RANONG, THAILAND TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, TOURIST SPOTS
A relatively new Buddhist temple in Ranong. Ngao Temple for me one of the most beautiful in the province. Within the complex is a fishpond where you can feed the fish and a hill with concrete steps where guests are encouraged to climb. On top of the hill are bells that people can ring the moment they reach the summit.
The Damp Province of Thailand That is Ranong
Thailand is a country that sits perfectly among its fellow Southeast Asian nations. For a region that is endemically within the scope of the tropic, many of these countries share similarities, particularly in climate as being humid. But even for a tropical country such as Thailand, there is still a place so different from everybody else, it took a climate of its own—Ranong.
Located at the southern part of Thailand, Ranong makes for the first province in the region and is very much known for its long wet season which typically lasts 8 months annually. For a nation which is often beset by heat from the sun, the place makes for an unusual place which subsequently earned its reputation for being damp, a title which also the Trat province also shares.
The province is a long stretch of land occupying a total land area of 3298 square kilometers and is bordered by Myanmar and the Indian Ocean on the west and its neighboring provinces on the other sides, namely Phang Nga, Surat Thani, and Chumphon. Although bordered only by soil, most visitors coming from Myanmar or outside Thailand enter Ranong via boat which consequently makes the province a very popular VISA run destination.
As a province, Ranong also hosts its own capital city which bears the same name and is 7 kilometers from the sea. Of all provinces in the country, the place is recorded to have the least population based on recent statistics.
The beauty of Ngao Waterfall cannot be captured well by my camera. The place is situated in Tambon Ngao within the area of Khlong Phrao National Park. This must-visit attraction can be seen from afar because of its amazing height at 300 meters. Reaching the falls includes 500 meters trekking to a well-paved concrete walkway.
For a city nestled within a usually wet place, Ranong, Thailand gets very limited tourist visits, which suggests that tourism is not its strongest suit, but remains remarkably quaint as centered in the Thai culture motif. The province’s geography is composed mainly of forests (80%) while 67% of the total land area is mountainous.
But while Ranong of today may enjoy its serenity as a mostly untouched region with little population, the same region was not as tranquil back in the day as a burgeoning province for mining. Although the original population of the place was indeed small—possibly influenced by its unusual weather—the region soon found a population boom after discovering the abundance of tin in the area which makes it a hotspot for miners and traders alike.
As such, the natives of the place make a living harvesting tin. Yet, even for a region as rich in the natural resource as Ranong, tin makes for a limited natural resource which soon had its depletion as a result of non-stop mining.
Consequently, the people of the province shifted to white clay mining and fishing in addition to the production of rubber and cashew nuts, when the tins had become exhausted. White clay mining is essential for the porcelain industry. At present, these are still the major source of living for the remaining inhabitants of the place.
According to history, the province got its name to one prominent figure in the region called “Lord Ranong” but which also became a title to those who succeeded his position in the society.
The 20-meter high Punyaban Falls is located just along the highway.
Rattanarangsan Palace (or Throne Hall) is built atop a hill in the center of the province. The structure was completed in 2015 which is a replica of the palace originally built in the same location to house King Chulalongkorn in 1890 during his tour of the Malay Peninsula.
How to get to Ranong, Thailand
The most convenient way to get to Ranong, Thailand is by plane. Various airlines are servicing this province.
Mobile Sim Card
Making yourself available online to connect with family and friends is necessary for any traveler especially in a foreign land. In my case, I used a DTAC Tourist Sim Card with unlimited data and usage.
You can buy your Tourist Sim Card at the Airport.
My latest trip to Thailand was hassle-free because I used a private car offered at TakeMeTour. I flew all the way from Bacolod City to Manila and finally to Bangkok via Don Mueang International Airport. That was my first time to pass through this airport, so basically I don’t know how to get to my Hotel in Bangkok from this airport. However, of course, it never bothered me because I availed a private car service offered by TakeMeTour.
I booked the car in advance, and a coordinator was waiting for me right at the exit of the airport. When I went home, the driver just picked me up from my hotel, and I was able to reach the airport on time.
one of the many temples in Ranong, Thailand
Ranong, Thailand 2-day Itineraries Using TakeMeTour
My trip to Ranong, Thailand was just fun and enjoyable only because of the tours I booked. In the past, It bothered me to think about what transportation to use, how to get to my hotel and of course getting to my destinations. However, since, I availed the TakeMeTour Trips my vacation turned out to be hassle-free and all fun.
TakeMeTour offerings include a pickup from your meeting point. The meetup point could be at the airport or your hotel. After the tour, they will also bring you back to your hotel or back to the airport if the trip will be for a day.
For my Ranong, Thailand vacation I availed two tours as follows:
- Discover Local Beauty: Punyaban Waterfall, Pornrung Hot Spring and Southern Lunch (Local Experience by Noppawit W.)
- Coming Home to Ranong: Relax in Nature and Cook the Southern Way with My Mom (Local Experience by Noppawit W.)
Please take note that the schedule in the itinerary is just the standard and could vary according to your time or arrival at the place. The guides are so flexible and can alter the activities whenever possible.
The very colorful Koon Lin Restaurant in Ranong, Thailand
This is what we ate at Koon Lin Restaurant. You will enjoy most of these dishes when you avail the Tour 1 of TakeMeTour
Tour 1. Discover Local Beauty: Punyaban Waterfall, Pornrung Hot Spring and Southern Lunch (Local Experience by Noppawit W.)
Tour 1 Itinerary
In a nutshell, this tour covers these activities:
Meet up at Ranong Airport, our meeting point. Please take note that you need to specify your meeting point so that the guide can pick you up.
The moment you meet your guide, the trip starts immediately. The first activity includes driving around the city while the guide gives you exciting information about Ranong, Thailand. The guide will bring you to the lighthouse wherein you can a spectacular view of the place and to see Myanmar which is very near to the area.
Go to Ranong River wherein you can feed the fish and experience fish spa
Go to a very colorful local restaurant with a fantastic Southern-style lunch.
For this trip, you will get to taste the following:
Ranong-Style Moo Khong (Ranong-Style Pork Belly Stew)
Stir-Fried Baegu Leaves with Egg
Banana Shrimps with Tamarind Sauce
Baegu Leaf Smoothie
Hat Som Paen Lod Chong Dessert (Pandan Noodles) in Coconut Milk
Let’s relax and get ready to swim.
Go to Pornrung Hot Spring and Waterfall.
Go to a local market and enjoy street food.
If time permits, go to Ngoa Temple and ring a golden bell for blessings.
Drop you off at the meeting point.
Traditional Thai Dishes which the family of my guide prepared for us during the trip. Mind you, I participated in the preparation of these cuisines. If you don’t like too spicy food, you can just inform the guide to minimize the use of chili.
Tour 2 (My Day 2 in Ranong, Thailand). Coming Home to Ranong: Relax in Nature and Cook the Southern Way with My Mom (Local Experience by Noppawit W.)
Tour 2 itinerary
09:00 – 9:30
Meet up at the meeting point
We have three routes for you to choose from.
1. History of the place, Thailand and Cooking
2. Fun and Adventure at Cave and Cooking
3. Relax at Hot Spring and Cooking
If your time permits, you can also do more things.
1. Enjoy historic Ranong at traditional houses and Rattanarangsan Palace
2. Go to Phra Khayang Cave and explore inside the cave
3. Go to the hot spring and bathe in mineral water
Visit the guide’s home and cook local food.
For this tour, you will get to sample the following:
Traditional Pad Thai
Moo Khong (Southern-Style Pork Belly Stew)
Pickled Egg with Seafood Chili Paste
Deep-Fried Fish Cakes
Lod Chong Dessert (Pandan Noodles) in Coconut Milk
* All are subject to availability.
Get some rest or make Thai desserts. My mom can teach you how.
Kleeb Lamduan (Thai Shortbread Cookies)
Thong Yod or Foi Thong
1. Governor Grave and Famous Temple
2. Swim at a waterfall for 1-2 hours or until the end of the trip
3. Go to an excellent viewpoint and take lots of beautiful souvenir photos
Go to a local souvenir shop. Ranong has a wide array of packed dried fruits that are great to bring home.
End of the tour and drop off to your next destination.
Together with my friends from Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Jug Sriyananda of TakeMeTour, we visited the monument (top) and graveyard (below) of Kor Su Jiang, a very important leader of the Province of Ranong, Thailand.
Where to Stay in Ranong, Thailand
Ranong Province has reasonable places to stay that I’m sure budget-friendly. Book your hotel room here: HOTELS IN RANONG, THAILAND
My Thai friends paying respect to the Ranong Pillar Shrine
The hot spring and fish spa
Ranong, Thailand Tourist Attractions
Royal Cadet Academy Monument
The Royal Cadet Academy Monument located at the Kra Buri District serves as the borders of the two provinces, the Ranong and Chumphon. The specific statue is standing tall and is remarkably unique since it has the engraved signature of King Rama V, thus, naming it as a high place is indeed relevant. You could come here from 9:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon for a minimal fee (50 Baht).
Wat Hat Som Paen
Located at the Mueang District, what makes this monk temple different than the rest is that it serves as well as a haven of a particular species of fish, the Pluang. More than that, it serves as a place of commemoration of a revered and respected monk, Luang Phor Khlai.
Wat Suwan Khiri
Located at Mueang District, this 70-year-old structure inspired by Burmese style is one of the temples that you have to take a visit. It also has a standing image of Buddha which was embellished with feline accents and patterns.
Lam Nam Kraburi National Park
Located at Mueang District, this national park is vast enough for anyone to get lost! With its total area of 160 square kilometers, it has a lot of things to see and things to do. Either you’re up for some picnic, or a mangrove experience, this park got it reserved for you. From hot springs (Bo Namron Had Yai), islands (Islands of Kra Buri River), sightseeing (Khao Hin Chang View), river (Kra Buri River), waterfalls (Punyaban and Ton Pak), mangrove area (Sed Kuad Peninsular), and historical site (Tham Yi Pun).
Namtok Ngao National Park
Located at the Mueang District, this park offers extreme adventures which you may want to give a shot. From trekking, down to rafting, you will surely find yourself having so much fun as you join different activities offered in this park. Waterfalls activities, as well as tours, is also available. You may try these from 8:30 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon.
Raksawarin Hot Springs and Public Park
Located at Mueang District, the name itself suggests that you will have an immense relaxation experience in this park. Why not? Hot springs are said to be one of the best medicinal body detoxification ways. Thus, making it ideal for anyone who would like to rest their tired body and mind. It is open from 10:30 in the morning until 7:00 of the evening.
Laen Son National Park
Located at the Kapoe District, this park is famous for its scenic islands which offer tourists the opportunity to enjoy water-related activities such as snorkeling once more. This park is open from 8:30 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon.
Khao Fa Chi
Located at the Mueang District, this physical attraction enables tourists to see a fantastic view of the two rivers, the sunrise, as well as the breathtaking sunset. This place is intended for those who would like to see the area from a different angle of view. This is open from 7:00 in the morning until 7:00 in the evening.
Located at the Mueang District, this mangrove forest is 1,500-meters long and holds about 25 species of mangrove flora. All of these are well-preserved for the past years for several advantageous reasons.
Ngao Mangrove Research Center
Hailed as the World Biosphere Reserve Zone by the UNESCO, this research center is right to its promise of conserving and promoting the welfare of the young or baby marine species. Thus, exploring this would be easier since there would be guides available in the area.
Phu Khao Ya
This may be synonymous with The Switzerland vibes as manifested by the hills covered with beautiful green grass. This is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily.
Hailed as one of the tourists’ hubs in the area, this waterfall offers a complete experience as manifested by the provided guides, dining shops, toilets, parking space, and different services for visitors. This is open from 8:00am until 6:00pm.
This peaceful place was a former mine but now serves as a haven for those who would like to experience serenity and peace. The basin of emerald green water is just so majestic that as if you are visiting another realm.
Ton Pet Waterfall
A waterfall amidst great forestry, how does that sound? Well, the unlimited water running down from the top of this falls serve as the source of water for the nearby village or community. in the same way, coming and traveling here would be a lot easier with the help of the locals.
Bok Kraj Waterfall
Though travel here won’t be more comfortable than the rest of the other natural attractions, it does not hinder people from going here and experiencing the beautiful place. The rough road leading here most especially during rainy days adds up to the whole challenge of going to the site.
Chum Saeng Waterfall
The place is only possible to visit if it is rainy season since it tends to be dry during the summertime. So, this place may not be the best for you if you are looking for an all-year-round activity.
This may seem a little bit far since it is already nearby the boundary river which separates Thailand from Myanmar. What is admirable about it is the natural border brought by the river which offers a fantastic view of it.
Tham Phra Khayang
Located at the Kra Buri District, this place holds a magnificent cave with an image of Buddha inside it being visited by many. So, as to be safe here, bringing of lighting materials such as candles or flashlights is highly recommended.
Located at the La-un District, this Japanese shipwreck can be dated way back in World War II making it a memorable and fantastic place to visit.
Khlong Nakha Wildlife Reserve
This may not be the place for you if you want to do some personal exploration since it is more of a conserved site. You will have to seek the permission of the government officials for you to be allowed to enter here.
Royal Initial Stones
This place serves as some memorabilia of the visitation of the royal family way back in 1959. The initials of them as honorable and royal visitors were engraved in these stones.
Ban Talae Nok
If you are now into visiting of community, having a visit in this Muslim community is the best one for you. Be amazed at their peaceful yet straightforward way of life as you visit here.
The lighthouse in Ranong, Thailand. You can go up the place to see the spectacular view of the Province. The Island you are seeing is already part of Myanmar.
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