Bangkok is to Thailand as New York City is to the United States. Vibrant and electric, both urban enclaves are known and celebrated for their perpetual energy and shoulder-to-shoulder lifestyles. But after a while, the pulsating hustle and bustle of city life can sap your sanity.
Head to Pranburi for the perfect beach break escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Especially in these times of social distancing, there’s no better place to retreat in Thailand.
Where Is Pranburi
A district in central Thailand, Pranburi — (Pran Buri) — is about a three-hour drive south of Bangkok. People associate Hua Hin and Pranburi because they’re both popular Bangkok getaways that sit about 22 kilometers apart.
Pranburi: The Basics
Pranburi is divided into three main sections: Pak Nam Pran, Historic Pranburi, and the Petchkasem Highway sector.
Pak Nam Pran, a traditional fishing village spoiled with extensive beachfront property, is where you’ll find parks and nature preserves. Over the years, luxury spas and resorts — a prize among them being Aleenta Hua Hin Resort.
Historic Pranburi sits in the district’s centre and is bisected by the Pranburi River. Traditional wooden homes dot the landscape, and a 200-year-old market with delectable street food, live music, and pop-up bars is the hot spot to be after sundown.
The Pranburi Scene: Who You’ll Find There
Affectionately called “The Riviera” by locals, Pranburi’s vibe is eclectic, spiritual, and luxurious, making it a favourite of artists, bohemians, and Thais, for a spell of rejuvenation and helping of high-end pampering.
Get Up and Out in Pranburi: A Social Distancing Sports Oasis
Yes, it’s possible to spend all your time in Pranburi lounging in facial masks while an accomplished masseuse expertly tends to your sore muscles, but it’s also a place for action enthusiasts.
Due to Pranburi’s geographic fortune, the area naturally lends itself to outdoor sports. As such, increasingly, younger folks are finding their way to Pranburi for a little fun in the sun. The region is teeming with small businesses offering cycling tours, spelunking, trail running, kite surfing and a host of other outdoor adventures.
Kiteboarding has become particularly popular in Hua Hin and Pranburi, and plenty of businesses cater to beginners. So if you’ve always wanted to try it, or maybe the kids are keen, why not give it a go now?
COVID-19 may have closed the doors of your gym back in Bangkok, but there’s still plenty of outdoor activities to get the heart pumping in Pranburi.
Take Advantage of the Natural Beauty in Pranburi
Generosity poured from Mother Nature on Pranburi’s creation day. A verdant countryside punctuated with bountiful rivers, breath-taking caves, and lush forests, Pranburi is a postcard-perfect backdrop for wellness activities and intense luxuriating. Plus, the area hotels and resorts go out of their way to accommodate guests with a yen for privacy.
Pak Nam Pran, also known as the Pranburi Estuary, is a name for the area between the area’s forest park and Pranburi Beach. It’s teeming with natural wonder — and plenty of space.
At the Pranburi River’s mouth, where the tributary unravels into the Gulf of Thailand, sits Pranburi Forest Park, a popular spot among locals and visitors alike. A park inside a park, It’s a unique mangrove conservation preserve that’s open to day hikers.
Wander along the raised wooden walkway that snakes through the nature preserve. The promenade was specially built to respect the surrounding fauna and flora, which means visitors are treated to mini-Thai-safari.
When your feet start to ache, find your way to the long-tail boat tour pavilion. A soothing cruise up the river is a super way to social distance and enjoy the surroundings.
People are never packed like sardines on Pranburi’s beaches, but plenty of beachside amenities make the experience downright decedent. Massages, sunbeds, horse rides, cocktails, and snacks are all readily available and adequately distanced.
The Soul of Pranburi and Hua Hin
Is your soul craving spiritual experiences? If so, in Pranburi, there are two places to go: Chao Mae Tuptim Thong Shrine and the Phraya Nakhon Cave. The former is a pre-Buddhist shrine, which is a bit outside of town. You’ll know you’ve arrived because of the crocodile statue that stands guard.
The mystical gold-and-green temple in Phraya Nakhon Cave is a tad tougher to reach. Located deep in the Khao Roi Yot National Park, you’ll first need to hop a boat to the cave path. Part two of the journey is a 430-meter hike up a set of slippery and uneven steps to reach the final destination.
But the trek is worth every effort. Because when you reach the gem — an intricate, glittering temple that sits on a majestic mound accented by a natural sun spotlight streaming down through a celestial opening — you’ll be thrilled you set aside time for the side trip.
Constructed in honour of King Chulalongkorn the Great, aka Rama V, in 1890, the structure looks like something built for a treasure-hunt movie. When you’ve taken pictures and marvelled at the once-in-a-lifetime sight, grab a meal at the restaurant at the foot of the cave’s steps.
Book Your Pranburi Beach Getaway
For the time being, COVID is here to stay, and social distancing is of paramount importance. As such, and all things considered, there’s no better time to escape Bangkok.
Whether you are travelling with the family or friends, there’s a place for you in Pranburi. Start making plans today. The tranquil beach air and uncrowded spaces will give you the boost you need to get through these stress-filled times.