The three beaches of Haad Pardorn, Haad Sairee and Thung Makham are situated on a small peninsula to the southeast of Chumphon town and are all easily reached by public transport or motorbike from the provincial capital.
The first you'll come across 14km away is Haad Paradorn, popular with the locals but the beaches further south are prettier and better for swimming and accommodation options here are limited. None of the accommodation is particularly recommended and Haad Sairee, 5km further on is a better choice if you want to stay in the area.
Haad Sairee is on a small bay that's very pretty with good views of the nearby islands. Just offshore is the very scenic Ko Mahprao, one of the sites where the infamous nests of a local bird called the sea swift are collected. Numerous seafood restaurants offer picnic mats and deckchairs along the seafront promenade--this area can be very busy on weekends.At the southern tip of the bay some 2km further, is a headland containing the Khao Chao Muang Hill Viewpoint.
Past the foot of Khao Chao hill the road carries on to the twin bays of Thung Makham Yai and Thung Makhan Noi, separated by a narrow rocky outcrop and lying some 3-4km further on. Thung Makham Yai contains a small fishing village whilst Thung Makham Noi is deserted and beautiful. These two bays are very calm as they are sheltered all year round. If you continue even further past Thung Makham around the curve of the peninsular, you'll find the Mu Ko Chumphon National Park.
Heading north from Chumphon, you'll reach Haad Thung Wua Laen. This wide bay, 14km to the north of Chumphon also has a string of resorts along the beach. The beach is quiet and clean, though unsheltered and can seem a bit bleak if the weather is not great. Thung Wua Laen means Plain of the Running Bull since, as legend has it, hunters were unable to kill any prey in this area. Animals struck by spears or arrows would merely fall over, then get up and run away again. Maybe the hunters in this area were just bad shots and there were a lot of wild animals running around with arrows stuck in their backsides
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 27th November, 2015.