Ranong & Victoria Point

I regretted for not heeding the advice on the forum on which Mobile operator to use in Thailand. The ORANGE SIM card almost made me turn RED. My friend Virat in Ranong ระนอง and I tried very hard to contact each other and what we got is “Kor Tuk Ka… tik-tok….”. My frustration is compounded earlier by the courtesy accorded by Budget rent-a-car in Phuket airport for assigning me a Toyota Avanza instead of Honda City which I asked for when making the booking via the Internet.

The journey from Phuket to Ranong is very scenic, especially near Khao Lak, where the Tsunami destruction is still noticeable. Along the route to Ranong, you can also find a lot of Mosque dotting the highway with signboards saying “Masjid”, a word that Malaysian are too familiar.

The SPA at Jansom

We checked into Ranong Jansom SPA resort Hotel along the highway after several minutes of “tik-tok” and “ding-dong” to contact Virat. As most of the nice places to eat were closed by then, we have to settle for the second best. Ranong is famous for soft-shell crabs and other food were yummy too.

We woke up early the next day for a dip in the nature hot SPA and cold swimming pool. Alternating with Hot-Cold pools was quite an experience. There are quite a lot of Chinese-looking faces around and I was able to converse with them in my Penang Hokkien dialect. Ranong has shared history with Malaysia, especially Penang, according to Kitjar Na Bangsar’s post and confirmed with my later findings.

Ranong is a small town with a beautiful park just outside the old town. The center of the park sits the bronze statute of Khaw Soo Cheang (许泗漳 ), the founder and first Governor of Ranong. In Ranong, Khaw Soo Cheang is a legend. The people here consider him to be the patron saint of the province and while we were at the monument, I saw a women and a small girl came on the motorbike to offer flowers to the statute.

The Khaw Soo Cheang statute

I have a lot of respect for the government of Thailand in that she is magnanimous to honor and recognize the contribution of a person regardless of his origin, race or creed. Although Yap Ah Loy was recognized by the British as the founder of Kuala Lumpur, the government of Malaysia always played down this fact and the history books always said otherwise.

At the old town, there are signs of Chinese influences everywhere – Chinese temples, Clan associations and shops. The market is lively with most of the fruits and food that you will find in a typical Thai market. Market and Wat are the usual place I will go whenever I visit a place.

Asking for direction to the ruins of residence of the ex-governor was easy. The old residence of the governor now rest in ruins. A small house is built on the ruins of the original mansion to house to serve as a family temple to house the plaque of the deceased Khaw family members and also serve as a historical museum to house photographs, newspaper cuttings and other items.

Khaw Soo Cheang Temple
Khaw Soo Cheang temple

I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a newspaper cutting of the Star newspaper from Penang with a story on “How the Khaw rose to power”.

If you are interested in history, you can get more on www.ranong.go.th.

The other interesting place to visit is the tomb of the governor. It is located on the way to Ferry Jetty to Andaman Club where we are heading. I think the best way to describe the burial place is best with photos.

Khaw Soo Cheang Tomb
Khaw Soo Cheang Burial Ground

The place is just awesome. In Malaysia, all of the stone artifacts and moveable items are likely to be vandalized or worst cart way overnight.

I will post on my visit to Victoria Point (aka Kawthaung or Koh Song) next week.

13 responses to “Ranong & Victoria Point


    The Khaws have always had two bases in Thailand and Penang. In Malaysia, they have retained their Khaw surname but in Thailand, they are known as Na Ranong!

    Very good effort, I would love to be there at Ranong.

    In Trang, there is also another monument dedicated to Khaw Sim Bee or Phraya Ratsadnupraditt. Sim Bee is one of Khaw Soo Cheang’s five sons.

  2. Thanks for the info. Now i know where the surname ‘Na Ranong’ comes from, that did puzzle me before. I asked a couple of Thais before to where this ‘royal sounding’ ‘Na’ as in Ranong came from but they hadn’t a clue!

    I mean Ranong isn’t exactly Ayutthaya. As in the ever well-known ‘Na Ayutthya’.

    Ive never been to Ranong! But i do know it holds two records. One, its the least populated province of Thailand and two: it gets the most rain.

  3. Steve, Kitjar Na Bangsar wrote http://www.thai-blogs.com/htsrv/trackback.php?tb_id=524
    Surprised that you have not visited Ranong. I thought your footprints are everywhere in Thailand, even in Satun.

    Kitjar, I read somewhere that Soo Cheang has 6 sons, one of them died early.

    Everyone, Thanks for dropping by and leave a message.

  4. Hi Khun Chin
    Very interesting and informative. I have not been to Ranong and I am sure to drive to Ranong one day. Any good and cheap hotel and restaurant there. How many days do you reckon that we should be there.

  5. HI Surich, We stayed 1 night in Ranong (1200B for 2pax), 1 night in (Andaman Club 1500B for 2pax), and another night in Phuket. Ranong is a small town and 1 night should be OK. http://www.ranong.go.th is a good site to find more information. Enjoy. Thanks for dropping a line. See you next week in part 2 of subject blog.

  6. Thanks for the wonderful information published in the site. Do not be puzzled with the surname of mine…Correct…I am the great great great granddaughter of Khaw Soo Cheang and I have been to the clan house (temple) and tomb 2 yrs ago. Ranong is such a wonderful and peaceful place to stay. I simply love the hot spring.

  7. Khaw Cheng Lyke na Ranong

    I am the 5th generation of the na Ranong/Khaw clan. we will be having a grand reunion luncheon in Bangkok on 1st July 2006. If any of you are interested to know more of our family please contact Khun Abinant na Ranong @ +6618747796, he is the President of our illustrious family.I am from the same branch as Khun Abinant.


    Ranong will celebrate the 1st anniversary of the opening of the statue of The Rajah of Ranong Khaw Soo Cheang on 21st July 2006.On behalf of the descendents of Khaw Soo Cheang, we give our heartfelt thanks to the present Governor of Ranong, who also attended the 91st anniversary of “Na Ranong” surname in Bangkok on 1st July 2006: from Khaw Cheng Lyke Na ranong

  9. It was by chance I got on to this and and spotted my dear cousin’s name Khaw Cheng Lyke. I immediately called him and he’s given me an update of our family’s activities. It is such a pity I live all the way east in Sabah and cannot schedule time to go on travels with him to our ‘homeland’. Good on you KhunChin, for making the journey and updating me.


  11. I would like to ask the descendants of the Khaw family if I could contact one of the trustees or elders. My friend who is publishing a book for ISEAS wishes to reproduce some of the images in Jennifer Cushman’s book family and state. The images belong to the Khaw family trust.


  12. Barbara Sallee

    I send my best wishes to Abinant Na Ranong
    whom I knew at Roanoke College. I’m
    wondering how everyone is doing in Bangkok during these days of violence.
    Thinking of you all and wishing you the
    best and an end to the violence and instablity.

  13. Happy Birthday, Abinant! We are getting old but life is good.