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Khao Lak



Tropical paradise

Khao Lak is a seaside resort in Thailand, located 80 km north of Phuket International Airport in Takua Pa district, Phang Nga province and popular as a departure point for liveaboard scuba diving trips to the Similan Islands. The pristine coastline is synonymous with beauty. Nearby rubber and palm plantations dot the coastal region and most nearby inland areas. The major national Highway 4 runs north and south and mostly parallel to the coastline. Khao Lak is a thriving tourist destination for backpackers, up-scale tourists, adventure tourists and seasoned scuba enthusiasts. Local peoples are mostly Thai often with some Chinese ancestry. The diversity of ethnic groups and cultural influences within and surrounding Khao Lak makes this region rich in agricultural, fishing and dry good products. Tourism is Khao Lak's revenue generating entity, becoming Thailand's most popular jumping-off point for the world renowned Similan Islands.

The name KhaoLak literally means lak mountain . Lak mountain is one of the main peaks in the hilly small mountainous region (maximum height 1,050 meters) within the Khao Lak Lam Ru national park. It has now simply come to be known as 'the mountain beside the sea'. There is a shrine of Chao Pho Khao Lak dedicated to the wizard of the mountain.

Hat Khao Lak ( KhaoLak beach ) is an exceptionally pretty and long (several kilometers) stretch of pristine sand picturesquely studded with granite boulders. It actually comprises of three individual beaches, and at the far northern end there is a network of sandy beach trails, some of which lead to completely deserted stretches.

Khao Lak offers relaxation, tranquility and charm in a splendid unspoilt environment on the beautiful Andaman coastline surrounded by National Park forest. It is also ideally situated to provide visits to numerous points of interest and natural attractions, including several Marine and Land based National Parks, not only in Phang-Nga province but also in neighborhood Surat Thani and Ranong Provinces.

Khaolak is named after the national park (Khao Lak-Lam Ru). The park was declared a national park in August 1991. It occupies a vast area of 150 and covers Amphoe Thai Muang, Amphoe Kapong, Amphoe Takua Pa and Amphoe Muang. Khao Lak is becoming increasingly popular, mainly with European visitors. It's easy to reach, quite and, as yet, not overdeveloped. It is something like Phuket's past 20 years. You can walk northward along the sadn for many kilometres, almost as far as Bang Sak beach.

Most larger hotels will run a shuttle bus service into Bang La On, often described as Khao Lak ‘centre’ although these may be at limited times and may be chargeable. There are plenty of taxis as an alternative. Bang La On is about 20 minutes by shuttle or taxi from, for example, The Sarojin.

Bang La On has the most shops, bars restaurants and banks. There are also many ATM machines. Bang Niang is smaller, but still has a good selection. You will find the majority of visitors to Bang Niang are couples whereas at Bang La On it’s mainly families. Khuk Khak is still quite small with a handful of restaurants and a few shops. In the High Season all of the restaurants will be open including a wide range of both independent and hotel based beachfront restaurants.

In Bang Niang there is a large range of accommodation from the 4.5 star Ramada to bungalow resorts like The Sanuk Bungalows. In Bang La On the accommodation is primarily 3 to 4 star, for example, the Baan Khao Lak on Nang Thong Beach and The Paradise on Sunset Beach, the next beach going south. Just south of Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park there is Khao Lak beach which has the popular Merlin Resort and the relatively new boutique Lukanawadee resort.


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