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Khao-Lak - Thai Life Archives

Khao Lak in low season


Khao Lak is North of Phuket, along the coast further North than Thai Muang. It's a tourist resort usually used as a base for trips to Similan Islands. Tourists would spend a week here, and include an overnight in the tents on the Similan Islands, scuba diving to see the reefs.

Right now, the Similan Islands are closed to tourists to let them recover from damage. Khao Lak continues, but it's quiet. It's also low season, raining season, when days can be grey and wet. Lots of the smaller hotels in Khao Lak close during this season, they don't get clientele and don't make money, so the owners shut up shop, surround their hotels with black sheeting and turn off the lights.


The bigger hotels don't have the choice, they have professional staff they need to keep employed and so they stay open, and drop the price to get customers. The weather looked sunny, and Khao Lak is just up the coast, so away we went to find a hotel and stay for the weekend.

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Khao Lak, Beaches and Adventures


So, I'm visiting Khao Lak, along the coast, in low season, the rainy season, because it's cheap, and empty of tourists and ...well... because it's there.

There's a lot of erosion along this coast, and the sand next to the hotels is all washed away. You only have a beach at low tide, and since each hotel has built private access to the sand, at other times the sea is high and you cannot walk along the shore.


A walk further North reveals beach bars and houses next to the sea, with heavy sea walls to protect them. A digger moves sand further up the beach, and piles of sand bags try to protect small sections of the beach. All futile. Nature will win.

This is not ideal, I search my GPS to see if it can find any nearby beaches and there is one, further South of Khao Lak town, a highly respected beach from the NOSTRE guidebook! I should have guessed from the lack of road markings that this was an out of date GPS location. The turnoff down a tiny road was narrow, and empty of cars, nobody goes here.

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Khao Lak, White Sand Beach and Apsara Resort


My quest to find a perfect beach in Khao lak, heads further North! So far in Khao Lak, I've been to down town Khao lak, and found the beaches have been washed away. I've followed my GPS and found a beach that long closed. Now I'm heading more North to see what I can find North of Khaolak.

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Khao Lak, Daylife and Nightlife


Rainy season is low season in Khao Lak and that makes it cheap. But it also means there's a lot of fresh water pools, and a lot of mosquitoes around in the jungles. I decided against doing the waterfalls and nature trails right now, instead heading for the Navy Base.

There are two things to do on the Khaolak Navy Base, the "Turtle Hatchery", where they breed and release 4 types of turtle, and nurse sick adult turtles back to health, and the golf. A full sized well equipped golf course.

The soldiers guarding the entrance can seem intimidating, but don't worry. When you arrive at the Navy Base, park at the entrance, go the office at the left and swap your id card (or passport) for a gate pass, then drive onto the base showing the pass to the guards. If you go as part of a tour, this is all taken care of for you. When you leave don't forget to get back your ID or passport and hand back the pass!


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Apsara Beachfront Resort, Khaolak


Last time I visited Khaolak, I found the perfect beach for the baby's first sand castle experience. It was in front of a resort called 'Apsara'. It looks expensive, lots of chefs walking around, lots of staff in uniforms, perfect location, lots of pools..... on the off change I pop in and ask the price. 1500 baht a night including breakfast in rainy season! A bargain! But only if I could find a sunny day to go.


Two days, 3000 baht, plastic bucket-and-spade from Big C, the weather forecast is good, the sun is out, time to drive up the coast and give my baby a decent the beach experience!

This is all about firsts, it will be her first sand castle experience. She's a beach veteran (duplex on the beach, where to eat in Rawai, her first pearls) , but never a sand castle veteran!

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Driving off a moving ferry! Koh Kho Khao


A ferry crossing to an unexplored island is an adventure. A ferry crossing full of trucks that drive on and off the ferry while it's still swinging around is a stunt-show!

Kho Khao island is a rural island off Khao-Lak, and it's quiet, with few resorts, most of which close during low season. I've been following dirt roads on the GPS, to see what's there, and this particular grey line across the water just needed to be followed.

A ferry? Lets do it!

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