Thailand's climate is governed by a tropical monsoon
pattern, which produces two seasons in Southern Thailand
and three seasons in the other regions of Thailand.
Accordingly in Khaolak, there is a "dry" season from
November to May, (as a result of the N.E. monsoon). This
period starts with slightly cooler temperatures,
followed by higher temperatures from March to May.
By the end of June the "wet" season officially begins,
with the onset of the S.W. monsoon. However the actual
week or month depends on the monsoons in any given year.
In Khaolak temperatures are warm throughout the year,
with only slight variations in highs and lows.
The most popular time to visit is from November through
to March, when the temperature and humidity are slightly
lower. At this time there is a comfortable cooler
breeze, with generally clear blue skies and very calm
seas. Temperatures typically reach 32C and drop to 24C
The hottest months are April and May with temperatures
ranging from 27C upto 36C. There can be short heavy
thundery showers, which actually provide a welcome
relief from the temperature and humidity.
June, July and early August are slightly less hot ( 24C
to 33C ) with generally fine weather and plenty of
sunshine between brief heavy downpours.
By the end of August, through to October inclusive, the
wet monsoon sets in more noticeably, but, even then,
there are still long sunny intervals between the heavy
September is the wettest month. Beaches are slightly
windswept and less picturesque looking, and some
water-based activities are restricted (eg. visits to the
Surin and Similan islands). Nonetheless, Khaolak is very
enjoyable at any time of the year with a wide range of
attractions and excursions.
And of course the low season brings with it some bargain
Bargaining is the norm when shopping at markets, small
stalls and shops or from street vendors. Depending on
your skills, you can expect to pay around 10-40% less
than the original asking price. But a larger retail
outlet will sell only fixed price merchandise.
Besides a few street markets there is ample shopping
available in several stores along Petchkasem Road,
Khaolak. There are a number of superb items to be had,
from handicrafts to jewelry, silks, and clothes and
tailoring. Many of the crafts originate from other
regions of the country. The low prices will weaken
whatever sales resistance you may possess!
The following is a selection:
This iridescent cloth has achieved world fame, and for
good reason. It can be cut into scarves, ties, pillow
slips as well as outstandingly beautiful dresses. It is
also sold in lengths.
There is a very wide range of summer evening wear and
beach clothes at very reasonable prices. You could
arrive with the barest wardrobe and find everything you
need right here. Many beautiful and artistic, good
quality cotton, T-shirts make excellent gifts.
Khaolak has several highly qualified tailoring shops.
Have an excellent quality suit made at a fraction of the
price back home, and in a fraction of the time.
Southern Thailanders weave a fine grass (Yan lipea) into
beautiful purses. This is an old art which has been
revived by Queen Sirikit to bring prosperity to village
The South is a major batik center. Both ready-made
clothes and lengths are available.
The hides of a wide range of animals (including snakes,
frogs, lizards, crocodiles, armadillos, cows and even
chickens) are used to make shoes, belts, wallets, bags
and attache cases.
Nang Thalung (Puppets)
These bright coloured shadow puppets are made from
buffalo hide and are produced locally.
They make excellent wall decorations.
Umbrellas and Fans
There are some lovely umbrellas and painted fans made
from silk or Sa paper from tree bark, mainly from Chiang
For Thais, gold is not just an important precious metal,
but is considered an ordinary article of merchandise
with social kudos, as a guarantee for financial
liquidity and at the same time as personal security in
times of need.
In Thailand there is a unique unit of measurement for
weight, called "Baht" (ie the same name as the
One "Baht" weighs 15.16 grams.
Thai gold is 96.5% pure (equivalent to 23 carat); the
remaining 3.5 per cent consists of alloy metals added to
make the gold harder and more solid for processing, as
well as more robust in day-to-day use.
International standards apply to gold and they are
followed in Thailand. All gold items are of course
Gold jewellery is (or should be) sold almost exclusively
on the basis of weight. Only small sums (approx. 150 -
250 baht) are added to the gold price to cover the cost
of labour. (Compare this to some countries where the
work of a skillful goldsmith has a price all of its
own). One exception might be Bangkok International
Airport, where the prices seem very inflated.
Gold with a level of purity less than 23 carat is
considered inferior and Thais regard 10, 14 or 18 carat
gold as utterly worthless; in Thailand such gold is
never accepted as security.
All reputable gold shops will have the price of one Baht
weight clearly advertised (eg. 9,500 baht per Baht). The
price should be the same in all shops for the current
Such shops will have on display rows of 1 Baht, 2 Baht,
3 Baht and 5 Baht necklaces, and 0.5 or 1 Baht rings for
There are some spectacular and intricate designs, and as
already stated the labour should only be a few hundred
Metal art objects
Bronze dieties, animal and abstract figures are cast and
clad in gleaming brass skins.
Bronze is also crafted into cutlery sets.
Gold and silver are pounded into jewellery items, boxes
and other decorative items.
Items include wooden figurines, ornate containers and
trays and other items. The usual varieties are either in
gleaming gold and black, or in matte red with black or
Gems and Jewellery
a huge jewellery industry and is the world's largest coloured
gem cutting centre. Prices are relatively low. There are some
fantastic designs and the labour is cheap.
Pewterware is an amalgam of
lead and tin. Thailand is the world's third largest exporter
of tin and a good deal of the metal still comes from nearby Ko
Phuket. Plates, steins and other items can be found.
You may come across pearls
for sale. Again, nearby Ko Phuket produces international
standard natural, cultured, teardrop and artificial pearls.
The latter are made from glued pearl dust to form a
Wicker and grasses are made
into tissue boxes, storage boxes, mats and other practical
Antiques are in short supply
but there are various copies (sold as copies not originals).
Images of animals, gods, precocious children and betelnut
boxes in a variety of finishes are quite popular. For the most
varied range of wooden furniture, one really needs to visit
Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. All wooden items have
Home decor items
and fruits made of paper and fabric are almost
indistinguishable from fresh varieties. Burmese kalaga
wall hangings (stuffed with cotton to create a bas-relief
effect) depicting kings, mythical animals and gods are also to
be found. Paper mache products excellent gifts and home decor
These range from jade
green glazed celadon pottery to earthenware, stoneware, and
(Chinese) blue and white items. These originate from Northern
Useful Telephone Numbers
( 24 hrs )
199 and 1699
(076) 420558 |
(076) 420519 |
(076) 421116 |
39/2 Moo 1, T.
2/1 Hongyot Utis Road
(076) 254421-4 |
(Open daily 24 hrs)
5/9 Moo 7
33 Sukhumvit 3
Soi Nana Nua
( The Bumrungrad Hospital is truly
Making telephone calls
Use the red
phone booths for making calls within the same province only;
they accept 1 Baht coins. Blue booths (5 and 10 Baht coins)
and green (card) booths can be used for calls anywhere within
Oversea calls can be made from the telephone
office. Hotels and agencies will make a surcharge. The
international dialing code from Thailand is 001.