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Khao Lak

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Scuba Diving Tours
Snorkelling Tours
Tours to Khao Sok National Park


Khao Lak used to be, along with Ao Nang, one of southern Thailand's two best gateways to adventure and best family and soft adventure beach destinations.

The great Surin Islands snorkelling, along with the Similan islands diving, used to account for this appeal. Unfortunately, though, the snorkelling at the Surin Islands has drastically declined in quality due to coral bleaching, to the point where we no longer recommend snorkelling in the Surins at all.

In Jan 2011 the Thai National Parks authority issued a ban on diving and snorkelling in almost all of the Surin Islands snorkelling spots. Some snorkel and dive operators still take customers there, which is a pratice that we strongly disapprove of.

There is much better snorkelling further south, where the coral bleaching has not been so extreme.

Khao Lak is still within day-trip range of the best scuba diving in the kingdom, around the marine life-saturated Similan Islands. It is also possible to go snorkelling around the Similans on a liveaboard trip, contact us for more details.

See below for more on the Surin snorkelling and Similan diving.

khao lak thailand

The effect of the decline in the quality of the Surin snorkelling on Khao Lak is unfortunate. While Khao Lak has some pretty good beaches, for many travellers there is now no really good reason for visiting this town at all.

For honeymooners, for people who just want to collapse in a posh resort and for people with small children Khao Lak still has some considerable appeal. If, however, you are looking for an active holiday or you have older children, Khao Lao is not the place for you.

If you want a good beach near Phuket then Khao Lak is not a bad choice, but it is definitely not a place to go for a two week holiday that includes lots of activities. The daytrips at Khao Sok are within daytrip range, but only just - you have to get up really early to do these trips.

khao lak thailand

khao lak thailand

The town itself is unattractive and is dominated by the fast road running through it, which is fortunately far enough from the beaches for traffic noise to be inaudible there. The beaches, whilist clean and not too busy, are only average by Thai standards, as there are no particularly arresting offshore features to feast the eyes on.



Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand’s best inland destination, is just within day-trip range, but many people choose to spend at least one night there.

For more on all these activities, see below.

khao lak thailand

khao lak thailand

Khao Lak was Thailand's tsunami 'ground zero' and bore the full brunt of the waves, which killed 5,000 people and wiped out almost all of the beach-side resorts.

Paradoxically, Khao Lak's demolition was followed by its greatest success story, as its resorts and amenities were rebuilt with astonishing alacrity.

khao lak thailand

khao lak thailand

Seven years after the big waves devastated so many lives, hardly a sign of the horror remains. The mouldering lobby of an abandoned resort can be glimpsed through some palms. A police boat was guarding the royal prince who died here, and has been left where it was deposited by the wave, 2 km inland, as a memorial to those who so tragically died.




These days, visitors need have no fear of a tsunami, for two reasons: (a) an early warning system is in place to give 30 minutes warning of an approaching tsunami (b) after the next massive underwater earthquake, the resulting tsunami won't touch Khao Lak - for the reasons why, click here.

Khao Lak has a wide range of accommodation, with options to suit all travelers and all budgets.

With so many upmarket resort restaurants in Khao Lak, gourmets are spoiled for choice.

khao lak thailand

khao lak thailand

Party animals, however, will be disappointed. Whilst there are a few bars, the nightlife is low key compared with nearby Phuket's. The better resorts arrange entertainments and shows.





Spa lovers won't exhaust the town pampering possibilities.

khao lak thailand
khao lak thailand

Whilst families with small children will enjoy Khao Lak's big family resorts, families with older children are advised to go elsewhere, as older children will bore of Khao Lak.

Honeymooners can find plenty of quiet spots on the beach, plus some exquisite hideaway beach bungalows.

Khao Lak's lack of interesting nearby activities is no problem for most honeymooners.

khao lak thailand


Similan Islands Scuba Tours

Click here for more on diving around Khao Lak

3 days / 2 nights   2 days / 1 night   Daytrip


Surin Islands Snorkelling Tours

Click here for snorkelling in the Surin Islands

2 days / 1 night   Day-trip   3 days / 2 nights


Tours to Khao Sok National Park

Click here for information on Khao Sok National park

Khao Sok - 3d / 2n Cheow Larn Lake   Khao Sok - 2d / 1n Cheow Larn Lake
Khao Sok Jungle Trekking Day Trip   Khao Sok Canoeing & Elephant Trekking Day Trip


Khao Lak Resorts


Taxis and Minivans - Prices and Times

Soft Adventures 12 Nights
Island Hop
5, 6 & 12 Nights
Kayak Thailand
3,4,5,6 & 12 Nights
Snorkel Thailand
6, 9 & 12 Nights
Dive Thailand
4, 6 & 11 Nights
Climb Thailand
12 Nights +/-
fish thailand Fish Thailand 4, 6, 12 Nights
Region's Resort Selection
  Silly Signs
  Extreme Body Piercing
  Language Funny
  Bangkok Clubbing
  Bike Accident
  Climbing with Ann
  Scorpion Sting
  Walking ATM
  Songkran Water Festival
  Ao Nang Family Fishing
  Phang Nga Bay Sea Safari
  Base Jumping
  Birds' Nest Collectors
  Deep Water Solo
  Dive Similan
  Monster Fishing
  Dive with Elephants
  Shop with Sharks
  Extreme Sailing
  Typhoon Sailing

Hotel Name.  Location.  Metres from Beach. Price. Show only
Sarojin Beachfront 1 $$$$$
La Flora Beachfront 1 $$$$ recommended
Takolaburi Beachfront 1 $$$$
Baan Khao Lak Beachfront 1 $$$$
Seaview Resort Beachfront 1 $$$$ recommended
Orchid Resort Beachfront 1 $$$ recommended
Palm Galleria Inland 40 $$$
Ayara Beachfront 1 $$$
Nang Tong Bay Beachfront 1 $$$
Suwan Palm Beachfront 1 $$$
Countryside Resort Inland 80 $$ recommended
Amanusa Beachfront 1 $$
Hillside Resort Inland 300 $ recommended

This is the best resort in Khao Lak, but rather overpriced

Great location, spacious landscaped grounds and quality accommodation options

Gloomy rooms

Classy resort offering several good room types, a prime beachfront location and attractive gardens

This large resort offers excellent shared amenities and several good room types in an attractively low density layout.

This quality resort's out-of-town location is no problem, and the lower prices make it well worth considering

This pleasant resort suffers from an unfortunate location

This attractive 3-star resort is not suitable for children.

This reasonably good resort is a good choice for families

Good value for money

This resort is great value for money. For those who will be spending their days out on daytrips and so don't care about the resort's lack of a beachfront location, it is an excellent choice.

Charming budget resort.

Khao Lak's best value for those who only need a clean place to sleep, and don't need any facilities.


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Andaman Sky, Co., Ltd, 454/2 Moo 1, Ao Nang, Thailand. Click here for the old Khao Lak page