For those who have arrived in Surat Thani and who are looking to fill up a day or two in a relaxing fashion then the effort, time and money involved in getting to the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao might put them off. The solution is Sichon. It is a beautiful coastal region of Thailand just an hour’s drive from Surat Thani.
Destinations Off The Beaten Track
As Thailand becomes more and more of a popular tourist destination it is remarkable how few visitors manage to explore off the beaten track. As places like Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, Koh Chang, Krabi, Khao Lak, Chiang Mai and Pai get more developed and increase their capacities for guests it seems the smaller, less known places just get squeezed out.
Thai and foreign regulars to Sichon like it this way. Sichon is the name of a district in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province.
Travel to Sichon
Travel services to and from Sichon Town are frequent but local public transport is non-existent:
- Drive Yourself to Sichon: The quickest way to get to the beaches in Sichon is to drive yourself there via 401 highway which is the main North to South Road in Thailand. The coastal roads are not all connected and it is not possible to travel all the way to Sichon from Surat Thani by going along smaller coastal roads.
- Local Minivans to Sichon: It is easier to reach Sichon by public transport from Nakhon Sri Thammarat than from Surat Thani city.
- Minivans depart from Nakhon Sri Thammarat Bus Terminal to Sichon approximately every 45 minutes from 07.00 to 18.00.
- From Surat Thani’s Talad Kaset 2 Bus Station bus station there are no direct minivan or bus services to Sichon. You can however get a minivan to Khanom and then take local transport to Sichon from there: the arrival point in Khanom Town is 33.5 km from Sichon. The other alternative is to get a minivan to Nakhon Sri Thammarat and then travel back Northwards some 71.7 km – the minivan route to Nakhon Sri Thammarat does not pass by Sichon.
- Local Transport: The minivan stop in Sichon Town is 3.6 km from Sichon Beach. There are formal local taxi or public bus or minivan services. There are two ways to get around locally if you do not have your own transport:
- Rent an automatic motorbike in Sichon Town for 200 to 250 THB a day and drive yourself; this is the cheapest option.
- Arrange transport though your resort. Most resorts will arrange to pick you up from Sichon Town and many will arrange informal taxi services. Expect to pay 500 to 700 THB for an informal taxi from your resort in Sichon direct to one of the Donsak Ferry Piers.
Location of Sichon Beach
Two Beaches in Sichon
The beaches themselves are white sand and fringed with palms and trees that offer plenty of shade. The scenery is very similar to the beaches found in the Samui Archipelago. The biggest difference is that they are empty, except for the weekend when a largely local crowd descend onto Sichon Beach for a day out and to eat at the beach front restaurant.
Sichon Beach is the most popular beach in Sichon province. The beach is less than a kilometre long but features three beach front restaurants and a handful of resorts either on the beach or very close by. During the week the beach is virtually empty except for a few local youngsters going swimming and a handful of people staying at Sichon Beach for the night to break up the journey from the South of Thailand up to Bangkok or vice versa. Sichon is on the main road route from the deep South going North.
At the weekend the beach changes completely. Sichon Beach is regarded as the best beach in the Nakhon Si Thammarat area and many Thai people come here for a day out and to visit the restaurant. If the weather is good it gets packed.
Hin Ngam Beach
Hin Ngam beach is a real contrast to Sichon beach. The walk between the two beach is short: its 950 metres to the South. However, the atmosphere and scenery is completely different.
Hin Ngam beach never gets busy. The only people you tend to see there are fishermen and there are no beach front restaurants. What there is though is a long pristine beach with fantastic views to headland. If a deserted peaceful beach is what you are after then Hin Ngam beach is the place to go. For accommodation on Hin Ngam beach try the excellent Sea Stone Hotel.
Restaurants in Sichon
There are two recommended restaurants to try in Sichon. The best of which is the restaurant at the Prasarnsook Villa Beach Resort which is located on Sichon Beach. The restaurant overlooks the beach and serves a Thai menu which featuring an extensive range of seafood dishes.
For cheaper more causal dining also try Lae Lay Restaurant which is a short walk from Sichon beach overlooking Sichon port. Lae Lay Restaurant is a well presented small family run restaurant serving inexpensive Thai food.
Hotels in Sichon
Despite the lack of foreign visitors to Sichon you can find some good quality accommodation near the beach with staff that will have a smattering of English. Here are a few hotel options for Sichon:
Prasarnsook Villa Beach Resort
This is a 3 star beach front hotel with spacious and comfortable rooms. It is located right on the smaller and more popular Sichon Beach. Prasarnsook Villa Beach Resort is a mid-sized hotel with swimming pool, restaurant, family room and room service. Free wifi. Prices start at 1,699 Thai Baht a night.
- Address: 625/4 Hin Ngam Beach, Sichon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand 80120
- Location Map of the Prasarnook Villa Beach Resort:
Jai Dee Resort
Jai Dee Resort is a small resort located on Hin Ngam beach. It has 9 comfortable bungalows with bathroom and air-con. The resort also has a small pool and a restaurant. Free wifi. Prices start at 1,359 Thai Baht a night.
- Address: 85 Moo 7 Tungplang, Sichon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
- Location Map of the Jai Dee Resort:
Sea Stone Hotel
Sea Stone Hotel is located on top of a rocky outcrop on Hin Ngam beach, a pleasant 14 minute walk from Sichon beach. It is an excellent hotel with the highest star rating of any of the Sichon hotels. Hotel facilities include restaurant, swimming pool, free WiFi. Prices start at 1,700 Thai Baht a night.
- Address: 327/55 Moo 3, Sichon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, 80120 Sichon, Thailand
- Location Map of Sea Stone Hotel: