South Thailand officially starts at CHUMPHON, where the main highway splits into west- and east-coast branches, and inevitably the provincial capital saddles itself with the title “gateway to the south”. Most tourists take this tag literally and use the town as nothing more than a transport interchange between the Bangkok train and boats to Ko Tao, Pha Ngan and Samui, so the town is well equipped to serve these passers-through, offering clued-up travel agents, efficient transport links and plenty of internet cafés. In truth, there’s little call for exploring the fairly average beaches, islands and reefs around town when the varied and attractive strands of Ko Tao are just a short hop away, while the Chumphon National Museum is little short of pitiful.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Thailand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Consistently voted as one of the best places to travel by our readers – most recently as one of the world's friendliest countries and one of the best place…

05 Dec 2016 • Rough Guides Editors videocam Video
The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

25 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
9 essential tips for backpacking Thailand

9 essential tips for backpacking Thailand

Backpacking Thailand can mean staying in fun-packed hostels and idyllic beach bungalows, eating noodles so tasty and so cheap you’ll swear off all other food …

11 Apr 2016 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month