NST South, Nakhon Si Thammarat

BEACH
This long coast, south of Nakhon Si Thammarat, is a good place to go if you want to escape the rush of daily life. You will be in one of the non-touristic areas of Thailand, and it will hard to speak English. Just enjoy the fishermen’s style of life, relax on the empty beaches, and take time to explore the backcountry. Otherwise, you can pass this coast.

The beaches between Pak Phanang and Ranot are not the most photogenic. There are often windmills along the coast and stone breakwaters in the sea. This makes the beach experience south of Nakhon Si Thammarat bizarre, so check out our photos to get an idea of what to expect before you go.

WHERE TO STAY
Scattered along this coast are many simple hotels from private local owners. We mention 4 stays, but there are definitely more options to choose from. The CK Resort offers nicely decorated wooden bungalows built around a fish pool and concrete bungalows near the beach. If you are finished relaxing you can rent a jet ski, banana boat, pedal boat or an ATV.

Kho Phet Resort and Private Resort are nice budget stays close to eachother. Wanpak Beach Hotel, 10 kilometers south, is the only place without the rock formations in front of the beach. It is good to know that the owners do not speak English.

The stays have simple kitchens and there are some food stands along the coast road. The alternative is to go to Pak Phanang or Hua Sai.

PLACE
The beaches near Nakhon Si Thammarat are still empty and are a good place to visit if you don’t want to be bothered by other tourists. The beaches are long and along the coast you will find small villages. This is a perfect place to walk or drive around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. You can plan day trips to waterfalls or visit one of the fruit farms, and at night you can join a fishing boat.

WHAT TO DO
Nakhon Si Thammarat, the second largest city in the south, is a blind spot for most tourists focused on Ko Samui and Ko Phangan, a hundred kilometers to the north. That’s a shame, because it is truly a fascinating city. Nakhon Si Thammarat is known for its excellent cuisine and traditional crafts, and this is the best place to view Thai shadow puppets.

North of Nakhon Si Thammarat we found 2 good beaches with some facilities that are 30-50 kilometers from the airport. South of Nakhon Si Thammarat we explored the coast between Pak Phanang and Ranot. This coast is 70 kilometers long and the beaches are very basic. There are many windmills and there are often stone breakwaters offshore.

TRANSPORT
There are direct flights from Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat, operated by AirAsia and Nok Air. There is a good bus and minibus connection to Trang, Phuket and Songkhla. Heading north, minibuses run between Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani that drop you off on the highway near Plian. From here it’s another 6 kilometers to Hat Son Onn. If you are going to Tha Sala, the minibus will stop there. In town, you can rent scooters to reach the beach or take a taxi. The southern coast is difficult to reach by public transport, so our suggestion is to rent a car at the airport.