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Some questions about Khao Lak

Flintshire
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Some questions about Khao Lak

Hi all

I'd posted the below in the Thailand forum as part of a bigger itinerary question, and someone recommended posting here instead.

My friend and I (both mid 20s) are planning a trip to Thailand in November 2016. Our itinerary plans consist of 4nts Bangkok, 2nts Chiang Mai, 2nts Elephant Hills and 4nts Khao Lak.

I just have some questions on Khao Lak....

We plan to stay in Bang La On area, and chose this area as we've gathered from reviews on here that it has a good atmosphere, but not as full on as Phuket. We want to have a good choice of restaurants and bars. Not bothered about night clubs, but would be good if bars were open til 2am-ish? Nice beaches. Shopping options would be nice (but we'll probably have shopped a lot in Bangkok!)

- Can someone tell me.. If Phuket nightlife was rated 10/10, where would the nightlife around Bang La On fit?

- Another concern I have is tidal levels. I've read that at certain times there is hardly any beach. How often is this likely to happen in November?

- We really fancy doing a day trip to the Similan Islands for snorkelling... Is this easy enough to book whilst we're there?

- Where is the Tsunami museum in relation to this resort?

Many thanks

Laura

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1. Re: Some questions about Khao Lak

- If Phuket nightlife was rated 10/10, I'd rate Khao Lak night life 3/10. There are no nightclubs, but there is one 'ladyboy' cabaret show - Mumu's Cabaret in Bang Niang - and there are several bars, some with live music.

- At certain times on certain parts of certain beaches, there is hardly any 'beach'. It's certain to happen twice a day.

- It's very easy to book a day trip to the Similans once you are in Khao Lak.

- There are two tsunami 'memorials':

1. Tor 813 (the Police Boat Memorial) is located in Bang Niang right off the main road. I believe there is to be a museum there, but in August, it was very much a work in progress.

2. Baan Nam Khem Tsunami Memorial Park located about 25 minutes drive north. It is a large park on the point (beautiful location) just south of the village with a giant, gold Buddha and a memorial wall comprising part of a large, 'walk-thru' sculpture of the wave with a small fishing boat. About a km away, in the village, there is a park with two large fishing boats where they came to rest.

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2. Re: Some questions about Khao Lak

P.S. There's a 'new sheriff in town' and he's enforcing bar closures at midnight, as well as no alcohol sales from midnight to 11:00 AM and 2:00 - 5:00 PM.

Poulton Le Fylde...
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3. Re: Some questions about Khao Lak

Hi Laura,

Welcome to the forum. Glad you took up the suggestion to post on the Khao Lak Forum.

In relation to nightlife in Khao Lak, have a look at this Travellers Article which has been updated to include the new night club, or what the locals are classing as a night club, the Bild Factory, which is about 10 minutes by taxi from Bang La On up the highway just north of Bang Niang tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g297914-c202327/Kha… In High season that certainly stay open until Midnight. So do the other music bars that are listed including those in Bang La On. Bear in mind that the current government is enforcing the rules on very late openings throughout Thailand.

Bang La On is the main township of Khao Lak and its beach just down from the highway is Nang Thong Beach which again in the High (Dry) season does not suffer as much as others when the tide is in except at High Tides when it comes in more. None of the resorts in Khao Lak on any beach have loungers or sun bathing areas on the public beach as was the case in Phuket. Their areas are on their private land at the edge of the resort and are not usually affected in the High Season by incoming tides, even at High Tide time. If you indicate which resort or resorts you are considering it will help with information about beach conditions. You can see pics of all the beaches, including Nang Thong Beach taken from November last year to April this year at tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297914-i10908-k…

There are no shopping malls and the best shopping area for "classier" souvenirs and clothes is Bang La On. There are many shops there and up the road in Bang Niang that sell "tourist" goods which are basically the same as those sold on the big and lively and recommended Bang Niang Market which takes place every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. This market sells all kinds of items and local goods at local prices. It also has great street food and bars to rest awhile during your shopping trip. Combine it with a trip across the road to the Tsunami Police Boat Memorial site where there is a small museum just outside. After that go for dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants near the market followed by Cabaret at Moo Moo's and if you have any energy left late night/early morning at Lazy Bar or Degree Bar next door or Sparrow Bar just around the corner.

There is also a small interpretation centre showing some pretty graphic photos of the Tsunami adjacent to the main Tsunami Memorial site at Ban Nam Khem.

Edited: 11 September 2015, 17:11
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4. Re: Some questions about Khao Lak

Don't worry about "hardly any beach"

a few, metres of 25 km of wonderful beaches, might be not so wide

the other 24.99999999 km , are to be enjoyed

Flintshire
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5. Re: Some questions about Khao Lak

Thanks for your replies.

Ahh didn't realise it would be as low as 3/10 compared to Phuket 'cruisemonkey' :( if we looked into Phuket again, which resort would you recommend for more of a 6/10 liveliness? We don't want hardcore partying, but would like it if there was enough to go to a different place each night.

Also is it still easy to access Similan Islands from Phuket?

I will take a look at the article you have posted too 'Arandora' - thank you. The market was a place we were hoping to visit too :-) and that sounds like a great day combining it with dinner!

The beach we had swayed towards in Khao Lok from reading other reviews was Bang Niang (but we are open to other suggestions so will have a look at Nang Thong). The hotel we were looking at in Bang Niang was La Flora, but I've now read there will be building works the other side of the Ramada during November 2016, and I'm concerned if the noise will be heard when sunbathing in the day. It's hard to tell exactly how close they are from the maps I've seen.

Thanks again

Laura

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Poulton Le Fylde...
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6. Re: Some questions about Khao Lak

Patong may be 10/10 but that is unique to Phuket and indeed to Thailand. If that is the kind of nightlife you want then Patong and perhaps Karon next door is the place for you. You said in your original post that you intended to stay in Bang La On, whose beach is called Nang Thong. Hence my replies focused on that. Now you say you are considering Bang Niang with beach of the same name which has more late night things to do and there are plenty in both areas to keep you occupied every night and from the La Flora within easy walking distance. La Flora is also on the best and widest part of Bang Niang Beach and the tide rarely gets anywhere near the edge of the property in High Season even at very high tide.Have a look at the map here to see just what is nearby tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297914-i10908-k… If you look at the latest map from last month at https:/… you will see that the new construction being undertaken by La Flora is across a beach access road on the other side of the Ramada Resort. It is unlikely that construction noise will carry that far to La Flora.

Please read the Travellers Article I gave in my previous link to identify the nightlife. There are other bars without live music and great cocktails in both towns.

PS

There are more "new sheriffs" in Phuket enforcing the same drinking laws which are not new laws. They are existing laws that have not been enforced but now are. So you can expect to meet them wherever you go in Thailand.

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Lytham St Anne's...
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7. Re: Some questions about Khao Lak

Hi

Can anyone tell me if there are any Tsunami 'Shelters' on higher ground in the Khao Lak area.I know there are now warning sirens but where do you go to if you hear one?

Edited: 11 September 2015, 23:36
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8. Re: Some questions about Khao Lak

There are structures at certain locations just behind beaches and routes to higher ground signposted at all locations.

Lytham St Anne's...
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9. Re: Some questions about Khao Lak

Thanks! Thats good to know :)

Poulton Le Fylde...
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10. Re: Some questions about Khao Lak

There are signposts throughout Khao Lak that point to Evacuation routes. Some near beaches are specially built Tsunami shelters built higher than the height of any future wave, others take you inland to areas well beyond the furthest point waves from a future Tsunami would reach. The likelihood of another Tsunami in our lifetimes is very, very remote. During our 5 month every year since the 2004 Tsunami we have had two false alarms and with the assistance of our accommodation owners joined other visitors in safety areas long before because of the early warning system any wave would have reached our bungalow which is just one road back from the ocean.

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