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Historical documents state that Chumphon was continuously the locations of many communities since the pre-historic period, especially in the area near Tha Taphao River banks.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.
Chumphon is administratively divided into 8 Amphoe: Mueang Chumphon, Lang Suan, Sawi, Tha Sae, Lamae, Phato, Pathio, and Thung Tako.
How To Get There
From Bangkok, use highway no.4, or highway no.35 (Thon Buri - Pak Tho) and join highway no.4, pass Petchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, to Chumphon junction, then turn left along highway 4001 for 8 kilometres to town.
There are regular buses of Transport Co., Ltd. from the Southern Bus Terminal to Chumphon everyday. For more details, contact the Southern Bus Terminal at Tel: 0 2434 5557 - 8, 0 2435 1199 or visit www.transport.co.th. For the round-trip, buses leave from Chumphon Bus Terminal at Tel: 0 7750 2725, 0 7751 1094.
For air-conditioned buses, contact:
Chok-anan Tour: in Bangkok at Tel: 0 2435 5027 - 9, 0 2435 7429 or in Chumphon at Tel: 0 7751 1480, 0 7751 1757.
Suwannathi Tour: in Bangkok at Tel: 0 2435 5026, or in Chumphon at Tel: 0 7751 1422.
From Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamgphong): There are both rapid and express trains to Chumphon everyday. For more details, contact at Tel: 1690, 0 2 223 7010, 0 2223 7020 or at Chumphon Station Tel: 0 7751 1103 or visit www.railway.co.th.
From Thon Buri Railway Station (Bangkok Noi): There are fast trains to Chumphon everyday. For more details, contact at Tel: 0 2411 3102.
Air Andaman flies from Bangkok to Chumphon. Call 02229 9555 or visit www.airandaman.com for more information.
Communications within Chumphon and to Nearby Provinces
Bus Chumphon - Sawi - Lang Suan Route: The terminal is in front of Chumphon Market, Thanon Tha Taphao from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
Taxi: Taxi queue is behind old market, opposite to Chumphon Bus Terminal. Taxi can be hired to Lang Suan, Ranong and Surat Thani.
Festival of Chumphon Sea World
This festival is held in mid-March to April every year at Hat Sai Ri. The objective of this festival is for tourism promotion and nature conservation of Chumphon. The activities consist of fishing competition, photography contest of tourist attractions, tourist attraction exhibition, and mini-marathon competition.
Lang Suan Festival of Buddha Floating Procession, Boat Competition
This event has been the old tradition of Lang Suan for more than 100 years. Normally held in October of every year, the highlights of this festival are decorated Buddha Floating Procession from many temples. In the afternoon, the long boat competition is held.
Lang Suan Fruit Fair
Annually held in August, the activities of this event are fruit contest, fruit market, preserved-fruit products, and competition for queen of the fruit contest.
Chumphon is most reputed for fruits and coffee. Along the route to Chumphon, and Paknam - Lang Suan, there are various fruit stalls. The most popular fruit is finger-shaped banana. The others are pineapples, durians, mangosteens, rambutans, water melons, and langsads. Preserved fruits are also available in souvenir shops and restaurants.
One of the most famous local products are chili paste, fish sauce, oysters and sea catfish. Fresh seafood and preserved seafood products are also available.
Som Shogun (Shogun Orange)
The orange is popular because of its sweet taste. It has a thin rind and little pulp and is best eaten fresh.
The orange tree flowers from March to June depending on the climate in the area and takes about one month for the fruit to set. The fruit can be picked 8 to 9 months later.
The most popular propagation method is by rooting branches. Orange growers usually wait until the tree is three years old before they start picking the fruit.
From highway no.4, turn left to highway no.4096 for 6 kilometres. This beach is situated 60 kilometres from Chumphon. Visitors can observe the lifestyle of the local fishermen on this quiet beach. Near the beach, there is the Prince Chumphons Shrine. Nearby is Paknam Thung Tako- the site where fishermen of Thung Tako depart for their voyage to the sea. The view of these fishermen daily routine is very colourful and impressive.
Khlong Phrao National Park
Being the origin of rivers and canals in Chumphon, this Park covers the area in Amphoe Thung Tako, and Amphoe Mueang. Use highway no.41 to Lang Suan Crossroad, turn right for 15 kilometres. In rainy season, the best vehicle to use is 4-wheel drive. There are many natural attractions such as Namtok Thap Chang, a 2-level, middle sized waterfall which is the most beautiful in the Park. The Parks area is suitable for overnight, bird watching, and trekking for nature study. For further details, please contact the Natural Resource Conservation Bureau, Forestry Department, at Tel: 0 2579 7223.
Chumphon Horbicultural Research Center
It is the training center for MAWA coconut planting. This plant is the breed from the African and Malaysian ones. The Center has the area of 1,700 rai (1 acre = 2.5 rai). The office and residence are at the front, while at the back is the planting area for pepper, coffee, cocoa and coconuts.
Hat Sai Ri Sawi
This beautiful beach is located in Tambon Tha Hin. To visit the beach, use Highway no.41 (Chumphon- Sawi route), turn left to Sawi - Bo Kha route for 12 kilometres. This large beach is parallel to the coconut line, suitable for relaxation and it is the venue where the lifestyle of the fishermen is very impressive.
Wat Phrathat Sawi
The temple is located on the bank of Sawi River. The Chedi of this temple contains the relics of the Lord Buddha. The legend of this Chedi has been dated back since the Ayutthaya period. Also, there is the Phra Suea Mueang Shrine in front of the Chedi, near the bank of the river.
Namtok Kapo Forest Park
Located in Tambon Salui, this waterfall is 13 kilometres from Tha Sae, along Phetkasem Road, between 466th 468th kilometre, or from Pathomphon Crossroad, by Petkasem Road for about 30 kilometres. The park has the area of 7,010 Rai of shaded forests and small waterfalls, suitable for relaxation.
Phota Hin Chang Shrine
This shrine is located at Moo 2, Tambon Salui, at the foot of the hill, along the 453th 454th kilometre of Phetkasem Road. Featuring the shrine is the elephant shaped rock which is mostly worshipped by the Chumphon people. To emphasize this belief, passengers will always blow their horns to pay respect to this site. Also, there are stalls selling fruits and souvenirs.
Wat Thep Charoen
Situated in Tambon Tha Kham, this temple is 4 kilometres from Phetkasem Road (highway no.4) at the 490th kilometre. The temple is located at the foot of Rap Ro Hill used to be the port area in the ancient time. There are many interesting attractions around this temple. Many Buddha images are in Tham Phra. The meditation area at Tham Ai Te, with a reclining Buddha fresco painting on the wall. Also, There are beautiful stalactites and stalacmites in Tham Sai. Moreover, in the temple there is the Buddhas footprint and the body which was not yet decayed of Luang Pu Sai, a revered monk. Near by, is the local museum with the collections of the ancient materials found in the temple. Another highlight is the leather carving of the shadow puppet show done by the local artisans.
Phitak Island (Koh Phitak)
Situated in Tambon Bang Nam Chuet, this small island has beautiful rocks and is surrounded by fishermen villages. There is a small beach in the east, which can be reached by fishermen's boat from Paknam Tako.
Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park
Located at Moo 7, this venue is 65 kilometres from Chumphon by turning right at Lang Suan crossroad for another three kilometres. This garden is beautifully decorated with flowers and the statue of the Princess' Mother, the highlight of this garden. Not far is Tham Khao Ngoen, of which there is the inscription of King Rama V's initials. Another inscription on the wall is No.108 which was the Ratanakosin Era when he visited the Malaya Peninsula in 1889. Also, there is a Chedi in front of the cave.
Khao Kriap Cave (Tham Khao Kriap)
This is one of the most beautiful caves in the south. It is 85 kilometres from Chumphon along highway no.4 (Chumphon - Lang Suan), and turn right for another two kilometres. There is a Buddhist temple at the foot of the Khao Kriap hill. Inside the cave, there is also a Buddha image besides the stalactites and stalagmites.
Thung Makham Bay (Ao Thung Makham)
This scenic bay area consists of Thung Makham Nok and Thung Makham Nai Bays. Using highway no.4119 and 4098, for 27, and 31 kilometres to Thung Makham Nok and Thung Makham Nai Bays, respectively. They are half-circle beaches, adjacent to each other, separated by the line of rocks. With long line of coconut trees and quiet surroundings, these beaches have very fine sand. By the south end, Wat Suwan Khuha Khiri Wong or Wat Pong Pang is located under the shade of the coconut trees. At the back of the Wat facing the sea, is a long cliff of more than 80 metres.
Chumphon National Museum
Located in Chumphon Governmental Center on Phetkasem Road at km.484 before approaching Pathomphon Junction, the museum displays historical and important ancient materials of Chumphon. The displays are divided into the following parts: History of Chumphon; Chumphon during World War II; Chumphon and the Typhoon; Nature and Outstanding Heritage of Chumphon by means of pictures and movies. The museum is open for the public from Wednesday to Sunday, except official holidays, during 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The fee is 30 Baht per person. For more details, contact at Tel: 0 77504105, 504246.
Hat Pha Daeng
Being 14 kilometres from town by the same route to Hat Sai Ri or 2 kilometres from Hat Pharadon- Phap, this beach has a 10-metre red cliff which has been eroded by wind and rain and has turned to the shape of a curved bridge. It is also one of the best sites to view the sea and is suitable for relaxation.
This beach is 12 kilometres from Chumphon by highway Nos. 4119 and 4098. This is a large beach, parallel to the road, which is shaded by coconut trees.
Hat Sai Ri
This scenic and popular beach is about 20 kilometres from Chumphon by highways no.4119 and 4098. There are bus services from town to the beach. It is a large and curved beach and it is one of the favorites amongst Chumphon people for their relaxation. There are some accommodations and restaurants available along the beach.
Khao Chao Mueang
This mountain is next to Hat Sai Ri along the coast for 2.5 kilometres. On top of this mountain, there is a pavilion for view watching. And further from this area around one kilometre, there is an open area where a panoramic view of the various islands in the sea can be viewed.
Khao Phang Forest Park
Situated at the border of Amphoe Mueang and Tha Sae, this park is 12 kilometres from Chumphon along highway no.4 (Chumphon - Tha Sae route). In the park, there are many kinds of plants. At the front, are the parks gate and Prince Chumphons Shrine. The top of the mountain is both the cut-edge cliff suitable for hangliders and the view-point for Chumphon town.
This is a small island with 50-metre long, beautiful beach, including the coral reef in the west. Visitors who wish to visit this island should obtain permission from the Provincial Office 15 days in advance because of the monopoly of the business in the sparrow's nests of the island.
This is a big island which is only 45 minutes away. In front of the beach, there are many rocks. Visitors can spend their time snorkelling to see the corals around the island. On the island, there are facilities such as accommodations, restaurants, and fresh-water bathing services. This island is in the area of Chumphon Islands National Park.
Ko Ngam Yai and Ko Ngam Noi
Being in the south of Ao Thung Wua Laen, seventeen kilometres from the shore, there are coral reefs, rocks, and underwater caves. These venues are considered to be one of the best diving spots. For further information, please contact Chumphon Cabana Resort at Tel: 0 7756 0245 - 7 or 0 2472 1825.
With some areas as part of the National Park, this island has white beach and clear water. It takes only half an hour to get to this island.
Even though it is a small island far off in the sea but it is well-known in its beauty of beaches and coral reefs. Although this island is in Surat Thani, visitors can travel by speed boat or regular boat from Chumphon.
Travelling to Ko Tao:
Tourists can use the following boat service as follows:
Tha Yang Pier - Tourists can hire pick-up car from Chumphon to Tha Yang Pier which is about 7 kilometres away. The boat leaves from Ban Mae Hat to Ko Tao every night at midnight and arrive at Ko Tao at 6 a.m. of the next day. On the return trip, the boat leaves from Ko Tao at 10 a.m. and arrive at Tha Yang at 3 p.m. The round-trip fare is 200 baht. For more details, contact Tel: 0 7755 3052 - 4.
Songserm Rungrueang Co. , Ltd. - The boat leaves from the pier at 7 a.m. and arrive at Ko Tao at 10 a.m. On the return trip, the boat leaves from Ko Tao at 3 p.m. and arrive at Chumphon at 5.30 p.m. The round-trip fare is 400 baht. For more details, contact Tel: 0 7750 3735.
Ekkawin Tour - The boat leaves from Tha Yang pier at 7.30 a.m. and arrive at Ko Tao at 9.30 a.m. On the return trip, the boat leaves from Ko Tao at 10.30 a.m. and arrive at Chumphon at 12.30 p.m. The round-trip fare is 400 baht. For more details, contact Tel: 0 7750 1821, 0 7758 0273 - 4. There is also a boat service leaving from Ekkawin Pier or Lom Lak Pier at 7 a.m. and arrive at Ko Tao at 9.30 a.m. On the return trip, the boat leaves from Ko Tao at 10 a.m. and arrive at Ekkawin Pier at 3 p.m. The round-trip fare is 400 baht.
Being a small limestone island with two big caves, around the island, there are viewing points for corals and sea flowers.
Military Youth Monument
Being 5 kilometres from Chumphon on the left-hand side of highway No.4119 (Chumphon - Paknam route), this monument is built to commemorate the bravery of Chumphons heroes for their fight against the Japanese troop invasion in 1941 during World War II.
Mu Ko Chumphon National Park
Having been announced in 1989, this National Park covers the total area of beaches and islands of 198,125 rai (1 acre = 2.5 rai).
The Parks Office is 21 kilometres from town. Using highway no.4001, turn right to Hat Sai Ri, then turn right again for 8 kilometres. The Tourist Information Center is connected with the wooden-bridge walkways for nature study of plant and animals. Visitors can travel by boats or can stay overnight in their tents near the office.
The beautiful beaches in the Parks area are Thung Makaham Beach, Hat Sai Ri Amphoe Mueang, Arunothai Beach in Amphoe Thung Tako, Tong Khrok Beach in Amphoe Lang Suan, and more than 40 islands in Chumphon Sea such as Chorakhe, Ngam, Samet, Maphrao, Mattra, Thong Lang, Langka Chio Islands, including islands in Amphoe Sawi, Thung Tako. On some islands, there are diving sites, fine white sand beaches and corals; such as Chorakhe Island in the northern part of the park. Ngam and Lanka Chio Islands have many sea sparrow's nests. Around Ngam Island, there are perfect coral reefs which are the interesting sites for diving. Thong Lang Island has white and beautiful beach. Tourists can hire boats to travel along these islands at the appropriate price. Contact at Tel: 0 7755 8144.
Prince Chumphons Monument
The venue is located by the foot of the hill in Hat Sai Ri area. Prince Chumphon was one of the King Rama Vs sons. Being the founder of the modern Navy of Thailand, the Prince was proclaimed as the Father of Thai Navy. He was respected by the navy, fishermen, and other people. His picture has been established in most of the houses in Chumphon.
The Monument consists of Prince Chumphon's Shrine for visitors to pay respect. Chumphon Warship is an old big torpedo warship, with the size of 68 x 6.55 metres. This warship was out of order in 1975 and was moved to Hat Sai Ri in 1979.
Herbal Garden is at the foot of the hill along the seacoast. This is the project of the Ministry of Public Health to conserve the valued herbs, in order to continue the concept of Prince Chumphon, who was also interested in using the traditional medicine to cure people.
Wat Chao Fa Sala Loi
Located on Chumphon Ao Thung Wua Laen route, tourists can reach this temple by turning left for 6 kilometres, before reaching Chumphon Irrigation Office. This old Wat is worshipped among the Chumphon people through the strong faith in Luang Pu Song. (A most revered monk whose body has been believed to be in an undelaying condition after his death. A big Sala tree is inside the Wat with orange flowers and strange looking shape stem. (Lord Buddha was born under Sala tree).
This temple is the archeological site in old Chumphon, at Tambon Tak Daet. It is on the left-hand side of highway no.41 (Chumphon - Surat Thani), after passing Tambon Wang Phai and across Saeng Daet Canal. Some archeological objects were found such as sand-stone Buddha image in Srivijaya Period, Chedi containing Lord Buddhas bones. The decoration of the gate, walls and other buildings have portrayed the local architectural designs at this temple.
Ao Yai Ai
This bay has the most suitable area to view the panoramic atmosphere of the surroundings at almost 25 metres above sea level. Within this bay area, there are many coral reefs of almost 7 kilometres. Tourists have the opportunity of diving to view these beautiful corals.
Tham Thong - Bang Boet Beach (Hat Tham Thong - Bang Boet)
From town, use Phetkasem Road, turn right at the 426th kilometre for 21 kilometres The beautiful beach in Tambon Pak Khlong is more than 5 kilometres long. The highlights of the area consist of different-shaped limestones and seaside villages, parallel to the road and pine tree line, suitable for easy driving or biking. The beach is extended to Bang Boet in Prachuap Khiri Khan, which is presently the area of H.M.the King's project.
Thung Wua Laen Beach (Hat Thung Wua Laen)
A beautiful and well-known beach of Pathio, it is most popular among Thai and foreign tourists. Being situated in Tambon Saphli, it is 16 kilometres from Chumphon along Chumphon Hat Thung Wua Laen route. The beach has white, fine sand, with small slope, which is suitable for swimming. Also it is one of the most famous snorkeling spots in Chumphon, with the view of seaweed, sponge, and sea flowers.
Tham Khao Phlu Wildlife Conservation Area
Being away from Pathio for 3 kilometres along highway no.3253, the area is covered with limestone mountain range in beautiful shape, parallel to the road. This is the habitat of 3 flocks of southern langurs. They will come down to find food in the evening.
Heo Lom Waterfall (Namtok Heo Lom)
This waterfall is located at Ban Bok Fai, Tambon Pak Song, in Kuan Mae Yai Mon Wildlife Sanctuary. From Amphur Mueang, use highway no.4 to Lang Suan Junction, turn right to highway no.4006 (Lang Suan - Ratchakrut route), pass Phato to the 11th kilometre and, turn left for another 8 kilometres. The most suitable vehicle to be used is 4-wheel drive. From Heo Lome Forest Guard Unit, there is a trek for 500 metres, pass the origin of Phato Canal, and fertile evergreen forest. The waterfall is more than 80 metres high, surrounded by various kinds of trees. It is a venue for relaxation, trekking for natural study, and bird sanctuary.
Phato Canal Rafting
Forests in Phato is the origin of many canals which are lined with evergreen forests, and fruit orchards. Owing to the various rapids in this area, the adventurous activities have been then organized in Phato canal all year round. Through these types of activities, visitors are able to witness some interesting animals such as: langurs and hornbills. Besides, there are fruit orchards of durians, coffee, and mangosteens. For those interested in trekking, visitors can have the choice of camping, or elephant riding. The Festival of Phato Canal rafting is best during February and April.