Asia Attractions

Should you visit Khao Lak? Thailands Secret Paradise!

Written by Town & Tourist

Things to do in Khao Lak??

Khao lak is much more than the gateway to the Similan Islands!

A few days ago some friends told us about the Similan Islands and the town of Khao Lak, we began to investigate a little about what to do and what places to visit in this coastal town.

We discovered that it was one of the most devastated during the 2004 Tsunami, that the impossible movie was filmed here, and that both the town and its surroundings had much to offer us.

After spending 5 weeks living in Ao Nang. It was time to continue with our travel route through Thailand. We were not sure where to go, and although the main idea was to go up to Bangkok to prepare the Visa for Burma and continue north.

We prefer to postpone this process to spend a few days in Khao Lak and discover that it is much more than the door to the Similan Islands.

The idea was to spend a couple of days here and finally we stayed six. To our surprise we found a quiet town.

We conclude that as it is used only as a base for excursions to the islands, people really do not spend the day there, so although it is quite touristy, you will find almost deserted beaches and national parks where there are barely a dozen places and two or three foreigners.

Fun Fact: Also in Southern Thailand is Khao Phing Kan or James Bond Island (cover image). This was a movie location for Man with the Golden Gun.


khao-lak. Source: Muzhik/shutterstock

Visiting Similan Islands via Khao Lak

A large number of travellers visiting Khao Lak do so to visit Similan Islands. These are nine paradise islands, only open four months a year.

One-day excursions are sold from 2000 baht ($ 60). If you want to sleep and spend two or three days on them, prices start to rise above $ 180.

Note: We did not go, but our friends did. On the way back they told us that the islands are a paradise, but that the one-day excursion is not worth it, since you are only 45 minutes or an hour on the beach (it stops at 3 different islands / beaches) and that they are also full of people.

According to your recommendation, if you really want to enjoy these islands, it is best to sleep in them.

Since at three o’clock all the tours go and the beach is going to be just for you.

In April we return to Khao Lak and we will do the three-day excursion, we will update this entry with more data.

Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are the Maldives of Thailand!

Tachai Island – Is an authentic paradise for which you have to pay from 2500 baht for an excursion until 4 in the afternoon.

Too much for our backpacking pocket.

How to travel to Khao Lak?

How to get to Khao Lak from Krabi or Bangkok?

We bought the Bangkok to Khao Lak bus ticket at Hostel Bens and Boss, as it cost us at 300 baht and they came to pick us up there.

Otherwise we would have to take a tuk tuk to the station and we thought that what we would save by buying the ticket on our own would be

more or less the same as the commission of the hostel.

How to get to Khao Lak from Phuket?

The bus from Phuket to Khao Lak takes two hours and costs about 100baht.

Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach, Thailand

Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach, Thailand

How to get from Khao Lak to Bangkok?

When buying this ticket, you have to be very careful with the dives they put in the agencies.

We paid 564 baht each for a 13-hour journey on a VIP bus where we included free dinner at the station where we stopped for dinner, coffee, water and juice on the bus.

For that same ticket we were asked in an agency 1600 baht (3 times more).

Budget Method:

– We bought the ticket at the same bus station in Khao Lak.
– We leave at 4 p.m. from Khao Lak
– There are also departures at 12 in the morning (for 439 baht) and at 17.30 and 18.00 for 911 baht.

Note: The one that leaves at 4 in the afternoon arrives in Bangkok at Mochit station at 5 in the morning.

The bus station in Khao Lak is quite hidden but it is worth going there to buy the ticket.

How to get around Khao Lak?

Motorcycle rental in Khao Lak?

We decided to rent a motorcycle, we did it at the Nice Trip Khao Lak agency, we do not recommend anything this agency, when we went to return the motorcycle, we arrived 20 minutes late and they wanted to charge us a full day (200 Baht ). 

We told him that if he charged us for a whole day we would stay the motorcycle one more day, it was Saturday and he told us that we would have to keep it until Monday, since on Sunday they were closed. After arguing with him, we ended up paying him 100 baht for the delay.

Things to do in Khao Lak?

Beaches in Khao Lak?

There are many options, Nang Thong Beach, is Khao Lak Beach. On the other hand, Diamond Beach, Khuk Khak Beach, Laem Pakarang Beach.

These are long beaches where there are hardly any people! 



Khao Lampi National Park

Khao Lampi National Park is 25 km from Khao Lak, we didn’t expect much from it but we loved the visit. It is divided into two zones, we first stop at Lampi Waterfall.

From Khao Lak driving towards Pukhet, you will find a detour to the left, you enter about 2 km along a small paved road and you will reach the park entrance.

The entrance costs 100 baht per person plus 20 of the motorcycle, paying that entrance you can access the two parks.

Khao Lampi National Park

Khao Lampi National Park

Hat Thai Mueang National Park

The next national park is 5 km away, in the town of Hat Thai Mueang, with the same entrance of one, you can access the other without paying anything extra.

When we arrived at Hat Thai Mueang we found a beach of 13 km of white sand and turquoise water, totally desert. This park is 100% recommended.

Hat Thai Mueang National Park

Hat Thai Mueang National Park. Source: Thai Mueang Beach resort

Traveling to Koh Kho Kao Island?

One of the days we took the motorcycle and went to investigate this island. You have to go on Highway 4 to the north.

We arrived at a small town and from there to a jetty, where we saw a large ferry, we thought it would be the ferry to cross us and our motorcycles, but no.

We were about 10 people and 3 motorcycles in a small boat, it was an adventure. Crossing to the island is 10 minutes.

When you get there you will find even more desert beaches.

The boat costs 20 baht per person + 20 baht of the motorcycle.

Monuments in memory of the Tsunami

Throughout the area there are several monuments that recall the 2014 Tsunami where more than 4000 people died.

Right in the same town there is a Thai police boat that was dragged 2 kilometers in from the sea.

This ship was guarding a relative of the king who died after the catastrophe.

Where to stay in Khao Lak?

Hostels in Khao Lak?

Joes and Tania: This is where we slept, it is a few meters from the beach and very close to the police boat and the Tsunami museum. We paid 500 baht a night for the double room with air conditioning, and private bathroom.

We also had TV and fridge. Each morning they made our room and left us two bottles of water and coffees and teas, we also had a kettle.

Monkey Dive: Our friends slept here, the private room with fan and shared bathroom cost them 500 baht. The hostel is very good and has a very high score on Agoda.

Highway Backpackers: Two days after being here we went to ask in a couple of places to see if we could get a cheaper room.

We found this Hostel that left us the room at 350 baht a night if we stayed three.

his site is closer to the center of Khao Lak, but in the nearby surroundings it has nothing. In the end by laziness we decided to stay in ours, we were very comfortable.

Hotels in Khao Lak?

For a list of our recommended hotels in Khao Lak, follow the link HERE

resorts in Khao Lak

There are some amazing resorts in Khao Lak!

3 Essential Travel tips?

1. Invest in a quality Travel Camera! 

Capturing the Memories of your adventure is essential!

You will be able to show your friends, family and even grand kids all the wonderful photos captured.

For more info see, our recommend Travel Photography Gear

Photography Gear

Make sure you are equip with some great Photography Gear!

2. Important! Are you insured?

Be aware that you will need separate travel insurance if you are traveling to Thailand!

If you get ill or have an accident it will be a very costly experience!

All travellers to Thailand should have a robust travel insurance to avoid paying out thousands of dollars.

I always recommend World Nomads, I’ve used these for years,

they are the best and most reliable insurance, they also provides an unlimited medical budget!

Travel Insurance

Getting hit with a large hospital bill after getting sick or injured, could really add to your worries! Get some Travel Insurance


For more info see: Why you NEED Travel Insurance?

3. Be sure you have your Travel Essentials  

(Things You can’t travel without!)

A high quality Tent & backpack can also be great investments to help you cut costs and have more of an adventure while traveling!

To learn about our secret Hotel Hacks check out: How to find the Best Hotel Deals??

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