Updated May 2014
Location - facilities-rooms and prices-photo page and other pages on this site - how to get there - about Bang Niang Beach - what to do in Khao Lak(including the Similan and Surin Islands)-Onward transport from Khao Lak - The tsunami.
The Amsterdam resort in Khao Lak offers cheap bungalows and rooms close to the beach. There is a restaurant, a travel agency, wifi and scooters for rent. Bang Niang Beach is in the northern part of Khao Lak, 70 KM north of the bridge which connects the island of Phuket with the mainland, 3 KM north of Nang Tong Beach (La Ohn), 30 KM south of Takua Pa and 200 KM south of Ranong. Click at the link Contact Page for a map of Southern Thailand with an arrow pointing to the exact location. The resort is at just 200 meters from the. beach. Previously the owner of the resort (Kees van Dobben) had a guesthouse/restaurant/bar in Hua Hin, the Amsterdam Bar/Usaah Guesthouse.
Kees speaks English, German, Thai, French and Dutch
The Amsterdam Resort has been open since november 2001 . The place had to be completely rebuilt after the december 26, 2004 tsunami
The resort has a variety of different types of bungalows and rooms. There is a breezy restaurant upstairs in the main building which is open the whole day. We have an internet room with 3 computers. To use the computers we charge 1 Baht per minute, but if you have a smartphone or laptop, you can use the wifi( wireless LAN) for free. There is an inhouse travel agency which sells tickets and tours to the local sights. We also rent out scooters and bicycles, and we can assist with renting a car.
Rooms and prices...........................................................................................
.From November 1 till May 1
There are different types of rooms in the main building and free standing bungalows.
The choice is between:
- Room in the main building with fan and cold water, 650 Baht
- Room in the main building with airconditioning and hot water and cable TV, 1000 Baht
- Small bungalow with a fan and hot water, 800 Baht
- Big bungalow with a fan and hot water, 1000 Baht
- Big bungalow with airconditioning and hot water and cable TV, 1200 Baht
- Family bungalow with 2 rooms, with airconditioning and hot water and cable TV, 1400 baht, or with a fan 1200 Baht.
All rooms and bungalows have a private bathroom. Rooms are cleaned on a daily basis. Prices do not include breakfast, which can be ordered seperately in the restaurant. Prices are per room/bungalow, and not per person. For 100 baht per night, an extra mattress with bedding can be added.
. From May 1 till November 1
In the low season (May through October), we only rent out the big bungalows, 550 Baht with a fan and 650 Baht with airconditioning.The restaurant is closed during the low season, but many restaurants nearby are.open the whole year.In the low season it is.better to telephone us before you come,0818575881, or contact us by email,. email@example.com .
Photo pages and other pages on this site
How to get there......................................
We can arrange for a taxi to pick you up at the airport, which costs 1200 Baht for one or two people, and 1500 Baht for three or more. In case you look for a taxi yourself, negotiate about the price, and take care sometimes taxidrivers will try to take you to another resort because they are paid commissions for that.
To go from Bangkok to Bang Niang, there are three different possibilities.
First of all it is possible to fly to Phuket and proceed from there. There are many flights daily from Bangkok to Phuket, done by competing carriers. Some flights leave from Suvarnabhumi airport, where all international flights arrive, and some from Don Muang Airport. Prices vary from 1500 to 3600 baht, depending on the availability of seats. Try Orientthai (leaves from Don Muang), or Air Asia (leaves from Don Meuang) or Nok Air (leaves from Don Muang), or Bangkok Air(leaves from Suvarnabhumi),or Lion Air (leaves from Don Meuang) or Thai Airways (leaves fom Suvarnabhumi).It is easy to book online, and also when already at Suvarnabhumi one never has to wait long after shopping around for a ticket. There are two free busses per hour between the two airports, the trip normally takes a bit less than an hour.
It is also possible to take a Takua Pa bound bus from the Southern busterminal in Bangkok, and get off at the Bang Niang beach junction about 30 KM South of Takua Pa (The bus will continue to Phuket, mind you not all Phuket bound busses pass through Takua Pa and Bang Niang/Khao Lak). Busses are leaving early in the morning and in the evening, and the trip takes 13 hours. ! Warning. Buy the ticket at the Southern Busstation, and not at a travel agency. Travel agencies cannot sell tickets for busses that go to Khao Lak directly,instead of that they will book a connection for you via Surat Thani, which takes much more time.
Last of all it is also possible to take a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, and take a bus from there which goes to Phuket via Takua Pa. This is not the quickest way to do it, you would have to spend a night in the train or in Surat Thani. For the railway timetable see Thai railways.Taking a direct bus from Bangkok takes far less time.
Once you have arrived here, when you telephone us (0818575881), we will usually be able to pick you up. Alternatively, just walk towards the beach and take the last turn right just before the beach, where you will see signs directing you to the resort. From Phuket similarly take a bus to Takua Pa and get off at the Bang Niang beach junction 3 KM north of Nang Tong Beach village center. For more information, please email , firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0818575881.
About Bang Niang Beach................................................................................
Khao Lak is a 30 KM long coastal strip, the two biggest village centers are Bang Niang Beach and Nang Tong Beach (La Ohn). Bang Niang village has been steadily expanding, and is now bigger than La Ohn.
All the roads in the beach area are paved ,and there are street lights everywhere. At the time of writing in the Bang Niang beach area there is a choice between about 32 small and middle sized hotels, and 6 large hotels where mostly package tourists are staying.
Because the package tourists are coming the whole year, more and more shops, restaurants, bars, massage places and so on close to the the beach area are also open in the low season now. Especially at the mainroad (1200 meter from the beach), and at the road leading from the beach to the main road, more and more restaurants, shops and bars are opening, which operate the whole year round. In the beach area it is still very quiet, but the area with restaurants, shops, bars and so on starts about 300 meters behind our resort. Ther are also a few restaurants right at the beach open the whole year.
The last three years also a lot of hotels and guesthouses opened at or close to the main road. In the beach area it is still quiet, but the part of Bang Niang at or close to the main road is looking more and more like a proper town. There is a big afternoon market in Bang Niang right at the mainroad at the junction with the road leading to the beach, which operates monday, wednesday and saturday.At the market just about everything is sold, and it operates from early in the afternoon till it gets dark.A bit further away, at the main road 3 KM to the north, there is the daily fresh market.
In Bang Niang all facilities which are needed for a carefree stay are there: supermarkets, ATM's, transport facilities, medical care, and so on.
What to do in Khao Lak....................................................................................
From the cape it is a pretty long walk back to the main road, you could also continue walking northwards about 5 KM to Bang Sak Beach, which is close to the main road where one can catch a bus or a songthaew back to Bang Niang. By the way a songthaew is a pick up truck modified to carry passengers. Bang Sak Beach is popular among the local people, there is a string of inexpensive restaurants, you can eat right behind the beach, maybe Thai style just sitting on a straw mat. At the northern end of Bang Sak there are a few luxury resorts catering for package tourists.
After about 10 minutes walking one has to cross a shallow river, it is also possible to be put acoss with a small boat, which will set you back about 10-20 Baht. By the way the men sitting around at the rivermouth with longtailboats can also be chartered for longer trips, to places just off the coast where there is good snorkeling. A 3-4 hour trip should cost about 1200 Baht, for the boat and not per passenger.
Walking to the southernmost end of Nang Tong Beach will take about another 30 minutes, where the beach finishes there is a short but steep path uphill leading to a restaurant (Muanlai) where one is rewarded with a breathtaking view over the whole bay. At Nang Tong Beach unlike in Bang Niang the main road is close to the beach.
The Similan and Surin islands
Going to Khao Lak, it is practically a must to go to the Similan and/or the Surin Islands. Both of them are archipelagos of uninhabited islands, about 60 KM offshore, which are a divers and snorkelers paradise. Obviously there is no ferry going there, only boats belonging to snorkeling tour operators and diving schools, one has to book an organized tour. It is not recommended to book a snorkeling tour at a diving school, it is more expensive and there will me mainly divers on the boat, it is better to go on a tour organized by a specialized snorkeling tour operator. We can arrange a very well organized 1 day tour, including transport to the pier, food, snorkeling mask and National Park entry fee to Similan for 1900 Baht, and to Surin for 2400 Baht. A new destination is the island of Koh Ta Chai, which costs 2300 Baht. Children up to 12 years pay only 60%.These tours can be booked here at the resort. You will be picked up here early in the morning, and you'll be brought back late in the afternoon.
The corals, which have been losing colors for a long time, are now regenerating, young corals which are colorful are growing again.
The Similans are right opposite Khao Lak, and the Surins opposite the mainland 60 KM North of here, and Koh Ta Chai opposite the mainland 20 KM North of here. The Similans are about 60 KM offshore, and the Surins about 70 KM. Similan has become very crowded, especially with Russians and Chinese. At Surin and Koh Ta Chai, the corals are better, and there are far less people going there, except for Surin at the weekends when there are many Thai tourists. At Surin the facilities for overnight stays are also better than at Similan.
We can also arrange for stays of several days at Similan or Surin. As far as Similan is concerned, you can only book an all inclusive tour. If you go to Surin, you can book for the roundtrip transfer through us, and pay for the other things separately at the island.
We can book an all inclusive tour to Similan, 2 days/1 night costs 4300 Baht per person, and 3 days/2 nights 5300 Baht. Again children up to 12 years old pay only 60%. You will be staying in a tent. If you want to stay in a bungalow, the package costs 4000 Baht for 2 days/1 night and 4700 for 3days/2 nights, but on top of that you will have to pay separately for the bungalow, which costs 1000 Baht with fan or 2000 Baht with air conditioning. Usually but not always a 30% discount is given for weekdays. It is difficult to book a bungalow from outside Thailand, but we can take care of this for a 500 Baht service charge. Since we have to pay for the bungalow in advance, you’ll have to transfer us the money beforehand (just for the bungalow, the rest you can pay when you are here). Bungalows can be booked maximally 60 days in advance.
In the return transfer is included:
-Being picked up by minivan at the resort early in the morning to be brought to the pier
-Breakfast at the pier, be it very basic
-transport by speedboat to the island, where you'll arrive at midday
-snorkeling one or twice on the way (depending on the tides and the weather)
-lunch on arrival
-national park entry fee
-transport back by speedboat at 1 PM at the departure day, and again snorkeling once or twice on the way
-being brought back to the resort by minivan. You’ll arrive late in the afternoon, and it will be too late to go somewhere else, so you’ll have to spend one more night in Khao Lak.
At the island you will have to pay separately for a tent and bedding, food and drinks at the restaurant, transfers to the snorkeling spots, and renting of snorkeling equipment. You can also stay in a bungalow, which costs 3000 Baht per night. No discounts given. We can book a bungalow for you, but since we have to pay for that in advance, you first have to transfer the money for that to us. We require a 500 Baht service charge for doing this.
The bungalows are mostly old and decrepit, and absolutely not worth the money.
There are thousands of visitors going to the islands every year, both at Similan and at Surin there is a restaurant where you can also buy basic necessities, and there are simple but adequate bathroom facilities. It might be a good idea though, to take some durable fruits, cookies and so on if you are staying several days.
All prices quoted above can be subject to change.
Possible daytrip destionations could be:
1) Chong Fah waterfall
2) Pakkarang cape
3) White Sand Beach
4) Sai Ruang waterfall
5) Bang Sak Beach
6) Poseidon Beach
7) Kienkoo lake and waterfall
8) Asia Safari
To the north
9) Nam Khem and Koh Kaw Khao
10) Old Takua Pa
11) Sri Phangnga National park
12) Khao Sok National Park
To the south
13) Lampi waterfall
14) Thai Meuang Beach
15) Hot springs
16) Phangnga Bay and the James Bond island
17) Wat Bang Riang
1) Chong Fah waterfall
At the T junction with the main road, turn left, and turn right after 100 meters a little bit past the Zantika discotheque. There is a sign saying Chong Fah Waterfall. The road is going a bit uphill all the way. First you pass through the rubber plantations, and later through the jungle. There are small shops where you can buy water till about half way. The last part of the road is unpaved. After about 5 KM you come to the national park building, where you might have to pay an entry fee. Park there, or a few hundred meters further, and then go on foot about 10 minutes through the jungle. The waterfall is quite pretty, and there is a small pool, where you can cool off a bit. There is a toilet building where you could change into swimming gear, but there is no restaurant. . The waterfall has several tiers so you can hike up, especially if you have somewhat better shoes.
2) Pakkarang (Coral) Cape.
Turn left at the T junction with the main road, and after 7 KM there is the turnoff or Pakkarang Cape to the left at the 7/11. The signs will also say Takolaburi resort and Apsaras resort.
You can go all the way till the end of the cape, on the way there are a few restaurants. When you come to a junction, don’t turn left, but keep going straight on. Turning left will take you to a few upmarket resorts. Especially at low tide it is very scenic at the end of the cape, the water goes way back then, and local people are gathering things they can eat from the dry seabed. Since there is a lot of dead coral laying around, it is not possible to swim here.
3) White Sand Beach. (Hat Ao Thong)
To go to White Sand Beach, take the turnoff for Pakkarang Cape, and turn right after 1 KM , the signs say White Sand beach and Sarojin Resort.You have to make a few turns, but it is very well signposted.. White Sand Beach is ideal for swimming, also for children, the waves are not high because it is sheltered by the cape. There are a number of beach restaurants.
It is quieter if you walk towards the cape to the beach where the Boatyard restaurant is (Coconut Beach).
4) Sai Ruang Warerfall.
After passing the turnoff for Pakkarang Cape, there is the turnoff to the right for Sai Ruang waterfall after about 3 KM. After turning right you have to turn right again after 1,5 KM, the sign says Rainbow Waterfall. Watch out, that sign is easily missed since it is rather small. With a motorcycle/car you can go all the way to the waterfall. Because it is outside the national park, there is no entry fee. Better avoid the weekends, because there are many local people then. The pool is OK to cool off, but too small to swim in. There is a small restaurant.
5) Bang Sak Beach
A few KM past the turnoff for Sai Ruang waterfall, there is the turnoff to the left to Bang Sak Beach. The turnoff is presently not signposted in English, watch out for the orange house where the road bends to the right. The Kon Tong Su restaurant has a big sign at the turnoff.
Bang Sak beach is close to the main road. There are a lot of small restaurants with tables almost right at the beach, and especially at lunchtime during the weekends a lot of local people are eating there. Bang sak is fairly typical for a non touristy beach in Thailand.
6) The beach at Poseidon Bungalows.
At the T junction with the main road, turn right. After passing through Bang Niang, you quickly get to Nang Tong Beach, the next village. At the end of Nang Tong beach the road winds uphill into the national park. At the highest point there is the national park building, from where a trail leads down to a small beach. After that the road goes downwards, you will pass by a sign leading to another small beach (small sandy beach), it is worthwile to explore it. Where the road is almost flat again, there is the turnoff to the right to Poseidon Bungalows. It is situated at a very scenic large bay. The southern part of the bay, where Poseidon Bungalows is located, is very quiet, and pretty with huge boulders on the beach. Walking north you will get to a more touristy beach with a few upmarket hotels like the Merlin Hotel.
7) Kienkoo lake and waterfall
Going further down the main road, after 3 KM there is the turnoff to the left to Kienkoo Resort. (right before the post office! The sign says Lamkaen Bungalows). Kienkoo is right next to a lake at the bottom of a small waterfall which is very good for swimming, and it is a nice place to sit around, eat and maybe have a few beers. It is not very well visible from the road, watch the right hand side closely. From here it is about a one hour walk to the large Kienkoo waterfall
8) Asia Safari
Going towards the turnoff for Poseidon Bungalow, you will see the turnoff for Asia safari on the left, opposite the Merlin Hotel.It is a paved road, going uphill steeply into the forest. Asia safari is a small zoo where you can also do elephant riding. The entry fee is 200 Baht.
Further away (to the north)
9) Ban Nam Khem and the island Koh Kaw Khao
At the T junction with the main road, turn left. After 20 KM you get to the village Bang Muang (the first village you get at). Right there where the village starts, there is a big turnoff to the left, watch out for the big white sign saying Koh Kaw Khao resort. After turning left and going 3 KM, you reach the village Ban Nam Khem, where there are mainly Burmese people living. Before getting into the village, there is a turnoff to the left to the impressive tsunami memorial. Next to the memorial there is a nice seafood restaurant right at the beach. To go to the port, you have to keep going straight on. With a motorcycle, you can go on a longtailboat to the island (only 100 meters), with a car you have to wait for the ferry, which leaves when there are enough cars.
Once on the island, soon after leaving the village at the pier, the road forks, you have to keep right. Going left, you get to a beach with a row of recently constructed resorts. The other road is going all the way to the northern end of the island. The original Koh Kaw Khao Resort (first one on the island), is close to the end of the road, you have to turn left, it is a bit difficult to see because from the road it looks more like a village. Following the road further, you come to a large open meadow, which used to be an airport during the second world war.
On the island, you will find endless beaches without anybody in sight.
Further up noth are the more isolated islands of Koh Pra Thong and Koh Ra. To go there, you have to take a longtailboat from Kuraburi 50 KM north of Thakua Pa.
10) Old Takua Pa
Takua pa is divided in New Takua Pa (busstation, market), which has nothing to offer, and Old Takua Pa, which is a well preserved historical city. Old Takua Pa still has city walls, and the last 30 years hardly anything has been built, so that it looks like Thai cities a long time ago. Sometimes it is used as a movie location. There is a heavy Chinese influence in Old Takua Pa.
To go there, driving into Takua Pa go past the hospital at the right hand side, and then turn right at the first traffic light, and then it is another 4 KM. In case you are not sure, ask the local people about “Talaat Khao” (old market), that’s how they call Old Takua Pa.
11) Sri Phangnga National Park.
Driving through Takua Pa keep going straight on (at the first traffic light the road veers to the left), you go across a bridge and past the market and the busstation at the left hand side. Soon after that there is a T junction, where you turn left towards Ranong, and not straight on towards Surat Thani. After 25 KM comes the turnoff to the right to Sri Phangnga National Park. There are a few well maintained walking trails in the park, mostly leading to waterfalls, one of which (Tamnang), is quite spectacular. There is a restaurant in the headquarters area, but apart from a campsite there are no accomodation possiblilities.
12) Khao Sok National Park.
Driving through Takua Pa keep going straight on (at the first traffic light the road veers to the left), you go across a bridge and past the market and the busstation at the left hand side. Soon after that there is a T junction, where you go straight on towards Surat Thani, don’t turn left towards Ranong.
After 45 KM, just after a pass which is not so high or steep, there is the turnoff to the left to Khao Sok, from the turnoff it is another 3 KM.
There are two walking trails for which you don’t need a guide, starting from the headquarters one is going straight north, and the other one is following the river upstream.It is very well signposted.
With a car it is easy to go to Khao Sok and come back the same day, with a motorcycle it is a bit rough (distance from Khao Lak 75 KM), but plenty of people have done it.
To really appreciate Khao Sok, it would be better to spend at least one night there. There is an overabundancy of inexpensive accomodation possibilities.
The huge lake, in the middle of the rain forest, where you can make a boat tour, is 70 KM east from the headquarters, close to the town of Ta Khun. Travel agencies and hotels in Khao Sok sell this tour for about 1500 Baht.
Further away (to the south)
13) Lampi waterfall
Going south towards Phuket, after about 28 KM there is the turnoff to the left for Lampi waterfall, close to the town of Thai Meuang. From the turnoff to the waterfall is about 3 KM, you can park almost right next to the waterfall. The waterfall is quite big, and there is a large pool which is excellent for swimming. The part of the pool which is not deep, is partitioned off by a rope, which makes it safer for children. Hiking enthousiasts can make the steep climb to the second and the third level of the waterfall. Because the waterfall is inside a national park area, you will have to pay a 100 Baht entry fee. There is also a restaurant.
14) Thai Meuang Beach
Going south towards Phuket, after 30 KM there is the small town of Thai Meuang. Take the turnoff to the right for Thai Meuang Beach. From November to February, sea turtles come to lay their eggs at Thai meuang Beach, the only place where this happens at the Andaman coast. The beach is not so good for swimming, because it gets deep quickly and there might be currants, but the road going north along the beach, through Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Meuang national park is quite beautiful.
15) Dusit Hot Springs Hotel
17 Km past Thai Meuang you reach the town of Khokkloy. At he traffic light there is a crossing where one can go straight on to Phuket, or turn left to Phangnga, the capital of the province. Turn right to go to the Dusit Hot Springs Hotel. It is a beautifully laid out 5 star hotel with a gorgeous swimming pool, and two smaller pools with are fed by the natural hot springs. For 300 Baht you can spend the whole day there, you will get towels, a snack and a drink. Usually there is only a handful of Asian tourists around.
16) Phangnga Bay
Going south towards Phuket, turn left after 19 KM, the sign says Thung Maprao. It is a very big turnoff right after a village, you can’t miss it.
Then follow signs to Phangnga. The scenery on the way is very pretty. You end up just behind Phangnga, which is a one street town. Follow this street, and about 2 KM after leaving the city, there is the turnoff to the left for Phangnga Bay. At the pier, you will be approached by men who are selling the tour by longtailboat through the bay. It should cost about 1200 Baht (for the boat, not per person), try to bargain a bit. Besides the James Bond Island, you will be taken to Koh Panyi, the fishing village built on stilts on the water. Though the place is very touristy in the daytime, the people there maintain a traditional lifestyle. There is a row of excellent seafood restaurants at Koh Panyi.
You will also be shown a cave with prehistorical paintings. The most interesting thing about the trip though, is that the seascape in the bay is absolutely gorgeous.
17) Wat Bang Riang
Following the road to Phangnga as described above, turn left towards Krabi at a T junction which would bring you to Phangnga if turning right. The T junction is close to Phangnga. Soon the road will go uphill steeply through the rainforest, driving a car you have to use second gear. After about 15 KM you reach Thap Phut, where you will see signs directing you to Wat Bang Riang, which is on top of a hill, it is another about 12 KM. The temple itself is beautiful, but the main reason of going here is the absolutely stunning view of the coastal plain at one side, and a lush green valley at the other side.
Last of all Phuket should be mentioned, the island is famous for its beaches, shopping possibilities and its breathtaking nightlife. By car/motorcycle it takes about 1,5 hour to go to Phuket Towm, by bus 2 hours. For shopping and nightlife Patong Beach has the most to offer. Karon Beach also has some nightlife but still has a bit of a pleasant countryside atmosphere. The beaches are not far from Phuket town. Phuket Town has an interesting historical city center, but few facilities for tourists such as budget hotels. Also if you are not into nightlife, it is better to stay at one of the beaches...
Onward transport from Khao Lak
When guests are leaving by bus, we always take them to the bus stop free of charge.
1) To Phuket Airport
There is no public bus or minivan to the airport. We can arrange a taxi for 1200 Baht.
It is possible though to take a Phuket bound bus, and get off at the turnoff for the airport. There you have to cross the highway, and then wait for a tuktuk or taxi. Doing it this way, you have to allow for a lot of time.
2) To Phuket Town and the beaches.
There are about 4 busses in an hour to Phuket Town bus station. There you can change to a bus or songthaew (modified pickup truck) to the beach of your choice.
It is easy to book a flight from Phuket online. Try Orient Thai, Air Asia, Nok Air, Bangkok Air or Thai Airways. The cost will be in between 1500 and 3200 Baht, depending on the availability of seats.
We can also book you on a bus to Bangkok. The night bus costs 900 Baht, leaves at 6 PM and arrives around 6 AM the next morning, at the Southern Bus Terminal. The day bus costs 750 Baht, leaves at 10 AM and arrives at 10 PM. The tickets include a meal.
4) Krabi Town, Ao Nang, Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi.
With the province of Krabi, there is no direct bus connection. But we can book you on the minivan, which comes to pick you up here at 7.30 AM, and takes you straight there.
To Krabi Town it costs 370 Baht, to Ao Nang 450, to Koh Lanta 700, and to Koh Phi Phi 850. Going to the islands, the ferry is included.
5) Further south.
The minivan can also be booked to destinations further south in the provinces of Trang and Satun, and to Penang in Malaysia.
6) Koh Phayam.
Take the 10 AM bus to Ranong, and from there a taxi to the pier. The ferry leaves at 2 PM.
7) Khao Sok.
Take the 7.30 AM or the 9.40 AM bus to Surat Thani, and get off at the turnoff for Khao Sok. To the area where the resorts and guesthouses are is another 3 km, but there are always touts waiting who are working for the hotels. You can go with one of them or take a taxi.
8) Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
Take the 7.30 AM or the 9.40 AM bus to Surat Thani bus station. There, go to Panthip Tours, and buy a ticket for the car ferry to Koh Samui or Koh Phangan. You will be brought to the pier in Don Sak, where you board the ferry using the same ticket.
To go to Koh Tao, go to Koh Samui first, and take a speedboat from there, you will probably have to spend one night in Koh Samui.
9) Koh Yao Noi.
Take a Phuket bound bus, and get off at the big roundabout. You need the road going left as seen when arriving. The pier is at Bang Rong about 5 km from the roundabout, wait for a songthaew (shared taxi).
There are ferries leaving continuously.
.December 26, 2004 disaster strikes in the form of a tsunami.
A German lady who was staying in one of the bungalows came running back to warn against a giant wave. First I didnt take it so seriously and I wanted to check the internet for information, but then she told me the water in the sea had gone way back, just like in the movie deep impact. I listened carefully, and then I heard something that sounded like an approaching train. Shouting go go go I ran into the restaurant, and with the staff and a few hotelguests I ran inland. We fled on the flat roof of a 2 story structure 40 meters behind my resort. When we reached the roof my resort was already covered with 6 meters of water, a 10 second delay would have been fatal. We were terribly afraid the building would collapse. The second wave was somewhat smaller, we managed to rescue several people who floated by. 3 Thai women who worked for me did not go into the building but kept running inland, nobody has seen them since. Also several hotelguests who at that moment were in the resort or at the beach did not survive. When the water finally receded, I saw that my resort had completely gone except for the foundations and 6 coconut trees. Opposite me was a German bakery, even the heavy equipment there like ovens (over 100 kilo) had disappeared, of his 2 houses only the concrete floors were left, also the baker didnt survive. In small groups everybody left the building, and with 4 hotelguests I found my way through the field covered with ruines and corpses to the main building of another resort that was one of the only 4 buildings that still stood at Bang Niang Beach which had over 20 bungalow resorts. After about an hour somebody came to tell us we had to go to an improvised evacuation camp on top of a hill, everybody was still very much afraid for new giant waves. The next day we were evacuated to a larger camp, where I soon decided to go back to Takua Pa, the municipality seat, among other things to file a police report I would need to get a new passport. To look for my girlfriend who has been found since I went to the hospital and to the temple were hunderds of bodies were kept, till yesterday 30/12 there was a sickening stench. 28/12 I went back to the disaster area because my car had been found, 3 KM inland, total loss of course. I was impressed to see the rescue operation had made a good start already, most of the streets had been cleared. But many bodies are still laying under the salty mud and the rubble, the smell in the disaster area is still very bad.
Tomorrow I go to Bangkok to get a new passport, and then I will go back here to replace other documents such as the land paper, work permit and registration papers of my Thai company, and I will talk with the insurance company about money to buy a new car. I am determined to build up the resort anew, but because my means to invest are limited, it will be much more simple than it used to be.
Regards, Kees van Dobben.
This text was written december 31, 2004.