Ban Krut Beach
High up on an emerald mountain, a gold and silver temple sparkles in the setting sun. A huge golden Buddha gazing out to sea implies a serenity that awaits those who would walk the golden sands below. This is Thongchai / Ban Krud, a simple and peaceful village on the Gulf of Thailand about 390 km south of Bangkok.
Water is clean and coconut plantations line the shore as far as the eye can see. Tall and slender palms seem to beckon the traveler with a simple and natural elegance.
Recently, Ban Krud, and all of Tumbon Thongchai, has started resembling a "Riviera". A gaggle of beach resorts range from reasonable to pricey. The area is quiet and the beaches are clean and fine for swimming since an offshore sand ridge prevents rip tides.
Resorts along Klang Bay are across the road from the beach. Most have tables and chairs beach-side. Each of the resorts is primarily self contained. Some have restaurants and entertainment. Many of the resorts cater to Thais, but some seem to be set up for Europeans on long holidays who want to stay in one spot.
Maha Chedi Pakdeeprakas
Astoundingly beautiful and serene, this Wat with nine golden spires on three levels houses a relic of the Buddha. It is a must-visit. Your long trudge up the his is rewarded with beautiful murals and un unsurpassed view of the sea, coconut plantations and white curved beaches stretching for kilometers.
Phra Buddha Kitti Sirichai is a the 14 mt tall Buddha statue in the posture of meditation, built in honor of H. M. Queen Sirikit stands at the base of the steps leading up to the temple.
Outstanding views of the beach and countryside to the south can be viewed from some of the buildings below the Buddha image.Seafood lovers should not miss having a meal or three at
Noo's Restaurant near the three-way intersection. And lovers of sweets should not miss Noo's mango flavored chocolate cake with gooey icing -- from their own bakery.
Activities in the area vary from idling on the beach to boat trips, snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing. Motorbikes and bicycles can be rented for local transportation. The local roads are in excellent condition.
Great views from atop the hill where beautiful Wat Thongchai stands. The area has numerous caves and waterfalls if you get tired of the beach. Reading one resort's brochure reveals the availability of "jungle tours" as well as a "top secret trip".
Notes and Caveats Most resorts include American breakfast for each person. Some add a surcharge for extra persons and extra beds. Some of the rates above are promotions and may be changed seasonally. Most resorts charge a premium for holidays. Some prices are lower for weekdays. Many rates can be reduced thru negotiation.
Getting to Ban Krut
Car Take Phetkasem Road (route 4) south. Watch for a PTT gas station and a tourist information sign referencing Ban Krud. Turn left for about 10 km and you will see numerous pointers for resorts.
Bus Buses leave the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok approximately every half hour. Buy a ticket for Ban Krud, Bangsapan. At the drop-off point, take a motorcycle taxi or telephone the resort for arranged transportation. Some buses go into Ban Krut and drop off passengers near the market.
Train From Bangkok Central Station (Hualumpong) to Ban Krud Station, then a 1.5 km motorcycle taxi ride or resort transport.
More info at Ban-Krut.com