Hat Chao Samran - Phetchaburi

The 4-km-long stretch of Hat Chao Samran, located about 15 km from the provincial capital, is popular for its beauty and solitude, with only a few small shops and residents.

The beach is known from the Ayutthaya period, when legend has it that King Naresuan the Great and his younger brother Eka Thotsarot visited the spot. They were so fond of the beauty of the area that they spent several days there, prompting villagers to name the beach 'Hat Chao Samran' or 'Beach to Please Kings'.

During the reign of King Rama VI, in 1918, a beach palace was built at Tambon Bangtalu, called 'Kai Luang Bangtalu', later changed to 'Kai Luang Chao Samran', that the king visited to recuperate from rheumatism. Later, King Rama VI spent several private holidays here before moving to Phra Ratchaniwet Marukataiyawan with its better supply of fresh water. Today, no traces of the beach palace remain.

To get to Hat Chao Samran by car leave the main town by Ratchadamri Road, then turn left at Route No 3177. On the way you will see the Phetchaburi Ratchaphat Institute and the local police station on your left. Go straight ahead at the intersection to access the beach.

Songthaew (mini-van) services leave the station at Krung Thai Bank and Wat Tor Temple near the clock tower every 15 minutes, from 7.30 am to 6.15 pm and from 6.30 am to 4.00 pm for the return trip. The trip takes around 30 minutes and costs about 10 baht per person or approximately 200 to 300 baht for charter.

Before Hat Chao Samran, the white sandy cape at Laem Luang is worth a stop-off. Located at Laem Phuk Bia sub-district, the cape juts out 2 km into the sea. It is an ideal spot for viewing both sunrise and sunset. Watch out for Laem Luang on the left hand side, just before Hat Chao Samran.

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