Thailand is a country of extravagant temples, beaches, mountains, islands and lush vegetation. Within its borders, set to the west, you will discover Khao Lak – an area where several beaches decorate the coastline. For those who don’t know much about this part of Thailand, we’ve put together a quick taster guide detailing how to get there, what to see and do, and what to eat.

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  • How to get to Khao Lak: Visitors usually access Khao Lak from Phuket International Airport. Taxis and hotel shuttles are available and the journey will take around one hour by road, following Highway 4. Khao Lak is also easy to get to from Krabi, which is just two and a half hours away by car. Stepping away from the typical hotspotsof many regular Thailand holidays, people generally choose Khao Lak for its chilled out vibe.
  • Things to see and do in Khao Lak: Khao Lak is a bit quieter than Thailand’s larger resorts, making it a blissful retreat for those who want to escape the more commercialized parts of the country. Here are some of the activities you can expect…
  • Relaxing beaches: Beaches are one of the main reasons travelers journey to Khao Lak, and a local favorite is Pak Weep. This stretch of soft sand is perfect for anybody who wants to comb for shells, or take a stroll. The water can be a little rough during rainy season, so be aware if you decide to go swimming. Thailand is famous for massages and this is a lovely relaxing activity available close to the beach. Once you’ve had enough time in the sun, book yourself into one of the beachside massage huts.
  • 16964389292_ddd097c6c1_zScuba diving and snorkeling: Scuba diving and snorkeling trips are offered to famed places like the Similan Islands, which lie close to Khao Lak. It’s possible to see everything from mantas to small reef and leopard sharks, plus cute sea horses! Local guides are very knowledgeable and you can sometimes do your training course during the excursion. The islands themselves are interesting too, with massive rock formations, wildlife and beautiful beaches to explore. If you catch a speedboat make sure you take anti-nausea tablets, as the waves can be quite choppy here!
  • Cycling and hiking: Adventurous travelers can enjoy cycling or walking around Khao Lak, which is also part of a National Park called Khao Lak-Lam Ru. Head through mysterious forests and up steep ascents, taking in the magnificent surroundings. One of the highlights here is the waterfalls – with Chong Fah being the closest to the town itself. There are plenty of guided tours for those who don’t feel comfortable making their own way across the terrain.
  • Eating out in Khao Lak: Seafood is one of the staples of life in Khao Lak, so you have to try some fish or shellfish if you stay here. Sample some of the flavors at Khao Lak Seafood Family House, which has earned rave reviews and serves up dishes like fish steamed in banana leaves, pad Thai and a variety of curries. Krua Rim Tang is another restaurant that is particularly good for families. Thai cookery courses are offered in Khao Lak too, if you fancy trying your hand at creating some classic dishes.Teachers usually take you to the local food markets too – an experience in itself!

If you decide to visit southwest Thailand, don’t miss the beauty of Khao Lak. Still looking for inspiration? Check out this post about off the beaten path travel in Thailand.

Images by Dan Costin and Reinhard Link used under CC License 2.0

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