Posts Tagged ‘dive shop’

Khao Lak first impressions

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Khao Lak is a resort area spread along a few miles of the Andaman coast a couple of hours north of Phuket. There are a number of beaches from Khao Lak beach in the south to Bang Sak beach in the north. What is generally referred to as “Khao Lak centre” corresponds with Nang Thong beach, at least on my map. There is one main road running north-south with a number of side roads. The beach is about a quarter of a mile to the west of the main road. Stretched along the main road are a plethora of dive shops, taxi stands, assorted Thai and European restaurants, massage places, convenience stores, tourist shops, and reminiscent of Hoi An, dozens of tailors. The most amusing tee shirt I’ve seen for sale says “No, I don’t want a fucking taxi, massage or new suit”. Someone has their finger on the pulse then.

Many of the dive shops and restaurants have strong German connections, so many that I’m already thinking of the place as “Little Germany”. There are also a couple of Italian restaurants, English pubs and even an Argentinian restaurant although I’ve not seen that one open yet.

The season hasn’t quite started here yet and the town is fairly empty of tourists. There are a few down on the beach, mostly fat middle aged Germans, many of the men in speedos and the women in nowhere near enough clothes. It’s not a pretty sight. At least the beach is not littered with empty Chang or Singha bottles, unlike Sairee beach on Koh Tao. There are some huge resorts between the main road and the beach. I imagine when they fill up the place is going to be buzzing.

I spent a tiring afternoon on Friday looking for somewhere to live for at least the next month, or hopefully six. Several people had told me about an abundance of bungalows around the 6000-7000 baht per month mark. Well they may have existed last year, and they may have existed last week but not any more. I found one room for 6000 baht per month and it was not nice. I don’t need luxury but I’d prefer something more than a dank, musty smelling box with a knackered double bed, no other furniture and a skanky looking bathroom with cold shower. After speaking with some of the staff in a few dive shops it seems I arrived about a week too late. Most places are now only offering accommodation on a daily basis, around 400 baht per night for a fan room with wifi and hot shower. The best I could find was a nice looking fan room with double bed, wardrobe, bedside cabinet and small fridge, bathroom with hot shower, wifi and a small patio for 10000 baht per month. There are places asking 15000 baht per month for lesser rooms. Apparently there are still rooms around the 6500 baht per month level, but too far to get to without a motorbike. I don’t ride a motorbike and if I did they’re about 3000 baht per month to rent so not really much cheaper than what I have now.

Over the weekend I visited all the dive shops that were open, dropped off a CV at each and inquired about work. They all confirmed their full-time positions are filled but most expected to need some freelancers from about mid-November. So I’ve got a couple of weeks of thumb twiddling to look forward to and then the phone will start ringing and I’ll get to go diving.

Oh yeah, and it has a McDondalds 🙂