It is believed that Chaiya is one of the oldest cities in Thailand. Scholars believe that Chaiya used to be the capital of Thailand during the Srivijaya Empire meaning that Chaiya possibly dates back to the 5th Century.
Wat Borommathat is the main temple of Chaiya and the main Chedi (the white and gold building) houses ancient relics from Buddha himself. It is a very holy site and many Thais flock to Wat Borommathat to make merit. It is a peaceful temple with many different statues and chambers. Photographers are welcome.
What do to in Chaiya.
Chaiya has a surprising amount of attractions for a small town. Many Thai tourists flock to Chaiya to see the unique temples and visit the Phum Riang silk mills. If you are staying at the Pradit Homestay, Sarah and Ka can arrange guided tours to all the attractions. We do ask for a small donation towards diesel costs. Most of the attractions are reachable by motorbike. If you would like any more information about any of the places mentioned, please don't hesitate to contact us. You will find a map of Chaiya and the attractions at the bottom of this page.
Suan Mokkh was set up by the revered monk Ajarn Buddhadasa. He wanted a place where original, humble Buddhism could prosper. The temple is situated in a beautiful rainforest setting and includes the meditation hall which contains different artworks depicting interpretations of original Buddhism and other religions. It is the home of the Suan Mokkh International Dharmma meditation retreat, information found here.
Phum Riang Silk Mills and Fishing Village
Drive about 5 kilometers away from Chaiya towards the coast and you will find Phum Riang. Largely a Muslim community, Phum Riang is a main supplier of Thai silk. The silk is hand woven and usually, the mills are open for people to observe the weaving process. There are also shops selling silk and other unique clothing and souvenirs.
PhumRiang also has a traditional fishing village to visit.
The Natural Hot Springs
Not far from Suan Mokkh sits the Chaiya Natural Hot Springs. Fed by sea water and heated by a natural vent from below the Earth's crust, The Natural Hot Springs offer a relaxing place to wash away any stress or aches and pains. The Thais believe it has healing powers for the body and that the mud is good for the skin. And the best bit... it is completely free.
Laem Sai Swimming Beach
Following the coast road from Laem Pho, you will come across Laem Sai- a stretch of mostly untouched beach, with the occasional restaurant or resort along the way. It is a safe place to swim and much quieter than Laem Pho for people seeking privacy.
Laem Pho Beach and Market
Next to Phum Riang is the Laem Pho beach. A favorite spot for Thai families to swim and enjoy a picnic- mainly for the fresh seafood and well cared for park. There is Tandem cycle rental and on Saturdays there is an amazing meeting market selling everything from clothes to fresh seafood. The park has a playground for children and on occasions, a banana boat.
Other places of interest
The attractions above are all within the Chaiya district so they are all reachable by motorbike. The following attractions are all in Suratthani province and you can get to them by public transport or by emailing Pradit Homestay to arrange transportation.