Lighthouses of Southern Thailand: West Coast

Most of Thailand faces south onto the Gulf of Thailand, an arm of the South China Sea. The country also includes much of the long and narrow Malay Peninsula, which faces both east on the Gulf of Thailand and west on the Andaman Sea, an arm of the Indian Ocean. This page includes the lighthouses of the Malay Peninsula's west coast.

The Andaman Sea coast of Thailand has become a popular resort area in recent years, although some of the beach resorts were heavily damaged by the great tsunami of 26 December 2004.

Thailand is unique among southeast Asian nations in having maintained its independence throughout the colonial period. As a result, the country's lighthouse history is also independent from all of the European traditions. Most of the country's historic lighthouses were built during or shortly after the reign of King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910), who was successful in modernizing the country while avoiding European penetration. More information on these lighthouses is needed.

A number of attractive new lighthouses have been built recently in tourist areas. As far as I know, these are faux lighthouses or unofficial lights.

Coastal lighthouses in Thailand are operated and maintained by the Hydrographic Department of the Royal Thai Navy; lighthouses in the Bangkok area are operated and maintained by the Port Authority of Thailand. In the Thai language, the word for a lighthouse is praphakhan (ประภาคาร), ko or koh is an island, hin is a rock or reef, and laem is a cape.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Leuchttürme in Thailand
Photos taken in December 2007 and October 2014 by Andreas Köhler.
Online List of Lights - Thailand
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Thailand
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Thailand
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.

Promthep Cape Light
Laem Phra Chao Light, Phuket, October 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Anna Petts

Satun Province Lighthouses
Ko Yao
1913. Active; focal plane 81 m (266 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 7 m (23 ft) round brick tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on an island about 8 km (5 mi) south of Tammalang and a similar distance north of the Malaysian border. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-045; Admiralty F1194; NGA 22144.
Laem Puyu (Tanjung Dabus, Tanjung Pauh)
2008. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the south side of the entrance to the bay of Puyu, about 15 km (9 mi) north of the Malaysian border. Site appears open, tower closed. ARLHS THA-062; Admiralty F1193.8; NGA 22148.
Ko Tangah
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 86 m (282 ft); white flash every 6 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located atop the south end of an island in the center of the passage between Ko Sarai and Ko Rawi, about 60 km (38 mi) west of the mainland. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-041; Admiralty F1192.5; NGA 22156.
Ko Palai (Ko Dong)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 49 m (160 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery; the tower also carries a circular white daymark. A photo is available, but the tower is barely seen in Google's satellite view. Located on an islet close to the Malaysian border in the Andaman Sea, south of Ko Rawi and about 100 km (60 mi) west of the mainland. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-029; Admiralty F1192.4; NGA 22152.
Tanjung (Tonyong) Po
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 16 m (52 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and Google has a satellite view. Located near the northern point of Tonyong Po, the tip of a peninsula jutting into the Andaman Sea. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-063; Admiralty F1193; NGA 22160.
Ko Lela
Date unknown. Active; focal plane and light pattern unknown. Skeletal tower painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located atop a small island off the northeastern corner of the much larger island of Ko Tarutao. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-022; Admiralty F1192.

Trang Province Lighthouses
Goh Beng (Ko Bulaobot)
1910. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) round brick tower, painted white. No photo available, although Konstantin Vdovin has a "view from the beacon." Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on an island about 25 km (15 mi) off the coast in the Palian area. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-006; Admiralty F1188; NGA 22168.
* Yong Sata (Palian)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); white flash every 5 s. 18 m (59 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on a promontory about 10 km (6 mi) southwest of Palian. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1186; NGA 22172.
Ko Nok
Date unknown (station established 1910). Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white flash every 3 s. 7 m (23 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower mounted on a square 1-story equipment room. Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island on the west side of the estuary leading to the port of Kantang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-027; Admiralty F1184; NGA 22176.

Krabi Province Lighthouses
* Ko Lanta (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane approx. 35 m (105 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) round concrete tower with gallery. Lighthouse painted white (formerly white with one red horizontal band). A photo is at right, another photo and a closeup showing the red band are available, Lightphotos.net has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. A photo is also available of the older light, a small cylindrical tower. Ko Lanta is a popular resort island about 100 km (60 mi) southeast of Phuket; much of the island is included in the Ko Lanta National Marine Park. Located at the southernmost point of the island; accessible by a hiking trail. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS THA-021; Admiralty F1183; NGA 22180.
Krabi Ko Nok
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 3 s. 21 m (69 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Köhler has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an island in the entrance to Krabi harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1182; NGA 22192.
Ko Lanta Light
Ko Lanta Light, Krabi Province, May 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by marhas1

Phuket Province Lighthouses
Ko Taphao Noi (Phuket) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1899). Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 12 m (39 ft) round stucco-clad brick tower with gallery but no lantern, painted white. 1-story keeper's house adjacent to the lighthouse. A 2012 closeup photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an island in the entrance to Phuket harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS THA-043; Admiralty F1174; NGA 22188.
*** Laem Phra Chao (Kanchanaphisek, Promthep Cape)
1996. Active; focal plane 94 m (308 ft); white flash every 9 s. 15 m (49 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with an ornately decorated gold top, rising from a 1-story building. Anna Petts's photo appears at right, Köhler has a photo, a closeup of the tower is available, Wikimedia has photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse was built to honor the 50th anniversary of the reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Located at the southernmost point of Phuket Island, convenient to numerous resorts. Site open; visitors can climb to the observation platform on the tower. ARLHS THA-048; Admiralty F1169.5; NGA 22182.
Ko Kaeo Noi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); white flash every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This is the landfall light for Phuket. Located about 4 km (2.5 mi) southwest of the Promthep Cape. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-019; Admiralty F1170; NGA 22184.

Phang Nga Province Lighthouses
Ban Thap Lamu (Laem Ao Kham, Ban Tablamu)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 79 m (259 ft); white flash every 4 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Aleksandr Poprygin has a view from the sea, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a forested promontory marking an estuary entrance at Lam Kaen. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-004; Admiralty F1167; NGA 22214.
Ko Similan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 169 m (554 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Nils Wanner has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an island in the Andaman Sea about 80 km (50 mi) west of the Phang Nga coast. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-039; Admiralty F1168; NGA 22200.
Khao Lak
2009. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round concrete tower with an open lantern mounted on a square concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Adisak Pinyakhong has a photo sphere, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rocky reef just off the Phang Nga coast at Khao Lak. Accessible only by boat but easy to see from the beach. Admiralty F1166.5.
Ko Ra
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); three white flashes every 8 s. 9 m (30 ft) brick tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the north end of Ko Ra, an island just off the north coast of Phang Nga. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-035; Admiralty F1166; NGA 22204.
Ko Chi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 115 m (377 ft); white flash every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Ko Chi is the northernmost islet of the Mu Koh Surin archipelago, a national marine park about 40 km (25 mi) off Khura Buri. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-016; Admiralty F1164; NGA 22212.

Ranong Province Lighthouses
Ko Luk Kham Tai
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 77 m (253 ft); white flash every 8 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but the top of the tower is visible in Google's satellite view. Located on a small island about 12 km (7.5 mi) off the coast of the Suk Samran district. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-024; Admiralty F1165; NGA 22208.
Ko Khan (Ko Khom)
1893. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); white flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) round brick tower, painted white. No photo available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the northern tip of an island marking the border with Myanmar. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-020; Admiralty F1162; NGA 22216.
Ko Son Thai
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a small island about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Ranong. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-040; Admiralty F1161; NGA 22224.
Ko Sarani (Ko Phi)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 3 s. 9 m (30 ft) square skeletal tower painted with red, white, and blue horizontal bands. A customas and border control station is adjacent to the lighthouse. Lung Lon has a view from the sea, D. Casper has a similar view, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a small island on the east side of the entrance to the Pak Chan estuary (which forms the border with Myanmar) at Ranong. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS THA-033; Admiralty F1160; NGA 22228.
** Ranong Customs Pier
2007. Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); white flash every 4 s. 50 m (164 ft) octagonal concrete tower topped by a large observation structure, probably a restaurant. Tower painted white, observation structure orange. A photo is at right, W. Phengsalung has a photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of a pier projecting into the Pak Chan estuary (which forms the border with Myanmar) at Ranong. Site open, tower presumably open (more information is needed). Admiralty F1159; NGA 22229.
Ranong Customs Pier Lighthouse
Ranong Customs Pier Light, Ranong, March 2012
photo copyright nodphat; permission requested

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Phuket Harbor has a well-known decorative lighthouse attached to a popular restaurant; it is not an aid to navigation. Google has a satellite view.

Adjoining pages: North: Myanmar (Burma) | East: Southern Thailand: East Coast | South: West Malaysia Northwest Coast

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Posted February 28, 2006. Checked and revised January 3, 2017. Lighthouses: 24. Site copyright 2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.