Ranong is an interesting province and it is not so far from Bangkok at all. As with the southern provinces in Thailand, there are a lot of islands that you can go and visit them! However, this province also has a certain charm to it which is the abundant nature. Also, not many tourists know about the gems that this place have, and I think you should!
Ranong is a province that is located on the southern region of Thailand near the north of Andaman Coast. In fact, it is the first southern province on the west coast of Thailand! You can also say that it is a small border city which you can easily take a boat to gain access to Myanmar. The province is also known for its long period of the rainy season which can be as long as eight months in a year. From the city center, you can get to the nearest ocean in little to no time at all as it is only seven kilometers from it. The province itself has quite a large area with 3,298 square kilometers.
To get to Ranong
The distance from Bangkok is quite short as well. You could get to Ranong by driving 568 kilometers and you will be here before you know it. As for other ways to get here, there are plenty of choices. The first method is to take a plane from Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport and you could follow this up with a taxi ride to the city. Another option is to take a bus from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal which is fairly convenient. It would roughly take you around nine to ten hours to get here. You could also go by train if you would like to, but there is no train station at this province. So, you need to take a train to Chumphon instead and go to Ranong from there. I wish you a safe ride!
There are plenty of famous places around Ranong that you can take a visit! However, most of them are beautiful islands with many natural aspects incorporate to them. If you really want to experience the nature of Thailand, this is one of the province that will suit you most! The first place is a national park called Lham Son. It is a national park that consists of two groups of islands and many more. These islands have great scenery with beaches as their highlight. The most famous one has to be the Kam Islands which has beautiful islands with soft and white sand beaches around the entire island, especially Kam Tok Island or Ao Khao Kwai Island.
Kam Tok Island
This island has a white sand beach that shapes like a crescent moon, including big sand hills. The hills cause a separated sea phenomenon that beautifully connects the two islands. This is a point where you should come and rest, sunbath, and swim in emerald-colored water. There are also pine tree forest and a sightseeing spot that enables you to see many islands at once.
Next up is the Bat Island or Ko Kang Kao which is the biggest island in all of Kam Islands at Ranong Sea. It is an island that has soft, refined, and white sand with water so clear that you can see the sand through it. You could also dive in both shallow and deep water to see the coral reefs around the island. In addition, you will see various color rocks on the beach with a distance of more than half a kilometer which produces a stunning sight for your eyes.
Lastly, Payam Island is surely a big island at the Ranong Sea. It is an island with many beautiful white sand beaches, including resorts. Apart from relaxing on the beach, swimming in the nice water, and watch some beautiful sunsets, this island also contains an interesting aspect of nature which is a symbol of the island. It is actually a natural rock formation that has a hole which cut through to the other side. There is also a temple in the middle of the sea like no others that you can observe from a distance. Inside of the structure, you will get to see an enormous Buddha statue in a walking attitude. Some part of this island is used to grow cashew nut that considered to be very high-quality and a famous souvenir of Ranong. With an ancient technique in growing these nuts, the smell is fairly unique and very delicious!
Most provinces in Thailand contain some certain types of natural abundance, but not many people have the chance to explore them all. Ranong is one of those provinces and it could give you a glimpse of what Thailand could offer you in terms of nature and culture. Once you are here, you will never want to leave!
Mineral Water Hot Spring
The first thing that is recommended by the local is called Ranong’s Water or the Mineral Water of the Ranong city. It is a famous product of this province for such a long time. The mineral water is filled with precious minerals from under the earth! You can shower or take a bath in it and you might as well drink it too. It is both good for your health, relax any muscle tension, aches, and more. There are two famous places that you can go to which are the source of the mineral water of Ranong.
Raksa Sarin Hot Spring has three outdoor springs with a temperature of 65 degrees Celsius, including a mineral swimming pool, a foot spring or pool, and a standard spa room.
Another place I am going to mention is Porn Rang Hot Spring which has a hot spring that is surrounded by grove wood forest with refreshing atmosphere and good views. The temperature of the water here is about 35 to 40 degrees Celsius.
Wat Baan Ngao
Your next destination in which the place is built in the year 1987. The most highlighted thing about this temple is purely its mesmerizing beauty. Inside of the temple, there is a Buddha statue that is made entirely from tin and it is the biggest one of its kind in Thailand. On the wall, you will see many great details from majestic craftsmanship. At the back of the temple, there is a path to go up to a sightseeing spot called Phu Ngao Dueng which is a spot where you can see the views in full 360 degrees angle. It is also a great spot for watching and taking pictures of the sunset.
Punyaban Waterfall (น้ำตกปุญญาบาล)
Next up, Punyaban Waterfall and it is a three-level waterfall. The first has a height of 15 meters and a pond where you can go into the water. There is also a beautiful natural path from the first level to the third with a distance of 300 meters. The third level is a spot where you should really go up and see as it is much more beautiful to look down from up here than looking up from the first level!
Phu Khao Ya
The last place is called Grass Mountain or Phu Khao Ya. It is a mountain with small hills, large spaces, and no giant trees. However, it is really beautiful as the grass on the mountain changes its color in every season. On the summer time, its color will be gold and it will be green in the rainy season. Plus, the rainy season might give you a chance to experience the sea of mists as well. With this reason, the locals call this place as the two-colored mountain. It is pretty much suitable for taking pictures, strolling and glancing the views, and bicycling. You could also go up to the hills to see the magnificent scenery.
More interesting information about Ranong
The motto of this province is “Kra Isthmus, Grass Mountain, Sweet Cashew, Mineral Water River, and Authentic Pearl of Ranong”.
To get around the province,
There are motorcycle taxis and songthaew or the two-bench pick-up truck for you to catch. However, to get to the islands, you will have to wait for the hourly boats.
There are countless hotels around the province with most of them along the main road. There is no luxury hotel or anything, but budget and mid-range hotels. Some budget hotels may price their rooms at 200 baht per night and 500 to 1500 baht per night for mid-range hotels. Have fun!