Trip Start Jan 12, 2010
51Trip End Dec 02, 2010
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Where I stayed
Fame Guesthouse (150B)
Chumphon town is nice enough and has everything you need from an Ocean shopping mall to night markets and plenty of buzz etc. However, actual attractions within the town are few and far between, so either a hired vehicle, public transport or other means of traveling the province as a whole, are needed in order to see the main attractions Chumphon has to offer, wether it be it's beaches, the islands or national parks.
I arrived in Chumphon fairly late, so once i found a guesthouse, i had a quick explore of the immediate area
The first day with the bike i headed to Hat (beach) Sai Ri. At the northern end of the beach is the Prince of Chumphon shrine which was built to commemorate the late Admiral Phra Borommawong Thoe Kromluang Chumphon Khet Udomsak. There's also a small museum with the admiral's biography and belongings. The shrine is set upon a small hill which offers great views of Hat Sai Ri. At the base of the same hill is an old torpedo war ship called 'Royal Chumphon' belonging to the royal thai navy. Once it was decommissioned in 1979 it was placed near the Prince of Chumphon shrine in memory of the admiral. At the northern end of Hat Sai Ri is Khao Chao Mueang which is a high mountain that offers panoramic views of the sea and the distant archipelago islands. It's also home to a small nature trail and has steps leading to a rocky beach at it's base
Following on from Hat Sai Ri, i headed south along the coast to Ao Thung Makham noi and yai. These bays look like 2 semi circles. In the middle is a peninsula of rocks dividing them. Noi and yai means small and big and refers to the sized proportions of the two bays. Ao yai was a very nice stretch of coast to walk along. Ao noi was less pleasent but still nice. Ao noi is also home to a main pier which boats dock/depart to/from Chumphon's most famous island, Koh Tao. Nearby is Mu Ko Chumphon National park. There is a view point here which offers spectacular views of the coast and especially of Ao Thung Makham noi and yai as well as distant islands. The main attraction here is a nature boardwalk similar to the ones i saw in both Chanthaburi and Hua Hin. Due to this, and the fact it began raining hard, i didn't see the boardwalk but had a good chat with the workers in the entrance office of the national park. As you can see from the pictures, the day was overcast, windy and the sea's were rough. Little did i know at the time, this was just a small part of things to come...
Recently heavy rain has caused flooding in certain areas of Thailand. This was mainly specific to the north/eastern region (if you remember back to my Hua Hin update, i mentioned how food, water and medical supplies given to monks on Chulalongkorn day, were been sent to affected areas as relief supplies in the north/east)
There was a lot i'd planned to do in Chumphon, from going to beaches, nearby islands, waterfalls and even biking to Watershed Forest mountain range which has 3 summits. Pho Ta Mangkre, Pho Ta Chong Dong and Khao Tung. The tallest summit is 1,000 metres above sea level and provides views of both the Andaman sea and the gulf of Thailand (on a clear day). However, besides not wanting to ride a few hundred miles in wind and rain, the mountain is the main waterway of the Lang Suan river. So not a wise choice to go there with current events as they were
I actually got stuck in Chumphon for 2 days with no public transport running due to flooding. In the end i managed to get a mini van (Toyota commuter) to Nakhon Si Thammarat. I had as nice a time as possible in Chumphon under the circumstances, met some really nice locals and still managed to see a few attractions. It's always nice to have an excuse to go back to an area, and i'll be back to Chumphon for sure to see what i missed.