Take the pure of nature
Visit Ngao National Park
Just a short drive from the heart of Ranong Town, Ngao National Park is most famous for its large waterfall that spreads across the grey craggy rock face. You can admire the falls from afar or follow a well-marked trail to get to the base of the cascades. There are lookout points that provide sweeping vistas across the surroundings, and you’ll spot an array of local flora and fauna.
Luxuriate at Ranong Hot Springs
In the heart of town, the mineral-rich Ranong Hot Springs are said to be among the most healing hot springs on the planet. Open until fairly late in the evening, there are communal hot springs that can be enjoyed for free. They often get crowded in the evenings, so you may want to consider paying the small entrance fee for the private springs fenced off next to the public baths. Steam rises into the air and there are both hot and cold pools, with the water temperature reaching as high as 40-42 degrees Centigrade.
Take a trip to Koh Phayam
One of the most popular islands off the coast of Ranong, Koh Phayam is connected to the mainland by regular ferry and speedboat services. Rural and rustic, the way of life on the island is pretty olde worlde. There are no mass developments, letting the island retain an idyllic charm that has now been lost on many of Thailand’s more touristic islands. There are enough facilities and amenities to be comfortable, though, with a number of basic guest houses, restaurants, and chilled-out bars. There’s no public transportation on the island—many visitors opt to rent a scooter to explore the narrow paths. Alternatively, you can hitch a ride with a tractor or catch a motorbike taxi. Secluded white-sand beaches, mangroves, and nature are the island’s main draws, and you may spot majestic hornbills in the trees.
Soak up culture at Rattanarangsan Palace
Ranong’s Rattanarangsan Palace is perched atop a small hill in the town centre. It is a beautiful replica of an older throne hall that once stood at the same spot. Built in 2015, the elegant wooden building shows how Siamese royalty of old once lived. Open to the public as a museum, it features reconstructions of bedrooms and recreational areas, a main hall, and information boards.
Explore Ranong’s rural areas
Ranong is a great place to observe traditional Thai agricultural life and roam through the countryside and mountains. Chickens peck in the dirt around rickety wooden and tin homes, while dogs wait to protect their lands from intruders. Wet laundry hangs outside, women cook over gas burners outdoors, and kids gaily play. People can be seen working in the fields and you might spot trucks loaded with coconuts and working monkeys.