Visit Phuket

Khao Lak

Khao Lak Khao Lak is part of the Khao Lak – Lam Ru National Park in Phang Nga Province. A lovely stretch of sand studded with boulders facing the Andaman Sea, Khao Lak is about 1 hours drive north from Phuket. The area was declared a national park in 1991 and occupies a vast area of 125 square kilometers. The park encompasses Thai Muang, Kapong, Takua Pa and Muang districts of Phang Nga Province. The beaches in the Khao Lak area are separated by rocky outcrops, many giving the impression of a private beach. This is helped by the fact that for most of the beaches, there is no public access as the hotels own all of the beachfront land. The beaches from north to south are: Bang Sak, Pakarang Cape, Khuk Khak, Bang Niang, Nang Thong and Khao Lak. Khao Lak Beach itself is quite small, tucked away at the southern end of this string of beaches. Behind the beach is Khao Lak mountain (khao is Thai for “mountain”), which gives it name to the area. On it there is a Chinese shrine dedicated to the wizard of the mountain. Khao Lak has become popular with visitors who prefer a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. There are no bars and other loud entertainment close to the beach. Not far from the beaches, there are lush green hills within the National Park with many unique species of plants and wildlife. This hilly area has some lovely waterfalls such as Saeng Thong, Lam Roo and Chong Fa.

Accommodation

The last few years has seen Khao Lak move from a backpacker and divers hangout to a decidedly more upmarket resort area. There are a few bungalow operations remaining, but the majority of the accommodation is in three or four-star hotels.

Generally, the more luxurious accommodation is found further south, at Khao Lak and Nang Thong beaches. Further north at what is known as Chong Fah beach, there is still some budget accommodation to be found. For more information see Khao Lak hotels

Activities

Khao Lak

Khao Lak is a popular departure point for the Similan Islands, the Surin Islands and more distant dive sites in the Andaman Sea, partly due to it being closer than Phuket. There are plenty of dive centres in the area who specialise in dive trips and liveaboards to these areas. Khao Lak also has some coral reefs which are just a short boat ride from Khao Lak beach. Diving and snorkelling trips to these reefs can be arranged with local boat operators.

The beaches at Khao Lak are perfect for a wide range of watersports. These are often arranged by the hotels and resorts themselves. There is plenty to do for hikers and nature lovers too. Khao Lak beach is situated in Khao Lak – Laem Ru National Park, while Sri Phang Nga National Park is 60kms to the north, and Thai Muang National Park is a short distance to the south. These have many waterfalls, caves and trails to explore. Elephant trekking, nature trekking, white water rafting and sea canoeing are also available.

Getting to Khao Lak

Khao Lak is easily reached from Phuket and is about 1 hours drive from Phuket International Airport. Most hotels and resorts can arrange transfers. Airport taxis and minibuses also make the trip, though minibuses will only go if there are enough passengers to make it worthwhile.

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