Cumphon is where Southern Thailand begins. A long gray wooden pier extends far out to the sea. A couple of times a day a catamaran docks to the end of the pier and travelers drag their heavy backpacks and suitcases along the pier to the ship.
In the distance, far away on the sea, the popular islands Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Samui are waiting for them.
Most of the travelers rush through Chumphon to the islands, seeing nothing else of Chumphon but the quay. Few people even know that Chumphon has its own beautiful beach called Thung Wu Lae.
The beach is long and beautiful – and a lot quieter than the beaches on the islands. It is therefore worth to consider staying a day or two to in Chumphon. The atmosphere is very serene: girlie bars and jetskis are prohibited.
Chumphon’s Sights and Activities
Nearby coral reefs are good for snorkeling and diving, and you can try elephant riding or bamboo rafting on Chumphon’s national park. Cabana resort has a dive shop on Thung Wu Lae Beach.
Chumphon’s Restaurants and Bars
Thung Wa Laen has a handful of beach side restaurants. The only western cook is Finnish Yki Virkki, who runs the tiny Coco de Banana restaurant, which has basic but good home-cooked meals – and a Nordic Christmas buffet at Christmas.
In the evenings, Mali Blues restaurant’s owner plays the blues.
There are many simple and inexpensive guesthouses next to the beach.
Nana Buri Hotel €€€
Why: Chumphon’s coziest guesthouse even has a pool.
Where: Thung wa Lae Beach. Find a discount!
How to Get to Chumphon
Chumphon can be reached from Bangkok and Hua Hin bus or a train. Bus is faster.
Catamarans run from Chumphon to Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.