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Ranong is one of the South Western provinces of Thailand, 569 km from Bangkok. On the coast of the Andaman Sea, it is the least populated province. It’ neighbours are Chumphon, Surat Thani and Phang Nga. To the west it also borders Kawthaung, Tanintharyi and Myanmar (formerly Burma).


Ranong is on the West Side of the Phuket mountain range and has a long coastline. It is also known as the province with the longest rainy season, lasting some eight months of the year. Eighty percent of Ranong is covered by forests and almost two thirds is mountainous. This was a major tin mining area many years ago, but most mines are now exhausted of tin. The main industries now are white clay mining, for making porcelain, fishing, rubber and cashew nut farming.


There is limited tourist activity in Ranong, so you get to see the real Thailand here. Ranong has various natural attractions and is blessed with hot springs and unspoilt mangrove forests.


Ranong inherits a large influence of Chinese culture, with several Chinese temples and areas. It also host many religious festivals. Ranong is truly multi-cultural as you will also find many Mosques here too, and a very large Myanmar community.  


Around Ranong there are many waterfalls, Hot springs and at one Temple we visited feeding the fish in the Temple lake was an experience I will never forget. There were tens of thousands of huge fish of various varieties. You could buy large food pellets to throw to them for a few bahts a bucket, and when you threw some into the water thousands of the fish would clamber to get it, some jumping high out of the water.


While here you can take a trip to Myanmar which  is a short thirty minute trip by long tail boat. Locals pay 50 Baht per one way trip and the voyage allows foreigners a new 15 day visa for Thailand. Boats will take you to Kaw Thaung (named Koh Song in Thai, and formerly known as Victoria Point), but travelers are unable to penetrate further into Burma from here. The water forms a natural cultural barrier as Kaw Thaung, a large island, is quite different from Ranong, Thailand.

There are two casinos here. Mainly patronized by Thai and Chinese businessmen, and staffed by Philipinos, The Andaman Club and Treasure Island casinos are also accessible through the piers in Ranong.

Ranong

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The Hot Springs at Ranong

The water at Ranong Hot Springs comes out of the ground at 65° C, and is piped to pools where you can dip your limbs into (if you can stand the heat!). The water is also piped around the concrete floor of a roofed area, where you can lay on the concrete to heat your body.

This is alleged to have healing powers, for such ailments as arthritis and other problems. The areas here are free to use.

Close by the springs you can get a Thai massage, food, drink and souvenirs.  
Lung Steeb
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