Khaolak – How to go there: Khao Lak is about 65km or just over an hour from Phuket International Airport, which is the main entry point. Visitors arriving from Phuket Airport are transferred to their accommodation either by their resort’s own transfer service or by taxi. Increasingly, visitors book a hire car on arrival at Phuket Airport or transferring from a Phuket resort, which gives them greater flexibility and accessibility to Khao Lak’s many attractions, particularly those not featuring in popular tours. Many visitors also come from Krabi or the surrounding area and islands to the south by road a journey of 2 – 3 hours or from Ranong to the north or Surat Thani from the north east, the best way to come from Koh Samui or Koh Phang Ngan by road. This is about 3 – 3 1/2 hours. Some visitors also come south to Khao Lak by road from Bangkok by car or bus, a journey of upto 10 hours
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Loi Krathong is the Festival of Light and one of the typical events celebrated throughout Thailand and certain areas of neighbouring countries, who share the same culture. Loi Krathong takes place in the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month in the traditional Thai calendar. In the western calendar it usually falls in November and is the most picturesque and beautiful of all Thai celebrations. This year’s celebrations will be on 17th November.
The name of the festival derives from the Thai language, where “loi” means ‘to float’ and “krathong” refers to a small raft. The krathong was originally made of slices cut of the trunk of a banana tree and decorated with elaborately folded banana leaves to give it the shape of a lotusflower. A krathong contains flowers, incense sticks, candles and coins. Some years back Thai people started to use styrofoam for making floats but realised soon that they are polluting lakes and rivers and it may take years until the foam disappears. By now it is no longer allowed to use styrofoam and the Thais returned to the old style of manufacturing.
The Similan Islands National Park is a major attraction for visitors to Khao Lak. Known for long white coral sand beaches and crystal blue waters with cooling breezes coming off the Andaman Sea there are nine uninhabited islands in the archipelago with some of the best scenery in Thailand.
The Islands are very easy to visit being located only 60kms west from Khao Lak. They can be visited for one day or for varying overnight durations, either independently or more usually as part of an organised tour.
The Surin Islands National Park is known for pristine reefs, lush jungles and remote location on the edge of the Andaman Sea. There are five islands – all uninhabited except for the small Moken or Sea Gypsy village. They are located about 90 km North West of Khao Lak and are usually accessed from the pier at Kuraburi taking about 75 minutes, the same time as the speedboat transfer. The islands have the largest and most developed coral reefs in the Andaman Sea.
There are a huge number of different species of fish and sharks and sea turtles are plentiful. The Surin Islands also have a broad selection of animal life, including the Nicobar Pigeon and Mangrove Monitor Lizards.14km to the east of the
Pakarang or Pa Ka Rak Beach – continues totally unspoiled until it reaches Cape Pakarang where there are just a handful of resorts and a few restaurants. At this point the beach is very wide and the ocean is popular with surfers, particularly in the wet season. Walk to your left to Memories Beach Bar & JW Marriott or to your right to The Sarojin and Le Meridien.
Photo taken by TwistedNook
Khao Lak , Thailand 24.09.13 This festival celebrates the Chinese community’s belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind.
The Vegetarian Festival in Khao Lak is a smaller version of the traditional and more established Festival taking place in Takua Pa Old Town, just 30km north of Khao Lak where visitors will witness rituals and dancing unlike any they have seen before.
A perfect massage with Twistednook
Most of city girls would go shopping when they feel low, but a beach girl like me runs straight to coconut oil message. From ghetto little straw huts to 5 star-hotel spa, I love when my body and mind are completely lost in the sensual kneading moment. Anyone who comes to Thailand must visit our world famous Thai massage once or twice during his/
Mountain Retreat Khao Lak
6.400 sqm, fruit trees, natural pool, 1 main building, 3 bungalows, all legal documents for 7,8 Mio Baht; information and appointment please email to messages@khaolakyellowpage
Rawai Muay Thai Boxing Camp
in the midst of exotic paradise, surrounded by the deep rain forest jungle, long stretch of white sand beaches, and exciting islands known by divers around the world, two people fell in love and decided to share their lives together in this land of smiles. They built a business from their deep passion for Thai culture and exciting ancient national sport.
Like Khao Lak this magazine continues to develop and grow. It is intended to offer an invaluable source of information for visitors to enable them to enjoy their visit even more. So a big thank you to all its readers in print, on-line and on Facebook. Most of all though, production would not be possible without its sponsors, advertisers and contributors past and present. Any suggestions for articles for future editions would be most welcome.
The Khao Lak Magazine Team
Khao Lak on the move
Towards the end of the 2011/12 High Season, there were four new major developments in an advanced state of completion, the Sentido Gracelands Resort (268) on the northern end of Bang Sak Beach, the Mai Khao Lak (200) on the northern end of Pak Weeb Beach, the Sands by Katathani Resort (316) on Nang Thong Beach and the Sensimar Resort (140) on Sunset Beach. No-one would deny the importance of additional investment in Khao Lak but these new resorts plus others like the Monochrome and Blue Lagoon Resorts would add over an additional 1000 bed spaces when due to the previous world-wide recession and continuing economic difficulties in Europe many thought the existing capacity was more than sufficient.
Khao Lak is located just north of Phuket Island, in the Takuapa district of Phang Nga province on the beautiful Andaman Sea coast, and is one of Thailand’s most tranquil holiday destinations.
The local economy is mainly based on tourism, namely hotels and resorts, local shops, restaurants, tailors and the diving industry. Most of the foreign tourists are European, many from Scandinavia, Germany and the United Kingdom, although the last few years has seen an increase in visitors from other areas of South East Asia including Thailand.
This is a positive sign for Khao Lak residents who’s economy was devastated by the Tsunami of December 2004. The wider area produces rubber, palm oil and a small amount of subsistence agriculture. Khao Lak itself became well known as divers discovered it an ideal starting point to access two of the world’s most popular dive locations, the Similan and Surin Islands.
One of the many reasons that attracts visitors of all ages and keeps many returning year after year is that nearly all the area we know as Khao Lak is a National Park, the natural beauty of the mountains and countryside wonderfully complementing the 25 km of gorgeous beaches. People love the flowers, the vegetation and the wildlife. For some nature lovers though their enjoyment is enhanced by the unique opportunity to visit the Thai Royal Navy Sea Turtle Conservation Unit located on the base at Tab Lamu. The entrance to the base is down the road in Tab Lamu leading to the pier where boats depart for various destinations including the birth place of these lovely creatures, the Similan Islands.
An interview with Robert Frei, General Manger of the Beyond Resort Khao Lak
Despite working in the hospitality business for more than three decades, Robert Frei remains energetic, friendly and exceptionally positive. From his early career as Executive Chef for the Amari Group to General Manager at the Indigo Pearl (formerly known as the Pearl Naiyang Resort) for 14 years he finally moved to Krabi joining the launch team for the Beyond Resort Khao Lak by Kata Group Resort Co. As its General Manager since the beginning of the development, in this interview Robert Frei expresses his love for Khao Lak and an insight into his job and life here and his vision of the future.
Got the Golfing Blues?
We all know that golfers take their sport seriously, very seriously! So when they are used to taking to the freeways regularly it is often a wrench to go on holiday. Some take their equipment with them and enjoy playing in a different location and sometimes different environment. Often golfers thinking about or actually visiting Khao Lak don’t realise that they can enjoy their sport in a very different and exciting location just 15 minutes away from the main areas of Khao Lak.
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Thai Life Guesthouse
A wonderful location apart of the big resorts represents the “Thai Life Guesthouse in Bang Niang.
Thai – Swiss hospitality paired with high professionalism and this for excellent prices and good value for money.
The rooms are really nice, furnished in tasteful Thai style, with sea view or look to the mountain and green jungle , with air condition and fan , television , refrigerator and – partially – electric kettles.
Guests with laptop are adequately supplied with wlan, but they can use the hotel computer to look too how friends and family in Europe are jittering and are cold during here you are already swearing by amble to the nearby café bars for a good breakfast.
Casa de la Flora – the House of Flowers
“The House of Flowers” – a strange name for a Thai resort some may think but nothing strange about the ultra luxurious 5* Casa de la Flora Resort perched overlooking Bang Niang Beach in Khao Lak. Each of the 36 luxurious rooms is named after a flower or plant with a sample nestling outside each entrance door. There are 36 contemporary villas in 8 different categories, all of which have their own private pools, including, Suites, duplex Villas and Suites with ocean view from the upstairs bedroom and Beachfront Villas and Suites directly overlooking the ocean. Enter your villa or suite, leaving the carefully landscaped and planted entrance area behind and enter a world of absolute luxury that blends modern Thai style with the ultimate in furnishing and equipment to make your stay complete.
Huge king size beds come as standard but want a different pillow? No problem, you have a choice. A drink? The complimentary mini bar is replenished daily. Coffee? Certainly, from your own Espresso machine. International newspapers, iPod docking station, in-room check- in, the list goes on and on. Bathrooms are equipped with both a large tub and showers with amenities by THANN, a range of natural hair care and skin products
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Try Scuba…at the Similans !
Whether you’ve never been underwater or have a slew of diving hours under your belt, you’ve come to the right place. Try it — you’ll love it. Diving is easy, fun and exciting!
Try Scuba is your chance to get wet and experience what scuba diving is all about. Signing up for a Try Scuba is a great way to decide whether getting a scuba diving certification is right for you. We know that once you come in and try it, you’ll love it!
Beyond Resort Khaolak
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If you have only 350 words for an article, then it is really difficult to list all of the superlatives for a luxury first class resort like the “Beyond Resort Khao Lak”.
Under the direction of Robert Frei, the Swiss General Manager of the “Beyond Resort”, this jewel of a resort developed in a very short time to be one of the best and to be an outstanding ambassador for Khao Lak.
No surprise, that at the end of 2012 Robert Frei got the first prize for the “Best New Coastal Resort” in the category of the “World Luxury Hotel Award”.
And it is no surprise, too, to see the friendly manager in the early morning at the terrace, serving the finest coffee in person; (only that he also catches the Salmon for breakfast buffet – yes the Salmon – seems to be a rumor!) Frei loves the contact with his guests and is always observing his efficient and well trained staff in order to ensure the best possible service.
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By now, we are in the middle of the high season, which was awaited by all and which developed considerably better than the previous one. The great weather, beautiful beaches, emerald sea, tasty food and of course the hospitality of the people attracts more and more guests. The newly opened hotels and the increase in the number of hotel beds shows that Khaolak develops to be the most interesting tourist destination in Thailand.
This edition is dedicated to the local food culture. For many guests the Thai cuisine is one of the reasons to choose Thailand as a holiday destination over other countries. What Khaolak has to offer concerning food in particular, can be read in our cover story.
Our recipe of the month is Som Tam, a typical dish from the Northeast of Thailand, which has spread in many variations across the whole of Thailand and brings foreign guests to sweat. Then we present you a restaurant that has opened for 3 years in Soi Bangniang and merges German with Thai cuisine.