I’ve debated several times whether to actually give away the location of this next place we traveled to (are still are after a week, with no plans to jump up and leave just yet)… I honestly can’t believe it hasn’t been discovered more! While there are a handful of Europeans living here, foreigners are a very uncommon sight. Thai tourists and locals (of course) are the ruling majority. It’s just my kind of place to really feel like a part of the culture and life!
We bought tickets for the mini-bus to this gem of a place from Hua Hin, and though were told it would only be an hour wait for the bus to arrive, it turned into almost 2 before we even got on. And when we did get on, the bus was so full that literally 2 of the passengers had people sitting on their laps, all the seats were taken AND 3 people had to stand (rather uncomfortably by the looks of it) in the aisle of the bus. Essentially a bus equipped to seat 14 passengers had 19 PLUS our huge travel bags (which are about the size of a small human). Luckily within the hour or so however people started exiting the bus, so space opened up a tiny bit to at least allow everyone to have their own seat. I suspect that the bus was so crowded because of the upcoming Holiday of Songkran.
Once we arrived, we set off on motorbike taxis to a place called Ban Thai Hut, where we were told had cheap accommodations. We settled on a tiny hut complete with a bed, bathroom, fan and TV (which we’ve yet to actually plug in or turn on) just a short walk across the street from the beach. The place is absolutely darling, and while very rustic (there are some parts of the room we fear to put too much weight on just in case the floor falls through) it has been suiting our needs quite well.
Prachuap Khiri Khan is the name of this adorable town. It consists of 3 semi-circular bays separated by jutting hills and islands. Farthest to the North is the little Ao Noi bay then the Prachuap Khiri Khan bay and finally Ao Manao. Each location offers so many outdoor things to do that it just boggles my mind when the locals say tourists only stay here for a couple of days because “there isn’t much to do”. Seriously?? They have a Wat inside a cave in Ao Noi, beautiful beaches on all three bays, hikes to a Wat on the top of a hill in Prachuap, a hike to another tiny Wat at the top of another hill (Khao Lommuak) which gives the highest panoramic view of the entire area, plus snorkeling (I still have to check that out myself!) and within driving distance several day trips could be planned to surrounding National Parks! There is so much to do around here that when you add in days to just relax and beach, you would need at least a week to get it all done leisurely!
But I digress… This place really is darling though! I would recommend it over and over but hope that even when it does get properly discovered, the integrity of the place as it currently is doesn’t get destroyed. The weather is always delightful (though admittedly quite hot), the beaches are never overcrowded, the beach water is deliciously warm and refreshing and there is a ridiculous amount of fun sea life to play with (hermit crabs, clams, sand dollars, etc). Seriously, what more could one ask for?