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Khao Lak Surfing

In Khao Lak, surfing is getting really popular these days. Khao Lak is hands down one of the best places to experience sun, sand and surf in the country. If you are planning on coming here to surf, here is a rundown of some of the well-known surf spots.

The first place is the Nang Thong Lighthouse. The waves on left side of the lighthouse are small but fun right-handers. There were a few large boulders jutting out of the lineup so it is best to go there mid to low tide. Coconuts Nang Thong Beach is the place to go for drinks, snacks and lounge chairs but they aren’t always open during the monsoon. I’ve never seen more than a few surfers in the water. There is plenty of parking behind the restaurant. Suwan Palm Resort is a good place to stay and it is steps away from the lighthouse.

Our next stop was just a few kilometers north to Bang Niang Beach. There is a river mouth that was flowing heavily from the recent rains and the beach had some of the best waves in Khao Lak. Bang Niang Beach has a nice sandy bottom, lefts and rights are always on offer and you can have the lineup to yourself most days. You can park on the dirt road just past The Haven Resort or at the end of Bang Niang Beach Road Soi 1. Nong Prew Bar and Restaurant is about 200 meters from the good breaks.
You can’t mention Khao Lak surfing without talking about Pakarang Cape. Down a long dirt road is Pakarang Surf Shop and Memories Beach Bar. This is by far the busiest and most popular surf spot in Khao Lak. They have surfboard and bungalow rentals and surf lessons are available year round. Ripcurl sponsored surf contests are held here every year too. With everyone from novices to experts in the water at the same time the lineup can get pretty hectic. There is also a pretty strong riptide so stay on the inside until you get more experience to hang outside with the big boys and girls.

You can also stop in Salt Surf Club and Hostel. Located a few meters from Apsara Resort, Salt is the new kid on the block although it’s owner, Matt has been surfing Khao Lak beaches longer than anyone in the area. They also sponsor charity surf events for underprivileged children and board giveaways. Salt Surf Club offers surfboard rentals, surf lessons, good food and clean rooms for rent.

There are other spots on Pakarang Cape that are worth mentioning. Taxi Dave’s is probably the first surf spot in Khao Lak. Dave is long gone (RIP) but his surf spot lives on. There is another good spot on the cape but you’ll have to ask a local about it. Maybe they will tell you…maybe they won’t.

In my opinion there is nothing better after a session than an ice cold beverage and some quality Mexican food. The World Famous Rusty Pelican is the place to be. Good vibes, great food and the best margaritas in Thailand wait for you. We also have second hand surfboards for sale from time to time. We hope you all come visit Khao Lak. Surfing isn’t the only thing to do here. There are waterfalls, world class diving and snorkeling, beautiful beaches and an abundance of natural beauty.

Surfing Khao Lak is where the spirit of aloha meets sabai. Come and see for yourself.

Check out The Surf Forecast and Tide Times Click Here!

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Muay Thai Origin – Champions & Techniques

Muay Thai, also known as the “Art of Eight Limbs,” has deep roots in Thai history and culture, making it a distinctive martial art with a rich heritage. Originating in Thailand, Muay Thai’s history dates back centuries, evolving from ancient battlefield techniques into a refined sport. Historical records suggest that its roots can be traced to the 16th century during the Ayutthaya Kingdom, where Thai soldiers developed the art to enhance their hand-to-hand combat skills. Over time, Muay Thai became ingrained in Thai society, with regional variations and unique styles emerging across the country.

Muay Thai Origin - Champions and Techniques

The sport’s cultural significance is evident in its connection to traditional Thai festivals and ceremonies. Muay Thai matches were once a form of entertainment for both royals and commoners, showcasing bravery and skill. The rituals performed before matches, such as the Wai Kru Ram Muay, reflect the respect for teachers, ancestors, and the art itself. As Thailand modernized, Muay Thai evolved into a global phenomenon, gaining international recognition for its effectiveness and striking techniques.

The essence of Muay Thai lies not just in physical prowess but also in its spiritual and mental aspects. Practitioners learn the art’s cultural values, discipline, and respect for opponents. Today, Muay Thai stands as a symbol of Thai identity and is practiced worldwide, with enthusiasts drawn to its dynamic techniques, strategic elements, and the sense of tradition it carries from its historical origins in the heart of Thailand.

Is Muay Thai Dangerous?

Muay Thai, the traditional martial art of Thailand, often raises questions about its safety. Is Muay Thai dangerous? While any contact sport involves inherent risks, Muay Thai prioritizes discipline and technique, aiming to minimize potential harm. Participants undergo rigorous training to develop proper form, conditioning, and defensive skills. Instructors emphasize the importance of respecting opponents and adhering to established rules during bouts. Protective gear, such as gloves, shin guards, and mouthguards, further enhances safety. However, like any sport, injuries can occur, ranging from minor bruises to more severe conditions. It’s crucial for practitioners to train under experienced coaches, follow safety guidelines, and engage in controlled environments to mitigate risks. Ultimately, Muay Thai offers not only a physical challenge but also a cultural and personal journey, blending athleticism with tradition.

Muay Thai Protective Gear

When was the first Thai Muay Thai Championship and who won it?

Pinpointing the exact moment of the first Thai Muay Thai championship is challenging due to the sport’s historical evolution and the lack of centralized records. However, Muay Thai has a longstanding history of organized competitions dating back to the early 20th century. One notable milestone was the establishment of the “Ratchadamnoen Stadium” in Bangkok in 1945, marking the formalization of Muay Thai as a regulated sport. The inaugural champion at Ratchadamnoen Stadium remains a topic of historical debate, but some sources point to legendary fighters like Samart Payakaroon or Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn as early champions who left an indelible mark on Muay Thai history. These pioneers set the stage for the sport’s growth, both domestically and internationally, contributing to its widespread popularity and acclaim. While the specifics of the first championship winner may be challenging to definitively determine, the impact of these early fighters on Muay Thai’s legacy is undeniable, shaping it into the globally recognized and respected martial art it is today.

Rajadamnern Muay Thai Stadium

Who is the greatest Thai Muay Thai Champion of all time?

Determining the greatest Thai Muay Thai champion of all time is a subjective task, as different eras and weight classes have seen extraordinary fighters showcasing exceptional skills. However, one name that consistently emerges in discussions about the greatest is Samart Payakaroon. Born in 1962, Samart is renowned for his exceptional versatility and mastery of the art. A multiple-time Lumpinee Stadium champion in multiple weight classes, Samart seamlessly blended traditional Muay Thai techniques with a unique finesse. What set him apart was not only his devastating kicks and powerful strikes but also his ability to adapt his style to outsmart opponents. Samart’s influence extended beyond the ring; he successfully transitioned into professional boxing and became a world champion, showcasing his exceptional athleticism and adaptability. His fighting career, spanning from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, left an indelible mark, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest Muay Thai champions of all time. While opinions may vary, Samart Payakaroon’s impact on the sport, coupled with his achievements, cements his place in the pantheon of Muay Thai legends.

Samart Payakaroon Muay Thai Champion

Why is Muay Thai so effective in attacks, but in defense not so much?

Muay Thai’s effectiveness in attacks and perceived limitations in defense stem from its historical roots as a battlefield art and its evolution into a sport. Muay Thai’s offensive techniques, often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs,” involve the use of fists, elbows, knees, and shins, providing a diverse and powerful arsenal for striking. The focus on aggressive techniques makes Muay Thai a formidable offensive martial art, emphasizing powerful strikes and clinch work.

However, the perceived limitation in defense is largely a result of the sport’s traditional approach, where the emphasis is placed on conditioning, blocking, and countering rather than elaborate defensive maneuvers. Traditional Muay Thai defensive strategies involve checking kicks, deflecting strikes, and using clinch techniques to nullify opponents. While these defensive techniques are effective, they may appear less sophisticated compared to the intricate defensive movements seen in some other martial arts.

In modern Muay Thai, there’s a growing recognition of the importance of defensive skills. Contemporary fighters are incorporating elements of Western boxing, footwork, and head movement to enhance their defensive capabilities. The evolving landscape of the sport reflects a willingness to adapt and integrate techniques from various disciplines to create a more well-rounded martial art.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of Muay Thai in defense or offense depends on the practitioner’s training approach and the incorporation of diverse skills. While its offensive capabilities have historically taken the spotlight, the evolving nature of the sport suggests a continual refinement of defensive techniques to complement its renowned attacking prowess.

Day Trip from Khao Lak to Koh Surin Islands

The Surin Islands are located in the Andaman Sea, in an archipelago of 5 islands in Phang Nga Province, South West Thailand. Located about 60 kilometers from Nam Khem or Thap Lamu Piers in the Khao Lak area, the speed boat ride is about 90 minutes.

I was fortunate to be part of an “inspection” tour of the Similan and Surin Islands for a local outfit called Seastar Plus. For now I will focus on The Surin Islands.
I love the Surin Islands. It is, in my opinion much better than the Similan Islands. From the quality of the reefs to the abundance and wider variety of sea life, the Surin Islands are far superior.

We met at Nam Khem Pier early in the morning and were treated to a nice continental breakfast, welcome drink and refillable water bottle.
We boarded a 15 meter two level catamaran named Tao Talay 9. The cabin was air conditioned and there was plenty of room for the passengers. There was an upper deck for sunning once the boat was at anchor. The Tao Talay 9 had one toilet near the captain’s chair. The vessel was designed to seat 70 people but there were about 15 of us onboard. Once seated we all were provided with a mesh bag containing a towel, mask, snorkel and fins. Captain Mac and three boat boys got us underway for the hour and 30 minute cruise to the Similan Islands. Our guide, Khun Latte, Gave us a briefing about the day’s activities and A little of the islands history.

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After a smooth ride lasting about an hour and a half, We arrives at our first stop. The Surin Islands are the ancestral home to the Moken People. The Moken originate from Burma or so the story goes. They are sea gypsies and their villages dot the entire Andaman coast. The Surin Islands has one such village. Due to local restrictions, we were now allowed to go ashore but I have been there before. There are around 80 people in the village living in thatched houses on stilts. Every hut has its own solar panel for electricity. There is also a school and small government office and not much else. The children are some of the happiest I’ve seen and everyone is extremely friendly. Our first snorkel spot of our Surin Island tour was within view of the Moken Village and was quite impressive. The coral was magnificent and teeming with fish of all colors. We stayed for about an hour then headed to Surin Nua, North Surin, to have lunch. Other than the marine park rangers, we were the only people there. The day we went, there were no other tour boats in sight. Everywhere we visited we were the only ones around. It was heavenly.

There are accommodations at the Surin Islands. At Chong Kaard Bay, you can choose from tents pitched on a pristine beach, small bungalows for two people and larger bungalows that sleep up to six people. There are ample shower and toilet facilities, including wheelchair access, a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and tour desk. SeaStar Plus provided us with a wonderful lunch buffet with fantastic Thai cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available but you should inform the receptionist when you check in that morning. Soft drinks, a variety of Thai sweet teas iced coffees and fresh fruit are also there to enjoy. After lunch and a chill out we got back on the Tao Takay 9 and headed to Bon Bay for snorkel spot #2. Again the reef systems were thriving and there were larger fish swimming about. We stayed at Bon Bay for about 40 minutes before heading to our last stop of the day. Mare Yai or, Mother-in–Law Bay isn’t always open to the public but today it was. I had visited this site many years ago and it is one of the better spots for marine life and coral formations. It didn’t disappoint. We spent an hour there again, by ourselves. Come to think of it, we didn’t see or hear another boat all day! I dozed off on the way back to Nam Khem Pier. Since I was on another “inspection” tour to the Similan Islands the day before, I know that we were offered fresh fruit and chocolate brownies. We arrived safely and adjourned to the reception area for a nice snack buffet and refreshing ice cream. I’ve said it earlier and I will say it again now. SeaStar Plus did a fantastic job and really took care of us on our trip to the Surin Islands. Weather your destination is the Similan Islands, Surin Islands or one of their other tours, SeaStar plus is the way to go!

Bussaba Massage, Bang Niang, Khao Lak

Want to luxuriate in a Khao Lak massage that will leave you feeling completely relaxed and refreshed, ready to enjoy other things to do in Khao Lak? A place where you can go with your partner and share the experience of having those tight muscles pressed into peaceful submission? If you are looking for what to do in Khao Lak, then look no further than Bussaba Massage, located a few minutes away from the Khao Lak center, in Bang Niang.

Bussaba Massage, Khao Lak, has professionally qualified masseuses that have invested years in providing customers with the finest massage experience. You can go with a traditional Thai massage that systematically massages, manipulates and stretches the whole-body, working from the feet to the head. You won’t come out the amazing elastic man, but you will definitely feel different about the world you inhabit! Or you may want to equally indulge yourself with an oil massage, which is also full-body, and includes exquisite head and hand massaging. Oil massages can be strong or mild, depending on your preference.

Bussaba Massage, Khao Lak, utilizes a variety of oils such as coconut, aloe vera, lavender and balsam. Bussaba, the owner of the massage parlour, makes the coconut oil herself. She gathers the coconuts from her property in Bang Niang, extracts the coconut by cracking the shells open, then liquefies the contents on a stove. After liquefaction she pours the oil into bottles, allows them to cool, then transfers them into the Bussaba Massage parlour where fortunate customers get to experience the freshness and delightful aroma of pure coconut oil. THERE ARE NO ADDITIVES WHATSOEVER!

Other massages specific to different parts of the body are also available. These include neck, shoulder and foot massages. You can also get scrumptious body scrubs and have your nails sparkling clean and shaped with a manicure and/or a pedicure.

Bussaba Massage, Khao Lak, has been certified by the Thailand Safety & Health Administration (SHA), which includes adherence to all Covid prevention requirements. So, not only will your body receive the treatment it deserves, but you can also be confident that the safety measures in place will ensure a protected environment for your enjoyment. We hope to see you soon! Visit the website here: Bussaba Massage Khao Lak Website.

See Bussaba Massage on Google Earth Click HERE!

What to Do in Khao Lak when it Rains

The weather in Khao Lak plays a big part in what you get up to during your holiday. Between November and April you can be almost guaranteed to be treated to warm sun, clear skies and calm seas. But for the rest of the year the Khao Lak weather can be a bit unpredictable. Take yesterday for example, yesterday was a typical day in June. Hammering rain first thing in the morning followed by scorching sun and then an almighty thunderstorm that made the lights flicker in the evening. Sometimes it all comes at once and is gone within the hour, sometimes the weather lasts for a week!

So what can you do in Khao Lak when it rains?

Well some people will tell you that Khao Lak is an outdoors kind of place and you are better off looking to move somewhere on the east coast or in the north where the weather is a bit more stable. But that is not necessarily true. You can still enjoy your holiday in Khao Lak even through the biggest storms!

Why not relax with a traditional Thai massage while listening to the sound of the rain pattering on the window? There are several massage parlors lining almost every road in Khao Lak and they are open all year, rain or shine. Even if you don’t fancy heading out into town while it’s raining, almost every hotel in Khao Lak has an in-house spa that offers a full range of massage and health services.

If laying around is not for you, there are plenty of other activities in Khao Lak that are great fun even when it is raining! Trips to the waterfalls, bamboo rafting down the rivers, kayaking in the mangroves. These activities run all year round and even if it is raining, who cares? You are going to get wet anyway! The additional water just adds to the fun. A word of advice though, try to keep a shirt or a towel dry in a bag or in the car. It is still warm in Khao Lak even when it rains, but if the wind picks up and you are wet it can feel cold.

Another option for those who don’t enjoy laying around or getting wet, is to rent a car with a driver and head down to Phuket for the day. The drive from Khao Lak to Phuket takes just over an hour and a half. Once in Phuket you will be spoilt for choice. There are museums, zoos, shopping centers and even cinemas. Not forgetting of course the popular nightlife areas! In most cases your driver will be able to recommend the best places to go. Just let him know what kind of things you enjoy and let him show you around. If you are heading to Phuket for a day out I would always recommend booking a car with a driver and not trying to drive yourself. Phuket is a maze of busy streets that make Google maps and other sat navs dizzy. Even on the best of days, driving in Phuket is a tiring experience, and in the rain it is definitely not for the faint hearted. Best leave that job to the professionals.

But the most important thing to remember when it rains in Khao Lak is that the weather here can be incredibly localised. Just because it is raining outside your hotel room there is no guarantee that it is raining in the hotel car park. It is a common enough experience in Khao Lak to see it pouring with rain on one side of the road and bone dry on the other. So if you are planning a day out, go for it. What’s the worst that can happen? You might get 5 minutes down the road and discover that the sun has come out and you are missing your sunglasses. Or you might find that the rain is even harder than before and you are treated to a spectacular lightning show. Either way it keeps life exciting. The key to visiting Khao Lak in the monsoon season is to plan for rain, hope for sun.