Bangkok to Chumphon:
From Phetchaburi to Prachuap Khiri Khan
I had to do it once, but it turned out twice : cycling out of Bangkok to
Chumphon (2006 and 2012 plus once with backpack in 1991, I don't count
the times I was on the train to and from Malaysia).
The question for me was: is it worth to cycle into south Thailand?
After spending a night in Phetchaburi, I
continued my bicycle journey to Cha-am. You can cycle Bangkok - Cha-am in a day
but it's a very long day (170 km). During my first journey from Bangkok to
Chumphon I skipped Phetchaburi and went straight on to Cha'am which turned out to be a mistake as Phetchaburi has quite a bit to offer too (which I found out in 2012).
When you come out of the season, Cha'am is not too bad and
not to expensive.
The beach of which Cha-am is famous for is not particularly fantastic. At low
water there's quite a lot of muddy areas, and the water of the Gulf of Thailand
can be pretty rough. But outside the high season it's not a bad place to
spend a night.
And talk about staying in Cha-am, there's plenty of accommodation available
including some good cheap hotels:
Cha-am Boulevard on a quiet day
In 2012 I had stayed in Phetchaburi and
decided not to stay in Cha'am but to continue in Hua Hin, the even more popular beach
resort area another 30km further south. At least I could stay away from Highway 4.
From Bangkok to Chumphon you will find many night market
with fresh seafood like here in Hua Hin
True, I was away from Highway 4 but this road was a 6 lanes highway too
although it was not very busy. However, don't come during the weekends and
What to say about Hua Hin? There's not a lot of beach you can use. Most of
the beach in town is either full of restaurants or it's private beach of hotels.
And Hua Hin has plenty of them. The beach suffers the same problem as in
Cha-am... with low water it's muddy and (partly) full with fishing boats.
Railway station in Hua Hin
The city however was pleasant enough, despite being spoiled by tourism. One
must see in Hua Hin is the beautiful Hua Hin Railway Station not far
from the busy night market.
Accommodation in Hua Hin is plentiful in all price ranges. Check out what
the options in town but I wouldn't make a booking unless you're there in the high season.
During my last visit (2012) to Hua Hin I broke the pin under my saddle. Fortunately
there is a proper bicycle shop on Petchakasem Road (road #4 that crosses the
city). The shop is located a few hundred meters north from the junction to
the railway station .
The better part of the Hua Hin beach
As all I needed was a screw and the bicycle shop had not opened that
morning, I went to one of the many motorbike shops where I was able to get a
new screw. Lucky me, there was nothing else broken.
Hua Hin's beach... you have to get a bit further north to get a nicer beach
Prachuap Khiri Khan
Prachuap Khiri Khan is located right in the middle of the road
from Bangkok to Chumphon. It is a much slower city compared to Cha-am and Hua
Hin. The first time I was in town was in 1991 and since those days nothing much
seem to have changed except a little increase in hotels in town. I stayed in the
very same hotel as I did during my previous visits (1991, 2002 and 2006) with a
nice view on the Gulf of Thailand (B 500 with sea view, no complains about that).
The beach in front of town is a bit muddy with low water but walk a little to
the north and you find some fine sandy beaches and good water for swimming.
The screw under my saddle broke off in Hua Hin ...
on the road from Bangkok to Chumphon in 2012
The town has little to offer. There are some temples but it is the night
market that offers some excellent food. It is a very busy place though and
finding a seat to eat might be difficult. But Prachuap Khiri Khan is (if you
ask me) a great place to have a day or 2 rest. With little to do, all you
have to do is stroll along the boulevard and enjoy the cool wind from the
At the beach of Prachuap Khiri Khan
Accommodation in Prachuap Khiri Khan
The city is a logic stopover on the way from Bangkok to Chumphon.
There's not a lot of hotels in town but there are a few good and cheap ones.
The one I used in my visits was the
Prachuap Beach Hotel, spacious clean rooms and decent priced.
At the boulevard of Prachuap Khiri Khan
On the way from Bangkok to Chumphon by bus or train
It's understandable that some cyclists decide to skip cycling Bangkok to Prachuap
Khiri Khan (or the other way around). After all, the road from Bangkok to Chumphon starts getting more
interesting after Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Fortunately there are daily trains visiting the city. The express train (43)
from Bangkok leaving at 7.45AM to Surat Thani arrives at 12.02 PM and is a good
choice (also because it has a good carrier wagon.
Alternatively you can take the Rapid train to Sungai Kolok (171) leaving
Bangkok at 1PM and arrives at Prachuap Khiri Khan at 6.15PM. The express train
to Sungai Kolok leave at 3.15PM and arrives in town at 8.30PM. These trains also
stop in Hua Hin.
Night market of Prachuap Khiri Khan
I would not recommend taking the bus from either Hua Hin or Prachuap Khiri
Khan with your bicycle. The train is safer for your bicycle, though maybe it takes a little
longer. Buses might also drop you around the Bangkok bus station, which will
require you some cycling in Bangkok. The railway station is the better option.
Should you be in Cha-am and want to continue north, I would recommend to
continue cycling to Phetchaburi and take a train there.
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