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Beach conditions at La Vela?

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Punta Cana
Level Contributor
1,925 posts
53 reviews
53 helpful votes
Beach conditions at La Vela?

I'm traveling to Thailand for the 1st time in July. I was supposed to stay in Phuket, but someone suggested that I switch to Khao Lak.

I'm staying at La Vela for 4 nights. On this trip, I will have previously went to Koh Samui and Koh Phagnan. I have read reviews where most say that the beach at La Vela is good-not the best, but still good.

They don't give specific details in the reviews, so I would like to know why is it just a "good" beach? Is there erosion there compared to other nearby beaches or the surf is more rough, etc?

Are there beaches that are within walking distance that's better?

Thanks!

3 replies to this topic
Mildura, Australia
Level Contributor
5,300 posts
77 reviews
56 helpful votes
1. Re: Beach conditions at La Vela?

I've walked past La Vela recently and I think the description you've read is pretty accurate. If you are expecting powder white sand like you can get on Samui then you may be disappointed. There are also some rocky outcrops but I think they add to the scenery. The sand is clean but more of a golden colour and the water is clean however in July with more waves the ocean with be more churned up.

Surf/waves depends on the time of year. When I was there in early December it was very flat and calm however in July which is in the wet season it could be quite rough and potentially dangerous to swim in. Also keep in mind that rough seas bring in debris. Most hotels will clean up their space in front.

There are nicer beaches in Khao Lak but they are further away and not walkable really. Again, in July you are not going to get the best of the beaches anywhere on the west coast.

Are you locked in to travelling to the west coast. If you are already spending time on the Gulf coast in Samui etc I would look at staying on that side.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Punta Cana
Level Contributor
1,925 posts
53 reviews
53 helpful votes
2. Re: Beach conditions at La Vela?

Thank for you honest input.

I'm spending more time on the east coast because of the low season and the weather. My itinerary is 7 nights in Koh Samui (I'm splitting time on different sides of the island) and 3 nights in Koh Phangan in addition to my 4 nights in Khao Lak. I was thinking that it would still be nice to experience the east side. I'm a schoolteacher, so my only opportunities for extended vacations are in July/Aug.

So let's say that I don't do the east side and stay on the west... What other island suggestions do you have for extra my 4 night stay, please? Very good/great beaches are a must. I also wouldn't want to stay some place that is very remote.

I also still wanted to do a day trip to the Phi Phi Islands if I stay in Khao Lak. I feel like this is must have, but I still want to be practical about the big picture. I read that it would be better to do Phang Nga Bay because of its close proximity to Khao Lak vs Phuket, but Phi Phi looks more appealing to me than Phang Nga Bay.

Mildura, Australia
Level Contributor
5,300 posts
77 reviews
56 helpful votes
3. Re: Beach conditions at La Vela?

I think if you go there with reasonable expectations then you may be OK. You aren't going to get the ideal on the west coast at that time of year. The weather might be fine but the beaches will still be rough etc.

Phi Phi trip could be tricky as well. I have a friend that did it from Khao Lak in the wet season last year and they had an awful trip because the sea was so rough. Have a look at Phi Phi tour operators reviews on TA and check out the photos from the July/August time. That might help make up your mind. I haven't done that trip so I can't comment but I do know in some areas the beaches in wet/dry season are markedly different.

If you are set on going I would look at booking the trip for your first day with a premium operator that will cancel if the weather isn't ideal. They will then be able to re-book you if conditions are favourable on one of your other trips. That's where Phang Nga bay comes in because it is more sheltered at that time of year.

If you stay on the east coast you could spend some time on Koh Tao. There is great snorkelling there and has a mixture of more quiet and busier areas.

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