Things to do in Khao Lak: Attractions and places to visit

Khao Lak Beach (J)  [flickr.com]  CC BY-SA 
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Khao Lak is still something of an insider’s tip, as the big tour operators and the majority of tourists are mainly on Phuket. Eighty kilometres north of Phuket lies a true Thai paradise, which inspires with breathtaking beauty and a very relaxed atmosphere.

The Khao Lak region is an area that stretches over 25 kilometres along the Andaman Sea and is home to several national parks. Some of these places have retained the charm of earlier days – others are more lively. But the next dream beach is always within reach.

In the following we present you the most exciting tours, the most beautiful attractions and the best sights in Khao Lak.

Khao Lak view (Kullez)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
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Thailand - Khao Lak Beach (Reinhard Link)  [flickr.com]  CC BY-SA 
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1. White Sand Beach

White Sand Beach has a special status among the dream beaches of Khao Lak. The locals call this beauty on their doorstep Ao Thong Beach, but because the sand here is whiter and more powdery than elsewhere, the name White Sand Beach has become established and describes one of the most beautiful sights of Khao Lak.

If one does not visit this beach section exactly on one of the Thai holidays, it presents itself almost always as good as deserted. Coconut trees provide shade and the authentic restaurants and beach bars have a good reputation. Those who are enthusiastic about longer walks in the white sand will inevitably reach the adjacent Pak Weeb Beach.

2. Lam Ru National Park

Ancient trees characterize the image of the Lam Ru National Park, which extends over an area of 125 square kilometers in the south of Khao Lak City and invites you to interesting hikes along the paths in the jungle. Giant ferns, wild bananas, bamboo and climbing plants form the exotic backdrop in the park.

With a little luck, one sees an iguana there, and if one does not see the primates in the crowns of the trees, one will at least perceive them acoustically. The “Nature Trail” to the romantic Had Lek Beach is only one kilometre long. If you want to hike him, you should have sturdy shoes.

3. Bang Niang Night Market

Three days a week, the Bang Niang Night Market is a hive of activity: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. However one should not take the word “night market” literally, because already at nightfall at 18 o’clock all goods are cleared there. The market is located on Phetkasem Road, in the immediate vicinity of a tsunami memorial.

Vegetables, fruit, fish and meat pile up at the stands under the open sky. But also objects of craftsmanship and clothing. If you’re tired of trading, you can enjoy a culinary treat in one of the numerous cooks, or refresh yourself with cold drinks in one of the bars on the edge of the lively market. A visit to Bang Niang is one of the attractions of this region.

4. Wat Khuk Khak

The temple complex Wat Khuk Khak presents itself as a jewel in the exotic green. The excursion to Khuk Khak with its eight kilometres of beach is worth a visit alone and makes the place an important sight in Khao Lak. The visit of the small temple Wat Khuk Khak is also recommended.

Colourful Buddha statues point the way to the temple along an access road. Particularly striking is the bell tower, the size of which competes with the trees of the neighbourhood. Khuk Khak is a young city and consists of seven smaller communities. During a stroll through the village, visitors often encounter monks from the nearby temple.

5. Excursion to Similan Island

The Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea consist of nine beautiful islands. As a national park they are all under the protection of the Thai Navy. Three of these nine islands are closed to visitors because there are breeding stations for sea turtles. The Similan Islands are located about fifty kilometres from the mainland, where boats depart for day trips from Tap Lamu Harbour not far from Khao Lak. The National Park is only open in the months between October and May.

This chain of islands is a real paradise for divers, as the sea is so clear there that the visibility under water is almost always around thirty metres. The spectacular diving areas with tunnel systems and overhangs are called Deep Six, Christmas Point, Elephant Head Rock and North Point. The beaches of the Similan Islands are picturesque, rarely crowded and are among the sights in the area of Khao Lak.

6. Big Buddha of Bang Sai

With donations from the population an impressive statue is financed in the surroundings of Khao Lak. On the road to Sai Rung stands the golden “Big Buddha”, officially named Wat Samnak Song Dok Daeng.

A steep staircase leads to him. The impressive statue is a popular photo motive of the visitors and counts to the popular sights of the region Khao Lak. However, out of respect for the locals, please refrain from taking silly snapshots with your tongue outstretched or misleading poses.

7. Sai Rung Waterfall

From a height of a total of sixty metres, the water masses of Sai Rung plunge into the abyss. You get here on the road to Takua Pak as well as on smaller side roads. The waterfall is a popular destination for Thai families, as it flows into a small lake, which invites to a cool bath.

But it is above all the scenic attractions of the surroundings with their green jungle that make a visit to the Sai Rung waterfall so attractive. Sai Rung is still an insider tip with tourists and therefore makes it into the list of our TOP sights in Khao Lak.

8. Andaman Viewpoint

The viewpoint is relatively easy to find from Khao Lak. The road junction is only a few metres from the Sarasin Bridge. The target is well signposted. From the Andaman Viewpoint, visitors are rewarded for the effort of their journey with a 360-degree panoramic view.

At the top there is also a good restaurant with a swimming pool. Especially in the afternoon an excursion to the Andaman Viewpoint is worthwhile, as then the best visibility conditions prevail. On the small viewing platform there is now also a telescope to see even more details.

9. Ton Chong Fa Waterfall

The chirping of the birds is the background music to the sound of the Ton Chong Fa waterfall in the interesting Lam Ru National Park. The Ton Chong Fa waterfall lets the cool water fall over several cascades twenty meters into the depth.

The Bang Niang Canal feeds this photogenic natural event in the middle of a lush rainforest with an interesting flora. In the main pool of the waterfall you can take a refreshing dip.

10. Ban Nam Khem Tsunami Memorial

The visit of the Ban Nam Khem Tsunami Memorial brings back the memory of one of the biggest natural disasters in Thailand. At the same time, this memorial is one of the sights of the region. Ban Nam Khem is located some twenty kilometres north of Khao Lak and is one of the regions most severely affected by the 2004 tsunami.

Here about one thousand people died tragically. The centre of the Memorial is a fishing boat that has been washed far into the interior of the country by the sea. With his back to the sea, a golden Buddha sits there and seems to watch over the names on the plaque. Even if it is not a place of joy, it is a dignified memorial with lots of information about the misfortune.

More things to do and activities for your Khao Lak holiday

Best time to visit Khao Lak

We recommend the following months as best time to travel for exploring the attractions and acivities of Khao Lak:

January, February, March, April, and December

You can find more information about the weather, including all climate data, on our climate page for Khao Lak.

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