Khao Lak travel guide

Khao Lak Tourism | Khao Lak Guide

You're Going to Love Khao Lak

Khao Lak is only 20 miles away from the busy urban area of Phuket and feels like a completely different world. This coastal region attracts tourists with its several resorts, beaches and quiet atmosphere.

Your stay in Khao Lak is the perfect opportunity to try diving and surfing or to go hiking in the nearby jungle. You will also have fun exploring the cities of Bang La on, Bang Niang and Khuk Khak, with their markets, bars and restaurants.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Khao Lak

1. The Beaches

There are twelve miles of beaches in the Khao Lak area. Head north to Pakarang Cape and to Bang Sak Beach if you are looking for quieter spots.

2. Hiking in the Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park

Lak Mountain is one of the main landmarks of the area. You can go trekking in the jungle that surrounds the mountain to discover the local flora and fauna.

3. Discover the Village of Ban Khao Lak

The main cities in the Khao Lak area are very modern, but you can discover the more traditional Thai lifestyle by spending an afternoon in the village of Ban Khao Lak.

4. Diving and Snorkelling

The islands of Similan and Surin are located offshore from Khao Lak. There are several businesses that rent diving and snorkelling equipment and you can easily find charter boats to reach the best diving sites.

5. Lampi Waterfall

The Lampi Waterfall is eighteen miles south of Khao Lak. The waterfall itself is quite a sight and you can swim under it.

What to do in Khao Lak

1. Ao Phang Nga National Park: The James Bond Island

The crystalline waters and mysterious rock formations of Phang Nga Bay are only part of the reason why visitors flock to the Ao Phang Nga National Park. Besides being famous as a location in the James Bond movie The Man With the Golden Gun, this beautiful park features many hiking trails in lush, jungle greenery and along bright blue waters. There are multiple vendors crowding the coastline and multiple tour operators that take travelers around the park's most iconic sights, including a village built entirely on stilts known as Ko Panyi. Park visitors should also take advantage of the weather to head out on an eco-tour using sea canoes, which involve canoeing and camping overnight.

2. Khao Sok National Park: No Limit to Natural Beauty

The Khao Sok National Park is home to dozens of native flora and fauna, open for beginners and nature enthusiasts as well as more serious back-country campers. Regardless of how deep your relationship with nature is, this natural reserve's 284 square miles will enthrall and amaze you. Nestled halfway between the Andaman and Gulf coasts, the land itself is over 160 million years old and its beautiful limestone caves and waterfalls, rainforest canopy, and exotic creatures like tapirs, gibbons, and even wild elephants are sure to capture your imagination.

3. International Tsunami Museum: The More You Know

The International Tsunami Museum features more than just the facts of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. Its various fascinating exhibits feature the aftermath and effects of the the 9.1 magnitude earthquakes that occur off the coasts of Indonesia. It also educates visitors about the formation of tsunamis and what warning signs to look for. Informative, educational, but attractive as well, the museum also features the remains of a colossal Thai navy boat that was carried almost 1.5 miles inland with the force of the wave.

4. Mu Ko Similan National Park: The True Tropics

The Mu Ko Similan National Park is part of the protected area that comprises the Similan Islands, located on the shores of the Andaman Sea. The archipelago is full of beautiful fishes and sparkling blue waters as far as the eye can see. The national park is a popular destination for snorkelers, boaters, and divers, who enjoy exploring the more remote waters, full of stunning coral reefs. Those who are venturing out on boats can visit any of the eleven islands that make up this archipelago, each one paradises unto themselves.

5. White Sand Beach: A Little R'n'R

Once you've stretched your muscles to their limit, come and relax on the warm, white, powdery sands of the White Sand Beach in Khao Lak, spanning 1.6 miles in length. Turquoise and emerald green waters lie in wait for all those who grace her shores, whether with a picnic, sunscreen and a good book in hand, or with ideas of water sport activities in mind like parasailing, snorkeling, diving, and even speed-boating.

1. Ao Phang Nga National Park: The James Bond Island

The crystalline waters and mysterious rock formations of Phang Nga Bay are only part of the reason why visitors flock to the Ao Phang Nga National Park. Besides being famous as a location in the James Bond movie The Man With the Golden Gun, this beautiful park features many hiking trails in lush, jungle greenery and along bright blue waters. There are multiple vendors crowding the coastline and multiple tour operators that take travelers around the park's most iconic sights, including a village built entirely on stilts known as Ko Panyi. Park visitors should also take advantage of the weather to head out on an eco-tour using sea canoes, which involve canoeing and camping overnight.

2. Khao Sok National Park: No Limit to Natural Beauty

The Khao Sok National Park is home to dozens of native flora and fauna, open for beginners and nature enthusiasts as well as more serious back-country campers. Regardless of how deep your relationship with nature is, this natural reserve's 284 square miles will enthrall and amaze you. Nestled halfway between the Andaman and Gulf coasts, the land itself is over 160 million years old and its beautiful limestone caves and waterfalls, rainforest canopy, and exotic creatures like tapirs, gibbons, and even wild elephants are sure to capture your imagination.

3. International Tsunami Museum: The More You Know

The International Tsunami Museum features more than just the facts of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. Its various fascinating exhibits feature the aftermath and effects of the the 9.1 magnitude earthquakes that occur off the coasts of Indonesia. It also educates visitors about the formation of tsunamis and what warning signs to look for. Informative, educational, but attractive as well, the museum also features the remains of a colossal Thai navy boat that was carried almost 1.5 miles inland with the force of the wave.

4. Mu Ko Similan National Park: The True Tropics

The Mu Ko Similan National Park is part of the protected area that comprises the Similan Islands, located on the shores of the Andaman Sea. The archipelago is full of beautiful fishes and sparkling blue waters as far as the eye can see. The national park is a popular destination for snorkelers, boaters, and divers, who enjoy exploring the more remote waters, full of stunning coral reefs. Those who are venturing out on boats can visit any of the eleven islands that make up this archipelago, each one paradises unto themselves.

5. White Sand Beach: A Little R'n'R

Once you've stretched your muscles to their limit, come and relax on the warm, white, powdery sands of the White Sand Beach in Khao Lak, spanning 1.6 miles in length. Turquoise and emerald green waters lie in wait for all those who grace her shores, whether with a picnic, sunscreen and a good book in hand, or with ideas of water sport activities in mind like parasailing, snorkeling, diving, and even speed-boating.

Where to Eat in Khao Lak

If you are in the Bang La On area, try O'Rendez-Vous for a unique mixture of Thai and French cuisine. Ingfah in Bang Niang has a great selection of traditional Thai food and the Phen Restaurant in Khuk Khak is the ideal place to try seafood. Most restaurants will cost between THB$90 and THB$150. A seafood place should cost THB$250 and upscale restaurants will charge THB$300 or more for a meal.

When to visit Khao Lak

Khao Lak in July
Estimated hotel price
$90
1 night at 3-star hotel
Khao Lak in July
Estimated hotel price
$90
1 night at 3-star hotel

There are two yearly monsoons in the Khao Lak area. The first one lasts from April to October and the second one from November to March. It is best to visit Khao Lak during the dry season.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Khao Lak

Plane

The Phuket Airport (HKT) is 50 miles away from Khao Lak. You can take a taxi to Khoa Lak for THB$1,200 or a bus for THB$100. The Krabi Airport (KBV) is 88 miles away from Khao Lak and taking the minibus to Khao Lak will cost you THB$160. Bangkok Airport (BKK) is 490 miles away and there is a minivan service to Khao Lak that costs THB$1,300.

Train

The easiest way to reach Khao Lak by train is to take a train to the Surat Thani station. You can travel between Bangkok and the Surat Thani for THB$500. You can then take a bus between the station and Khao Lak for THB$150.

Car

Route 4 goes through the Khao Lak area and is one of the main highways in Thailand. It connects Khao Lak with Chumphon and Bangkok.

Bus

You can take a bus between Chumphon and Phuket for THB$270 and then take a taxi to Khao Lak for BHT$1,500. Taking the bus between Bangkok and Khao Lak should cost between THB$500 and THB$1,000 depending on the class you choose.

Airports near Khao Lak

Airlines serving Khao Lak

United Airlines
Good (2,840 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,153 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,385 reviews)
KLM
Good (350 reviews)
Air France
Good (399 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,417 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,051 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,325 reviews)
SWISS
Good (454 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,208 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (964 reviews)
Iberia
Good (916 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,419 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (278 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (312 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (320 reviews)
Finnair
Good (696 reviews)
JetBlue
Good (1,301 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (146 reviews)
Cathay Pacific
Good (51 reviews)
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Where to stay in Khao Lak

Bang La On - This is the busiest area in Khao Lak. This is where you will find most resorts, shops, bars and restaurants.

Popular Neighborhoods in Khao Lak

Bang Niang - You will find fewer tourists in Bang Niang and a calmer atmosphere. The outdoor market is the perfect place to shop for souvenirs and try street food.

Khuk Khak - This is where you will find the quieter beaches. The Khuk Khak market is a fun experience and a great place to shop for fresh food and seafood.

Where to stay in popular areas of Khao Lak

Most booked hotels in Khao Lak

Le Meridien Khao Lak Resort & Spa
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
$154+
The Sands Khao Lak By Katathani (SHA Extra Plus)
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
$183+
The Haven Khao Lak
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
$169+
The Briza Beach Resort Khaolak
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
$102+
Mai Khao Lak Beach Resort And Spa
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
$104+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Khao Lak

Taxi

A trip in an official taxi will cost you THB$300 from one end of Khao Lak to the other.

Car

Renting a car at the Budget or Hertz location in Khao Lak will cost you approximately TB$1,000 a day. Getting around on a motorcycle or bicycle will be a lot easier. Renting a motorcycle should cost THB$250 a day and renting a bicycle should cost THB$100 a day.

The Cost of Living in Khao Lak

Shopping Streets

The best places to shop for clothes and accessories are the stores at the Nangthong Park Plaza Khaolak Center and the Tailor Shop in Khao Lak. If you want to shop for souvenirs, visit the markets in Bang Niang and Khuk Khak.

Groceries and Other

The market in Khuk Khak is a great place to shop for fresh food. You can also buy some groceries at one of the 7-11 locations you will find throughout Khao Lak. Expect to pay THB$35 for a loaf of bread and THB$50 for a dozen of eggs.