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Laem Son National Park Ranong Information Guide

Laem Son National Park Ranong Thailand

Laern Son ("Pine Cape") National Park, 50 km south of Ranong, encompasses over 100 km of coastline and almost two dozen islands inhabited by birds and monkeys and covered with tons of fluffy white sand. The shoreline is mainly dense mangrove swamps popular with crabeating macaques, interspersed with arching beaches backed by swaying casuarina trees. Laem Son, also called Bang Ben after the principal beach and fishing village, spreads across three districts, two in Ranong and one in Phangnga.

The park headquarters, visitors center, restaurant, bungalows, and campsites are located at Bang Ben beach, 12 km off the main highway at the end of a road that winds through a magnificent mangrove swamp.

The visitors center, open daily 0900-1700, provides maps, information on the park, and photos of the gorgeous islands to the west. A new pier is expected to soon provide the quickest passage to the Surin Islands.

Accommodations: As with most national parks in Thailand, camping is permitted any where among the trees for just B40. Park rangers rent tents for B80. Bungalows that sleep 5-15 visitors cost $15-30. Visitors are also permitted to stay in unreserved cabins for $5 per person.

Komain Villa: A few hundred meters south of park headquarters is a private guesthouse owned by a pair of schoolteachers. Komain has six clean rooms for $5-10, a small cafe in the living room, and chess sets and pool tables for evening entertainment.

The food in the park cafe is reasonably priced if somewhat monotonous. Bring extra snacks and a few bottles of Mekong.

Transportation: To reach Bang Ben from Ranong, take any bus or songtaoto the turnoff 50 km south of Ranong.

Motorcycle taxis from the highway to the beach cost $2 and take you past mangrove swamps and wooden racks used to raise oysters in the brackish waters. Hitching is possible, though the lack of traffic makes this a risky proposition on weekdays.

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