Khao Lak – “Mountain by the Sea”

By | June 12, 2013

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Khao Lak may be Located only some 80kms (48 miles) north of Phuket International Airport, but it is a million miles away from the “bright lights” reputation thats its illustrious neigbour harbors.

Khao Lak remains one of the few naturally beautiful areas that has not come under siege from the relentless development that has taken place throughout the rest of Thailand over the last decade.

Phang Nga province of which Khao Lak is part has it all, stunning mountainous ranges, dense jungles, mango-swamplands,waterfalls & endless pristine white beaches with crystal clear seas!, its name means literally “mountain by the sea”.

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The province has a 240 kilometer (150 miles) long coastline that faces the Andaman Sea & stretches from Krabi Province in the south, taking in the world famous “James Bond Island” past Phuket & finishes where it meets the southernmost tip of Myanmar(Burma). Located some 780 kms (475 miles) south of Bangkok ,Khao Lak enjoys a quiet, laidback lifestyle, reminiscent of Koh Samui before mass tourism discovered it!.

Its diverse topography attracts a broad base of visitors made up of trekkers, backpackers,beachcombers, diving enthusiasts & “get away from it all” types!, most of whom have already visited the more commercialised areas of the south, but are striving for a little more solitude.

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Hat Khao Lak is the name of the main beach which is around 8kms (5 miles) long, this beach is plit up into three smaller beaches these being Sunset Beach to the south, Nang Thong Beach in the the middle & Bang Niang Beach to the north. The main Khao Lak Resorts are located discreetly close by each of the three beaches.

These beaches were the worst hit during the 2004 Tsunami that devastated large areas of the Andaman Sea coastline of southern Thailand.The size of the waves that struck large areas of Khao Lak were estimated at between 6-10 meters (18-30 feet) creating total devastation to not only the coastline, but also to the International resorts located close by.

The coastal town of Khao Lak has slowly recovered and everything is now once more back to normal. More than ever, the beautiful resorts and hotels are better and have added more facilities to the discerning tourists. For safety measures, an alarm system has been installed in the Andaman Sea to warn the coast of any future possible tsunami’s. 

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Large areas of Phang Nga province are covered by the three National Parks of Khao Lak–Lam Ru National Park, Si Phang-Nga National Park and the Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park these are all perfect grounds for elephant trekking, nature trekking, mangrove canoeing, bamboo rafting and more.

You can also visit the 45 meter high Waterfall at Namtok Tok Toei. There are also other lesser waterfalls with each one having its own unique appeal.

Then there are the famed hot springs at Ban Bo Dan whose mineral water are said to relieve rheumatism, stress and even improves hair and complexion!.

Off the Khao Lak coastline are the Similan Islands ,a group of nine small islands. This group of islands are now a national park and highly accessible from the mainland about 70 kilometers away by boat. The waters around the Similan Islands are of world renown boasting some of the most beautiful coral reefs & colorful marine life, this makes the islands a haven for scuba-divers & snorkelling enthusiasts the world over.

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As with the rest of Thailand, Khao Lak has its fair share of temples and shrines. Wat Suwannakhuha is the most famous ,this is mainly because within the temple’s boundary is a mountain that contains caves. Located inside the caves are numerous images of the Lord Buddha including an enormous reclining Buddha located there, the complete length of the cave walls is decorated with ceramic tiles dating back many centuries.

If you have already planned a trip to Phuket area, and have a day or two spare, a visit to Khao Lak & the Similan Islands are highly recommended.

Getting to Khao Lak is easy its about an hours drive from Phuket or an overnight bus ride from Bangkok.

If you have already visited Khao Lak, please share your Favourite Memories of both the area & your Thailand holiday here, we would love to hear from you!.