We are heading to BKK over Easter and after spending a few days there, we want to move on to an area within say 150 miles of BKK ( driving distance of a few hours basically) which would be close to a beach as well as being withign easy reach of other attractions including wildlife parks and ancient sites & temples. I figure that we need to go either left and down to an area near Hua Hin / Phetburi or maybe right down to Chonburi / Rayong area.
As an unseasoned, virginal, soon-to-be Thai traveller, i wondered if i could get some opinions. :-)
#1 wisewoman has been a member since 19/2/2009. Posts: 1
If you're wanting to see sizeable national parks then the Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetburi area is a better choice than Rayong. The latter has better beaches, but the national parks and "culture" is more interesting to the south.
If you go the way Somtam is talking about, try taking the slow route that will take you through Mahachai (Samut Sakhon), Samut Songkhram, and then to Phetchaburi. You can take the single line train from Thonburi, on the other side of the river from Bangkok, to Mahachai, have a big seafood lunch and check out the amazing seafood markets, then cross the Chin River on the pedestrian ferry where you can get back onto a train that will take you to Samut Songkhram. From there it is a short bus ride to Phetchaburi. It's a really nice trip through salt fields rather than industrial wastelands.
You may also consider going to Kanchanaburi and Sangkhlaburi. Lots to keep you busy and interested around that area. Plus, you can get there easily from Phetchaburi (if you go there.)
I know it sounds kind of complicated, but it really isn't. There is a lot of info on this route on the internet. Plus, you'd be staying within your range with the exception of Sangkhlaburi. But you should go there anyway just for the scenery and nice folks who live in the area. It really is a nice part of the country.
Don't forget that you can also go north to Ayuthaya.