Khao Lak (Hat Khaolak) has for a number of years been a popular destination for visitors to Thailand and its popularity grows annually. Like many of the kingdom’s beach destinations, the area features beautiful white sands and crystal clear water. Although Khao Lak was one of the worst hit areas in the 2004 tsunami, a massive relief operation has restored the area to the point where as of now (April 2005) tourism is operational once again and most major hotels in the area open.
Located about 80 kilometres north of Phuket airport, Khao Lak is a long, picturesque beach dotted with smooth boulders. For those interested in diving and snorkeling, a great coral reef lies about an hour away by boat. The beach offers a number of facilities for visitors – there are your usual Internet cafes and a scattering or bars and restaurants, although this area is certainly not as developed as similar destinations in the kingdom. A number of shops offer diving courses and trips to the Similan and Suring Islands. Khao Lak has Bang Niang as a neighbour. A smaller beach, Bang Niang offers fewer facilities in terms of accommodation, Internet cafes, etc. but has bags of charm and a very relaxed atmosphere.
How to get there: Khao Lak Beach faces the Andaman Sea and is located around 30 kilometres south of Takuapa town which is easily accessed by bus services from the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok. A regular bus service leaves Takuapa for Khao Lak while taxis and Songtaews are also available for the one-hour journey.