The first trip to Khao Lak was in early August, in search of a bit of surf. It turned into a one day trip.
The May to October monsoon usually brings some reasonable waves to the Andaman coast. However for 2012, after a little bit of action in May, in Phuket there was not much to speak of. I had heard that if there is a little surf in Phuket, it will be much better in Khao Lak. Just before a long weekend the waves got up a little in a bit of a storm, so I decided to go for a look to see what Khao Lak had to offer.
Not much, it turned out. Just some gnarly little waves that some were enjoying the edge of, wisely. As with all the Andaman coast, caution is required during the monsoon. The small waves look nothing, but there is big danger from rips and undertow.
Still it is an interesting bit of coast, which would be a good place to swim and snorkel around during the November to April dry season, when the sea is quite benign.
There were a few people around taking advantage of the low room rates that hotels offer during their low season. These kids were enjoying exploring the beach.
Ghost crabs were the object of their fascination
The 26 Dec 2004 tsunami is all but forgotten, with fancy hotels offering flash seaside bungalows for guests. They should be quite safe. Geological studies suggest that it will be about 700 years until the next big one, and the rocky coast is quite stable at the south end of Khao Lak Bay.
Further north the coast becomes more sandy. Here, helped by vegetation, the beach is holding its own against the sea.
Some Phuket beaches become quite steep over the monsoon as currents take the sand away…. It is dumped off shore, to form a reef over which waves break to create surf. Come the dry season the sea returns the sand to create postcard perfect, near flat beaches with gently lapping waves.
A little further north people build walls to prevent “the problem of costal erosion” which could result in them losing their expensively acquired real estate.
The sea is relentless. Over time it can reduce concrete and rocks to sand.
About a kilometre inland lies a police patrol vessel. It was taken there by the 2004 tsunami, and is now being turned into a memorial.
No surf, no pubs or anything open (for a religious holiday as I recall), and not many people around….. It didn’t seem worth hanging around. I headed back home in the evening, for a round trip of just under 200 km, plus about 20 - 30 km of pottering around.