A picturesque scenery, paradisiacal beaches and a perfect nature – that is Thailand. 70 kilometers north of Phuket is the Khao Lak National Park. A wonderful place to escape the tourist hustle and bustle. Once considered an insider tip, the area, which was hit particularly hard by the tsunami, has developed into a popular vacation region. Nature lovers as well as those who seek relaxation will feel comfortable in Khao Lak.
The nearest airport Phuket is approx. 60 minutes drive away, so you are quickly in paradise and can look forward to a great impressive nature with wild waterfalls on land, magical sunsets and many culinary highlights, for example at a cooking class. I have also brought you a hotel tip for Khao Lak that is guaranteed to sweeten your stay for a few days.
Khao Lak Excursions& Tips for the tropical beach paradise
Rent a scooter in Khao Lak
The best way to explore the area around Khao Lak is to rent a scooter and just go for a ride. Here you should pay attention to the condition of the scooter and take pictures of the scooter. 6-8€ is the cost of fun a day that will surely take you to other corners than if you would just walk or take a cab ride.
Some of the excursions presented below cannot be done on foot, for this you will definitely need a scooter. The waterfalls, temples and Sea Turtle Conservation Center are not within walking distance.
Sea Turtle Conservation Center
I was amazed when I was standing in front of a big fence with soldiers when I wanted to visit the great Sea Turtle Conservation Center. Then it clicked, because the center was started by the Royal Thai Navy and is still maintained.
10.000 turtles are raised and cared for here every year since 1995. Statistically, only one out of a thousand turtles becomes sexually mature. Far too many dangers lurk for the tiny animals as they try to find their way into the sea.
Tip: Be sure to take an ID with you. Your pass will be retained when you enter the military area and can be collected again at the end.
Address: Lam Kaen, Thai Mueang District, Phang-nga 82210, Thailand
Waterfalls in Khao Lak
Around Khao Lak there are many waterfalls and nature waiting to be explored. In some of them you are even allowed to swim and enjoy the cool water. Others are a bit more difficult to reach but deserted. Two, which I liked particularly well I present to you now.
Sai Rung Waterfall
Easy to reach and only a few minutes from the parking lot and perfect for a tour and excursion is the beautiful waterfall Sai Rung. Here you can take a cool bath or just relax for a few minutes. At the run of the waterfall there is also a small restaurant where you can strengthen yourself.
Address: Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82190, Thailand
Bor Hin Waterfall
I actually only found the Bor Hin waterfall by accident when I was looking for a viewpoint nearby. At the end of a rather bumpy and decomposed road is this abandoned waterfall. Not a soul was there. This is probably also due to the fact that the waterfall is not signposted.
Address: Bang Muang, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82190, Thailand
Temple visits in Khao Lak
Temple visits are always something magical and authentic. Here in Khao Lak they still pray in all temples and you can often see monks. A large imposing temple just a few minutes from the center of Khao Lak is the Khuk Khak temple. This great temple has a temple complex that is divided into different parts and imitating the rainforest stands.
Another temple that can be combined with a visit and a tour to the Sai Rung Waterfall is the Big Buddha Temple. A big Buddha on a small hill welcomes you here with stairs that seem to be out of a picture book. Again there were no tourists during my visit.
Sunsets on the fine sandy beach in Khao Lak
Feet outstretched, a cool drink in hand and just marveling. No wonder Khao Lak is known for its impressive sunsets. The sun sets on the beach and some days are guaranteed to give you goosebumps.
I found the Khuk Khak Beach the most beautiful, which is a real highlight with its fine white sandy beach. Quiet and very peaceful it was at the great Khao Lak Beach. The beach is a 1.1 kilometer long sandy strip that stretches between Tap Lamu Pier and La On Village. Great for a walk and an extensive tour on land! The water is very calm because the Lam Ru National Park keeps the incoming waves in check with its rocks.
Markets in Khao Lak
The famous and popular Night Market in Khao Lak takes place 4 times a week in the center of the city. Besides all kinds of tourist kitsch and souvenirs, you can find very tasty authentic food here. My tip: Have a mandatory fruit shake and stroll a bit through the market. Then pick a stand where local food is also available and try the . Super!
By the way, I ate here the best Pad Thai of all my Thailand visits!
Address: Phet Kasem Rd, Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82220,
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2:oo p.m. to 10:oo p.m
The Build market is the hipper and a bit more modern market in Khao Lak. On the days when the Night Market is closed you can browse here. Loud music blares in the market and many young Thais come here to drink a cocktail and listen to live music.
Address: Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82190
Opening hours: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m
Khao Lak Tips – Visit Phang Nga Bay
One of my highlights in Thailand was the visit of the bay of Phang Nga with the many islands, where James Bond Island is located. There are more than 150 islands in Phang Nga Bay, the most famous of which is James Bond Island.
Our trip was a day trip with guide and the long tail boat, a canoe trip and a visit to the floating village. We organized the tour by ourselves and chartered a cab driver and a complete boat from Panyee Pier. We had little desire for tourist crowds on this day.
The boat tour on this excursion went past small islands, dreamy caves and fine beaches on which no one has lain guaranteed yet. From the boat changed to the kayak we are with a guide ca. 45 minutes at Hong Island through small caves, where we had to bend down sometimes, and mangroves in the great national park.
The highlight of the trip was James Bond Island (Khao Phing Kan), here was filmed the movie The Man with the Golden Gun, with Roger Moore and Christopher Lee. The impressive rock formation attracts of course all visitors of Phang Nga Bay magically. Accordingly, it is touristy and crowded here, because this is one of the most popular islands.
Finally, we visited the floating village in the national park with our guide, which is picturesquely integrated into the landscape at Panyee Island. Here one lives from the tourists and also from the fishing. However, life is very relaxed despite the tourists. In the middle of the hustle and bustle is a beautiful newly built mosque, because the residents are mostly Muslim.
The self-organized trip to the islands in Phang Nag Bay was not cheap but worth every penny. For the cab we paid just under 60€ and the boat costs for ca. 5 hours 100€. In addition, there was the entrance fee to James Bond Island (20€ for 2 persons), kayaking (20€) and lunch at the floating village, a guide was with us all the time.
However, tours to Phang Nga Bay in groups also costs from 70€ per person upwards, so this investment was well made. By the way, it takes about one hour to get to Phuket with the tour guide or driver.
Khao Lak Tips – Hotel tip for Khao Lak
Eden Beach Khao Lak Resort& Spa
For maximum relaxation and a time out in a feel-good atmosphere, I can recommend you close to your trip that. On the white sandy beach overlooking the Andaman Sea, it is particularly good to relax here.
The hotel opened its doors only in December 2018 and presents itself in a friendly and bright robe. A lot of things are made of natural materials and are based on the typical Thai style. The Eden Beach has 208 rooms, but you don't notice much of that because of the ingenious construction and winding paths.
You can book the 5-star Eden Beach Resort easily at the travel agency via. Click on the link below to find all further and important information about the hotel.
Feeling good is very important here – and that already starts in the morning with breakfast. I have rarely experienced such a rich selection in Southeast Asia. I was especially happy about a delicious breakfast bowl. After breakfast you can relax at the large pool, which also offers a view of the sea.
Wellness and Spa Experiences in Khao Lak
You should never leave Thailand without a real and proper Thai massage. It's practically an unwritten law. At Eden Spa you can unwind with selected treatments. In addition to the Thai massages mentioned above, there are many other treatments available at the hotel's spa.
I have chosen a relaxing full body scrub, which is homemade according to a special recipe. The perfect balance for sun stressed skin and highly recommended!
Cooking class in Khao Lak at Eden Beach Resort
Som Tam and Tom Kha Gai are two of my absolute favorite Thai dishes and the chicken with cashew I have always wanted to learn to cook.
So I sharpened the knives and prepared a delicious menu together with the great chef William from Eden Beach Resort. This cooking course in Khao Lak was the best I have ever done. I felt very comfortable and most of all understood. The recipes for the cooking course will be available soon here on the blog.
All my questions and wishes were answered and I have rarely seen a person who has so much patience with his cooking students. Thanks again to William for this great day!