Southern Thailand’s reputation for untainted natural beauty and an absence of mass tourism begins in this majestic coastal province. Located at the top of the Malay Peninsula, the province is flanked by Myanmar and the Gulf of Thailand. The province’s capital, Chumphon City, is a major transport hub and the perfect place to start and end your visit to the region. Sample local delicacies as you wander the bustling streets, and shop for clothes, souvenirs and traditional handicrafts in the commercial district. Then, set off to explore Chumphon Province’s 220 kilometres (137 miles) of perfect coastline.
The major attraction of this province is its natural landscape. The region has a burgeoning adventure sports industry, making it easy to explore the area’s mountains, jungle and coastline. Rent kayaks to explore the coves and bays of the coast or sign up for a diving trip to explore beneath the surface. Fishing is also a major drawcard to Chumphon Province and vendors offering rental gear can be found in most coastal towns. Multi-day fishing expeditions will take you across tranquil waters to spectacular coral reefs. If you don’t want to catch the fish yourself, you can always stop by a beachfront barbecue restaurant for a perfectly grilled shark or marlin steak.
With high-speed railway and a number of airlines providing flights to all major Thai cities, it’s surprising that the region has remained relatively unspoiled. Once you arrive you’ll be just minutes from some of Thailand’s best beaches. Accommodation stretches along the coast and ranges from modest beach bungalows to tasteful luxury resorts. While it might be hard to peel yourself away from the beach, be sure to make time to explore the quiet back streets of the province by bicycle or motor scooter. Frequent ferries and water taxis make exploring the many islands that dot the Gulf of Thailand a breeze.