Tha Sala, Nakhon Si Thammarat

BEACH
Tha Sala beach is 13 kilometers long and is located between two estuaries. The coastline starts east of the town of Tha Sala and continues north to Tasala Cabana. The coast is often higher than the beach, so to get to the beach you often have to descend 1-2 meters via stairs.

Even at low tide the beach is narrow and at high tide it is mostly gone, in that case it is possible to sunbathe on the grass. There are often waves in the sea and strong winds can make swimming difficult at high tide.

WHERE TO STAY
Lately, there are more and more small hotels opening their doors. You will see locals relaxing for a few days. Most hotels are basic, but nowadays you can find good mid-class and more upper-class hotels too. If you like comfort, go to Tasala Cabana, Villa Kani Resort or PP. Beach Resort Tasala.

Color Beach Resort and Sai Kaew Hotel are basic options along this coast, and near Sai Kaew Hotel are other basic stays. The beach near Sai Kaew Hotel is rocky, but there is still room to lay down your towel although it can feel a little weird amongst all those day trippers. It is good to know that they don’t speak English here. At Color Beach Resort you can choose between a bamboo hut and a colorful concrete bungalow. The Thai owner speaks English.

Close to Sai Kaew Hotel is a charming museum, which has a collection of antique items to admire. The owner has been collecting antiques since her youth, many objects were bought from fishermen who collected the items from shipwrecks. The museum is small, and everything is categorized in order. During the day, buses full of Thai tourists come for a combined museum and beach visit. There are 2 beach restaurants where you can eat and drink and, if you are lucky, there will be karaoke.

It is possible to eat at the hotels, although you can also visit the food stalls in one of the surrounding villages.

PLACE
The beaches near Nakhon Si Thammarat are still empty and are a good place to visit if you don’t want to be bothered by other tourists. The beaches are long and along the coast you will find small villages. This is a perfect place to walk or drive around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. You can plan day trips to waterfalls or visit one of the fruit farms, and at night you can join a fishing boat.

WHAT TO DO
Nakhon Si Thammarat, the second largest city in the south, is a blind spot for most tourists focused on Ko Samui and Ko Phangan, a hundred kilometers to the north. That’s a shame, because it is truly a fascinating city. Nakhon Si Thammarat is known for its excellent cuisine and traditional crafts, and this is the best place to view Thai shadow puppets.

North of Nakhon Si Thammarat we found 2 good beaches with some facilities that are 30-50 kilometers from the airport. South of Nakhon Si Thammarat we explored the coast between Pak Phanang and Ranot. This coast is 70 kilometers long and the beaches are very basic. There are many windmills and there are often stone breakwaters offshore.

TRANSPORT
There are direct flights from Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat, operated by AirAsia and Nok Air. There is a good bus and minibus connection to Trang, Phuket and Songkhla. Heading north, minibuses run between Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani that drop you off on the highway near Plian. From here it’s another 6 kilometers to Hat Son Onn. If you are going to Tha Sala, the minibus will stop there. In town, you can rent scooters to reach the beach or take a taxi. The southern coast is difficult to reach by public transport, so our suggestion is to rent a car at the airport.