I am away from Thailand for a few weeks, so am using the opportunity to share some of the excellent videos created by Thais and Thailand-based expats that I often find on YouTube.
One such video is from Thai singer songwriter Art Thomya from his YouTube channel Art Thomya Journey, and is of the 7 Must See Places in Ranong, Thailand. Seven places Art thinks are the best the city and the Ranong area have to offer, and all shown to you in a very pretty video.
Having been to five of the seven places Art recommends, I have to say I agree with him.
Ranong, by the way, is Thailand’s least inhabited province. It is located in the south of Thailand on the west coast, and is sparsely populated due to three things — the heavy jungle and forests covering 80 percent of the province, the mountains covering 67 percent of it and the wet weather. Yes, rainy season lasts about eight months of the year in Ranong.
Rangong is, however, one of the most beautiful areas of Thailand with its gorgeous beaches, its national parks, the area’s hot springs, its interesting culture and history and, of course, popular islands like Koh Chang and Koh Phayam.
It is also the perfect place to visit if you prefer to stay away from the usual tourist spots and see something a little more unspoiled and authentically Thai instead.
The seven must see places in Ranong, however, are:
1. Koh Phayam (Phayam Island)
Koh Phayam is a lovely place to visit as it is quite unspoiled, and not crowded with the hordes of western tourists that you see on Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi.
The island is only a 40-minute boat ride from Ranong but, once there, it is like a completely different world. Long, sandy beaches stretching for miles, pristine sand, a blue, blue ocean and a very relaxed atmosphere.
It is known for the sea gypsies that live on or near the island, as well as is a wonderful place from where you can visit some of neighboring Myanmar’s islands.
2. Cock Burn Island
This is about a 75-minute boat ride from Ranong, and is a completely desolate island. People love it, however, as it is a gorgeous place to swim and to dive, the marine life is spectacular, and there are some interesting short hikes with stunning views out over the Andaman Sea.
There are several tour companies that have day trips to Cock Burn Island from Ranong, Just choose one and sign up.
3. Hot Springs (Raksawarin, Ponrung)
Another of the seven must-see places in Ranong is the famous hot springs at the beautiful Raksawarin Public Park. The springs have been popular with Thais especially since King Rama V made a visit to the springs in 1890.
The park has three main hot spring wells — the Father’s Well, the Mother’s Well and the Daughter’s Well — but these are wells you should not touch as the water is a constant 65 degrees Celsius, which is 149 Fahrenheit. Yes, they are very hot.
There are pools in the park, though, where the hot springs water has been mixed with a cooler spring water, and where temperatures are still hot but definitely bearable. Here you can sit and dangle your feet in the water or even take a bath.
The springs are also known to be some of the best in the world, as they do not have the sulphur smell many natural hot springs usually have.
Admission is free. If you want specific treatments, however, there is a charge.
4. Phu Kho Ya (Grass Hill)
Thais love Phu Kho Ya as it is thought of as Thailand’s version of a Swiss pasture. It is also an interesting hill, as there are few trees but instead just grassland. From the top, there are also superb views around Ranong.
5. Ratanarangsan Palace
Another of the seven must-see places in Ranong, Ratanarangsan Palace was built by the former governor of Ranong for King Rama V when it was discovered he was going to visit Ranong.
The palace offers interesting exhibits about Thai history and former kings, and is well worth seeing for the beautiful open-plan Thai-style architecture. It is also located in a gorgeous public park.
Entry to the palace is 100 baht for non-Thais and 20 baht for Thais. Entrance to the park is free.
6. Ranong Governor Residence
The Ranong Governor Residence is where Ranong’s first governor, Phraya Damrong Suckarit Mahison Phakdi, used to reside in the 1820s. It includes exhibits about the life of the governor and Ranong at the time, typical southern Thai antique furniture from the period, as well as is located in a large complex you can stroll around.
7. Khao Fah Chi Viewpoint (Fa Chi Mountain)
If you like views, you cannot miss Khao Fah Chi Viewpoint.
Located off Highway No 4 in Tambon Bang Kaeo, from the top of the hill you can enjoy gorgeous views out over the mangrove forests of Ranong and on into Myanmar. You will also see long stretches of both the Kra Buri and the La-Un rivers, and some of the islands belonging to either Thailand or Myanmar. Take your camera!
Watch Art Thomya’s 7 Must See Places in Ranong, Thailand video for more information on each of these places. And, if you want to learn more about other places in Thailand, subscribe to his YouTube channel. He uploads some brilliant and beautiful videos.