Khao Lak was the discovery of the year for me, despite the fact that I have already been to Thailand in many places. It sounds a little loud, but I did not expect that I would like it so much. Usually I do not go on vacation, but if the question arose of where I could go for a week for a quiet vacation, then I would go there, although there are no beaches «bounty» and some special architecture ...
But there is sincere and uncrowded in comparison with Phuket and even Samui, which are more like cities than lost tropical resorts. Khao Lak has the balance of the tourist infrastructure of the resort and at the same time a small number of people..
The content of the article
- one About Khao Lak
- 2 Areas and beaches of Khao Lak
- 3 Interactive map of Khao Lak beaches
About Khao Lak
I was going to visit Khao Lak for a long time, I was wondering why it is not so popular, although it is located very close to the international airport. I had to fill the gap on the blog and write my own review and mini-guide. And since I also wanted to go on an excursion to Similan islands and in Khao Sok National Park with Cheow Lan Lake, it turned out to combine business with pleasure.
Now about Khao Lak there is already information on the network, including sites in Russian, not like 5 years ago, but bloggers still do not particularly like him. This is understandable, Khao Lak is more of a resort where you can have a good vacation, and not a place for wintering. There are no hospitals, no supermarkets, and there are no long-term rentals on the fingers..
On the other hand, not winterers, but ordinary tourists also usually go on vacation to the nearest Phuket, and not to Khao Lak, although it is not much longer to get from Phuket airport than to Nai Harn. Why? Apparently too quiet and calm, the place is not for those who like entertainment and nightlife.
Alternatively, visit Khao Lak with excursions from Phuket, it is quite inexpensive. True, in excursions, the goal is not to see the beaches and the city, but to the temples and jungles in the area. Plus traditional elephant trekking and rafting. Just keep in mind if you want something like that.
Excursion to Khao Lak>
And I will list in the abstract what attracted me to the resort itself.
- Quiet and relaxing stay
- A minimum of parties, since the contingent is mostly European-retired
- There are few people on the beaches, as the town is small and the beaches are long
- The resort looks pretty cute, many of the cafes are nicely decorated and the buildings are cheerful colors.
Transport accessibility: mainland, so no need for a ferry and not far from Phuket (how to get to Khao Lak)
In general, it is very important for me that there are few people on the beach, so as not to feel like a herring in a bank, but at the same time I do not want to rest on a completely uninhabited island..
I know that not everyone will understand me, and perhaps such a desire for solitude is generally inherent only in the inhabitants of megacities. Although maybe this is my own pure understanding of relaxation, in which it is impossible to enjoy the natural beauties from the crowd.
And I will emphasize again. Perhaps it only seemed to me that way, but Khao Lak in some places (mainly Bang Niang) really looks a little different, somehow more civilized or something European than many other resorts. And this despite the fact that he is not very popular. For example, the beaches of Kata and Kata Noi in Phuket also look European, but there are many times more people there..
Areas and beaches of Khao Lak
About Khao Lak beaches
You must understand that there is no separate city called Khao Lak, this is the name of several villages / beaches combined into one resort. Moreover, most of the resort's territory is fields with palm trees, and the main attraction is Khao Lak National Park, that is, nature, waterfalls and the beaches themselves. Civilization is concentrated in literally a few places.
In total, Khao Lak has 7 districts / beaches, of which, in my opinion, only 3 will be of interest to most, just where there is enough infrastructure necessary for vacationers. And another beach (Khuk Khak) is interesting from the point of view of sometimes coming for a swim, since it is not far from the main areas, but not living there. Therefore, we will only talk about 4 beaches and areas:
- Khao Lak Beach
- Nang Thong Beach
- Bang Niang Beach
- Khuk Khak Beach
The other 3 beaches (Pakarang Beach, Pak Weep Beach, Bang Sak Beach) are not for everybody's taste, there is little civilization, and the beaches are worse, the dominance of Thais on weekends (they come for a picnic). Also I was still on Sandy beach, which is located in the national park between Khao Lak beach and Bang Niang beach, but it is not particularly interesting.
My favorite areas are Bang Nian and Nang Tong. And given that they flow into one another without a clear border, then you can live there and there. Looking ahead, I will say that these two beaches themselves are very similar, but I would personally choose Bang Niang. Moreover, many believe that Nang Tong is the first in development at the resort, but it seemed to me that Bang Niang is such.
Khao Lak beach
If we talk about the main areas of Khao Lak (where there is civilization), then Khao Lak beach I liked least of all, despite its name of the same name with the entire resort.
Firstly, it somehow looks less neat because of the asphalt and gravel roads. Secondly, visually it is less beautiful there than on the same Bang Niang. Thirdly, there are not even 7-11 and in fact only one small street and a couple of lanes, the area is very small. That is, the choice of cafes, hotels, shops is minimal, there is nowhere to go.
In fact, there is no choice, only one normal minimarket, and even then this is not 7-11 after all. That is, for me, neither here nor there, and it’s not quite a wilderness to be alone, and civilization is not enough, since more than one. But perhaps someone will like this combination..
But the beaches here are excellent. That part of the beach, which is opposite the civilization, is fenced off from this line of casuarins, which create shade in the morning. First line hotels go directly to the shore with their pools, sun loungers, for example, a chic The Anda Mani Khao Lak By Epikurean Hotels & lifestyle with a very high rating.
But if you go south (to the left, if you face the sea), where many people actually go for a walk, then there will be an almost wild beach, where there are only 3 cafes, 1 bungalow-type hotel (at some distance from the beach) and that's it. And there such big stones lie on the beach and in the water, it looks very nice, but snorkeling should be. More about Khao Lak beach.
Nang Thong Beach
If you go from Phuket, then, quickly passing Khao Lak beach and passing the pass, you will descend from the mountain to the Bang La On village. Honestly, I don't know if you need to know this name, because the beach is called Nang Tong. And the bus driver or taxi driver, if you tell them what you need in Khao Lak, will bring you here. This place is considered the center of the Khao Lak resort and the most developed, there is even a McDonald's.
The main civilization is located right on the highway, there are a lot of hotels, and there are 7-11, and a bank, and in general, when you drive in the dark in the evening, everything around glows, it seems that the whole city is around. This entire area is strongly stretched along the highway, and, accordingly, along the coast. The distance from the highway to the beach is less than, for example, in Bang Niang. Along the entire coastline there are first line hotels, La Flora Resort & Spa Khao Lak is highly praised, although this resort is far from the epicenter of the infrastructure and almost borders on Bang Niang.
The southernmost part of the area is sometimes called Sunset Beach, either because it is good to see off the sunsets there, or because Khaolak Sunset Resort is located there. But on the maps of such a beach you will not find, and there is no border between the beaches at all.
Be sure (and I insist) to check for discounts or special offers on the excellent Roomguru service. He will quickly and easily show you discounts in all existing booking systems. In Asia, for example, there are a lot of offers on Agoda.com, which are much more interesting than for exactly the same hotels on Booking.com.
I also suggest reading the post where I have selection of good hotels in Khao Lak, based on rating and reviews.
Hotels in Khao Lak>
Nang Thong beach is nice all over, I liked it. There are a lot of walking pensioners, two lighthouses, one on the shore, the second in the sea, quite often there are large stones in the water. More about Nang Thong.
Bang Niang Beach
It is believed by many that the most infrastructurally developed beach is Nang Tong. But it seems to me that this information is outdated, Bang Niang is in no way inferior to him, except that there is no McDonald's. But there is a whole Tsunami Museum, even 2.
At the same time, Bang Niang is more compact, since it is much less stretched along the coast compared to Nang Tong. That is, approximately the same number of cafes and hotels are located on a smaller area, and you do not need to wind kilometers to get anywhere. Similarly, Bang Niang is not crowded even during peak season. All photos were taken by me at the end of January, and on the beaches there is.
In general, if I were choosing where to stay in Khao Lak, then the hotel would be booked on this beach. Actually, this is what I did when I came to Khao Lak. In any case, it is not a problem to get to Nang Tong, the beach line is not interrupted at all, you can walk and walk, which is what many pensioners do here in the morning and in the late afternoon..
All civilization is concentrated on the highway and around the Bang Niang Road. It overlooks the beach and conventionally divides it into northern and southern parts. The southern part of the area near Ramada Khao Lak Resort is beautiful and flows smoothly into Nang Tong. The northern one is partially filled with concrete, but there are beach strips, you can swim. Further north, completely wilderness and desolation. More about Bang Niang Beach.
Khuk Khak beach
Khuk Khak is the very beach where it would make sense to come sometimes, living in Bang Niang or Nang Thong, for the sake of almost complete solitude and relaxation. You begin to notice the absence of civilization immediately when you turn from the main road into the fields. You go, go, and around only palm trees, jungles and rare houses of local residents. Nothing else.
And only, having driven to the coastline, you come across several hotels and at least some kind of infrastructure, which, in fact, is represented by these very hotels. Moreover, there are literally several hotels for several kilometers of the beach, you can count on one hand.
I liked the beach itself. Still would. There are few people, just opposite the hotels, along the coast, there is a slender line of casuarins, creating shadow and open spaces. True, I would not live here, there are too few things. More about Khuk Khak beach.
Interactive map of Khao Lak beaches
On the map, I marked all the beaches of Khao Lak.
Khao Lak beaches
Khao Lak beaches: