Things to do in Khao Lak
Top Tips for Things to do in Khao Lak
Khao Lak is located in Phang Nga province in Southern Thailand and consists of a series of seafront villages predominantly set up to cater towards the tourism industry. Khao means mountain in Thai language so the village is named after Lak mountain to the East of the main village which eventually gives way to Lam Ru National Park and Khao Sok National Park further East.
Khao Lak has become popular over recent years mainly as it serves as a convenient jumping off point for popular scuba diving destinations such as the Similan islands. It is also a short drive from Phuket and so is popular for regular visitors to Phuket wanting to explore a little further afield. Other than tourism, agriculture and commercial fishing also contribute to the economy, however the local economy is predominantly driven by tourist hotels, restaurants, local shops and the scuba diving operations with the majority of visitors coming Europe.
Khao Lak gained notoriety in 2004 as it was devastated by the tsunami on boxing day, however it quickly rebounded and there are few signs of the event today. Khao Lak is quieter than other coastal destinations with a quieter night life thus the clientele is generally a little older than destinations such as Koh Phi Phi and whilst scuba diving in Khao Lak is the #1 activity there are plenty of other activities on offer during your visit so here are our top tips for things to do in Khao Lak.
Scuba diving in Khao lak is the most popular activity for good reason, the world famous Similan islands is a short boat journey away and slightly further afield is Richelieu rock off Mu Koh Surin. Local dive sights include Thai Muang wreck, Sea Chart 1 wreck, and Khao Na Yak reef, all within close proximity to the mainland. The Similan islands are considered my many among the top 10 diving sites in the world, however don’t expect pristine un-spoilt reefs, unfortunately over fishing, pollution and uncontrolled tourism is taking its toll, that said it remains a fantastic place to go scuba diving.
Muay Thai has surged in popularity in the last 20 years and more and more people are choosing to visit Thailand to join a Muay Thai camp to lose weight, get fit and improve their Muay Thai skills. Khao Lak is a popular Muay Thai destination thanks to its proximity to Phuket and for its pleasant town, beaches and restaurants. Combat 360X is one of the leading Muay Thai schools in Khao Lak specializing in Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Fitness / Cross Training and Yoga.
White Water Rafting
Indulge in some adrenaline sports such as white water rafting, which takes place on the Song Phraek river in Phang Nga, a short distance from Khao Lak. With stunning scenery visitors can enjoy grade 2/3 white water along a 5km stretch of river and even indulge in some trekking and elephant trekking the same day.
Visit Khao Sok
Khao Sok is a must on any visit to Khao Lak. Located in Surat Thani province and covering an area of 739 square kilometers, Khao Sok consists of ancient rainforest, believed to be among the oldest in the world, mountains, lakes and rivers. Khao Sok’s rainforest is partly tropical evergreen forest and partly tropical rainforest and is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. Popular excursions include hiking, rafting, and cycling tours to the scenic Cheow Lan Lake. Amazing Bike Tours is one such tour company that specializes in multi day cycling tours of Southern Thailand, including the Khao Sok tour which takes in various attractions between Phuket and Khao Sok.
There are plenty of other things to do in Khao Lak so it’s good to get out and explore the area. Renting a car will open up the wider area for exploration and can be rented from Phuket for reasonable prices. Generally, the tourist numbers will drop substantially just an hour or 2 outside of Khao Lak so be prepared for some language difficulties and always have an open mind when travelling independently.