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The sea behaved remarkably for a video camera here one day

Muanlai Esarn Dining, Khao Lak

Thursday, November 13, 2008
Best Restaurant of 2008 contender

Telephone: 076 485225

Open: 11am-10pm

Address: Southern hills outskirts of Khao Lak

Style: Esarn Thai dining

Price range: Reasonable. esarn grilled chicken (180 baht) papaya salad (120 baht) larb tod (95 baht) deep fried pork (95 baht) tom yum with pork (130 baht) omlette (50 baht) thai sausage (95 baht) minced catfish with herbs (100 baht) fresh vegetables (20 baht) fresh tropical fruits (60 baht) sticky rice (15 baht) jasmine rice (15 baht) Singha beer (75/100 baht)

Specialty: Esarn grilled chicken

What Phuketwan says: To us, this will always be the tsunami restaurant. A young man with ambitions took out a lease here and opened a restaurant in November, 2004. The next month, the young man's brother called on the mobile to tell him about a big wave that had just hit Phuket. It was coming to Khao Lak. The young man switched on his video camera, kept yelling at the people on the beach below to run for their lives, and filmed the whole thing. His continuous footage of the tsunami's arrival is the most awesome demonstration of the jaw-dropping power of the big wave. Standing still, waiting for the tsunami to arrive on the beach directly below, was a man in red shorts. A news agency borrowed the young man's footage, and the three seconds of the man in red shorts on the beach greeting the wave appeared around the world. The young man received nothing for it. After the tsunami, not many customers came. He sold souvenir t-shirts and copies of his video, but the rent proved too high. When we last met him, he was driving a cab in Khao Lak. All along the main road north to Takuapa now, signs promote his old restaurant, which hangs out over the broadest of seascapes. With a bright new image, it is being run by the Baan Krating Resort, just next door. A yellow motif and attentive service make it hum. For travellers from Phuket, it is an ideal place to stop and relax before making the descent to Khao Lak township. One big complaint: they had no fresh young coconuts. Any Andaman holiday coast restaurant that does not have fresh young coconuts is not doing its job, even if it is an Esarn restaurant. Esarn is the style of food from north-east Thailand, carried south by the thousands of migrants who come looking for work in the tourism industry. The views from the restaurant are spectacular, and so is a spread of the tasty food. Grilled chicken with sticky rice is a staple. Tourists come in a steady stream these days. We hope the ambitious young man is doing well somewhere. We will always wonder what happened to the man in the red shorts, and why he just stood there, waiting.

How to find it: As the road winds and descends towards Khao Lak, you will find the restaurant just past Baan Krating.

Parking: Along the road

Phuketwan restaurant reviewers pay for their meals. If someone else does, we tell you so

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Monday July 13, 2020
Phuketwan - Your sweet Phuket, every day

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