Khanom is a quiet, yet beautiful coastal town in Thailand’s southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. With sandy beaches, lots of exotic coconut palms and rare pink dolphins swimming just off the coast, this hidden gem could be the next big thing in Thailand. My wife and I brought the whole family to stay overnight one night at the beautiful Nadan Beach with the aim of seeing those pink dolphins the next morning.
Facing the Gulf of Thailand to the east, Khanom beaches are located three hours from Krabi facing the Andaman Sea to the west. Along with fishing, coconut plantation is the main source of income giving Khanom that wonderfully exotic feel.
We stayed at Aava Resort & Spa situated at Nadan Beach which I will blog more about later. It was a pretty windy day with some waves, but usually, the water is very calm this time of year. After relaxing at the resort, having fun in the pool and drinking some cocktails, we drove to the town of Khanom to eat some delicious local food at night.
The next morning we drove to Khao Ok pier as we were told it was the best option to come out and spot pink dolphins quick. A boat with a maximum of seven people cost 1,000 baht, and they will take you out cruising around until dolphins can be spotted.
The boat ride offers some stunning scenery including rock formations.
Like this rock formation known as the ‘pancake rock’ because of its many layers of rock. In Thai, they call it ‘pile of clothes.’
After about 30 minutes we saw the first fins and turned off the boat engine. Now, far from all dolphins are pink; the younger ones are gray and develop its pink color as it grows older. The pink dolphin or indo-pacific humpback dolphin can live 40 years or more — the older, the pinker.
It was really hard getting a good picture as the dolphins refused to approach our boat this day. Quite frustrated, I asked myself if it wouldn’t be better just to put down the damn camera and enjoy the moment. Such lovely creatures, and when asking why they can only be found in Khanom, we were answered: lots of fish. The picture above is the best one I took and shows some pinkish color, but we did spot pinker dolphins than that. To see a completely flamingo-pink dolphin you need luck.
Lots of small fish jumped out of fear of our boat, and one little bastard decided to land between my wife’s breasts!
After spending a couple of hours at sea, getting a slightly sunburned face, we drove to nearby Klang Aow Seafood & Resort to eat some food with a stunning view over Kwang Pao Bay. If you have taken the ferry from Donsak Pier (20 km west) to Koh Samui, you will recognize the color of the water here. My wife and I are now planning to stay at this beach sometime in the future.
Despite being windy, Kwang Pao Bay looked gorgeous although little bits of rubbish here and there, and we’re leaving Khanom wondering how this place can be so quiet.