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Discovering Khao Lak: Thailand’s Natural Paradise

If you’re one of those people who dreams of visiting Thailand for the first time or you’re planning to revisit it, you’ll probably think of tourist spots commonly known to everyone, such as Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. The places mentioned indeed mesmerizes every traveler. However, somewhere along the busy tourist spots of Thailand hides a gem, a slice of nature waiting to be discovered-Khao Lak.

How to Get There

If you’re interested in going to Khao Lak, do know that it’s just a one-hour drive north of Phuket. To get there, you can easily access the place via cars, buses, and taxis since it’s location is from Phuket to Bangkok’s main road.

For native Thailanders, Khao Lak means Lak Mountain. The famed Lam Ru National Park surrounds the mountain. It’s quite tricky, but there is an actual village called Khao Lak. However, what most people refer to nowadays as Khao Lak is the whole region located several kilometers along the west coast of Thailand.

What to Expect

With its beautifully serene beaches, you’ll never guess that a tsunami hit the natural paradise way back in 2004. Fifteen years after, this village finally moved on from the tragedy and has become a haven for nature-lovers. Now, some small-to-medium, mostly bout Diquey hotels already replaced the bungalows that used to stand still along the back of a long beach.

However, this gem is not the right place for tourists seeking exotic nightlife. Unlike most tourist destinations in Thailand, Khao Lak offers majestic yet not flashy attractions. For the nature-lover, their hearts will soar with its raw beauty. The lovely uncrowded parks, beautiful vast mountains, roads, and beaches shout au naturel.

The 12-kilometer coastline is home to splendid beaches, palm trees, and casuarinas. However, it’s not just the beach! Khao Lak has a national park of waterfalls, tropical forest-covered hills, and rivers and swamps permeating its valleys. Indeed, this is a perfect natural wonder just waiting for you to explore. This place stands opposite to Thailand’s famous diving Similan Islands.

Usually, tourists visit the place from November to April. But you should note that planning to visit the area by December and January can be expensive since it’s a peak season. If you’re opting to your diving and accommodation packages for the Similans, Koh Bon and Richelieu Rock, you have to book it in advance.

Why You Should Visit From February to April

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Here’s a simple tip: If you want to visit Khao Lak with fewer tourists, it’s best to book your vacation from February to April. Not only will it make you feel that you own a beautiful place, but you will also get better value-for-money in terms of accommodation. If you book your tour by that time, good weather and a calm sea await you.

During these months, fewer people visit the Khaolak and Similan Islands’ dive sites. Hence, you can maximize your stay and get the chance to do some diving with local dive centers and have a glimpse of whale sharks and manta rays through the Similan liveaboards.

Things To Do

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A vacation will be pointless if you’ll stay in your hotel room for your entire stay. This place offers various activities that can divert your focus from your busy schedule to a wholesome adventure.

1. Diving

For the adventure-seeker, diving is an excellent way to go. There are numerous local dive sites nearby, but most people opt for Similan and Surin Islands. However, going for a liveaboard is a must-try to get a unique and unforgettable trip.

2. Snorkeling

Scuba divers favor Khao Lak because of its beautiful coral reefs and magnificent white-sand beaches. There are numerous snorkeling experiences offered on Similan Island. People who visit the place describes it as perfect, leaving its visitors with a beautiful experience.

3. Trekking

Various tours offer elephant trekking. You should know that it’s normal for Thailanders to provide this kind of packages. However, if you’re a bit sad about this, other tours don’t require you to ride an elephant, but you can still enjoy the jungle scenery. You can also visit some nearby parks that highlight natural rainforests.

4. White Water Rafting

If you’re seeking for adventure and thrill, white water rafting in the Phang Na region is for you! Enjoy the beautiful view as you experience one of the ultimate adventures of your life!

5. Night Market

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If you’re a foodie, Thailand can offer you hearty meals you will never forget. Hence, you must get to try Thailand cuisine by dropping by a large open-aired night market such as Bang Niang Market. The sugarcane juice, fresh coconut drinks, and Thai desserts you can find in this night market are all a must-try! Not only that, but you can also try the crickets and scorpions if you’re looking for a bit of an adventure! Without the scorching heat of the sun, you’ll be assured to enjoy the marketplace, even at night. 

6. Canoe Tour

For you to enjoy the au naturel beauty of Khao Lak, a canoe tour is a right choice. Through canoeing, you can get glimpses of the beauty Khao Lak can offer while you’re floating around the village.

7. Waterfalls

Khao Lak is a home for diverse and impressive waterfalls. The nearest waterfall in Khao Lak is the Tong Chong Fa waterfall. Unwind and enjoy to your heart’s content as you savor the beauty of these natural resources.

8. International Tsunami Museum

Aside from the natural resources Khao Lak offers, it’s also a place that empowers history and culture. The International Tsunami Museum will retell the stories of the past tsunamis in the area through compelling images and other media forms.

9. Enjoy the Beaches

Khao Lak boasts one of the most scenic and longest beaches in Thailand, according to Islander. With its reputation for raw beauty, this is a paradise of crystal-clear water and white sand beaches. From Coconut Beach, which is true to its name since it’s beautifully surrounded by palm trees; to Pak Weeb Beach Slow that grants you relaxed waves lap onto the white sand shores from clear blue ocean waters; to Khun Khok Beach with its fresh and salty air; and many other beaches left unmentioned. 

Final Thoughts

There are still other activities and places left unsaid, and as a traveler, it’s your task to discover them. Truly, Khao Lak is Thailand’s natural paradise. It’s a place where you can forget all your troubles and worries, and enjoy how beautiful life could be.