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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.

We planned to check out a few hotels, but Baby Pang had other ideas. We visited the beach front at Ayara Villas, and as soon as we headed away, she started screaming and crying. Then we saw a small pool and walked away from that, more screaming and crying. Finally we reached the main hotel, she saw the big pool and shut up!


Ayara Villas was for 1500 baht a night. This hotel spans three streets, on the beach side they have sea view villas, one street further back, they have garden villas with a pool, and the street further back from that, a hotel surrounding a large pool. The ground floor rooms have direct pool access, so we opted for this. We quickly realized there were no other guests in the hotel part, we had the pool to ourselves and at night the hotel was dark and silent, with only the way to our room lit up!

The beach is small, erosion means there's a sea wall to protect the hotels, and you get a sandy beach only at low tide. There are better beach options along the coast, so for this hotel, its better to stay in the main hotel, in one of the rooms with pool access. They're cheaper too.

Walking to the end of the beach, we found bars, and massage tables, and a digger moving sand inland to preserve what is left of the beach.

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