If you are thinking of visiting the Southern provinces of Thailand, Chumphon, a quaint seaside town nestled by the Gulf of Thailand and near Ranong province, should definitely be on your list. It's not unusual to question what this small province might offer, but believe us when we say, there is a wealth of experiences waiting if you just give it a try. Today, let us take you on a journey to explore the seven seas of Chumphon, a trip that is sure to leave you saying, "wow."
1. Mu Ko Chumphon National Park
Mu Ko Chumphon National Park is an outstanding marine tourist spot suitable for sea lovers and diving enthusiasts. With over 40 picturesque islands, each unique in its natural beauty. Some islands boast fine white sandy beaches, while others are fascinating limestone mountains with unusual shapes. Around the islands, you will find abundant coral reefs. Popular islands for visitors include Ko Ngam Yai, Ko Ngam Noi, Ko Thalu, and many more.
2. Ko Ran Ped and Ko Ran Kai
Ko Ran Ped and Ko Ran Kai are must-visit spots for divers. They are home to an abundant underwater world, filled with vibrant sea flowers, colorful corals, and schools of fish of all sizes. If luck favors you, you might even encounter a whale shark, but remember to keep a safe distance of around 4 meters. Don't forget to try cave diving in "The Heart of the Sea" and capture some memorable snapshots - this is indeed a highlight of Ko Ran Ped and Ko Ran Kai.
3. Grand Sand Dune
Grand Sand Dune is a unique phenomenon in Thailand that you must witness. This natural spectacle of dunes by the beach results from the forceful monsoon winds pushing the sand into small hills. The arid and sunny conditions outside the monsoon season make this place appear like a desert, a rare sight indeed!
4. Ko Thalu
Experience the stunning and unusual natural beauty of Ko Thalu, a limestone island with a large cave extending over the water surface, allowing for enjoyable swimming. It's also a scuba diving spot where you can find small coral reefs and various beautiful sea flowers. Home to large marine species like trevally and snapper, you might occasionally encounter a blacktip reef shark. Another highlight not to be missed is from March to April when the Bridled Terns lay their eggs in large numbers. This provides wonderful opportunities to capture memorable moments, both underwater and on land, ensuring a fulfilling journey at Ko Thalu.
5. Tham Thong Beach
Chumphon is renowned as a province featuring long stretches of sandy beach parallel to the Gulf of Thailand, and Tham Thong Beach is one of these beautiful shores. Extending for more than 5 kilometers, the beach reaches all the way to Bang Berd district in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. What makes this beach interesting is the fine sandy shore, peculiarly shaped limestone cliffs, and coastal villages that add a dimension of charm to the area. There's also a shady pine tree-lined road alongside the beach, making it a perfect spot for leisurely drives or bicycle rides while taking in the seaside views and cool breeze.
6. Ko Lawa
Ko Lawa is another large limestone island where, at high tide, it may appear to lack a beach. However, when the tide ebbs, a small strip of light brownish-white sand, about 50 meters long, begins to reveal its beauty. While the narrow beach might not allow for much direct contact, the surrounding areas of the island are abundant with shallow coral reefs. Visitors can expect to see white sea anemones, leaf-like corals, and might even encounter small black-spotted white snails in the vicinity.
7. Coconut Island
Just 1 kilometer away from Sairee Beach, you'll find the small Coconut Island. As the island serves as a nesting ground for birds, visitors are required to obtain permission from the Mu Ko Chumphon National Park before exploring it. The island boasts a pristine white sandy beach about 100 meters long and stunning landscapes, making it an ideal spot for paddleboarding and appreciating the island's beauty. Furthermore, snorkeling enthusiasts can explore the coral reefs in the shallow waters.