island breezes up close and personal.
Great destinations in Southern Thailand. Click here to view a list of Articles about Destinations in Southern Thailand.
Islands of the Thai Gulf
Bangkok's 9 Royal Temples
Bangkok Must Sees
Exploring Thailand's Nature
Thailand's Royal Palaces
Thailand and World War 2
Explore Chiang Rai
Explore Chiang Mai