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Things are changing in Khao Lak

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
Things are changing in Khao Lak

Well, Khao Lak continues to develop, some might say overdevelop - but this is Thailand! Last March when we left we thought the main centre, Bang La On, had gone perhaps as far as it could with the addition of new restaurants, bars and shops. But, no, now there is even more choice with a Mr.India, Indian restaurant on your left as you enter La On to a Mrs. India (keep it in the family) on your right as you leave, Peter Pan steakhouse to give a bit of competition to the ever popular Viking and several more.

Bang Niang, though where we are staying, shows the biggest development with both sides of the Beach Road from the highway down to the beach boasting many new additions, some new restaurants, again in the Thai way, being in direct competition to other established ones - a risky strategy in these uncertain times, particularly when some that tried this last year being closed this. Those opening with a "Thai fusion" menu run the greatest risk as their prices are higher than other restaurants whose prices are higher than last year and many diners (like us Brits) being faced with a lot less baht for their home currency. But the Thai way is if there are less people you put up your prices to get more money not reduce them to encourage more!

The previously undeveloped top (northern) end of Bang Niang Beach now is filling up with beach massage places, beach bars and lounger/deck chair hire. A lovely new bungalow resort, the Golden Sands, has apperared next to the Sudala Beach, and several of the existing resorts mow boast enhanced sea defences following last year's storms.

Going across the creek onto the beautiful Khuk Khak Beach, last year there was one lonly guy selling (or trying to) cold drinks for the beach walkers. Now there are the massage and drinks places all along up to the Orchid Beach Resort (a popular turn around for walkers). Great alternative beach rest for the day and finish off with a massage.

Pakarang Beach by the Asparas, South Sea Grand, Toklaburi and Palm Galleria has more massage beds than sun beds almost!

Even the wonderful Pak weeb Beach has a lounger hire place now adjacent to and no doubt living off the popularity of the still excellent Boatyard Restaurant.

Not been on Nang Thong or the more southern beaches yet. Plenty of time for that!

So Khao lak is getting busier albeit with visitor attractions than visitors!

Level Contributor
18,140 posts
3 reviews
1. Re: Things are changing in Khao Lak

Very interesting, thanks Arandora for the update.

Strange how things have changed over the years in so many places.

In my younger days ( yes, quite a while ago ) we ate Thai food, had no interest or need of cafe latte's or cheesburgers, or wi-fi ( hey, we didn't have the internet ! ) a few beers and maybe some music from an old juke-box or listed to tapes, a few cold drinks or beer. BBQ seafood on the beach. We took mats to the beach to lie on. We were there for the beach, the secenery, the atmosphere. It was what it was all about.

Yes, things do change, somewhat strange though the direction the changes have gone.

Phuket, Thailand
Level Contributor
1,389 posts
25 reviews
2. Re: Things are changing in Khao Lak

Thanks for a report Alan

seems traveling over Thailand now you have to accept a change - but still enjoy!

Hope you have great holidays

South Australia...
Destination Expert
for Phuket, Ko Lanta
Level Contributor
9,004 posts
455 reviews
3. Re: Things are changing in Khao Lak

Thats amazing Alan and all of this has happened in less than one year. Things change quickly in Thailand.


Cape Panwa, Thailand
Level Contributor
3,063 posts
120 reviews
4. Re: Things are changing in Khao Lak

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the update on Khao Lak and surrounding areas . Still sounds like paradise i think the Boatyard will have to be my first stop. Enjoy


Preston, UK
Level Contributor
55 posts
1 review
5. Re: Things are changing in Khao Lak

Thanks for the interesting report Alan

Only 2 weeks now before we leave for Thailand and our return to Khao Lak.

Looks like we will have to make the most of Khao Lak before it gets to build up.

Over the previous 6 years visting Phuket we have seen massive changes and not all for the best.


Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
6. Re: Things are changing in Khao Lak

Just spent a day on Khuk Khak beach, well nearly a day until the rain came. Its been so hot, unusually so, I just hope this has cleared the air. Although there are the massage places and bars there it is very reminiscent of the Thai beach scene that so appealed to us in our younger days. Very innocent, we don't speak Thai, they don't speak English but we all laugh alot! Long may that remain!!

Bang Sak Beach remains now probably as the most unspoiled i.e. very few beach places, just Kai Seafood (formerly rom the Rim Lay and just as excellent) a short walk from the Royal Bang Sak Beach Resort then nothing to the Bang Sak Promenade, alhough the footings of a new resort (owners of Khao Lak Resort) are just being made for next High Season. Kai will be in a wonderful position then betwen the two but for how long?

Truganina, Australia
Level Contributor
215 posts
97 reviews
7. Re: Things are changing in Khao Lak

Just read an interesting article (11/1/09) in the NY Times about the re-birth of Phuket (& Khao Lak etc).


Phang Nga, Thailand
Level Contributor
331 posts
1 review
8. Re: Things are changing in Khao Lak

Khao Lak has changed dramatically since my first visit back in 2001. The changes are most noticeable when you count up the hotels and restaurants. Two things in Khao Lak stay unchanged, the fabulous scenery, beaches and natural attractions and the friendliness and spirit of the locals. Long may this continue!

Oudendijk, The...
Level Contributor
878 posts
21 reviews
9. Re: Things are changing in Khao Lak

Hi Arandora,

I hope you are enjoying the delights of Khao lak, like we did when we were there in December. We first visited Khao lak about 8/9 years ago and found the village just right not too busy, but it has changed a lot since then we found, I think we saw a new shopping mall being built as well in december as well as numerous other developments, I think personally that its enough now, other wise they will spoil it, wouldnt want to think it becomes too modern. Is it a lot quieter than last year, it was quiet in december but nicely quiet not dead and the restaurants in the village were pretty busy, anyway enjoy your vacation and keep us posted.

Best wishes


p.s. 3 months yer jammy sod.

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
10. Re: Things are changing in Khao Lak

Two restaurants in Bang Niang which we have tried and really enjoyed. First the Khao Niau, which is a traditional Isaan restaurant that also serves local Thai/seafood. Two separate kitchens to prepare meals which, of course, you can mix from the very extensive menu. Having been given a "tour" through it by Alex, the co-owner, we chose Som Tam (spicy papaya salad) but Isaan style with fresh fruit - very different combination of spicy, sweet and sour. Delicious! Spicy lamb salad, again Isaan style, with sticky rice, eaten with fingers. "Crying Tiger" - sliced grilled meat that had been marinated for two days, served with very hot chili dip and white snapper steak with tamarind sauce plus some stir fried veggies. Absolutely delicious and great value at 620 baht including 2 draught Changs, a watermelon juice and water.

The restaurant is located on the main highway just before the 711. Inside decor is lovely with a garden area complete with pond, traditional Thai seating, if you can manage it, as well as regular seating.

Then feeling like a more substantial piece of beef, we tried the brand new Marc's steakhouse, located on the road down to La Flora and Ramada at the side of the Mukdara opposite Pinnocio's Italian restaurant on Beach Road. Marc, the genial Belgian owner already has two established steakhouses in Patong so is an experienced operator. The House Speciality are his Brochettes which are long skewers of meat and/or poultry or king prawns mixed with veg and peppers kebab style and suspended over your table. Very substantial and served with baked potato or french fries and nice fresh salad. In fact, following a brucetta starter (6 pieces of garlic bread with choppoed tomatoes and olive oil with spices to give it a spicy zing 80baht) we had steaks, Mrs.A a 200gm with mushroom (420 bah) me a 300gm with blue cheese dressing (490 baht). Both well done as ordered, but not burned, and served with french fries and salad. Beef is imported from New Zealand and is both tender and tasty. Accompanied by 2 small caraffes of the not bad at all house red at 180 baht a caraffe and water. Total an expensive by local Thai standards 1420 baht but not expensive for a comparable meal locally and less than half the price that we would pay in UK.

At the other end of the spectrum a really local meal at "Uncle Boos" on your left leaving Bang Niang going towards Khuk Khak of 2 starters, 2 mains, rice, 1 large beer, 1 juice and water was 320 baht.

So something for everyone at varying prices.

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