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Ranong and Kra Isthmus
Isthmus of Kra

Ranong serves mainly two purposes first its home of Thailand's biggest fishing fleet and second the starting point for the Thailand Myanmar "visa run" to Kawthaung.

​​It could get global importance once maybe Thailand Myanmar and China could get together and build the Kra Isthus Canal.In general a rather remote tourist destinations in southern Thailand.

Foreigners know the city mainly because of the visa run to Kawthaung where the local harbor is the starting port. Ranong province is Thailand's least populated area and this has something to do with the weather, means rain. Right behind the coast are the blue mountains and the clouds coming in from the Indian Ocean empty their water on them and the coastal region.
Ranong is the biggest Thai harbor on the west coast and the harbor is dedicated to vessels which come in and out every day. A good part what they bring into the city is carried in the night to Bangkok via refrigeration trucks.

The other business is the "visa run" and the people who like gambling at the Myanmar side where a Thai has set up a casino on a island just in front of Kawthaung, the harbor on the Myanmar side.

A would be change in Asia
In the 17th Century the transport routs from Europe have been to Mergui today Myeik in Myanmar with the ship unloading to the elephant over the hill range to the Gulf of Thailand and from there loading again onto the ship and transported to the Capital of Siam which was Ayutthaya at that time and from there northwards to China and Japan. Today this could be done much more efficient through the Isthmus of Kra Canal. But leaving it to politics nothing important is done.
As we know China have their own ideas in this region of the world which is continously coming up in South China Sea Conflicts .
So lets wait and see what happen because this project is not buried yet and the key is for sure China.