Bang Saphan Yai

About 80Km south of Prachuap Khiri Khan this little place offers a quiet existence with an idyllic beach and a small mix of local and ferang run businesses that cater to the occasional backpacker. From Prachuap one could either shell out ~200Bht for a mini van or opt for the most basic 3rd class on the ‘ordinary’ train for a grand total of 16Bht.

Of course there simply was no discussion. Train it was for us. We chanced upon this information when we enquired at Top Deck in Prachaup Khiri Khan to one of the staff while waiting for our check. Lucky for us one of the waitresses was from Bang Saphan and suggested we get the 2pm ‘ordinary’ train from Prachaup Khiri Khan. It’s free for Thais. Ferangs may have a discount. Unfortunately the local tourist center in Prachuap Khiri Khan was not really helpful with train schedule or price. We ended up checking out our hotel and getting a motortaxi to the train station. Turns out she was right.

Brad playing snooker with our little friend on the way to Bang Saphan Yai.
Arriving at Bang Saphan we parked ourselves at Tae’s restaurant about 200m from the train station and began looking for accommodation options. At 300Bht/night Lola Bungalows offered the best budget option and decided to give it a try.
The town itself is about 6Km from the city center/ train station and motorbikes are the only mode of transportation. No taxis, not even motortaxis. Also there’s no real mini mart or supply store. If you are looking to stay here suggest stocking up on supplies or renting a motorbike for ~200bht.
On the way to Lola our motorbike ride. Ring ring. Busy road, pull over … Sure! Why not?
A quick walk around town and we realized it’s fairly small, can be travelled on foot and pretty much every guesthouse and or restaurant dots the beach or is a few yards from it.

For a quick bite to eat, something with a western flair we picked the Country Road pub. This is one of the few eateries that is not on the beach but the food was worth the short trek. And being the expat bar, best place to gather some local info. Which is where we ended up chatting to John one of the 30 or so expats in town living in Bang Saphan Yai, a home away from home.

The resident chef(s), I’m guessing part of Mike the owners family cooked us a delicious meal and I even got to stand back and watch the dinner prep!
The restaurants serve up some pretty good dishes with a menu that consists of both western and Thai flair and the local crowd seems to congregate in pre appointed spots based on the day of the week. ‘Why not?’ Bar closed on Thursdays, well the crowds most likely at the Country Road pub then. We loved every hang out we went to and the only one that seemed a bit too stuffy was the French run Coral beach resort. Needless to say we skipped it since.

Our stay in Bang Saphan Yai would have been perfect except for the fact that the beach was literally infested with jellyfish. Yes, I did say infested. And no I’m not exaggerating. There were swarms of them, clearly visible in the shallows, washed up on shore and as far as the eye could see in the depths of the ocean.

Brad says it’s not the norm, Jellyfish travel with the currents and there must have been a strong one before we arrived. Well, 3 days in and there was still no sign of them leaving and I refused to swim in the ocean even if they did leave. What if there were strays or ones just lingering on for some action?

And that’s how we decided to say our goodbyes to our lovely little hideaway and on wards to the next leg of our journey. My favorite kind – island hopping in Thailand.

After a night in Champon we were on our way to Koh Tao.

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