The port city of Chumphon, considered the "Gateway to the South", is located on the Gulf some 663 kms. south of Bangkok. The total area is 6,009 square kilometers. To the east and south are basin areas having fruit orchards, plantations, rice fields, forested areas and some small mining operations. It borders on Prachuap Khiri Khan to the north, Burma and Ranong to the west, Surat Thani to the south and the 222 kms. coastline of the Gulf of Thailand to the east. It is administratively divided into 8 Amphoes: Muang Chumphon, Lang Suan, Sawi, Tha Sae, Pathiu, Lamae, Pha To and Thung Tako.
What to see and what to do in Chumphon?
Chumphon is a seaside resort province famous for its island dotted coastal waters, beautiful sea and white sand beaches lined with coconut groves.
Hat Sai Ri is approximately 15.5 kms. along Highway No.4119 and 4098 from Chumphon township area, passing Hat Pharadonphap and Hat Pha Daeng . Here is the location of the shrine of H.R.H. Prince Chumphon, Father of the Royal Thai Navy, a large torpedo - ship named "the Royal Chumphon" and Dr. Porn's herbal garden.
Ao Thung Makham is approximately 6-kms. from Hat Sai Ri. It is divided into 2 semicircles bays(outer and inner), with beautiful beaches, lines of coconut trees, crystal clear sea and utmost privacy. On the south most of the bay lies Wat Suan Khuha Wariwong (or Wat Phong Phang), which is surrounded with coconut trees shed.
Kapo Waterfall Forest Park is located at Km.466-468 about 30 kms. from the Chumphon township area on Phetchakasem Highway at Tambon Salui, Amphoe Tha Sae. It is a pleasant shady park with a small waterfall having many species of plants suitable for natural science study and relaxation.
Ao Thung Wua Laen, a peaceful bay with beautiful beach, is located along Phetchakasem Highway, 16 kms. north of Chumphon at Tambon Saphli, Amphoe Pathiu. .
Hat Arunothai, a beach in Amphoe Thung Tako, is suitable for camping. There are hiking trails and rock-climbing nearby. The beach is accessible via Phetchakasem Highway about 50 kms. and branches off at Amphoe Thung Tako through another 10 kms. access road.
Khlong Phrao National Park is now in the official process of being declared a national park. It covers an area of about 793,125 rai of 2 provinces,namely Chumphon and Ranong. To get there, from Pathom Phon Intersection, drive along the Highway 41, the Chumphon-Surat Thani route for about 55 kilometers and turn right for another 15 kilometers at KM. 57, opposite the branch road to Ban Nam Chut. Tourist spots within Khlong Phrao National Park include: Khlong Phrao Waterfall, Tham Than Lot Yai, Tham Than Lot Noi, Thai Muang Waterfall and Thap Chang Waterfall. Accommodation is available within the park. For more details, please contact National Parks Division, Royal Forestry Department, Tel. 579-0529, 579-4842.
There are several islands along the coastline of Chumphon that are worth seeing. They include Ko Mat Phon, a small island situated at the mouth of Ao Chumphon; Ko Sak , a stony island; Ko Samet , some 30 minutes from Pak Nam Chumphon; Ko Mattra , Ko Thong Lang and Ko Rat , all famous for camping, fishing and skin-diving. Besides, there are Ko Maphrao and Ko Lanka Chiu , where cliff dwellings swallows build their nests. From Ao Thung Wau Laen, there are; Ko Chorakhe , an island with beautiful coral and sea flowers; Ko Ngam Yai andKo Ngam Noi, other placea where swallow's nest and there is good diving.
Because of the danger of unauthorized poaching of the nests, sightseers wishing to visit the swallow's nest islands must be approved by the companies possessing the concession to collect the nests.
Chumphon has two beautiful caves in the area of Amphoe Lang Suan which are Tham Khao Ngoen and Tham Khao Keep. The visitors to the Lang Suan area should not miss the opportunity to sample the various kinds of fruits for which this Amphoe is famous. Besides caves located in the area of Amphoe Lang Suan, there are others in the area of Amphoe Muang. They are Tham Suwan , Tham Krailat, Tham Khun Krathing and Tham Khoram . Before entering Chumphon township area, in Amphoe The Sae, there is a cave called Tham Rap Ro which houses an old Buddha image and beautiful stalactites.