Ranong Airport (UNN) is a small airport near Ranong Town, about 280 Km north of Phuket in the Ranong Province of Thailand. The airport was out of commission for quite some time, until quite recently when the low cost carrier Air Asia started operating a much needed service to Bangkok.
Ranong Airport is very close to Ranong Town, only 23 km south of the in fact, and is well attended by local taxi drivers which are always helpful. There is a small car rental service, and shops to buy coffee and snacks.
Although Ranong airport is very large, as it used to be used as only military airport, there is only one terminal here. As you exit the baggage reclaim area, you will see several travel agent booths who can help you with your onward travel, if, of course, you have not already organized.
On the first floor you can find a few restaurants, bathroom facilities; there is also a large car park and a tourist information booth.
Ranong may not be on everybody’s wish list to visit, most travelers may have never heard of the place. Situated 586 kms south of Bangkok, Ranong actually borders Burma (Myanmar) –only a quick 25 minute float across the river. The Port Authority of Thailand operates the Port of Ranong, which is Thailand’s principal Indian Ocean port on the Kraburi River.
Ranong is a wonderful and rural place and boasts the country’s longest monsoon season, lasting almost 8 months a year. This does not mean it is raining for 8 months, it is not, but it does make the place much more fertile and green than many of the more southern towns.
There are some very famous hot springs only 2 kms east of the main town and, close by, you can also visit the Raksawarin Park arboretum many stay here and benefit from the mineral waters.
Three main pools make up the hot springs: the Father Pool, the Mother Pool and the Child Pool. All pool springs retains a year-round water temperature of 65 °C The waters here are considered so pure they were used through main ceremonies celebrating the 60th Birthday of King Bhumibhol, Thailand’s current and the world’s oldest living monarch.
Ranong is the gateway to some of the best dive sites in the world, Thailand Liveaboard boats leave for the Burma Banks and the Mergui Archipelago (Myanmar), from here. Please do not just turn up expecting to jump on one of these dive boats as prearranged trips must be made first and a visa secured before anyone is even allowed into Burmese waters to dive.
Even if you do not dive, Ranong is a great place to stop especially if you are travelling down to the southern areas of the country. There are a couple of wonderful almost untouched and un-spoilt islands Koh Chang noi and Koh Phayan very close by and only a short speedboat trip away from Ranong.
The surrounding area around Ranong is a somewhat mountainous and densely forested and covering the numerous natural charms this place holds dear: including natural mangrove swamps and hot-springs and remarkable waterfalls.