Many viewers who watched The Stranded (เคว้ง), Netflix’s first original Thai series, were wowed by the stunning filming locations chosen by the production team to represent the fictional island of “Pintu,” which is the site of the series’ famous private school. Each location is recognized as a beauty spot in Thailand, and has inspired tourists to follow the trail of this series to see these real settings with their own eyes.
Chumphon is one of the provinces that the series chose for shooting. Even though many people think of Chumphon as just a city to pass through on the way to the southern tourism provinces, it has as much intriguing beauty as Thailand’s other famous tourism provinces. Interestingly, it has its own unique Chumphon goodies like “Coffee.”
Coffee is a local product that is included in the provincial slogan. With hundreds of thousands of acres of coffee plantations and a total output of more than 20 thousand tons per year, Chumphon is the largest Robusta coffee-growing province in Thailand.
Chumphon’s Robusta coffee plantations are possible because this type of coffee bean is suitable for growing in lowland and humid areas. The climate and topography of Chumphon province are ideal. As an easy-to-grow species with high-temperature tolerance, no chemicals required, and low cost of cultivation, Robusta coffee beans are a popular crop for locals.
A distinctive feature of Robusta coffee is that it has a strong, bitter taste that is not sour but astringent, with low sugar and acid levels, and a caffeine content of 2.0-4.5%. As such, it is preferred by coffee lovers who like their coffee with a rich flavor. Before Chumphon’s coffee became as famous as it is today, the farmers had to learn and cultivate their coffee with carefulness. The secret of Chumphon coffee is that it takes more than a year to age the coffee beans and bring out the most delicious flavors. Then, the beans are sorted into light, medium, and dark levels ready for roasting.
In addition to the rich Robusta coffee, Lang Suan District of Chumphon is also known for civet coffee (Kopi Luwak). Civet coffee was originally discovered in Indonesia by chance. The villagers observed civet feces with undigested coffee cherries in them. They did not want to waste the beans, so they washed and brewed them. The unexpected result was a different exotic taste and aroma compared to the regular Robusta coffee, making civet coffee rare and expensive.
The distance from Bangkok to Chumphon is about 480 kilometers. It takes about 6-7 hours by car, making it suitable for family trips.
If you want to see the scenery along the way, traveling by train is recommended because you can see the sea through the train window as the train route passes through Cha-am and Hua Hin. The train journey takes about 6-9 hours, depending on whether the train is conventional or express.