Despite lacking any must-see attractions, the tiny, unfrequented provincial capital of PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, 67km south of Pranburi, makes a pleasant place to break any journey up or down the coast. Its greatest asset is its setting: a huge, palm-fringed, half-moon bay, dotted with colourful fishing boats and tipped by a rocky outcrop at the north end and by a small group of jungly islands to the south – the waterfront promenade in the town centre is great for a seafood lunch with a view. There’s a lovely beach in the next bay to the south, Ao Manao, and generally Prachuap is a fine spot to settle into small-town Thai life.
The town is contained in a small grid of streets that runs just 250m east to west, between the sea and the train station – with Highway 4 beyond the railway tracks – and around 1km north to south, from the Khao Chong Krajok hill at the northern end to the Wing 5 air-force base in the south. Orientation couldn’t be simpler: the major road across from the station to the pier is Thanon Kongkiat, and there are four main north–south roads: Thanon Phitak Chat near the station, Thanon Salacheep, Thanon Susuek and the seafront road, Thanon Chai Thalay.