Connect with us
Ko Pha Ngan Ko Pha Ngan

Thailand

Ko Pha Ngan Covid-19 Safe Travel Thailand

Ko Pha Ngan (เกาะพะง้น, pronounced KOH pa-nGan with G as in mango) is an island off the Central Gulf Coast of Southern Thailand and forms part of the Chumphon Archipelago. Halfway between the islands of Ko Samui and Ko Tao, it is known as a land of coconut trees and the world-famous Full Moon Party that have placed the island firmly on the Banana Pancake Trail.

Orientation

Haad Rin Beach

Places below are listed clockwise starting at Thong Sala:

  • Thong Sala — The island’s “capital” and main ferry port.
  • Ao Nai Wok — A quiet bay with a long white sandbar in front of it. It is the first bay to the north of Thong Sala (just 7 min walk) and one of the best areas for sailing, windsurfing or kayaking. This is due to its orientation to the wind all year long and the proximity of the two wild little islands, Ko Tae Nai and Ko Tae Nok (approximately 10 min paddling in a kayak to Tae Nai)
  • Sri Thanu — A volcanic peninsula to the south of Haad Son and Haad Yao with bays and beaches.
  • Haad Son — A beautiful bay with a beach.
  • Haad Chao Phao — A small quiet beach on the western shore of Ko Pha Ngan. It has some resorts and bungalows offering budget rooms with full facilities. Has several beach bars and restaurants where you can have dinner and drink while the sun is setting. To go there from the main pier by taxi takes around 15 min and 20 min by motorbike. If you need a real escape, here it is. Also has a Moon Set Party at the Pirate Bar. The party is arranged regularly a few days before the Full Moon Party.
  • Haad Yao — A long white sandy beach just north of Haad Chao Phao, slightly more developed with more beach bars, a 7-Eleven, ATMs, and restaurants, but clean nice sea and snorkelling further from the beach with accommodations from 150 Thai Baht. Maybe the best beach on the west coast.
  • Haad Salad — An idyllic cove with several high-end resorts on the northwest corner of the island.
  • Haad Mae Haad — Wide sandy beach joined to Ko Maa, a national marine park, by a sand spit. Has some of the best diving and snorkelling on Pha Ngan. There is a small village and a variety of resorts, restaurants, and bars. Nice snorkelling: you’ll need to go over the first, dead reef to see the coral. Make sure you get in and out during high tide as crossing the dead reef when the tide is receding can be difficult and painful. Not much else to do but snorkel here.
  • Thonglang Bay — Between Chalok Lam and Haad Mae Haad, this almost undiscovered bay offers a delightful and peaceful escape from the crowds.
  • Chalok Lam — Fishing village with a picturesque beach in a long beautiful sandy bay at the northern tip of the island. Not touristy because of few boats making the trip, and the western part of the bay has some of the most beautiful waters off the island with a nice narrow beach under palm trees.
  • Haad Khom — 20-min walk east of Chalok Lam on a steep concrete road or a few minutes ride from Chalok Lam you will find a nice quiet beach with clean seas and soft white sand where you can relax and do some of the best snorkelling on the island. There are only around 5 accommodations with good prices (from 150-300 Thai Baht for a bungalow), so the beach is not crowded. Only the one closest to Chalok Lam, CBB, has 24-hr electricity, the others use diesel generators. Together with Bottle Beach and Chalok Lam Bay these are the best beaches on the northern coast and the entire island.
  • Bottle Beach — Also called “Haad Khuat“, one of the most isolated beaches on the island, on the north coast accessible by longtail boat from Chalok Lam (150 Thai Baht/person) or by a 2-3 hr long, tough hike from Haad Khom beach (this hike named the beach due to the use of plastic bottles to mark the trail). There is also the road option, on one of the worst roads on the island, but the taxi ride is so expensive that is always better go to Chalok Lam and take a longtail boat from there. Very relaxed quiet beach with few accommodations but very reasonable prices (from 250-300 Thai Baht/bungalow). Nice long and wide soft white sand beach and good clean water for swimming even during dry season. There is only one disadvantage. Due to its isolation, there are no ATMs or 7-Elevens or local restaurants so you have to buy everything for inflated prices at your accommodations (e.g., 90 Thai Baht for fried noodles). But what you pay for meals you will save on accommodation and enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches on island.
  • Thong Nai Pan — Scenic area on the northeast part of the island that includes the neighbouring beach resorts of Ao Thong Nai Pan Yai and Ao Thong Nai Pan Noi, twin bays with two fantastic beaches. Thong Nai Pan Yai is the bigger one. The area caters to families with children, and singles and couples who are looking for unspoiled beaches, tranquillity and peace. Here you get safe swimming all year except during the November monsoon which normally ends around the middle of December. Both beaches have a variety of restaurants ranging from inexpensive Thai to top international cuisine.
  • Haad Thien — Home of the Sanctuary Resort, a hip, up-scale resort with a nice vibe.
  • Haad Yuan — A nice sandy beach on the southeast corner. A hop away from Haad Rin if you would like to get away from the party crowd.
  • Haad Rin — (Hat Rin) — The most touristy/crowded village, with all the services any traveller needs and the home of the famous Full Moon Party. The biggest party scene on the island (along with Baan Tai). One of the few beaches during dry season where is possible to swim.
  • Ban Kai — Between Ban Tai and Haad Rin this beach offers an idyllic setting, just minutes from the Full Moon Party. Sea also quite dirty and very mountainous terrain.
  • Ban Tai — Facing Ko Samui, the longest stretch of uninterrupted beach on the entire island.

Introduction to Ko Pha-ngan

Climate & Weather

The best time to visit the island and also high season is Dec-Mar when the water is clean, and good for swimming. It’s also not rainy and temperatures are pleasant. Another high season time is Jul-Aug after the dry season when the water is rising.

Get in

Map of Ko Pha Ngan

If travelling to Ko Phangan during or near the time of the Full Moon Party, booking ferry transport to and from the island ahead of time is highly advised as the limited amount of ferries fill up quickly with the massive crowd coming in for the party.

Upon arrival at the pier, pick up a free guide book phangan.info, with a lot of useful information for travelers (ferry timetables, prices of taxi boats, taxi trucks, where to eat, what to do/see, party dates, maps, accommodations, and more) and even some discount vouchers.

By plane

Via Ko Samui Airport The closest airport is Ko Samui which has frequent flights from Bangkok and Phuket, daily flights from U-Tapao and Singapore, and several direct flights each week from Chiang Mai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Transportation to the ferry dock is easy to find at the airport. Ferries depart several times a day with the last one around dusk.

Via Surat Thani Airport The next nearest airport is Surat Thani () on the mainland. Flights from Bangkok there are significantly cheaper (1,000-1,500 Thai Baht in advance, or 2,000-2,500 Thai Baht if booked same day, instead of 3,000-5,000 Thai Baht if flying to Samui), as there are low-cost carriers (Air Asia) flying there, and even Thai Airways charge 30-50% less than to Samui. However, you’ll then need combined bus + boat travel to get to Ko Pha Ngan, which will surely take several hours. Air Asia uses Don Mueang airport in Bangkok, while Thai Airways uses Suvarnabhumi airport.

Nok Air sells a combined package ticket including airfare to Surat Thani, Chumphon, or Nakhon Si Thammarat, a bus ride to the pier, and a ticket on the Lomprayah high-speed catamaran. This should be simpler for travellers than arranging the individual segments separately. Nok Air uses Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok.

Air Asia has a special “Island Transfer” offering that includes a flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani or Nakhon Si Thammarat, surface transport to the port, and a ferry to Ko Pha Ngan.

One of the best options for travel to the island is via Chumphon Airport, 30 km north of Chumphon city in Pathio District (alternative spelling Pathiu). It has direct daily flights connections with Bangkok two airports, Don Meueng (DMK) and Suvarnabhumi (BKK). There are also onward flights to Ranong Airport (UNN). Flights from Bangkok are around 60 minutes. High-speed Lomprayah catamarans depart from Chumphon to Ko Pha Ngan. Nok Air operates two daily flights between Don Mueang (DMK) and Chumphon Airport (CJM). Nok Air offer a combined flight and ferry ticket on their website. Happy Air operates a flight between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to Chumphon 6 days a week. The Chumphon Airport has transit agents for onward connecting travel to the islands of the Chumphon Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand and Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan. The TAT Tourism Authority of Thailand has an information counter at the airport.

By boat

Sunset with fishing boats on Ko Pha Ngan

Several types of ferries are available, of varying speed and quality. The Lomprayah catamaran is easily the best option for comfort and speed, although generally 100-150 Thai Baht more expensive than the other ferries, most travellers and locals, will happily pay the extra for the service.

From Ko Samui: There are at least 3 ferries a day from Ko Samui “Big Buddha” pier directly to Haad Rin. Ferries also leave from Nathon and Mae Nam piers to Thong Sala several times a day.

Raja Ferry sails from Ko Samui to Thong Sala pier 3 times a day (09:00, 14:00, 18:00) for 150 Thai Baht. Tickets can be bought online.

Watch out for scammers at Ko Samui airport who try to sell you a bus/boat combo for an exorbitant price. Make sure to walk towards the exit of the airport where there is an Information counter and taxi stands.

From Ko Tao: there is fast Lomprayah catamaran operating twice daily to Ko Tao for 400 Thai Baht at 08:30 and 13:00 or leaving Ko Tao for Ko Pha Ngan at 09:30. The ride between these islands takes 1¼ hours. A cheaper, but slower ferry operates from Ko Pha Ngan to Ko Tao by Songserm express and costs 300 Thai Baht, leaving Ko Pha Ngan at 12:30, and takes 2 hours. This ferry comes from Chumphon with flight, bus and train connections from Bangkok.

From Surat Thani: There are ferries throughout the day from Donsak pier, 65 km out of town. Lomprayah are fast ferries and they sell tickets including transport from the city centre for 550 Thai Baht.

Raja are slow ferries and combined bus and ferry tickets from the city or Surat Thani train station are available for 375 Thai Baht. There are six ferries a day, the timetable is available online. The tickets can be bought online as well.

Night ferry leaving at 23:00 from Surat Thani city (walking distance from bus stations Talat Kaset 1 and 2), arriving in Thong Sala-Ko Pha Ngan at 06:00. It costs 400 Thai Baht for a space on a mattress on the boat. The night ferry leaves from Thong Sala-Ko Pha Ngan for Surat Thani at 22:00 (400 Thai Baht) arriving around 05:00-06:00.

By bus and boat

The best way in by bus is by government bus (บขส) to the Na Dan ferry piers: these are the most direct, quickest, reliable, safest, and hassle-free services. Tickets for these services can be bought at Sai Tai Taling Chan (southern) government bus terminal in Bangkok.

Buses also arrive in Surat Thani, capital of Surat Thani Province. From here you can buy a ticket for a bus + boat ride for the slow ferry (320 Thai Baht for the 3-hour ferry and bus ticket to Don Sak) or the fast ferry (400 Thai Baht for the 2-hour ferry + transportation to Don Sak pier). Both ferries stop at Ko Samui first, and will drop you off at the pier of Thong Sala. Please note that both options will require you to change buses. This should be a quick and easy change over.

If there are no available options listed above (usually only if you’ve arrived to the bus terminal quite late in the evening before a weekend or holiday), you can also try a bus to Chumphon and board a ferry there, see “By train” below. You can buy a combo ticket on the bus station, it will cost same as if purchased separately (and the bus arrives 2–3 hours before ferry departure, so you shouldn’t be late).

Buses originating from Khao San Road (or other buses operated by travel agencies) are famous for thefts from passenger luggage. Under no circumstances should passengers on Khao San Road buses leave valuables in bags that will go in the luggage storage areas, even if the bags can be locked. Consider it inevitable that every bag will be opened while the bus is in motion. Bus + boat joint ticket costs at the cheapest Israeli travel agencies at the west end of Khao San Road (better said Chakrapong Road) cost only 500-550 Thai Baht depending on whether it’s before/after Full Moon Party and your bargaining skills, so if you are aware of risks using these buses and careful you can really save money instead of taking pricier government bus which does not leave from KSR but requires you to go to a bus terminal.

A very good option, a little pricier, is using the morning bus (06:00) and ferry combination from Lomprayah. A reputable company with an office near Khao San Road and the option to book online through their website. The air-con bus is very new and the connection to the ferry gives the opportunity for a toilet break and to eat something. Leave early in the morning and arrive mid/late afternoon on the island. One way is 1,300 Thai Baht. They also have a night bus.

By train, boat, and bus

An overnight train from Bangkok is an interesting option. Trains arrive in Surat Thani or Chumphon, and from there you can transfer by bus and then boat. Chumphon is the option if you’re planning to stop at Ko Tao, but if you’re heading straight to Ko Pha Ngan, consider Surat Thani. Both stations are on the southbound Hat Yai line, but arrival times in Chumphon (when using night trains) are annoyingly early in the morning. For example, the (recommended) express train number #85 arrives around 04:00 after which you’ll have to wait about 3 hours for the ferry. On the other hand, if you continue down to Surat Thani you can sleep an extra 3–4 hours plus you will arrive in daylight. Considering the waiting time in Chumphon and the longer ferry trip you will eventually get to Ko Pha Ngan at about the same time.

Combined train-bus-boat tickets can be bought direct from the official Advance Booking Counter at Hualamphong station in Bangkok, although if your train is late, and your boat is already gone then you will have to pay extra for the next boat. Thus the joint ticket may not be the best choice.

If e-booking is not available or not suitable to you for some reason, train tickets may be reserved up to 60 days in advance and paid for by email. In reality, the Thai authorities are lax in returning emails and/or will give the runaround, or flat-out refuse to reserve seats for non-Thais during peak travel periods (Dec-Jan and the Songkran holiday in Apr). If your heart is set on going by train, start early, be persistent, and have a backup plan to go by bus or plane.

Get around

By motorbike

There are many rental locations all over the island. They have formed an association recently and all have the same prices, saying this should prevent the problems with the scams that many people complained about before. The advertised price is now 250 Thai Baht/day, can be bargained to 200 Thai Baht/day if renting for more days, but basically impossible to get anything cheaper. Do not rent from the rental shop across from Phangan Cottage (tel 084-8510541) which charges only 200 Thai Baht for normal bike but takes passport and will scam for damages. They gave a worn down key and the bike was stuck in Mae Haad overnight as they refused to come up with a working key and in the morning the bike mysteriously had scratches as if it had been tipped over. 3 scratches charged 5900 Thai Baht would not negotiate.

Some rental shops overcharge for every scratch or dent. They don’t fix, but rather replace the whole part – so note damages to the bike on the rental contract. Be aware that your passport will be held until you pay the extortionate repair cost. You can negotiate the costs down from exorbitant to high, but keep your cool, don’t yell and stay polite. This practice is very common all over the region. It’s not unheard-of that you are asked to pay for damage you haven’t done. In most cases, it’s the combination of very bad & dangerous roads and inexperienced or intoxicated driving that causes accidents. Some good advice is to take pictures of your bike as you rent it, but if the guy has your passport, this won’t do any good. If you don’t know what you’re doing, stay on the safe side and stick with songthaews.

Avoid riding at sundown, when the bugs are out en masse, and result in brief periods of riding blind, while you desperately try to clear your corneas. Try not to go home with a “Thai tattoo”, this can either result from your tender body sliding along a bitumen road at high speed with few clothes on, or from the inside of your leg touching a hot exhaust pipe. Also keep in mind that many, if not most, travel insurance policies will not cover motorcycle accidents, especially if you do not have a Thai drivers license.

Care is needed if attempting to go over the notorious Haad Rin hills, the roads on the east side of the island, and north of Haad Yao. Especially the “Hill of Tears” (first steep ascent from Thong Sala towards Haad Rin) needs caution. Use low gear only and have your passenger walk. This is still quite good concrete road where you need only use brakes compared to mud roads on the northeast part of the island to Bottle Beach, which are the worst on the island with many potholes.

Drunk driving in the West is illegal (not on Ko Pha Ngan, where police don’t check). On Ko Pha Ngan it’s suicidal. Better to sit in the back of a taxi than having a smash-up at night and ending up dead or in the hospital.

Wear a helmet. Police will fine you 200 Thai Baht for non-compliance and set up roadblocks occasionally (before noon in Thong Sala, for example). When driving, stay within your limits. The slower you drive, the less it’s gonna hurt.

It is also possible to rent small Suzuki 4WDs, however, you will find that you can circle the island in a day.

Petrol is quite overpriced at many places. One of the places selling it for reasonable price is the petrol station in Thong Sala, round the corner from Tesco on the road to Chalok Lam.

By songthaew

Songthaews criss-cross the island asking from 100 Thai Baht a ride, if you share the taxi with other people. You can and should bargain for a lower price, especially if your destination isn’t that far. The taxi driver cartel tries to fix prices at 200 Thai Baht a ride. Do not accept the price at the pier and walk rather 300 m to the roundabout in Thong Sala where there is a taxi station with normal prices. From Thong Sala to Baan Tai/Khai or Chalok Lam should be priced around 100 Thai Baht/person, Haad Rin 150 Thai Baht/person, Haad Yao/Salad 150 Thai Baht/person, Thong Nai Pan or Had Sadet 250 Thai Baht.

All taxi service on Ko Pha Ngan is provided by songthaew (pick-up truck). Should you choose to go with a freelancer on a motorbike or in a pickup, make arrangements quickly, quietly and pay surreptitiously.

Usually is the best option to save money and be flexible and avoid using songthaews at all is to rent a motorbike after arriving in Thong Sala as you will be probably leaving from this pier. You can later return the motorbike here and it can save you a lot of money. If there are two of you and you pay 150 Thai Baht/person for one taxi ride, your total expenses to/from beach will be 600 Thai Baht. For that you can have a semi-auto motorbike rental for 6–7 days or a fully automatic for 4–5 days and you are free to ride anywhere between arrival and departure and it’s also the best way when looking for accommodation instead of taking taxi and walking around with a lot of baggage.

By boat

Cruise the bays with your snorkelling gear until someplace takes your fancy. The round-the-island, all-day boat trip is a great way to see some of the best beaches in the island.

See

Salad Beach on Ko Pha Ngan
  • Than Sadet-Ko Pha Ngan National Park The park (free of charge) is named after the river Than Sadet (literally, “Royal River”). The river forms the largest waterfall on the island, which was visited by several Thai kings. Very difficult to reach on motorbike, one of the worst roads on island. Down at the sea at Than Sadet Beach, there are a few places to stay.
  • Visit the beautiful waterfalls and lookouts in the interior of the island. The best lookouts are Domesila viewpoint, a 15-min hike from Phaeng waterfall in Phaeng National Park (free of charge). There is another waterfall viewpoint a 20-min walk from Phaeng waterfall. From Bottle Beach you can hike to the rocky viewpoint above valley with great views over northeast part of island, hiking to the top should take 30-45 min depending on your condition. You can visit Wat Khao Tam viewpoint on the road between Thong Sala and Haad Rin which you can reach on motorbike and then it’s easy walk for few minutes to the temple with viewpoint at Ko Samui and southern coast of Ko Pha Ngan. Another viewpoint is in Chalok Lam on the road to Haad Khom, it’s well signposted from the main road.
  • Visit Ko Maa off the northwest coast of Ko Pha Ngan. It offers one of the best snorkelling places on the island. Other places to do snorkelling are Haad Khom beach (very shallow water on the coast during low tide, be careful) and Haad Yao.
  • On the road between Thong Sala and Chalok Lam is a beautiful Chinese Temple (free) overlooking Chalok Lam Bay.
  • There is an elephant camp on the way from Baan Tai to Thong Nai Pan (300 Thai Baht for a 30-min ride. Also one close to The Chinese temple on the road from Thong Sala to Chalok Lam (300 Thai Baht for 30-min ride. On the price list it’s officially 500 Thai Baht). Very close is also an archery range.

Do

Full Moon Party
  • Archery (First Bow and Arrow Archery) (Close to Chalok Lam on the road to Thong Sala). Four archers can have a go at the same time. People are very friendly (German spoken during high-season) and helpful. 15 min for 150 Thai Baht.
  • DivingKo Pha Ngan has lovely sites around the island which are perfect for both beginners and trained divers. From easy dives off the beach to longer trips by boat you can experience the world of tropical diving. The waters around Ko Pha Ngan are much nicer than most people know: fine hard corals with a good range of reefs and tropical/pelagic fish. Sailrock, undoubtedly the most famous dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. Between Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao, all the wonders of this exciting site can be explored by all levels of divers. This spectacular rock rises out of the water creating the best wall dive with a maximum depth of 40 m. Providing a great range of marine life, spectacular underwater scenery, rock formations. There are several PADI dive-schools on the island, including: Haad Yao Divers a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Resort on Haad Yao and Haad Chao Phao; Reefers Dive Resort on Haad Yao Beach; Sail Rock Divers ; Lotus Dive Resort, both in Chalok Lam; and Phangang Divers, in Haad Rin. You will, however, find many more dive schools throughout the island. Under Thai law, dive operators must be registered with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to improve quality of service, safety and help protect the customer from fraud. Check to make sure you are booking with a TAT registered dive centre.
  • Full Moon PartyIf you’re after party heaven you can’t do better than Haad Rin, an expanded village of beach bars, cheap chicken burgers, and low cut figure-hugging outfits. It is most popular one night a month, the night of the Full Moon Party. Every bar is hopping, the beaches packed with trance, dance, buckets, and various other suspicious substances. However, if the sight of thousands of bottles and other trash repulses you, make sure you leave the beach area before the sun comes up, or grab a garbage bag and help tidy up a little. Haad Rin offers a variety of entertainment venues just steps away from the famous Full Moon Party beach, where travellers and locals come to get away from the repetitiveness of the beach party scene. In Nov 2014 and again in Apr 2015, all parties except the Full Moon Party have been banned by local authorities.
  • Herbal Sauna (Near the 7-Eleven in Baan Thai, on the southwest side of the island.). Daily, 13:00-19:00The herbal sauna at Wat Pho with separated men’s/women’s rooms is a great relief after long party nights. Always wear a sarong (over your bikini, for men it’s OK to use shorts). Remember that you are on temple grounds and locals find nudity offensive. This is not a European sauna, sitting naked will get you into trouble. You can stay as long as you want. 50 Thai Baht, towel 10 Thai Baht.
  • HikingCan be done all around the island. There is a trail that leads between Haad Rin and Haad Tien, which many enjoy. The route can become difficult to discern, and bringing enough water is necessary. If you are feeling adventurous, ride a motorbike to the end of the concrete road at Haad Khom from where you can hike through steep terrain and jungle on the coast to isolated Bottle Beach. The overgrown and difficult trail is occasionally marked with bottles and the hike takes 2–3 hours. Ride back to Chalok Lam with a taxi boat (150 Thai Baht/person) from where it’s a 30-min walk uphill to the Haad Khom main road where you parked your motorbike (or you can hike all the way from Chalok Lam). Another good trail is to the best viewpoint on the island (in good weather), Khao Ra Viewpoint, on the highest hill on the island.
  • Muay ThaiGyms such as Chinnarach offer training and workout facilities, as well as camps such as “Horizon” located in Haad Tien (east) which is an intensive training camp. There are also frequent bouts in Thong Sala and Haad Rin for spectators.
  • WatersportsRent or take courses in sailing, windsurfing, kite-surfing or paddle boarding. All are available in only few locations such as, Sl2k Adventure at Baan Manali Resort in Ao Nai Wok or “Cookie Salad” at “Haad Salad”.
  • YogaOffered at multiple places including Agama Yoga, which is in the northwest of the island and has month-long intensive courses.

Buy

Under Thai law, travel agents that offer ticket, tours, tourism services, hotel reservations in Thailand must be registered with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to improve quality of service and help protect customers from fraud. Please check to make sure you are booking through a TAT registered travel agent.

In Thong Sala and Haad Rin vendors sell pretty much anything you can think of, and probably some things you don’t need at all. You can try to bargain, but realistically, the prices are set. You may get a deal every now and again, but it’s the exception to the rule. Remember that you’re in a tourist area and that prices usually are above the level of Bangkok. The further you go from the ferry piers, the better your chance of haggling gets.

Main purchases you will find on Ko Pha Ngan include hammocks (check out “Hammock Home Gallery” in Thong Sala) and some of the local artists’ works. Most of the clothing is of the variety that you will find in Bangkok, but generally it is a bit more expensive, as it has been imported to the island for sale.

Art galleries are considered to be a rising business on Ko Pha Ngan. Most of the places will offer variety works and services including custom orders and art reproductions. These galleries have reputations for affordable prices and fine quality artistic skills.

  • Tesco-Lotus (Thong Sala). 10:00-22:00The biggest supermarket on the island. Sells cheap microwaveable dishes. The bakery makes a change from Thai food.

Eat

Delicious Thai Food

For the most part, this is not the place to come to experience Thai food or culture. For a slightly more authentic experience (and cheaper than the well-decorated cafe/restaurants by Haad Rin beach), patronise the more modest street carts where you might see some Thais eating.

The best area for cheap eats is definitely the food carts in Thong Sala, the main town on the island. In the evening you can eat at the night market (from 40 Thai Baht/meal (usually curried meat with rice or fried rice or pad Thai), soups from 30 Thai Baht, pancakes from 20-30 Thai Baht, meat on sticks 10-30 Thai Baht/stick.) Free Wi-Fi in a roofed hall. Across the road from 7-Eleven in Chalok Lam are also some Thai street stalls where you will find locals eating. In front of Tesco you can buy sticks with fried meatballs for 5 Thai Baht/stick and at the junction next to entrance to Tesco parking lot you can buy in the morning (07:00-09:00) sticky rice with pork/chicken/livers packed in banana leaves for 10 Thai Baht for a small portion. There are also a few street stalls. There is also a small market next to 7-Eleven in Thong Sala in the direction of Haad Rin (after Walking St traffic lights) with Thai meals for 30-50 Thai Baht.

  • A’s Famous146 Soi Krung Thai, Thong Sala (Opposite Krung Thai Bank in Thong Sala), . American restaurant and deli. Run by Michael Hershman, Cambridge, Massachusetts-born and Los Angeles raised, who moved to the island in the 1980s. He gets his smoked salmon from Norway; his roast beef from Australia; his salamis from Italy. He roasts his own coffee from Chiang Mai.

Where to stay in Ko Pha-ngan

As a general guide: As further you walk along the beach to the last resort, the better and quieter the accommodation.

You can usually find accommodation at the pier when you arrive, many of resorts offers taxi service from pier for free. However, during the full moon period it is worth booking ahead unless you want to sleep on the beach or spend the night in one of the more expensive lodgings. If you are thinking of booking accommodation on-line before you arrive, make sure you book direct with the resort or a trustworthy booking site as there are numerous fake sites for several well-known Ko Pha Ngan resorts appearing on the Internet.

There is more to Ko Pha Ngan than the Full Moon Party and Haad Rin, so don’t be afraid to venture out to other beaches. You can still get to the party from just about everywhere.

The decent rooms tend to run out a few days before the Full Moon Party, and throughout the peak season (Dec-Feb). If you have a short vacation or like to have a soft landing, you might want to book a room in advance. This can be quite hard on the less accessible beaches, such as Haad Tien or Haad Yuan.

If you decide to test your luck, try to arrive as early in the day as possible (09:00 seems to be a good time) to have the most time and options for accommodations.

If you come in relatively low-season in Jul and Aug, it is a good idea to book a room in advance just for the first night and rent a motorbike to look around. Beaches differ a lot (some of them are good for diving/snorkelling, some are good for swimming), so do villages (some are really quiet, some are packed with bars). Motorbike trip by the seaside to Chalok Lam and all the places on the way, and to Haad Rin on the other end of the island. Should not be a problem even for less experienced riders and will help you to choose the perfect place which suits your preferences. More remote places are harder to get by motorbike, so if you are thinking about staying in Thong Nai Pan or Bottle Beach, you have to rely on reviews.

For a cheap bungalow, literally moments from white beaches (but no surf whatsoever), turn left from Thong Sala and you will pass strings of quiet bays, each with one or more resorts, featuring a bar, a restaurant, rooms and bungalows, and a few dozen laid back tourists for company. Try Haad Yao, Haad Son, Haad Salad or any of the others along the same strip.

For the north of the island, Chalok Lam, Ko Pha-ngan/Haad Mae Haad, Haad Khom & Bottle Beach are popular.

For long-term stay, you can rent whole house (1 bedroom, small kitchen, bath, Wi-Fi, electricity/water included) for 5-6,000 Thai Baht/month, not on the beach. Bigger houses with 2 bedrooms from 10-12,000 Thai Baht/month. For a 2 week booking, don’t expect half of the monthly price. Two weeks in a 2 bedroom house costs a minimum of 7-9,000 Thai Baht, 1 bedroom 3-4,000 Thai Baht.

Stay safe and avoid Scams on Ko Pha-ngan

Emergency contacts

  • Fire: dial 199
  • Police: dial 191 (077 377 114)
  • Tourist Police: dial 1155 (this supersedes the old “1699” number)
  • Phangan Rescue Centre: dial 077 377 118

Yes, the Full Moon Party (as well as others) is full of drugs, but these days it’s also full of plain clothed policemen out to bust you. Be very careful if you intend to consume illicit drugs. Roadblocks are common, particularly in the week before the FMP between Thong Sala and Haad Rin. Thai police have also been known to force urine tests. Remember that the Thais have harsh penalties for drug offences and the police are working to meet their “quota”. Be aware that you may not be able to bail yourself out of trouble, especially if you get transferred to Surat Thani – and that bribing Thai police will at least cut a deep hole into your travel budget, if it is possible at all. Do not keep drugs on you, in your room, or in your vehicle.

If you plan to drink at a party, make sure you have reliable transportation set up beforehand. The roads here are nothing to mess with, and too many people try to drive home because they don’t have a taxi waiting. If nothing else, find a safe corner and sleep it off before you head home.

It’s not a good idea to accept drinks or food from strangers; there are reported incidents of spiked drinks (from both locals and “fellow” travellers). There have been reports of LSD buckets foisted upon unsuspecting partyers in Haad Rin. Drugged drinks are often and unfortunately followed up by robbery, sexual harassment, or even (gang) rapes. The best idea is to take your own drinks and stay with your friends.

On closer inspection of the buckets sold, most liquor bottles are unsealed, so there is uncertainty about the true contents of every bottle. This may be why so many people get sick.

However a local club owner states “we use the small bottles for the buckets and it is cheaper and easier for us to re-use the small bottles. The local stockists always run out of small bottles so we often replace the contents with that from a larger bottle of the same liquor (some clubs use cheaper liquor. Ask politely at the bar for original liquor and be prepared to pay more for original liquor).

Hangovers come from dehydration. Most kids drink buckets all night, then party in the morning sun on alcohol. Best advice is to drink water regularly, even at night as its hot and sweaty.

Before buying a bucket, check the seal of the bottle and politely ask what’s in it if you are worried. Apart from that, remember the fact that buckets can be very strong and unpredictable. If you intend to drink a lot, try to have solid food beforehand, or you might “lose it” very fast.

It’s advisable to leave all valuables in a safety deposit box or in your guest house owner’s hands instead of taking them to the party.

Wear shoes or sandals to avoid injury from broken bottles or burning cigarettes.

If you’re averse to getting knocked on the head with flaming batons, then don’t venture too close to the fire poi swingers on the beach, as skillful as they may be, the fire sometimes gets out of hand and hits nearby tourists. “Fire Skipping Rope/Jump through Fire Hoop” are dangerous games provided by a few of the beach bars. Take care when participating in these games, especially if you are drunk.

If you plan to leave the island the day after the Full Moon Party, be aware that the boats are usually packed with other tourists who have the same idea. Make sure you’re not getting on an overloaded boat. The same applies to taxi-boats before and after the FMP. Thais frequently overload their longtail boats and lost luggage is at your own expense. Better to get off, reclaim your money and wait for the next one.

There are many good places to stay in Ko Pha Ngan. If you want to stay close to the action, but not too close, you may choose the resorts on the “sunset side” of Haad Rin. You can stay just about anywhere on the island and still get to the Full Moon Party, so don’t be afraid to venture away from Haad Rin, which is the most developed and least Thai beach of them all. There are over 30 coves and beaches on the island, each with its own distinct qualities. Check out local information to find which beach suits you.

Walk away from every potential conflict with locals. You will stand no chance and it’s a surefire way to get hospitalized. Do not get inappropriately rowdy or swear at the beach bar staff. In April an Israeli tourist got stabbed to death right on the dance floor in one of the bars on Haad Rin beach. Violence is frequent. Locals will not help you in a fight and will in fact gang up on you whether you are right or wrong, and “fellow” travellers will do their best to stay out of it. If you find yourself targeted, leave the place immediately and don’t come back the same night.

Compared to most of Thailand (and especially the North and Northeast), citizens of Ko Pha Ngan are generally aggressive, rude, and unfriendly. Don’t expect to be treated as much more than a human ATM. Beware also of other travellers who can also be pretty aggressive when drunk, male or female.

If you walk on some of the smaller backroads of the island, dogs can be a real danger. Many of the dogs you encounter will be highly territorial and unfriendly (barking, baring their teeth, getting very close), especially if it is a group of dogs. Getting bitten means an urgent flight to Bangkok to get rabies treatment, so this is important to avoid. Do not stare directly at the dogs (but do look at them every once in a while as it seems to deter them somewhat), and do not run. Try talking to them continuously in a calm and friendly voice (“what a good dog”, etc.) and move slowly but surely, either away from the dog, or, if it’s critical for you to pass, then as far away as possible from the dog’s “home territory” (e.g., if it ran out of a house on the left side of the road, move along the right side). In an emergency, remember that they’re probably as scared of you as you are of them, so any violent motion (like throwing something) will likely send them running back, but only temporarily. Do this only as a last resort.

Telecommunications in Ko Pha-ngan

Internet cafes are plentiful and typically also offer international calls, fax services, and flight confirmation. The connection and speed is generally good. Expect to pay 1 Thai Baht/min for Internet in central locations. One Thai Baht per minute is typical for predominantly tourist-oriented shops, many of which also offer lower rates for pre-paid blocks of time. In travel agency Tan Tour (50 m to west of 7-Eleven next to the pier) the friendly owner Tomas is famous for not taking charging customers very seriously, so if you stay only a short time you can usually use the Internet for free, or for a longer time you will usually end up paying only 20 Thai Baht/hr instead of 40-60 Thai Baht.

Next door to the 7-Eleven in Thong Sala at the pier there is free (open) Wi-Fi for everyone in Sweet Cafe, so if you don’t mind sitting in the sun you can use it for free. Also in the food court in the Thong Sala night market (actually open all day) there is free Wi-Fi for everyone. It’s not difficult to find well-equipped, quiet, air-con Internet cafés that charge 60 Thai Baht/hr. Shops that can accommodate users who want to hook up their own laptops can easily be found. Printing (black/white) is usually 10 Thai Baht/page (30 Thai Baht/page for colour).

When you venture away from the more developed beaches, expect to pay up to 3 Thai Baht a minute. It can be cheaper just for staying in touch (Skype/Facebook) to buy a SIM card with a 1GB data package for 1 month for 214 Thai Baht (AIS/DTAC), which is enough for mobile Internet, but be aware some beaches do not have a 3G signal (Haad Yuan/Haad Tien, for example).

Mobile phone/SIM cards can be bought and topped-up all around island in many 7-Elevens. Mobile signal strength for DTAC (Happy) or AIS (1-2-Call) is good all around the island. Avoid using the TrueMove network which has very bad coverage.

Some places try to sell overpriced “internet” SIM cards for prices like 100 Thai Baht for the SIM card + 230 Thai Baht for the data. It’s a rip off and there’s no need to waste money for those; normal SIM card costs 50 Thai Baht, and e.g. 600 MB/7 days data package (dtac) is 79 Thai Baht. Refer to Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki – Thailand for the details about the packages available and current pricing.

Overseas calls can be made from many agencies and Internet shops, as well as guesthouses/hotels and the like. Most advertise a rate of 15 Thai Baht/minute (or 25 Thai Baht/minute to mobile phones). Pretty much every Internet place will have headsets for Skype use, which will be free if you don’t have to call to a telephone.

  • Thailand Post (SE of Thong Sala), . Monday to Friday 08:30-16:30; Saturday to Sunday 09:00-12:00Ko Pha Ngan’s main post office. As well as the usual postal services, it handles Western Union transactions and hosts a large number of post/security boxes. There is also a smaller but still official post office in Haad Rin, very close to the ferry pier on the west side. Open similar hours to the main post office but possibly slightly more restricted, as it is really only a quarter the size of Thong Sala’s.

Where to go next after Ko Pha-ngan

* Ang Thong National Marine Park — 2 hours away by boat and a great place for a day-trip only (snorkelling, swimming, kayaking, viewpoint over 42 islands) through travel agencies, not on your own. There are huts and tents available. The main highlight when staying on Ko Pha Ngan.

  • Bangkok — easily reachable by boat + bus (from 750 Thai Baht) or boat + train (1,000-1,250 Thai Baht from the island to BKK via air conditioned sleeper train).
  • Ko Samui — the biggest and most touristy island (on the east coast) of Thailand, many boats departing for there from 250 Thai Baht.
  • Ko Tao — “the biggest dive school on the planet” (Songserm express ferry leaving Thong Sala at 12:30 for 250 Thai Baht).
  • Surat Thani — closest city on the mainland.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.2 / 5. Vote count: 32

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

nlNederlands

Thailand

2 Hours Nonstop Mega Hits 2020🌱 including Krabi, Phi Phi, Chumphon and many other Travel Destinations

mai-khao-3

Latest Tracks during the first lockdown covering Belize, Bahamas, Ibiza, Bali, NSW, Rhodes, Phi Phi Islands, etc.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.6 / 5. Vote count: 35429

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

nlNederlands

Continue Reading

Central Thailand

Hua Hin Cha-am Covid-19 Safe Travel Thailand

huahin1000x600

Hua Hin Travel Guide

Hua Hin is a district in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province of Thailand, 295 kilometers from Bangkok and 90 km from the provincial capital. It is the oldest and most traditional of Thailand’s beach resorts combining the attractions of a modern holiday destination with the charm and fascination of a still active fishing port. Beaches are located in the east of the province, including a 5km stretch of white sand and clear water. Although it has developed to cater for tourists from all over the world, the resort which began its development over 70 years ago, remains popular with Thais too, a good sign for those looking for an authentic experience.

The resort was originally founded in 1830s, when farmers, moving south to escape the results of a severe drought in the agricultural area of Phetchaburi, found a small village beside white sands and rows of rock, and settled in. The tranquil fishing village was turned into a ‘Royal resort’ becoming popular among Siam’s nobility and smart-set.

Accessibility was greatly enhanced by the construction of the railway from Bangkok, which brought visitors from wider social groups, and kick-started the industry which would bring tourists from other countries. The first hotel – The Railway Hotel – was built in 1921 and it still stands today continuing to serve tourists as the Sofitel Central.

Hua Hin was made famous in the early 1920s by King Rama VII, who decided it was an ideal getaway from the steamy metropolis of Bangkok. He built a summer palace and this was echoed when King Rama VII ordered the construction of the Palace of Klaikangwon (“far from worries”). The latter is still much used by the Thai Royal Family today.

The resort continued to develop slowly, protected to some extent by its Royal reputation. Its fishing port grew alongside golf courses and all the big hotel chains are now represented. Many of Bangkok’s rich and famous and a growing number of expats have built their own summer homes along the bay, making the resort more cosmopolitan every year.

Development has taken over much of the prime government land, so the coast road suffers from obstructed views of the sea these days, but Hua Hin is trying hard to retain its beach-side atmosphere. Compared to Pattaya, the resort remains relatively serene and attracts families and older travelers. The beach has a gradual slope, into clear warm water which so far has escaped pollution of any kind.

Further afield, the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province is a charming region, where limestone cliffs and islands, bays and beaches, are home to a national park, and several temples, and travelling through this area will be a welcome experience for those hoping to avoid the tourist traps found further South. Driving from Bangkok through Prachuap Khiri Khan takes around three hours, a journey punctuated by summer palaces, huge temples, beautifully kept gardens and salt flats.

Visitors head to Hua Hin all year round. The area has one of the lowest rainfalls in the country, and there’s usually a gentle sea breeze to punctuate the heat, particularly welcome in the summer season between March and September.

Stay with our Hotel Partners in Hua Hin

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Flights to Hua Hin

Cheap Flights to Hua Hin

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Udon Thani

27.12.2020

03.01.2021

Tickets from 2 007

Chiang Mai

05.02.2021

07.02.2021

Tickets from 2 748

Khon Kaen

06.02.2021

07.02.2021

Tickets from 5 681

Krabi

06.01.2021

08.01.2021

Tickets from 5 932

Hat Yai

10.12.2020

13.12.2020

Tickets from 16 698

Things to see and do in Hua Hin

Dive In
As you would expect with a resort boasting a 5km clean white beach, sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling are popular pastimes. Swimming is safe, and with one of the driest climates across Thailand, there’s plenty of opportunity to dry off in the sun afterwards.

Tee Off
Possibly due to its noble history and elegant clientele, Hua Hin has the highest density of world class golf courses anywhere in Thailand, although it has yet to be discovered by the international golf tournament circuit. Green-fees and other costs are surprisingly low, given that course maintenance and services are superb. The Royal Hua Hin course is one of many, but considered to be the best.

Shop till you drop

Chatchai Market is colourful and inexpensive and is one of Hua Hin’s major attractions. Vendors gather nightly in the centre of town, where they cook fresh gulf seafood for hordes of hungry Thais and provide a spectacle for visitors. As well as plentiful food shops, it offers much that will appeal to souvenir hunters too.

Royal Palace

Klai Kangwon (which means ‘Far From Worries’ ) is the Royal Palace built by King Rama VII in 1928. It was designed by Prince Iddhidehsarn Kridakara, an architect and the Director of the Fine Arts Department at the time, and officially opened in 1929. Further structures have been added over time, including a mansion ordered by King Bhumibol (Rama IX) for Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and accommodation for the royal entourage, built in the style of the original buildings so as to preserve the harmony of the palace. Although Klai Kangwon is still in regular use by the Royal family, it is also open to the public.

Hop on a train
Or more importantly, visit the railway station. Built in the reign of Rama IV, the brightly painted wooden buildings somehow combine traditional Thai ideas with a Victorian feel, and in 2009 Hua Hin made it onto NewsWeek’s Best Stations list, in great company such as New York’s Grand Central, and London’s St Pancras.

Take off
Although one of the joys of Hua Hin is its serenity and calm, if you’re keen to take in more, its fairly easy to find trips which will take you to many of the other southern beach destinations such as Koh Nangyaun, Koh Toa, Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi  and Koa Sok. You may find however that some of these legendary destinations have suffered more at the hands of the global tourist industry than Hua Hin has.

Monkey about
Khao Takiab is referred as Monkey Mountain, but as well as the mischievous residents, it also boasts a hilltop temple with sensational views of Hua Hin, a pagoda-style shrine and a giant golden Buddha which faces the sunrise.

Walk in the Park
The region boasts several parks, and natural attractions, such as the Kangajan National Park, and the Koa Sam Roi Yod Marine Park. You’ll find miles of good walking, amongst lakes, caves and waterfalls, and you’ll be in the company of as elephants, tigers, wild dogs and leopards.

Eat, drink and sleep in Hua Hin

As more affluent ex-pats from all over the world gather to weather the winter, or snap up beachfront properties in Hua Hin, the restaurant scene becomes more cosmopolitan. French, Italian, German and Scandinavian restaurants are all here, in case anyone feels homesick. However, there are also rustic seafood restaurants, especially on the pier, and at several of these you can choose your own fish from the fish market right outside and waiters will bring you the finished result.
There are plenty of simpler local restaurants both inside and out on the streets where you can sample authentic Thai food too.

If you want to try to cook your own Thai food in Hua Hin, the very best place to buy your ingredients, not because it’s the cheapest, but because it is a fabulous experience, is the night market. Right in the centre of town, it opens at 18:00. It’s also a terrific place to buy handicrafts, souvenirs and clothing.

The Chatchai market is a great day market and the place to go for the best street food, as vendors grill, fry, boil and dress the fabulous local fish and shellfish, but don’t forget to leave room for a real local speciality. Roti Hua Hin is a delicious dough-based snack filled with strawberries, custard or raisins.

In a side street just off the market is the Hua Hin Thai Show, a pagoda-style restaurant which combines great food with a nightly musical performance, where you can sample folk with your fish or classical over your clams.

Unlike many Thai resorts, here you will also find more elegant dining, including Thai and Vietnamese food with a more upmarket touch for a real treat. Monsoon is the most romantic and expensive, but it’s worth it for the wine list and the elegant atmosphere. If your budget doesn’t run to dinner, you can enjoy afternoon tea on its teak-decked terrace.

Hua Hin isn’t as lively as many of its neighbours, but that doesn’t mean it’s no go for night life. There are quite a few live music venues, including El Murphy’s the Irish bar, which has its own local band rocking the town with rock and blues classics. There are a couple of country music pubs, and several nightclubs, but for a really classy experience, head to Satchmo’s where a vibrant Filipino band will serenade you as you drink the best Mojito outside Mexico.

Hua Hin has more than its share of upmarket and luxury accommodation. All the main hotel chains are here, and most have lovely grounds, top facilities and restaurants. There are elegant luxury boutique-style hotels too, many with villas and private pools. Sadly, there aren’t as many budget options as there used to be, but if you’re prepared to do some research you can find clean an friendly guesthouses and bed-and-breakfasts at reasonable rates. If you’re planning to stay a while, a rental apartment can be a good option; many of the holiday homes owned by people who live abroad can be rented for at least part of the year. Wherever you stay, Hua Hin is an oasis of calm in a country of exciting contrasts.

Hotels/Resorts in Hua Hin

Hotels Hua Hin: Popularity

Hotel Stars Discount Price per night, from Choose dates

Hua Hin Marriott Resort and Spa

★★★★★

-10%

358323

View Isaan Hotel Deals

G Hua Hin Resort & Mall

★★★★

-26%

13399

View Isaan Hotel Deals

Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa - SHA Certified

★★★★★

-53%

226106

View Isaan Hotel Deals

Amari Hua Hin - SHA Certified

★★★★★

-44%

17196

View Isaan Hotel Deals

Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin

★★★★★

-25%

280210

View Isaan Hotel Deals

The Restro

★★★

-40%

11871

View Isaan Hotel Deals

Asira Boutique HuaHin

★★★★

-22%

130102

View Isaan Hotel Deals

Anantara Hua Hin Resort

★★★★★

-25%

222166

View Isaan Hotel Deals

Putahracsa Hua Hin Resort

★★★★★

-36%

259167

View Isaan Hotel Deals

InterContinental Hua Hin Resort

★★★★★

-40%

14989

View Isaan Hotel Deals

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.3 / 5. Vote count: 2421

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

nlNederlands

Continue Reading

Central Thailand

Ko Si Chang Covid-19 Safe Travel Thailand

Ko Si Chang1000x600

Ko Si Chang (เกาะสีชัง) is a small island, population 4,500, near Si Racha and near Pattaya.

Understand

In the Gulf of Thailand, Ko Sichang’s proximity to the shipping lanes has made it a convenient anchorage for dozens of barges which transship their cargoes to lighters for the trip up the Chao Phraya to Bangkok. Ko Si Chang makes a nice weekend outing for local tourists.

While the beaches are not as enjoyable as those on islands further east and south, such as Ko Samet, tourists can explore the remains of a former royal palace which was built as a summer retreat for King Chulalongkorn. The royal residence was abandoned in 1893 when the French occupied the island during a conflict with Thailand over who would control Laos.

The island has many places of religious interest and value. Be respectful of the local culture and wear modest clothes when visiting the temples and religious shrines. Always remove your shoes and cover your shoulders when entering a holy area. Refrain from topless or nude sunbathing/swimming.

Visit our Hotel Partners in Ko Si Chang

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Get in

By bus You can catch a government bus from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) or Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai). Both stations have buses that leave everyday, on the hour. The trip to Si Racha takes about 2 hours. At Mo Chit, go to Window 54 to purchase your ticket. Tickets are 92 Thai Baht from Mo Chit, 88 Thai Baht one-way from Ekamai and there is no discount for buying a return fare.

By boat Upon arrival in Si Racha, take a tuk-tuk for 50 Thai Baht to the pier. Boats to Ko Sichang leave hourly (every two hours in low season) from the pier on Ko Loy. The ferry takes about 40 minutes and is 50 Thai Baht per person each way (July 2019).

The information counter at the pier in Ko Sichang provides useful information and a brochure identifying five important locations on the island, written in Thai and English. This counter may not be open in low-season.

When leaving the island, be careful. The ferry may leave from a pier different from the one you came in on (eg. the one north of the marina or the one near the 7-11). It’s best to ask a local motorbike taxi driver when you are close to the piers, and he will direct you.

Get around

Motorcycle buffs will be intrigued by the strange motorcycle samlors peculiar to Ko Sichang, three-wheeled motorized rickshaws with outrageously powerful car or Harley Davidson engines. These once roamed the streets of Bangkok, but were banished to Si Racha years ago. They can be hired for about 60 Thai Baht an hour to take visitors on a tour of the island.

For groups of tourists, a one-day around-the-island transport package can be arranged at the pier. The charge for the three-wheeled motorized tuk-tuk, which can accommodate 5 persons, is around 250 Thai Baht, and the pick-up truck, which can accommodate 10 persons, is around 500 Thai Baht. Tourists can spend however long they wish at each location, and the pick-up time for the next location can be agreed as you get off at each location or you can call the driver’s mobile phone when needing pick-up.

By motorbike By far the most popular way to get around the island is by renting a motorbike, usually priced at around 300 Thai Baht/day. As there are few steep hills, the island is easily navigated by novices. Motorbikes can be rented at the pier, or at many guest houses or rental facilities along the main road

By foot For travellers who have more time or want to see the island at a slower pace, the island is easily navigated on foot. All of the island’s main attractions can be seen in one day, and you can walk to most places in less than an hour.

See

  • Buddha’s Footprint and LookoutAccessible from the main road, or from San Jao Phaw Khao Yai, this lookout offers amazing views of both the island and the small lake known as Buddha’s Footprint. The lookout has a shrine and a bell. If you wish to notify the spirits that you are visiting, ring the bell three times.
  • Rama IV Summer Palace and Gardens (Halfway down the east coast). The remains of the 19th century palace. You can spend an hour or two wandering around the old buildings, gardens, the pier, and the small beaches.
  • San Jao Phaw Khao Yai (Northeast of the piers). This venerable multi-level Chinese temple is perched high on a cliff and has a spectacular view back toward the mainland. The temple has many rooms and caves to be explored. To the right, just before entering the main hall, you will see stairs leading up to Buddha’s footprint.
  • Wat Tham Yai PrikThis large temple on the hill includes a giant golden Buddha visible from the ferry, as well as many other Buddha statues. The temple has a great view, caves and many buildings to explore. The local monks will be happy to show you around and offer a blessing, although as with anything related to monks in Thailand this will cost. Please note that any legitimate Buddhist Monk is forbidden from handling money, donations are always welcome at Wat (temples) but it is never expected or asked for. Payment for any legitimate blessing would be given in a donation box, anything else is a tourist scam.

Do

  • CavesOf interest is the large cave known as Tham Saowapha which is said to extend over a kilometre into the limestone interior of the island. Another cave, the chimney-like Tham Chaprakong gives access to the view from the top of the hill. Other caves on the island are home to meditating hermits, so visitors should take care not to cause any disturbance. Many of the temples on the island also have caves used for worship which can be explored as long as you are being respectful.
  • Taam Pang BeachThe only real beach on the island offers nice swimming and good snacks. Beware of rubbish which can find it’s way onto the beach when the tide comes in. The island offers beautiful sunsets seen off Taam Pang Beach or Chom Kao Kard.

Eat

The cafe on the beach is very good, with reasonable prices.

  • Pan and David’sA good mix of Western and Thai food.
  • Tiew Pai Park Resort Restaurant. Reasonably priced, mostly Thai food.

Sleep

  • Ban Khun Ning Sichang Resort ,   A nice place to stay. Built in Thai residence style, it offers guests large and comfortable rooms. Air-con, hot showers, free Wi-Fi, coffee/tea, and cable TV. 600+ Thai Baht.
  • Charlie’s BungalowsA centrally-located guest house. Air-con, hot showers, and cable TV. 900 Thai Baht.
  • Jeff BungalowsSpotless rooms with DVD, cable TV, free coffee/tea/soft drinks. 600 Thai Baht.
  • Malee Blue HutBuilt in an old Moroccan-style mansion called “Dracula’s Castle” by the locals. Air-con rooms go for 1,200 Thai Baht, including cable TV and breakfast.
  • Tham Phang Beach Resort.  Not the cleanest or cheapest accommodation, but it is on the island’s only real beach.

Stay safe

Be careful at night. As you move away from the more popular areas, the street lighting is poor or non-existent. If you are planning on walking around the island, a torch would be helpful.

Where to go next after Ko Sichang

Be careful when leaving the island. Your departure pier may not be the same as your arrival pier.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.5 / 5. Vote count: 1431

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

nlNederlands

Continue Reading

Southern Thailand

Khao Lak Covid-19 Safe Travel to Thailand

Khao Lak (เขาหลัก) is a 20 km long strip of coastal resorts in Phang Nga Province on the Andaman Sea beaches of Southern Thailand, about 100 km north of Phuket Town. When the disastrous tsunami of 2004 struck South Asia, the Khao Lak region was the hardest-hit area in Thailand with over 4,000 fatalities, more […]

khaolak1000x600

Khao Lak (เขาหลัก) is a 20 km long strip of coastal resorts in Phang Nga Province on the Andaman Sea beaches of Southern Thailand, about 100 km north of Phuket Town. When the disastrous tsunami of 2004 struck South Asia, the Khao Lak region was the hardest-hit area in Thailand with over 4,000 fatalities, more than 3,000 more who were never accounted for, and thousands who were injured. It has since made an impressive recovery and is once again a popular tourism destination. Unlike Phuket, the many resorts in the Khao Lak area cater mainly to families and those looking for peace, quiet, and nature.

Understand

Khao Lak is a ~20 km stretch of lovely beaches along the Andaman Sea coastline set against a backdrop of jungle-covered mountains. The region is dotted with numerous resorts and tourist facilities.

The name “Khao Lak” translates as “Lak Mountain”. The mountain is the centerpiece of Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park.The headland formed as the mountain plunges into the sea near the southern end of the Khao Lak roughly marks the southern boundary of the Khao Lak region.

The attractions of Khao Lak are impressive and many, but they are not flashy. The expanses of lovely uncrowded parks, mountains, roads, and beaches, relatively unspoiled nature, easy access to great off-shore diving, accommodations ranging from luxury to basic, and an infrastructure that supports tourism, but not at the expense of local customs or the Thai way of life, appeal to an increasing number of visitors.

Stay with our Hotel Partners in Khao Lak

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Compared with a place like Patong, Khao Lak can seem boring, especially during low season (Apr-Nov). If jet skis (forbidden in Khao Lak) or exotic nightlife and its associated attractions are the reason you’ve come to Thailand, Khao Lak is probably not the place for you. On the other hand, it’s an excellent vacation spot for people seeking to get off the treadmill, for family getaways, and for nature-lovers.

Films

Released in early-2013, The Impossible, a Spanish production (Spanish title: Lo Imposible), recounts the events of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Filmed on location in Khao Lak at the Orchid Beach Resort, it is the story of a family caught up in the events of 26 Dec 2004 and its aftermath. Starring Naomi Watts and Ewan MacGregor, the film incorporates stunning special effects recreating the tragic events of that day and the weeks following. Many Khao Lak residents participated in the filming as consultants or as extras.

Orientation, addresses, and navigation

The entire Khao Lak region straddles Phetkasem Road (ถนนเพชรเกษม, also Petchkasem Road or Thailand Route 4 (ทางหลวงแผ่นดินหมายเลข4), one of the four major highways in Thailand. At 1,274 km, it is the longest highway in Thailand, stretching from Bangkok to the Malaysian border.

The centre of the Khao Lak area is 37 km north of the Sarasin Bridge, gateway to Ko Phuket, 76 km north of Phuket International Airport, and 106 km north of Phuket City.

Driving north from Phuket, at km803 you will see a sign for Ban Khao Lak, a small village of little interest. Then, after climbing over Lak Mountain on a curvy road, you will descend into Bang La On, de facto heart of the Khao Lak region.

Khao Lak is laid out like a long strip mall. Early settlement patterns resulted in three population centres spaced out along the beaches. Since the 2004 tsunami, development in low-lying areas has tended to gravitate away from the beach, nearer to the highway.

The region hosts many resorts, scattered chiefly among three main urban areas, all containing businesses identifying themselves as “Khao Lak”. This can be confusing to visitors and it is useful to distinguish between the settlements.

From south to north the population centres are:

  • Bang La On
  • Bang Niang
  • Khuk Khak

Bang La On

Bang La On is the most tourist-oriented of the three main Khao Lak towns.

Stretching from km795 to km797, Bang La On is mistakenly called Khao Lak by most visitors. It has many shops, bars, restaurants and banks. Any given group of store fronts seems to consist of a souvenir shop, a tailor shop, a dive shop, a massage parlour, an eyewear shop, and a restaurant. Strolling along the short main town centre in the evening can be quite pleasant as there are pavements.

If you are travelling by bus and tell the conductor you are going to “Khao Lak”, Bang La On is where you will be let off the bus, near the Nang Thong Supermarket. This may be far from your intended destination, so try to be more specific if you are not staying near there.

Just south of the supermarket, Nang Thong Road leads to the town’s beach, Nang Thong.

Webcam: Just north of the Nang Thong Supermarket are the offices of Khao Lak Land Discovery, a local tour organiser. Their webcam is mounted on the roof of their building. It shows you a segment of Rte 4, roughly in the centre of Bang La On. Camera’s angle of view is to the southeast.

Bang Niang

A couple of kilometres north of Bang La On is Bang Niang. Bang Niang is more “Thai” and less “tourist” than Bang La On. The 7-Eleven at km793.3 roughly marks the town centre.

Bang Niang is not much to look at, but is home to the intermittent outdoor market (“talat nat” ตลาดนัด) that takes place in the centre of the town just south of the 7-Eleven on M-W-Sa, from roughly 13:00 until dark. You will find the market area dusty on dry days and muddy on wet days, so dress down for a visit.

Bang Niang is, increasingly, a centre of Khao Lak’s nightlife as it is home to a significant number of the area’s most popular bars, discos, and cabarets.

Bang Niang Beach can be accessed by turning towards the sea at the 7-Eleven shop in town centre.

Khuk Khak

Heading north again from Bang Niang, a couple of kilometres will bring you to Khuk Khak. It is even more Thai and less farang than Bang Niang and is the regional centre for things like hardware, paint, kitchen equipment, etc., i.e., all the infrastructural ingredients that keep the resorts running.

It has the daily “fresh market” (“talat sot” ตลาดสด) and the area’s only real, albeit tiny, bus station.

Khuk Khak Beach can be reached by turning at the signpost just south of km790 or, better, turning at the JW Marriott Hotel sign (km789.1) and following the signs to the hotel, then proceeding past it to the beach.

North of Khuk Khak are Pakarang Beach and Pakarang Cape (km787), Pakweep Beach (km784), and Bang Sak Beach (km780). The latter beach is just ~18 km south of Takua Pa.

Pakarang Beach is a beautiful and quiet beach overlooking Cape Pakarang and Andaman Sea beyond. During the high season (November to February), as well as parts of the low season, meals can be bought from nearby food outlets and consumed in the series of huts that have been constructed close to the shore. The setting provides a perfect meditative antidote all year round to the bustle of the Khao Lak area in general.

Navigating Khao Lak can be confusing to visitors because many businesses use their mailing addresses in ads and a mailing address can be very misleading. Almost the entire Khao Lak region (except Ban Khao Lak itself) is located in the Khuk Khak Sub-district of the Takua Pa District of Phang Nga Province. Mailing addresses in the area include both the district and sub-district. Thus a typical address will read: “Moo 3/15, Khuk Khak, Takua Pa, Phang Nga”. This would lead visitors to think that the business is in Khuk Khak. In reality, the business could be located in Bang La On or Bang Niang or Khuk Khak or anywhere else in the Khuk Khak Sub-district. The mailing address is of absolutely no help in finding the business. Be careful when reading tourist brochures as many businesses do not go to the trouble of telling you their physical location.

Climate & Weather

The climate of the Khao Lak region is under the influence of two monsoon winds of a seasonal nature: a southwest monsoon and a northeast monsoon. The southwest monsoon starts in April when a stream of warm moist air from the Indian Ocean moves inland resulting in significant rain. It peaks in October, Khao Lak’s wettest month. Subsequent months, under the influence of prevailing northeast winds, are much drier.

Khao Lak Days with Rain, per Month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 4 7 15 24 23 21 23 24 22 16 6

In simple terms, Khao Lak effectively has two seasons:

  • A rainy or southwest monsoon season (April to October). The southwest monsoon prevails over the region and abundant rain occurs. This is the year’s wettest period.
  • A dry or northeast monsoon season (November to March). Dry air moves into the region from China. This is the driest period of the year, with March being the hottest month.

From a tourist’s perspective, the dry season is the ideal time to visit Khao Lak, although rainfall numbers can be misleading. Rainfall in Khao Lak tends to occur in late afternoon/early evening, and is often of short duration. Rainy day statistics count any rainfall during a 24-hour period as a rainy day. Further confusing the issue, rainfall in Khao Lak is often highly localized, i.e., brief showers occurring at one location in the area, while everywhere else remains dry.

Get in

By plane

The easiest way to get to Khao Lak is to fly into either Phuket (the closest alternative) or Krabi and go to Khao Lak from there. Both airports serve international as well as domestic destinations.

A taxi from Phuket airport to Khao Lak costs 1,100-1,600 Thai Baht. The later you arrive, the more expensive the ride. Woe betide you if you have a 03:00 arrival time. If you think this is too much and prefer to take a bus (only possible during daytime), you will have to get to the main road, Highway 4, about 5 km from the airport. (This may not be easy, as the airport taxi “mafia” discourages motorbike taxi trips to the main highway or short hops to cheaper means of travel). If you manage to get to the highway, take a bus headed towards Takua Pa, Ranong or Surat Thani; they all stop on request in Khao Lak or wherever along the road you indicate. It’s about 80 km from Phuket airport to Khao Lak. Bus fares vary from 80-100 Thai Baht; some are air-conditioned, others not.

Cheap Flights to Phuket

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Bangkok

19.05.2021

21.05.2021

Tickets from 568

Udon Thani

21.03.2021

24.03.2021

Tickets from 1 650

Khon Kaen

21.03.2021

24.03.2021

Tickets from 1 759

Chiang Rai

27.02.2021

03.03.2021

Tickets from 1 784

Pattaya

22.01.2021

24.01.2021

Tickets from 1 903

Hat Yai

04.02.2021

07.02.2021

Tickets from 2 049

Nakhon Si Thammarat

13.02.2021

15.02.2021

Tickets from 2 230

Chiang Mai

01.02.2021

04.02.2021

Tickets from 2 797

Phitsanulok

25.01.2021

28.01.2021

Tickets from 3 262

Buri Ram

16.12.2020

18.12.2020

Tickets from 3 747

Singapore

05.01.2021

12.01.2021

Tickets from 3 965

Penang

20.05.2021

30.05.2021

Tickets from 4 038

New Delhi

25.01.2021

29.01.2021

Tickets from 4 348

Da Nang

05.03.2021

08.03.2021

Tickets from 4 759

Trang

31.12.2020

02.01.2021

Tickets from 4 760

Ho Chi Minh City

24.01.2021

30.01.2021

Tickets from 5 466

Nakhon Phanom

28.11.2020

28.11.2020

Tickets from 5 691

Lampang

25.12.2020

27.12.2020

Tickets from 6 227

Hong Kong

14.01.2021

21.01.2021

Tickets from 6 227

Seoul

02.02.2021

18.02.2021

Tickets from 7 969

Denpasar Bali

01.02.2021

28.02.2021

Tickets from 7 997

Mumbai

12.12.2020

27.12.2020

Tickets from 8 945

Goa

08.02.2021

22.02.2021

Tickets from 9 440

Taipei

02.09.2021

22.09.2021

Tickets from 10 069

Dhaka

31.12.2020

03.01.2021

Tickets from 10 982

Shanghai

21.01.2021

28.01.2021

Tickets from 11 284

Irkutsk

06.04.2021

20.04.2021

Tickets from 11 639

Shenyang

13.01.2021

24.01.2021

Tickets from 12 157

Novosibirsk

17.04.2021

02.05.2021

Tickets from 12 829

Vladivostok

01.04.2021

14.04.2021

Tickets from 13 278

By train

The nearest train station is at Surat Thani on the east coast, making this a less convenient option than just hopping on bus. But the romance of trains is irresistible to many, so if you want to take the train leaving Khao Lak, jump on a bus to Surat Thani for the 4 hr ride. The bus’s first stop in Surat will be at the train station, some 13 km before reaching town centre.

Getting to Khao Lak from Bangkok is the reverse. Take a train to Surat Thani, then a bus to Khao Lak. Incidentally, if you are on a very tight budget, the train is by far the cheapest way to get to Khao Lak. A 3rd-class ticket from Bangkok to Surat is ~483 Thai Baht, a bus from Surat to Khao Lak, ~150 Thai Baht. Keep in mind that 3rd-class train travel is not comfortable. You will have a straight-backed, lightly padded bench-type seat, facing your neighbour, both of you competing for available foot room, while adjacent to another neighbour, jostling for elbow room. No air-conditioning, fans and open windows only. Don’t worry about food as you will be besieged by food and drink hawkers at every station stop. Be prepared for a ~12-hour journey!

For more info, you can try to tease it out of the sometimes infuriating state railway website [formerly dead link].

By bus

No buses have Khao Lak as their starting or ending point, but the region is well-served by buses originating in Bangkok, Chumphon, Phuket, Ranong, Surat Thani, and Takua Pa. All travel through Khao Lak on Rt 4. Most will stop at your command; express buses will not. Do not be dismayed if you try to flag down a bus and it does not stop. It is an express bus. Just wait for a local. It will be smaller, not a double-decker, and less posh.

BKS buses stop at the BKS Bus Terminal in Khuk Khak only. BKS (บขส, say the Thai initials as Baw Kaw Saw) is the government bus company. Its small terminal is located near the fresh market in central Khuk Khak a couple of blocks behind the 7-Eleven shop there.

Buses depart Bangkok to Phuket via Khao Lak from the southern bus terminal Sai Tai Mai. The 10 hour trip runs overnight and costs less than 500 Thai Baht. Bus tickets provided by Bangkok travel agents may route your trip via Surat Thani where you have to switch to a different bus.

Buses departing from Chumphon to Phuket take around 5 hours to arrive in Khao Lak and will stop opposite the Nang Thong Supermarket unless you tell the bus conductor otherwise. Cost from Chumphon is 270 Thai Baht.

“Local” buses, e.g., the ones travelling from Takua Pa to Phuket, pass through Khao Lak roughly every hour or so until about 18:00. You can flag them down anywhere along Rte 4 and they will stop for you. There is a small bus stop in central Bang La On, roughly opposite the Nang Thong Supermarket, in front of Kinnaree Bakery. This side of the road is for southbound (direction Phuket) buses. Across the street from this in front of Khao Lak Tourism and Tour is what passes for a bus stop for northbound (direction Takua Pa, Surat Thani, Bangkok) buses.

To travel to Khao Lak from the bus station in Phuket, take a bus towards Takua Pa, Ranong or Surat Thani. Tickets cost 90 Thai Baht and the journey takes around 2 hours. Departures at 06:30, 09:00, 11:40, 13:00, 15:40, 16:20, 17:00, 17:50. This service travels onward to Takua Pa with the full trip costing 90 Thai Baht.

From Takua Pa to Khao Lak, possibly departing on the hour, this service travels onward to Phuket with the trip from Takua Pa to Phuket costing 90 Thai Baht.

From Krabi Town there’s a daily minibus to Khao Lak. All travel agents in Krabi sell tickets.

From Hua Hin: There is a VIP bus departing the Hua Hin bus station south of town centre at 22:30 arrives 07:30, 1,011 Thai Baht (May 2020).

Get around

Given that the Khao Lak region is about 20 km in length, knowing how to get around is important.

Local transport is not a strength of the Khao Lak region. For starters, it is a nightmare for pedestrians as it is sprawling, and the infrastructure for walkers is mostly non-existent. Second, Rte 4 is the area’s major north-south highway. For the most part traffic roars through populated areas at excessive speed, making the roadway highly dangerous. Police make no attempt to control speed limits. Third, there is no clearly marked and regular shuttle bus that moves up and down the length of Khao Lak. This forces visitors to fend for themselves, hiring motorbikes (which many visitors have no experience driving), trekking between towns, or hiring taxis (which is probably why there is no regular shuttle bus service).

The main methods of travel within the Khao Lak region are:

  • Walking
  • Bicycling
  • Motorbike
  • Songthaew
  • Taxi

Walking is practical and pleasant at the south end of Bang La On, but pretty unpleasant for any distance in Bang Niang and Khuk Khak, and downright dangerous between towns. Few sidewalks exist, and when they do they are broken and uneven. Where even crude sidewalks are absent, one is forced to walk at the side of the road, precisely where motorbikes prefer to drive. This can be hazardous, especially at night. If you do find yourself having to walk the highway at night, walk facing on-coming traffic and use a torch or your phone light to warn approaching motorbikes.

Most guesthouses and hotel rent bicycles, or can arrange for you to rent one or more. Bicycles are expensive compared with motorbikes. Daily short-term rentals run 100 Thai Baht per day. Bicycles are not a practical alternative at night as none are equipped with lights.

Motorbikes can be rented from almost any hotel, guest house or bar in the area, no qualifications required. Prices are dependent on the duration of the rental and the type of motorbike. You can expect to pay ~250 Thai Baht a day for a short term rental of a Honda Click (110-125cc, automatic scooter) and as little as 100 Thai Baht per day for a long-term rental of a month or more.

Chances are that the person renting you the bike will want to take possession of your passport for the duration of the rental. This may be non-negotiable, but try to forestall it by offering a photocopy of your passport in lieu of the actual document.

Motorbike rentals do not come with insurance of any kind. If the bike is damaged while in your custody, you will be on the hook for repairs. If you are in an accident that involves a Thai, it is almost certain that you will be named as the one at fault, regardless of the actual circumstances. In that case, you will be liable for damages and medical charges incurred by everyone involved.

When renting a bike it is sensible: a) take photos of the bike when taking possession. This can help in preventing later disputes over damage, and b) ensure that you get a good helmet (or two) when taking possession. Police in the area conduct frequent roadblocks. If you are not wearing a helmet, you will be fined 300-500 Thai Baht.

There is only one petrol station within the boundaries of Khao Lak proper. It is located just north of Khuk Khak centre at km790.5. Hours of operation are 07:00-20:00. Cost of fuel: ~35 Thai Baht per litre. If you find you are running short of fuel, or if it is after-hours, you can buy 1-litre bottles of fuel from roadside stands for 40 Thai Baht each. Just look for a collection of re-purposed whisky bottles containing yellowish fluid. It is advisable to purchase this fuel sparingly as it is impossible to gauge its purity or how long it has been sitting there turning to varnish.

Many locals use songthaews to get around. They are 4-wheeled pick-up trucks of varying colours featuring two rows of seats in the bed at the rear, covered by a sheet metal roof with plastic side curtains. Only rarely do they display the limits of their travels, e.g., Bang La On to Takua Pa and, if they do, it is in Thai only. During daylight hours, songthaews pass up and down Rt. 4 every fifteen minutes or so. Flag one down if it is going in same direction you are and state your destination. The driver will tell you if he does not go there. A short hop from, say, Bang La On to Bang Niang, will cost 20 Thai Baht per person. A trip from one end of Khao Lak to the other end will cost about 50 Thai Baht. When you want to get off, press the buzzer (if there is one), or bang on the roof. Pay on departing.

After dark, songthaews seem to disappear, although the occasional one is spotted.

One caution: the taxi industry, some would say “cartel”, in Khao Lak is quite organised and clever. They would prefer that you took taxis everywhere rather than use the more communal form of transport. In other words, they go to considerable lengths to force you to hire a vehicle outright rather than board a songthaew. Thus, you may find that songthaews are not inclined to stop to pick you up.

There are no Khao Lak-based metered taxis. If you do see one, it has most likely just come from the airport in Phuket. Instead, off-hours songthaews serve as taxis in Khao Lak. You will find collections of them near town centres waiting for fares. They are more expensive than songthaews: a 50 Thai Baht trip in a songthaew might cost you 300 Thai Baht in a taxi.

If you hire a songthaew taxi outright rather than waiting for one by the side of the road, agree on a price beforehand. Be sure you are quoted either the total price for all persons, or a price per person. To go to the market in Khuk Khak approximately 2 km from Bang Niang will cost 100-200 Thai Baht or more.

Many of the resort hotels will offer complimentary transportation at set times during the day. Check with the front desk. Also, some restaurants and other businesses will offer free pickup within a reasonable distance in exchange for your patronage.

See

To the south

  • Lampi Waterfall (turn off at km820). About 30 minutes south of Khao Lak just off Hwy 4. A very nice waterfall, best viewed in the early morning as the sun rises from behind the mountains and the rays shine through the mist. The falls are only a short walk from the car park, making access easy for all. There is a small shop on-site where you can buy drinks (including tea and coffee), ice cream and souvenirs. There are also toilets on-site. Swimming in the water below the falls is permitted and appears reasonably safe.

Bang La On

  • Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park (km798.5, at the top of the Khao Lak headland, adjacent to police checkpoint). 08:30-16:30. Nice walks and a restaurant. Entrance on the headland between Nang Thong and Khao Lak beaches. Walkable from the resorts in Bang La On. Across the road from park headquarters there is a Buddhist shrine to the Khao Lak (Khao Lak mountain) god. Non-Thai adult: 100 Thai Baht; non-Thai, under 14 years: 50 Thai Baht. Thai adult: 20 Thai Baht; Thai, under 14 years, 10 Thai Baht. All children under 3: no charge.

Bang Niang

  • Ton Chong Fah Waterfall (7 km inland (a quarter of which is unimproved dirt road) off Rte 4, at the northern end of Bang Niang. Turn is marked with a blue signpost.). 08:00-16:30. Great for hot days. Enjoy a short swim. Very scenic and accessible to all. 100 Thai Baht for foreigners/50 Thai Baht for children..

To the north

  • Rainbow Waterfall. Approximately 10 minutes north of Bang Niang by motor-scooter, turn right at road sign, then right again at signpost. Waterfall is particularly vibrant during the rainy season, but swimming in the water-hole is available all year round. Can climb to the top of the waterfall by etching out a path to the right of the fall. Drinks and light food are available at the bottom of the waterfall
  • Cheow Lan Lake and Rachaphrapha Dam. Just 2 hr north of Khao Lak off Hwy 401. Superb views over the lake to the limestone ridges. Boat trips are available to rafts (for overnight accommodation you will need to pre book at Khao Sok National Park HQ or book the trip via a tour agency).
  • Khao Sok National Park (just over an hour north of the Khao Lak area on Rte 4. Turning to Khao Sok at km109). Nature activities including jungle trekking on foot or elephant, visiting waterfalls & river rafting/canoeing. Park HQ incorporates small natural history displays of local flora and fauna. A good day out. Accommodations near park HQ available for extended visits. Adults: 200 Thai Baht; Children: 100 Thai Baht.
  • Saori Foundation Centre, Bang Muang (drive north from Khao Lak and Bang Niang to Ban Muang; go through the built up area and a few hundred metres further on you will see on the left an official-looking entrance. Turn left into it and find the Saori workshop on the left.). A women’s workshop which develops its own textile designs after a Japanese monk showed tsunami survivors how to weave and earn a living. Visitors are welcome Monday – Saturday.
  • Takua Pa Old Town (north on Rte 4). Takua (ตะกั่ว) in Thai means lead, the metal. Which is odd, because the town was a centre for tin–not lead– mining in the 1920s and 1930s. Little remains of that era except for some old photos in the Takua Pa Library.
    In the old quarter of Takua Pa you will find Sino-Portuguese architecture and have the chance to wander around the quaint shops (best in the early morning). About 30 minutes drive north of Khao Lak. Takua Pa market and River Plaza are in the new town, near the bus station. There is a typical local market. The plaza has some good shops and a few riverside restaurants.
    On a macabre note, Takua Pa was the centre for relief efforts following the tsunami. The collection/ identification point for recovered bodies was located here, and there is reputed to be a cemetery holding the remains of unidentified foreign victims of the disaster.
    A great, alternative way to get to Takua Pa is to turn right at km784 following the signs to the Sai Rung waterfall. The next 17 km will take you on one of Thailand’s most lovely roads–no traffic, perfect tarmac, and no hills to speak of (perfect for bicycling). You will come to a T-junction. Turn left to old town Takua Pa, 1 km.

Do

Diving

With the Similan Islands and Mu Ko Surin National Park, home to some of the best diving in Asia, just offshore, this is one of the main attractions in the area. There are also several local dive sites to choose from and many competent local companies to guide you. Map of Similan Islands dive sites

  • IQ Diving, 4/42 Moo 7, Bang La On (across Rte 4 from McDonald’s) , ✉ sh_erin@live.de. Diving & snorkelling in Khao Lak, visiting the Similan Islands, tin barge wrecks, and local sites. Small or large groups, safety focused and family-friendly.
  • Khao Lak Explorer, 4/81 Moo 7, Bang La On (across Rte 4 from McDonald’s) , ✉ info@khaolakexplorer.com. High quality dive centre, providing liveaboards and daytrips to the Similans, Ko Phi Phi and all dive sites in the area.
  • Kon-Tiki Khao Lak Diving & Snorkeling Center, 13/128 Moo 7, Bang La On (turn towards sea at the Nang Thong Supermarket [Nang Thong Road]. ~200 m down on left.) , ✉ info@kontiki-khaolak.com. Established in 1996, Kon-Tiki is one of the longest running dive centres in Khao Lak offering daily dive trips, PADI dive education and liveaboards to the best dive sites in Thailand.
  • Manta Point Dive Center, 91/6 Moo 7, Bang La On (adjacent to Dr. Chusak, Krungsri Bank, north end of town) , ✉ info@mantapoint.com. Khao Lak dive safaris since 1999. Liveaboards and scuba day trips to Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock. Similan Snorkel Safaris and PADI dive courses.
  • Oktavia Dive Center, 70/4 Moo 5, Bang Niang (200 m past Pinocchio Restaurant towards the beach) , ✉ mvoktavia@gmail.com. Owners and operators of MV Oktavia, one of the largest vessels cruising the Similan Islands for divers, snorkellers and sun-worshippers.
  • Sea Dragon Dive Center, 5/51 Moo 7, Bang La On (north end of Bang La On, inland side of Rte 4, 50 m south of The Book Tree) , ✉ info@seadragondivecenter.com. 5 Star PADI IDC centre specialising in liveaboards and day trips to the Similan Islands, Ko Bon, Richelieu Rock, and local reefs and wrecks. Established in 1993, Khao Lak’s original dive centre now offers 6 different boats and 10 different diving and snorkelling trips. All ages, tastes, styles and budgets catered for. Many languages spoken and small diving groups guaranteed.
  • Sign Scuba, 5/11 Moo 7, Bang La On (on main road, near Viking Steakhouse). Thai/Euro-run dive centre doing liveaboards, day trips, PADI and SSI courses out of Khao Lak. They’ve been operating for 20 or so years on the same dive sites so they know their stuff.
  • Thailand Dive & Sail (Khao Lak Dive Centre), 4/88 Moo 7, Soi Bang La On (on the side street leading to Banana Bungalows near the Viking Restaurant) , ✉ info@thailanddiveandsail.com. Reliable, independent information and booking services for scuba diving, snorkelling and sailing trips to the Similan Islands.
  • Wicked Diving, Khao Lak, 4/17 Moo 7, Bang La On (on main road, next to Viking Steakhouse in Bang La On) , ✉ info@wickeddiving.com. Operating liveaboards on 3 and 5 day expeditions to the Similan and Surin Islands. Also offers guided overnight snorkelling tours of the Surin islands in maximum groups of 6 guests.
  • Similan Diving Safaris, Nang Thong Road 13/19 moo 7 (take the road next to the Nang Thong supermarket; on the left of this road, about a 100 m walk) , ✉ info@similan-diving-safaris.com. 9AM-9PM. Offering 3,4 and 5 day liveaboards to the Similan Islands, Koh Bon , Koh Tachai, Surin Islands and Richelieu Rock. (updated Aug 2018)

Golf

  • Mountain View Driving Range (North Khuk Khak. Go to ~km789.3. Turn at Scandinavian Corner onto Bang Ta Tian Road. Proceed 4-5 km until you see the Mountain View sign.). Irregular hours. Opens early, stays open until at least dark or until last customers leave. Beautiful mountain valley setting and modern facility. Its remoteness means it does not see a lot of activity. You may have to struggle to find someone to take your money.
  • Tublamu Navy Golf Course (south on Rte 4 to Lam Kaen. Turn towards the sea at ~km804. Proceed ~1.2 km until you see the entrance/gatehouse on your right. Don’t be put off by the two Royal Thai Marine guards at the gate. Just tell them you want to play golf and they will let you through.) , fax: +66 70 907792. 07:00-21:00. In the 1990s the Royal Thai Navy constructed an 18-hole, par 72, 7,160 yd golf course on their naval base here, hard by the ocean. It is now open to the public. Has a small pro shop, snack bar, and restaurant. Greens fee: 1,600 Thai Baht (half price on Mondays and Thursdays); club rental: 1,000 Thai Baht; Shoes rental: 100 Thai Baht; caddy fee: 220 Thai Baht; golf cart: 400 Thai Baht for 1 person, 600 Thai Baht for 2 persons..

Snorkelling

Khao Lak is the most convenient point from which to go snorkelling in the Surin and Similan Islands, which offer some of Thailand’s best coral and fish diversity and numbers. It takes usually 1-2 hours by speedboat to get to the islands. Several companies offer 1/2/3 day tours.

  • Andaman Snorkel Discovery, 5/52 Moo 7, Khuk Khak, fax: +66 76 485326, ✉ info@andamansnorkeldiscovery.com. Offers a 3 day/3 night snorkelling liveaboard trip to Similan Islands & Ko Bon & Ko Tachai & Surin Islands. This mix is absolutely unique for snorkellers.
  • Fantastic Similan Travel, 40/9 Moo 6, Khuk Khak , ✉ info@fantasticsimilan.com. A popular and well-organised company offering snorkelling to the Similan Islands with a fleet of 4 boats. Thai-owned and managed with good reviews on travel forums. Bookable through the website or at tour shops locally. 3,200 (adults)/2,200 Thai Baht (children).
  • Khao Lak Land Discovery, 21/5 Moo 7, Bang La On (just south of the Discovery Cafe, central Bang La On) , fax: +66 76 485412, ✉ info@khaolaklanddiscovery.com. Professionally operated and guided snorkelling tours (day trips and overnight) to Similan and Surin Islands with German, Swedish, and English guides.
  • Sea Star, 5/12 Moo 7, Khuk Khak , fax: +66 76 485515, ✉ info@seastarandaman.com. Specialised in snorkelling in the Tachai Islands.
  • Similan Tour, 1/6 Khao Lak, Lam Kaen (south of Khao Lak in Lam Kaen) , ✉ info@similantour.com. A very well-organised snorkelling-only liveaboard for 3 days/2 nights, departing Tuesdays and Fridays. Swedish management who also run the Poseidon Bungalows. From 2018 the tour goes to Surin Islands instead. 9900 Thai Baht. (updated Nov 2018)

Surfing

  • OneTwoSurf, 67/139 Moo 5, Bang Niang Beach (go towards beach on Bang Niang Beach Road to Soi Jerung and turn right). 08:00-22:00. Board rentals and surfing lessons with a certified instructor. Surf Safari packages taking you to the best breaks in the area with lodging and airport pickup available from May to November. 400 Thai Baht.
  • 8.7272398.226812 Pakarang Surf Shop, 28/5 Moo 7, Khuk Khak (turn towards sea at km788.1, near Cape Pakarang, follow signs 3 km). 09:00-17:00. Surf shop in Khao Lak. Board rental and good surf spot. 3 breaks on Cape Pakarang plus good beach breaks around Khao Lak. 300 Thai Baht/hr.

Stay fit

  • Body Balance Gym, 65/5 Moo 3, Khuk Khak (on the inland side of the road at the south end of Khuk Khak, ~km791.7). Daily 07:00-11:00 and 15:00-22:00 except Sa when it is closed in the morning. Thai-run gym featuring most of the equipment one expects. Includes a small cafe serving healthy drinks and coffee. No air-conditioning. No Wi-Fi. Just south of the gym there is a small reservoir with surrounding 1 km hard surface path that is great for walking/jogging. 1 visit, 85 Thai Baht; 1 month, 950 Thai Baht; 1 year, 8,000 Thai Baht.

Volunteer

  • Foundation for Education and Development (FED) (Grassroots HRE), Rte 4, north Khuk Khak (km790, Khuk Khak). 09:00-17:00. FED, a Burmese/Thai NGO, came to Khao Lak to help the many thousands of displaced Burmese migrant workers in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. The organisation has been doing stellar work in the area ever since: educating children, supporting women’s rights, providing medical and legal assistance. If you have at least a month to give, helping this group help others might prove to be the highlight of your stay in Thailand.

Buy

  • 7-Eleven Shops, located throughout the region. 24/7. There are six 7-Elevens in the Khao Lak region. They are very useful as navigational aids as well as convenient places to purchase mobile phone SIM cards, additional airtime for your mobile phone, liquor and beer, and sundry items.
    There are two 7-Elevens in Bang La On, one in Bang Niang (km793.3), two in Khuk Khak (km791.2), and one at the turn for Parkarang Cape (km787). Several things are worth noting: 1) 7-Elevens will sell alcohol only between the hours of 11:00 to 14:00 and from 17:00 to 24:00. This is irregularly enforced. On religious holidays there will be no alcohol sales at any time. Holidays can last for several days. Smaller corner shops will be happy to sell you alcohol anytime they are open. 2) The northern Khuk Khak 7-Eleven, located at the PTT gas station (km790.5), does not sell any alcohol. This is true for all convenience stores adjacent to gas stations in Thailand. 3) All 7-Elevens have ATMs adjacent to their entrance. Doubly convenient, as you will get 1,000 Thai Baht notes from the machine. Use them for purchases in the 7-Eleven, as smaller shops frequently have difficulty making change.
  • Bang Niang Market ((talat nat ตลาดนัด)), Central Bang Niang (just south of the Bang Niang 7-Eleven). M-W-Sa 13:00-dark. Outdoor market held 3 days per week. One section of the market sells fresh fish, meat, vegetables, and fruit. Another section sells prepared foods like barbecued chicken and corn on the cob. The remainder of the market stalls sell clothing, luggage, DVDs, games, kitchen ware, souvenirs, sunglasses, etc. All at knock down prices if you haggle, as is expected. There are at least three bars on the market grounds where you can buy a beer and take in the passing scene.
  • Fresh Market (talat sot ตลาดสด)), Central Khuk Khak (find the 7-Eleven in central Khuk Khak, turn at the road adjacent to it, proceed 2 blocks). Daily 04:30-16:00. This is the market where all the smaller restaurateurs from the area procure their foodstuffs: fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and so forth. Some small storefronts around the market specialise in foreign foods such as salami, butter, cheese, frozen foods, olive oil, as well as sell frozen beef steaks, lamb, lobsters, and other exotics. On M-W-Sa, when the Bang Niang Market takes place, this market appears to shut down about 13:00, when the vendors move to the other marketplace. The government bus station, BKS, is located here at the NW corner of the square.
  • Mark One Tailor, 4/146 Moo 7, Khaolak Center, toll-free: +66 86 940 6492, ✉ markonetailor@gmail.com.

Eat

Bang La On

  • O’Rendez-vous, 5/42 Moo 7, Bang La On (opposite Andaburi Resort, next to Sea Dragon Dive Centre). 16:00 till late. Thai and French cuisine with a big choice of international dishes, nice atmosphere and multilingual service. The place also serves as a bar with a local expatriate crowd, offering a variety of music including soul/jazz/lounge in the early hours. Cocktails, free Wi-Fi and shisha. Closed in low season. Main dishes from 90-420 Thai Baht.

Bang Niang

  • Green Pepper, 67/145 Moo 5, Bang Niang (turn towards sea at 7-Eleven [Chai Hat Bang Niang Road], go c. 300 m. At the sign for the restaurant, turn left). 16:00 until late. Thai seafood and western cuisine. Also cooking classes where you can accompany instructors to the market and select the food that you will cook personally.
  • Hill Tribe Restaurant, 13/22 Moo 6, Bang Niang (next to RT Hotel, 500 m south of the market). Thai food including dishes from north Thailand. Decorated with original items from Chiang Rai.
  • Ingfah, Bang Niang Beach (across from Casa de La Flora) , ✉ info@casadelaflora.com. 17:00-01:00. Traditional Thai food in an ultra-modern, chic, open-air setting. Glass of beer: 50 Thai Baht; Prix fixe meals at 350, 450, 600 Thai Baht.
  • Khao Niau, Sea side of Rte 4, central Bang Niang (opposite the Tsunami Police Boat, just south of the local market) , ✉ info@khao-niau.com. 12:30-22:00. Closed on the 16th of every month. Thai food, including dishes from Isaan. Menu in Thai/German/English. Cooking classes, good food. Wi-Fi. khao pat gai: 90 Thai Baht; pad Thai Gai, 90 Thai Baht; yam talay, 120 Thai Baht; large beer, 90 Thai Baht.
  • Lucky Seafood, 60/18 Moo 5, Bang Niang (find the 7-Eleven on the main road. Restaurant is about 100 m behind it on road to the sea). 14:00-22:00. Very clean restaurant with an extensive Thai/Western menu. Run by a Thai lady along with her Swedish husband and her sisters. Excellent, ample portions. Prices typical for Thai restaurants serving a tourist clientèle. Full bar. No Wi-Fi. Open most of the year.
  • Pinocchio Restaurant, 67/1 Moo 7, Bang Niang (turn towards sea at 7-Eleven [Chai Hat Bang Niang Road], go ~400 m. Restaurant on the right.). Italian restaurant open all year.
  • Rusty Pelican Mexican Café, 67/193, Bang Niang Beach Road [Chai Hat Bang Niang Road] (Turn towards the beach at 7-Eleven in Bang Niang, 300 m down the road on the left.) , ✉ contact@rustypelicanthailand.com. Kitchen open 14:00-22:00. Home-made Mexican cuisine using the freshest ingredients available. Full bar, frozen cocktails, and ice-cold beer. Family friendly with good music and a free pool table.
  • Takieng Restaurant, 26/43 Moo 5, Bang Niang (just north of the Police Boat on the same side of Rte 4). Decorated with many items brought from the owners home town in northern Thailand. Open most of the year.

Khuk Khak

  • Mama’s Greeting, On the beach (JW Marriott Khao Lak beachfront. Turn right and walk about 300 m. Last restaurant of a string of restaurants and massage shops). 09:00-21:00. Cute, clean, and pleasant spot with Thai and Western food and an accommodating staff.
  • Phen Restaurant (formerly Mr. Kon’s Family, Phen’s Place), Khuk Khak Beach (first restaurant to the right (facing sea) of the JW Marriott Hotel beach). 09:00-22:00 daily. Thai and seafood beach restaurant with a wide range of tasty dishes. It has very nice sunset views and an informal and friendly atmosphere. Tour information from the owner, Mrs. Phen. Sunchairs, parasols, shower, traditional Thai massage, and taxi service available.
  • Pizza Pasta & Steak, Khuk Khak (across from Khuk Khak 7-Eleven on the sea side of road). 10:30-22:00, closed W. Small restaurant run by Thai couple, one of whom is a former chef at Le Meridien. Pasta made on the premises. Portions are small by Western standards, but so are the prices: the most expensive thing on the menu is T-bone steak 180 Thai Baht. Pizzas, albeit tiny, (120 Thai Baht) and salads are terrific. No Wi-Fi. Caveat: there is a restaurant of the same name almost directly across the road.

Drink

Bang La On

  • Monkey Bar (Inland side of Rte 4 just north of centre of town.). Hours vary.
  • 8.63921798.249751 Walker’s Inn, 26/61 Moo 7, Bang La On (south end of Bang La On, inland side of Rte 4). 07:00-00:00. Hosts Joo and Andy run this commodious bar-restaurant-lodging house that feels more like being in your living room than in south Thailand. Free pool table, Wi-Fi. Motorbikes for rent for 200-250 Thai Baht per day depending on model. Five rooms with air-conditioning are available at 650 Thai Baht. Dorm bunks for 150 Thai Baht. The restaurant employs a great cook. Representative prices: burger/fries, 150 Thai Baht; pizza, 250 Thai Baht; pad Thai, 80 Thai Baht; khao pat, 90 Thai Baht; full English breakfast, 195 Thai Baht. Clientèle includes many knowledgeable expats, so this place is great for making connections, asking questions, learning of new places. Beer 60 Thai Baht.
  • Violet Bar (Bar set back off the main road, beach side of road, just south of centre). Small hostess bar with one pool table. (updated Jul 2015)

Bang Niang

  • Degree (ดีกรี), Rte 4, Bang Niang (sea side of Rte 4, roughly across from Police Boat 813). until 02:00. Thai open-air nightclub featuring live music most nights, if not every night. All will be made to feel welcome. Very casual, come as you are kind of place. No cover charge. Serves beer, drinks, and bottles of whisky. No sign in English, just follow the sound of the music.
  • Gecko Bar (Central Bang Niang. Turn left at the 7-Eleven, proceed for ~100 m to where a dirt road forks off to the left. Bar is located there). Opens ~19:00 in high season, ~21:00 in low. Closes when the party’s over. Great late-night bar, run by a very gracious Thai couple, Black and Lin. Pool table, professional Foosball table, a rarity in Thailand, excellent Wi-Fi. Clientèle is a mix of expats and vacationers. Open year-round. Beer 70 Thai Baht.
  • Jungle Bar and Restaurant, Jerung St, Bang Niang (take the road adjacent to the 7-Eleven towards the beach (Chai Hat Bang Niang Road). Go ~700 m, turn right across from the Mukdara Resort onto a small soi and travel to the end.). 10:00-02:00. Great restaurant for Western and Thai fare at reasonable prices. Serves high quality cocktails. Open year-round. 80-400 Thai Baht.
  • Mars Bar, Central Bang Niang (across the highway from the Tsunami Museum, ~150 m south of the Police Boat). 9:00-24:00. It’s hard to miss the Mars Bar, with its bright orange exterior. And you would not want to miss it. The English proprietor, Mars, runs a great establishment with his Thai partner, Mem. Best coffee in the area and a broad menu that includes home made bread, British staples like bangers & mash, as well as Thai food. Beer & cocktails at very reasonable prices. Great, free Wi-Fi. A favourite feature is the Mars Bar “lending library”, a wide collection of mostly thrillers in English, German, Nordic, and other languages. You won’t find a more welcoming place in Khao Lak. Open year-round. Beer from 70 Thai Baht.
  • Mr. Chay Bar, Bang Niang Market (central Bang Niang on the sea side of highway). 14:00-02:00. Mondays, Wednesdays, & Saturdays, are market days in Bang Niang. Vendors sell everything from clothing to fresh shrimp. There are lots of prepared food stalls to choose from too. On the south side of the market, under a large tamarind tree, you will find this very pleasant and reasonable bar, run by Mr. Chay, who speaks serviceable English and German. A good place to stop to enjoy the passing scene. No Wi-Fi. Open year-round.
  • Moo Moo Cabaret Show, Central Bang Niang (across Rte 4 from Riverside Guest House, sea side of road). Khao Lak’s original (tasteful) cabaret show performed exclusively by lady boys. Cocktails, beer, and soft drinks served. Daily show in high season. No entrance charge. Show time 21:45. Closed low-season.
  • Rusty Pelican Mexican Cafe, 67/139 Moo 5, Bang Niang Beach (turn towards sea at 7-Eleven [Chai Hat Bang Niang Road], then right on Soi Jerung). 12:00-22:00. Nachos, fajitas, frozen margaritas, and ice cold beer. Tacos, burritos and children’s menu. Great music and pool table (competition every Friday night, 20:00). Open for lunch and dinner every day. Free Wi-Fi. 300 Thai Baht.
  • Song’s Bar, Market Fair grounds, Bang Niang (central Bang Niang, behind 7-Eleven on north side of market). Open year-round but hours are variable, opens early evening on market days, M, W, Sa. Funky, open air bar run by Wan. Good music, largely expat clientèle. Very popular, especially on market days (M-W-Sa). Serves bar snacks. Stays open as long as there are customers. No Wi-Fi. Beer: 60 Thai Baht.
  • Star Bar (7-Eleven side of road, just south of the market). Small hostess bar on Rte 4. (updated Jul 2015)
  • Tha Bar (Bang Niang, inland side, near Riverside Guesthouse). 19:00-02:00. Small, fun bar run by a Thai lady named Tha. Very accommodating and friendly. Entertaining bar hostesses. Snooker table. No Wi-Fi. Closed during low season (May-Oct).
  • Zantika Pub, Rte 4, Bang Niang (north end of Bang Niang, sea side of road, well signposted). Gets going around midnight, closes near dawn. The person who came up with the name of this place obviously doesn’t know what a pub is, for this place is a disco for sure. State of the art music system and lighting make this place rock out. Popular with young Thais, but always with a solid contingent of farangs present. No entrance charge. Prices are reasonable. Best fun is to go with a group and buy a bottle instead of individual drinks.

Where to stay in Khao Lak

A few generalisations

  • Most of the really large, high-end resorts are to be found at the north end of the area. Examples include the Marriott, Sarojin, and Le Meridien. Having said that, excellent resort hotels–albeit on a smaller scale–can be found all along the coastline
  • Generally, room prices are highest in Bang La On, cheaper in Bang Niang, and cheapest in Khuk Khak.
  • Staying south of the headland is probably not a good bet for most visitors. The area is far from the many restaurants and bars to be found in Bang La On and north. While it is relatively inexpensive there, transport costs are likely to eat into any savings.

To the south

  • Khao Lak Emerald Beach Resort & Spa (turn at vicinity km801). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Modern, Thai-designed resort on Khao Lak Beach. 1,800-11,000 Thai Baht depending on the room and the season.
  • Poseidon Bungalows, 1/6 Khao Lak, Lam Kaen , ✉ info@similantour.com, info@similantour.com. Located 5 or so kilometres south of Bang La On. Adjacent to a small, secluded beach. 2-person bungalow is 900 Thai Baht per night, a 4-person bungalow is 1,400 Thai Baht per night (for 2-persons, 1,200 Thai Baht and for 3-persons, 1,300 Thai Baht). Arranges snorkelling trips to the Similan Islands. MULTIPLE-EMAIL

Bang La On

  • Banana Bungalows, Bang La On (south end of Bang La On, inland side, on Soi Bang La On). Comfortable, unpretentious homey place. Air-conditioning, TV, pool, Wi-Fi, motorbike rental, restaurant on premises. Airport transfer to Phuket: 1,500 Thai Baht (1-6 persons). 600-1,200 Thai Baht depending on room and season.
  • Happy Lagoon Resort, Nang Thong Road, Bang La On (turn towards beach at the Nang Thong Supermarket. ~400 m down on the left). Modern, duplex brick bungalows in a pleasant garden setting with no pool. On-premises bar and restaurant has prices similar to those on the main road. Hot water in the bathrooms. Car parking spaces opposite reception. Is about 200 m to the beach. 700 Thai Baht for a fan room (no TV) in high season and 400 Thai Baht in low season, 1,000 Thai Baht for an air-conditioned room with TV in high season, 600 Thai Baht in low season. Breakfast is not included.
  • Jerung Hotel (central Bang La On, sea side of road). Convenient location in the thick of Bang La On. A modern and friendly place to stay. 1,200-1,500 Thai Baht depending on season.
  • Khao Lak Bhandari Resort, 26/25 Moo 7, Bang La On (turn towards beach at the Nang Thong Supermarket (Nang Thong Road). Turn right at road’s end. Hotel on right, ~75 m). Luxury resort on lovely grounds. Rooms and bungalows finished throughout in rich, exotic wood. Nice pool. Staff great. Off-season rates can be bargained down considerably, don’t be afraid to haggle. Two peculiarities of the place: room numbers in Thai numerals, not Arabic, which can lead to some initial confusion. Poor bathroom lighting means that shaving is essentially done in the dark. Wi-Fi available only in the area of the lobby/restaurant, not in rooms. 2,000-6,000 Thai Baht.
  • 8.63450798.2458952 Seafan Bed & Breakfast, 26/84 Moo 7 Petchkasem Road, Bang La On (Opposite Khaolak Laguna, south end of Bang La On, inland side). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 14 room bed & breakfast. Clean rooms, cosy common area. Free Wi-Fi, complimentary coffee/tea and cookies and great continental breakfast. Delicious European bread: dark and multi-grain. Great mix of Western and touch of Thai with local breakfast dishes and tropical fruit at a very reasonable price. 5 minute walk to Nang Thong Beach and Bang La On’s central shopping and entertainment district. English spoken, staff very helpful. 690-750 Thai Baht.
  • Tiffy’s Cafe & Restaurant, 5/15 Moo 6, Bang La On (north end Bang La On, next to Sea Dragon Dive Center). Free Wi-Fi. Restaurant and bicycle rentals on-site. 180 Thai Baht for a dorm-bed (sleeping 6) to 250 Thai Baht for a dorm bed (sleeping 3) or 400 Thai Baht for a double bed room.

Bang Niang

  • Amsterdam Resort, Bang Niang Soi 3, Bang Niang Beach (at Bang Niang 7-Eleven turn towards sea (Chai Hat Bang Niang Road). Proceed until sea is in view. Turn right on Bang Niang Soi 1. Turn at first right (unnamed street). Turn left at Bang Niang Soi 3. Hotel on left, ~50 m) , ✉ keeshuahinth@hotmail.com. Affordable bungalow resort close to the beach. Different types of bungalows and rooms. Has a restaurant and rents out motorbikes, and there is an computer room, free Wi-Fi and an in-house travel agency. 600-1,100 Thai Baht.
  • Baan Palm Thong Guesthouse, 26/42 Moo 5, Petchkasem Road (central Bang Niang, almost directly across Rte 4 from 7-Eleven). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Open year-round. Big, yellow guesthouse with about 20 air-conditioned rooms with refrigerator, cable TV, hot showers, decent Wi-Fi. Rooms in low-season range from 300-600 Thai Baht, more during high season (Oct-Apr). Clean, great location, easy access to all Khao Lak beaches. Manager’s name is Lek, assistant is Gae. 300-600 low season.
  • Casa de La Flora, 67/213 Moo 5, Bang Niang Beach (left at the Bang Niang 7-Eleven, follow road to end, turn right, hotel on beach front at left). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. One of the Best New Hotels by Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List 2012, located directly on the beautiful, palm-fringed Bang Niang beach. Free mini-bar. Studio Pool Villa: 9,951-16,200 Thai Baht; Presidential Suite: 37,315-70,460 Thai Baht depending on season.
  • Chongfah Beach Resort (Chongfah Resort), 54/1 Moo 5, Bang Niang Soi 1 (at Bang Niang 7-Eleven turn towards sea (Chai Hat Bang Niang Road). Proceed until sea is in view. Turn right on Bang Niang Soi 1. Hotel on left, ~50 m). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Deluxe room 3,500 Thai Baht in summer season, 6,300 in high season, 7,800 in peak season.
  • Cousin Resort, Bang Niang. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 13:00. For an air-conditioned bungalow, prices range from 1,000-2,000 Thai Baht depending on the season; an air-con room runs 750-1,500 Thai Baht..
  • La Flora Resort & Spa (turn towards sea at the Bang Niang 7-Eleven onto Chai Hat Bang Niang Road. At ~400 m turn left on Soi Pak Klong Bang Niang (hotel signs posted). At fork in road, ~200 m, bear right. Hotel on right, ~100 m). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 70 rooms and villas. The resort is located on Bang Niang Beach. Deluxe room: 6,345-9,045 Thai Baht; Jacuzzi villa: 25,650-28,350 Thai Baht, depending on season.
  • Motive Cottage, 26/16 Moo 5, Bang Niang (central Bang Niang, across road from 7-Eleven and slightly north ~50 m). Simple resort located in the middle of Bang Niang. 10 minute walk to the beach. Free Wi-Fi. 875-2,300 Thai Baht.
  • Ramada Resort Khao Lak, 59 Moo 5, Bang Niang (turn towards sea at the Bang Niang 7-Eleven onto Chai Hat Bang Niang Road. At ~400 m turn left on Soi Pak Klong Bang Niang (hotel signs posted). At fork in road, ~200 m, bear left. Hotel on right, ~50 m) , ✉ rsvn@ramadakhaolak.com, rsvn@ramadakhaolak.com. Low season: 3,100-6,900 Thai Baht. MULTIPLE-EMAIL
  • Riverside Guesthouse, Central Bang Niang (Near the stranded Police Boat (same side of road, towards Khao Lak) , ✉ riverside-guesthouse@hotmail.com. Check-out: 12:00. Clean, reasonably priced guesthouse conveniently located across the highway from the thrice-weekly market (M-W-Sa). Run by the English-speaking Appun (Thai for “Apple”)and her husband. Both are very accommodating and helpful. Motorbike rentals possible also. Rooms range from fan-only to air-conditioning. All rooms with bath en suite. Prices shown are starting prices, longer stays negotiable. Free Wi-Fi. 350-800 Thai Baht.
  • Tony Lodge, 6/27 Moo 5, Bang Niang (~50 m north of the Bang Niang 7-Eleven, inland side of road). All rooms offer air-conditioning, fridge, balcony, safe. Swimming pool. Wi-Fi. 900-1,700 Thai Baht depending on season.

Khuk Khak

  • JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, 41/12 Moo 3, Khuk Khak (north on Rte 4 past Khuk Khak centre. After ~2 km turn towards beach at the huge JW Marriott sign (km789.1), then follow directional signs) , ✉ bookmarriott@marriotthotels.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Voted “one of the world’s top new hotels in 2010” by Condé Nast. Known for its beach, high-end facilities, and the longest swimming pool in Southeast Asia. Low season: 4,320-24,800 Thai Baht.
  • Khao Lak Mountain View Bungalows, 38/45 Moo 4, Khuk Khak (in Khuk Khak, turn at Scandinavian Corner Bar. Go ~4 km to golf driving range) , ✉ goldenhi@cdc.ji-net.com. Quiet, off-the-beaten-track clean, modern bungalows in a park-like setting well off the main road in Khuk Khak. On the site of a golf driving range which is free for the use of bungalow residents. 10 bungalows in two different sizes: 47 m2 and 62 m2. Each includes weekly cleaning & linen service, TV, air-conditioning. microwave, refrigerator. Daily, weekly, monthly rates. Larger units are 1,000 Thai Baht per day or 12,000 Thai Baht per month. Smaller are 800 Thai Baht/day, or 10,000 Thai Baht/month. Discounted if you stay longer. Internet connection is intermittent and mobile phone signal can be poor.

To the north

  • Haadson Resort, 30/1 Moo 7, Bang Muang, Takua Pa (vicinity km780). Modern Thai-style beach retreat. This is perhaps the northernmost “Khao Lak” hotel. 3,000-7,500 Thai Baht depending on room and season.

Stay safe in Khao Lak

The tsunami on 26 Dec 2004 devastated Khao Lak. It was the hardest hit area in Thailand, with nearly 10,000 recorded deaths–some 2,000 of them tourists. Since that time the government has installed sophisticated warning systems which were lacking in 2004. In Apr 2012 the system was tested by an Indonesian earthquake and performed flawlessly. Sirens alerted the populace, who were able to move to higher ground with more than 2 hours notice of the impending landfall. Should you hear sirens blaring during your stay, immediately move inland to higher ground. In low-lying areas such as Bang Niang and south Bang La On, the tsunami reached Rte 4 and beyond to a depth of at least 5 m. As an additional precaution, go to the U.N.-sponsored Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) and sign up for an alert which will be sent via SMS to your mobile phone (Thai or other SIM card) or via email to your computer .

Stay healthy due to COVID-19 in Khao Lak

  • Clinic Dr Amornrut (central Bang Niang, next to Motive Cottage Resort). Monday to Friday 17:00-20:30; Su 15:00-20:30; closed Sa. Super clean and efficient single doctor clinic for minor ailments and injuries. Includes small pharmacy. 500 Thai Baht doctor’s fee + treatment fee typical.

Telecommunications in Khao Lak

  • Thai SIM cards may be purchased at any 7-Eleven shop for 50 Thai Baht. They are given away free at the Phuket International Airport (if you arrive at a decent hour). One popular card with good coverage in Khao Lak and Thailand in general is 1-2-Call from AIS, Inc.
  • Mobile phones in Thailand have 10 digits, including the leading zero. Land-line telephones have 11 digits, including the leading zero. When calling within Thailand, strip off the country code and add a zero before the number. “+66 76 485762” thus becomes “076 485762”.
  • Western language books and magazines are sold in the Nang Thong Supermarket and in the area’s only bookstore, The Book Tree (Hours: 10:00-20:00).
  • International newspapers are distributed in Khao Lak via the NewspaperDirect Network and can be ordered or bought in some local shops and hotels.
  • There is a post office at the north end of Bang Niang (inland side of road). Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30-16:30, Sa 9:00-12:00. Closed Su. There is another in Lam Kaen, a village about 3 km south of the Khao Lak headland, ~km803.6. Hours are 08:30-16:30 Monday to Friday, closed Saturday to Sunday.
  • Internet cafe: Coffee & Internet, a shop located on the inland side of Rt 4 in Bang Niang, a few hundred metres north of the Bang Niang 7-Eleven. Open 09:00-21:00. Serves good coffee. Has 10+ desktops loaded with Skype, etc., and a printer available for use on a charge per page basis. 40 Thai Baht per hour.
  • The government of Thailand actively censors Internet access. 2010 estimates place the number of blocked websites at 110,000 and growing. Roughly 77% are blocked for reasons of lèse majesté, content (content that defames, insults, threatens, or is unflattering to the king, including national security and some political issues), 22% for pornography, which is illegal in Thailand. Some web pages from BBC One, BBC Two, CNN, Yahoo! News, the Post-Intelligencer newspaper (Seattle, USA), and The Age newspaper (Melbourne, Australia) dealing with Thai political content are blocked, as is Wikileaks.

Go next

  • Chumphon: A bus (direction: north) comes past the Nang Thong Supermarket in Bang La On at 09:40 and goes to the in-town bus terminal in Chumphon without stopping at the suburban terminal. It arrives there at 16:15. Cost is 260 Thai Baht.
  • Krabi: It’s a bit of a hassle getting to Krabi from Khao Lak. There is rumoured to be a daily minibus. Details are hard to come by. All transport companies in Khao Lak will be glad to drive you there for about 3,000 Thai Baht. Cheaper would be to take any bus north to Takua Pa (they all stop at the bus station there), about 50 Thai Baht, then transfer to a Krabi-bound bus. Alternatively, take a bus south in direction of Phuket, get off at Khok Kloy and take a bus to Krabi there; that’s a bit shorter.
  • Pattaya: There is a daily bus that leaves Phuket, travels through Bangkok in the wee hours of the morning, and deposits you in Pattaya in the morning. And vice-versa. This eliminates the hassle of making bus changes, even bus station changes, in Bangkok. There are several complications, however. From Khao Lak, to catch the bus you must either go to Phuket where it originates, or the Kok Kloi junction, about 1 hour south of Khao Lak, where the bus stops about 19:30 each evening. There are also some hassles buying a ticket as well, as you must pay for and pick up your ticket by 15:00 on the day of departure. Cost is 920 Thai Baht for a regular seat (36 of them) or 1,226 Thai Baht for VIP seating (6 available). See the Sawasdee All Thai Co. website for information.
  • Phang Nga: Phang Nga Bay is well known for its limestone karst islands and formations, including one, James Bond Island, that was featured in the film The Man with the Golden Gun. Head for Phang Nga Town, an hour or so southeast of Bang La On. Tours of the bay and boat rentals can be arranged there.
  • Phuket: Stand anywhere on the inland side of Rte 4 between the hours of 06:00 and 18:00 and a bus bound for Phuket will be along at least once an hour. Flag it down. Buy a ticket on the bus for ~120 Thai Baht. The bus will take you to Phuket City, travel time 2 hours. Change there for Patong and all other Ko Phuket destinations.
  • Ranong: The second-rainiest place in Thailand (first is Khlong Yai on the gulf coast and Cambodian border), home of impressive hot springs, and departure point to Ko Chang off the coast.
  • Similan Islands: An archipelago of nine islands, the Similans are a protected Thai national park hugely popular among divers owing to the spectacular underwater scenery. Park is open Dec-May, closed to visitors the rest of the year. Local dive companies can arrange visits.
  • Surat Thani: Gateway to the gulf coast islands: Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao. Buses bound north for Surat Thani pass through Khao Lak at least once an hour. Flag one down from the sea side of Rte 4. Cost will be about 125 Thai Baht and travel time 3-4 hours depending on the number of stops to pick up or deposit passengers.
  • Mu Ko Surin National Park: Five stunningly beautiful islands 100 km north of the Similans, 60 km off the coast. Open to visitors from 16 Nov-15 May. Local dive companies can arrange visits

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.4 / 5. Vote count: 4310

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

nlNederlands

Continue Reading

Northeast Thailand

Chaiyaphum Covid-19 Safe Travel Northeast Thailand

Chaiyaphum (ชัยภูมิ) is a town in Isaan, Thailand. Understand Chaiyaphum is a place where many periods of civilization have overlapped one another from the Dvaravati and Khmer periods to the Laotian or Lan Chang eras. Many archaeological remains and objects were found in many areas in the province. Later, the province appeared as a border […]

Chaiyaphum1000x600

Chaiyaphum (ชัยภูมิ) is a town in Isaan, Thailand.

Understand

Chaiyaphum is a place where many periods of civilization have overlapped one another from the Dvaravati and Khmer periods to the Laotian or Lan Chang eras. Many archaeological remains and objects were found in many areas in the province. Later, the province appeared as a border town during the reign of King Narai the Great of the Ayutthaya period. After that, the town was abandoned and reappeared once more in the Rattanakosin era as a destination where the Vientiane people, led by their leader Lae, emigrated to. He was designated as the first governor of Chaiyaphum.

The main problem most tourists will have is that this is not a tourism destination. As a result, little English is spoken, or written on hotel/restaurant menus, etc. It is a charming little city though, and everyone is friendly. You should be able to bluff your way through easily enough.

Visit our Hotel Partners in Chaiyaphum

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Get in

By car

Take Hwy 1 (Phahonyothin Road) from Bangkok to Saraburi. Turn right onto Hwy 2 (Mittraphap Road) and turn left onto Hwy 201 at Sikhio District, passing Dan Khun Thot and Chatturat Districts into Chaiyaphum, a total distance of 330 km.

Another route is to take Phahonyothin Road from Bangkok, passing Saraburi. At the Phu Khae Intersection, take Hwy 21 to Chai Badan. Then, take Hwy 205, passing Thep Sathit and Chatturat Districts into Chaiyaphum Province.

By bus

Buses from Bangkok to Chaiyaphum run daily. It takes approximately 5 ½ hours. For more information, contact the Bangkok Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) at Tel. +66 2 9362852-66, Chaiyaphum Bus Terminal at Tel. +66 44 811493, Air Chaiyaphum Co., Ltd. at Tel. +66 44 811556, Nakhonchai Air Co., Ltd. at Tel. +66 44 811739, Chaiyaphum Chong Charoen Co., Ltd. at Tel. +66 44 811780 or Fax. +66 44 811760, Chaiyaphum Tour Co.,Ltd. at Tel. +66 44 816012 or BKS.

One can get a bus from Khon Kaen, about 150 km distant, either air-con or fan/windows open. Price of the latter is very cheap, but it stops everywhere along the way.

Travel by train to Chaiyaphum

From the Bangkok Railway Station (Hualamphong Station), there are both rapid and express trains from Bangkok to Nong Khai provided everyday getting off at Bua Yai Station. After that, passengers can connect with a bus for a further 51 km to Chaiyaphum. For more information, contact the State Railway of Thailand Travel Service Centre, at Tel. 1690, +66 2 2204444, +66 2 2204334, +66 2 6218701.

Get around

There are tuk-tuks at the bus terminal and in town. Prices are reasonable (ask before you climb on board!)

See

  • Sai Thong National Park (About 70 km west of Chaiyaphum town in the Nong Bua Rawe, Thep Sathit, Phakdi Chumphon, and Nong Bua Daeng Districts). The park’s area is 319 square kilometers. The park is in the Phang Hoei Rangege and the park’s highest point is Khao Phang Hoei at 1008 m. (updated Jun 2019)
  • Pha Hum Huet: A frequently photographed viewpoint in the park, providing cliff-edge views over the surrounding landscape. The Bua Sawan flower field covers the western ridge of Khao Phang Hoei peak and, from June to August each year, is home to Siam tulips in full bloom. A similar Siam tulip field is also found at nearby Pa Hin Ngam National Park.
  • Namtok Sai Thong (น้ำตกไทรทอง): The Sai Thong waterfall is 80 m wide and 5 m high, and is at peak flow during the rainy season. A large pool upstream feeds the falls and provides a swimming area. At the front of the waterfall is a large basin for swimmers called Wang Sai. Also, above the waterfall is a deep body of water called Wang Ngueak whose water runs along the crooked and steep stone plateau towards Namtok Sai Thong for a distance of 150 metres.
  • Namtok Chuan Chom (น้ำตกชวนชม): Chuan Chom waterfall, 2 km upstream of Sai Thong waterfall, is larger at 80 m wide and 20 m high. This waterfall is along a nature study route of two kilometres above Namtok Sai Thong.
  • Thung Bua Sawan or Thung Dok Krachiao (ทุ่งบัวสวรรค์ หรือทุ่งดอกกระเจียว): From the end of June to mid-August, curcuma or Krachiao blossoms will bloom in this field in both pink and white colours.
  • Pha Pho Mueang (ผาพ่อเมือง) A cliff along the west side of the Phang Hoei mountain ridge along the route leading upward to the Bua Sawan Field, a distance of approximately three kilometres and 700–908 metres elevation.
  • Pha Ham Hot View Spot (จุดชมทิวทัศน์ผาหำหด) The summit of the Phang Hoei mountain range, 864 metres elevation. It is cold throughout the year.
  • Tham Kaeo (ถ้ำแก้ว): The cave is similar to a hall, located deep inside the mountain and chilly and humid throughout the year. From the entrance, there is a path leading to a lower level where a Buddha image is enshrined.
  • Khao Phang Hoei Viewpoint (จุดชมทิวทัศน์เขาพังเหย): A rest area for motorists. Along the road lie various shops offering local products. The panoramic view of the sunset from this point is admirable.
  • The Chaopho Phraya Lae Festival (งานฉลองอนุสาวรีย์เจ้าพ่อพระยาแล) is held from the 12–20 January each year in front of Chaiyaphum City Hall and the Chaopho Phraya Lae Monument Intersection.
  • The Chaopho Phraya Lae Worship Ceremony (งานประเพณีบวงสรวงเจ้าพ่อพญาแล) is held at the Nong Pla Thao Shrine on the first Monday of May every year (It lasts for 3 days and 3 nights). The locals will pay respect to Chaopho Phraya Lae’s spirit and perform traditional dances in front of the old shrine. There is a contest of local food, folk sports competition and a “Bai Si” procession contest.
  • The Candle Festival (งานแห่เทียนพรรษา) is a festival organised by the Chaiyaphum Municipal Office on the full moon day of the 8th lunar month (around July). There is a candle contest. This event is widely popular and similar to the candle procession of Ubon Ratchathani.
  • The Ram Phi Fa Tradition (ประเพณีรำผีฟ้า) is a ceremony worshipping certain sacred objects and the “Phrachao Ong Tue”, a Buddha image engraved out of sandstone with a height of 2 metres. The locals consider this Buddha image as very holy. Many people will participate in this ceremonial dance. The ceremony is organised twice a year on the 13th to 15th day during the waxing moon of the 5th lunar month (in April) and the first day during the waning moon of the 3rd lunar month within the area of Khao Phu Phra, Ban Na Kai Sao and Na Siao Sub-district in Mueang District.

Do

Shopping in Chaiyaphum

Chaiyaphum’s local products are Mudmee silk, cotton cloth, Khit cloth, triangular pillows and other woven cloth products. Also delicate basketry and various local dishes such as Mam, Som Wua, fish cake, and Isaan sausage can be found in this province.

Drink

  • Number 1 Bar (At the entrance to the Night Bazaar, on the road down to Tesco Lotus.). Opened in January 2015, it is the only farang bar in Chaiyaphum. Serves good pizza, Australian steak, spaghetti, mashed potatoes and good sauces, Irish coffee and beer.

Where to stay in Chaiyaphum

  • Lertnimit Hotel (Walk out of the bus station to the main road, look to the right and across the road is the hotel. It has no obvious signage, but looks like a hotel) , ✉ lertnimitrahotel@hotmail.com. The price includes breakfast and dinner. Both are OK and with a range of choices to choose from and are cooked to order. Bottle of beer with dinner 90 Thai Baht. Hotel has air-con and shower water is hot. Wi-Fi is available, but no computer. Internet cafe about 1 km to the right on the same side of the road. 600+ Thai Baht.
  • Pocket Park Chaiyaphum Minitel Apartment, Soi Kiatnakin Bank, Haruethai Road , ✉ pocketparkminitel@gmail.com. Rooms for rent and various facilities with cool garden in central Chaiyaphum.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.3 / 5. Vote count: 1498

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

nlNederlands

Continue Reading

Central Thailand

Nakhon Nayok Covid-19 Safe Travel Central Thailand

Nakhon Nayok (นครนายก) is a city in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand. Understand Nakhon Nayok is a tourism destination not far from Bangkok. The city and surrounding province come alive during the holidays with tourists. Nakhon Nayok is renowned for its refreshing waterfalls and abundant varieties of fruit. Historically, it is believed that […]

Nakhon Nayok1000

Nakhon Nayok (นครนายก) is a city in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand.

Understand

Nakhon Nayok is a tourism destination not far from Bangkok. The city and surrounding province come alive during the holidays with tourists. Nakhon Nayok is renowned for its refreshing waterfalls and abundant varieties of fruit.

Historically, it is believed that the area of Ban Dong Lakhon, to the south of Nakhon Nayok town, was a Dvaravati settlement, dating back for more than a thousand years. As for the name of “Nakhon Nayok”, records going back to the Ayutthaya’s period indicated that it was an eastern frontier town during the reign of King U-Thong. In 1894, under the royal command of King Rama V, Nakhon Nayok was designated as a part of Prachin Buri Province. Eventually, it became a separate province.

In the past, Nakhon Nayok was called “Ban Na” (village of the rice field). From hearsay, during Ayutthaya period, Nakhon Nayok was just forested highland, on which farming or planting was fruitful. Jungle fever was everywhere, thus the townspeople migrated elsewhere, leaving the place deserted. News of the plight of people reached the king. Subsequently, the king commanded that paddy field taxes be lifted to encourage the people to stay on, which worked, and also enticed the people around the area to migrate to the town. After that, it became a large community and the town was renowned as “Mueang Nayok” (the town where the paddy tax was lifted).

Visit our Hotel Partners in Nakhon Nayok

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Get in

By car

The city is a less than a two hours drive from Bangkok. It can be reached in two ways:

  • Drive Hwy 305, along Rangsit canal passing Ongkharak. This route is about 107 km.
  • Take Hwy 1, take a right turn at Hin Gong, and then drive along Suwannason Road (Hwy 33). This route is about 137 km.

By bus

The Transport Co., Ltd. (“baw kaw saw”) operates daily non-air conditioned and air conditioned buses from the Northern Bus Terminal on Kamphaengphet 2 Road.

There are two routes: Bangkok-Hin Kong-Nakhon Nayok and BangkokRangsit-Ongkharak-Nakhon Nayok. For more information, contact Phone: +66 2 5378055 or +66 2 9362841. Additionally, there are specially-run second-class air conditioned buses from Bangkok-Ongkharak-Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy (by-passing Nakhon Nayok town) available.

Get around

There are tuk-tuks available for chartering around Nakhon Nayok town. They can mostly be found at the town bus terminal. For more information, contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Nakhon Nayok office, in city hall.

See

San Lak Mueang (City Pillar Shrine) (ศาลหลักเมือง) at one time it was a shrine housing a one metre wooden column topped with a carving in the form of a lotus bud, near the old city wall. Later the shrine was rebuilt into an elegant four-cornered pavilion. Today, City Pillar Shrine is the most revered shrine of the townspeople.

Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy (โรงเรียนนายร้อยพระจุลจอมเกล้า) A training centre for Thai military cadets.

Attractions in the Chulachomkloa Royal Military Academy include:

  • King Rama V Monument (พระบรมราชานุเสาวรีย์พระบาทสมเด็จพระจุลจอมเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว) It was built in honour of and reverence to King Chulachomkloa (King Rama V) who was the founder of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.
  • Circular Pavilion (ศาลาวงกลม), historically, under the command of Field Marshal Crown Prince Pitsanulok Prachanat, the circular pavilion was built as a recreation area for cadets. It enshrines a statue of King Rama V.
  • 100 Year Royal Military Academy Museum (อาคารพิพิธภัณฑ์โรงเรียนนายร้อย จปร. 100 ปี) exhibits biographies of the graduates who performed public services and also displays history of wars, weapons that were used in wars in the past, various uniforms of soldiers of all forces as well as a wax sculpture of King Rama V.
  • Shrine of Chao Pho Khun Dan (ศาลเจ้าพ่อขุนด่าน) is a revered shrine of the Thais. Historically, Khun Dan was a commander in Nakhon Nayok during the Ayutthaya period. His heroic deed was the expulsion of the Khmer rebels in the year 1587, during the reign of King Naresuan Maharat.
  • Phra Phutthachai or Wat Phra Chai (พระพุทธฉายหรือวัดพระฉาย) was formerly named “Wat Khao Cha-ngok”. In 1942, the army’s map department built a marble quarry at the foot of the hill and restored and enhanced the Buddha images. Phra Phutthachai is sacred to the townspeople.

Luang Pho Sian Nakhon (หลวงพ่อเศียรนคร) the revered Buddha image of the townspeople is enshrined at Bunnak Rakkitaram temple (Wat Tam). It is assumed that this sacred Buddha image dates back to Phra Ruang Era of the Sukhothai period.

Buddha’s Footprint Replica at Khao Nang Buat (รอยพระพุทธบาทจำลองเขานางบวช), housed in a square structure with four arches and a pyramidal roof (mondop) on top of Nang Buat hill. The festivity to worship the Buddha’s Footprint Replica at Khao Nang Buat is held annually in the middle of the fifth month of the lunar calendar.

Ban Dong Lakhon Archeological Site (แหล่งโบราณคดีบ้านดงละคร) It is the site of the old town during the Khmer period. Artefacts discovered here include; an elaborate gold head of a Buddha image about the size of a fingertip, crab and elephant ring-stamps, bronze ring, glass beads, rock beads, and bronze ear-rings.

37th Quartermaster Infantry of Japanese Military Memorial (อนุสรณ์สถานกองพลทหารญี่ปุ่นที่37) The Friends of Asian Alliance War Association built the memorial in 1992 to honour the 7,920 Thai soldiers who were recruited into the Japanese 37th Quartermaster Infantry and died in the war.

Namtok Sarika (น้ำตกสาริกา) is the most famous waterfall of Nakhon Nayok. The waterfall cascades down 9 levels, of which the top level is 200 metres up. Each level (of 9 levels) of the falls has a large basin, which could hold a large amount of water in the rainy season, but is dry in dry season. Nearby, there is “Sarika Cave” where the revered monk “Luang Pu Man” resided on his religious missions from 1917-1920.

Lan Rak Falls or Tat Hin Kong Falls (น้ำตกลานรักหรือน้ำตกตาดหินกอง) The waterfall originates from a small stream passing through a large rocky formation at the end, then flowing strongly through the large rocky formation at the foot of a small hill.

Wang Takhrai (วังตะไคร้) is filled with huge, shady trees and has a small stream running through. There are also a variety of beautiful species of ornamental flowers and plants.

Nang Rong Falls or Namtok Nang Rong (น้ำตกนางรอง) The waterfall originates from a source on a high mountain in Khao Yai National Park. It cascades down several levels onto rock formations, flowing through verdant forests

Huai Prue Reservoir (อ่างเก็บน้ำห้วยปรือ) This is a small reservoir by volume but has a large surface area. The reservoir is filled all year round and surrounded by an unpaved road.

Sai Thong Reservoir (อ่างเก็บน้ำทรายทอง) This small reservoir offers a natural mountainous landscape. The small waterfall runs all throughout the year.

OUT-OF CITY ATTRACTIONS Ban Na District

Namtok Ka-ang (น้ำตกกะอาง) The water cascades through gaps between large rocks. Nearby, there is an transplanting station of the Forestry Department. In the vicinity is a small hill that enshrines the Buddha image in an attitude of subduing Mara.

Namtok Wang Muang (น้ำตกวังม่วง) The waterfall cascades through lines upon lines of big boulders before falling to a basin.

Thudongkhasathan Thawon Nimit (ธุดงคสถานถาวรนิมิตร) is a meditation centre for monks, novices, nuns, and the general public. There are hundreds of shelters for monks, nuns, and general public to worship.

Namtok Heo Narok (น้ำตกเหวนรก) This is a 3-tiered large waterfall with its first tier at 60 metres high. During the rainy season, there is such a lot of water that the flow is frightening and will drop straight down at 90 degrees to a lower chasm.

Chao Pho Ongkharak Shrine (ศาลเจ้าพ่อองครักษ์) In front of the shrine in the middle of the Nakhon Nayok River, there is a sacred whirlpool, of which the water taken is used in royal ceremonies. When the present king, King Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended to the throne, water from this whirlpool was used during the ceremony.

Ornamental Plants and Floral Centre (ศูนย์ไม้ดอกไม้ประดับ) Various plant nurseries that grow a large variety of ornamental plants and flora which are sold to every corner of the country.

Do

  • Khao Yai-Nakhon Nayok Jungle Treks (ท่องไพรเขาใหญ่-นครนายก) is usually held during December to June. The trekking aims to promote the study of nature and ecology, as well as creating good understanding in natural resources and environmental conservation.
  • Khao Yai National Park, the first national park of Thailand was declared a national park on September 18, 1962. It covers areas of four provinces: Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachin Buri, and Saraburi. The park occupies an area of 2,168 square kilometers and consists of virgin forest, tropical forest, streams, waterfalls, wildlife, and a variety of plants. The most suitable visiting time is during the Thai winter, from October to February when it is cold at night until the next morning. The highest point is Khao Rom Peak, which is 1,351 metres above sea level.
  • Tak Bat Thewo Rohana Fair (งานประเพณีตักบาตรเทโวโรหนะ), a festivity where offerings are made to monks. The festivity is held annually on the 1st day of the waning moon of the 11th month of the lunar calendar or the end of the Buddhist lent. During the festivity, 109 monks descend from Wat Khao Nang Buat to accept offerings from the townspeople.
  • Sweet Plum Mango and Nakhon Nayok Products Fair (งานวันมะปรางหวานและของดีนครนายก) takes place annually during February–April in front of the City Hall. It is held to promote Ma-prang (sweet plum mangoes), and other agricultural products and handicrafts
  • Thai Merit Making (Sat Thai) and Long boat Racing Festival (งานประเพณีสารทไทยและแข่งเรือยาวประเพณี) is annually held in October along Khlong 29 at Wat Thawiphon Rangsan, Amphoe Ongkharak. The fair showcases a variety of long boats racing, a krayasat-making contest (krayasat is a sticky paste made from rice, bean, sesame, and sugar, usually eaten during Sat Thai Festival), merit making on Sat Thai day, and local entertainment at night.
  • Ongkharak Ornamental Plants and Flowers Fair (งานมหกรรมไม้ดอกไม้ประดับองครักษ์) is annually held in April at Khlong 15, Tambon Bang Pla Kot, Amphoe Ongkharak. The contests of ornamental plants and flowers, mini-garden arrangement contests, and an academic exhibition regarding plants and flowers are also held.

Buy

Local Products

Sweet Plum Mango (Ma-prang, มะปราง) is the most well known fruit of Nakhon Nayok (it is a sweet fruit and is similar to “ma-yong-chit”, a sour fruit). The ma-prang harvest season February to March. They are grown in a number of orchards on the Nakhon Nayok-Namtok Sarika road.

Dala (ดอกดาหลา) is a flower of Etlingera or Jack Jr. Rosemary. Along Highway 3049 as well as the route to Wang Ri Resort, a number of Dala orchards can be found. The dala’s blooming season is November to May.

Marble Products (ผลิตภัณฑ์หินอ่อน): A marble quarry is located near Nakhon Nayok hospital, Amphoe Mueang, and at the intersection to Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.

Bamboo Products (ผลิตภัณฑ์จากไม้ไผ่) Bamboo products are produced in Tambon Sarika, Amphoe Mueang. Products include a miniature sail boat, a peacock, and human faces.

Brooms (ไม้กวาด) Manufactured in Tambon Sarika, Amphoe Mueang, Tambon Na Hin Lat, Tambon Khok Kruat, Tambon Nong Saeng, Amphoe Pak Phli. The brooms are made with indigenous grass and the broomstick is made from a piece of wood from a tree of the Apocynaceae family or made of bamboo.

Doormats made from scrap cloth (พรมทอจากเศษผ้า) are produced in Tambon Khao Phoem, Amphoe Ban Na. The scrap cloth, also made into bed covers, are sold in various sizes at furniture stalls of Ban Na market and Amphoe Mueang.

Sugared Banana Chips (Kluai Chap) (กล้วยฉาบ) and sugared sweet potato and sugared taro chips are produced in Tambon Sarika, Mueang District.

Preserved Fruits (ผลไม้แช่อิ่ม) such as star apples, tamarinds, mangos, santol, and lime. They are sold at the Ban Yai intersection, Mueang District or Dong Chok Di Housewife Association at Ban Dong, Tambon Sarika, Mueang District. The supply of fruits comes from fruit orchards of the members; some of the cultivated fruits are sold fresh while others are converted into various products.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.1 / 5. Vote count: 1321

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

nlNederlands

Continue Reading

Advertisement



Thai Covid-19
3,961
Confirmed
19
Confirmed (24h)
60
Deaths
0
Deaths (24h)
1.5%
Deaths (%)
3,790
Recovered
2
Recovered (24h)
95.7%
Recovered (%)
111
Active
2.8%
Active (%)
In Thailand, the health authorities reported 19 new corona infections by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration within 24 hours. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CFCSA has counted a total of 3,961 infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Thailand. The number of deaths related to the virus rose 0 to a total of 60.

HM King Bhumibol Royal Jazz Composition

HM King Rama IX Royal Composition

Thailand

mai-khao-3 mai-khao-3
Thailand19 hours ago

2 Hours Nonstop Mega Hits 2020🌱 including Krabi, Phi Phi, Chumphon and many other Travel Destinations

Latest Tracks during the first lockdown covering Belize, Bahamas, Ibiza, Bali, NSW, Rhodes, Phi Phi Islands, etc. How useful was...

huahin1000x600 huahin1000x600
Central Thailand3 days ago

Hua Hin Cha-am Covid-19 Safe Travel Thailand

Hua Hin Travel Guide Hua Hin is a district in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province of Thailand, 295 kilometers from...

Ko Si Chang1000x600 Ko Si Chang1000x600
Central Thailand3 days ago

Ko Si Chang Covid-19 Safe Travel Thailand

Ko Si Chang (เกาะสีชัง) is a small island, population 4,500, near Si Racha and near Pattaya. Understand In the Gulf of Thailand,...

khaolak1000x600 khaolak1000x600
Southern Thailand3 days ago

Khao Lak Covid-19 Safe Travel to Thailand

Khao Lak (เขาหลัก) is a 20 km long strip of coastal resorts in Phang Nga Province on the Andaman Sea...

Chaiyaphum1000x600 Chaiyaphum1000x600
Northeast Thailand3 days ago

Chaiyaphum Covid-19 Safe Travel Northeast Thailand

Chaiyaphum (ชัยภูมิ) is a town in Isaan, Thailand. Understand Chaiyaphum is a place where many periods of civilization have overlapped...

Nakhon Nayok1000 Nakhon Nayok1000
Central Thailand3 days ago

Nakhon Nayok Covid-19 Safe Travel Central Thailand

Nakhon Nayok (นครนายก) is a city in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand. Understand Nakhon Nayok is a tourism...

chiangmai1000x600 chiangmai1000x600
Thailand3 days ago

Chiang Mai Covid-19 Safe Travel Northern Thailand

Thailand doesn’t only need to be about beaches and nightlife; Chiang Mai, the cultural centre of the north of the...

kochang1000x600 kochang1000x600
Central Thailand3 days ago

Ko Chang Covid-19 Safe Travel Trat Thailand

Ko Chang (เกาะช้าง) is an island in Trat Province, Eastern Thailand. Understand Ko Chang is Thailand’s second largest island, and the biggest in...

ko lanta1000x600 ko lanta1000x600
Southern Thailand3 days ago

Ko Lanta Covid-19 Safe Travel Southern Thailand

Ko Lanta (เกาะลันตา) is an island off the Andaman Coast of Southern Thailand. Like many other destinations in Krabi Province,...

kalasin1000x600 kalasin1000x600
Northeast Thailand3 days ago

Kalasin Covid-19 Safe Travel Northeast Thailand

Kalasin (กาฬสินธุ์) is a town in the Isaan region of Thailand, population ~38,000 (2020). Understand Historical evidence points to the...

nonthaburi1000x600 nonthaburi1000x600
Central Thailand3 days ago

Nonthaburi Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Central Thailand

Nonthaburi (นนทบุรี) is Thailand's second largest city, being a part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region. Understand Due to its close...

Central Thailand3 days ago

Pattaya Covid-19 Safe Travel Thailand

The City of Pattaya on the East coast of the Gulf of Thailand is a self-governing region about 165km Southeast...

kohmak1000x600 kohmak1000x600
Central Thailand3 days ago

Ko Mak Covid-19 Safe Travel Trat Thailand

Ko Mak is an island in Trat Province, Eastern Thailand. It is fairly undeveloped and natural. Understand There are very few islands in...

Southern Thailand3 days ago

Ko Phayam Covid-19 Safe Travel Southern Thailand

Ko Phayam is an island in Ranong Province, Thailand. Contents 1 Understand 2 Get in 2.1 Ferries 3 Get around...

Maha-Sarakham1000x600 Maha-Sarakham1000x600
Northeast Thailand3 days ago

Maha Sarakham Safe Covid19 Travel Northeast Thailand

Maha Sarakham (มหาสารคาม, also spelt Mahasarakham) is a city and province in Isaan. Understand Maha Sarakham means "city of great...

phatum1000x600 phatum1000x600
Central Thailand3 days ago

Pathum Thani Safe Covid-19 Travel Bangkok

Pathum Thani (ปทุมธานี) is a city in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region in Thailand. Understand Pathum Thani has been a residential...

Central Thailand3 days ago

Bangkok Covid-19 Safe Travel Thailand

Bright lights, big city, where tradition merges effortlessly with the megalopolis that Thailand’s capital has become, be prepared to be...

kohkood1000x600 kohkood1000x600
Central Thailand3 days ago

Ko Kut Covid-19 Safe Travel Koh Kood Trat

Ko Kut (also Koh Kood), Thailand’s 4th largest island (25 km long and 12 km wide), is in Trat Province in the Gulf of...

koh yao1000x600 koh yao1000x600
Southern Thailand3 days ago

Ko Yao Covid-19 Safe Travel Southern Thailand

Ko Yao, with Phuket to the west and Krabi to the east Ko Yao (เกาะยาว), sometimes written Koyao, is a...

yasothorn1000x600 yasothorn1000x600
Northeast Thailand3 days ago

Yasothon Covid-19 Safe Travel Northeast Thailand

Yasothon (ยโสธร) is a town and province in the Isaan region of Thailand. Understand Get in By car Use Hwy...

rangsit1000x600 rangsit1000x600
Central Thailand3 days ago

Rangsit Covid-19 Safe Travel Central Thailand

Rangsit (รังสิต) is an exurb 40 km north of Bangkok. Understand Memorial Hall, Wat Dhammakaya Effectively a suburb of Bangkok, Rangsit...

Thailand3 days ago

Koh Samui Covid-19 Safe Travel Thailand

Nestled on the east coast of Thailand in the Gulf of Thailand, lies Koh Samui which has become known as...

Similan Islands1000x600 Similan Islands1000x600
Southern Thailand3 days ago

Similan Islands Covid-19 Safe Travel Southern Thailand

The most famous rock at the Similan Islands of Thailand. This beach and viewpoint are often visited by Similan diving...

wattatphanom1000x600 wattatphanom1000x600
Northeast Thailand3 days ago

Mukdahan Covid-19 Safe Travel Northeastern Thailand

Mukdahan (มุกดาหาร) is a city and province in Isaan. Understand Mukdahan is the 73rd province of Thailand. Its history dates...

Samut Prakan1000x600 Samut Prakan1000x600
Central Thailand3 days ago

Samut Prakan Covid-19 Safe Travel Central Thailand

Samut Prakan (Thai: สมุทรปราการ) is a town in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region in Thailand. Understand Samut Prakan, also known as...

Advertisement

Thai Travel Warning

1. Anti-government student protests have occurred in Bangkok and other areas of Thailand. The security environment can be unpredictable and turn violent. Those attending protests can face arrest or other legal consequences. Monitor media reports from thaienquirer.com for information on protest locations and avoid public gatherings. As a foreigner take official warnings seriously.

2. Thailand has high levels of air pollution. Air pollution can make bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions worse.

3. If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel to Thailand. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

Visitor’s Today

Free counters!

Trending Now