Stunning beaches, the Andaman Sea, national parks, local markets, wonderful food. Khao Lak has it all and more.
We also have a handy guide of things not to do in Bangkok and Thailand.
Get a Massage
If you are looking at different areas of Thailand this will be a constant presence. The quality of massages in Thailand is exceptional so don’t wait until the end of your trip to sample a massage, you will want to go back for more. I usually have a massage soon after arriving and another just before I leave, and possibly one in the middle as well. Hotels and spas will all offer massages but there will also be beach stalls and shops in the village.
Khao Sok National Park
About 50km north-east of Khao Lak and covering 739 square kilometres is the oldest evergreen forest in the world with a large, man-made lake and limestone formations. The area was created at the same time as the Himalyas.
The park is home to wild elephants, tigers, leopards, sun bears, primates, wild boar and much more. The National Park website is a great source of information.
There are opportunities for multi-day safaris or day trips to explore the area.
International Tsunami Museum
Located in Bang Niang (opposite the market) is an excellent museum that gives information on tsunami but also the devastating tsunami the struck on Boxing day 2004. Includes the remains of a Thai navy boat that was washed almost 2km onto shore. Entrance fees and proceeds from merchandise go back to the local community and survivors of the tragedy.
Phang Nga Bay
A day trip to Phang Nga Bay should be towards the top of your must do list. You can take a motor or sailing boat but the best way is probably by sea kayak. The limestone cliffs and rock formations are spectacular and a signature feature of the area.
Koh Tapu became famous as James Bond Island after it appeared in The Man With The Golden Gun.
Visit a Waterfall
There are a number of waterfalls worth visiting near to Khao Lak. Pakweep Waterfall is near to Le Meridien Khao Lak and is a short walk from the car pak. Ton Chong Fa is around 7km from Bang Niang, you then walk through rain forest to get to the waterfalls – it can be a hard trek. Lampi Waterfall is easier to get to, a short walk from the car park around half an hour from Khao Lak.
90 minutes by speedboat the Similian Islands are a virtually uninhabited Marine National Park. home to some of the best scuba diving in the world many people will take a multi-day liveaboard to get the most out of the area
Bang Niang Market
Get a completely different view of the city, and a more relaxed view, from one of the river taxis plying their trade up and down the Chao Phraya river which cuts through Bangkok. You can buy a ticket that allows you to hop on and off at your leisure. Take the BTS to Saphan Takin which gives easy access to Central Pier (Ta Sathorn Pier)
Visit a Turtle Conservation Centre
There are two conservation centres in the area, The Royal Thai Navy Third Fleet Turtle Nursery (just 15 minutes from Bang La On) and Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Center (about 30km south of Khao Lak).
The Andaman Sea is home to four species of turtle, all endangered, the most common are Hawksbill and Green sea turtles, with occasional sightings of Leatherback and Olive Ridley sea turtles.
Wat Suwan Kuha
Around an hour from Khao Lak is a large cave with a large Reclining Buddha inside. A second cave can also be visited by a short climb.
Outside there will be lots of macaques waiting to be fed by tourists, keep you valuables safe just in case they grab more than just a banana.
You can’t stay in Khao Lak with enjoying the beaches. Explore beaches around the area, Coconut Beach and White Sand Beach are both worth a visit.
The sea is pleasant and usually safe and watersports are often available. Remember your sunscreen and keep hydrated.
Sample Thai Food
Khao Lak has some of the best food in Thailand. Don’t be shy of trying new things, dishes are relatively cheap and always full of flavour.
Around a 100km from Khao Lak and on the border with Burma the Surin Islands and are another mecca for scuba diving
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