Prachuap Khiri Khan (ประจวบคีรีขันธ์) is a city in the South Eastern Coastal part of Central Thailand and is the capital of the province of this name. It possesses various interesting tourism attractions such as beaches, islands, forests, and mountains.
Once known as Muang Bang Nong Rom, Prachuap Khiri Khan was left to decay after the sacking of Ayutthaya at the end of the 18th century. The town was rebuilt at the mouth of the Ron River during the 19th century and renamed Prachuap Khiri Khan.
It was an old seaside resort already during the reign of King Rama V. From historical evidence, Prachuap Khiri Khan was a location of Mueang Na Rang during the Ayutthaya period. In the reign of King Rama II of Rattanakosin, a new city was established at the mouth of the I Rom Canal and was named Mueang Bang Nang Rom. Moreover, during the reign of King Rama IV, Mueang Bang Nang Rom, Mueang Kui, and Mueang Khlong Wan were combined into Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan which means “city of mountains”. The city hall was situated at Mueang Kui until 1898. It was then it was moved to Ao Ko Lak or Ao Prachuap, the location of Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan today.
Places to Visit.
- Ao Manao Beach – a couple of miles south of the town centre so tuk-tuk or bicycles recommended. It’s on the Wing 5 Air Force base – you will be asked to sign in with your passport number, but this is just a formality. The air force keeps the beach lovely and clean, and it is the “main” swimming beach within the city. Sit on the provided deck chairs under umbrellas (10 baht per person) at the south end of the bay, near the food courts, or walk along the beautiful empty northern stretch, see tiny pink seashells and watch crabs digging holes in the sand.
- You can also see spectacled langur monkeys at the northern end of the Wing 5 beaches (there are usually plenty near the Khao Lommuak mountain). These are less aggressive than most monkeys and will politely take food from you when offered – but beware, they can still get over-excited and bite, especially if they notice you have a whole bag of peanuts.
- Also inside Wing 5 Air Force base is an impressive sandstone sculpture commemorating the fighting of December 1941, as well as four mounted military aircraft and a small military museum. Small fishing boats moor nearby. Makes a nice side trip on the way to the beach.
- City Pillar, reportedly one of the prettiest in Thailand. (City Gate pictured here is similar to city gates in other cities)
- Wat Thammikaram – excellent views of the bay and city, with wild monkeys crawling all over the place.
This is a little to the left of the road as you come into the city from the main road. There are some 400 steps to the top, but the view is 360 degrees, and totally worth the climb! Beware of the monkeys though, some are quite aggressive!
The Wat Thammikaram is at the top of the “mountain”.
- Ao Noi is to the north of the long city pier (recently renovated in 2014), and further around from Ao Prachuap, with its own fishing boat pier, fishing village and small beach.
- Ao Prachuap.
Is a long and beautiful beach to the north of the city itself, but few people use it as a beach. There are a couple of budget and mid-range hotels along the Ao Prachuap beach road, which is pretty quiet and unspoiled by too many tourists. There are also good and reasonably priced restaurants, especially for seafood.
Fishing boats actually use the city beach,(which in itself is not very much of a beach, with little sand area available), and they go out at night and return in the early morning.