Khao Lak Holidays

Escape to where the locals go and take advantage of the jungle on your doorstep on Khao Lak holidays.

Devour a delicious curry in a family-run restaurant, chase waterfalls in a national park or nest on soft sands where there’s hardly anyone else around. Khao Lak has everything you need for a low-key holiday; it’s essentially a handful of small-town centres and a 15-mile stretch of beaches along one main road. There’s an effortless balance of quiet and convenience, the kind of place visitors slowly fall in love with and return to year after year.

If you love the outdoors, Khao Lak is the perfect gateway to both tropical jungles and stunning underwater worlds. Just two hours’ drive or boat ride means you could be snorkelling or diving in the Surin and Similan Islands – the best place for marine life in the Andaman Sea – or trekking through the rainforest of Khao Sok National Park. At Elephant Hills, you can go glamping in the jungle, sleep on a lake to the sound of calling monkeys and get up close with elephants in one of earth’s oldest rainforests.

Talk to us and we can help you find the best beach spot or jungle adventure for a bespoke holiday in Khao Lak.

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Khao Lak Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Khao Lak

The Sarojin

This romantic boutique hideaway sits in tropical gardens that lead to a secluded beach.

Bangsak Village

This friendly resort is peaceful with village-style chalets and rooms with pool access.

Devasom Khao Lak Beach Resort & Villas

This lagoon resort is inspired by forgotten opulence that hails back to a little-known time in So...

Kalima Resort & Villas Khao Lak

This striking resort is a convenient sweet spot for island time and adventure in Khao Lak.

Khao Lak Paradise Resort

An intimate beachfront retreat close to the jungle of a national park in Khao Lak.

The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani

A charming tropical resort with a dedicated family wing and a pretty koi-filled lagoon.

Sleep in a floating tent in the middle of a lake and get up close to an elephant on a short tour in Khao Sok National Park near Khao Lak

From Khao Lak, you can reach the heart of Thailand’s jungle in a couple of hours and spend a few nights of your holiday embedded deep within a lush national park. Meet playful giants in an elephant sanctuary and canoe past jagged cliffs to your home for the night – a floating tent on a serene lake.

Our recommended Khao Lak tour

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Thai Cooking Class in Khao Lak

With a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide people for its authentic southern Thai cuisine, Nai Mueang is well worth a visit. For anyone who’d like to recreate some of those dishes at home, this quirky little restaurant also runs regular cookery classes that will appeal to food-loving couples and honeymooners. Your morning starts with a visit to the restaurant's herb and vegetable garden where you'll pick your ingredients. You’ll learn about Thai herbs, cooking techniques and vegetable carving, before getting busy preparing the food itself under the guidance of one of the chefs. You’ll end the session by sitting down in the delightful retro-themed dining room to eat what you’ve prepared for lunch.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Bring insect repellent, money for tips and a notebook for jotting down extra information about the various techniques you’ll be taught.

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Similan Islands Cruise fom Khao Lak

Fringed by powder-soft beaches lapped by crystal-clear azure waters, the Similan Islands are everyone’s idea of a tropical paradise. You’ll spend a day travelling by speedboat and taking in their natural charms, above and below the waves, with plenty of opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and hiking. The first port of call is the wonderfully named Donald Duck Bay on Koh Similan, where there’ll be time to climb up to the curiously shaped granite boulder known as Sail Rock to take in the views. After a stop to check out the colourful world underwater, you’ll drop anchor at Koh Similan. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the picture-perfect sands of Princess Bay before following the short nature trail to Honeymoon Bay, a stunning spot where you can swim or sunbathe. There’s one final stop at either Koh Similan or Koh Bon for a snorkelling session over a pristine coral reef teeming with life before you head, reluctantly, back to the mainland.

• Daily departures
• Operates November-April
• Group experience

Good to know
You’ll need to provide a copy of your passport at time of booking to comply with new Similan Islands National Park regulations. The trip is suitable for all except children under four, those who are physically challenged and pregnant women. Travel is by speedboat.

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Surin Islands Cruise from Khao Lak

A cluster of tiny specks of land adrift in the Andaman Sea, the Surin Islands have an unspoiled beauty that will enchant everyone who comes here. After an early start, you’ll reach Ao Mae Yai, a picturesque bay on the main island of Ko Surin Nuea blessed with a sweep of white sand and calm, clear waters - it’s a perfect spot for snorkelling. From here, you’ll cruise past a tiny village that houses the Moken, sea nomads who traditionally lived from and on the sea between Thailand and Burma, and who have a fascinating history. Ashore, a 2km trail through the jungle leads to the National Park’s rustic restaurant overlooking another sheltered beach, where you’ll enjoy a leisurely lunch. There’s just time before heading back to the mainland for another snorkelling stop and, in season, for a whale shark watching session.

• Departs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
• Operates November-April
• Group experience

Good to know
The itinerary is not completely set in stone, as the choice of snorkelling spots depends on conditions on the day.

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Avoid The Crowds Phi Phi Island Cruise from Khao Lak

Make an early getaway to Koh Phi Phi to enjoy this scenic archipelago in the Andaman Sea at its tranquil best. Travelling by speedboat, you’ll arrive first at Koh Khai, a tiny island tucked away in Phang Nga Bay. Here, you’ll stop to take in the powder-soft white beach lapped by crystal-clear turquoise waters and have a serene swim surrounded by tropical fish. On arrival at Koh Phi Phi, you’ll make for stunning Ao Pileh lagoon on the second-largest island, whose emerald waters are a delight for photographers and snorkellers alike. Other sights include the so-called “Viking Cave” which owes its nickname to the images of different types of boats - including one that looks like a Viking longboat - painted on its walls, and Monkey Beach, home to a colony of long-tailed macaques. After lunch, on the way back to port, there’s a final stop at low-lying Bamboo Island to snorkel along pristine coral reef: the perfect finale to a scenic adventure that will appeal to all.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
This trip is not recommended for the under fours, the over 70s and pregnant women.

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Get to know Khao Lak and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.

Capital
TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT +7 hours

CURRENCY

Thai Bhat

FLYING TIME TO DESTINATION

Bangkok 11½ hours

RELIGION

The most common religion in Thailand is Buddhism

LANGUAGE

Thai; over 73 languages are spoken throughout Thailand

Where is Khao Lak?
Khao Lak is on Thailand’s mainland in the beautiful Phang-Nga region on the west coast. It’s an hour north of Phuket and stretches across 15 miles of the Andaman coastline. The easiest way to get to Khao Lak is a road transfer from Phuket airport (around an hour), which is linked by international flights from the UK and domestic flights of Bangkok (approx. 1½ hours). From Khao Lak, you can reach Krabi by road in around 2½ hours and Khao Sok National Park in two hours, while the Surin and Similan Islands are 1 to 2 hours from Khao Lak by boat for excellent snorkelling and diving.

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Natural surroundings
Nature lovers can soak up the slower pace and go hiking around Chong Fah’s waterfalls or combine the Khao Lak’s beaches with a few nights in the incredible Khao Sok National Park. Home to elephant sanctuaries, one of the oldest rainforests in the world and floating, Khao Sok is a delight for anyone with a love for the outdoors. For keen snorkellers and divers, the Surin and Similan Islands are just two hours from Khao Lak by boat.

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Getting around
Taxis and tuk-tuks are the best way to get around Khao Lak. Local taxis are generally cheaper than hotel taxis; it’s good practice to agree on a price beforehand. A speedboat is the fastest way to get to the Surin and Similan Islands.

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Diving & snorkelling
Khao Lak has easy access to the Surin Islands and the Similan Islands, which are collectively some Thailand’s best areas for diving and snorkelling. As part of a protected national marine park, both parks are open between 15 October and 15 May and are reached by around 1½ hour’s speedboat ride from Tab Lamu pier close to Khao Lak. Sea temperatures are warm year-round and visibility can reach over 30 metres during peak season between November and April. Divers can hope to see manta rays, whale sharks, leopard sharks, hawksbill turtles and plenty of tropical fish.

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Food & drink
Thai cuisine is world-famous, thanks to its distinctive combination of salty, spicy, sweet, bitter and sour flavours. Around Khao Lak, there’s a good choice of quality local restaurants serving up authentic local food like pad thai, tom kha soup and fried rice. You can find sweet treats and delicacies at night markets, and Western cuisine is generally easy to find – most resorts and hotels serve familiar favourites at a dedicated restaurant or as à la carte options.

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Our experts have curated a wide range of handpicked Khao Lak offers to make your next holiday extra special. Make the most of great-value savings, exclusive upgrades and bespoke touches. 

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