I have been to San Kamphaeng hot springs many times throughout the years, but this was my first time camping. We went there on the second of January which was still a public holiday in Thailand. A compensation day because the first of January was on a Sunday. So obviously it was very crowded. However, the good part was that it was the last day of the holidays so when people left it was rather empty in the evening.
The development of San Kamphaeng hot springs
The area here went from being a small local attraction to a busy onsen area with development surrounding it. So there are many restaurants and coffee shops before you enter the actual original San Kamphaeng hot spring area, and also a few onsen resorts. Just a few kilometers outside you also encounter Skugga, the new coffee-tea-chocolate farm area with a car museum.
In the hot spring area, there are still small hot spring canals with different temperatures of water as well as the geyser fountain bursting out water and steam for boiling eggs.
In addition, you have private onsen rooms, a recent, take- your photo -with flowers park, a small tree house, a great 36 degrees Celcius hot spring pool, and a camping area.
How much does it cost?
So, San Kamphaeng hot spring applies double pricing for Thai citizens and foreigners. If you have a local driver’s license or work permit the price will be cheaper though. The entrance fee for Thai citizens is 40 baht and for foreigners 100 baht. As for me, I got in for 50 baht on a foreign child ticket😄.
For the camping, they do a headcount if you bring your tent. We had our tent and the total for me and my son including car fees and entrance was less than 300 baht. We had two tents and actually expected some more people.
As for our friends, they rented a tent and they also got free tickets for a private hot spring soaking and could get electricity to charge their phones and so on.
There are also basic bungalows for rent. Didn’t check the price for those.
The best part of the camping experience in San Kamphaeng hot springs
The camping area itself is not very big and it is not scenic when it comes to great views and such. However, the experience of having the geyser fountain nearby and viewing it at night time and in the morning was a highlight.
Then at dusk, most people left the vicinity so we had the premises pretty much to ourselves. Warming the feet in the hot spring canals at nighttime and morning without the crowds was a stunner. The same goes for the pool, it opened at 7 am. 14 degrees in the air and 36 degrees in the pool and no crowds, just the occasional camper.
However, San Kamphaeng’s hot springs open at 7 am so some people come here early for the morning soak. Something that can be recommended if you don’t camp. The pool is an extra 50 baht.
Not-so-good things about camping in San Kamphaeng
Well, the crowds in the daytime were negative when it is a public holiday. But could be fun if you are new to Thailand I guess. Just to get the atmosphere of locals having fun maybe. Unfortunately for us some of the picnickers stole one of our camping chairs. A very rare case for me to be exposed to theft in Thailand.
The staff in the park also did nothing to stop a party that went on forever. Finally, at 2 am the singing and Thai folk music ceased.
In my humble view the food court just outside, by the parking is rather mediocre. Tried it a few times and the food is extremely sweet. That is in some cases in the North what people like here, but it is just too much when the sugar crystals are on the top of your spicy corn salad, or when the pad is pow basil pork is sweeter than an iced coffee in 7/11.
Finally, toilets are quite far from the camping grounds.
As for the Spring restaurant inside the area, we can’t say. Haven’t tried it yet.
It was nice to try the camping experience. I am happy that we did it. Being almost alone in the hot springs made the whole experience. But as a camping experience in itself, I wouldn’t rate it very high.
Driving back home it was really nice to drop in at Skugga estate for a hot chocolate. A chocolate rich in cacao and less so in sugar to my preference .
San Kamphaeng hot springs are also on the way to Mae Kampong village. It makes it a great stop in the way if you just come for the hot spring experience.