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Destination: The real Siam – Thailand’s Central Gulf Coast shines bright

Destination: The real Siam – Thailand’s Central Gulf Coast shines bright

Have you ever dreamt of an uncrowded paradise, unique, special and set apart from the rest? A place where natu­ral and warm smiles abound? A place with no wrong turns, where every road invites you to explore a traditional and simple way of life? A place where a few days’ holiday becomes a life experience you don’t want to end?

Travel
By Daren Jenner

Sunday 6 October 2019, 03:00PM


Then pack your picnic basket, back­pack, bicycle bag and a few Thai baht for fresh, local food; open the windows and immerse yourself in the fresh air and pristine scenery of Thailand’s Cen­tral Gulf Coast.

Depending on accommodation cho­sen, travellers to the area can expect:
Environment and natural beauty: 5+ stars.
Recreation: 5 stars.
Family-friendly room options: 5 stars.
Authentic cultural experiences: 5 stars.
Privacy and value for money: 3 to 5 stars.

In an age of mass tourism and dra­matic shifts in Southeast Asia’s travel scene, those interested in nature, beau­tiful beaches and healthful food and recreation can strike tourism gold in this relatively undiscovered, authentic coastal area of Thailand.

Whether by vehicle on road-trip or as a destination location by jet, visitors to this region can enjoy rare world-class cultural ex­periences and lodging options tailored to meet their specific needs. First-hand interaction with local people who directly benefit from, and truly ap­preciate, your visit defines the visitor experience in this untouched region.

Road-trippers, cyclists, runners, beach trekkers, stand-up paddleboard­ers, kitesurfers and kayakers, beachgo­ers, amateur and semi-professional pho­tographers, family and solo travellers and anyone interested in ditching the congestion and pollution of daily life can all find accommodation and wellness packages to meet their desires.

This trip to a less-travelled, some­what isolated area presents some challenges, but these can be easily ad­dressed with a little planning and by using the information in the following sections to your advantage. For those willing to take on the adventure, the reward of a once-in-a lifetime experi­ence awaits.

The local government responsible for this wide-open coastline, along with the Department of Rural Roads, have done a commendable job in creating safe, rubbish-free, world-class scenic routes that are suitable for driving, cy­cling and even walking.

The more ad­venturous free and independent travel­ler can enjoy unmatched natural vistas rich in cultural sites – temples, monu­ments, fishing villages, caves – and even visit local ladies growing peanuts on a tranquil beach. The laid-back vibe, combined with kilometre after kilometre of well-marked and nicely maintained roads with little vehicular traffic, make it ideal for exploration by car, bicycle or on foot.

Laguna Golf Phuket

Where to stay

Tusita Wellness Resort, Chumphon
The Tusita Wellness Resort was cho­sen based on its excellent location, immediate proximity to the expansive coastal scenic road network and the wide range of lodging options, includ­ing a beachfront bungalow that sleeps four adults and one child, with promo­tional pricing of under B3,000 (exclud­ing breakfast).

The forest location is situated less than a kilometre from the beach, with room options for two also starting at under B3,000 including breakfast. Check the details thoroughly on the resort website for the full range cur­rently on offer. At the time of writing, there are a few budget hotels and hos­tels in the area, but most were closed and not bookable.

Interior air-conditioned dining is available inside the resort for break­fast, lunch and dinner. Food quality and selection is adequate. Seafood served is ocean-caught locally (not farmed) and no MSG is used.

Contact: General Manager Prarop Chanpoltho (+66 7763 0920, info@tusi­tawellness.com)
Price range: B2,500-3,700 per night (spe­cial low season pricing good through October 2019).
How to get there: Five- to six-hour self-drive from Phuket International Air­port or 80-minute ground transfer from Surat Thani Airport. For best results, arrange ground transfers through the resort.
Best way to book: Direct via their website (tusitawellness.com). The resort will price-match all third party offers.
Pros: Clean, well-designed and beauti­fully crafted rooms; multiple rooms, in­cluding forest and oceanfront locations; and free bicycle use and local tuk-tuk transfers on request.
Cons: No nightlife; and breakfast and in-house food is basic, but healthy.

Where to eat

Paktako Seafood
Just outside the resort, open-air lunch and dinner are available at the Paktako Seafood restaurant. Serving fish ocean-caught nearby and local vegetables, Paktako is highly recommended for its wide range of selections, great tasting food and very reasonable prices.

 

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