And so to our final week…Week 4 started in Khao Lak & we were keen to explore more of the beaches. The Tsunami in 2004 decimated much of the area & caused 4,500 deaths.
The region was utterly destroyed by the tidal wave from the earthquake.At one spot in the Bang Niang area, every building up to 2 or 3 km in from the sea was washed away – hotels, homes, shops, restaurants and bars all wiped out. This area was the place featured in the Ewan McGregor film ‘The Impossible’ based on the true life story of a family on holiday when the Tsunami hit.The Thai Navy boat 813 that was moored off the coast on the day of the tsunami and carried 2km inland by the waves has now been left in place and a memorial park has been built around it. As we were staying centrally, where the beachfront is dominated by big resorts, we decided to find the more secluded beaches out of town.
White Sands Beach /Memories Beach
This is a long-tail taxi ride away. We decided to visit as several blogs said it was the best in the area.With a laid-back tropical feel, it certainly didn’t disappoint. There’s plenty of shade, with a bar & massage huts on the beach.The bar: Memories Bar was opened in October 2009 by Khun Ching the owner, in the location of his family’s restaurant which was totally wiped out by the December 2004 tsunami.
This is a 10 min taxi ride (or a 38min walk according to Google). We decided to take a walk to explore the area & the turn off is right opposite the Tsunami Museum.It’s a bit busier than Memories Beach, but still fairly quiet.
Soon we were moving on again, so instead of heading to the beaches areas near Krabi, we decided to break the journey at Phang Nga town.Phang Nga is a busy Thai town, with very few Western tourists. We met a Swiss couple staying at our B&B who were cycling from Singapore to Phuket, but that’s about it.The town is surrounded by limestone cliffs & kasts, therefore there’s a lot of caves & dramatic scenery.The first day we explored the town on foot, walking to a cave & park area (there was also a small temple).There was a great place to eat down the road (called the Genesis Garden) run by a lovely young Thai couple.On the second day, we caught a songthaew ‘taxi’ to the pier at the start of the National Park & then hired a long-tail boat for a couple of hours out in the mangrove estuaries leading finally to the sea.
We didn’t stop as there were many tourist boats moored there, out on day trips from Aunang & Phuket, but we sailed around the Famous Floating Village in Phang Nga Bay
Back to Bangkok
A couple of nights to finish is the amazing city that is Bangkok.