Khao Lak, 80 km north of Phuket, has always been a favorite among Swedes and particularly families. When the tsunami struck Thailand on December 26, 2004, Khao Lak took the worst hit, leaving 543 Swedes dead in total — more than any other country outside of the disaster area.
Khao Lak, today fully recovered from the tsunami, tends to be in the shadow of Phuket and Krabi. But the 20 km long sandy stretch along the west coast of Phang Nga province boasts comfortable resorts in beautiful tropical nature. If you’re looking for a relaxed beach destination without the party scene, Khao Lak might be the right place for you.
The Similan Islands (Mu Koh Similan) is a group of 9 islands in the Andaman Sea, located 65 km off the coastline of Phang Nga province. The islands, which belong to the Similan National Park, boasts some stunning natural beauty and world-class diving and snorkeling. The area is closed six months per year (15th May – 15th October) to let nature and wildlife recover.
A fascinating thing about the Similan Islands is the fact that the landscape with its granite rock formations was formed more than 250 million years ago in the Paleozoic period – a time before the dinosaurs.
The viewpoint on island number eight, known as Donald Duck Bay (Ao Kueak) offers an absolutely gorgeous view!
On the morning of 26 December 2004, Police Boat 813 Buretpadungkit was on patrol, serving as a guard to Prince Poom Jensen, grandson of the king of Thailand, as he was jet skiing in front of La Flora Resort in Khao Lak, where Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya was staying with her son and daughter. Poom Jensen drowned after being struck by the tsunami and the Police Boat was swept inland 2 kilometers. Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya and her daughter survived by fleeing to an upper floor of La Flora. The boat was left where it landed and is now maintained as a memorial.
The police boat is located off the west side of Petchkasem Road in Khao Lak, not far from the intersection with the road leading to La Flora.