Dodge the monkeys.
There are not many "attractions" in PKK but most visitors will find themselves at some point wanting to climb Khao Chong Krachok alternatively known as Magic Mirror Mountain, the hill to the North of the city that dominates the local skyline. Inevitably, I fell prey to this desire.
People who know me well know I have an aversion to gyms and the like, so what possessed me to slog up 396 steps to the temple at the top I really don't know. It was pretty gruelling in the heat of the day. An added problem was trying to negotiate the literally hundreds of monkeys charging about the place. At that time of the afternoon local ladies congregate to feed them, and there is a veritable avalanche of hissing, snarling fur barrelling down the steps making the upward progress even more wearing. You don't want to be accidentally bitten or scratched by them, as monkeys can carry rabies, like most warm blooded animals.
When I eventually arrived at the top, there was no-one there save for a lone monk sweeping up the leaves on the ground. He smiled at me in that serene way unique to Buddhist monks, and carried on with his task. Maybe they really do know something we don't. There is also a slightly incongruous billboard proclaimng you the "Conqueror of 396 steps." Although the day was slightly hazy, the views were pretty spectacular and you can see all the way to the Myanmar border which here is a scant 11km. distant.
There is a small temple at the top called Wat Thammikaram which was founded in 1922 by King Rama VI after he had climbed the "mountain". As I was entering a temple complex, I did the proper thing and removed my shoes, and it was then that I discovered another hazard. The areas the industrious monk had not swept, as well as leaves, displayed considerable evidence that the monkeys here are not house trained. If you visit, tread carefully!
There is a small admission charge payable at the bottom, and due to it's very nature, this attraction is not suitable for mobility impaired visitors.
- Religious Travel
- Budget Travel
The finest in the land?
Many towns and cities in Thailand have "city spires" basically monuments to the prosperity of the place. The spire in PKK is said to be the best in the country. I could not possibly comment on that but I can tell you that it is quite impressive. In the evening when the heat abates a bit, the small park surrounding the spire doubles as a sort of excercise place with joggers, walkers and even practitioners of tai chi doing their respective things. You cannot get into the building itself but it is worth a visit just for a look
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Get the lowdown.
As I have mentioned elsewhere, Prachuap Khirikhan does not seem to be crowded with tourists but those that do come are certainly well served by the Tourist Information Centre which is an absolute credit to the city. I had occasion to visit there twice. The first time was on my arrival, when the helpful, English-speaking lady suggested a hotel I was very pleased with and the second time was in relation to a visa extension. A different lady dealt with me and she was similarly helpful. Not only did she 'phone the immigration office to make enquiries for me (it is some distance out of town, see seperate tip) she also secured an English speaker on the 'phone so I could talk to him and ensure she had unsderstood my requirements properly, which she had.
- Budget Travel
Beaches and no people
As the title says: beaches and no people, at least it is so under the week. I guess it can also get quite busy during the weekend, if never that touristy as Hua Hin.
The unspeakable name of the place should not hinder you to visit this.
Prachuap Khiri Khan can also easily be reached by taking the train. The beach is not too far away from the station.
A small mountain with a Wat on it towers over thenorth end of the beach. This is Khao Chong Krachok, the mirror mountain. Mirror because it has a hole in the side of the mountain through wich you can see the sky. You can climb up the 415 steps to the small wat to have a look over the surroundings and until Burma which is very close here. Just mind the monkeys. They can get quite aggressive. Take a stick with you.
The city has some good fish restaurants, but as I heard most cards are in Thai only. You also find very good food at the nightmarkets.
The best beach (in my opinion) is the 3km long beach in the Bay of Ao Manao.
This is located 3 km south of the city on military area. Although my guide book said we might have to give our passports (which can be averted by saying you proceed further south), we were not controlled by the post we passed.
The beach offers sun umbrellas (in military camouflage paints :-) as well as deck chairs and tires to go into the water.
It was very clean and had a wonderful view on the bay. Clear water.
When we were there (morning), we were all alone. Just great
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Climb the steps
Climb the 399 steps to the top of the mountain. Once on top you will see the Wat Thammikaram. There are great view of the town and bay.
There is always a cool breeze and you will welcome that after the climb. No water there though so bring your own.
- Religious Travel
Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park
First Ocean National Park with the mixed of mountain ,beaches ,islands ,water fileds and history. One important place in this site is Phraya Nakorn cave where King Rama V came and built Kuha Karihas Pavilion inside the cave.
Camping ,Tent and accommodation & restuarant 're available in the office area.
How to go there: I went there by train from Bangkok Noi Train station en route to the South and drop at Yak Pran station. After that I hired a Songtaew about 100 Bahts to Ban Bangpoo village .And then trekking cross a mountain to Laem Sala beach where the National Park office located.
If you don't want to climb up the mountain for this beach ,you can hire boat as transportation.But the great scenery of beach and forest 're a good value for hard trekking.
- Budget Travel
Ao Manao (2)
Ao Manao is a sheltered bay and it can be very hot around midday.
The sea is quite shallow for many meters from the shore, and the water is also a bit too warm sometimes. You have to walk/swim a bit to find some refreshing cool sea water.
It is an ideal place for sunbatihing and for kids, but there is no good snorkelling, just sand.
There are a few jellyfishes, some of them quite big, but not too poisonous (I believe).
Ao Manao (1)
Ao Manao is a beautiful bay a couple of kms south of Prachuap Khiri Khan, that can be easily reached by minibus or taxi.
The sandy white beach here is excellent and the sea is very good and easy for swimming, also for small kids.
Ao Manao is part of a thai military base, so you'll need to show your passport at a checkpoint at the entrance. Not so many soldiers anyway, just a few retired officials on vacation and their families. There are a few bars and small restaurants and the atmosphere is very easy going and relaxed.
The central pier is quite long, due to the shallow sea water in Prachuap bay.
This is the usual arrival point for all the fishermen boats, especially in the evening, when they unload all the fish (see intro pic).
At the bottom of the mountain there is a fountain with a monkey statue in it. The monkies love to play on and around it in the water. You can stand here and watch them for hours.
The 8km-long bay of Ao Prachuap is very pretty. You can get a birds-eye-view from about half way up the mountain.
Khao Chong Krajok (Mirror Tunnel Mountain), is named after the hole through the side of the mountain that reflects the sky.
A ladder leads to the tunnel from the wat grounds.
- Hiking and Walking
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