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The Kapong Loop from Khao Lak

Glimpses of an unspoiled local Way of Life

The Kapong Loop starting in Khao Lak is a leisurely one day trip of about 150 km with all side trips.
This route does not sound very spectacular at first glance, because the world class highlights of Phang Nga Province are not included. But this tour through a rural and natural landscape with various insights in the traditional local lifestyle was highly praised by our guests in the last few years, who did this loop by motorcycle or with a taxi with driver. 
Also travelers with a strong interest in biology or botany will find innumerable species of plants that are completely unknown to Western tourists.
0 km: We start the Kapong Loop at kilometer stone 60 (KM60) at the northern end of Khao Lak Town (Ban Bang La On or Khao Lak Center). The first short stop is on the top of the hill where the Khao Lak - Lamru National Park Headquarter and a small Police Station are situated. On the left is a parking lot.
Three honks of the horn will guarantee a safe trip today 
Poh Ta Khao Lak - Attractions
Poh Ta Khao Lak (ศาลเจ้าพ่อเขาหลัก) (KhaoLak)

The Poh Ta Khao Lak is a shrine on the pass to the south of Khao Lak.

The so called "Shrine of the Khaolak God" is situated opposite the police station. Every car driver who knows about the existence of this shrine, honks his horn three times to honour the shrine and to ask for a good trip.
Many local people come here to make offerings in various forms: incense, fruit, firecrackers, papermoney, garlands, ceramic statues. They are placed in front of the various statues that are honoured here.

The shrine for a local Reussi grew over the years into several small buildings housing venerated deities. To ask for good luck in daily affairs the locals of Khao Lak come here in the early morning to present some flowers and fruits. During the day firecrackers are exploded by grateful locals whose wishes became true. Local car drivers honk their horns three times when they depart and again when they come back from any trip south. 
3.5 km: From the pass you descend southward on Highway 4 (H4) for 12 km until you reach the large turnoff where you bare left towards Thung Maphrao.
16.6 km: After a further 1.1 km take the left turn onto a country road leading to Ban Na Nai (signboard "School for Life"). 
19.6 km: In Ban Na Nai (3 km) you will see on the right an open air workshop where bamboo furniture is made for the many resorts in the area.
Activities of the Locals
Rubber Plantation - Attractions
Not Rated
Rubber Plantation (PhangNga)

Broom Making - Attractions
Not Rated
Broom Making (PhangNga)

Local Fruits

Local Bananas - Kluay Kung


Fruit stall
40.9 km: An asphalt road turns off H4090 to the right, NO signboard now. 
45.4 km: After a few minutes you can see on your left hand side a small super market. At the signboard "Lumru Waterfall 800m" turn right onto a narrow concrete road for Lamru Waterfall (800 m), the first one in a series of small local waterfalls. From the car park it is a 2 minute walk along the reservoir banks to the quite unspectacular Lamru Waterfall.
Local Waterfalls
Hin Lat Waterfall - Attractions
Not Rated
Hin Lat Waterfall*** (น้ำตกหินลาด - Aew) (PhangNga)

Hin Lat Waterfall is not a natural waterfall, it is created by three canals merging together to form a river. The water is lovely and clear, the river is deep in some areas. A great place to swim and relax. Hin Lat Waterfall is located 8 kilometers to the east of Amphoe Ka Pong.

Saeng Thong Waterfall - Attractions
Not Rated
Saeng Thong Waterfall ***++ (น้ำตกแสงทอง - Aew) (PhangNga)

Saeng Thong Waterfall is a medium-sized waterfall with 11 levels.

Saeng Thong Waterfall is opposite Ka Pong Hospital and the access road to the waterfall is 6 kilometers farther on.

Saeng Thong Waterfall is opposite Ka Pong Hospital and the access road to the waterfall is 6 kilometers farther on.

Lamru Waterfall - Attractions
Not Rated
Lamru Waterfall *** (น้ำตกลำรู่ - Aew) (PhangNga)

Lamru waterfall is a 5-tiered waterfall and is located within the area of the National Park.

Ton Tham Waterfall - Attractions
Ton Tham Waterfall (น้ำตกโตนถ้ำ) (KhaoLak)

Lamru Waterfall

Hin Lat Waterfall
From the super market continue to a junction (48.0 km) and turn right on to a concrete road that ends after 3 km at Hin Lat Waterfall. This waterfall is more a series of rapids and water basins. In the afternoon and on weekends village children enjoy themselves swimming and playing in the water with inner tubes. They are for rent for 15 Baht per person.
48.0 km: Turn back and continue straight on a narrow peaceful country road (H4175) for 5 km until you reach the market town of Kapong (53 km).
The small rural town Kapong is also the capital of Kapong District (Amphoe Kapong). Its attractions are the weekly Sunday Morning Market, Wat Inthaphum temple with a large chedi and Wat Pa Mok with a big Fat Buddha statue beside the road to the north. 
Of course there are the typical public services like a post office, a hospital, banking facilities, a police station, and a little outside a petrol station.
A Resort to stay overnight and a Lodge in a School
Kapong Garden Resort - Accommodation
 from 1,300 Baht
Tel.: 076-499666
Yaowawit Lodge - Accommodation
6 rooms  from 1,200 to 1,500 Baht
Tel.: 082-2838355
54.5 km: On the northern end of Kapong at the signboard "Hot springs 8 km" take the right fork leading north. You pass the temple with a big Fat Buddha on the left.
59.2 km: Turn right to Ban Bang Pang and 400 meters further on, at the school, keep right again on to the wide road (H5014) which ends after 4.4 km. 500 meters to the right from here on a bad earth road you will find the Hot Spring. 
An undeveloped Hot Spring with medicinal Properties
Hot Springs
Pak Phu Hotspring - Attractions
Not Rated
Pak Phu Hotspring **** (Kapong Hotspring) (PhangNga)

The Kapong Hotsprings are locally called Pak Phu Hotspring. The mineral water bubbles out of some pools with about 67 degrees centigrade. It flows to the nearby river and is dammed by stone barrages so that small basins with varying temperatures are formed. 
The hot water is said to relieve pain in the joints. Locals come here in the early morning when the water is a few degrees less hot in order to soak their limbs for 20 to 30 minutes. 
During the day this unassuming spot is rarely visited as the hot water flow makes the area just too hot to enjoy. The best spots for bathing are at the junction with the river.
59.2 km: Back from the hot spring turn right and drive for 6.7 km to an unassuming road to the right that leads to Wat Narai Nikaram (also called Naresuan Temple) in the village Pak Le. In the modern hall you find the Indian statues and the local museum.
A Temple with a local Museum
Wat Narai Nikaram - Attractions
Not Rated
Wat Narai Nikaram**** (Wat Narai Nikaram) (PhangNga)

In the village of Pak Le the local temple contains not only the normal temple buildings but also a local museum and 1800 year old statues deriving from India.
The statues of the Hindu personalities Rama, Sita and Laksamana are known in Thailand as Phra Ram, Nang Sidha and Phra Rak. They came to Takua Pa in Thailand on trader vessels from India. Around 1800 years ago the vessels could not sail against the wind, so the traders had to wait half a year in Thailand for the wind to blow them back to their home country.
The pious traders erected small temples by the riverside of Takua Pa River and brought some statues with them from India to set up in the temple. When one such vessel capsized in the river, the stone statues sank into the riverbed and were recovered only half a century ago. The originals are supposed to be exhibited in the National Museum of Thalang on the island of Phuket.
One copy of each figure stands in the Narai Park in Takua Pa, the second copy is in this Narai Nikaram Temple in Pak Le. Here the statues are venerated by the locals and adorned with gold leaves and silk shawls.
In addition the same modern building houses an interesting large local museum with exhibits from the last century: household goods, pottery, electric equipment, cutlery and tools and many more.
78.7 km (former 54.5 km): This time take the left fork that leads in 1.1 km to the main road H4090 where you turn left again and drive to the clearly visible Kapong Hospital on the left (2.5 km), but turn right just before into a gravel road at the large signboard "Yaowawit School".
A Boarding School for socially handicapped Children
Social Institution
Yaowawit School and Lodge - Attractions
Yaowawit School and Lodge (โรงเรืยนเยาววิทย์) (PhangNga)

Yaowawit Lodge - Accommodation
6 rooms  from 1,200 to 1,500 Baht
Tel.: 082-2838355
Yaowawit School is a school for children of socially disadvantaged background.
Yaowawit is highly recommended for a visit. It is situated in a beautiful rural landscape next to pristine jungle.
With the beautiful bungalows in the school compound and all the activities they offer for active tourists this is a destination not to be missed for tourists with social and cultural interest.
82.3 km: From the school entrance road turn back toward the north, head to the junction beside the petrol station and turn left following the road signs "Takua Pa 32 km" and "Ranong 163 km" for 9.2 km passing sometimes a beautiful river landscape.
94.0 km: Turn left on to the rural road H4032 signposted "Takua Pa 16 km" and "Khao Lak 49 km" (the latter number is not correct). Continue for 1.6 km to the white entrance gate of Wat Khuan Niyom on the right. 
A local Temple with a nice View across Takua Pa Valley
Wat Khuan Niyom - Attractions
Wat Khuan Niyom**** (Wat Khuan Niyom) (PhangNga)

Wat Khuan Niyom sits on a small hill surrounded by fruit gardens. It consists of several buildings fulfilling the religious needs of the local people. 
It is quite surprising to see a shrine with an elephant and a monkey in front revering the inhabitant of the shrine. 
The Fat Buddha has a small roof over his head to protect his bald head from the scorching sun.
The head monk is very educated and highly revered by the local people as far as Bang Sai and Takua Pa.
99.2 km: Just 5.2 km further is the turn off for Khao Lak that you should give a miss for now in order to proceed to the old town of Takua Pa. The Chinese temple (300 meters further on the left) is quite interesting but comes to life only during festival time, e.g. for the Vegetarian Festival in October. Behind the bridge you enter the old town Talad Takua Pa which is best explored on foot.
Talad Takua Pa -- an old Town with Character
Historic Site
Takua Pa Old Town - Attractions
Talad Takua Pa is known under various names:
Old Takua Pa, Talad Yai, Old Town.
The town is full of character with the old arcade houses, built in the Chinese style, still to be seen. About every second house is closed because it is owned by locals who live in Bangkok now. They only come back for important festivals and have no real interest to renovate.
Every second or third year in September the town centre gets flooded for a few days to a depth of around a meter. There is a lot of flood damage to be seen on the buildings but this doesn't detract from the overall morbid charm.
99.2 km:  We recommend to trace back to the junction and turn right on to Pakweep Road. (A little past the junction is a new Petrol station on H4032
Pakweep Road
This country road has the full name Pakweep - Dok Daeng Road. It is well maintained and gets a new surface every few years, but often shows a few treacherous pot holes. Still it is a regional tidbit running through beautiful landscape. The road leads past hilly forest, plantations and lakes to the west for 17 km until arriving at the Phetkasem Highway H4 (116.2 km). 
If you still have time and energy you may turn off after 11.4 km to Ton Tham Waterfall in a beautiful valley that ends with a solitary meditation monastery, Wat Ton Tham. 
Wat Ton Tham -- a Waterfall, two Lakes and a Monastery
Ton Tham Waterfall - Attractions
Ton Tham Waterfall (น้ำตกโตนถ้ำ) (KhaoLak)

Wat Pa Dok Daeng - Attractions
Not Rated
Wat Pa Dok Daeng (บ่อน้ำพุร้อน) (KhaoLak)

122.4 km: Now there are only 11.8 km on Phetkasem Highway H4 before arriving in Khao Lak. On this remarkable day you covered a total of 128 kilometers plus side trips.
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