Prachuap Khiri Khan on the Gulf of Thailand; what and where
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Prachuap offers the best beaches in top of the Gulf
This little-known strip of coastal land running 200 kilometres down the west side of the Gulf of Thailand secrets a number of beach destinations with beachfront accommodations – but they are mostly used by local Thai tourists. However, small numbers of foreigners are now discovering the low-key, tranquil resorts and empty beaches here; spread over so much isolated coastline these visitors represent little more than a few lonely specks on the sand.
Prachuap Khiri Kham province is especially long and thin, squeezed between the South China Sea and the Burmese border. At its thinnest the province is only 11 kilometres wide, and from Prachuap town the frontier with Burma can be seen – the top of the mountain range to the west. This is the narrowest part of Thailand before it expands again further south towards Phuket and Krabi.
The provincial capital of the same name sits right in the middle, with 100 kilometres of beach running both north and south. The best-known beach destinations lie in the southern sector, with the closest to Prachaup town being Klong Wan, just a 10 minute drive south, or a four-hour drive from Bangkok. The train takes significantly longer.
The best known of the beach resorts is perhaps Ban Krut, about another hour’s drive south, though Thap Sakae, Huay Yang and Bang Sapan all have both beachfront hotels and small numbers of visitors. Perhaps most surprising is the number of foreign retirees who have chosen the tranquil, bucolic countryside in this region and settled in dedicated retirement villages here. Most come from northern European countries.