Khao Tao is located 14-15 km south of Hua Hin in Thailand. Located in Prachuabkirikhan Province, nestled between mountains and fishing grounds, this village offers a perfect getaway for people tired of everyday life. Apart from that, numerous beaches, resorts and attractions in Khao Tao will make your trip to this place a worthwhile investment. Khao Tao means “turtle mountain” or “turtle hill.” It takes its name from the rocky outcrop.
The tranquil island of Khao Tao, located 243 kilometres from Bangkok, was the first reservoir in Thailand to be developed as a “Royal Project.” All this, therefore, ensures the importance of this place. The tranquil inland lake adds to the serenity of this town. In addition, the viewpoints from this place overlooking the Gulf of Thailand are something to be noticed on this trip.
Places to Visit in Khao Tao
Khao Tao seems like a small place to visit, but you can cover quite a few areas on this trip. Here is a list of places to visit when you are in Khao Tao:
Sai Yai Beach (sizeable sandy beach)
This beach is situated on the side of a hill between a rock structure and at the mouth of the Pranburi River. Access to this beach is via the Hua Hin-Khao Tao paved road or the Pranburi Paknampran ramp. However, this beach is deserted, and you will not find any restaurants or beach chairs. There is also the Pranburi Forest Park which can also be visited at this beach.
Suan Son Beach (Small sandy beach)
This is the other beach on the other side of the hill. The beach has now become a weekend gateway for locals and visitors known as the Maritime Pine Garden. Located 9km south of Hua Hin, it is considered one of the most popular beaches in the area. The Heereswohlfahrtsamt owns the beach, and you can visit it. Any time between 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and midnight.
You may not be interested in temples, but the view from the temple complex at Wat Tham Khao Tao overlooking the Gulf of Thailand is something you should visit the temple for. Here you will find temples and shrines that perfectly fusion Chinese and Thai influences. There are also small caves and niches housing statues of Buddha and Phra Mae Thoranee (Mother Earth). There are steps following these statues, and after you reach the top of the hill, remember to check out the view from here. The giant Buddha statue faces the sea, and this view is an excellent reward for your hard work to reach the top.
This palace is also known as Maruekatayawan Palace. Designed by His Majesty King Rama VI in 1923, this palace is a classic example of Thai architecture. It is said to be the longest golden teak palace in the world. Located just north of Hua Hin, the palace opens to the public from 08:00.
Khao Tao and Koh Tao:
Both names, Khao Tao and Koh Tao, are understandably confusing for visitors. Khao means hill or mountain, Ko (or Koh) means island, and Tao means turtle. Therefore, Khao Tao and Koh Tao are not the same places. Ko Tao is an island south of the Hua Hin region, closer to Koh Samui and part of the Chumphon Archipelago. This island is very popular with backpackers and divers.
Because of its fame, many visitors confuse Koh Tao and Khao Tao. Khao Tao is a small town that doesn’t offer many options to its visitors and is. Therefore more of a secluded place visited for a quiet time. So next time you want to visit one of these places, make sure you enter the correct names.