We were on our way from Thung Wua Laen to see the Prince Chumphon Memorial but did not go back to the main highway; instead we took the back roads to Pac Nam Chumphon. It was a lovely drive but we thought we were seeing things when we started to see teepees.
I know Thailand has a huge Cowboy and Indian culture but really did not expect to see what we came across. Did you know there is a Cowboy and Indian Town out this way, it is called Cowboy Country.
This place was not quite finished but there were lots of places open. There are saloons, bars, karaoke, banks, Sherriff’s Office, leather shops, coffee shops and much more. I went closer to have a better look at some of the teepees, and then I noticed shoes out the front, people are sleeping in there!
Just an amazing little town and definitely not what we expected to find in Thailand, I would imagine it is extremely popular as well.
On highway 4001 very close to the Tha Nang Bridge there is a nice monument to the World War II Youth Volunteers. It was built to commemorate the fight against the Japanese Army’s invasion at Kho Son Beach on 8th December 1941, a very brave deed by Battalion 38, police officers, local Thai’s and the Youth Volunteer Unit 52 from Sriyapai School.
The bronze monument showing figures of the Youth Volunteers has plates informing of the heroic deeds and names of the dead soldiers, people and youth volunteers.
This beautiful monument honors those young men who protected Thailand and is also meant to be an inspiration to Thai people in general.
The Prince Chumphon Shrine and Memorial is about 12 kilometers from Chumphon town by the foot of the hill near Sai Ri beach. The memorial is an old torpedo war ship that was moved to Sai Ri in 1979, you can go on the ship and look around, there is no entrance fee and the ship is very hands on.
Prince Chumphon was the son of King Rama V and was the founder of the modern Thai Navy so he is known as the Father of the Thai Navy and very much loved, you will see his photos everywhere in the town plus in people’s houses.
We really enjoyed looking around the area and the ship, there is plenty of parking plus a few shops and lots of food carts.
Chumphon province has a new slogan "Eat seafood Taste fresh fruits".
Have not read before my 1st visit, or had heard about this specialty of the region. Only upon arrival we saw that this place indeed was the fruit growing region or perhaps Chumphon was the collecting center. Unlike other provinces who were cashing in on Mangos, durian and "Loong Ngans", Chumphon produce were consisted mainly of mandarin, papayas, bananas and some pineapples.
But somehow the notable fruit here bananas, and in good volume. More, one special species is unique to this region. I did not confirm the proper name for this species. Locally it is hailed as the "Princess Fingernails Bananas".
The fruit! Nothing out of the ordinary and had tasted it, I must say it finer in texture and rather sweet. I know that bananas in general, the fruit had short gestation time for ripening and at the same time after ripening fit for consumption, the fruit would perished within a day or two. That's why the fruit was unsuitable to be transported out of the province for distribution.
Sales of fresh fruit was so much dependent upon the passing traffic along the Highway 4. From the picture, it could be seen that the long rows of stalls spelled the importance of disposing this fruit quickly and also the sheer volume that was available for this small market.
Not all the bananas on sale were the "Princess Fingers Bananas", there was also the type that we were familiar with. It takes a critical eyes to spot the marginal differences between the 2 types. There are 2 pictures that I do not know how to get them posted on this page side by side for comparison. But I have both included with this page.
The attendants at the stall beside selling the fresh fruits were busy competing with time. They were peeling up the fruits for processing into an alternative product - dried bananas
That's interesting, we stayed on to record the whole process as to how it done and noting the finished products.
The ripe bananas were then baked and prepared for packaging
A simple oven used for baking the fresh bananas. Realizing that we saw a somewhat "new" product that we had never bothered to take notice. Dried bananas in chips are common junk food but in full, now we know.
The dried products were lighter and easily packaged for longer storage but loosing slightly its food value.
Many people quickly pass through Chumphon to take the ferry to Koh Tao, but if you want to enjoy a provincial Thailand town, it can be a chance to skip off the beaten track for a day or so. There are some reasonable cheap hotels in the town and there are some sights around, but you will find it laid back and for some a nice break from main tourist places.
Located at Had Sai Ree Subdistrict. It is 20 kilometers far away from Chumphon city center, along highway. This is a scared place of the people in Chumphon and nearly provinces.
At this place stands the Monument of Admiral Phra Boromawong thir Kromluang Chumphon Khet Udomsak. It consists of San of Sadej Nai Kromluang Chumphon Khet Udomsak is at the north of Sai Ree beach. The Shrine faces the sea. There is a museum which shows about his biography and things which he used.
A large torpedo-ship named the Royal Chumphon is also here. It is 68 meters long and 6.55 meters wide. This ship was decommissioned on November 26,1975. The Royal Thai Navy gave the ship to Chumphon province in 1979. After that it was put near this monument.