Khanom is a sleepy, traditional Thai coastal town on the Gulf of Thailand. Largely unknown by most travellers to Thailand, it is located east of Surat Thani, a large town well-known as the launch point for the Chumphon Archipelago.
Far away from the crowds, Khanom is suited to those who are looking for a quiet beach-break but still with access to local restaurants and shops. There is a beautiful long stretch of sandy beach, with a number of small resorts, mostly very simple family-run places that are just a collection of traditional stilted bungalows centred around a restaurant. As well as the more basic accommodation, there is a smart new boutique resort called Aava Resort offering a great deal of charm and comfort with stunning views out to the ocean.
Whilst in the area, take an excursion out on a traditional Thai long tail boat to explore the coastline, and with a combination of patience and luck, it may be possible to catch a sighting of the rare pink dolphin, known to be a frequent visitor to the Khanom coastline.
For the more adventurous, there are national parks nearby, known for hiking trails through stunning tropical rain forest, along mountainous terrain, with lush waterfalls and a plethora of wildlife such as elephants and macaques. The parks are also some of the best places to spot a diverse range of bird species, making this a popular ornithologist destination.
Travelling on-wards, from nearby Surat Thani, it’s possible to catch a boat out to the Chumphon Archipelago, where as well as Koh Samui, you’ll find the less developed Koh Pha Ngan, known for its all-night parties, but becoming more popular with families and young couples, and Koh Tao, popular with divers and young travellers.
Khanom is the perfect beach destination for those looking to go off-the-beaten-path in Thailand, experiencing a part of the coast that receives relatively few foreign visitors. Due to its position, we wouldn’t recommend visiting during November and December when the monsoon often brings strong winds to this part of the coast, but from January on-wards the weather should be fine.
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