According to the assignment in the campaign "The Amazing Journey Blogging Contest" of The Tourism Authority of Thailand, as a 2 Madames T04 Team is assigned to travel through Chumphon. Therefore, this trip is very special and like no others. We are going to travel in many tourist attractions as well as going to try many good food in many restaurants. Actually, this is a very first trip in Chumphon for us, we have never been here before. However, with the natural beauty and yummy food; Chumphon as a must-visit city in Thailand has been listed in one of our favorite cities already after this trip. And if you wonder what Chumphon has to offer, let's go there together!

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Chumphon is reachable by car through Phetkasem Road. It takes around 5-7 hours to get there from Bangkok. You can also get there by taking a flight to either Chumphon Airport or Surat Thani Airport.

Flight Bangkok - Chumphon by Nok Air, 2 flights a day
Departure from Don Mueang International Airport at 05.45 AM and Arrive Chumphon at 06.45 AM

Departure from Don Mueang International Airport at 06.40 PM and Arrive Chumphon at 07.50 PM

Flight Bangkok - Surat Thani by Nok Air, 4 flights a day

Departure from Don Mueang International Airport at 06.10 AM and Arrive Chumphon at 07.20 AM

Departure from Don Mueang International Airport at 09.20 AM and Arrive Chumphon at 10.30 AM

Departure from Don Mueang International Airport at 12.40 PM and Arrive Chumphon at 01.50 PM

Departure from Don Mueang International Airport at 04.25 PM and Arrive Chumphon at 04.35 PM

We choose to fly to Chumphon Airport. Once you get there you can either go to Downtown Chumphon by taking the van at 150 THB per person or you can rent a car directly at car rental service counters at about 1,500 THB per day.

Tourism in Chumphon

Chumphon is considered as the gateway to the southern part of Thailand. From my point of view it is such a long gateway because the province is very big. It is about 160 kilometers from the north to the south of the province. Therefore, tourism in Chumphon can be divided into 2 zones, Northern Chumphon and Southern Chumphon.

Northern Chumphon – Mueang Chumphon, Patiw, and Tha Sae

Mueang Chumphon District – Wat Chao Fa Sala Loi, Wat Praderm, Prince of Chumphon Shrine, Koh Tao, Mu Ko Chumphon National Park, Koh Maphrao, Khao Phang Forest Park, Nong Yai Royal Project, Pla Suan Monthip Forest Park, Chumphon National Museum, Ao Thung Makham, Khao Chao Mueang, Koh Lava, Koh Talu, Koh Ngam Noi, Koh Ngam Yai, World War II Youth Volunteers Monument, Sairee Beach, Paknam Chumphon, and Mutsea Mountain Viewpoint

Patiw District – Wat Kaew Prasert, Wat Khao Chedi, Wat Tham Khao Plu, Sand Dune in Chumphon, Thung Wua Laen Beach, Khao Dinsor, Tham Khao Phlu Wildlife Conservation Area, Tham Thong Beach, and Ao Bo Mao

Tha Sae District – Wat Thep Charoen (Rub Ror Cave), Wat Khao Liaw Somdej Toh,Phota Hin Chang Shrine, and Kapoh Waterfall Forest Park

Southern Chumphon – Sawi, Thung Tako, Lang Suan, Lamae, and Pha Toh

Sawi District – Wat Phra That Tham Khwan Mueang, Wat Phra That Sawi, Sairee Sawi Beach, and Chumphon Horticultural Research Centre

Thung Tako District – Suan Nai Dam, Klong Prao Waterfall or Tub Chang Waterfall

Lang Suan District – Wat Laem Son, Prince of Chumphon Shrine and Mock-up of HTMS Chakri Naruebet, Pak Nam Lang Suan, Somdej Phra Srinakarin Chumphon Park, Koh Phithak, Tham Khao Kriap, and Lang Suan Fruit Fair

Lamae District – Tawan Chai Beach, Arunothai Beach, and Hot Spring

Pha Toh District – Pha Toh River Rafting, Haew Loam Waterfall, Por Ta Mangkre Summit, and Por Ta Chongdong Summit

Oh my god! There are so many tourist spots here in Chumphon and if we need to cover all of them, we might need 5 - 7 days. We have planned to travel 1 day in Northern Chumphon, 1 day in Southern Chumphon, and another 1 more day at Mu Ko Chumphon National Park for snorkeling and so on. So I guess 3 days and 2 nights are not bad.

Our travel plan is as follows, some of them have been cut off already due to the bad weather, it rains every day.

Day 1 – Northern Chumphon, Chumphon Railway Station, Beef Noodle at Nai Dam Restaurant, Nong Yai Royal Project, Sairee Beach, Prince of Chumphon Shrine, Sairee Beach Viewpoint, Sunset at Mutsea Mountain Viewpoint, and dinner at Khrua Che Ang Restaurant
Day 2 – Southern Chumphon, Chinnavat Kopi Luwak Farm, Suan Nai Dam, Wat Phra That Sawi, lunch at Yim Pochana Restaurant, and Mangrove Forest (It rains in the afternoon so we do not go)
Day 3 – Snorkeling with Siam Ferry, Catamaran to Koh Ngam Noi, Koh Ngam Yai, Koh Talu, and visit Right Hand of Buddha
Day 4 – Homestay at Koh Phithak, Prik Hom Local Restaurant, Cera Café & Garden, and fly back to Bangkok

We stay at Tusita Resort & Spa and if you are interested about this beautiful resort please click on this link for full resort review Tusita Resort & Spa : Just Like a Heaven in Chumphon

We have well arrived in Downtown Chumphon and get our rental car. The very first stop on this trip is this Chumphon Railway Station. There is an old outstanding steam train in front of the station.

Nai Dam Restaurant is right across the station where it is famous for its tasty beef noodle. Therefore, we do not miss to give it a try.

The beef noodle here is so good. The soup is perfectly concentrated and the noodle is well cooked. The highlight would be the beef itself. It is totally tender and almost melt when you put them into your mouth. In addition, it is only 40 THB per one bowl. Therefore, I would rate it 10 out of 10.

After filling up our stomach then we are ready to visit Nong Yai Royal Project.

Chumphon used to face with a chronic flooding problem every year. However, since there is Nong Yai Royal Project (The Monkey Cheek Project Under The Royal Patronage of HM The King) has been well established, the problem never repeat again. We, Thai people are very lucky to be born in this country.

There is the history of how this project get started and how does it work. After going through it, I clearly explain them to my children and they seem to have fun while learning.

There is a small pond where you are able to feed the fish.

A small rice field is also available for you to enjoy.

There is even a rice machine for you to see and try to work on it.

Biodiesel Distillation Equipment.

Wooden bridge made out of Khiam wood, it is very durable.

The Monkey Cheek Project not only suppresses floods but also provide water for various needs in dry season.

Anne was bitten by some insects while walking on the bridge so we have bought some royal project Thai balm right away for pain relief.

It starts to rain very heavily when we are going to Thung Wua Laen Beach.

We have decided to stop driving for a while since it is not safe to drive through heavy rain. Once we have arrived at Thung Wua Laen Beach, it is still showering. So I come down to take some photos really quick while the rest of the family stay in the car. We do not think it is a good idea to have our children coming out because they might get sick and today is only our first day of the trip.

Today the ocean is pretty calm.

The beach is filled with white delicate sand beach. It is a pity that we do not have a chance to jump into the sea this time because it is showering. Anyway, let me mark this place down that we need to come back to swim here.

We continue our trip to Prince of Chumphon Shrine where the shrine looks like it is on a ship.

The Admiral H.R.H. Prince Chumphon Khet Udomsak or Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse, Prince of Chumphon (19 December 1880 - 19 May 1923) is the ancestor of the royal lineage "Abhakara". He was the 28th child of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V and the 1st son of Chao Chom Mother Mod.

Prince of Chumphon was the one who established the organizational structure of The Royal Thai Navy. He is well respected by all navy officers and named, "Sadej Tia ("Royal Father"), or "Doctor Phon" and "The Father of Royal Thai Navy". He was honored as the Father of Royal Thai Navy in 1993 and was honored as "His Father of Royal Thai Navy" once again in 2001.

There are cannons all around the area, they are well-liked by the children.

This is the view of Sairee Beach from Prince of Chumphon Shrine viewpoint.

Down below and not far from Prince of Chumphon Shrine, there is the Mock-up of HTMS Chakri Naruebet. And there is the palace right next to this mock-up where Prince of Chumphon passed away.

Sairee Beach on a cloudy day.

We have planned to go up to Khao Chao Mueang to see the view from the top because it is not far from here but we are informed that it is temporary closed. Therefore, we are heading to Mutsea Mountain Viewpoint instead.

The image of Phra Bodhisattya Awalokitesuan in Maharajalilasana posture is situated at the top of Mutsea Mountain Viewpoint.

The famous Tham Sing cafe is also available up here.

Its coffee aroma smell so good. Tham Sing coffee is a well-known OTOP (One Tambon One Product) goods of Chumphon. But what is the best of this cafe would be the stunning view. Green tea and coffee are range from 40 to 50 THB. I do not think it is expensive compared with the view it offers.

The children have a lot of fun with the rabbit. They have spent quite a bit of time with it.

There are so many great spots to take photos and all of them are well designed and decorated.

Us two at Mutsea Mountain.

We have been enjoyed our good time up here especially during the sunset. I would say it is a-must visit tourist spot in Chumphon and you should not miss it for any reasons.

It is getting dark while we come to see the view of Paknam Chumphon.

This is truly spectacular and I do not know how to put it into words.

The weather is perfect today after the rain, not too hot. Standing here, enjoying the view, and feel the refreshing fresh wind going through the body are the best.

It is time for dinner and there is a lot of good restaurants in Paradornparb Beach area which is not far from Mutsea Mountain Viewpoint. One of the most famous restaurants would be Lui Restaurant. Second to none would be Khrua Che Ang Restaurant and we have decided to go here this time.

We are 4 people, 2 adults and 2 children and we all do not eat much so we have ordered 3 dishes. We always consider to have the first menu that favorable by the children. So our first dish is Fried Sea Bass with Sweet Fish Sauce. I would say this is the basic menu that is normally served in many restaurants, however; not all of them cook it well. From my point of view, it will be very tasty when the sweet fish sauce is perfectly prepared and a little sticky. Khrua Che Ang Restaurant has not disappointed us especially for the children.

The second dish is Oyster Omelet. Even though the oysters are not very big in size but it comes in a big portion served in a hot pan. It is well cooked, entirely crispy and not too sticky nor oily. Overall, this dish is not bad at all.

Last but not least, we think it is a good idea to try the traditional southern Thai dish, Fried shrimp with Sataw and Shrimp Paste and see how it is compared to the restaurant we always have back at home. We have got to say that it is so good. It is perfectly salty with the shrimp paste and spicy. The taste is just perfect to eat with white steamed rice.

3 dishes with white steamed rice for 3 people, and water with ice bucket, they are all at 585 THB. I would say it is totally reasonable.

The new morning get started with this beautiful view at Tusita Resort & Spa.

The day starts with a tour to Chinnavat Kopi Luwak Farm in Lang Suan District. From Tusita Resort & Spa, we find our way back to the main road - Phetkasem Road. Then we head south direction to Lang Suan District. Not long after you will see the clear blue sign stating Kopi Luwak Farm then you can turn left. Kopi Luwak Farm will be on your left hand-side about 50 meters from the main street.

I have never seen an Asian palm civet before and now I know how it looks like. The weird thing about this Asian palm civet is that they are normally very smelly but they will smell very nice like pendant leave when they are in heat. This is totally interesting.

The owner said that he always gives a lot of coffee berries for them to eat but they will eat the good ones only.

After the digestion process, the coffee beans will be defecated. It is interesting that those coffee beans are not smelly and the way they come out are like some kind of candy.

The coffee beans then will be sun-dried for 9 months before being sorted out to make a coffee further. I think it is very expensive because it is not easy to have a cup of Kopi Luwak after all these processes.

This little Asian palm civet is being well taken care because his mom died after having him.

We are recommended to try espresso Kopi Luwak. I would say the coffee smell so good and unique but it is at 199 THB per cup which is totally expensive. For those coffee lover, please do not miss to try it.

Our next stop is Suan Nai Dam which is not far from Chinnavat Kopi Luwak Farm.

We have noticed that there are so many good locations for taking photos spreading throughout the area. I am pretty sure you will have a lot of nice photos here.

No smoking nor alcohol.

Suan Nai Dam is designed and decorated in feces and toilet theme, very interesting.

They are having fun on the swing.

Tree climbing.

Let's go and have a look at the Hanging Gardens!

The first toilet is Kee-Hod Tod-Hai Toilet meaning like feeling a thrill of fear. I guess the name is coming from its location which is up high.

It is also used to be the filming location, the film named Yod Ruk Nuk Soo on TV channel 3.

Tarzan Toilet, you need to climb up to use it.

Kon Tongs Toilet (Golden feces), it comes with a huge fly. Hahaha

Lush greenery surroundings.

Avatar Tunnel.

A cafe.

What would you like to have? Please select from this Kie Menu (they play with the word feces, Kie in Thai such as cookie) Hahaha

It is free to get into Suan Nai Dam. However, you can support them by buying some local OTOP products here. They are many selections such as coffee, dried fruits, and so on.

There are even fresh local fruits available for you to purchase.

But for those who would like to buy a lot of fresh fruit, I would recommend you to stop by the fruit stalls by the road in Sawi District. There are more variety of fruits for you to choose from such as mangosteens, durians, salacca, dragon fruits, rambutan, and more. They are all fresh and not expensive. It is good for you to have fresh local fruits as well as it is good to support the local farmers.

Driving pass Sawi District, do not forget to visit Sawi stupa at Wat Phra That Sawi.

The history of Sawi Stupa is as follows. In 1260, the army of Ayutthaya under the command of Tao-U-Thong fought with the army of Phrachao Si Thamma Sok Rat VIII at Kamnerd Noppakhun (Bangsaphan District, Prachuapkirikhan). However, both armies were very strong and it was very difficult for one army to win another. Therefore, they have signed an agreement of peace at the end.

Phrachao Si Thamma Sok Rat VIII led his army back to Nakhon Si Thammarat. While he stopped at one deserted temple for some rest (Sawi District nowadays), he had noticed that there is a huge bunch of crows at one ruined stupa. They kept flapping their wings and singing loudly which is very annoying. He then commanded his soldier to chase them all out but it did not work, they kept coming back. Phrachao Si Thamma Sok Rat VIII started to think that there must be something while suddenly seeing one white crow among all black ones. He then asked his soldier to check the stupa. Under the stupa's huge base, there was a golden box containing the relics of the Lord Buddha.

Phrachao Si Thamma Sok Rat VIII commanded his commander to have the stupa restored and put the golden box with the relics of the Lord Buddha back to the place where it was. After the restoration completed, he commanded to have a big celebration for 7 days and nights. Phrachao Si Thamma Sok Rat VIII had named this stupa as "Phra Barommathat Kawi Peak". After that the word Peak has gone so it is called only "Phra That Kawi" and lastly it has been called "Phra That Sawi" until now.

There is Phra Suea Mueang shrine situated by the riverside. There is a lot of people coming in to pay homage.

Lunch today is at the famous Yim Pochana Restaurant. The restaurant is located right by the river and there is a plentiful mangrove forest on the other side of the river.

Today I am craving for something hot and spicy so I do not hesitate to order Steamed Egged Squid in Lemon Juice. This is exactly what I want, it is totally hot and spicy. It is topped with chopped garlic. The squid is super fresh and it taste so sweet. So I would like to rate the freshness 10 out of 10.

Steamed Crab, no need to mention how fresh it is. Today we have ordered the biggest size of crab at 900 THB per kilogram and this one is half a kilogram. The crab legs are huge and the meat is extremely firm.

Since there is the razor clam site in the area so we do not miss to order Sizzling Spicy Fried Razor Clam. The freshness of the seafood definitely make the food taste much better.

Lastly, the favorite fish menu of the children today is Fried King Mackerel with Sweet Fish Sauce. It seems like they like it very much, they both finish it very fast.

In summary, Yim Pochana Restaurant serves only seafood, no pork nor chicken. The highlight would be the freshness of the seafood. This meal we spend less than 1,100 THB, please keep in mind that the Steamed Crab is already 450 THB meaning that the food here is at totally reasonable price.

If we are in Chumphon but do not go to visit an island, do some snorkeling, it will be like we are not in Chumphon at all. Therefore, we are going to Mu Ko Chumphon National Park with Siam Catamaran Ferry.

We have noticed that there are many fishing boats parking at the port while we are embarking to the ferry. The local explains that it is not like this in the past but since the government has started to check for the license, there are many of them cannot go out fishing because they do not have the license. In other words, those ones with the licenses are making a lot of money right now because there are only a few of them with the licenses.

Today's program will be Koh Ngam Noi, Koh Ngam Yai and Koh Talu.

It is about 40 minutes that we have arrived at the first island, Koh Ngam Noi.

My wife and my children are so ready.

Look at this crystal clear water! Thailand is beautiful indeed.

Let's have some fun snorkeling.

The coral reefs here at Mu Ko Chumphon National Park are very healthy and beautiful.

I do not know much which coral is which coral but they are all beautiful.

But I heard that this one is called Giant clam, very nice.

I do not know how to put them into words. Anyway, if you have some free time do not forget to come here and experience it yourself, experience this beautiful underwater world in Chumphon.

Then the ferry goes pass this Right Hand of Buddha Landmark which is part of Koh Ngam Yai. After that it starts to rain very heavy. We are lucky though that we have got a chance to do snorkeling for a bit before it rains.

On the very next day, in order to experience the true local way of living we have come to Koh Phithak.

Koh Phithak is known as one of the most famous home-stays in Thailand. In June every year, there is the annual festival, the one and only in Thailand called "Wing Waek Taleh (run in the sea)".

Actually you are able to walk from the mainland directly to Koh Phithak through the shallow water. However, it is more common to take the boat because it is very hot. The boat ticket costs only 20 THB per person.

The name of Koh Phithak is presumed to be from 2 presumptions. The first one is from Pee (ghost in Thai) and Tak (greeting in Thai) through the story of Grandpa Dech and the voice of ghost greeting. The second one is from Koh "Teephak (accommodation in Thai)" because this island used to be the shelter where people on the fishing boat or cargo ship come when they are facing with the storm.

We have arrived at Koh Phithak and the first thing we see is this big bunch of fish, we are like wow!.

Kayaking is available here as well.

We start to explore the island with the local village.

I have got a chance to have a conversation with the locals. They have mentioned that even though the main occupation is fisherman, right after Koh Phithak has been promoted as a new tourist attraction people starts to work on their services. Some people offer a budget home-stay while some others sell some local souvenirs. This has well increased their incomes.

Their way of life is very simple.

The locals are all friendly especially the children, we are warm welcomed by them.

There is no 7-Eleven store here but 7-Elephant. Hahaha

The primary occupation here is fisherman.

We have spent quality time here but it is very hot today. We stop for some refreshment before heading back to the mainland.

I would recommend you to walk through the island or even walk to the other side of the island if you have enough time. Over there, you will find a total beautiful beach with delicate sand. Staying over at a home-stay is not a bad idea either, that way you will have more chance to experience the local lives.

After coming back from Koh Phithak, we stop for taking a shower to refreshing ourselves before going back to Downtown Chumphon to take a flight back to Bangkok later this evening.

We do not hesitate to enjoy the last traditional southern Thai food before going back. This meal is at Prik Hom Local Restaurant. Never forget to mention that this restaurant is always be the one that host a lot of important and famous people. I have noticed a lot of photos of TV stars and important persons of the nation all around. I think because the restaurant is well-designed and decorated, and the food are all good.

Miang Dawei with Wild Betal Leaf, the ingredients are well-mixed with the dressing. It is yummy with the huge dried shrimps.

Yellow Curry with Sea Bass and Pineapple, it is tasteful and not too spicy. The sweetness from the pineapple tastes so good.

Sunflower Sprout Salad, instead of using the papaya they use sunflower sprout. It is very tasty, I really like it especially the quality ingredients such as peanuts, cashew nuts, salted egg, and dried shrimps.

Last but not least, we do not miss to ordered the traditional Stir-Fried Egg with Liang Leave.

These dishes plus 2 of Fried Chicken with Sweet Fish Sauce and 1 bowl of white steamed rice, it is 965 THB in total. It is very cheap.

We still have sometimes to kill before going to the airport so we have decided to find a place for some desserts and drinks. Cera Café' & GARDEN has been selected. This cafe has such a refreshing surroundings in the middle of the gardens and trees.

The desserts and drinks are average. The best ones would be the Soft Chocolate Pie and Tea Jeed. Tea Jeed, if I am not mistaken it is a blend of orange juice and tea. It is very sour.

On the other hand, I would not recommend the Orange Cake nor Rainbow Crepe Cake. The sauce served with the Rainbow Crepe Cake is very sticky like jam and it is very sugary. The sauce would be better if it is a little bit more sour.

However, Cera Café' & GARDEN offers very nice atmosphere. A variety of books is also available in the bookshelf on the second floor. I would recommend this cafe to those who want to have a calm place to relax and chill.

Last but not least, we have completed our trip in Chumphon nicely in a family-style of traveling.

We would like to thanks to The Tourism Authority of Thailand, Nok Air, Tusita Resort & Spa who sponsor this trip.

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 Tuesday, August 18, 2015 10:35 AM