Khao Lak is a quiet destination best known for its dive sites at Similan Islands, relaxed atmosphere, long beaches and beautiful scenery- only 1 hour north from Phuket International Airport. The beauty of Khao Lak best reveals itself when approached from the south. The narrow road first winds through the Lamru National Park, and then, as it leads towards Khao Lak centre, it offers an expansive view of an endless stretch of golden sand beaches by the brilliant blue Andaman Sea.
Development has accelerated in recent years and many parts of the area appear to be under construction, but it’s still very easy to get away from it all. Thankfully, local development has remained quite low-key and Khao Lak is so far still a relaxed and natural place.
While the wide and near empty beaches are the main attractions of Khao Lak, it’s also the closest point for trips over to top dive sites: the Similan and Surin Marine National Park islands. Just 2 or 3 hours by big tour boat or 1 hour by speed boat.
Renowned for their marine life, coral gardens and clear waters, the Similan Islands attract many divers and snorkellers on daytrips and liveaboards (closed from 1st May-30st October). Surin is also a fantastic dive destination, and its lush interior is worth exploring on foot as well.
The national parks arround the Khao Lak area are also fantastic places to hike around, take an elephant trek or water rafting trip and enjoy the abundant tropical vegetation, wildlife, waterfalls and streams.