Smushed between Ranong Province, Myanmar, and the Gulf of Thailand, Chumphon is the skinny bit which connects Southern Thailand to the rest of the country. Covering most of the Kra Isthmus (okay, we just wanted to use the word “isthmus”), this narrow province has a lot to offer but is treated as a pit-stop as people drive further south or set sail to some of Thailand’s most celebrated kohs (Samui, Tao, and Pha Ngan).
We’ve road-tripped through here and we admit that we too have simply used Chumphon as a place to rest our traveling heads for the night.
Here are 5 hotels you should consider while passing through Chumphon.
Beach Resort and Residence
Less than a 15 minute drive from the Chumphon Airport, you can easily taxi to The Beach Resort and Residence. If you’re driving yourself, then there is ample free parking onsite. You’ll have to trust your GPS app as the hotel sits at the end of an odd road and most of the signage is for a government fisheries project.
The hotel has a wonderful pool lining feels like one continuous rubber pad. The pool overlooks the beach and offers some great views across the water. The beach is rocky and so you may not lounge on the sand, but the kids will have fun exploring all of the tidal pools.
The hotel is only 2 years old and is geared towards middle class Thai travelers (beds are mattresses on a raised platform). During the COVID pandemic, the hotel had closed for 3 months and when we stayed (July 2020) it had just reopened. The General Manager had been there a month and was simply lovely and very helpful.
The Blue Marlin Restaurant is nautical themed, a little too on the nose for us, but the menu is diverse and well priced. Your stay here includes breakfast and it was one of the best we’ve seen in Thailand at this price point.
To accommodate our family of 6, we booked 2 sea-view suites and the staff ensured they were side-by-side.
Nana Beach Hotel
Located on a quiet bay, The Nana Beach Hotel is surrounded by manicured lawns and small gardens. The restaurant is on the beach while the pool, rooms, and breakfast area are on the other side of the beachfront road. Crossing is no problem as there is minimal traffic, but you are not directly on the beach.
There are several stand alone bungalows and then a larger, modern, concrete building at the back of the property. We booked a family room – which is two very large adjoining rooms with a shared bathroom and balcony. We could see the ocean, but it was more garden view.
The Nana Beach Hotel is part of the Nanaburi Hotel Group so be mindful to select the correct property whilst booking.
We ate dinner at the beachfront restaurant and enjoyed being outdoors. Breakfast is served in a dining space closer to the hotel rooms. The hotel is popular with bicycle tour groups so expect to see a lot of spandex at breakfast as cyclists fuel-up for the day.
Though the beach has great sandcastle sand, our kiddos spent most of their time in the pool.
Can’t chose between camping or a hotel? Then The Moonshine Resort is the option for you. In lieu of rooms, this resort is a collection of tents surrounding a pool. The beach is across the road and out of sight so come here for the experience, pool time, or the 4 minute drive to the Lomprayah Pier which will ferry you over to Koh Tao.
This is a family run business and the restaurant is aptly named “Grandma’s Restaurant”. It’s small but the food was tasty and fresh. Breakfast is included in your stay too. Our children loved the pool’s odd features including an island, bridge, faux castle wall, and underwater openings to swim through the wall.
There is a family tent which fit us well or you could do multiple tents. Each tent has AC, electricity, fans, and wifi. Think hotel room but made of tent. Each tent has it’s own bathroom which is a separate structure behind the tent. You will have to zip and unzip your way in and out for toilet runs.
Ban Tawansongfa Hotel
This tiny hotel is on the beach and run by a family. The parents, retired lawyers from Bangkok, live on-site while their daughter, the owner, completes law school in the city. With only 3 stand alone rooms to chose from, you can stay in 1 of 2 circular structures with great beach views or 1 that looks a log from a fairy tale. To fit our family we stayed in the log and one of the circular rooms.
With bicycles, a kayak, and a hammock with a view, this is a great place to have some downtime as you travel through Chumphon. Martin, the dad, also recommended some nearby restaurants (walkable or drivable) and we had incredibly fresh seafood at Chai Hat Seafood Restaurant.
You could book all 3 rooms at Ban Tawansongfa and have your own beach-side getaway with a group of family or friends.
Our nod goes to Retro Box Hotel in Chumphon City. We’ve never stayed there, but we want to. Situated around a pool, the rooms are made from converted shipping containers. For a family of 6 with young children, there doesn’t seem to be a good room option, but we cannot help but love the idea of giving second life to these shipping containers. This one is on our list and as our kids get older, we’ll be sure to stay in this creative accommodation.
POINTERS ABOUT CHUMPHON
Chumphon (ชุมพร in Thai, pronounced “choom-pon”) is the name of the province and the provincial capital city. This happens a lot in Thailand. Think of it like New York City in New York State (NY, NY). When searching for a hotel, be sure to look at whether you are booking by province or city name.
Highway 41 is the main road through Chumphon. It’s mostly 2 lanes in each direction, wide shoulders, grass median, with large service stations which include bathrooms, petrol stations, restaurants, and 7-Elevens. It’s a simple road to drive even if you are new to driving in Thailand.
Chumphon is long and it could easily take you 2 hours or more to drive it end to end on Highway 41. When booking your overnight stay, be sure to look at where in the province your hotel is. You could be adding an hour or two to your drive times. With children on long trips, that added time may cost you your last bit of sanity (you’re welcome).