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 The road to Chumphon
Prachuap Khiri Khan, Bang Saphan and Pathio


The last 190 km on the road to Chumphon from Prachuap Khiri Khan can be done in one day by Superman. However, I am not and I guess you are not. Fortunately there is one area in between where you can stay overnight.

Bang Saphan beach

Bang Saphan beach

Bang Saphan snorkeling and diving
 
Day trip in the Gulf of Thailand. From Bang Saphan, you will board a speed boat to two well-known diving spots, Ko Thalu and Ko Sing islands, where you can snorkel and explore the local marine world.

 



Prachuap Khiri Khan to Bang Saphan

Getting out of Prachuap Khiri Khan on the NICE small road is quite easy. Take the road south out of town towards the airport (there are also signs for the Science Museum).

This is a small road which you can follow for about 15 km before it ends at Highway 4. Once back on the highway, it's another 80km to Bang Saphan.

You have to pay some attention as the junction to Bang Saphan is a little hidden on Highway 4. From the junction it's another 12 km to the town center.

In town there is just before the road bends to the right (road 3169) on your left a cheap and comfortable guesthouse.

Scenery a few kilometers south of Prachuap Khiri Khan
Scenery a few kilometers south of Prachuap Khiri Khan

The restaurant of the Ban Sai Thong Beach ResortThere are some hotels at the beaches too. Although I stayed in 2012 at the beach, I would not really recommend it. The beach itself is OK, sandy and good swimming although it's not very deep.

It's better to stay in town because at the beach there was no restaurant, so I had to cycle back in town (about 4 km) to get a meal.

Another option is to skip Bang Saphan. In Bang Saphan town you can take the junction that ultimately leads to Chumphon using small and quiet scenic roads.

This is the 3374. When I cycled in 2006 this road, I stayed several km's out of Bang Saphan at the Ban Sai Thong Beach Resort. Despite what it looks like, it was cheap.

Bang Saphan and the road to Chumphon

This is the ideal road to Chumphon and apparently this was an area where more people thought cycling was a great idea. Especially here I met an American-Dutch couple and a French guy cycling for months.

Cycling in Thailand
Where did we meet? During a short rain shower at a toilet!

The small roads here are in excellent condition and perfect for cycling. The 3374 changes number after Bang Saphan Noi where it becomes the 3411. The villages on the way have little to offer than a good coffee/food stop. Locals here are used to foreigners on bicycle. One lady told me she never sees other tourists than cyclists in her hometown.

Plantations and forest on the way to Pathio
Plantations and forest on the way to Pathio

I had a stop in Bang Thung Maha, a tiny village that only seemed to exist because it was located at a junction, to the west to Highway 4, north to Bang Saphan, and south using the 3253 to Pathio, the Chumphon airport and Chumphon.

Plantations and forest on the way to Pathio
Road to Chumphon 3253 which bypasses Pathio, in 2012 under construction

At the junction to Pathio (unless you want to visit that town), continue south. It was an excellent road in 2006, 6 years later they are upgrading the road (see above). It was the only bad road (and it wasn't really that bad at all) I had in my journey in 2012 from Chiang Mai to Satun.

The bad part was only a few kilometers long. Soon I was back on proper asphalt. The 3253 ended at a T-junction. Going right would lead me to the Chumphon airport, going left lead me to Pak Khlong. When I looked the beach looked very beautiful, see below.

Beach north of Chumphon

Unfortunately no one cleans the beach here and what you see is a massive amount of garbage all around. A bit further on this road (the 3201), there are some basic resorts but considering the dirty beach, I wouldn't want to stay there.

The road to Chumphon ends

Despite what I thought, Chumphon was still another 20 km. These kilometers were quite forgettable, especially when I was back on the incoming road to Chumphon which was busier than I had seen since I left Highway 4 to Bang Saphan.

On the way to Chumphon

Basically Chumphon is still a fishing city. All around the city you will find fishing villages and people bringing their catch to the market in Chumphon. But for travelers Chumphon is important for the boats to Koh Tao

In 1991, when I visited first Koh Tao there was one ferry a week! This boat left from here at 12 midnight and took 6 hours to arrive at . Nowadays there are several ferries a day taking only 1.5 hours.

A little snack in Chumphon: dim sum
A little snack in Chumphon: dim sum

Accommodation in Chumphon

The road to Chumphon ended at the Chumphon Gardens, a cheap hotel in the city center. Most travelers don't stay here more than one night. There's little in Chumphon that makes you want to extend your stay here.

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