||Text used with permission:
|Prachuap Khiri Khan
||Prachuap Khiri Khan
(including Hua Hin)
The provincial capital is a fishing port with a superb location beside beautiful curving bays and amongst steep mountain outcrops. About 100 kilometres to the north of Prachuap Khiri Khan is Hua Hin, Thailand's first beach resort which is renowned for golf and spa. Between Hua Hin and Prachuap Khiri Khan are Pran Buri with many boutique resorts and Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park with soaring peaks, numerous caves and exotic bird life.
281 kilometers south of Bangkok, Hua Hin, which literally means stone head in Thai, is the oldest beach resort of the country and is still very popular. Clean white sand, crystal clear water and a tranquil atmosphere has continued to attract tourists in search of peaceful and relaxing holidays.
The town was originally known as Ban Samoe Rieng, or Ban Laem Hin (Stony Point Village). The construction of a railway station in the city as part of the Southern Railroad in the reign of King Rama VI resulted in making Hua Hin stand out from many quite fishing villages. In addition, the construction of a Summer Palace of King Rama VII totally transformed the village into a high-society resort town for royalty. Even today, the Royal Family continues to reside at the Palace for part of the year.
Hua Hin's consequence came with the opening of the Railway Hotel (known today as the Sofitel Central Hotel), an elegant Victorian-style resort hotel, and also the countrys first standard golf course. A cluster of royal and high-society residences gradually became more visible resulting in the transformation of the whole village into the first seaside resort of the country, where visitors could enjoy swimming, fishing, and golfing in the country's first standard golf course.
Today, Hua Hin is a well-established beach destination with word-class facilities coupled with a true sense of Thai hospitality. Despite its expansive growth and development as a luxurious destination, the splendor of Hua Hin remains intact. Remaining content in itself, Thailand's oldest seaside resort has never sought international recognition. It has continued to provide a peaceful and relaxed sanctuary in a picturesque environment that comes with a true sense of historical identity.
||Chumphon is a sea coast city parallel to the Gulf of Thailand. It is the gateway to other southern provinces. Along more than 200 kilometres of Chumphons seashore, there are many beautiful and picturesque beaches. Still maintaining the natural beauty, the province is best for those who seek relaxation in the natural and uniquely quiet atmosphere.
Historical documents state that Chumphon was continuously the locations of many communities since the pre-historic period, especially in the area near Tha Taphao River banks. Chumphon was also one of the leading trading centers of Siam (former name of Thailand).
Due to being the frontier city, the name Chumphon is believed to derive from Chumnumphon, which means the accumulation of forces. Whenever there were movements from the army, the soldiers would gather their forces here at this province.
The other source believed that it should be derived from a local plant named Maduea Chumphon due to its richness in this area. Therefore, naturally, this plant has become a symbol of the logo of Chumphon Province.
||Ranong is the first southern province on the western coast, located 568 kilometres from Bangkok. It is known for the long rainy period, which lasts for 8 months each year. Ranong occupies an area of 3,298 square kilometres and is bordered by Myanmar and the Indian Ocean to the west. Within its compact area, Ranong contains various natural attractions and is blessed with hot springs and unspoiled mangrove forests.
A mountainous and heavily forested province, Ranong is best known as a fishing and trading port. It was settled by the Hokkian Chinese, and their strong influence is evident in the town. Ranong town is a gateway to Myanmar, with colourful longboats ferrying produce and people across the narrow divide that separates the two countries. The traffic is even heavier these days since a casino opened at Victoria Point. The famous hot springs are just outside of town, where an arboretum and various first-class hotels cater to visitors eager to benefit from the medicinal properties of the mineral waters.
||The largest province of the South located 685 kilometers from Bangkok is Surat Thani the province with a name that literally means "City of the Good People". A former capital of the Srivijaya Empire, the province covers an area of approximately 12,891 square kilometers. Surat Thani Province borders the Gulf of Thailand to the north and east, Chumphon Province to the north, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Krabi Provinces to the south, Phang-Nga and Ranong Provinces to the west and Nakhon Si Thammarat Province to the east.
High plateaus and forested mountains are located to the west of the province, while there are low basins in the center and along the eastern coast. This topography has created 14 river basins including Tapee, Pum Duang, Tha Thong, Tha Krajai, Chaiya, Tha Chang which are the most important basins. All rivers in Surat Thani flow east of the province to the Gulf of Thailand.
The numerous islands along the coast makes Surat Thani (often known as Surat in short) a perfect hideaway for vacationers from around the world. The ideal destination for many is the Penang-sized Ko Samui, Thailand's third largest island, and its neighbour Ko Pha-ngan a celebrated island that hosts the biggest beach full moon party. North of Ko Pha-ngan is Ko Tao, renowned for its excellent coral reefs. To top it all is the dazzling 250-square-kilometer Ang Thong Marine National Park, where a stunning archipelago awaits to greet visitors with their charming palm-fringed beaches, crystal clear water and colorful coral reefs. The best time to enjoy one of these islands to the fullest is from April November.