Wanakon National Park, Thap Sakae

BEACH
Wanakon National Park is the place to be if you’re looking for nature walks in Thap Sakae District. This idyllic park with pine trees surrounding the beach, allows you to combine a relaxing time at the beach with an active nature experience. The entrance to an enjoyable 2-3 hour walking trail is right next to the beach bungalows.

The sandy beach in the park is well maintained. At low tide the beach is very wide making it a rather long walk to have a good swim. The entrance fee for the national park is 100 baht per person, 30 baht per car, and 20 baht per scooter.

WHERE TO STAY
You will find 15 bungalows and 1 restaurant. An alternative option is to rent a tent and a thin matrass for less than 500 baht. You have to book this online through National Park Bungalows. The restaurant is reasonably priced and open until 8 p.m.. If you like beer or any other alcohol, make sure to bring your own as they do not sell any at the restaurant. The first shop is 10 kilometers away.

Wanakon National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Thailand, making it easy to explore on foot. The park is home to different types of plants and animals, such as porcupines, golden jackals and various snakes. Birds are plentiful with over 40 species.

About 7 kilometers off the coast are the islands of Ko Chan and Ko Tai-si. Here you will find a good coral reef, making it an ideal place for snorkeling and diving. You can occasionally see dolphins here too.

Wanakon National Park is 25 kilometers south of Prachuap Khiri Khan and 3 kilometers from the nearest highway. You will need your own transportation to reach the beach. We did not see any transportation between the beach and the highway, so if you come by public transport, you will have to walk the last 3 kilometers.

PLACE
Thap Sakae is situated south of the popular beach destinations of Hua Hin and Cha-am. The unknown beaches in the Thap Sakae District near Prachuap Khiri Khan are good places to go if you like peace and quiet and want to explore the hinterland.

The area around Thap Sakae has a laid-back and traditional Thai atmosphere. The locals engage in traditional fishing and farming and the district’s culture reflects these rural traditions. The beach is still the home of the local fishermen. Huay Yang is a small Scandinavian enclave aimed more towards Western tourists, and has a golf course, for instance.

WHAT TO DO
A nice day trip is the city of Prachuap Khiri Khan, a pleasant city with cozy shops, small markets, nice bars and fine restaurants. We often dine at the night market. Climb the hill adjacent to the center, a very long staircase then takes you to the temple at the top of the hill. On this hill you can admire a temple, as well as the monkey population. Moreover, climbing the hill provides beautiful panoramic views of the city and the sea.

The small border town of Dan Singkhon with neighboring Myanmar is located about 50 kilometers northwest of Thap Sakae. On the Thai side, a nice market is located, offering many goods from Myanmar including clothing, wooden furniture, pottery and many plants. Before the COVID pandemic, the market was a well-known tourist attraction, but now quite a few shops are still vacant. Only Thais and Burmese are allowed to cross the border.

TRANSPORT
The beaches in Thap Sakae District are accessible by minibus services between Prachuap Khiri Khan and Bang Saphan. From Bangkok there are good connections by train, bus or minibus to Prachuap Khiri Khan (4 to 5 hours).

If you are coming from the south, most trains, buses and minibuses will pass through Bang Saphan and Prachuap Khiri Khan. The minibuses will drop you off at the motorway junction. From this junction to the beach is less than 5 kilometers and from this point, motorbike taxis can take you to your stay. With your stay, try to arrange a pick-up service from the highway.

In Huay Yang it is possible to rent a scooters.