Exploring Chumphon – Royal Shrines and Fancy Loos

Chumphon is located on the Isthmus of Kra, the narrow landbridge connecting the Malay Peninsula with the mainland of Thailand. It might be small, but Chumphon is packed with surprises. One of the main attractions in town is this popular Shrine.
Dedicated to the Admiral prince, whose full name is the lengthy Phra Borom-Mawong Thoe Krom-luang Chumphon Khet Udomsak, the Shrine is shaped like a ship itself and decorated with an interesting array of marine memorabilia.
The site is visited every day by navy crews and fishermen as well as those with family members at sea. Similar Shrines can be found in most coastal locations around Thailand. After an offering is made, if luck is visited on the worshiper, then it’s customary to fire off a pistol or several firecrackers.
There is also a museum on site with exhibits focusing on the admiral’s biography and items he used throughout his life — along with a few larger treasures.
You can climb over the torpedo-ship Royal Chumphon for as long as you like.
My next stop was somewhat bizarre. Nai Dam Garden is a popular spot for coffee in Chumpon and the ideal place to take a toilet break. That is because there is nothing but toilets here, of every size and variety. The creators, Pongsak Ching-su-wan-rot and his father, Nai Dam, originally built one of Chumphon’s best toilets to serve the needs of visitors who came to see their successful fruit plantation. A year later, the toilet was named the country’s best. Flushed with success, Pongsak was inspired to build more creative loos and this is the result. The coffee shop here takes the theme to a whole new level. There are souvenirs shaped like, well….. use your imagination, and your beverage will be served in a very special cup. If you’ve gotta go, it may as well be a memorable experience.