Deserted sands, crystal clear waters and lush jungle life; we love Khao Lak for its untouched beauty. With miles and miles of astonishing beaches, it offers hideaway bliss at its best.
Be at one with Mother Nature and take a refreshing dip in the waters beneath the waterfall at Chong Fa, or spend time at nearby Elephant Hills for a few days away from the beach to meet the giants of the animal world. If you’re keen to soak up some culture during your Thailand trip, why not rub shoulders with the locals and practice your bartering skills at the Bang Niang night market?
If you’re visiting Khao Lak after a busy city break, perhaps in nearby Bangkok, its luxury landscapes and stunning vistas are sure to offer the perfect contrast. A holiday in Khao Lak is like being tucked away into your own corner of paradise.
Khao Lak’s dry season (November to February) overlaps with its hot season (March to May). The dry months see pleasant temperatures and little rain, while the hot months experience soaring heat and humidity with occasional showers.
We love jetting off to Khao Lak from November to February, escaping the cold weather at home for sunny skies and calm blue seas. The water is clearer at this time of year too, perfect for scuba diving and snorkelling.
The months of May to October see a mix of sunny days and rain showers. June and July tend to be milder, with heavier downpours in August and September. Khao Lak often experiences afternoon showers with sunny intervals in between.View all hotels in Khao Lak
Although you’ll encounter plenty of Southern style Thai cooking, such as red, green and yellow curries with a coconut milk base, the Khao Lak area has chefs from all over the country who have brought their own twists to the fresh, local ingredients on offer here.
The big draw of Khao Lak is its coastal location. Enjoying a spot of dinner as the sun sets is one of the most enticing experiences here, and there are many excellent eateries for this.
Beach Restaurant and Bar in Bang Niang serves up giant prawns, tom yum soup and many types of fresh fish for those looking for a full dining out experience. There are also a number of romantic, Thai-themed restaurants towards the end of the beach.
If it’s a seafood barbeque you’re after — which are popular in Thailand — consider Sala restaurant or Khao Lak Seafood in Nang Thong. Pick your fish of choice and devour it with the help of a selection of dipping sauces.
Instead of just eating the delicious Thai food on offer, it’s a great idea to learn how to cook it so you can continue to enjoy it after you return home. Whip up a spicy noodle dish or create a deeply flavoured broth at Ta-Krai restaurant at the JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort and Spa. Chef Jimmy, at Case de la Flora, can also teach you to make the perfect pad Thai. Cooking classes are popular in Thai resorts so you can come home with a new skill.
Pop-up vendors are not as abundant in Khao Lak as some other parts of Thailand, but you can still find some excellent, inexpensive fare if you know where to look.
Bang Niang night market
Known by the locals as Food Street, this market area is as close as Khao Lak comes to the type of food market found on every corner in Bangkok. The market has a lot of souvenir and trinket shops, but among them are some vendors serving traditional local fare. Slightly further up the road there’s a second market frequented more by the locals, which is another good place to find authentic food.
These grilled pork skewers are one of the most popular street food dishes throughout Thailand. It is quite often served with a small bowl of sticky rice, which clings to the marinade on the meat, and can be easily eaten as you wander around the markets.
Many regard Thai basil chicken to be the ultimate of all street food. The Thai basil adds a touch of sweetness to the dish, which can also be made with other kinds of meat or fish. The finishing touch is a friend egg on top, which brings the whole thing to another level.
Khao Lak is best known as a beach destination, with many visitors also looking to go diving or snorkelling at the underwater hotspots here. However, there’s also wildlife to see on land too, including just an hour north at Khao Sok National Park, where you can see birds, lizards and other indigenous animals on a gentle raft cruise.
Lam Ru National Park
With 1,000-metre high hills, waterfalls, dense forest valleys and beaches, this national park is a fantastic habitat for wildlife. Animals that inhabit the region include drongos, hornbills, tapirs, monkeys and black bears, with several species of butterflies also found in the rainforested areas.
There are a number of different walking options, with round trips taking between two and five hours, depending on how frequently you stop to spot animals.
Khao Lak is one of the most popular regions in Thailand to dive and snorkel. It’s close to a number of exciting dive spots, including the Similan Islands, Koh Bon and Richelieu Rock. Manta rays, whale sharks and many other brightly coloured tropical fish can be spotted here swimming among the reefs and wrecks.