With off-shore islands and national parks for neighbours, Khao Lak holidays are as much about adventure, as they are the beach.

Rustic charm

When people hark on about Khao Lak, they’re referring to a big chunk of Thailand’s coast, north of Phuket. But these two are chalk and cheese. While Phuket’s dressed to the nines, Khao Lak’s wiped off its make-up – leaving behind greenery and chilled-out beach resorts. Days out are sorted, too. This neck of the jungle – part of the pretty Phang Nga Province – is national park-central.

Contoured coast

Khao Lak’s beaches come under national park territory, so the watersports are on ice. This frees up the waters for swimming and jet-ski-free selfies. Bang Niang’s the busiest of the lot, with biscotti-coloured sands and a street stuffed with diving centres, restaurants and bars. But there are escape-it-all spots dotted all over, too, like the cove cut into the greenery of Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park.

The green and blue

This place is a daytripper’s dream. Chilling off-shore, you’ve got more islands than you can count. You can whizz over to the Similan Islands in an hour and a half for top-notch diving. A bit further away, you can swim with whale sharks in the Surin Islands. Or just stick to dry land and visit Khao Sok National Park – home to elephants, lakes and waterfalls.

At a Glance

  • Go scuba diving in the Similan Islands
  • Nod off on the white sands of Coconut Beach
  • Pick a national park to explore

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