Ao Manao Bay About an hour drive south of Hua Hin, the royal holiday town, lays one of the most beautiful bays in Thailand, Ao Manao Bay. This amazingly pretty natural jewel hides many more tourists attractions, apart from those offered to almost every tourist visiting Thailand. The reason for that is pretty simple – Ao Manao Bay is located half way between Bangkok and the south and most tourists do this distance by flight, so they end up missing this wonderful area.
An article about the town of Prachuap Khiri Khan will be published on this site shortly, but as Ao Manao Bay is such a beautiful area with great tourist attractions, I decided to dedicate this article to it.
As you can see in the picture, there are two magnificent bays separated by a small piece of land. The northern bay is called Khlongwan. This is where you’ll find a small village with many resorts which is very popular among the local Thai people. The southern bay is called Ao Manao Bay and this is the bay I will write about.
The area is part of the Thai air force base, (5th Wing), so it is very clean and kept in perfect order. Tourists and civilians entrance is permitted and some of the Thai air force soldiers operate for the visitors’ benefit restaurants and many tourist attractions such as archery range, ATV’s, etc., for subsidized prices, much lower than anywhere else in Thailand.
The southern bay, Ao Manao Bay, offers a wonderful wide beach with clear blue waters and soft white sand, beach chairs and parasols and across the road there are many of restaurants and plenty of activities such as Kayaks, ATV’s, archery range, small safari, etc., there is a golf club in the area and a shooting range and some guest houses for soldiers as well as for civilians and tourists.
This is the place to mention that Ao Manao Bay is important from the historic point of view too. During World War II, on December 8th, 1941 the Japanese invaded Thailand on this bay. The Thai air force fought the Japanese fiercely but received an order from the Thai government to stop fighting. There is a small museum there in memory of the many soldiers who lost their life in that battle.
Apart from the magnificent bay and wonderful beach, Ao Manao Bay is also famous for a special specie of monkeys – the Dusky Leaf Langur. As this specie is on the brink of extinction it is under the protection of the Thai government and the air force personnel take good care of it.
The Dusky Leaf Langur is known not only for its beauty but also for its behavior – other monkeys in Thailand can sometimes be aggressive but these monkeys are shy and will not harm anyone. The Langur monkeys likes everyone, even little children and it is safe to go near them.
The monkeys can be seen at the foot of Lom Muak mountain, at the tip of the land separating both bays. They live on the trees at the foot of the mountain and eat leaf, flowers and fruit. Up to 6 month of age their fur is reddish as can be seen in the picture.
It is better to visit the Langur monkeys during the morning hours when they are most alert and active so they can be easily tempted to come down from the trees by pieces of Mango which can be purchased locally. The monkeys prefer to take a nap during the afternoon hours and I doubt you can tempt them to get off the trees and join you at that time.
The Langur monkeys are a great adventure – if you are in the area – do not miss them!!
Another interesting attraction in the area is the Waghor Aquarium. A few minute drive from Ao Manao Bay you will find a science park in memory of king Rama 4, (King Mongkut), who loved science and astronomy. King Rama 4 has precisely predicted a solar eclipse on August 18, 1868 and came to this area to watch the phenomenon.
In memory of King Rama 4, a large science park has been built. The park includes a few attractions, the most known of them is the big aquarium which resembles Bangkok’s “Water World”. This is quite a large and impressive aquarium and it is certainly worth a visit.
Please Note: Ao Manao bay, including watching the Langur monkeys is included in “TipTop Travel” Family Adventure Hua Hin area tour program and in the ultimate Thailand experience, “TipTop Travel” Thailand Private Family Adventure Tour (Coast to Coast) .
As usual, here is a video I prepared for you about the area – Enjoy!!
Thailand-Expert : Thailand Travel Guide
“TipTop Travel” : Thailand Private Family Adventure Tours