Khao Lak Tsunami Update 5
July 21st 2007
Khao Lak Tsunami Update 5 :: Khao Lak continues to rebuild and a recent article in the Phuket Gazette written by Frankie Gun reported that Khao Lak now has rebuilt to 50% of the capacity that existed prior to the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.
Kempinski and Sofitel Resort Khao Lak
While that may Mr. Gunn’s story be true, there is a huge qualitative difference between many of the simple bungalow resorts that existed prior to that day – and those after. Small and simple resorts such as Gerd and Noi’s and Nang Thong Bay Resort (NTBR) – have made significant improvements over what existed before. There really is no comparison. NTBR’s simple wood shacks with a fan – would not be recognizable next to the very comfortable A/C bungalows with Bali showers that exist today.
What follows is a sampling of work that continues in the area – a truly exhaustive survey would probably take weeks!
While it was widely reported locally that the Kempinski hotel group would rebuild and manage the Sofitel that was wiped out just south of Cape Pakarang – a visit to the site shows that there is no work in progress. The Kempinski press release indicated the opening of Phase 1 to be in the “autumn” of 2007, but that doesn’t seem possible at this point. I saw no indication that any work was being done at all.
Better news comes immediately to the north of the former Sofitel location and south of the Best Western Palm Galleria Resort on the southern edge of Cape Pakarang, where both the Pakarang Beach Cottage and Blue Village Pakarang Resort are heavy into construction and anticipate opening sometime during the winter 2007/2008 high season. From the looks of things these will, most likely, be “soft” openings to get things sorted out for the next season.Khao Lak Andaman Beach Resort
To the south, Bang Niang Beach is all abuzz with construction – nothing new there! The Mukdara is building a HUGE new reception area that looks like it could house a convention center and wedding hall.
Nang Thong Beach sees the rebuilding of the Khao Lak Andaman Beach Resort – again, with nice bungalows beach front. Another old favorite – Nang Thong Bay Resort II is rebuilding, though I doubt they will be ready for this year’s high season. Immediately to the left of the photo is the Baan Khao Lak.
Baan La On – better known as Khao Lak Town continues with its mini-boom of several small shopping centers and a new Siam Commercial Bank – and, of course, the shopping center that “may” have a McDonalds. Photo of Khao Lak Town Shopping CenterWhile many tourists are aghast, the fact is the Thais love Micky D’s. YOU don’t have to eat there if you don’t want to! Wait and see – artists’ conceptions of what shopping centers look like here, and who the tenants might be, are not always accurate.
Khao Lak Laguna Resort [below]
Heading south from Khao Lak Town, the Khao Lak Laguna is making rapid progress and will be as huge as it was before. It may well have a soft opening for the 2007/2008 high season.
And . . . finally, the area around the Khao Lak Merlin is on the mend with both the Khao Lak Emerald Resort and the Briza Beach Resort and Spa heavy into rebuilding. Lots of progress, but lots to do – anticipate a “soft opening” at best for this high season.
Khao Lak Emerald Resort Khao Lak Briza Beach Resort and Spa [below]
In this immediate area, once these two resorts are rebuilt – there will be only one small resort left to bring the area up to snuff.
Khao Lak Tsunami Update 5
Wikipedia info on the tsunami