Bang Pu, Upper Gulf

Bang Pu is a nature beach in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park near Dolphin Bay. One of the first marine parks in Thailand, this park includes a long narrow isolated coastal strip of freshwater marshes. You will find several beaches in this marine park, but only at Bang Pu is there accommodation.

Bang Pu is a wide beach with fine grey sand surrounded by a ridge, and therefore certainly one of the more impressive bays in the Upper Gulf. From the beach you can climb to the viewpoint, and it is also not far from the Phraya Nakhon Cave.

La Isla Pranburi Beach Resort is a better mid-range hotel. The rooms are comfortable and are located by the long-stretched swimming pool in a 2-story building. During the week it is usually quieter than on weekends, when you will meet a lot of Thai tourists booking hotel rooms.

The resort has one restaurant, and in the area, you will find some small eateries within walking distance.

Coming from the north, the beaches at Dolphin Bay are the first places that give us the ‘TreasureBeaches feeling’: nice relaxed beaches with stays we love. Here, you will find a good mix of mid-range and upper range stays. Yet on the main beaches of Dolphin Bay are often roads between the beaches and hotels, or the road is too close to the hotel. We prefer Dolphin Bay to Hua Hin or Cha-Am.

One of the most popular attractions of Dolphin Bay is, of course, dolphin watching. The dolphins are known to inhabit the waters in the area. You can book boat tours to spot these acrobatic animals in their natural habitat. Alongside this, Dolphin Bay also offers something complete different – a golf course.

Between Dolphin Bay and Hat Kuiburi lies the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Here is Thailand’s largest freshwater swamps, mangroves and of course a great diversity of animals. Go for a walk on Laem Sala’s natural beach and take a boat trip in the fishing village of Ban Bang. You can visit the limestone rocks, coastal wetlands or one of the shrimp or fruit farms. Well known is the Phraya Nakhon Cave, a cave famous for the light shaft that protrudes through the ceiling. The area is known for bird watching.

A nice excursion if you fancy more people is the seaside resort of Hua Hin. The city is great for shopping. In addition to the well-known Thai markets with standard products, you will find the Market Village: a Western mega-mall with well-known brands. You have to dine at the night market in the middle of the city center!

Besides shopping, you can visit the Mrigadaya Palace and the Khao Takiap temple complex. The palace was built by order of King Vajiravudh to serve as a vacation home and construction took place in the period 1923–1924. The king himself designed the villa with the help of an architect, which consists of sixteen teak buildings connected by a series of walkways.

Dolphin Bay is located near Pranburi, 35 kilometer south of Hua Hin. From Bangkok it is a 3 to 3.5-hour drive by car or taxi (2500 – 3000 baht). There are good train, bus and minibus connections between Bangkok and Pranburi.

Traveling from the south, you will find good bus and minibus connections from Chumpon and Prachuap Khiri Khan to Pranburi. For the last leg you can take a taxi from Pranburi to Dolphin Bay or Kuiburi (300-400 baht). Renting a scooter in Dolphin Bay is simple.