Things To Do in Prachuap Khiri Khan

Searching for the Best things to do in Prachuap Khiri Khan?

You’re in the right place because we’ve visited this overlooked beachside destination and must say, the things to do in Prachuap Khiri Khan are truly unbelievable!

Prachuap Khiri Khan is a small seaside village about 4 hours south from Bangkok. One thing is that it has a stunning tropical beach with crystal clear waters and mountains wrapping half way around.

There’s also a temple hidden inside a cave. Being inside this dark cave at the right time, feels like being inside a enchanted wonderland as the sun shines through an opening lighting up this magical temple.

Prachuap Khiri Khan

One question we kept on asking ourselves while heading to the south of Thailand was, “Where to go after Bangkok?”.

>> Are you planning a trip to Thailand’s Gulf Islands, to Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui? Make sure to check our guides to these islands. They will help you decide which island to visit or help you plan a trip to all three.

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Prachuap Khiri Khan Things To Do - Ao  Manao The Travel Deck

Prachuap Khiri Khan Town

Prachuap is a small tranquil fishing village and vacation town for locals 290km from Bangkok. Although not bustling with activities, some attractions surrounding the area are unlike any other in Thailand.

Things to do and see in Prachuap Khiri Khan

Here is a list of the best things to do in Prachuap Khiri Khan. Some of these tourists attractions in Prachuap are directly in the main area where are a few hotels and places to stay. While other attractions a short ride out of this quiet seaside village.

Khao Chong Krajok Temple

Things to do in Prachuap Khiri Khan. A temple on top of a mountain covered in jungle.

Upon arrival in Prachuap Khiri Khan, this is the first thing to be noticed, a temple atop a mountain overlooking the town. The temple is located on top of Khao Chong Krajok hill just before the shoreline north of Ao Prachuap bay. 

The temple is reached by climbing a fleet of some 400 steps. During the day these stairs are occupied by a large number of macaques, by far the largest troop of monkeys we have seen so far.

At times these monkeys can get aggressive especially when any food is present. The best way to avoid any mishap is to not interact or stare ate the monkeys. Also don’t take any food with you and most of all do not try touching the monkeys, especially the babies.

The summit here offers views of the long curved beach lying beneath and the surrounding areas.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Things To Do Monkey at foot of Khao Chong Krajok temple The Travel Deck
A macaques monkey stealing a bottle of water from us at Ao Prachuap at the foot of Mirror Mountain

Ao Manao Beach

Things to do in Prachuap Khiri Khan. Aerial view of Ao Manao beach with small islands jutting out the turquoise waters

By no means is Ao Manao a famous beach in Thailand. But honestly, it is one of the most stunning beaches we have seen in Thailand.

And it’s location is unique because it is situated inside an air force base.

To get to Ao Manao beach in Prachuap Khiri Khan you’ll have to leave your details (including passport number) with a security guard at the gate and check out by 18:00. The area surrounding the beach is pristine and very well kept and it is an attraction in itself. 

Ao Manao is seemingly enclosed by mountainous rock formations that wrap around on either side. The pristine and clear water is shallow for quite a distance. And there’s stunning views of small islands jutting out of clear turquoise waters and a backdrop of perfectly aligned trees are what make this beach a must-visit while in Prachuap.

Watch the monkeys at Khao Lammuak

At the further northern part of Ao Manao is Khao Lammuak mountain offering a spectacular view over Ao Prachuap and Ao Manao. The reason this is one amazing view is the fact that it is challenging to reach in every possible way.

Firstly the mountain is only open on certain public holidays and second, reaching the summit is a challenge where in certain parts ropes must be used. The foot of the mountain is occupied by troops of the Dusky Langur which still offers an attraction when the mountain is closed.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Things To Do Dusky Langur
Dusky Langur

Trekking to Phraya Nakhon cave

A pavilion hidden inside a cave with an opening above shining light through

This cave in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is one of the main reasons Prachuap ended up on our list. The pavilion inside this cave is one of Thailand’s hidden gems and just a few travelers get the chance to experience it. 

Phraya Nakhon is a 1-hour drive from Prachuap and first, you will need to get to the small village of Bang Pu. From here there are 2 options: either a 45-minute trek around the mountain offering some great views of the surrounding area. Or a 10-minute boat trip to Laem Sala beach. 

The boat trip option (including return) costs 400 Baht per person. And there is a ฿200 fee to access the park. 

From Laem Sala its a 430 meter trek to reach the cave. Although this might not seem like much, the trek is made challenging by uneven slippery stairs and rocks although this does smoothen out before descending back into the cave. 

The beauty in the cave lies within its brightly lit up areas. Naturally lit by skylights where over time the rocks have given in and have helped vegetation set roots here and give beauty to this cave.

Over the wooden dark path leading to the second cave is the main draw. Upon entering, the pavilion is seen standing atop a small hill surrounded by green vegetation. The best time to get here is between 10:00 and 11:00 when the light shines through the opened up area and directly onto the pavilion making this a mesmerizing and enchanting experience.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Things To Do: Phraya Nakhon Cave
The Pavilion at Phraya Nakhon Cave
Prachuap Khiri Khan Things To Do trek to Phraya Nakhon Cave
At Phraya Nakhon Cave

Take a stroll along Ao Prachuap

The 2 km promenade along Ao Prachuap bay is one way to start or finish off the day.

Stalls selling meals, fresh fruits and drinks are set up just off the sidewalk. A Thai massage is also set up here. Although this did seem quite odd and out of place, is worth considering.

This side of the coast is best to enjoy at sunrise. Just before sunset, the large troop of macaques is seen leaving the previously occupied stairs of the temple and along the promenade, heading elsewhere for the night.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Things To Do Ao Prachuap
Ao Prachuap Promenade

Prachuap Khiri Khan Map with Attractions

Prachuap Khiri Khan Map with attractions
Click on the image to be taken to an interactive map

The map includes Prachuap Khiri Khan attractions. Before choosing accommodation, pinpoint the hotel on the map above to check its location relative to the town’s attractions.

Things To Do in Prachuap Khiri Khan at Night

Prachuap Khiri Khan Nightlife

The nightlife scene in Prachuap is limited pretty much to an evening meal accompanied by a couple of beers at one of the restaurant or food stalls. Top Deck is the only bar we are aware of and is located 200 metres south of the pier in Ao Prachuap.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Night Market

The market at Kong Kiat Road is open daily and offers traditional Thai dishes at cheap prices. Also along the street are a few restaurants. The street is opposite the train station, leading down to the pier.

Every weekend the street in Ao Prachuap is closed off to traffic and turned into a lively night market where locals meet and catch up during this weekly event. The market is open on Fridays and Saturdays.

Prachuap Khiri Khan: Best area to stay in

The street along Ao Prachuap beach features a promenade that stretches out to one side providing an opportunity for a long walk with nice views.

Every night, there are some street food stalls here and further north there is the Mirror Mountain or Khao Chong Krajok and Wat Thammikaram. To the south, some restaurants line the beach selling freshly caught and cheap seafood.

Staying close to Ao Prachuap beach is the best accommodation option in Prachuap Khiri Khan town. It should be noted that Ao Prachuap beach is not good for swimming.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Accomodation

Hotels, guesthouses and hostels are found all within walking distance from one another in Prachuap Khiri Khan. We found our accommodation by chance and isn’t listed on any of the mainstream search engines.

The name of the accommodation is Kuntong Hotel in Soi 6 Khong Rong Phayaban and is more a guesthouse than a hotel but was clean, had air condition and the price was reasonable.

Other guesthouses are along this street which is just a 10-minute walk from the promenade. 

Transportation from Bangkok to Prachuap Khiri Khan

Buses and mini vans from Bangkok to Prachuap Khiri Khan

Buses and minivans heading south are stationed in Sai Tai Mai Terminal or the Southern Bus Terminal. The terminal is located about 11km from Khao San Road (check our Bangkok article featuring the famous Khao San Road), to the west of Bangkok. The same building houses both the terminal and a small shopping mall.

Buses and minivans go to Prachuap Khiri Khan from the terminal. Minivan tickets are bought at the stands which are located outside the terminal building. Each stand clearly shows the journey’s final destination. The cost of a ticket to Prachuap Khiri Khan is 200 Baht per person.

Minivans are not catered to transport bulky luggage, in fact, they are mostly used by locals. Note that there was just enough space to carry our 2 backpacks in the van.

The drive straight to Prachuap Khiri Khan takes about 3 hours but expect travel time to be more than that as the driver may do multiple stops to pick up and drop off other passengers on the way. If your accommodation is in Prachuap Khiri Khan town by the bay agree with the driver to drop you somewhere close by.

Bus tickets can be bought from inside the terminal.

Transportation to Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal

Getting to the terminal from Khao San Road in Bangkok, one can take the public bus to the Southern Bus Terminal which we found straightforward, efficient and budget-friendly.

Bus number 511 goes along Ratchadamnoen Klang Road (the main road in which there is the Democracy Monument and is about 600 metres from Khao San Road) and takes around 20/30 minutes to the terminal, costs 15 Baht per person and makes only a few stops on its way.

At Ratchadamnoen bus stop, there is a bus information point, with helpful and knowledgeable staff who checks on tourists making sure they are at the right bus stop. In line with this website the following bus numbers go to the Sai Tai Mai bus terminal: 28, 35, 66, 507, 511.

Other transport options to the terminal are by taxi (metered or Grab) or through the BTS sky-train to Victory monument and then take a bus, minivan or taxi to the terminal.

Train from Bangkok to Prachuap Khiri Khan

Another option to Prachuap Khiri Khan is by train, either from Bangkok’s main train station Hua Lamphong Railway Station or Thonburi train station. The travel duration is around 5 to 6 hours. The journey by train has some good scenes and offers a great experience for those who have never used this mode of transport in South East Asia

Travelling around in Prachuap Khiri Khan

Like many other small towns in Thailand, Prachuap does not have local buses or car taxis. The only public transport available options are motorcycle taxis or motorbike tuk-tuks which are identified by the red vest worn by the driver.

These are good options for short-distance travel such as travelling to the minivan station or getting to the nearby beach. Always negotiate a price before the start of the journey, although the prices here don’t seem to be so much negotiable but still worth a try.

Another option to travel to some places of interest outside of town is hiring a motorbike. Before hiring a bike, make sure that you are qualified to drive in Thailand and check your insurance policy to ascertain whether you are properly insured in an unfortunate event of an accident. There are good bike rental options located seafront.

We rented a motorbike from a place along Ao Prachuap, KOB For Rent. Take a stroll along the promenade and you will surely see the bikes on a ramp leading to a house. The price was good at 200 Baht per day so we didn’t shop around. 

Transportation out of Prachuap Khiri Khan

A minivan station is located about 4km from Prachuap Khiri Khan centre. A motorcycle taxi to the station (taxis have a bench at the side with enough room to accommodate 2 persons and luggage), costs 40 to 50 baht per person. The station is small and is easy to identify the van for your next stop.

Chumphon city was our next destination, and the minivan ticket cost 180 baht per person. The drive to Chumphon takes about 2 hours, but as always, expect travel time to be more than that because of multiple stops, picking up and dropping off passengers.   

>> Check our travel guide to Chumphon and you might be convinced of extending your Chumphon stay!

Trains go through Prachuap Khiri Khan train station heading further south multiple times every day. Trains make a number of stops on the way down south and one of which is Chumpon train station.

>> If you feel lost when planning your trip to Prachuap Khiri Khan, read through our 4 step approach to planning a trip. (Scroll to the section titled ‘Travel Itinerary Planner – Bangkok’). This approach can be catered to and used for planning any trip. We use this same approach to plan our trips.

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    2 thoughts on “Things To Do in Prachuap Khiri Khan”

      • Wow, that is a long time ago! I’m not sure what it was like back then but it is still a laid-back seaside town and has one amazing beach (Ao Manao) and loads of monkeys up and near the mountain. Have you visited again since 1997?

        Reply

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