Saphli, Chumphon

BEACH
The beach of Saphli is located 1,5 kilometer north of the village of the same name. The bay is almost as beautiful as neighboring Thung Wua Lean bay, but more relaxed. There is one beach bar in Saphli and there are only a few overnight accommodations.

The beach is elongated, the sand is fine, and at high tide little sand remains. Another great advantage is that the road is not close to the beach as it is in Thung Wua Laen.

WHERE TO STAY
We found 3 places to stay, all situated directly on the beach. The rundown mid-range resort Buadara Resort was not really our thing, although we did like the other 2 stays. At Saphli Village, the lovely mid-range concrete bungalows are all near the beach. In the back yard are nicely decorated wooden budget-friendly bungalows. They can arrange surf equipment: the surf season runs from November to January.

Rim Lay Room offers budget-friendly bungalows; it is good to know that the owner does not speak English. The beach is less beautiful than near Saphli Village. They do not clean the beach and you find more stones between the sand, but if you are traveling on a budget this is definitely a good place to go.

PLACE
Most of the tourists that pass Chumphon take a ferry directly to Ko Tao. We advise you to spend a few days on the mainland. Close to Chumphon is a beautiful national park and some beaches near the city are good and relaxed. The area is known for bird watching and surfing, and we noticed at least one diving center in Thung Wua Laen.

WHAT TO DO
Chumphon is a lively town with wooden houses, lively markets, and a number of hotels. You can eat well in town and you find a pleasant night market at Chumphons’ train station, where you can enjoy all kinds of food.

Muko Chumphon National Park is an attraction near Chumphon. There are more than 40 islands in this park with lots of natural beauty to explore. Coral reefs can be found around the islands, and although the coral is not as beautiful as on Ko Tao, it is still a very nice daytime activity. At the tourist center of the national park on the mainland near Quiet Beach, you can go for an impressive hike through the mangrove forest via a long wooden bridge where you will certainly see monkeys.

TRANSPORT
Chumphon is a town in the southern end of the Upper Gulf. The town has good connections to all of the surrounding bigger cities, and to Bangkok as well. You can take a minibus from Bang Saphan to Chumphon (2 hours). The train station at Chumphon offers good connections to Bangkok and Hat Yai via Trang. AirAsia also has daily flights from Bangkok to Chumphon.

Thung Wua Laen, Saphli and Bang Son are 15 to 30 kilometers north of Chumphon close to the airport. From town a tuk-tuk will take you for 350- 600 baht. A taxi to the airport is 200-400 baht. Quiet Beach is 24 kilometers southwest of Chumphon, and 11 kilometers from Pak Nam. It is also close to the Muko National Park. You will need your own transportation to get here. Finally, we did not find Pak Nam’s main beach too impressive, which is why it was not added to the database.

Ferries departing from The Lompraya Pier are going to Ko Tao, Ko Phangan and Ko Samui. The pier is 25 kilometers south of town, 43 kilometers from Saphli, and 16 kilometers extra from Bang Son. A taxi from Saphli and Thung Wua Laen to the pier costs 800 baht.

You can rent scooters in Thung Wua Laen and Saphli, but if you stay at Quiet Beach or Bang Son it’s better to rent a scooter in town.