Introducing Prachuap Khiri Khan
A sleepy seaside town, Prachuap Khiri Khan feels like you’ve finally arrived in southern Thailand. The pace is supremely relaxed, Muslim headscarves are common and the broad bay is a tropical blue punctuated by bobbing fishing boats. Usually you have to travel to the southern Andaman to find the honeycombed limestone mountains that saddle Prachuap’s scenic bays. All in all it is a slice of everything nice – pretty coastal scenery and laid-back provincial-style living.
In recent years, more and more expats have been defecting to Prachuap from the overbuilt Samui archipelago bringing with them the travellers’ amenities that the town was lacking. Now it is a lot less lonely but just as enjoyable. Attractions, with a small ‘a’, include climbing to a hill-top temple, taking a leisurely motorbike ride to the excellent beaches north and south of town, or just enjoying some of Thailand’s freshest (and cheapest) seafood.
Prachuap Khiri Khan, and specifically Ao Manao, was one of seven points on the gulf coast where Japanese troops landed on 8 December 1941 during their invasion of Thailand. Several street names around town commemorate the skirmish that ensued afterwards: Phithak Chat (Defend Country), Salachip (Sacrifice Life) and Suseuk (Fight Battle).