Situated about 200 kilometres south of Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan is not just another coastal province ' it has more than 200 kilometres of coastline. Besides its close proximity to the capital of Bangkok, it is known as one of the most up and coming beach destinations in Thailand.
The royal beach of Hua Hin
Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan's first and most famous beach town (195 km from Bangkok), holds variable names from the royal beach town and the romantic getaway to the town of chic boutique resorts. Even though Hua Hin is the most popular beach in the province, its neighbouring beaches such as Naresuan beach, Had Nom Sao and Pranburi have gained recognition, if not by international travelers, from local tourists and expatriates. However, sea, sun and sand are not the only attractions in this province. Prachuap Khiri Khan boosts lush green national parks and a scenic former royal beachside mansion.
This popular resort town is about 200 kilometres south of Bangkok and can be reached by car, train and flight. The beach stretches some 7 kilometres from the hill in the south called Khao Takiap, where the famous temple Wat Khao Takiap is located. The beach is wide and long with white sand and scattering rocks in some area. Some parts of the beach can be tranquil but activities such as horse riding, kite boarding, and water sports can also be found here.
It offers a wide range of beachfront accommodation, good golfing, and seafood galore. Close to Bangkok, Hua Hin is becoming increasingly popular, although it has all but escaped the gaudy excesses of Pattaya and Patong. The town boasts accommodation to suit all budgets, with a good selection of resorts spread along its white sandy beach. Golfers can enjoy the 72-par Royal Hua Hin Golf Course for a reasonable non-member's fee.
The unspoiled side of Hua Hin at Suan Son Pradiphat Beach
If you are seeking a serene beach near Hua Hin, Suan Son Pradiphat Beach is probably a good place to go. This 2.8 kilometre long beach is located next to Hua Hin beach but divided by Takiap Hill. The atmosphere of Suan Son Pradiphat Beach is similar to Hua Hin yet quieter. The beach is shady with a line of pine trees stretching a long curved bay while the water is shallow ' suitable for swimming. The area belongs to the navy but is open to public.
Father south of Suan Son Pradiphat Beach is another beach named Khao Tao. The beach is wide and long. You can go up to Khao Tao hill for a viewpoint of Hua Hin. The beach is good for swimming and ideal for a picnic. There are some food stalls and sun decks for rent available near the beach.
Pranburi beach: a haven of boutique resorts
Pranburi is some 30 kilometres south of Hua Hin. The beach itself may not be spectacular but its peaceful environment infuses a sense of privacy and exclusivity. It was never a popular weekend destination among travelers. In the past, holidaymakers preferred to stay in Hua Hin and drive to Pranburi for a one day trip.
However, this is not the case, today, since it becomes a popular getaway among travelers from Bangkok who seek to relax in style. That contributes to the increase in the number of chic and boutique resorts. The trend started in 2002 when Soneva hotelier group opened its first boutique resort in Pranburi. The resort was a huge success, luring local and foreign investors to follow its footstep. Yet it maintains its serenity. Some resorts in Pranburi offer a shuttle van service for their customers who want to go to Hua Hin for a night out. Nowadays, Pranburi is a tourist attraction by its own.
An interesting attraction nearby Pranburi is the Pranburi Forest Park, which occupies a large area with a 1-kilometre pine-fringed beach and mangrove nature trails.