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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Lampi Waterfall is eighteen miles south of Khao Lak. The waterfall itself is quite a sight and you can swim under it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Khao Lak Emerald Beach Resort & Spa is perfect if you want a modern resort. If you prefer to be in the Bang Niang area, the Amsterdam Resort is an excellent choice.
Bang La On - This is the busiest area in Khao Lak. This is where you will find most resorts, shops, bars and restaurants.
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.
A trip in an official taxi will cost you THB$300 from one end of Khao Lak to the other.
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 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.
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.
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.