is the first southern province on the western coast, located 568
kilometres from Bangkok. It is known for the long rainy period,
which lasts for 8 months each year. Ranong occupies an area of 3,298
square kilometres and is bordered by Myanmar and the Indian Ocean to
the west. Within its compact area, Ranong contains various natural
attractions and is blessed with hot springs and unspoiled mangrove
mountainous and heavily forested province, Ranong is best known as a
fishing and trading port. It was settled by the Hokkian Chinese,
and their strong influence is evident in the town. Ranong town is a
gateway to Myanmar, with colourful longboats ferrying produce and
people across the narrow divide that separates the two countries.
The traffic is even heavier these days since a casino opened at
Victoria Point. The famous hot springs are just outside of town,
where an arboretum and various first-class hotels cater to visitors
eager to benefit from the medicinal properties of the mineral
Hot Springs and Raksawarin Arboretum
Located about 2 kilometres east of the provincial office,
the hot springs have been a popular tourist spot ever since King
Rama V visited Ranong in 1890, and named the road to the hot springs
'Chon Ra-u', meaning 'hot water'. There are three natural spring
pools. The temperature of the water in the pools remains constant at
about 65 ωC. The water is both potable and suitable for bathing.
Doctors routinely prescribe bathing in the pools for both medical
treatments and as a relaxing way to ease stress and tension.
Surrounding the hot springs is a deep shaded forest called 'Raksawarin',
where resting pavilions and wash rooms have been provided for the
visitor's comfort. Nearby Wat Tapo Tharam also provides bathing
rooms for visitors who want to enjoy the healthy mineral water from
the thermal springs.
Victoria Point of Ko Song
As an island in neighbouring Myanmar, Ko Song offers visitors a
variety of local products, souvenirs such as wicker basketry and
lacquerware, and gems. Long-tail boats can be hired in Pak Nam
Ranong or on the Ranong Pier. The boat ride to Victoria Point takes
about 15 minutes each way and costs between 200 and 300 baht. Before
embarking on this excursion, visitors must obtain a boarding card
issued by the Ranong Immigration Office in Pak Nam Ranong, tel : 0
7782 1216. Jansom Travel also offers tours to Ko Song.
Two hours by boat from the Ranong Pier, Ko Phayam is famous for both
its long fine white sandy beaches and for the cashew nuts which are
grown on the island. A number of sea gypsies, or Chao Le, live on
the island as well. The waters between Ko Phayam and the nearby
islands of Ko Hai Hin and Ko Chang often provide excellent game
fishing. To get to Ko Phayam visitors can charter boats from Ranong
Pier for about 1,000 baht per trip. Visitors can also charter
speedboats from Ko Phayam Resort. Prices range from 2,000 to 4,000
baht, depending on the size of the boat. Reservations can be made by
calling 0 7781 2297, 0 1323 0436.