Discover the best things to do in Khao Lak. Now that Khao Lak is open to tourists, many people are starting to once again plan their Khao Lak holidays. Aside from relaxing around the pool at one of the beautiful Khao Lak resorts, there is plenty of exciting things to do in Khao Lak.
Amazing things to do in Kha0 Lak
Here is our list of top 10 things to activities and places to visit in Khao Lak, to help you make your holiday the trip of a lifetime!
1. Khao Lak Snorkeling
Khao Lak snorkeling day trips are certainly one of the most popular things to do in Khao Lak. Snorkeling is often one of the first things people look for when they arrive. Khao Lak is close to some of the best snorkelling spots in Thailand. Can you snorkel in Khao Lak? Well yes, but you are better heading out to one of the nearby islands or taking a boat to one of the local reefs.
Khao Na Yak Snorkelling Reef
Khao Na Yak is the closest reef to Khao Lak. Easily accessible by long-tail boat, the coral reefs here are full of marine life and great for snorkelling. Khao Lak beach is so close you can see it from the water! Check out our local reef snorkelling tour for more info!
The Simian Islands National Park
Similan snorkelling day trips are by far the most popular. The Similan Islands are well known for their bright sandy beaches and crystal-clear water. To get to the park you will need to book a speedboat tour from Khao Lak. It is possible to get to the Similan Islands from Phuket, but it is much quicker and easier from Khao Lak. The trip to the islands takes about 1 hour 15 minutes and usually includes 2 snorkelling spots and 2 beach stops. CLICK HERE to find book your entrance tickets now!
The Surin Islands National Park
A Surin Island tour is perfect for those who really want to snorkel! Although the islands and beaches are stunningly beautiful, it is underwater where the Surin Islands really shine. The Surin Islands are noted to have the best snorkelling and dive reefs in Thailand. Although the water isn’t always as crystal clear as Similan, the coral reefs are colourful and crowded with marine life. The islands are also home to the Moken people, who previously lived a nomadic life on their specially build “Kabang” house-boats all over the Andaman Sea.
2. Scuba diving in Khao Lak
Diving in Khao Lak has always been popular. The closeness of the Similan and Surin Islands makes Khao Lak the ideal base for divers. There are also a couple of key dive sites close by that are not to be missed! Scuba diving certainly makes the list of top 10 things to do in Khao Lak.
Koh Bon is actually the 10th island in the Similan National Park. It is one of the smallest islands in the chain and is only usually visited by diving liveaboards as it has no beach. Koh Bon is often a good place to find manta rays and even whale sharks, especially around February – April when they migrate.
Koh Tachai is also part if the Mu Koh Similan National Park (Island no. 11). The island was briefly opened up to snorkellers for a few years, but had to be closed again and the shallow coral reefs, crystal clear waters and beautiful white sandy beach made the island just to popular! Unfortunately, the over popularity had a big effect on the shallow coral reefs and the jungles on the island. the Island has been closed to snorkelling day trips for a few years now and the nature is bouncing back!
Tachai is still open for scuba diving, and the Tachai Pinnacle is considered ne of the best dive sites in Thailand. This is a great place to spot leopard sharks, mantas, whale sharks and even napoleon wrasse.
This is one of the most iconic dive sites in Thailand, and is regularly noted to be one of the best in the world. Richelieu is an underwater rock about 18km east of the Surin Islands, that is only visible above the surface at low tide. The rock is famous for having amazing colourful corals and abundant marine life.
There are many stories about how the rock got its name. One story is that is was named by Jacque Cousteau, the French explorer, film maker and pioneer of marine coservation. The story goes he named it after the red colour robes worn by Cardinal Richelieu when he saw the colourful corals. However, Cousteau never actually got as far north as this site. Also ther are naval charts noting the rock dating way back before Cousteau’s time. Therefore, the most generally accepted story is that it was named after General Richelieu. General Richelieu was a Danish naval officer who became an admiral in the Siamese navy in the early 1900s.
3. Surfing in Khao Lak
Over the last year or two, Khao Lak has become one of the coolest places in Thailand to learn to surf. So much so that Khao Lak has now become known throughout Thailand as “Khao Lak Surf Town” The famous Memories Beach Bar is popular with both international tourists and Thais. The bar is frequently visited by Thai celebrities who come to enjoy the beach vibes. Memories hold frequent surf contests and encourage local children to come and catch some waves.
The main Khao Lak surf season is from May-October, but the calmer months are great for beginners. Just be sure to check out the Khao Lak surf forecast first if you want the best waves.
Want to learn how to surf at the coolest surf beach in town? CLICK HERE to check out our all-inclusive Khao Lak Surf Lesson!
4. Waterfalls in Khao Lak
There are several waterfalls near Khao Lak, all of them are easily accessible by a short taxi ride. Making a visit to the waterfalls one of the easiest things to do in Khao Lak. Most Khao Lak hotels will offer transport to the closest waterfall. There is usually water all year round, but the best time to visit the waterfalls in Khao Lak is during the rainy season (June-October).
Chong Fah Waterfall
This is the closest waterfall to most of the hotels in Khao Lak town. Chong Fah is actually part of the Khao Lak national park, so there is a fee to enter. There are five different levels to Chong Far waterfall, and it is possible to climb all the way up to the top if you want. However, the trail does get steep in places.
Namtok Lampee (Lam Pi waterfall)
Lampee (or Lampi) waterfall is one of the biggest in the area. It is located in the Khao Lampi–Hat Thai Mueang National Park, about a 30-minute drive south of Khao Lak city centre. Lampi has several levels which are accessible via a jungle trail and many different pools to swim in. The main level is easily accessible from the car park after just a short walk.
Ton Pling is probably the easiest waterfall to get to. Not far from the Khao Lak Merlin Resort, this waterfall is free to access. Although the water falls from a great height, Ton Pling is not the most spectacular of the Khao Lak waterfalls. There is however a wide pool which is great for a cooling swim.
Namtok Sairung (Rainbow Waterfall)
Sairung is a located about 20 minutes north of the main Khao Lak town. This is the waterfall that is most favored by the locals. It is free to enter (although there may be a small charge for parking). This waterfall has a wide pool which is great for swimming. There is also smaller pools which are good for kids.
5. Khao Lak Nature Tours
Khao Lak is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. From jungle covered mountains to beautiful coral reefs, Khao Lak has it all.
Khao Lak Mangrove Explorers
One of the best ways to get back to nature is to take a mangrove kayaking tour. Join the Khao Lak Mangrove Explorers and discover mangrove rivers, never before seen by tourists. The Khao Lak mangroves are a great place for find wildlife such as snakes, birds and monkeys. Click here for more…
Khao Lak Jungle Experience
Another amazing nature tour is our Khao Lak Jungle Exprience. This is your chance to learn a few bush craft skills, and discover the importance of the jungles in local culture. Click here to find out more…
6. Thai Cooking Class
Thai food if fast becoming the worlds favorite cuisine. Thai cooking classes are a lot of fun, and much easier than you would think! It is a great way to impress your friends when you get home too. The Riverside Thai Cooking Class in Khao Lak, offers private and small group classes, with the option to choose your favorite dishes.
CLICK HERE to find out more about cooking classes in Khao Lak.
7. Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay is most famous for the James Bond Island. The James bond Island tour is one of those ‘must do’ tours. There are many options for James Bond tours from Khao Lak, and of course a wide price range. Although, as with most things, it is not usually recommended to just go with the cheapest option
Phang Nga Bay covers an area of around 400 km2, most of which is protected by the Ao Phang Nga National Park. The bay’s stunning scenery has featured in several big movies including 2 James Bond movies (The Man with The Golden Gun and Tomorrow Never Dies) and also Star War: Episode III – Revenge of The Sith.
8. Khao Lak Beaches
Of course, Khao Lak is most famous for its beautiful beaches. The beach stretches all the way from Khao Lak mountain to Baan Nam Khem fishing town in the North. A distance of over 30km. at low tide it is possible to walk the whole way!
Bang Niang Beach
Bang Niang is also now becoming part of the main town. Slightly north of Nang Thong, this section of beach is where some of the most popular beach front hotels are located.
Bangsak is located about a 15-minute drive north of Khao Lak town. There are a few resorts located in Bangsak, and is fast becoming the chosen area for luxury hotels. The stunning beach here is pristine and stretches on for as far as you can see.
Currently one of the most famous and popular beaches in Khao Lak. Memories Beach has become the surfing center of Thailand in recent years.
White Sand Beach
Located just north of Memories Beach on the Pakarang (coral) Cape, White Sand Beach is a beautiful place for a picnic. The shallow sheltered water here is a perfect place for children to swim.
Nang Thong Beach
Nang Thong is the area also known as Khao Lak Center. There are several Khao Lak hotels in this area. Nang Thong beach is also the site of the picturesque light house, which makes some amazing sunset photos. Locally this area is also known as “Black Sand Beach”. Historically the Khao Lak area was the site of a major tin mining industry. Huge rafts would suck up the silt from the sea bed and separate the tin. Small particles of tin however would be left over and would form black streaks of sand which would wash up on the beach.
9. Markets in Khao Lak
There are actually 4 markets in Khao Lak. The most famous is the Bang Niang Market, located opposite the Khao Lak tsunami memorial park. Here you will find a vast selection of street foods, clothes and souvenirs.
The second market is the Build Market, located next to the Build Factory nightclub. This trendy market is mostly devoted to interesting street foods and has a relaxed, cool vibe to it.
The other two markets have more of a local feel and mostly focus on selling fresh cooking ingredients. This is where all the local people come to do their shopping.
The morning market in Bang Niang bus station is almost entirely fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. Whereas, the evening market near the gas station also has a few street food stalls to.
There are also several markets in the nearby market town of Takuapa. Check out our Local Temples & Traditional Market Town tour for more details.
Visiting alocal market should deffinaitly be on your list of things to do in Khao Lak.
10. Spas & Thai Massage
Traditional Thai Massage is well known worldwide for its health benefits and stress relieving properties. However, a genuine Thai massage is not for the feint hearted! A traditionally qualified masseuse will twist your body into shapes and positions you never felt were possible
This kind of rough treatment may sound intense, but will leave you feeling suppler and can aid circulation.
For those who prefer a softer approach, most massage shops and spas will offer several much more relaxing options, such as aloe vera massages for those who spent to long in the sun, or fresh coconut oil massage to improve skin softness.
Most hotels also have an in-house spa offering a full range of massages and treatments.
Is Khao Lak Worth Visiting?
One of the most common questions people ask, especially now as the country is just starting to re-open is…is Khao Lak worth visiting? The answer is always YES!
Khao Lak is a great place with loads to do. Rain or shine, you can be guaranteed there is always things to do in Khao Lak.
You may think there are more things to do in Phuket, but you would be wrong. Khao Lak is perfectly located to allow you to experience of the best days out in Thailand!
Khao Lak nightlife is much quieter than in Phuket or several other places in Thailand. But there are several local bars around town where you can be sure of a friendly barman and a cold beer.
Khao Lak is know for its relaxed friendly vibe and its amazing natural beauty.
Find more things to do in Khao Lak! CLICK HERE to check out our amazing Khao Lak tours.