The next stop was to have an overnight stay in Ranong before taking the boat to Koh Phayam.
Ranong is located on the West coast of Thailand and is the wettest province, averaging around 4200 mm per year and we got our fair share of rain as we drove over the mountain range.
Even though the rainy season had not yet finished, we were hoping for some dry weather in Koh Phayam.
Leaving Tung Wua Laen Beach behind we retraced the 12 km or so back to the main Highway Route 4 and turned left.
Route 4 goes directly to Ranong, so it is just a case of bearing right at the big fork in the road and going over the mountain range.
Now, this road used to be quite difficult to drive, but the highway goes alongside Kao Plak Kun Amphai winds its way through the mountains.
Roadworks were in progress to improve the road and it seems that the road to Ranong is close to being fully upgraded to two lanes each way.
Even with the road works the journey was uneventful and there was very little traffic on the road.
About midway, there was an Army checkpoint that we needed to stop at.
These army checkpoints are nothing to be concerned about as they are primarily looking for Burmese people without the correct documentation to stay in Thailand.
The checkpoint was next to a monument for King Rama V, so we took the opportunity to get out of the car and have a look around.
We checked with the soldiers first that it was okay to park for a few minutes.
There had been a Thai wedding earlier that day and as we climbed the steps, we could see that the decorations were all being removed by the volunteers and everything was being packed up.
After spending few minutes taking photographs we were back on our way again to stay in Ranong.
The monument was not all that engaging, but it gave us a few minutes to have a break and stretch our legs.
For the most part, the traffic on the way to Ranong was very light and the road was four lanes.
But as you near Ranong though, the road reverts to one lane in each direction and in this period we often got stuck behind slow-moving trucks.
There was very little opportunity to overtake as the road was narrow and windy and the roads were wet from recent rain.
Once we got to the PTT Petrol station (which is no longer a PTT Petrol Station) on the outskirts of Ranong, just opposite Big C, we turned on the Google map phone app to navigate the last few kilometres to the Farmhouse Hotel.
It seems we were almost there.
In fact it was only a case of going 100 metres further along the main highway, taking a right turn and then making our way into town.
The audible phone directions on Google Maps were sufficient to find the hotel.
By now the rain had stopped, but the sky was still dark and threatening and we could still hear thunder in the distance.
Located down a small soi the Farmhouse Hotel is easy to drive past, but eventually, we got there after making a U-turn on Ruangrat Road.
There were plenty of parking spaces in the hotel carpark, so were spoiled for choice.
Anyway we parked close to the foyer, just to make it easier to take the bags into the hotel.
Judging by the number of cars in the carpark, it would seem we were the only guests.
The Farmhouse Hotel was selected based upon the traveller reviews in Agoda. The Farmhouse Hotel consistently got good scores across a range of metrics.
If you want to read more about my selection criteria for hotels you can do so at this link.
But in reality, a score above 8 and mostly positive traveller reviews are sufficient for the one night stay in Ranong.
There is no need to over research something as simple as this, but I did look at a fair few hotels in the Ranong area to find one that was suitable to stay in.
Surprisingly, there are several hotels in Ranong that had some negative comments and that weren't suitable, for one reason or another.
We had made good time driving from the Talay Sai Hotel at Tung Wua Laeng Beach and were a little early for the check-in, but our room was already prepared so we dropped our bags off and freshened up.
Given the heritage of the Farmhouse Hotel, it was not surprising that there were two soft boiled eggs in the room all ready to eat.
After unloading our bags at the Farmhouse Hotel we set out to find some lunch on the main street.
Almost immediately another storm cell passed over and we took shelter in the doorway of a bank.
A policeman asked what we were doing and we said, "looking for lunch".
He directed us about four doors down to a noodle shop and said that the food was most delicious.
Now if you come to stay in Ranong, you will notice many Myanmar people are working in shops and service industries and the noodle shop was probably run by Myanmar people, rather than Thais.
Certainly, the noodles were as delicious as the Policeman promised and by the time we had eaten the storm had passed over and the sun was out again.
On the way to the noodle shop in Ranong, we had seen a sign indicating that the Rattanarangsan Palace was 600 metres away, so we followed the directions.
After a few minutes walking down the street, we got to Rattanarangsan Park, which was up a hill on a road to the left.
There was a small park and we could see the Rattanarangsan Palace on the upper level.
A few photos were taken and then we walked to the upper level, which did not seem to be open.
Anyway, they wanted an entrance fee of 100 baht for foreigners and 20 baht for Thais.
The steps continued to the Khao Niwet View Point that overlooks Ranong and so we walked past the entrance of the palace to check it out.
As we passed by a litter of eight puppies came bounding out towards us barking.
Thinking we were going to be bitten to death, we just continued slowly on our way and ignored the dogs, but they followed us to the top of the Khao Niwet Viewpoint.
Our fears of being mauled to death by wild dogs were unfounded, as all they wanted to do was play.
Anyway, the viewpoint was not worth the climb to the top as the view was obscured by the trees and it was very muddy underfoot with all the rain.
Other review I have seen said that it was really a great view, however whatever view there was is now obscured by the trees.
Perhaps in the future the trees will be trimmed, so go ahead and climb the steps to check it out.
Additionally, with being amongst the trees we were plagued by big mosquitoes.
So wafting our arms and waving a towel we quickly descended back to the street level.
Fortunately, we did not sustain any mosquito bites and the dogs went back to their resting place in the palace entrance.
We descended the hill back to the main street and as we walked back to the Farmhouse Hotel for a swim, we took photos of interesting places on the street.
The mainstreet of Ranong had many bars, restaurants, and one night club, so it looked like it could get busy in the evening.
There was one bar we passed called The B Ranong, which looked like a good place to come later on for a drink.
Looks like I found a new friend.
Once we arrived back at the Farmhouse Hotel we got changed ready for swimming and went to the Pool on the ground floor.
Towels are kept behind reception.
The pool was quite nice, although the water was on the cool side we just swam around to keep warm.
We were the only ones in the pool, so it was good to have it to ourselves.
Another storm passed overhead, and after about one hour in the pool, we headed back to the room to get changed as I didn't fancy getting electrocuted by a lightning bolt.
The plan for the evening was to go get a couple of drinks at the B Ranong and then head back to the Farmhouse Hotel to get some dinner as the Farmhouse Hotel menu looked very inviting.
But things didn't quite work out as planned.
At the B Ranong, we got talking to the bar staff about the Red Chevrolet parked out front of the bar.
We were told the owner liked to renovate cars and that there were more vehicles down the Soi if we wished to take a look.
After the invitation to go and see the other cars we headed down the soi to have a look and take some photographs.
It was quite interesting, as there were about eight fully restored cars and another six that looked to be next in line to be restored.
I have seen cars like these at the Train Market in Srinakarin Road in Bangkok.
Down the back was also The B Ranong Trend Hotel, which I also recall researching on my Agoda searches of places to stay in Ranong.
The bar had a quirky character about it and so we moved inside and ordered food from the bar and had a few more drinks, before returning to the Farmhouse Hotel Ranong for the evening.
On the next day, we planned to head on over to the Ranong Pier (Koh Chang and Koh Phayam) to take the ferry to Koh Phayam, but first, we had our breakfast at the Farmhouse Hotel property, as it was included in the room rate.
The breakfast was mostly Thai style, but there was plenty on offer.
I thought that they may have had freshly made omelettes available, given their penchant for eggs, but they didn't.
Or at least I didn't seem them being cooked.
Although we only had a one night stay in Ranong, there are plenty of other attractions in the area.
One of the draw cards of this area is the plentiful supply of hot springs, as well as cascading waterfalls.
Close to the town are many other tourist sights that are worth a visit.
Our short stay in Ranong did not allow sufficient time to really explore the local countryside and National Parks, but we did at least get the flavour of the place.
Even though it was just a short overnight stay in Ranong, we really appreciated the following good points of the hotel.
Overall, I was very happy with my choice of accommodation and if I were ever to stay in Ranong again, then I would most likely spend the night in this hotel.
You can check the Agoda price and availability at this link.
The stay in Ranong seemed to be over before we even started and so after breakfast we set out to go to the Ranong ferry pier and catch the speed boat to Koh Phayam.
Read more about how to get the ferry or speedboat and the trip to Koh Phayam here.
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