Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Thailand : Southern Thailand : Central Gulf Coast : Ko Pha Ngan : Chalok Lam
Chalok Lam (also Chaloklum) occupies a very natural picturesque location at the northernmost tip of Ko Pha Ngan. The shoreline stretches for some 3 km and the mountains frame the bay in its entirety. This was once a fishing village where industry dominated the seafront and activity until just a few years ago when the rows of drying squid were removed from the beaches to allow tourism to flourish. There are many Thai-style restaurants and some new funkier bars and restaurants in the village seafront with bungalows across the bay also offering food and drink.
See Ko Pha Ngan for information on getting to the island. From the main port of Thong Sala, truck taxis are available to Chalok Lam every day at around 12:00 when the ferries arrive from Samui and Surat Thani. At other times taxis can be hired but are expensive and the price must be negotiated with the driver. Motorbikes can be rented all over the island for both short- and long-tern rentals. Prices from ฿100 a day.
Walking, renting motorbikesม or shared taxis (from bungalows in Chalok Lam at 10:00) to Thong Sala, the main port.
There is a Thai temple in the village and ceremonies are held each day at 07:30 with all welcome. At Wat Pra Sanctum the head monk Pra Adjan speaks very good English and is very willing to include tourists within the meditation that he leads for the monks.
There is an elephant trekking camp just south of the village near the Thai (Wat Pra Sanctum) and Chinese temples. Several diving schools in the village offer pursuits for the aqua challenged, wake-boarding and water-skiing at Wake Up! Wakeboarding and there are plenty of long-tail boats for hire to tour the island or simply go fishing. A cooking school is also available just outside the village.
The bay in general is much more laid back than other parts of the island and traditionally people party in the south at the Full Moon Party and then chill out in Chalok Lam. The villagers are very friendly and there is a fantastic vibe to the place.
Local fruit and vegetables are available from roadside stands. There is one mini-market, several Thai markets, a 7-11 and several ATMs in Chalok Lam.
Accommodation is plentiful and will suit most budgets with a range of different styles of bungalow from backpacker to much more up-market, including a new hotel on the seafront in the village. Chalok Lam is known for attracting a long-staying community of western travellers and houses are easy to rent for long-term stayers.