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Our Ultimate Guide to Khao Lak, Thailand

Our Ultimate Guide to Khao Lak, Thailand

Everyone knows that southern Thailand has beaches and island-hopping galore. While the first thing that may come to mind when considering a trip to the south is Phuket, the city’s hustle and bustle may not be everyone’s speed.

Why not take a detour to a quiet town just north of the city? Khao Lak is a peaceful haven for enjoying the sun, sand, and waves, without dealing with big city woes. This is our guide to the things you absolutely shouldn’t miss while down in Khao Lak!

Time Zone

Indochina Time (GMT+7)

The Best Time to Visit Khao Lak

Seasons in Khao Lak are pretty simple. It’s either rainy and humid, or hot and sunny. It’s all about the sweet spot, and that’s between December to March. During these months, the weather stabilizes to a sunny 27°C/80°F with minimal rainfall.

Things to Know

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: Thai

Calling Code: +66

How to Get Around in Khao Lak

Songthaew: These repurposed pick-ups are the main form of public transport around Khao Lak. Expect to pay 20 THB for most trips.

Taxi: Although more expensive than songthaews, taxis have undeniable convenience when going from point to point on demand in town. Fare is usually 100 THB. Some drivers also offer whole-day services with negotiable prices.

Bicycle: If you’re just getting around the vicinity of your accommodation, going on bike isn’t a bad idea. Renting one out for a whole day’s use costs around 100 THB. Some hotels lend bikes out to their guests free of charge, too.

Where to Stay in Khao Lak

Theppahrak Hostel Khaolak

Theppahrak Hostel Khaolak

Address: 68/13 Khaolak moo5 Khukkhak Khao Lak Takua Pa District, 82220, Thailand

Phone: +66916989456

Pricing: ฿฿฿

Book Now 

Basically next door to Bang Niang Market, as well as walking distance to Nang Thong Beach, Theppahrak Hostel is a great value pick for Khao Lak accommodations.

It checks all the boxes for backpackers that need a place to stay, but also offers bonus amenities like free wifi, bike rentals, and airport transfers. All in all, you won’t be left wanting for more with this hostel.

The Retreat Khaolak Resort

The Retreat Khaolak Resort

Address: P722+285, Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82190, Thailand

Phone: +66856556886

Pricing: ฿฿฿

Book Now

Located at the heart of the region, The Retreat Khaolak is an underrated resort that gives you the modern hotel experience for the cost of not that much more than a hostel.

The Retreat perfectly hits the sweet spot between modern tastes and cozy vibes, and will fit perfectly in your Instagram feed. Expect great views from the rooms’ balconies, too!

Apsara Beachfront Resort & Villa

Address: 45 Moo 2 Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82220, Thailand

Phone: +6676584444

Pricing: ฿฿฿

Book Now

A place to stay on the beachfront that isn’t eye-wateringly expensive? That’s exactly what Aspara is. Away from the busier beaches of Khao Lak, this resort offers a truly peaceful place to stay by the beach.

Expect some beautiful sunrises right at the property’s doorstep. Nighttimes are just as exciting at the resort’s restobar, too. This is the perfect secret spot on Khao Lak for occasions like an intimate getaway with your significant other.

What to Do in Khao Lak

Relax at Nang Thong Beach

Address: 91 Phetkasem Road Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82190, Thailand

Probably the most popular beach in the area, Nang Thong completes the picturesque sunsets you can catch from any beachfront in Khao Lak with an assortment of beachside bars and restaurants.

Our local friends pointed out to us that while the main area can be tourist-y for some, a five-minute walk to the north end of the beach brings you to a more peaceful part of the beach for you to relax in.

Explore the Khao Lak – Lam Ru National Park

Address: Moo 7 Petchkasem Rd, Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82210, Thailand

Phone: +6676485243


Got time for a day trip just south of Khao Lak? The Khao Lak – Lam Ru National Park is 125 km² of protected nature, featuring beaches, waterfalls, and rainforest for adventurous nature lovers to explore.

Dive In at Similan Island

Address: Lam Kaen, Phang-nga, Thailand

Another option for a day trip to a national park, this time to a remote set of islands with beautiful rock formations, pristine white sand, and diverse ecosystems.

Join an organized tour to go through all the best snorkeling and scuba spots. Similan is actually a great place for beginners to get into all sorts of water sports, so don’t miss this if you’ve been wanting to try it out.

Check the Scenery from Khao Lak Phu View Restaurant

Address: Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82190, Thailand

Phone: +66878955891


Among the great places to dine in town, Khao Lak Phu View stands out as one that offers a great view of the area, including the coastline and out into the sea. Enjoy some great Thai fusion and look out into the sunset at this unique restaurant.

Learn from Riverside Thai Cooking

Address: 28/1, Khao Lak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82220, Thailand

Phone: +66819637243


If you’re looking to take something home from Khao Lak, why not bring back a new set of skills to remind you of your journey? 

Riverside Thai Cooking offers travelers looking to go on an in-depth culinary adventure an opportunity to do just that.

Classes instructed by Chef Apple, a well-known chef among the locals, are small-group sessions that take you from the market to the kitchen and dining table. It’s a fun and practical experience that’s well worth the effort.

Walk the Streets of Takua Pa

Address: R9H7+RX2, Thanon Sri Takuapa, Takua Pa, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82110, Thailand

Some old towns are only called that by name, but not Takua Pa. A quiet place just outside the main Khao Lak area, these streets have preserved the Sino-Portuguese architecture from the 1900s that makes it so unique.

If you’re passing by it going to or coming from Khao Lak, it’s worth the detour to enjoy a slow-paced afternoon in this quiet town.

Shop at Bang Niang Market

Address: Petchkasem Rd, Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82220, Thailand


No trip to any part of Thailand is complete without a market visit, at night or otherwise! In Khao Lak, Bang Niang is the place to go for your shopping needs. Enjoy the great deals on locally-made handicrafts while enjoying some authentic street food here.

Pay Respects at International Tsunami Museum

Address: 47 Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82190, Thailand

Phone: +66888168111

Although Khao Lak is a thriving tropical town today, it was ravaged by a tsunami back in 2004. The International Tsunami Museum was created to remember those that were affected by the tragedy.

One of the lasting monuments to the tsunami is the patrol boat washed up a kilometer into the mainland, which has been preserved where it was found. You can also learn about other local stories from the tragedy here, as well as pay respects to the affected.

Play a few rounds of mini golf

Address: 16/11 Chong Fah Water Fall Road, Bang Niang Beach, Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82190, Thailand

Phone: +6676490692


If you’re looking for a change of pace after the beaches and islands, check out Khao Lak Mini Golf. It’s not just any mini golf course, though – the area is themed after a jungle ruin, taking you through all sorts of adventures across 18 holes!

Aside from the course, you can also take on their newly-opened labyrinth. Take a leisurely stroll through the maze to admire the flora, or race against the clock to set a new time record. Either way, there’s lots of fun for all ages to be had!

Check out the Turtle Heaven

Address: C69R+XWP, Thai Mueang, Thai Mueang District, Phang-nga 82120, Thailand

Phone: +6676490787

Speaking of fun for all ages, there’s nothing quite like seeing some rare animals, especially for kids. Come down to the Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Center (aka Turtle Heaven) to see and learn about the local wildlife!

Open year-round, it’s a safe environment for both travelers as well as the wildlife, and makes for a great learning experience for the little ones you might be bringing along on your journey.

What to Expect from Khao Lak Weather

What to Expect from Khao Lak Weather

December to March: The sweet spot when it comes to Khao Lak weather. Rainfall is minimal, and humidity isn’t crazy. Perfect for a day out at the beach!

April to July: Rain starts to pick up around this time, but not enough to cool things down – the increased humidity actually makes things feel stuffier. April can be especially annoying, since that’s when temperatures peak above 33°C/91°F.

August to November: While the temperature is at its coolest here (just 24°C/75°F!) the weather is almost certain to rain on your parade. September stands out in particular – it rains basically every day!

Apps to Download for a Trip to Khao Lak

Google Translate: Text translation with offline capabilities
iOs | Android

Google Maps:Highly reliable map app for navigation, comes with offline route saving capabilities
iOs | Android

LINE: Highly popular free messaging app in Thailand
iOs | Android

Eatigo: Restaurant table reservation and discount finder app
iOs | Android

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