Khao Lak, 80 km north of Phuket, has always been a favorite among Swedes and particularly families. When the tsunami struck Thailand on December 26, 2004, Khao Lak took the worst hit, leaving 543 Swedes dead in total — more than any other country outside of the disaster area.
Khao Lak, today fully recovered from the tsunami, tends to be in the shadow of Phuket and Krabi. But the 20 km long sandy stretch along the west coast of Phang Nga province boasts comfortable resorts in beautiful tropical nature. If you’re looking for a relaxed beach destination without the party scene, Khao Lak might be the right place for you.
View from our balcony when we stayed at Baan Kratang Khao Lak Resort — a bungalow resort inside tropical forest overlooking the Andaman Sea and Khao Lak Beach.
White Sand Beach (Ao Thong Beach)
We have just done a few short stays in Khao Lak when visiting places like Similan Islands and Koh Kho Khao. But I hope we can spend a longer holiday at some of the more scenic beaches like Ao Thong Beach with turquoise water and soft sand.
Sunset in Khao Lak as viewed from the road behind Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park.
Koh Kho Khao – a peaceful island
A few years ago we stayed a couple of nights at Koh Kho Khao just north of Khao Lak. This island boasts similar scenery as Khao Lak with the Andaman Sea caressing the long golden beaches. You can’t possibly find a more peaceful resort island. So peaceful you might get bored after a few days.
The Similan Islands – best dive water in Thailand
The Similan Islands, 65 km off the Khao Lak coast, is a group of 9 islands with rich marine life, incredible white sandy beaches, and clear turquoise waters. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. However, in recent years, the Similans has become extremely popular, and if you come here during the peak of the high season, it will be very crowded.
International Tsunami Museum
A visit to Khao Lak should also include a visit to the police boat that was swept two km inland during the tsunami in 2004. The boat was left where it landed and is now maintained as a memorial. I also recommend a visit to the Tsunami Memorial at Baan Nam Khem north of Khao Lak: a beautiful but heartbreaking site.
Top Hotels in Khao Lak
- Khaolak Laguna Resort
- Manathai Khao Lak
- La Flora Resort & Spa
- Kantary Beach Villas & Suite
- Bangsak Village Resort – Adults Only