Khanom is the ultimate destination for relaxation. This quiet, beachside town is located in the Nakhon Si Thammarat province on the Gulf of Thailand. Its enticing neighbors, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, lure the crowds and tourists away from this sleepy coastal area, making it the perfect place to unwind.
Visitors of Khanom will find themselves surrounded by local fishermen as opposed to the usual swarm of longtail boats catered to bikini-clad tourists. The beaches are secluded and tranquil, with ample room along the coast to lounge and sunbathe in Thailand’s tropical climate. Some of the best beaches found in Khanom include Ao Thong Yee, Nai Phlao Beach, and Nadan Beach, which is one of the longest beaches in Thailand, coming in at about nine-kilometers long!
Those travelers who need more than a beach to satisfy their vacation needs will be pleased to know that Khanom has many natural phenomena that you can explore. Filled with stalagmites is the Khao Wang Thong Cave. Made up of limestone mixed with iron ore, you can weave in and out of its many large openings and crawlspaces, though there are guides there to take you through it. In addition to this cave, there are a few waterfalls worth checking out. Samet Chun Waterfall is the most visited and popular. however, Hin Lat and Tha Noi are also beautiful freshwater falls offering visitors a relaxing way to escape Thailand’s heat.
Visitors looking for a party should hop on the next boat and head to surrounding islands, as Khanom keeps up a reputable, quiet, local atmosphere. Even during high season when the majority of tourists make their way to the Land of Smiles, Khanom remains quiet, with only a handful of both foreign and Thai tourists renting out the few beachside bungalows found there. There’s no public transportation, so even the well-paved roads remain quiet in comparison to other areas of Thailand that can be packed with motorbikes. Khanom doesn’t have tuk-tuks or taxis either, and the only way to get around is on foot or by renting a motorbike, scooter or car.
Khanom is a peaceful place. There nightlife is limited to a few beach bars found along its bare coasts. There’s essentially no shopping available here, either, and those hoping for a thriving scene and wanting to be in the action should go elsewhere. What it lacks in modernity though it makes up for with history. There are a number of temples and historic ruins found in Khanom, including the Coral Pagoda that sits in Khao That, otherwise known as Por Thao Khao That. The temple is 1,000 years old and is revered as a sacred area that’s used as a place to pay homage. Other temples found in Khanom include Wat Chan Thattaram and Wat Tha Noi Khunaram.
Just after dawn, be on the lookout for the pink dolphins that are often seen gracing the shores of this sleepy area in Thailand. Be aware that these animals can be shy, and while spotting them is certainly not a rare occurrence, do not expect these animals to be jumping onto the deck of the tour boat. The pink dolphins, or the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins to give them their proper name, are threatened by nets used for fishing in Khanom and coastal degeneration caused by humans. It is important for visitors to be mindful when visiting this area, as many estimate that these dolphins will not last long if conservation efforts are not made.