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The Black Sand Beach at Laem Ngop

Photos of the black sand beach at Laem Ngop, Trat
2016 Update:
It’s five years since I first visited Laem Ngop’s main and only tourist attraction the Black Sand Beach.  And it hasn’t changed much.  The walkways have been extended and rebuilt and there are more places by the sea where you can go and put your feet in the black sand.  Which feels remarkably like putting your feet in soil.  But it’s still being touted as a place where you can come and experience the magical healing powers that the locals, with vested interests, claim the sand possesses.
But given that the only other attractions on the official tourist map of Laem Ngop are a couple of temples, a couple of mosques, a hospital and local government office, then you can’t blame them for trying.
The pluses:  It’s free.  It’s a pleasant walk through the mangroves.  You get nice views of Koh Chang on a clear day.
And that’s about it.
From February 2011:
Got to kick off this piece of insightful travel writing with the admission that I nicked the photo above off Wikipedia.   Why? Because although I went to see it, I never took a photo of the   actual Black Sand Beach which is having a lot of money spent it by developing it as a tourist attraction.   The reason I didn’t waste any valuable memory card storage space on it was that when   I saw it I thought that it couldn’t possibly be the Black Sand Beach and that it was just a patch of dirt and so never bothered to take a picture of it.
Not really off to a good start in my new role as an impromptu Ambassador for Trat Tourism.

But the photo above is the actual Black Sand Beach around which a new visitor centre, kilometre long mangrove walkway and spa & restaurant (both currently under construction) are going up.   The spa will showcase the restorative powers of the black sand to cure all manner of ills. Including, presumably, disappointment.

The turning for the ‘beach’ is located around 1km north of Laem Ngop on the way to Trat town. A concrete road leads another kilometre to the makeshift parking area and visitor centre. The visitor centre has a large hat on the wall along with some posters of mangroves, plus a TV that plays educational videos for groups of Thai visitors.

From the rear of the visitor centre a wooden walkway leads off meandering through the mangroves towards the shoreline.   It’s a nice walk.   Not many sights – just mangroves, as you might expect. You reach the sea and then the walkway branches off and takes you 30 metres or so to a small gazebo built over the sea. From here you can see Koh Chang. The Black Sand Beach is located here also.   You will see a wooden ladder leading down to a patch of what looks like dark mud surrounded by mangrove roots, but is in fact black sand. The total area is around 3m x 6m . . . and that’s it. Not quite on the mini Santorini that the typical visitor, who knew that Santorini had a spectacular black sand beach, might have been expecting.

Having been left dumbstruck by Trat’s newest natural tourist attraction, continue the loop around, and back to the visitor centre, taking in more sights of mangroves and some boards in Thai detailing the flora and fauna that can be seen and explaining how the mangrove eco-system works.

2016 Photos:

2011 Photos:

 

Location:

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