Experience Khao Lak

Chill beachfront, trek to waterfalls or go island-hopping

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    THG Recommended Attractions in Khao Lak

    Additional things to do in Khao Lak

    Beaches in Khao Lak

    Khao Lak has some of the best beaches in Thailand that are incredibly picturesque with soft white sand and aquamarine water and a fantastic selection of beachfront resorts, hotels and Khao Lak restaurants serving popular Thai dishes among Thai food and Western cuisine.

    White sand beach

    White Sand Beach is an incredibly beautiful golden sand strip that is almost three kilometres long. It is framed by green vegetation which compliments the green hues of the ocean perfectly. Its located about 15 minutes drive from La On village and the main drag of Khao Lak. This beach is mainly serviced by exclusive resorts.

    Nang Thong Beach

    Located between Khao Lak (south of Khao Lak) and Bang Niang beaches, the one-kilometre strip known as La On Village is the main shopping, eating and nightlife hub of Nang Thong Beach. After sundown, this place is a hive of activity with many restaurants and bars. The area has a backdrop of vegetation-rich hills and in front is the mesmerizing aqua waters of the Andaman Sea.

    Khuk Khak beach

    Nestled between pine trees and palm groves, Khuk Khak beach has a secluded feel to it. Only a few luxury hotels are lining the beachfront, leaving beachgoers the complete serenity of the glorious azure waters of the Andaman Sea. There is not much else around this five-kilometre beach strip and that is its appeal. Khuk Khak is located between Bang Niang beach and Pakarang Cape. Nearby is Ton Pling Waterfall, with its calming serene ambience.

    Coconut or Pak Weep beach

    This Khao Lak beach is one of the most pristine stretches of 5 km white sand, turquoise waters, lined with green foliage. It sits along the same coastline as e as Bang Sak beach and is swimmable all year due to its calm currents.

    Pakarang Beach.

    On the other side of Pakarang Cape from Pak Weep Beach, is another very quiet and extremely beautiful beach. The sand is stony but still very pleasant and is renowned for its amazing 5-star hotels such as The Sarojin, as well as being a surf destination during the low season from June-November.

    Pakarang is just one of the magnificent beaches along Phang Nga bay, together with Pak Weep and Bang Niang.

    Sunset Beach

    Sunset Beach is located at the very south end of Nang Thong and is picturesque and quieter than some of the other beaches. All the hotels there are built on a slope of a mountain, within or near to the rainforest. There are only a few little restaurants and bars nearby. It’s especially popular with families.

    Bang Sak beach

    A gorgeous stretch of beach with blue seas along with a laidback atmosphere and home to a few resorts. Four km north of Pakarang Cape, this beach is the perfect chilled place to get away from the busier beaches in the region but can still enjoy beachside food stalls and drinks.

    Ton Chong Fa Waterfall

    The 5-tiered Ton Chong Fa Waterfall is a top attraction located in Lam Ru National Park located about 9 kilometres from Khao Lak. The walk to reach the falls is steep and you will need to do some climbing to reach some of the other tiers.

    Lampi Waterfall

    Try visiting Lampi 3-tiered waterfall with its large deep natural swimming pool, which is part of the Khao Lam Pi – Hat Thai Mueang National Park. The main pool is directly accessible from the car park with a short walk. It is very popular on weekends with locals who go swimming in the main rockpool, so if you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit during the week.

    Ton Prai Waterfall

    The 3-pronged Ton Prai Waterfall is located about 40 minutes drive from Khao Lak which can be reached by trekking about 700 metres through the jungle. These falls are not as popular with tourists so you can expect more tranquillity. 

    Sai Rung or Rainbow waterfall

    Located about 10 km north of Bang Niang, Sai Rung is a pretty waterfall and is the easiest to access with a car park nearby and a short walk to the falls. It’s great for a morning swim followed by a picnic.

    Turtle Conservation Centre

    The Turtle Sanctuary on the Royal Navy Base at Tab Lamu is about 15 minutes from Khao Lak and the nursery makes for an informative visit for visitors of all ages with insights on turtle behaviour and breeding. With an aim to conserve the sea turtle by providing aid to injured and sick turtles, the nursery makes for an interesting place to visit with kids in Khao Lak.

    Khao Lak Elephant Home

    Khao Lak Elephant Home is an ethical rehabilitation sanctuary for elephants. One of the highlights of visiting the home is the opportunity to bathe baby elephants in a mud spa. Visitors may also enjoy the experience of joining an elephant care half-day program to learn how to feed and care for the elephants. The package includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, two elephant feeding sessions, elephant bathing and a group lunch, with prices starting from AUD 150, with all proceeds going straight back into the centre. 

    Butterfly farm

    Combined with the Khao Lak orchid garden, the Khao Lak Butterfly farm is located in a small area in Khuk Khak. Here you will find several species of colourful butterflies and an orchid farm collection containing some rare species.

    Elephant Fly Zipline park

    Don’t miss out on the Elephant Fly Zipline park for things to do in Khao Lak with kids. Kids will be exhilarated flying through the lush rainforest canopy on zip lines with 11 ziplines to try, five sky bridges, abseil, bicycle and skateboard tightrope courses or testing their broomstick flying skills on the ‘Harry Potter’ course.

    James Bond Island

    A sought-after day trip is to sail in a longtail boat to the famed James Bond Island that was featured in two Bond films. This iconic island is instantly recognizable by its towering karst formations protruding out of the seas of Phang Nga Bay. Many full-day tours include sea kayaking around the islands, stops at famous caves, temples and sea gypsy villages.

    Boonsung wreck

    Khao Lak is near some of the most popular diving destinations like Boonsung and Pemchi Wrecks. The Boonsung was a tin dredger until it sank in the early 1980s. The wreck lies at 18 metres on a flat, sandy bottom. It has since become an artificial reef teeming with nautical life. Divers will be able to see all kinds of fish and moray eels, and even schools of porcupine and pufferfish. What makes this wreck unique is its macro marine life with numerous species of nudibranch (commonly known as sea slugs) calling this place home.

    Richelieu Rock reef

    Another of the best things to do if you enjoy scuba diving is to take a trip to Richelieu Rock reef. Located between the Surin and Similan Islands, you will see manta rays and lots of colourful fish and coral. The deep-sea nutrient-rich water around the rock makes the perfect environment for plankton attracting whale sharks. It is a large site that can be dived several times over without the need to cover the same area twice. Its superb bio-diversity makes Richelieu Rock one of Thailand’s top dive sites.

    Similan Islands

    The Similan archipelago of eleven islands resides within the 140 square metre Mu Koh Similan National Park in the Andaman Sea about 50 km west of Khao Lak. The region has been ranked as one of the top diving destinations in the world. Its crystal clear water is a window to the rich marine life filled with whale sharks, manta rays, barracudas, triggerfish, various clownfish and colourful coral reefs that can be seen in the area. For micro diving enthusiasts, there are a lot of photogenic little critters such as nudibranchs, ghost pipefish, sea moths, frogfish, and ribbon eels. The islands are only open from 15 October until 15 May each year.

    100 km to the north are the Surin Islands and 60km off Phang Nga province to the west. The Surin Islands are among those that make up the Mu Koh Surin National Park.

    There are just too many Khao Lak attractions deserving to be visited and enjoyed.

    Khao Lak – Overview

    A view from the white sandy beaches of Coconut Beach and nearby deserted beaches - Things to do in Khao Lak Thailand

    Situated on the Andaman Sea in Thailand, Khao Lak is approximately 100 kilometres north of Phuket within Phang Nga province. The area boasts awe-inspiring natural beauty, the Khao Lak coast translucent pristine waters and powder white sand beaches, flourishing marine life and outstanding diving and snorkelling. The coast of Khao Lak is like a 30-km sandy beach that you can spend your holidays there just for beach hopping alone! Khao Lak is also considered one of the top dive destinations in Southeast Asia, even in the world. Khao Lak attractions and activities are abundant and cater to travellers looking for a tranquil escape to slow down and kick back, and also for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the exceptional natural wonders such as lush rainforests, mangrove trees, waterfalls and hot springs, lakes and national parks and viewpoints, like Samed Nang She (commonly known as Samet Nangshe Viewpoint), a natural terrace that gives the stunning views that the region has to offer. There are no entrance fees to this site.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Khao Lak worth visiting?

    Absolutely! There are so many outdoor things to do in Khao Lak. Especially if you are a diving or snorkelling enthusiast, as Khao Lak has been ranked as one of the best dive spots in the world. Not to mention the unspoiled beauty at every turn that only Mother Nature can offer, not just in Khao Lak’s national parks.

    What to do in Khao Lak when it is raining?

    When the weather turns bad, there are some other activities worth trying. How about getting sweaty and doing a Muay Thai (traditional Thai boxing) training session in one of the fight club training centres around town? If you’re “a lover and not a fighter,” then a Thai-style massage or spending the day indoors at a day spa getting all sorts of treatments might be your choice. Another option is to take a day trip to Phuket, only 1.5 hours drive by car. As rain can be very localised, if it’s raining in Khao Lak, chances are it may not be raining in Phuket.
    You can try other land-based attractions in Khao Lak, like the International Tsunami Museum, where a boat of the Royal Thai Navy was carried onshore by the strong current. The International Tsunami Museum serves as a tsunami memorial to all those who had perished or disappeared during that fateful devastating tsunami event.

    How many days do you need in Khao Lak, Thailand?

    It depends on what kind of holiday experience you are seeking in Khao Lak Thailand. For pure beach relaxation without exploring surroundings, 5 days may be enough before you get bored. For others wanting to use Khao Lak as a base to adventure to the deep countryside, to a small island or nearby islands for day trips and visit national parks, 7 days or more will be needed. The choice is yours!

    What are outdoor things to do in Khao Lak national park?

    Some of the most popular outdoor things to do in Khao Lak include cruising the mangroves in canoes, bamboo river rafting, water sports such as windsurfing and kite surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, hiking in the national parks, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours, ziplining and aerial adventure parks, fishing charters and island hopping.

    What is Khao Lak known for?

    Khao Lak is famed for its beautiful coastlines, making for lovely beaches with crystal-clear blue waters, splendid limestone cliffs, many waterfalls, white sand and palm trees dotting the beaches. Aside from these attractions, there are great options for the accommodation you may want, low-key restaurants for the famous Pad Thai and a lot of water activities in Khao Lak. Most of all, Khao Lak is called a “refreshingly uncrowded tourist destination” for travellers who wish for laid-back, easygoing holidays to have a taste of Thai culture that you would want to go back to again and again.

    Is Khao Lak good for families?

    There are so many attractions that Khao Lak has to offer, for children and adults to make memories and collect experiences! From turtles to waterfalls to markets to elephant trekking to cooking classes to day trips to cultural and historical places, so many activities in Khao Lak for your holiday experiences!

    How do you get around Khao Lak?

    Within the centre of Khao Lak, the songtaew or tuk-tuk could get you around, but if you wish to go beyond the city for longer than day trips, you could get into the local bus services. Those can get you to other districts.

    Is Khao Lak a good holiday destination?

    Khao Lak is a perfect holiday destination for those who want an easygoing yet laid-back holiday where the atmosphere makes you want to repeat that holiday again and again. You can choose a beachfront resort or accommodation near the city centre depending on what holiday you want.

    Can you swim at Khao Lak beach?

    The waters of Khao Lak beach are clear and calm, ideal for swimming and snorkelling activities.

    What is the best time to visit Khao Lak Thailand?

    The months between December and March are recommended to be the best time to visit Khao Lak because the weather is “settled.” March being in the dry season is the hottest time of the year in Thailand while September is the coolest. The wet season aka rainy season is not advisable, for safety reasons, to visit a number of attractions, like the majestic waterfalls.

    Is Khao Lak Thailand quiet?

    Khao Lak has been called a “refreshingly uncrowded tourist destination” so you can expect a lot of quiet places. It is a great location for a laid-back easygoing holiday one would want to repeat often.

    What is the best beach in Khao Lak?

    In a country known for its beautiful beaches, Khao Lak can claim to have a great number of those. There is no one best pristine beach in Khao Lak because the whole coastline is dotted with stunning beaches and calm clear-blue waters.

    Is Khao Lak safe?

    Khao Lak is regarded as a very safe holiday destination. But during monsoon seasons, visitors are strongly advised against swimming because of the risk in the ocean currents at that time. Of course, coming from another country, having travel insurance is also advised.
    As regards the covid, the Khao Lak area is part of Phang Nga province, which is classified as a yellow zone, for high surveillance, compared to the orange, red and dark red zones. Their way of living is not affected as much as in the other zones. Interprovincial travel and dine in activities are allowed.

    Where do you fly to for Khao Lak National Park?

    You can fly from Phuket International Airport or Surat Thani airport (nearest Khao Lak) for Khao Lak National Park. Just an hour’s drive from Phuket International is Casa de la Flora, a modern resort of villas designed for guests to experience their surroundings inside their accommodation.

    How long is the transfer from Phuket to Khao Lak?

    From Phuket airport to Khao Lak it takes about an hour fifteen minutes to travel by taxi, depending on traffic conditions. If you stay longer in Phuket town, say Patong or Karon, the drive will take around 2 hours.
    If you want to try cheaper options, you get to the bus station in Phuket for a bus to Takua Pa or Ranong or Surat Thani, for tickets costing around 90Baht and the ride will take about two and a half hours to get to Khao Lak.

    Is Khao Lak busy?

    Most reviews or traveller comments say that all the Khao Lak beaches are big enough to accommodate all visitors without appearing very busy, even in the high season. At the same time, most beachfront establishments like resorts, bungalows, restaurants or bars, are required to keep loungers within their immediate beach frontage. There will be no sight of rows and rows of sun-worshippers basking in the sun like in other Thai beach locations. That is what has appealed to most visitors, that a Khao Lak holiday is relaxing compared to other destinations touched by western commercialism.

    How far is Khao Lak from Phuket?

    Khao Lak is 83km far from Phuket. The road distance is 96. km between them.

    How do you get from Bangkok to Khao Lak?

    You can get to Khao Lak from Bangkok by way of plane, train, bus or car. There are 16 flights to Khao Lak weekly, taking 1 hour 25 minutes, from Don Muang or Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Phuket then a private transfer or bus. If you travel this way, you will take 6-7 hours to Khao Lak.
    By land transport, the cheapest is by local bus which takes 14 1/2 hours. By train then local bus, the trips takes 12 1/2 to 14 1/2 hours. If you want comfortable and scenic trips, a rented or hired car will take you from Bangkok to Khao Lak in just a little longer than 11 hours.

    Where is Khao Lak in Thailand?

    Khao Lak is on the west coast of the Thai mainland in the Phang Nga region, around an hour north of Phuket, stretching over 15 miles on the Andaman Sea coastline.

    Is Khao Lak and Khao Sok National Park the same?

    No, the Khao Sok National Park is 46 km from Khao Lak. There is the Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park over the Lak Mountain with a great range of flora and fauna, various species of mammals, reptiles and birds. It also has a rainforest where travellers, in hiking or trekking trips to the rainforest, would be accompanied by fluttering butterflies in their bright colours.
    You can read more on the Khao Sok National Park on a separate page.

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