Khao Lak is just an hour-drive from Phuket in the Phang Nga Province of Thailand. It’s a 20-kilometre stretch of white sandy beaches, lush tropical forests, and crystal clear seawater on the Andaman coast. The paradise has a growing popularity among travellers who want to see its real beauty and get fascinated by its culture. It’s also noted for the Khao Lak diving which is the best in the area.
Speaking about Khao Lak can be a bit confusing as the appellation often refers to the Bangsak Beach in the north down to the Khao Lak Beach in the south. Khao Lak is often referred to the Nang Tong Beach and the neighbouring La On Village, where you see many resorts, restaurants, bars and shops.
If you want a beach holiday and dislike the high prices, the crowds and sleazy parts of Koh Samui or Phuket, Khao Lak is one place to be at. There are pristine beaches where you find few people strolling, laying or swimming. You can be at the Nang Tong Beach shopping or enjoying a meal. You can also enjoy the panoramic view of the beach.
Khao Lak has two highlights, which make great Khao Lak diving off the Surin and Similan Islands. These two islands are noted to be national parks with reefs noted to be the best diving spot in Thailand. In the National Geographic Magazine, they are rated one of the top ten dive spots of the world.
For those searching for culture, you’ll find a few sea gypsy settlements to visit on the island. You can also travel down the nearby Phang-Nga Bay, which was famed by the iconic James Bond movie, ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. You also find here the fascinating Koh Panyi, which is an artificial floating island where Muslims live.
Khao Lak accommodation is usually mid-range with few five-star resorts and inexpensive bungalow places. This is a better destination than Phuket where you can enjoy Khao Lak diving. Its nightlife around Bang La On is also something to look after as you don’t need to be sleazy or rowdy. Khao Lak is perfect for family vacations.