Are you planning to enjoy your well deserved holiday in Khao Lak? Maybe you have a flight ticket in your pocket or you are already here! If so, you may want to know what you can do in and around Khao Lak. Because knowing the best beaches, waterfalls, islands, national parks and all the other goodness of this wonderful place will enrich your holiday!
Let us know what you think in the comments below and feel free to shoot us a message!
#1 Visit the best beaches of Khao Lak
What’s special about it?
People coming to Khao Lak usually come for the beautiful white sand beaches and the relatively quiet and stretched out places. Because the beaches in and around Khao Lak are yet unspoiled and you won’t find any jet skis or banana boats here.
Khao Lak has a long stretch of beaches. With a length of about 40 kilometers you can have a nice long walk without seeing a soul. Best of all, on most of the beaches, the sun sets beautifully on the horizon giving spectacular views. Therefore, making Khao lak beaches perfect for romantic dining, long undisturbed walks, relaxing on any of the quiet parts, restaurant and bar hopping, and going for a swim!
What’s unique about the beaches in Khao Lak is that they are very diverse. Each one of them has unique traits. In other words, Khao Lak’s beaches won’t dissapoint.
Khao Lak and Nang Tong beach
Starting off with the beaches in Khao Lak center, where you will find most tourists, restaurants and bars and the nearby Nang Thong Supermarket. The beach is a nice stretch with occasionally some boulders which adds to the view. Because it’s closes to the actual center of Khao Lak, it’s the beach with most attractions and tourists. But it’s the ideal beach for a beautiful sunset photoshoot because, there is a small lighthouse in the water, surrounded by rocks, and the sun sets straight down on the horizon… imagine the shots!
Coconut and White Sand Beach
If you want a white sand powder-like beach without too many tourists, go for Coconut Beach and White Sand Beach (they are next to each other) just 15 minutes by taxi or motorbike, north of Khao Lak center. White Sand Beach is also the only beach with big trees hanging over the beach, therefore providing a lot of space for you to lay back and enjoy yout time in the cooling shade.
Surrounding the beach are a few restaurants where you can have great food and fruit shakes. But, we like to do a picnic here! For instance, buy some amazing barbequed chicken, pork and fresh papaya salad from a local stand on the mainroad on the way to the beach and you’ll have a great picnic! Usually the street food is safe to eat, just be careful if your stomach is still adjusting or a bit upset.
Bang Sak Beach
If you want a beautiful long beach with cheap but amazing local food without tourists, go for Bang Sak Beach which is 20 minutes north of Khao Lak center. It’s a long stretch of white sand with here and there some boulders. There are many tall trees providing shade to have picnics. Therefore, in the weekend, you will see many locals sitting here enjoying their day off. Many believe this is the most beautiful and unspoiled beach of them all. But you will have to find out for yourself!
#2 The most beautiful islands around Khao Lak
Besides white powdered beaches, Khao Lak is a great destination to do a tour to one of the many tropical islands.
The stars of the Andaman Sea are the Similan Islands. This group of islands are well-known for the wonders that await you in the clear blue waters surrounding the islands. That’s why they are a hotspot for divers and snorkelers and a day tour to the Similan islands will not disappoint you!
The variety of marine life is impressive, listing amazing species such as: Manta rays (March-May), a variety of sharks, sea turtles, giant barracuda, cuttlefish, octopus, seahorses (rare), sea snakes, triggerfish and much more!
Visit this marine paradise with our specially designed snorkelers must-do Similan Islands tour, check it out here.
The Surin Islands are a dream location for snorkelers and rated one of the best places to observe sea turtles. For snorkelers it’s maybe even a better choice than the Similan Islands. Surin National Park has 5 beautiful islands and are located approximately 90km north-west of Khao Lak. The coral reefs are shallow and the beaches are silky white. If you love the movie Nemo, you won’t be disappointed. Because one of the reefs is named “Nemo reef” where you will find many of his cousins! A tour to this beautiful place is ideal for families and people who don’t like the “deep blue”, as most of the snorkeling spots are shallow and safely to swim.
We are happy to help you out with a tour if you are thinking about going. Go check out our popular Surin Islands tour details here.
Phang Nga Bay “James Bond Island”
The famous James Bond movie ‘The man with the golden gun’ made Phang Nga Bay internationally famous for the must-see distinctive limestone rock named ‘James Bond Island’.
Phang Nga Bay has a beautiful scenery that is best experienced by a leisurely boat trip tour around the dramatic limestone islands. Most of the tours to this hotspot include a lunch at the fishing village on the island ‘Koh Panyee’. This remarkable village is built on the shallow waters surrounding the giant island. It’s unsure how many wooden and concrete piles hold up the entire village. It’s quite an impressive piece of informal engineering. Nowadays, half of the village is in service of tourism with many fresh seafood restaurants and handicraft shops. The other half is loyal to the Thai fishing profession. You will have quite a remarkable day on a boat with a beautiful scenery and experience some Thai culture. Check out our James Bond Island day tour here.
Phi Phi Islands
When people talk about the islands of Thailand, Phi Phi islands are usually rocking the conversation. The beauty of Phi Phi Islands is breathtaking. It’s love at first sight when you approach these giants with their beautiful bays, beaches and jungles. Even with all the hype around the Phi Phi Islands, they keep their promise of paradise islands. Every photo you take is postcard worthy or more.
The two main islands are Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. Phi Phi Don is the larger inhabited island with beautiful shores. Phi Phi Leh is uninhabited and features stunning bays and beaches, including the world-famous Maya Bay from the movie ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo Di Caprio.
Take our popular day tour to the Phi Phi Islands and come back with an amazing experience to share. Check out the Phi Phi Islands tour program here.
#3 Khao Sok National Park – Jungle and Lake
When people ask us for tour recommendations around Khao Lak, Khao Sok is the first that comes to mind. Khao Sok National Park is an impressive 739 km2 rainforest with an incredible diversity of plants and wildlife. This place is one of our personal favorites and has every right to be on your must-do list.
The park’s main attractions are the huge Khao Sok Lake with iconic limestone hills scattered in every direction, waterfalls accessible by hiking through the jungle, raft houses on the lake if you like to stay a night or two, ancient caves, and a few water streams of which Sok River is the most popular one.
If you want to have a true tropical jungle adventure, bath with elephants or just be one with nature, listen to the sound of wildlife and be surprised by the relaxing, therapeutic effect that Khao Sok National Park protects, you can check out our Khao Sok day tour details here. We have a Jungle Day Tour and a Lake Day Tour, each provide an equally amazing adventurous day.
#4 Jungle Waterfalls
Do you like spectacular waterfalls surrounded by a rainforest? If so, you are in for a treat! Khao Lak is in the ideal location to relatively easily access some beautiful waterfalls. Some smaller waterfalls are just a few minutes away, and some bigger waterfalls are easily reached within 30 to 45 minutes by taxi.
Ton Chong Fa Waterfall
The nearest waterfall from Khao Lak center is the Ton Chong Fa Waterfall. You can take a motorbike or taxi and drive for about 20 minutes (~10 km) to the entrance. It has five levels with different kinds of water flow/falling, and 2 of them are fit to swim in. If you like small fish painlessly, sometimes ticklish, eating away your dead skin cells, you can have it for free here!
But be aware, getting to the waterfall and the different levels can be a challenge. The track is uneven and quite steep at some parts – prepare for a short trek! There is an entrance fee of 200 THB (~6 euro) but it’s worth the experience!
Rainbow (Sai Rung) Waterfall
Also known as Pakweep waterfall, Rainbow waterfall is the easiest to access. It’s situated 15 kilometers north of Khao Lak center. It’s an easy drive, just make sure to turn right on the main road, right after the bridge and the big Beyond Resort sign. From there it’s just 800m until the small “Rainbow Waterfall” sign on the right and another 1,7 km to the waterfall.
A pleasant short walk brings you to the quite charming, narrow but tall, waterfall. Join the small fish in a refreshing swim beneath the waterfall. The surroundings are quite majestical, especially when the sun rays start to find their way through the jungle trees onto the waterfall.
Since not that long ago, there is a 20 THB parking fee on private property, but there is no entrance fee to the waterfall.
Lampi is in our opinion the most beautiful and satisfying waterfall in the area. It’s about 30-40 minutes south of Khao Lak. Look for the Km 33 sign on Highway 4 and take a left.
You can view the gorgeous three-level waterfall from different angles. There is a hanging bridge to view the waterfall from a distance. You can also go down and have a swim in the stream of the waterfall. It won’t be easy to reach the waterfall up close swimming, because the current is quite strong and the water is quite deep the closer you get.
If you look closely into the water, you may spot some bigger fish swimming around. Don’t be afraid, they don’t bite and they won’t allow you to get close before they swim away.
If you are adventurous enough, you can cross the hanging bridge and go for a short trek to the second level and view the waterfall from half-way up. The real daredevils go for a challenging trek to the top of the waterfall. There is no clear path half-way through, and we don’t recommend doing this – it can be quite dangerous.
Do you know other exciting things to do around Khao Lak to share with the community?
Let us know your favorite places in the comments below!
Great article! Easy to read and good insights!
There are also some nice accessible viewpoints in the area with beautiful panorama views. Maybe something for a next post!
Happy to hear you enjoyed it and thanks for the tip! We will make sure to map the beautiful viewpoints in a later article.
Enjoyed the read, which reminded me of when I was there in 2014 and 2016. :-)
Thanks for stopping by! Happy to hear you liked it.