Thailand’s southwest coastline isn’t short of knock-out beach scenes. But deserted sands and a ban on over-development set Khao Lak apart. Three world-class national parks and 20 kilometres of powdery white beaches are the main draw here, but the lack of crowds is a close second. If it’s Thailand’s serene side you’re after, this is where to find it.
Just off Thailand’s southwest coast, Phuket is heaving with 40 kilometres of beaches that bear the country’s trademark white sands and hammock-strung palms. But that’s about the only thing these sandy stretches have in common – in terms of their vibe, they couldn’t be more different.