Khanom- The land of the pink dolphins

Khanom is a super cute and fun beach town in the south of Thailand and is a part of the Nakhon Si Thammart District. For me it is a perfect weekend getaway – not that a getaway is really needed when you live on a tropical island, but I love to see new things.

Khanom’s beaches are beautiful and seem to stretch on and on with no end. The best part about them is that they are not overrun with people. In fact, one weekend when I was in Khanom I’m pretty sure I saw more cows on the beaches than I saw people. You can see one of the cows and I getting to know each other in the photo below.

Cow selfie Khanom beach

The beaches have clear blue water, clear blue skies, and give you absolutely no blue feelings, it’s all wonderful there. Khanom is a place that I’ve actually visited a few times just to get away and have some peace and quiet. If you are looking for a relaxed, quiet yet fun, and beachy place, this is a top destination for the south of Thailand.

My Hotel recommendation

Finding a place to stay while you’re there couldn’t possibly be any easier as they’ve got countless bungalows, guest houses, apartments, and resorts everywhere. I would recommend going somewhere along the beach as you’ll be in walking distance of paradise. On my visits I’ve stayed at Dolphin House which is a cute little apartment style hotel just opposite the beach. Dolphin House was a completely random choice but ended being a good one as the room was comfortable, clean,  safe, and had a great sunset view. The owner of Dolphin House is also fantastic and will literally give you the shoes off his feet if you ask (don’t ask). The rates are super cheap at only 500 baht per night (not in peak season) and for me even cheaper as I shared the room with two friends. Don’t be afraid to share a room, just make sure everyone fits in the bed before making that commitment.

Not a whole lot of time was actually spent  hanging out at Dolphin house as we wanted to get out and experience what Khanom had to offer but the nights there comfortable and enjoyable.

Speaking of getting to know what Khanom has to offer, I recommend renting a motorbike while you are there and just driving around the city. It is bigger than you would think at first but not so big that you’ll get lost and you can find so many cool little places and things to see if you just explore. For me as a traveler, getting out, driving around, and exploring is often the time that I have most magical experiences. Those experiences are what keep me traveling.

Dolphins

Potentially the main attraction for tourists in Khanom is the pink dolphins.  Khanom is a famous dolphin watching spot and it is known especially for being home to many pink dolphins. The first time I saw Dolphins (grey dolphins) was in Thailand while I was waiting for a ferry and my mind was blown, I could not believe my eyes, I was almost moved to tears. That may be a little dramatic but members of my family have been known to cry over the majestic beauty of sea creatures so I guess I inherited that quality. Anyway, I thought that the grey dolphins were pretty much the highlight of life until I had the chance to see the pink Dolphins on one of my visits to Khanom. Guys, trust me, they really are fantastic.

It’s super easy to arrange for this to happen, just ask pretty much any hotel employee and they will let you know what to do. Keep in mind that has to be done very early in the morning as that is the prime time for dolphin activity. You’ll arrange a tour on a small long tail boat with a group of people (either people you know or random people that happen to join at the same time as you) and you’ll take the boat out to “the” spot. You get the chance to try and feed the dolphins in an attempt to draw them closer to your boat so you can snap hundreds of pictures of them, or in my case just cry tears of joy upon the mere sight of them.

On the dolphin viewing trip you sit out in the boat for an unspecified amount of time, typically about an hour or so, or however long it takes to get the dolphins to show up. Depending on your tour guide you may stop at a mysterious temple on the way back to your taking off point, or you may just head straight back after you’ve had your dolphin fill. Either way, the trip is fantastic and worth the money. When I went on the trip the cost was 1,000 baht per boat and our particular boat had 5 people in it so the cost was extremely low.

The really amazing part about seeing the dolphins is that no harm is done to them, no one is forcing them to show up, they are not trapped in by any means, they are just in their natural habitat. We may be cramping their style a bit by showing up to their turf and taking selfies with them, but we mean them no harm. It seems rare to find a place in Thailand that is like when it comes to animals so this is a wonderful experience to have. I know a lot of people may have their opinions on animals when it comes to tourism and I have to say I probably agree with pretty much all of the reasoning against it, however this particular activity is relatively harmless. However, I do not and will not recommend any tourism that has to do with animals in captivity.

We managed to snap a few photos of the dolphins peeking out of the water but I could not pull it together in time to capture a photo one of the illustrious pink dolphins unfortunately.

Dolphins Khanom3 Khanom boat

The Night Market 

Khanom also has a fantastic night market with every type of Thai food you’d possibly want to try, every key chain and trinket you can imagine, and clothes and clothes and clothes.  You’ll have to make sure to get there before the weekend as the market in only open on Friday nights but is definitely worth it! The night market is easy to and find is located about 4km east of the city center. Ask any of the smiley locals to direct you, and you’ll take one road straight all the way there. The market is a great Friday night out for shopping or for just relaxing and enjoying some food and drinks as my friends and I did. Nothing there will break the bank, with most of the food going for 50 baht or less and most of the clothes around 100 baht or less. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

I recommend Khanom as a really great place to check out while you are in Thailand if you happen to make it south it is worth checking out and i’m willing to bet you’ll want to visit more than once! Khanom night market

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