Khao Lak's second most popular beachBang Niang is commonly thought of as the second most popular beach in the Khao Lak area. The long beach is located just north of the number one beach in the area Nang Tong (also spelled 'Nang Thong'). The popularity of the beaches is no reflection of the fineness of the sand or the beauty of the place. Rather Nang Tong beach is next to the main urban center of the region where there are plenty of shops, banks, bars, restaurants, travel agents etc. Most people end up staying on Nang Tong beach for convenience.
However, it is interesting to note that the most expensive and luxury hotels are found not on Nang Tong beach but on more outlaying beaches such as Khuk Khak (JW Marriott Khaolak). This might be a policy to isolate guests in expensive resorts so the guests are more inclined to use the hotel's restaurant and other facilities rather than take an expensive taxi into Khao Lak town.
About Bang NiangAnyway Bang Niang beach is flanked at both ends by rivers. This separates the beach from its neighbors. Also the sediment from the rivers makes the visibility in the sea less then ideal. The coral reef at Bang Niang is 1km offshore, so the river sediment does not effect the quality of the diving or snorkeling by the reef.
There is a big tidal difference in Bang Niang. At high tide the beach nearly disappears. The beach itself has very fine golden powdery sand.
Bang Niang accommodationBang Niang used to be a favorite backpacker hang out. It still receives its fair share of backpackers, but much of the accommodation is now in the mid-range. Furama Khao Lak resort has rooms starting at 990 THB, Sudala Beach Resort 1,600 THB and the boutique Ayaras Villas start at 4,500 THB.
Restaurants and sunsetIt takes about 1 hour to walk to Nang Thong going south along the beach from Bang Niang. It is unnecessary to make the journey into Nang Tong if you are looking for something cheap to eat and drink as there are plenty of local restaurants, bars and shops on the main road behing Bang Niang beach.
As with all the Khao Lak beaches the highlight of the day is the end when the sun dips down beyond the horizon. This is the time to stop, watch and appreciate paradise.