Khanom: Thailand’s Southern Paradise

Published on: June 13, 2022

Author Jaqui Deeon enjoying the warm waters of beautiful Khanom

Khanom local Jaqui Deeon tells us about the gems to be discovered in Khanom, from stunning beaches and caves to the pink dolphins that really do exist in this South Thailand paradise she calls home.

By Jaqui Deeon

My family and I live in Khanom, one of the most scenic and beautiful parts of Thailand. We don’t need to go further than our doorstep to enjoy ‘time out’ in paradise. 

Khanom is about 720 km away from Bangkok. The easiest way to get here is by plane, with Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani airports close by. Most visitors come during the hot season as the rainy season sees a lot of floods in the area, and the sea is stormy and not much fun to swim in.

Things to do 

We live just off the famous scenic coastal route called Khao Phlai Dam, a nature reserve between Khanom and Sichon. From the many viewpoints, you can look over the bay and see beautiful, tempting tropical beaches. 

We love visiting the many temples in the area. Some are on mountains and in caves. Visitors should see the beautiful Khao Wangthong caves, but be warned, you have to climb many stairs to get up there, so it’s not recommended for very small children. The Coral Pagoda, with its beautiful view overlooking the jungle and the ocean, is another ‘not to be missed’ attraction in this paradise.

A highlight for anybody visiting Khanom should be a trip in a longtail boat to see the pink dolphins. Yes, they really do exist! Local expats and most of the local Thais are very possessive over our pink dolphins and our hawksbill sea turtles that are endangered, and we strive to protect them. 

Khao Wangthong caves, Khanom

Eating and sleeping

Many restaurants are located oceanside, but some like Blue Terrace, a restaurant serving Thai and western food, are located on the mountainside next to the Khanom View Point, where many tourists go for their ‘back to nature’ photo ops. Khanom Seafood and Rachakiri Resort are just two of many establishments that show off the beautiful view of the area. 

If you are looking for luxury and pools right outside your room, Yotaka Resort is a good place to stay. I personally prefer the relatively low-key environment of Khwaenpao Resort, which has small rooms with hot showers, a fridge and TV, is comfy enough for a family and across from a pleasant beach. 

If you are outdoorsy, Khanom offers several beaches where you can camp, such as the quiet and tropical Thongdod Bay. Here, muay boran master Saifon has a camp and runs boat trips to see the pink dolphins and takes fishing enthusiasts out for an overnight squid fishing experience. Another wonderful camping spot I can recommend to families who want to sleep in a tent on the beach is Area 11 on Nadan Beach, the main beach in Khanom.

Getting the most out of your trip

Book your stay in advance. Maybe book a night or two in more than one place so that you can easily enjoy all the sights Khanom has to offer. Go for a walk, whether it is up to Hinlad Waterfall, near Naiphlao Beach (easy road to walk up with little house shops along the way for refreshments or a snack) or take one of the other nature trails to Samet Chun Waterfall.

The owner of Area 11 takes people up the mountain in a 4×4 for more beautiful scenery and hikes. There are NO taxis or tuk tuks in Khanom, so visitors are advised to rent a scooter or arrange transport with the staff at their resort.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bangkok bus schedule has changed..* It is easy to catch a minivan from Surat Thani and people will be dropped off at Si Yak or the van station, where they can ask for ‘Sid’, who owns a fleet of motorcycle taxis and some cars. He will pick hotel and resort guests up at the van station or at Si Yak and deliver them safely, with a smile, to their respective destinations.

Helpful contacts

Saifon: +66 650 152 180; FB: Saifon Muayboran or Khanom-Tour-and-Fishing. Speaks English.

Mr Toon Tours: +66 933 949 946. Speaks English.

Gop (Area 11 and 4×4 mountain trail): +66 987 290 750. Speaks English.

Khwaengpao Resort: +66 814 155 456. No English.

Photos courtesy of the author and Canva.

About the Author

Writer and editor Jaqueline has lived in South-East Asia for 11 years. She is married to a local artist from Khanom. She has written a book about the pink dolphins and hawksbill turtles in the area to educate young children learning to read and hopes her stories will encourage them to grow up to be responsible earth citizens with a love for nature.

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