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 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.
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
There 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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.