My journey from Khao Sok to Phetchaburi was punctuated with a stopover in Chumphon to break the otherwise long trip in half. Not a tourist destination in itself, there are nevertheless, many travellers stepping bleary-eyed from the overnight trains from Bangkok and onto the awaiting buses shuttling them directly to the ferry terminal just outside town for boats to Ko Tao. If you like to wander around a typically Thai town almost untouched by tourism, this is a good place to do it. Plenty of markets and the obligatory night food market keep the place bustling and it is a crossroads on the way to and from Burma via the Ranong/Kawthoung sea crossing. This was unfortunately closed at the time, along with all the Thai/Burmese land crossings, due to the deteriorating political relationship between the 2 countries while the Burmese were fighting rebel forces on these borders. Chumphon's mark was made in 1988 when a typhoon killed more than 300 people which prompted the Thai government to ban all logging in Thailand as deforestation was blamed for the flooding and landslides that caused the devastation.