Khao Lak must-see attractions and places offer a decidedly eclectic choice of items. From the virgin tropical islands such as the Similans or the Surins that lie off its coast to its endless beaches to the pristine rainforests that cover its hinterland, Khao Lak is not short in natural wonders. Discover below the best attractions in Khao Lak, which are sure to be the highpoints of your holiday in the province of Phang Nga.
The Similan Islands are located some 50km off the Khao Lak coast. Belonging to a national park since 1982, they offer their visitor a preserved natural environment made of white powder sand beaches, crystal-clear warm waters, and primary growth forest. Apart from the rangers’ camp established on island #9, they are uninhabited. They became famous as a prime scuba diving spot in the ‘80s, before being opened to tourism for day and short overnight trips (under tents). They are simply one of the most beautiful places you could visit in southern Thailand, if not the world.
Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay is one of the prime destinations in southern Thailand. Similar to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, Phang Nga Bay features tall limestone karsts rising from the sea, pierced by caves and tunnels. There are about 50 of these islands in the bay. The most popular way to visit the bay is by sea kayak, as this is the only means of transportation that can enter the tunnels and reach the hongs. A hong (which means ‘room’ in Thai) is a lagoon enclosed by the limestone cliffs, featuring mangrove trees, tropical plants, and fabulous local fauna.
The Surin Islands are located a short distance from the border with Burma, some 100km northwest of Khao Lak. As with the Similans, they belong to a national park and offer great scuba diving and snorkeling spots. Inhabited by the Chao Leh people, a sea gypsy tribe, they also host a rangers’ camp as well as basic infrastructure and accommodation. Several trails through the jungle permit great hiking in a virgin environment.
Khao Sok National Park is located some 40km northeast of Khao Lak. Covering an area of over 700 km², it is known as the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world. Its national park status has protected it pretty well through the years, and the addition of the Cheow Lan Lake by the construction of the Ratchaprapha Dam in 1987 has even increased its attractiveness. Hiking, kayaking, and cruising on the lake are the main activities to enjoy in this unspoiled area of southern Thailand, which almost offers a journey back to time to its visitors.
White Sand Beach
Located about 12km to the north of La On Village between Pakarang Cape and Pak Weep, White Sand Beach is the perfect spot for a relaxing day with your toes in the sand. Hosting only a few high-end resorts such as the Sarojin as well as newly-added cool joints serving fresh drinks and food at affordable prices, this 2.6km stretch of sand permits you to comfortably enjoy a day on the beach in outstanding natural settings and far from the crowd.
Ton Chong Fa Waterfall
Ton Chong Fa Waterfall is a five-level waterfall located some 7km from Bang Niang. A 20-minute walk through the rainforest is necessary to reach the first level of the waterfall, which features a large pond where you can refresh yourself. Getting to the other four levels requires you to be fit as the trail is narrow and steep. As there’s no infrastructure on-site (after all, it’s in the middle of the jungle), so it is best to bring drinks and snacks with you, as well as mosquito spray if you go there at the end of the afternoon.
November to February being the dry season is the best time to visit Khao Lak. The island sees two seasons namely dry that overlaps with the summer season (November to April) and wet (May to October).
The easiest way to get to Khao Lak is to fly into either Phuket (the closest alternative) or Krabi and go to Khao Lak from there.
If you want to visit the Similan Islands, which are about 120 km northwest of Phuket and 50 km west of Khao Lak.
Thai baht (฿)
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Excellent day out, very informative and enjoyable tour
The started off with a tour around a local market, viewing the stalls selling various exotic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Then a short walk through the town to a local temple where our guide Nan explained about the various alters that we left offerings at.
⭐⭐⭐⭐Excellent Tour, but initially they forgot to pick us up!!!
The tour in itself was excellent, however getting to the tour was quite a challenge in that they forgot to pick us up at our hotel! I even had called the previous day to confirm with [email protected] Therefore,
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Great tour, great guide – everything sorted for you
Had the best time on this tour. No one else booked in that day so we had it all to ourselves and we were the first tour group to arrive at each location which was amazing and often a very rare experience.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐A wonderful trip with the best guide ever !
Aey was a wonderful guide. On the way, she told us a lot about Thailand and she kindly answered all questions. The top on this day was the elephant bathing.
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