Ban Nam Khem and Tsunami Memorial

Take a moment to reflect on the 2004 tsunami

Photo of Ban Nam Khem and Tsunami Memorial, , Khao Lak

What we say: 4 stars

It was proportionately the hardest hit village in the country, and among the lost was a son of one of the Thai princesses who was aboard a fishing vessel in the seas near Nam Khem. That boat has found its place as part of the Ban Nam Khem Tsunami Memorial, which also features a large and striking open air walkway lined with plaques dedicated to those who lost their lives in the general Ko Kho Khao / Ban Nam Khem / Khao Lak area.

These include local Thais as well as many foreigners, and in particular dozens from Germany who had been vacationing in the area. The walkway opens up to a several metres high statue of Buddha, depicted sitting directly in the direction of the memorial with the sea behind him. There is also a sizeable area of beach front here, and it's perhaps the best place in Thailand to reflect on that fateful day in late December 2004.

Admission is free, and after visiting the Memorial it's worth taking a stroll or drive through the village of Ban Nam Khem. Apart from being a good place to see local Thai fishing village life, there's a pair of large fishing boats that washed up far inland during the tsunami and have been left there both as a memorials to those lost and an acknowledgement of the incredible power of the sea.

More details
How to get there: To get to Ban Nam Khem from the Takua Pa bus station (east), head west on Rte. 4 and take a right when you see the signs for Ko Kho Khao and the Tsunami Memorial, which are clearly marked.

Follow the road for a couple km and take a left at another clearly marked sign for the memorial, which is just ahead, right before the beach. If coming from Khao Lak (south), simply drive about 25 to 30 km north and take a left at the same signs.

From Takua Pa a songthaew will take you there and back for 500B, or a motorbike taxi for a negotiable 200B. From Khao Lak a taxi will run in the neighbourhood of 1,500B both ways.
Last updated: 23rd July, 2012

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