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