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Ranong Information Guide

Ranong Thailand

Ranong (pop. 21,000) is the provincial capital and an important trading center for Thai and Burmese merchants.

Ranong was established in the late 18th century by emigrants from Hokkien, China, who discovered tin and named their mining camp rae (tin) nong (rich). The "tin rich" town was soon populated by hundreds of Chinese who arrived to work the tin mines and create the prosperity that still forms the basis of wealth in the region. Today, most of the population is of Chinese descent; many of the older homes reflect the architectural traditions of 18th-century China. Ranong is rather ordinary, though it provides a convenient stopping point for those traveling from Bangkok to Phuket. It also serves as a convenient launching point for visits to nearby rainforests, national parks, and Surin Islands National Park. The region has several hot springs and waterfalls, though nearby beaches tend to be muddy flats or thick mangrove swamps flooded by the heavy rains.

Ranong receives the heaviest rainfaH in Thailand—up to 5,000 mm per year—so count yourself lucky if you enjoy more than a few hours of sunlight each day. So heavy are the torrential downpours that local wags have dubbed the town "Rain On."

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