Lighthouses of Southern Thailand

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 lighthouses of the Malay Peninsula; lighthouses of the northern Gulf of Thailand are listed on the Central Thailand page.

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 by Andreas Koehler.
Lighthouses in Thailand
Photos available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Thailand
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.

Songkhla Light
Songkhla Light, Songkhla, June 2008
Panoramio photo copyright yusmansya; used by permission

Malay Peninsula East Coast Lighthouses

Chumphon Province Lighthouses
Ko Mattaphon (Ko Mattra, Chomporn River) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1908). Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); white light, 2 s on, 7 s off. 6 m (20 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, mounted on a temple structure of some kind. A Navy photo is at right, Koehler has a distant view, an even more distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an island at the south side of the entrance to the harbor of Chumphon. Site status unknown, tower closed. ARLHS THA-025; Admiralty F2924; NGA 20796.
Lang Suan (3?)
Date unknown (station established 1910). Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting twice every 5 s. Approx. 22 m (72 ft) concrete post light with gallery, topped by a communications tower. Koehler has a photo, the tower is on the left in Joachim Häfner's distant view, and Bing has a satellite view. The previous lighthouse was a square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Located on the north side of the entrance to the Lang Suan River, about 10 km (6 mi) east of the town. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-054; Admiralty F2920; NGA 20808.

Surat Thani Province Lighthouses
Ko Samui (Laem Sui)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of a long sand spit at the northern entrance to the bay of Surat Thani. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-050; Admiralty F2918; NGA 20848.
Ko Prap (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1907). Active; focal plane 74 m (243 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 4.5 s off. 14 m (46 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery and a small lantern. A Navy photo is below right, and Google has a satellite view. In a 2007 Notice to Mariners, the Admiralty gave the tower height as only 6 m (20 ft), but the focal plane was unchanged. More information is needed. Located on a small island in the bay of Surat Thani. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS THA-034; Admiralty F2916; NGA 20836.
Ko Tao
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a very distant satellite view. Ko Tao is an island about 70 km (45 mi) east of the Malay Peninsula. It was uninhabited when it was annexed by Thailand in 1899. For several decades it was the site of a political prison, but now it has resorts catering to ecotourists and scuba divers. The island is accessible by ferries from Chumphon and Surat Thani. Located at the northeastern tip of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-042; Admiralty F2915.3; NGA 20812.
Ko Pha Ngan (Ko Phangan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 104 m (341 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. The lighthouse is barely visible in Wikimedia's aerial view (atop the cape at lower left), and Google has a very distant satellite view. Ko Pha Ngan is a popular resort island about 50 km (30 mi) southeast of Ko Tao and a similar distance north of the mainland. Located on a sharp promontory at the southeastern tip of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-032; Admiralty F2915.2; NGA 20816.
Laem Yai (Ko Samui)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); white flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. Google has a satellite view. The largest Thai island, Ko Samui is halfway between Ko Phangan and the mainland. Located on a sharp promontory at the northwestern tip of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-053; Admiralty F2915; NGA 20820.
Ko Palikan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This light guides ships in a narrow passage between the mainland and the islands northwest of Surat Thani. Located atop the island of Ko Palikan. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-030; Admiralty F2915.4; NGA 20828.

Nakhon Si Thammarat Province Lighthouses
Nakhon
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 3 s. 30 m (98 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located about 16 km (10 mi) south of Tha Sala at the northern entrance to Nakhon Bay. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-056; Admiralty F2910; NGA 20856.
Laem Talumphuk
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 29 m (95 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on Laem Talumphuk, a hooked sand spit on the east side of Nakhon Bay. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-052; Admiralty F2908; NGA 20860.

Ko Mattaphon Light
Ko Mattaphon Light, Chumphon
Thai Navy photo

Ko Prap Light
Ko Prap Light, Surat Thani
Thai Navy photo

Ko Kra
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 178 m (584 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 15 m (49 ft) white concrete tripod tower. No photo available, and the island is only a blur in Google's satellite view. Located on a small, isolated island about 65 km (40 mi) east of Laem Telumchuk. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2909; NGA 20868.

Songkhla Province Lighthouses
* Ranot
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 3 s. 31 m (102 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at Pak Trae in the Ranot District, at the north end of Songkhla Province. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2907; NGA 20872.
* Songkhla (Singora)
1897. Active; focal plane 107 m (351 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 14 m (46 ft) round white stucco-clad brick tower; lantern removed. An excellent closeup is at the top of this page, a photo by Michael Holland and a closeup (1/3 the way down the page) are also available, Michel Forand has a historic photo, and Google has a good satellite view. According to a local source (see entry #4), "The lighthouse was built by Phraya Wichian Khiri in 1897." Early light lists give 1909 as the date of establishment, but that was the date when the Thai royal government assumed direct control of Songkhla province and the lighthouse. The historic tower has been restored and painted recently. Located at the north end of a Buddhist temple complex on Tang Kuan hill, the highest point of a peninsula on the east side of the harbor entrance in Songkhla. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS THA-068; Admiralty F2904; NGA 20880.

Pattani Province Lighthouses
Laem Ta Chi
Date unknown (station established 1913). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); three white flashes every 8 s. 29 m (95 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower with gallery and a small lantern. Google has a hazy satellite view. Located near the end of a spit sheltering the harbor of Pattani. Site status unknown, tower closed. ARLHS THA-051; Admiralty F2900; NGA 20896.
Khlong Sai Buri
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white flash every 5 s. 26 m (85 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and the tower may be too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located at Sai Buri, a small port in southeastern Pattani province. Site status unknown, tower closed. ARLHS THA-014; Admiralty F2898; NGA 20912.

Narathiwat Province Lighthouse
* Tak Bai (Sungai Kolok)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white, red, or green light, depending on direction, 3 s on, 2 s off. 25 m (82 ft) round 2-stage white concrete tower with three galleries; the lower half of the tower is round and topped by a broad octagonal gallery; the upper section appears to be an hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower added to raise the height of the light. A 2009 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located beside a street in Tak Bai, just across the river from Malaysia. ARLHS THA-061; Admiralty F2895.4; NGA 20878.
Tak Bai Light
Tak Bai (Sungai Kolok) Light, Tak Bai
Thai Navy photo

Malay Peninsula West Coast Lighthouses

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, and the tower is too new to appear in Google's 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, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located atop 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 only a fuzzy satellite view of the area. Located near the northern point of Tonyong Po, a fishing village on a peninsula jutting into the Andaman Sea. Site status unknown. ARLHS THA-063; Admiralty F1193; NGA 22160.

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 a very distant 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) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a promontory about 10 km (6 mi) southwest in 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, 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.
Ko Lanta Light
Ko Lanta Light, Krabi Province, May 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by marhas1
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. No photo available, but Bing 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.
Krabi B (Entrance Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 18 m (59 ft) round hourglass-shaped tower, mounted on a square concrete platform supported by four piers. Entire lighthouse is white. Shane MacClure has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located in the mouth of a river leading to Krabi harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. NGA 22193.1.

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, Koehler has a photo, a closeup of the tower is available, Wikimedia has photos, and Google has 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. No photo available, but 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. A very distant view is available, 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.
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.
Promthep Cape Light
Laem Phra Chao Light, Phuket, October 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Anna Petts
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 Phayam
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 64 m (210 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on a ridge at the western tip of Ko Phayam, a substantial island off the Pak Chan estuary. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1163; NGA 22220.
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 the tower is not seen in Google's 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 an indistinct 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.
** 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, another photo and a distant view are 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
Panoramio photo copyright nodphat; permission requested

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Phuket Harbor has a well-known decorative lighthouse; it is not an aid to navigation.

Adjoining pages: North: Myanmar (Burma) | Northeast: Central Thailand | Southeast: Malaya East Coast | South: Malaya West Coast

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Posted February 28, 2006. Checked and revised December 7, 2013. Lighthouses: 39. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.