Khao Lak has a prime position on Thailand's west coast - it's bordered by three stunning national parks, and has a sprinkling of marine parks on hand, too. Then, of course, there's the beach. The golden sands roll out along the coast for almost 10 kilometres, bordered by casuarina pines and groves of coconut palms, which hide a handful of luxury hotels.
The resort is named after Lak Mountain ('khao' means mountain in Thai), which sits within the Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park. The park is chock-full of forest trails, waterfalls and dramatic granite mountains, and is perfect for wildlife spotting and leisurely hiking. Nearby Khlong Phanom National Park is also great for nature walks. Khao Sok National Park is the place to go for river canoeing and rafting, and also features caves, karsts and lotus flower-filled rainforest.
Snorkellers and divers can head out on long-tail boats to explore reefs, wrecks and coral-ringed islands. Khao Na Yak reef (just 40 minutes' boat ride away), Surin Islands Marine Park and Similian Islands Marine Park are the three big names.
Our pick of the top hotels in Khao Lak
Every one of our hotels is handpicked and personally visited by our team
Flight time from the UK to Thailand is approximately 11 hours 30 minutes.
Transfer time from Phuket airport to Khao Lak is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
When to go
Thailand has a tropical climate, which means it’s hot and humid for most of the year. Rainy months vary depending on where you are in Thailand: in south-western areas like Phuket, the monsoon season starts around April and finishes in October, while south-east destinations like Koh Samui see more rain between September and December (there’s still plenty of sunshine between showers, though). The hottest months are March to June, although humidity is high and average temperatures can push 40°C. Wait until after the rainy season if you prefer slightly cooler temperatures – between December and February, averages stick to the high 20s and early 30s.
British passport holders do not require a visa for stays of up to 30 days.
Tipping is not expected in Thailand, although most hotels and restaurants will include a 10% service charge.
Introduction to languages
The official language of Thailand is Thai. English is widely spoken too.
Khao Lak has a burgeoning reputation as a golfing destination. Khao Lak itself has the 18 hole, 72 par course at Thap Lamu, the Royal Thai Navy Sport Development Centre. If you fancy heading further afield, Khao Sok National Park and Phuket both have several options.
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