Despite its Thai name meaning ‘active’, Khuk Khack Beach is far from it.
The long white stretch of sand, on the Phang Nga coast just north of Khao Lak, stretches out into the sea-spray haze on either side as far as the eye can see.
It’s early on a blue morning. A solitary visitor jogs along the edge of the lapping waves from the calm sea. He is not in too much of a hurry either.
On the tourist map, the beach is dotted with resorts, the dots all bunching up towards the south of the beach, although few can be seen when you are on the sand.
Certainly at this northern end, there are only Adamania Beach Resort and, at some distance along the beach from it, JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort.
Khao Lak resort managers will tell you that many Thai and foreign tourists, especially from Europe, come to this long beach to escape the crowded western coast of Phuket.
But there are hardly any visitors to be seen this morning, and very few during the day, even though the high season has just started.
The white sand is, for a good change, almost free from litter.
Instead, a small army of hermit crabs scuttle happily along this morning, dragging an assorted selection of mobile homes. Their little eyes on the look out with little feelers sensing the air, always ready to retreat into their shells and shut the front door at the first hint of disturbance.
A little grey and white wader bobs along on the wet sand, scooting after its breakfast of scurrying wind crabs.
On a branch perches a family of birds. One takes off after an insect, flashing yellow plumage on its body and iridescent blue above its wings.
Now and then wrecked holiday bungalows on Khao Lak beaches, overgrown with creeping vegetation, still provide sobering reminder of the tsunami of 2004.
The sunny hours are long here – you can catch up on your reading, get tanned or to have a massage in the sea breeze.
As the sun slowly sets, one looks forward to sipping a cold beer and dining on freshly-cooked prawns, fish and squid. The dark horizon ahead now shows lights of local boats that are netting your seafood meals tomorrow.
The moon is becoming full for the Loy Kratong festival on the walk back to your resort. It’s very comforting to anticipate the same care-free day tomorrow...
– Norachai Thavisin
To get there: Drive north from Phuket Town on the Highway 402 across Sarasin bridge into Phang Nga province. Then follow Highway 4 north along the coast in the direction of Takuapa to Khao Lak town, and further north to Khuk Khack beach on your left, some 110 km from Phuket Town.