Khao Lak Information
• Name in Thai language: เขาหลัก
• Meaning in Thai Language: "The anchored mountain"
• Distance to Phuket: 80 kilometers or 50 miles
• Located in the district of: (Amphoe) Takua Pa
• Located in the province of: (Changwat) Phang Nga
First, we wish you a warm welcome to our online guide about Khao Lak! We hope that we can answer your questions and if you are looking for affordable accommodation, you'll find our popular and secure hotel reservation here
Khao Lak is situated in the province of Phang Nga next to the Andaman Sea, about 80 kilometers north of Phuket and the airport there (Phuket International Airport). You will pass several beaches and villages along the way from Phuket to Takua Pa: Thai Muang, Khao Lak Beach, Nang Thong, Bang Niang and Bangsak.
Nang Thong and Bang Niang are the most popular beaches in the area and it is also where most hotels are located. Here you'll also find the best shopping and the largest number of restaurants in the area.
The easiest way to go here is by bus or minibus from Phuket, Krabi and Bangkok. Once in place, there are many so-called songtaew (pick up taxi) that allows you to easily move from your hotel to various attractions, beaches and restaurants, etc. The price for going with such taxi is normally 80-200 baht depending on the distance, number of passengers and time of the day (normally more expensive at night). Negotiate the price before you get on.
Visitors to Khao Lak often also make a visit to the popular "dive and snorkel-islands" Similan and Surin. These can be reached by speedboats from Khao Lak or the Thap Lamu pier (situated 30 minutes from Khao Lak).
Tsunami, Christmas 2004Khao Lak was hit very hard by the tsunami on the morning of Boxing Day 2004. There were a total of about four huge waves that reached 1-3 km into the land area of Khao Lak. Several thousand locals, Burmese migrant workers and tourists lost their lives. Bhumi Jensen (ภูมิ เจน เซน), grandson of Thailand's king, was one of those who died in Khao Lak on this day of mourning.
Now there are sophisticated monitoring system to alarm at any earthquakes. The knowledge of tsunamis is also enormously greater nowadays. It has been organized safety spots on safe ground where people will gather in safety, in the event of a similar event. A tsunami "museum" is now centrally located in Khao Lak, near the now world-famous police boat that was transported two kilometers up by the tsunami waves. This police boat has become something of a symbol and a memorial memory to the event.
We would like to express our sincere condolences to all those affected by this incredibly horrible event, on Christmas 2004.
Similan IslandsThe area was recognized as a marine national park in 1982 and is still largely unexploited. This group of islands and islets are situated 2-3 hours from Phang-Nga by motorboat, or more than twice the time with a slow boat from Phuket.
The waters surrounding the island are considered as some of the best dive areas in the world, offering a very clear sight under the surface. You can expect a spectacle of colorful corals and a diversity of fishes if the weather is reasonably good. The diving is considered best at the high season, December to April.
Day trips to the islands for snorkeling are popular, but if you want to dive we recommend you to go on a pure dive trip, to get the best possible diving experience. Diving company's active in Phuket and Phang-Nga offers a number of tours with instructors, for both beginners and the more experienced.
Budget travelers might prefer to go to the Similan islands with boat from the pier at Thap Lamu or Hat Khao Lak. Chartered boat trips are also organized. The cost of the tours varies and depends on the type of boat you want to rent.
Accommodation in tents or simple bungalows are possible on the island of Koh Miang, where the national park headquarters is also located. It is wise to bring a flashlight and mosquito spray if you have the intention to spend the night there.
Surin IslandsSurin islands is located about 60 kilometers of the coast of Phang Nga province. These islands are also well known for offering top class diving and snorkeling. Koh Surin Neua (north island) and Koh Surin Tai (south island) are the best known of these five islands and only a small creek are separating them. You can stay here in a simple bungalow or camp.
The best time to visit the Surin Islands are the period from December to March when the sea is calm. Many people are particularly interested in these islands for the many hiking opportunities offered. A number of trails suitable for walking is found here, especially on the northern island.
You are able to reach the Surin Islands by speedboat from the piers in Phang-Nga, Phuket and Ranong province. From Khao Lak you can go by boat from either shore. Tickets can be bought at local travel agencies and some hotels.
Food and Drinks in Khao LakIn Khao Lak, you will find everything from simple Thai street vendors with dishes from 30 baht, the McDonald's fast food (on the main street) to seafood restaurants next to the beach. The last mentioned is in general located in the resorts, but they also allow people from outside.
Nightlife is limited, but there are quite a number of simple beach bars along the Nang Thong, Bang Niang and Khuk Khak Beach. The area around the main road (above the most popular beaches) also offers some smaller bars and restaurants serving everything from fried rice (khao phad) to western styled food.
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