Not a regular destination I know, but if anyone has information/recommendations about parks, beaches, accom, cultural interests - whatever - feel free to post!
I'll be driving down the Central Coast from Hua Hin, so anything along the way would be good to know too.
BTW, I've done extensive internet research, so I'm really looking for personal suggestions and experiences.
sorry have only been there as a kid many years ago :P
not sure if this falls under cultural interest...in case you happen to visit Wat Phra Mahathat in Nakhon Si Thammarat , it's where the craze over Jatukham Ramathep amulets peaked in 2006-7:
the most 'powerful' of such amulets were supposed to be those made & blessed at that particular temple. at the height of the craze, domestic flights & buses into Nakhon Si Thammarat were fully booked by believers flocking to Wat Mahathat, accomm was fully booked out, & there were daily articles in the Thai tabloids with claims of miracles witnessed by those who'd bought such amulets. IIRC there was a death + injuries when people got crushed in the stampede to obtain them, & reports saying that the foundations of temple's old chedi were being weakened by the huge increase in traffic. it wasn't just Thais - believers from Singapore & Malaysia also travelled there just to get hold of those amulets & have them blessed at that temple. there was even a special chartered 1-2-go flight that circled the city as monks made 'limited edition' amulets on board...guess you can visit that place as a temple of Thai 'Buddhism' gone a little 'extreme' ;)
Sorry that you haven't got much help here....
I lived in Nakhon Sri province about 2 years ago in a town called Thung Song. I'd go into the city on the weekend just to go shopping at Carrefour supermarket (real bread!!) and eat some pizza. Probably not anything you're interested in though!
There's some beaches along the coast but I haven't been there so I can't comment. There's also some hot springs, caves, and a moutain in the province which, since you have your own transportation, you could check out. There's a couple national parks... you can camp at Khao Luang.
One think N.S.T. is known for is shadow puppets -- there used to be a small shadow puppet making centre near Wat Matahat, but the guy died last year and I don't know what's become of it...