If you are one of those who do not want thousands of Europeans, McDonalds, yesterday’s Dagbladet and “We speak Swedish sign” around you when visiting Thailand, then Hat Thung Wua Laen and Chumphon are a good choice. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a fairly non-touristy place to relax in Thailand.
Chumphon is located on the east coast of Thailand, in the middle of the country. The area is popular, and especially during the high season of December to early summer, you have to think a little untraditional to avoid the large tourist crowds. But there are places that most people just pass by. One of these is Hat Thung Wua Laen.
Hat Thung Wua Laen for tourists
The city of Chumphon itself is not very interesting, and most tourists who have been here have mainly used the port to get to Ko Tao, a small and increasingly popular island north of the more famous Ko Samui and Ko Pha-Ngan. Chumphon has about 16,000 inhabitants and lives mainly on agriculture and fishing, and you do not often meet English-speaking inhabitants.
To get to Hat Thung Wua Laen use minibuses, so-called sâwngthâew, which is an interesting experience in itself. In practice, there is a pick up with two to three wooden benches on the loading platform, where people squeeze in as best they can. Luggage is preferably placed on the roof to accommodate more people inside. You tell the driver where to go and pay 20-30 bath on arrival. 1 bath is just under 20 cents.
Thung Wua Laen Beach is about 4 km long and exceptionally quiet and calm. Apart from a few beach bars scattered along the fine white beach, it is devoid of beach chairs, umbrellas, shops and watercraft. The area has some newly built resort hotels, but there is still a very peaceful and quiet atmosphere here.
If you have a dream of getting a diving certificate, this is a great place to get it done and at a reasonable price. The organic Chumphon Cabana Resort & Diving Center offers 5-day packages of accommodation, all meals, full diving course with certificate and all equipment for around 2300 NOK.
At the other end of the scale and the beach is Bamboo Bar & Guesthouse. This place is run by an emigrated Englishman who had only really been to Thailand for a few weeks and decided to stay here for good. Sports on big screen, darts and billiards make one get an English pub feel even here in the middle of Thailand. The place attracts Thung Wua Laen’s western immigrants (all three!) And the few traveling tourists where they gather in the evening, preferably for a Champions League match on TV and a beer.