Khao Lak, located in the Phang Nga province, was one of the areas of the Andaman coast in Thailand hardest hit by the December 26, 2004 tsunami, with over 8,000 killed and almost 3000 people missing.

The 2004 Tsunami in Thailand

The local residents of Khao Lak shared their stories about the devastating tsunami and people who miraculously saved their lives; a grandfather who wanted to stay inside the car while the family went to the beach, all the family members died but the grandfather saved his life because the car floated. Or a foreign family who was building a new house in a small island in front the coast, they needed more wood and went inland to buy it, a few minutes later they were unable to go back home, the island was swallowed up by the sea, but fortunately they saved their lives.

Khao Lak is once again a popular tourist destination and caters to families and those looking for relaxation. Almost every single house and resort have either been replaced or rebuilt, and nowadays you can’t even notice that a powerful tsunami engulfed this beautiful place a few years ago. In Khao Lak you can take a sunbath and swim in their beautiful beaches or visit Bang Niang and visit the Navy Police boat that was washed 2 kilometers inland in the 2004 Tsunami that struck Khao Lak. This boat, Police Boat 813, was on patrol guarding the King’s grandson Khun Poom Jensen, the only son of Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana. He died when a gigantic wave hit his resort in Khao Lak.

Paying tribute to the tsunami victims

I recommend to visit Ban Nam Khem Tsunami Memorial Park to pay tribute to the tsunami victims. Ban Nam Khem Tsunami Memorial Center is located in the small fishing village of Ban Nam Khem, about 7 kilometers from Takua Pa. There is a plaque in memory and honor of the victims and a symbolic wall of water with the names and even pictures of people, both Thais and foreigners, who died in the devastating tsunami. Very impressive and sad place.


One thought on “Khao Lak and Tsunami Memorial Park in Ban Nam Khem”

  1. Hi, I saw the police boat in Kho Lak and my heart grieved. This is not the same memorial as the one in Ban Nam. From this description, it sounds as if they are the same place.

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