Pakbara - ปากบารา - Also known as "Pak Bara", it is a small village on the coast of Southern Thailand. It primarily serves as a transport hub for tourists. There is a pier to catch boats to holiday islands.
Pak Bara is where you go to a catch boat to one of the nearby islands e.g. Koh Lipe or Koh Tarutao etc. If you arrive in time for your boat you will not stay here but if you are late then you will need to stay for the night in a bugdet type guest house.
Pak Bara is a half an hour or so on a regular minibus journey to the southern-most port town of Satun. A minibus journey of an hour or so will get you to and from the major southern city of Had Yai which is where you can catch a train.
Pak Bara is quiet and peaceful but can get busy if there is a Muslim celebration event. If you are lucky enough to be there during one of these events then you will be impressed. During these events the local muslims dress up beautifully and all gather sitting and eating with live music (Thai), a market (very cheap!) and areas of tables and chairs. Southern Thai muslims are very friendly and nice people and are happy to be of service.
The one road from Langu town to Pak Barra pier is natural luscious green dotted with a few buildings along the lovely way and as you enter the pier area of town the houses are more frequent and together lining the road. You can hail a motorbike taxi in Langu to take you the few kilometers to Pak Bara. It will cost less than 100 Baht ($3). It is a very nice scenic ride in the sun. A minibus may go to the pier but only if dropping off somebody or privately hired or requeseted or when they know regular customers will be waiting.
Behind the road to the left hand side (entering) is a very unspoilt and quiet beach area. The tide is in at night and goes way out some times during the day. It is the perfect place to feel alone and watch an earth trembling thunder storm and lightning display. You can see it on the way there.
Minibuses (aircon) run regularly to and from major and minor southern destinations.
Old traditional Thai buses (orange coloured) run regularly through Langu and can be hailed. They do not go to Pak Bara but can be caught passing by the minibus office in Langu town center. They are cooled by having the windows wide open and also small ceiling fans. Sometimes they have a music movie playing (Thai music) and they sure do love their music loud! Ear plugs may be of use to you.
Locally you can get around by motorbike taxi,They are known as "Win" or "Win taxi". Ask a local for the number of "Win Taxi". You will be charged slightly more than a local but not unfairly so in my experience.
Humble Thai locals living slowly and peacefully.
The pier area with just a handful of essentials shops and eateries.
The Thai fishing boats area. Stare out to sea. Watch the boats full of young Thai fishermen/boys if they are leaving or coming in.
The quiet beach and the lush greenery.
Go into Langu town and see how they live.
Go for a leisurely drive (obviously you will need transport which may not be available) see the wonderful local countryside and impressive scenery. All so natural and green. If you are unable to due to no vehicle then jump on one of the big old orange buses and head towards Trang. It is approximately 2 hours but you get get off the bus anytime and catch the one going back. The ticket for Trang is very cheap indeed on these Thai buses. Trang is a big town and has a train station and is a lot more built up than where you are coming from. It has Tescos and Big C and Robinsons hypermarket malls. Great for shopping.
Just relax in the sun and do nothing. Maybe fantasize about how, if you wanted to disappear like Lord Lucan, then this is a place you could come to and stay and never be discovered by anyone or anything you want to disappear from.
There are two ATMs at Pak Bara.
There are two or three good local restaurants.
As it is a muslim area alcohol is not on sale as it is elsewhere. The local Buddhist Thais will buy it from a shop and sit in the sun drinking it. Restaurants don't sell alcohol. There are a few karaoke bars. If you look hard and ask too you will spot a place where locals sit and drink and do karaoke.
Pak Bara Custom House, 200 Bahts for a double room with fan (Apr. 2014). Free wifi in the lobby, not in the rooms. 6.860091,99.722675 It is literally on the pier. So just a few paces to your boat to the island.
Laguna (500-1500) - More expensive but a lovely quiet location on an empty beach. Quiet, peaceful and scenic.
PornAree (not spelled in English so ask a local near the pier. They will know) - A budget Thai place offering rooms on the beach with fan (250) and aircon (400-700). A young Thai family who speak no English. They have an on site essentials shop (they sell alcohol!)and surrounded by beachside eateries and restaurants. A nice good nights sleep listening to the waves lashing the shore line.