How to get the best hotel prices in Khao Lak through this site:
We identify hotels that GUARANTEE, in writing, to give prices below the lowest online rates to those who book the hotel directly. This cuts out all middlemen and commissions, saving the hotel money. Some hotels pass that on to guests.
See the list of ‘guarantee’ hotels on this page, then contact the hotel through the e-mail box on the hotel page.
A limited number DISCOUNT ROOM VOUCHERS is also available here – the very cheapest rooms you can get – but they are limited in number. Follow the links, or contact Jade: email@example.com
See all of Khao Lak’s beaches and attractions in the detailed travel guides in this site:
Khao Lak; 20 kilometres of quiet beach on Thailand’s Andaman coast, north of Phuket.
lots of beaches, lots of differences, lots of holidays choices in Khao Lak
Khao Lak was born as a reaction against the rapid development of Phuket, when many one-time fans of that island wanted to find quieter, less developed beaches that reminded them of Phuket’s idyllic early days. The 20 kilometre stretch of uninhabited beach here fulfilled that yearning. The long, straight line of sandy coast is broken by only a few rocky patches and the occasional stream. Not as dramatically beautiful as its famous island neighbour an hour’s drive to the south, Khao Lak was definitely peaceful and entirely undeveloped.
Today, the beaches at Khao Lak’s south end have significant commercial and urban development while those in the north have nothing save the occasional, remote beach resort. This gives visitors a choice of beaches that ranges from not-very-busy to lonely-tranquil. And if the latter is not enough, take the ferry across to Koh Kho Khao to the north for your personal encounter with complete isolation.
Before booking a hotel in this region, choose the beach with the right amount of development or isolation. Hiring a car or motorcycle gives access to the restaurants and bars, markets and shops, coffee shops etc in the commercial villages while allowing the visitor to return to a bed by a natural beach further north.
two commercial villages give the southern beaches some activities
The biggest of the two commercial villages is that behind Nang Thong Beach. It runs down both sides of the big, wide north-south highway. As well as the facilities mentioned above, here you find pharmacies, banks and ATMs and convenience stores, along with the tourist standard souvenir and clothing shops, travel and booking agents, motorcycle rentals and more.
The second such community has much of the above facilities, but not all. This is just a kilometres north at Bang Niang Beach. Here however, is the biggest market in the area – but that’s not very big. During the high season this morphs into a night market three or four evenings a week, and for a few hours becomes the vibrant centre of the community with lots of buying, eating and drinking by Thais and tourists alike. Before tourist hotels opened in Khao Lak this area had no local village, so all locals here now are appendages of some sort to the tourist trade.
these are typical mainland beaches; pretty but generally shallow
Khao Lak’s beaches draw visitors with their relaxed, uncrowded ambience and the easy-going lifestyle to be enjoyed here. Beach beauty comes second. The classic tropical look of palm-fringed beaches seen in the advertising is largely missing. So too, is the perfectly clear water we find in Phuket. These mainland beaches are nice, but not spectacular. Many have shallow water that is easily stirred up by light wind and waves. The water conditions you meet here depend on luck, even in the middle of the high season.
A couple of beaches offer better depths, however, and that means both better swimming and water clarity. Khao Lak North is the best example, and surely the best swimming beach on this coast. Koh Kho Khao, at the very north end, also offers higher chances of good water clarity.
Yet for the overall lifestyle that these relaxed, quiet beaches offer visitors, water conditions are only a small part of the equation.
the big mountain range behind provides a green backdrop, and lots of interest
Translated, Khao Lak is Lak Mountain, the title of the big headland that separates the North and South beaches on our map. That’s just one spur off the massive mountain range that follows most of Thailand’s Andaman coast – and provides Khao Lak with a lush, forested backdrop. The steep slopes of this range have been the saviour of vast areas of rainforest; they’re too steep for agriculture, while every patch of flat land has been cleared for coconut, rubber and palm oil plantations. The mountains give the entire Andaman region much of its natural ambience, while providing some waterfalls and small national parks that allow visitors to gain a glimpse within the dense and otherwise impenetrable forest. The best place to really enter and experience Thailand’s southern rainforests, however, is at Khao Sok National Park, a couple of hours’ drive northeast of Khao Lak.
not a lot to do in Khao Lak, but touring the region is great
Entertainment and man-made, tourist-style attractions are not to be expected in remote beach locations like Khao Lak – correctly so. The daily highlight here is usually the setting of the sun into the Andaman Sea, when a large portion of guests here are found relaxing on the sand or in ocean-side restaurants with a cool drink in hand.
There’s a number of places of interest in this region, however, that are definitely worth considering. Those who want to see more than just the beach and some nearby restaurants and bars will need to rent a motorcycle or car, for distances are considerable. Our list of things to do in and around Khao Lak is virtually full of places that require driving to. Here are a few among them: amazing Phang Nga Bay, Khao Sok National Park, Takuapa town, Koh Kho Khao, Kawthaung, the closest Burmese town near Ranong.