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Prachuap Khiri Khan (Thai ประจวบคีรีขันธ์)

is one of the central provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are Phetchaburi in the north and Chumphon in the south. To the west it borders Tanintharyi Division of Myanmar.

Prachuap Khiri Khan, or commonly referred to as simply Prachup, is a province located in the lower central region 93km south of Hua Hin, while much smaller and quieter than Hua Hin, Prachuap is actually the provincial capital of the same-named province. It connects with the South of Thailand and possesses various interesting tourist attractions such as beaches, islands, forests and mountains.


Prachuap Khiri Khan covers an area of 6,367.620 square kilometres. The district is located on the Kra Isthmus, the narrow landbridge connecting the Malay Peninsula with mainland Asia. The province contains the narrowest part of Thailand - directly south of the capital it is just 13 kilometers from the coast of the Gulf of Thailand to the border with Myanmar. The narrowest point of the Isthmus is however further south in the province Chumphon.Physiographically Prachuap Khiri Khan is moderately plain area with altitude varying from 0 - 1200 meters above MSL. The maximum altitude can be reached in the north eastern and central west regions, which makes approximately 30% of the area.

The long coast to the Gulf of Thailand has many sandy beaches, the most famous one being at Hua Hin, which has been a popular resort since King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) built a summer palace there. From the coast the land quickly rises into the mountain chain which forms the border to Myanmar, the highest elevation in the province being the 1494-meter-high Khao Luang. Due to this narrow watershed the rivers in the province are all small, the only bigger one is the Pran Buri River in the north of the province. The smaller rivers include the Khlong Kui.

The Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park was established in 1966 to protect Thailand's largest freshwater marshes, but also contains some mangrove woods and mudflats. Most of the marshes were converted into shrimp farms, despite being in a national park.


Prachuap Khiri Khan City Hall
Prachuap Khiri Khan City Hall

The city of Prachuap Khiri Khan was reconstructed in 1845, after it was abandoned during the fall of the Ayutthaya kingdom in 1767. The town was rebuilt at the mouth of the Ron River during the 19th century and renamed Prachuap Khiri Khan.

King Mongkut gathered 3 cities, Bang Nangrom, Kui Buri and Khlong Wan to sattle and name Prachuap Khiri Khan province. At the same time, he renamed Koh Kong,the opposite city that located in the east side of Gulf of Siam(recently Gulf of Thailand) to be Prachanta Khiri Khet. Now Koh Kong is a province of Kingdom of Cambodia.

In 1868 King Mongkut invited several guests to watch the solar eclipse on September 18. Being fond of science he predicted the event by himself, but the chosen observation point was the marshes near Sam Roi Yot where he contracted malaria, of which he died two weeks later.

It became an old seaside resort of the country during the reign of King Rama V. From historical evidence, Prachuap Khiri Khan was a location of Mueang Na Rang during the Ayutthaya period. In the reign of King Rama II of Rattanakosin, a new city was established at the mouth of the I Rom Canal and was named Mueang Bang Nang Rom. Moreover, during the reign of King Rama IV, Mueang Bang Nang Rom, Mueang Kui, and Mueang Khlong Wan were combined into Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan which means a city of mountains. The city hall was situated at Mueang Kui until 1898, it was then moved to Ao Ko Lak or Ao Prachuap, the location of Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan nowadays.

During World War II Japanese troops occupied Thailand. On December 8, 1941 they first landed near the city of Prachuap Khiri Khan. After one day of battle the Thai troops resigned and had to allow Japan to use Thailand as a base for their war operations.

Administrative divisions

Map of Amphoe

The province is subdivided into 8 districts (Amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 48 communes or sub-districts (tambon) and 388 villages (muban).

  1. Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan
  2. Kui Buri
  3. Thap Sakae
  4. Bang Saphan
  5. Bang Saphan Noi
  6. Pran Buri
  1. Hua Hin
  2. Sam Roi Yot



Prachuap is located on Highway 4 (Phetkasem Road) which links the central region with the south.


The railway system in Prachuap Khiri Khan is located on the southern route from Bangkok. There are 5 major stations in Prachuap Khiri Khan - Hua Hin, Pran Buri, Muang, Bang Saphan Yai, Bang Saphan Noi stations.


Air-conditioned buses ply regularly to and from Bangkok. In Bangkok the buses leave from the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai). From the Kanchanburi Bus Terminal there are non air-conditioned buses to other districts and neighbouring provinces.

Songthaew (public passenger pick-up vehicles)

Songthaews are the most popular form of public transport in the provincial town and rural areas.


There is plenty of motor-bike service in the town especially around the market and Bus Terminal areas.

Airport There is an airport in Hua Hin district but it is only for private chartered flights.


Prachuap Khiri Khan City Pillar Shrine

Prachuap Khiri Khan City Pillar Shrine

Thailand’s royal family and especially former kings were the first to set this location on the map as the original seashore destination in Thailand. The long white sandy beaches themselves are clean and pretty, much more so than Pattaya’s, and the sea is relatively clean. Besides just sunbathing snorkeling and swimming, visitors can also enjoy golf, spas, caves, peaks, waterfalls, shops, seafood and nearby national parks. The town is warm and friendly making it pleasant for families and couples.

Prachuap Khiri Khan is in fact more of a holiday destination with the local Thais than foreigners with many floods of Bangkokians purchasing condominiums there.

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