Shuttling Around Chumphon – Day 1…

…What’s A Chumphon?

Of course, if you’re Thai, or live in Thailand, you know it’s a province. In fact, travelling southwards, it’s the first province in Southern Thailand. For me, it’s to the north, and involves going through Surat Thani province. And if you’re not familiar with it, you maybe don’t know it’s pronounced something like Shumporn. Hence the shuttling around.

For me, to the middle of the province is a four-hour drive. I decided a one-day trip was not practical, and having planned the places I wanted to visit, I settled on two – with an option to extend if necessary – i.e. I packed extra shirts and underwear. And green-colored cans!

As it turned out, I cut the trip short, and was back home mid-afternoon on Day 2. Not because I didn’t like the place, but because I didn’t like the weather. I think it was sunny with some cloud, but I’m not sure. For some reason a heavy smoky haze descended on the province, and visibility was poor.

It was made worse by the fact every road in the province seemed to be under construction. Highways, main roads, side roads, one-lane roads. All being rebuilt. I seemed to spend hours in second gear travelling at 20kph and sending clouds of dust into the air. One day it’ll be a nice place to drive!

travel, thailand, chumphon

My main reason for going was to get lots of aerial photos, while visiting some picturesque spots. In my trip notes, my first intended flying and photographing location said something like “Park near beach. Fly out to small island to get beach pix on both sides.” I parked. I stepped out of the car. I looked out to sea, and said to myself “What island?” It wasn’t visible. In fact, I couldn’t see the difference between sea and sky. It was all a murky gray color.

This required some re-planning, because there was little point in visiting places that needed long beach scenes, or shots from the many hillside viewpoints. I concentrated on aerial shots of buildings, which were at least visible, if smoky.

My first stop was unplanned. Ms. Chuckles had taken me on one of her Mystery Tours while heading from the main highway to the beaches. Crossing a river bridge, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye, and turned into the nearest empty piece of land to investigate. Well, it didn’t look too interesting at ground level, so I sent up a drone to investigate…

travel, thailand, chumphon

It’s Wat Bonphot Phisai in Lang Suan District. And on the opposite bank from the wat, next to where I’d parked, about twenty men were enthusiastically loading tons of ice into fishing boats. The idea of going out to sea for a few months would fill me with dread, but for them it seemed to be the best thing that had happened in a long time…

travel, thailand, chumphon

Luckily no one complained that I’d parked in their loading area.

Next; it was time for a place that was on my list. Prince Chumphon Veterans Memorial. As usual, no info available. It’s a memorial, on the side of a hill, next to the sea. See?…

travel, thailand, chumphon

travel, thailand, chumphon

In the top picture you can sort-of see islands, so I flew (a drone of course) out to the closest, Ko Sup, to take a top-down look…

travel, thailand, chumphon

…and then the other way down the beach to look at Tha Hin fishing village…

travel, thailand, chumphon

Then it was a short drive to Ban Thong Tom Yai. First to investigate their seahorse statue – which looks a lot larger in photos than real life…

travel, thailand, chumphon

…and then the jetty and village…

travel, thailand, chumphon

travel, thailand, chumphon

Nice place. Picturesque.

To get further up the coast, I had to return to the North-South highway 41. Just off the highway in a place called Sawi, is Wat Phra Borommathat Sawi…

travel, thailand, chumphon

travel, thailand, chumphon

Back on the highway I spotted something else that was not on my “To See” list. High on a hill I could just see the top of a Budhha statue. I stopped. I saw what looked like 500 steps. So, I carefully reversed about twenty meters and parked in a field. Drones can be so useful when you don’t feel energetic, and really don’t have the time to climb all that way to see one statue…

travel, thailand, chumphon

This is the only time on the trip when I thought the hazy air was advantageous. If the mountains in the background had been super-clear, the statue would have lost its mysterious look. Anyways, back to the beaches…

travel, thailand, chumphon

As you can see from the shadows it was getting quite late in the day. It’s Sairee Beach. I had originally planned to spend the night there, but by the time I tried to book, my chosen hotel was full. No, I hadn’t procrastinated. I tend to look at the weather forecast, and if good, I just decide – I’ll go tomorrow.

Anyways, I was taking some aerial photos having visited Krom Luang Chumphon Khet Udomsak Shrine. Try saying that ten times quickly. One time?

travel, thailand, chumphon

travel, thailand, chumphon

The shrine itself was far too busy to take off and land safely, so I ended up a few hundred meters down the beach, and flew back. It was nice that someone had installed this landing pad for me, right next to the beach…

travel, thailand, chumphon

wwiAnd then, with the time rapidly approaching Beer o’Clock, it was off to find my second choice of hotel.

Paul

...has been travelling the world for more than sixty years; having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to many many more.

He likes to write about his travels - present and past - along with his other main interests of Drones, Information Technology and Motorsport, and he adds a few general twitterings along the way.

He is currently General Manager of CMY Media in Thailand specializing in drone training plus aerial videos and photography.


You can find CMY Media on Instagram. And you can follow Paul on Facebook.

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