Suphanburi (สุพรรณบุรี) is a town and a province in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand.
Just a hundred kilometres away from Bangkok, Suphanburi is an ancient town rich in natural and historical heritage. The province was once an important border town involving battles and important wars during the period of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Artefacts and archaeological evidence shows that Suphanburi is history dates back to 3,500-3,800 years ago. Archaeologists found artefacts from the New Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age.
Suphanburi’s politics have long been dominated by the rich building contractor Banharn Silpa-archa (1932–2016). He held different ministerial posts (including transport and communication) and even served as prime minister from 1995 to 1996 (drawing international ridicule when he addressed the Queen of England as “Queen Elizabeth Taylor”). He redirected considerable amounts of state funding into the infrastructure of his home provinces hence its roads and telecommunicazion networks are much better than in most Thai provinces. Several public institutions in the province are named in honour of Banharn and his wife Jamsai, leading to jokes that the whole city was “owned” by Banharn or might be renamed “Banharn-buri”.
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Within an hour of Bangkok, Suphanburi is accessible via many routes:
- Via Bang Bua Thong of Nonthaburi Province, tourists can drive directly to the province, a distance of 107 km, which is the shortest route.
- Via Lat Lum Kaeo of Pathum Thani Province, the route leads to Suphanburi, a distance of about 115 km.
- Via Ayutthaya to Suphanburi, the route is 132 km.
- Via Singburi Province, Suphanburi is accessible at Doem Bang Nang Buat. The route is 228 km.
- Via Ang Thong Province, the road leads to Suphanburi, a distance of 150 km.
- Via Kamphaeng Saen of Nakhon Pathom Province, Suphanburi is 164 km from Bangkok via this route.
Scheduled buses and air conditioned coaches leave the Northern Bus Terminal at Mo Chit 2 daily for Suphanburi. Contact the Transport Co. Ltd. Tel. +66 2 9362852-66 ext. 311 or 442 for more information. Buses to Suphanburi also leave from the Southern Bus Terminal, on Boromma Ratchachonnani Road. Check the bus schedule at Tel. +66 2 4351199, Dan Chang Tour Co. Ltd., Tel. +66 2 4352727, Tha Chang Tour Co. Ltd., Tel. +66 2 4357502. and air conditioned coach at Tel.+66 2 8849522.
A train leaves Bangkok Station daily for Suphanburi at 16:40 and reaches the province at 19:32. On the return trip, the train leaves at 05:00 and arrives at Bangkok at 08:10. For more details, call the service centre at Tel. 1690, 0 2220 4334 or visit the website .
You can use many public transportations in Suphanburi such as a motorbike, a tuk-tuk, a songtaew, a bus or a van. In the city, tuk-tuk, songtaew or bus can be used for traveling around the city of Suphanburi. At the same time, you can use a songtaew, a bus or a van for going to other districts.
- Banharn-Jamsai Tower (หอคอยบรรหาร-แจ่มใส) This country’s first and highest viewpoint tower overlooking Chaloem Phatthara Rachini Park allows to enjoy a bird’s eye view over the province at a height of 123 metres. The tower has four viewpoint decks.
- Chaloem Phatthara Rachini Park (สวนเฉลิมภัทรราชินี) The park houses many spots of interest; namely, Ex-Prime Minister Banharn’s performance building, water park, Thai design garden, pigeon garden, flower garden, child playground, dancing fountain and an exercise area.
- Ban Yamaratcho (บ้านยะมะรัชโช): This group of traditional Thai houses on stilts was honoured and awarded for good urban architecture conservation. The house once belonged to Chaophraya Yommarat (Pan Sukhum), the regent of King Rama VIII.
- Ancient Town Walls and Gate (กำแพงเมืองเก่าและประตูเมือง): An earthen wall and moat remain between Wat Pa Lelai and the City Pillar Shrine. The wall on the eastern side has all disappeared as it was dismantled during the reign of King Maha Chakkraphat. The Fine Arts Department rebuilt the town gate, on Malai Maen Road, on the location believed to have been the site of an old gate.
- Bueng Chawak Chalerm Phra Kiate is a zoo and an aquarium on the shore of the Chawak Lake. There are lots of different types of animals and aquatic animals. If you visit there, you need to walk through the tunnel under the water like you walk under the ocean. Bueng Chawak is opened during 08:00 am – 4:30 pm on Monday – Friday and 08:00 – 18:00 on Saturday – Sunday.
Wat Pa Lelai Worawihan (วัดป่าเลไลยก์วรวิหาร): It is a royal temple as evident from the royal emblem of King Rama IV on the gable of the wihan. A huge Buddha image known as Luangpho To in the elegant image hall or wihan is the centre of faith for Buddhist people. In the backyard of the temple is a showcase of a traditional Thai house known as ‘Khum Khun Chang’.
Industrial Promotion Centre Region 8 (ศูนย์ส่งเสริมอุตสาหกรรมภาคที่ 8): Only a kilometre away from Wat Pa Lelai, on Malai Maen Road opposite Suphan Buri Water park.
Tha Sadet Bird Park (Tha Sadet Bird Sanctuary) (สวนนกท่าเสด็จ): The sanctuary is in private fruit orchards whose owners are kind enough to let the birds live undisturbed. Presently, the area has been developed as an attraction of the province under the management of the Royal Forestry Department.
Sa Saksit (Sacred Pond) (สระศักดิ์สิทธิ์): The six ponds here are considered as sacred ponds whose water has been used for royal ceremonies. The Fine Arts Department has registered them all as historical sites, but none has been renovated.
The Western National Theatre of Suphan Buri (โรงละครแห่งชาติภาคตะวันตกจังหวัดสุพรรณบุรี) The regional theatre is established for promoting and supplying knowledge about local cultural performances, music and classical dances of western provinces.
Don Chedi Monument (พระบรมราชานุสรณ์ดอนเจดีย์): The royal monument of King Naresuan the Great and the pagoda were built to commemorate the victory over the Burmese troops. The Royal Thai Army renovated the pagoda in 1952, and built a new pagoda over the ancient one.
Bueng Nong Sarai Historical Site
(โบราณสถานบึงหนองสาหร่าย): The huge lake was involved in the war when King Naresuan defeated a Burmese army. It is pitiful that the lake, at present covering an area of only 29 rai (11.6 acres), is in poor condition.
Wat Pa Phruek’s Fish Sanctuary (อุทยานมัจฉา วัดป่าพฤกษ์): Around the temple’s waterside is a big school of various fish such as Nile tilapia, iridescent shark-catfish, and black-eared catfish.
Buffalo Villages (บ้านควาย) features the rural lifestyle in the central region such as Thai farmer villages, rice-threshing ground water, buffalo ranch, traditional Thai houses on stilts.
Soil-less Cultivation Centre (สวนพืชไร้ดิน): The country’s largest soil-less plantation acquires an area of 200 rai. The vegetables are grown on sponge, sand, pebbles sawdust or on a hydroponics system.
Old Sam Chuk Market along Tha-Chin River (ตลาดสามชุกริมน้ำร้อยปี): This Chinese community and old-fashioned market with wooden shop houses remain in Thai original style a century ago.
Bueng Rahan (บึงระหาร): The large lake is 38 kilometres from Mueang District. Restaurants and the rest area around the lake make it a nice place for relaxing
Bueng Chawak (บึงฉวาก): This natural freshwater lake covers a huge area of over 2,700 rai (1,080 acres). The lake was declared a wildlife sanctuary area in 1983 and by its great variety of flora and fauna, the government registered Bueng Chawak as an important wetland under the Ramsar Convention. As a new destination of Suphanburi, Bueng Chawak houses many interesting attractions as follows:
Bueng Chawak Aquarium (สถานแสดงพันธุ์สัตว์น้ำบึงฉวากเฉลิมพระเกียรติ) exhibits various species of fresh-water fish. Its first building exhibits fresh-water fishes such as Mekong giant catfish, clown feather back, bony tongue, tiger perch.
Freshwater Crocodile Pond (บ่อจระเข้น้ำจืด) Landscaped for a natural look, the pond houses 60 Siamese crocodiles of 1.5-4.0 metres.
Tiger and Lion Cages (กรงเสือและสิงโต) The cages house different kinds of the cat family such as lions, tigers, clouded leopards, leopards, Indian leopard cat, as well as tiger cubs fed by milk from pigs. Nearby are rare animals such as waterfowl, peacocks, pheasants, zebra, camels, and ostriches.
Native Vegetable Garden (อุทยานผักพื้นบ้าน): The landscaped garden houses over 500 species of native vegetables nationwide, including herbs, annuals and perennials. Attractions in the compound include agricultural produce exhibition, agro-tourism centre, and nursery.
Lao Si-Lao Khrang Weaving Group (กลุ่มทอผ้าพื้นเมืองจกลวดลายโบราณลาวซี่-ลาวครั่ง) The village is the last place in the province that keeps the Lao Si-Lao Khrang textile pattern alive. Until now, the colourful woven textiles of the last century have remained.
U Thong National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ อู่ทอง): It exhibits archaeological evidence and art objects from different periods found in Suphan Buri. Outside is a mock-up house in the style of the Lao Song ethnic group featuring traditions, clothing and tools.
Phu Muang Forest Park (วนอุทยานพุม่วง) Phu Muang Forest Park acquires a total area of 1,725 rai (690 acres), which is covered by mixed and bamboo forests. Its attractions include:
Nature trail (เส้นทางเดินศึกษาธรรมชาติ): The 1.5-kilometre trail leads you through forests packed with various kinds of trees such as Makha, bamboo, etc.
Ancient elephant kraal (คอกช้างดินสมัยทวารวดี): The earthen elephant kraals date back to 1,500 years ago. There are a total of three kraals covering an area of 10 rai (4 acres).
Laterite Base of Draravati Building (ฐานวิหารศิลาแลงสมัยทวารวดี): The laterite foundation dates back to the Draravati period. It is presumed to have been a venue for royal rituals before catching wild elephants.
Namtok Phu Muang (น้ำตกพุม่วง): This waterfall was mentioned in the literature Khun Chang -Khun Phaen. With five tiers, it cascades by the elephant kraal and laterite foundation. Lush forest on the mountain range, Khao Phra, has various kinds of tree and stony field where cycads dot around.
Wat Khao Di Salak (วัดเขาดีสลัก): It houses quite a special Buddha’s footprint, a bas-relief footprint carved out of red sandstone. Archaeologists presumed that the footprint is an art object of the Dvaravati style, dating back to 9th -11th century. Furthermore, Buddha images and artefacts were discovered from a rock cavity.
Agricultural Promotion and Development Centre (ศูนย์ส่งเสริมและพัฒนาอาชีพการเกษตร (พันธุ์พืชเพาะเลี้ยง)): Located in Tambon Phlapphla Chai. The centre was established to develop agriculture and plants.
Biotechnological Pest Control Centre (ศูนย์บริหารศัตรูพืชโดยชีวภาพ) The centre educates farmers about agricultural methods to control plant pests by natural resources rather than chemical treatment. The centre comprises a nursery for attacking insects, hydroponics plant house and chemical.
Affinite Orchids (สวนกล้วยไม้แอฟฟินิท) At Mu 9 Tambon Chorakhe Samphan, the orchid nursery grows orchids of different families for study and sale such as Dendrobium, Cattleya, Vanda.
Wat Phai Rong Wua (วัดไผ่โรงวัว)]: Around its compound are mocked-up important venues of the Lord Buddha. Furthermore, there is the world’s largest cement Buddha image, the world’s largest bronze multi-spired building known as ‘Phra Wihan Roi Yot’ and Dharmmacakra or ‘Wheel of the Doctrine’ as well as various other things in huge size. Its most exciting attraction is the “Hell Garden” with thousands of statues showing punishment in afterlife for Buddhist rules broken on earth.
Wat Thap Kradan (วัดทับกระดาน) The temple has a museum dedicated to a famous singer of Thai folk song, Phumphuang Duangchan. She spent her childhood around this temple. So, her belongings, equipment, photographs and news clipping are displayed in this temple. An annual ceremony to commemorate her death attracts lots of people to the temple.
Tham Weruwan (ถ้ำเวฬุวัน): The cave houses a Buddha image in the Pa Lelai posture. In the temple compound, district official have set up a bamboo garden in honour of Their Majesties where over 10 bamboo species are grown.
Krasiao Dam (เขื่อนกระเสียว): This country’s longest earthen dam is built on Krasiao Stream in Tambon Dan Chang. Its reservoir, with maximum water storage of 240 million cubic metres, is also a major fish-breeding site.
Phu Toei National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติพุเตย): The park occupies an area of 198,422 rai (79,368.8 acres). The lush forest with a lot of flora and fauna is a major watershed of Suphanburi and Kanchanaburi. The mountain range of Phu Toei is home of thousands of mountain pines and also the best viewing point. Attractions in the park can be divided into two groups, according to its units as follows:
Unit 1 (Phu Toei) (หน่วยพิทักษ์อุทยานที่ ๑): The unit comprises a camping ground and exhibition about the forest.
Phu Toei National Park Headquarters (ที่ทำการอุทยานแห่งชาติพุเตย): The headquarters is at Ban Huai Hin Dam, Tambon Wang Yao, Dan Chang District, 12 kilometres from Unit 1.
Mountain Pine (ป่าสนสองใบธรรมชาติ): The mountain pine forest grows up naturally on the mountain range of Phu Toei 12 kilometres from Unit 1. Four-wheel drive vehicles can only go for 10 kilometres and then trek the rest.
Giant Cycad tree (ต้นปรงยักษ์): The big cycad trees grow on Phu Toei Mountain, dotting around the pine mountain forest. At a height of 6–8 metres, each cycad tree is 200–300 years old.
Namtok Taphoen Khi (น้ำตกตะเพินคี่): The two-tier waterfall cascades all year round to nourish the forest and Karen village, which has settled there for over 200 years. Lush forests allow naturalists to enjoy ecotourism and adventure.
Taphoen Khi Karen Village (หมู่บ้านกะเหรี่ยงตะเพินคี่): The drug-and-drink-free village is Buddhist. In the full moon period of the 5th lunar month, the village holds a large celebration for three days and three nights to worship Chulamani, the sacred place of worship made from sharpened bamboo at the village’s ground.
Unit 2 (Phu Krathing) (หน่วยพิทักษ์อุทยานฯที่ 2 (พุกระทิง): The unit is in Ban Wang Hora of Dan Chang District. Around the unit are:
Lam Taphoen Reservoir (อ่างเก็บน้ำลำตะเพิน): The large reservoir is next to the unit.
Namtok Phu Krathing (น้ำตกพุกระทิง): The waterfall is seven kilometres from the unit, near the reservoir.
Tham Nakhi, Tham Mi Noi, Tham Yoi Raya, and Tham Pha Yai (ถ้ำนาคี ถ้ำหมีน้อย ถ้ำย้อยระย้า ถ้ำผาใหญ่): These caves are only two kilometres away from the headquarters.
- National Museum, Suphan Buri (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ สุพรรณบุรี): Exhibitions feature development of the town from the pre-historical, through Dvaravati, Lop Buri, Ayutthaya, and Rattanakosin periods. The museum also displays ethnic groups in the province, noteworthy persons, famous votire tablets from different temples and songs of different famous folk singers.
- National Museum of Thai Rice Farmers (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ ชาวนาไทย) On Phra Phanwasa Road, in the compound of Mueang Suphan Buri District Office, the museum building is a blend of a traditional Thai house and farmer’s granary.
Temples and shrines
- Wat Pa Lelai Woraviharn (Pa Lelai Woraviharn Temple) is the most important temple in Suphanburi. This Buddhist temple is located in the center of this province. There is the great golden Buddha image “Luang Pho To”. Don’t miss this temple! Sam Chuk Market is the 100-year-old classic market. There are traditional desserts, food and cheap souvenirs. This place shows the traditional life style here.
- Wat Suwannaphum (Wat Klang or Wat Mai) (วัดสุวรรณภูมิ) In the temple’s compound, the Museum of the Supreme Patriarch (Pun Punnasiri Mahathera) displays many special items of antiquity as well as a glazed ceramic alms bowl of the Sukhothai period or around the 13th century. It is the only one of its kind in Thailand.
Wat Phra Rup (วัดพระรูป) The ancient temple houses a reclining Buddha statue, which is said to have the most beautiful face in Thailand. Another interesting antique is a wooden Buddha footprint. Delicately carved on both sides of Paduak wood, it is the only one of its kind in Thailand. Wat Phra Rup is also the original place of the famous Phra Khun Phaen amulet.
Wat Pratu San (วัดประตูสาร): Beautiful murals in the Phra Ubosot are worth a visit. In 1848, a royal painter painted the delicate murals featuring the life of the Lord Buddha. Besides, a series of painting on wood pieces, which seem to copy the murals, are well kept in the temple’s image hall.
San Chao Pho Lak Mueang (ศาลเจ้าพ่อหลักเมือง): The shrine was rebuilt as an edifice in Chinese style, housing a Mahayana Buddhist bas relief of Bodhisattra Avalokitesvara. On the full moon day of the 7th Chinese lunar month, the shrine with support from Chinese Association, hosts an alms-offering ceremony for the poor.
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (วัดพระศรีรัตนมหาธาตุ): The temple was once in the heart of the ancient town Suphannaphum. The main stupa once housed relics of the Lord Buddha, but it was raided for treasure and neglected in ruins.
Wat Khae (วัดแค): houses a huge tamarind tree, which is around a thousand years old. Nearby the tree is “Khum Khun Phaen”, a traditional Thai house built as part of the literature and historical conservation park. The temple houses special antiques such as Lord Buddha’s footprints called “Phra Phutthabat Si Roi”.
Wat Phra Loi (วัดพระลอย) was built to house a Buddha image that drifted along the river. The white sandstone Buddha image seated under the Naga hood, presumably carved in Lop Buri period, was taken from the water to be enshrined here.
Wat No Phutthangkun or Wat Makham No (วัดหน่อพุทธางกูรหรือวัดมะขามหน่อ) Buddhists flock there for admiring beautiful murals in the old Ubosot. Painted in 1848 during the reign of King Rama III but still remains in excellent condition, the delicate murals feature the story of Lord Buddha’s life.
Wat Phra Non (วัดพระนอน) is famed for its large fish sanctuary that occupies some part of the river as well as beautiful shady park which is the main recreational area of the province. The image hall or Wihan of Wat Phra Non houses a special reclining Buddha image. While most reclining Buddha images lie on one side this Buddha image lies supine.
Wat Phrao (วัดพร้าว) The temple’s Wihan has distinguished architecture in the Burmese style. The hall houses a Buddha footprint. In the backyard is the library for Buddhist scriptures, which is located in the middle of the pond. Large flocks of flying foxes live on the Java plum trees in the backyard of this temple.
Wat Sanam Chai (วัดสนามชัย): The Northern Chronicle says that King Katae assigned his brother to build this temple and to renovate Wat Pa Lelai at the same time. There is a big ruined octagonal pagoda surrounded by a wall with small pagodas at four points of the compass.
Wat Phra That or Wat Phra That Sala Khao (วัดพระธาตุหรือวัดพระธาตุศาลาขาว) The locals call it Wat Phra That Nok because of the stupa which is similar to the one in Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat. With a height of 25 metres, the ruined stupa is a bit smaller with a rounder spire.
Wat Ban Krang (วัดบ้านกร่าง): This temple is famed for sacred votive tablets known as Khun Paen. It is presumed that, this temple was built after the war between King Naresuan and the Burmese troops. At the temple entrance, old-fashioned wooden shop houses reflect the easy lifestyle of the people.
Wat Sam Chuk (วัดสามชุก): The ancient temple houses the Buddha footprint, sandstone Buddha statue from the Ayutthaya period, and a pair of bronze swans.
Wat Lat Sing (วัดลาดสิงห์): The temple houses a 500-year-old Buddha image and three pagodas standing for King Naresuan, King Eka Tossarod, and Phra Suphan kanlaya.
Wat Khao Khuen or Wat Khao Nang Buat (Wat Phra Achan Thammachot) (วัดเขาขึ้น หรือ วัดเขานางบวช) A former monk resident of this temple, Phra Achan Thammachot, played a key role in the ancient war against the Burmese troops. The temple’s image hall houses the Lord Buddha’s footprint. And nearby is a pagoda made from a pile of stone slabs.
Wat Hua Khao (วัดหัวเขา): The temple’s entrance is at kilometre 2 or 3, and then 212 steps lead to the temple on the hill. To mark the end of Buddhist Lent, the temple always organise a large merit-making ceremony on the 2nd day of the waning moon of the 11th lunar month.
Wat Doem Bang (วัดเดิมบาง): The temple houses precious wooden pulpit carved delicately in a mixed Thai and Chinese style by a Chinese artisan. The temple also keeps oyster shell alms bowl cover, ceremonial fan and food carrier, which were presents from King Rama V. There is also a beautiful bell tower and murals in the Ubosot here.
Wat Khwang Weluwan (วัดขวางเวฬุวัน): The temple houses a 400-year-old Buddha image from the Dvaravati period.
Wat Khao Phra Si Sanphetchayaram or Wat Khao Phra (วัดเขาพระศรีสรรเพชญาราม หรือ วัดเขาพระ): It is presumed that this hilltop temple was founded since the Dvaravati period as a lot of archaeological evidence has been found. On the hill, a ruin of a pagoda from the Ayutthaya period is found together with the Buddha’s footprint carved from stone.
Lauda Shrine (ศาลเลาด้า): It was built to commemorate the 223 passengers of Lauda Air Flight 004 who died when the plane crashed on 26 May 1991.
What to Do
Don Chedi Memorial Day (งานอนุสรณ์ดอนเจดีย์): The annual celebration is held on 18 January of each year. Fair goers can enjoy watching a mock-up war on elephant back, performance on stage. The fair always runs for nine days.
Kam Fa Tradition (ประเพณีกำฟ้า): The ancient tradition of the Thai Phuan ethnic group is always held in February. Thai Phuan people dress up in traditional attire, offering food and sweets to monks and celebrate in a large party at night. This traditional practice remains in Thai Phuan villages in Amphoe U Thong, and Tambon Makham Lom of Bang Pla Ma District.
Bun Bang Fai or Rocket Festival (ประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ): Thai Phuan and Thai Wiang also enjoy the local rocket festival on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month, worshiping the rain god in the monsoon season. A parade of great fun will be held before the rocket launching at the temple. The tradition remains in many tambons such as Ban Khong, Ban Kham, and Don Kha in U Thong District, and Tambon Wat Bot, and Makham Lom of Bang Pla Ma District.
Thing Krachat (งานเทศกาลทิ้งกระจาด): The merit-making festival is held annually around August–September in the municipal area. Thousands of poor people gather for free food and necessities.
Tak Bat Thewo (ประเพณีตักบาตรเทโว): A large event of merit making is always held to mark the end of Buddhist Lent in October. Buddhists prepare various food and items, particularly the so-called ‘Khaotom Luk Yon’ or seasoned sticky rice wrapped in coconut leaves to be offered to monks.
Lao Song Wedding Tradition (ประเพณีแต่งงานของไทยโซ่ง): Lao Song or Thai Song Dam ethnic group always hold a wedding ceremony during the waxing moon periods of the 4th, 6th and 12th lunar months. Thai Phuan people in Tambon Suan Taeng, Amphoe Mueang, and Tambon Ban Don, Tambon Don Makluea, and Tambon Nong Daeng of U Thong District still have such ceremony.
Well-known products from Suphanburi Province include bamboo and rattan basketry. Suphanburi artisans show their talents by putting patterns of bullet wood flowers, plumeria blossom and Suphan Buri’s durian thorn in the basket. Suphanburi is famous for local chiffon soft cake Sali Suphan, canned water chestnuts, canned bamboo shoots, termite mushroom, honey roasted duck, baked chicken, small-scale croaker, sun dried fish and sun-dried beef.
Salee Ekachai is the most popular store where every tourist buys souvenirs. There are lots of desserts, especially salee, to be souvenirs. This store is opened daily during 07:30–21:00. You can pay by using cash, Visa, MasterCard or JCB.
Where to stay in Suphanburi
- Mind Hotel (From the bus station: walk out of the bus station, turn left, along this road, after the first intersection, you can see the hotel sign). Clean rooms with private bathroom, 400 Thai Baht for air-con, 250 Thai Baht for fan-cooled room. Includes TV, towel, soap and toilet paper. Free coffee and cooled water downstairs. 250-400 Thai Baht.
Hua Hin Cha-am | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
Hua Hin Travel Guide
Hua Hin is a district in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province of Thailand, 295 kilometers from Bangkok and 90 km from the provincial capital. It is the oldest and most traditional of Thailand’s beach resorts combining the attractions of a modern holiday destination with the charm and fascination of a still active fishing port. Beaches are located in the east of the province, including a 5km stretch of white sand and clear water. Although it has developed to cater for tourists from all over the world, the resort which began its development over 70 years ago, remains popular with Thais too, a good sign for those looking for an authentic experience.
The resort was originally founded in 1830s, when farmers, moving south to escape the results of a severe drought in the agricultural area of Phetchaburi, found a small village beside white sands and rows of rock, and settled in. The tranquil fishing village was turned into a ‘Royal resort’ becoming popular among Siam’s nobility and smart-set.
Accessibility was greatly enhanced by the construction of the railway from Bangkok, which brought visitors from wider social groups, and kick-started the industry which would bring tourists from other countries. The first hotel – The Railway Hotel – was built in 1921 and it still stands today continuing to serve tourists as the Sofitel Central.
Hua Hin was made famous in the early 1920s by King Rama VII, who decided it was an ideal getaway from the steamy metropolis of Bangkok. He built a summer palace and this was echoed when King Rama VII ordered the construction of the Palace of Klaikangwon (“far from worries”). The latter is still much used by the Thai Royal Family today.
The resort continued to develop slowly, protected to some extent by its Royal reputation. Its fishing port grew alongside golf courses and all the big hotel chains are now represented. Many of Bangkok’s rich and famous and a growing number of expats have built their own summer homes along the bay, making the resort more cosmopolitan every year.
Development has taken over much of the prime government land, so the coast road suffers from obstructed views of the sea these days, but Hua Hin is trying hard to retain its beach-side atmosphere. Compared to Pattaya, the resort remains relatively serene and attracts families and older travelers. The beach has a gradual slope, into clear warm water which so far has escaped pollution of any kind.
Further afield, the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province is a charming region, where limestone cliffs and islands, bays and beaches, are home to a national park, and several temples, and travelling through this area will be a welcome experience for those hoping to avoid the tourist traps found further South. Driving from Bangkok through Prachuap Khiri Khan takes around three hours, a journey punctuated by summer palaces, huge temples, beautifully kept gardens and salt flats.
Visitors head to Hua Hin all year round. The area has one of the lowest rainfalls in the country, and there’s usually a gentle sea breeze to punctuate the heat, particularly welcome in the summer season between March and September.
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The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.
Flights to Hua Hin
Cheap Flights to Hua Hin
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Things to see and do in Hua Hin
As you would expect with a resort boasting a 5km clean white beach, sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling are popular pastimes. Swimming is safe, and with one of the driest climates across Thailand, there’s plenty of opportunity to dry off in the sun afterwards.
Possibly due to its noble history and elegant clientele, Hua Hin has the highest density of world class golf courses anywhere in Thailand, although it has yet to be discovered by the international golf tournament circuit. Green-fees and other costs are surprisingly low, given that course maintenance and services are superb. The Royal Hua Hin course is one of many, but considered to be the best.
Shop till you drop
Chatchai Market is colourful and inexpensive and is one of Hua Hin’s major attractions. Vendors gather nightly in the centre of town, where they cook fresh gulf seafood for hordes of hungry Thais and provide a spectacle for visitors. As well as plentiful food shops, it offers much that will appeal to souvenir hunters too.
Klai Kangwon (which means ‘Far From Worries’ ) is the Royal Palace built by King Rama VII in 1928. It was designed by Prince Iddhidehsarn Kridakara, an architect and the Director of the Fine Arts Department at the time, and officially opened in 1929. Further structures have been added over time, including a mansion ordered by King Bhumibol (Rama IX) for Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and accommodation for the royal entourage, built in the style of the original buildings so as to preserve the harmony of the palace. Although Klai Kangwon is still in regular use by the Royal family, it is also open to the public.
Hop on a train
Or more importantly, visit the railway station. Built in the reign of Rama IV, the brightly painted wooden buildings somehow combine traditional Thai ideas with a Victorian feel, and in 2009 Hua Hin made it onto NewsWeek’s Best Stations list, in great company such as New York’s Grand Central, and London’s St Pancras.
Although one of the joys of Hua Hin is its serenity and calm, if you’re keen to take in more, its fairly easy to find trips which will take you to many of the other southern beach destinations such as Koh Nangyaun, Koh Toa, Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi and Koa Sok. You may find however that some of these legendary destinations have suffered more at the hands of the global tourist industry than Hua Hin has.
Khao Takiab is referred as Monkey Mountain, but as well as the mischievous residents, it also boasts a hilltop temple with sensational views of Hua Hin, a pagoda-style shrine and a giant golden Buddha which faces the sunrise.
Walk in the Park
The region boasts several parks, and natural attractions, such as the Kangajan National Park, and the Koa Sam Roi Yod Marine Park. You’ll find miles of good walking, amongst lakes, caves and waterfalls, and you’ll be in the company of as elephants, tigers, wild dogs and leopards.
Eat, drink and sleep in Hua Hin
As more affluent ex-pats from all over the world gather to weather the winter, or snap up beachfront properties in Hua Hin, the restaurant scene becomes more cosmopolitan. French, Italian, German and Scandinavian restaurants are all here, in case anyone feels homesick. However, there are also rustic seafood restaurants, especially on the pier, and at several of these you can choose your own fish from the fish market right outside and waiters will bring you the finished result.
There are plenty of simpler local restaurants both inside and out on the streets where you can sample authentic Thai food too.
If you want to try to cook your own Thai food in Hua Hin, the very best place to buy your ingredients, not because it’s the cheapest, but because it is a fabulous experience, is the night market. Right in the centre of town, it opens at 18:00. It’s also a terrific place to buy handicrafts, souvenirs and clothing.
The Chatchai market is a great day market and the place to go for the best street food, as vendors grill, fry, boil and dress the fabulous local fish and shellfish, but don’t forget to leave room for a real local speciality. Roti Hua Hin is a delicious dough-based snack filled with strawberries, custard or raisins.
In a side street just off the market is the Hua Hin Thai Show, a pagoda-style restaurant which combines great food with a nightly musical performance, where you can sample folk with your fish or classical over your clams.
Unlike many Thai resorts, here you will also find more elegant dining, including Thai and Vietnamese food with a more upmarket touch for a real treat. Monsoon is the most romantic and expensive, but it’s worth it for the wine list and the elegant atmosphere. If your budget doesn’t run to dinner, you can enjoy afternoon tea on its teak-decked terrace.
Hua Hin isn’t as lively as many of its neighbours, but that doesn’t mean it’s no go for night life. There are quite a few live music venues, including El Murphy’s the Irish bar, which has its own local band rocking the town with rock and blues classics. There are a couple of country music pubs, and several nightclubs, but for a really classy experience, head to Satchmo’s where a vibrant Filipino band will serenade you as you drink the best Mojito outside Mexico.
Hua Hin has more than its share of upmarket and luxury accommodation. All the main hotel chains are here, and most have lovely grounds, top facilities and restaurants. There are elegant luxury boutique-style hotels too, many with villas and private pools. Sadly, there aren’t as many budget options as there used to be, but if you’re prepared to do some research you can find clean an friendly guesthouses and bed-and-breakfasts at reasonable rates. If you’re planning to stay a while, a rental apartment can be a good option; many of the holiday homes owned by people who live abroad can be rented for at least part of the year. Wherever you stay, Hua Hin is an oasis of calm in a country of exciting contrasts.
Hotels/Resorts in Hua Hin
Hotels Hua Hin: Popularity
|Hotel||Stars||Discount||Price before and discount||Select dates|
|Hua Hin Marriott Resort and Spa||★★★★★|
|G Hua Hin Resort & Mall||★★★★|
|Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa - SHA Certified||★★★★★|
|Hop Inn Hua Hin||★★|
|Anantara Hua Hin Resort||★★★★★|
|Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin||★★★★★|
|Blu Marine Hua Hin Resort and Villas||★★★|
|Asira Boutique HuaHin||★★★★|
|Amari Hua Hin - SHA Certified||★★★★★|
|Bann Lom Le Guest House||★★|
|The Herbs Hotel Hua Hin||★★★★|
|Corner Cafe Bed & Breakfast||★★|
|Whale Hua Hin - SHA Certified||★★★★|
|Putahracsa Hua Hin Resort||★★★★★|
|InterContinental Hua Hin Resort, an IHG Hotel||★★★★★|
|Dadddy's home Huahin||★★|
|Ruenkanok Thaihouse Resort||★★★|
|Hyatt Regency Hua Hin||★★★★★|
|Villa Baan Malinee||★★★|
Chainat | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
The town, Chai Nat (ชัยนาท) is the provincial capital of Chai Nat Province, in the central region of Thailand. Understand Chai Nat means a roaring victory. Originally this ancient town was on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River at the mouth of Khlong Phraek Si Racha south of the old waterway. Established after […]
The town, Chai Nat (ชัยนาท) is the provincial capital of Chai Nat Province, in the central region of Thailand.
Chai Nat means a roaring victory. Originally this ancient town was on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River at the mouth of Khlong Phraek Si Racha south of the old waterway. Established after the town of Phanthumwadi (Suphanburi Province), Chai Nat was Sukhothai’s most important southern outpost built during the reign of King Phaya Loethai of Sukhothai during 1317–1336.
This ancient community was called Mueang Phraek or Mueang San. When the Sukhothai Kingdom declined, Phraek became Ayutthaya’s northern outpost. Later, a new community was established not far from Phraek. Its ruler was Chao Sam Phraya, who later ruled Ayutthaya and became King Borom Rachathirat II. This new community was a large town called Chai Nat. In the reign of King Rama V, the main settlement of the province in Laem Yang was moved to the left bank of the Chao Phraya River. Mueang San slowly declined because most of the people migrated to Chai Nat. The old town later became a district of Chai Nat. Chai Nat was an important military base to confront with the Burmese armies. As all these confrontations were successful, the city gained the name Chai Nat.
Apart from its long history, Chai Nat is known for handicrafts of basketry, sculpture, weaving and Benjarong porcelain.
Chai Nat occupies an area of 2,470 square km.
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The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.
Chai Nat is 194 km from Bangkok. To get there, take Hwy 1 and at km50, change to Hwy 32 passing through Ang Thong and Singburi. Then, at km183, take a left turn onto Hwy 1. Proceed another 10 km.
Take a bus to Chai Nat
Take the hourly air conditioned bus (05:30-17:30) from the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) on Kamphaengphet Road to Chai Nat. It takes about 2.5 hr to get there. For further information, contact the Chai Nat Tour Company Limited (Bangkok office Tel.+66 2 9363608, and Chai Nat’s office Tel.+66 56 412264), or the Transport Company Limited, Tel.+66 2 5765599, +66 2 9362852-66, or visit .
- Uthai Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Sing Buri or Suphanburi
Pattaya | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
The City of Pattaya on the East coast of the Gulf of Thailand is a self-governing region about 165km Southeast of Bangkok. For centuries, it was a small fishing village, but when American servicemen ventured down the coast from their base in Nakhon Ratchasima in 1959, in search of rest and relaxation during the Vietnam War, the package holiday industry took off with a bang, and Pattaya began to develop into the popular beach resort of today.
Now, the fishermens’ huts have long gone, as the region lures sun-worshippers and hedonists in their millions every year. A seemingly unlimited flow of dollars fuelled the local economy which for decades wasn’t as careful as it might have been about the rapid development and free-for-all glitz and glamour which drove the city’s progress, but more recently, it is striving to position itself as a more family-friendly destination.
Nowadays, the nearby temples of the Pratamnak Hill look down on a bustling metropolis, packed with hotels, stores, high-rise apartment blocks, bars and restaurants. Pleasure-seekers revel in the nightlife, with its pulsing beat, and head for the beaches of Naklua, Pattaya and Jomtien by day.
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Cheap Flights to Utapao
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Broadly speaking, the city is divided into several regions. Central Pattaya offers countless shops and restaurants, and plentiful nightlife, but is definitely not for those in search of a quiet night’s sleep. Likewise, South Pattaya, which encompasses the word-famous Walking Street, a tourist attraction in itself, which draws foreigners and Thai nationals alike, primarily for the after-dark entertainment. This is also the City’s red-light district, and go-go bars and brothels line the street which runs from the south end of Beach Road to the Bali Hai Pier. However, Walking Street also includes seafood restaurants, live music venues, beer bars, discos and sports bars and has an impressive collection of neon signs for those who want to be where the action is.
There’s no escaping the hurly burly in Pattaya, but if you’re looking for a slightly more peaceful experience, you’ll head to one of the beaches. Pattaya’s beaches are everything expected of Thailand’s famed beaches. Gorgeous, clean and well facilitated. Jomtien is popular with package tour operators and families, whilst if you head up to Naklua and North Pattaya you’ll find that although there are still plenty of bars and restaurants, the entertainment isn’t quite as relentless. If you seek out the more remote corners of Naklua you may even get a hint of the region’s traditional history as a fishing town. Few tourists bother, but for traditionalists, it’s worth a visit.
The tropical climate divides the year into three, from November to February the air is warm and dry, getting hotter and more humid through to May, and the rainy season runs from June to October.
Overall, Pattaya is not for the faint-hearted, or those in search of solitude or a cultural experience, but it will reward the laid-back traveller with just a hint of a spirit of adventure.
Things to see and do
Shop till you drop
Over the fifty or so years since the first GIs showed up in search of the sun, Pattaya has developed into a hive of activity, not least for those in search of retail therapy. The city is full of shops, including Asia’s largest beachfront shopping mall, the Central Festival Pattaya Beach Mall, attached to the Hilton Hotel.
Take to the water
If you’ve any energy left after the thrills of the night, all the beaches offer a wide range of watersports, which attract as many Thai visitors, heading to Pattaya for the weekend from Bankok. Jet-ski-ing and parasailing are the norm, and small boats are available for hire, or skippered trips.
One of the joys of a Thai beach holiday is the wealth of offshore islands, many of which can be reached by small boat or ferry in a matter of minutes. From Pattaya, head off to Ko Larn, Ko Sak or Ko Krok, known as the ‘near islands’ about 7k from Pattaya, or journey further towards the ‘far islands’ Ko Phai, Ko Man Wichai, Ko Hu Chang or Ko Klung Badan. Many of the islands have public beaches, less crowded than those on the mainland, and lots offer scuba diving and other water-based fun.
See the sights
If you’re in search of something a little more cultural, look out for the Wat Khao Phra Bat Temple, which overlooks Pattaya Bay and features a 18metre-high Buddha.
The Sanctuary of Truth is set on a rocky point of the coast just north of Pattaya, in the small town of Naklua. It’s a work in progress, started by an eccentric billionaire who began the ambitious construction 20 years ago. The Sanctuary is rather more adventure park than spiritual haven, but you can still take in this fascinating construction project, made entirely from wood, by a team of 250 woodcarvers.
Billed as a world-leading adventure park, the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden features impressive elephant and Thai cultural shows, in one of the biggest botanical gardens in Southeast Asia. Despite the cultural differences between east and west, it is still possible to appreciate the conservation projects at work here, while palms and orchids, education facilities and plenty of food and drink choices contribute to a rewarding family day out.
Back to the hustle and bustle of an activity-fuelled holiday and you might want to check out the private Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Mini Siam model village, the Pattaya Crocodile Farm, the Silverlake Winery, Aquarium, or any of the many amusement and waterparks dotted around the region.
Time your trip carefully, and you may find yourself caught up in one of the many festivals which take place throughout the year. Bikers will enjoy Burapa Pattaya Bike Week in February which brings together motorcyles and international music, whiles those who prefer their entertainment without engine noise will enjoy March’s Pattaya International Music festival, or the Songkran festival, which lasts for several days in April. Regattas, dance parties, beauty pageants, gay celebrations and traditional light festivals are here in abundance, there’s something going on here every day of the year, and if you hit Chinese New Year, there’ll be dragons, lion dances and fireworks too.
Eat, drink and sleep
The Thais are very casual when it comes to eating and drinking. This is a busy place with lots going on, nobody is going to notice if you eat with your hands, spit out your seeds, or put your elbows on the table. Eateries pop up in the most unlikely doorways so watch out for those special little places – particularly on Second Road and in Naklau. These are the most likely places for real Thai food and if you’re sensible you will follow the locals to the best places. Anywhere with a queue is bound to be good. Street food is one of the joys of South East Asian dining, don’t miss the opportunity to experiment.
However, as this is such a multinational tourist destination, you may find it difficult to find a truly authentic Thai culinary experience along the main drags. You’re as likely to find an American diner, Italian spaghetti house or Greek emporium so it’s worth seeking out the quieter corners and watching to see where the locals eat.
Most formal meals consist of a meat or a fish dish, fried or steamed vegetables, a curry, stir-fried dishes of meat and vegetables and a soup. If you decide to enjoy a traditional meal, expect to take time over it. You’ll experience flavours including lemon grass and coriander, plenty of chilli, and flavourings such as fish sauce and Java Root. Most Thai meals are centred on rice or noodles.
Drink flows freely in Thailand, and the traditional accompaniment to a Thai meal is local beer or rice whisky. However, this is Pattaya, and you can’t travel more than a few metres without finding yourself in a bar. The designs, interior décor, themes and even the drinks may not be traditional, but you’ll find plenty of company as you pile into the drink. It’s unlikely you’ll be trying to stay sober, but if you do, ask for a melon ice drink, or a citrus banana punch, two of Thailand’s favourite non-alcoholic tipples.
As you’d expect in a city dedicated to tourists and good times, there are as many places to stay as there are fish in the sea. From the huge sky-scraper international hotel chains, to smaller, funkier one-off establishments, it’s easy to find a room which will suit your particular needs. Staff are helpful and friendly, although facilities vary greatly, so check out the things that matter to you.
However for a more authentic experience, go for a self-catering apartment, or a smaller Bed and Breakfast, although it’s advisable to check out feedback from previous guests. For those on a budget or a gap year, there are plenty of hostels and backpacker hangouts too, and these can be had for a song as long as you don’t mind the person in the bed next to you singing all night. Basically, it depends on how much of your time in this vibrant colourful mecca of pleasure you’re planning to spend in your hotel room.
Hotels Pattaya: Popularity
|Hotel||Stars||Discount||Price before and discount||Select dates|
|Siam@Siam Design Hotel Pattaya||★★★★★|
|Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya||★★★★★||-28%||973 703|
|Holiday Inn Pattaya, an IHG Hotel||★★★★||-20%||506 407|
|Hilton Pattaya||★★★★★||-15%||809 690|
|Dusit Thani Pattaya||★★★★★||-20%||535 426|
|Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya||★★★★||-37%||535 339|
|Avani Pattaya Resort||★★★★★||-41%||694 407|
|Grande Centre Point Pattaya||★★★★★||-22%||776 607|
|Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort||★★★★||-18%||311 254|
|The Bayview Hotel Pattaya||★★★★|
|Swiss Paradise Boutique Villa||★★★|
|Adelphi Pattaya||★★★★||-16%||213 178|
|Cape Dara Resort||★★★★★||-23%||161 124|
|Royal Cliff Beach Hotel||★★★★★||-28%||748 539|
|Centara Pattaya Hotel||★★★★|
|Arden Hotel and Residence by At Mind||★★★★||-7%||249 232|
|Grand Scenaria Hotel|
|Pullman Pattaya Hotel G||★★★★★||-25%||546 410|
|Pattaya Discovery Beach Hotel||★★★★||-32%||383 261|
|D Varee Jomtien Beach Pattaya Hotel|
|A-One Star Hotel||★★★||-52%||109 52|
|Rita Resort & Residence||★★★|
|Amari Pattaya||★★★★★||-27%||781 573|
|Ibis Pattaya||★★★||-16%||158 133|
|Butterfly Garden Boutique Residence by Frasier||★★★★|
|Centra by Centara Maris Resort Jomtien||★★★★||-19%||378 308|
|InterContinental Pattaya Resort, an IHG Hotel||★★★★★||-25%||765 571|
|Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel and Resort||★★★★|