At the top of the 395 steps is Wat Thamikaran, a revered monastery housing a Buddha footprint. The monastery forms part of Wat Thamikaran, sometimes known as Wat Khao Chong Krachok, with the rest of the complex lying to the west of the hill and to the north just over the bridge. The hill is best climbed in the morning or late afternoon, as the views are better then and there's little shade on ... Read more about Khao Chong Krachok .
At the same time, it has more of the feeling of a national park than a beach resort, no doubt because it's located on a airforce base, the 53rd Air Division, just to the south of town. There are plenty of food stalls and even a food court on the beach road, but few other services or tourist-oriented businesses. On weekends expect something of a crowd here, but come weekdays you'll most likely ... Read more about Ao Manao .
If you look carefully from the beach road you'll spy a small Buddhist sala and Thai flag at the summit -- yes you can climb to the top! You'll need to have a fair degree of fitness and be good with heights as the climb up is quite strenuous while on the climb down you'll almost be abseiling down a couple of four to six metre near-vertical rock faces. There are ropes when needed, but a couple ... Read more about Khao Lommuak .
Gazetted in 1995, Haad Wanakorn National Marine Park is Thailand's smallest park at just 38 square kilometres, of which 23 is coastal scrub and woodland and 15 is marine, including the two small islands of Ko Chai and Ko Thaisi. The woods are pleasant for walking in and contain a wide variety of birdlife, while the pristine beach is pretty good for swimming. North of the park headquarters is ... Read more about Haad Wanakorn National Park .
Huay Yang waterfall is a seven-tier fall and bathing pools are on each level. The pools are packed with small fish like perch, so don't worry if you feel hairs on your arms and legs being pulled -- piranhas are rare. While the falls have seven tiers, we couldn't figure out how to get past tier five, which was plenty enough for us. A separate hiking trail heads to a mountain viewpoint, but ... Read more about Namtok Huay Yang National Park .
It's worth a ride up to if you have time on your hands, want to pick up some Burmese cigarettes or just to enjoy what is a quite pretty ride. If you do decide to venture out here, swing by Khao Hin Tern Park which lies between Darn Singkorn and Prachuap Khiri Khan, where you can see some unusual rock formations -- the border is more interesting, but if you're in the area you may as well take ... Read more about Darn Singkorn .
As the old name suggests, Wat Ao Noi is a cave temple -- well, a temple with a cave nearby -- and is worth a visit by those with a lot of time on their hands, both for the cave and also a wat building made of sea shells. The monks have constructed themselves a new and rather gaudy wat down by the road, but the shell building, while rundown, is novel -- even the nagas lining the stairs are ... Read more about Ao Khan Kadai .