It’s hard to find much information about Laem Sak on the internet, which now, after having spend 5 days there makes me wonder – how on earth did we end up there?! It is a little out of the beaten path. (Well, it was because I had booked an amazing Airbnb villa on Koh Yao Noi for a week over Christmas but at the last minute it was cancelled by the owner. With two days before leaving on my own with three children, I panick-booked a tree house – in Laem Sak based on good reviews and the fact that it was non-touristy… I figured we could use it as a base to explore Phang Nga. To tell the truth, I didn’t have time to do very much research, I figured I’ll do that later but later never came…)
We turned up to Langley Homestay and although the staff was very friendly and the food good, we didn’t want to spend Christmas in a damp treehouse with mattresses on the floor and dirty sheets. We walket through the small but spread out town of Laem Sak feeling uneasy. The women were friendly but the men didn’t appear to be at first. People were looking us up and down and I realized that this place does not see many foreigners. It felt very different from the very friendly Thais we had encountered the week before. With the children firmly in my hands, armed with friendly smiles we set off in search for a new hotel. We found the only other place in town and that changed everything. What I initially thought would be a disastrous stay actually turned out to be my favourite stay in Thailand.
Mr Chau, the 4th generation Chinese owner of Bulan Asda Baba was extremely welcoming and accommodating. Three cultures have lived in peace here for hundreds of years, he explained; the Malay muslim settlers, the Chinese settlers and the original Thai people. Maybe because times were hard and they needed to help eachother, and these three groups never fought. They worked in harmony together and still live in harmony. We took many walks through Laem Sak town and the small fishing villages down by the water. People were extremely friendly and very helpful and the ones that weren’t at first were always disarmed by a smile. We had a great time at the Bulan Anda; they helped us arrange day trips with long tale boats to islands and we kayaked to nearby beaches and caves on our own. But my favourite thing to do was just walking quietly through the fishing villages lining the small peninsula, interacting with the local children and watching everyday life go by.
There are some small local eateries in town, a couple of very basic shops and a weekly market selling fruit and veg. There are a couple of homestays, a seafood restaurant and the new and modern Bulan Anda at the top of the peninsula with sea views. The population are predominantly fishermen. There is a large Thai pagoda, a few smaller mosques and a Chinese temple. There are no beaches in Laem Sak but you can hire a long tail boat and go to nearby beaches or even the beautiful but considerably more touristy Hong Islands.