Khao Lak Beach is on the Andaman Sea just 80
Kilometers North from Phuket International Airport. It locates on Km 56-57
heading to Takuapa town.
The beach at Khao Lak has been developed into a refuge for nature lovers and
tourists seeking a peaceful, quiet resort area. The viewpoint at the KM 57.2
marker on highway 4 offers a fantastic view: A goldenbeige ribbon of sand,
picturesquely interspersed by some rocky outcrops, divides the blue waters
of the Andaman Sea from lush green palm groves.
A belt of casuarina pines and other large trees hugs the 12 km long beach.
In the flat land, 600 to 2000 meters inland, rubber and coconut palm
plantations, fields and tiny villages extend into the distance. Many lakes
hide in between, remnants of the flourishing tin mining industry from nearly
two centuries ago.
Setting the stage to this vibrant town is the magnificent backdrop of the
densely forested Khao Lak-Lamru National Park. 2 km further along the H4 is
the small town of Ban Bang Niang. Here, restaurants, shopping areas and a
very popular weekly market can be found.
There are many beaches all the way from Phuket to Takuapa such as Thai Muang
Beach, Bangnieng Beach, Khao Lak Beach and Bangsak Beach. But Khao Lak beach
is the most popular beach for many tourists because the beach is clean and
long with golden sand where most of the resorts are located.
It might not be an island, but with miles of unspoiled beaches unfurling in
front you, Khao Lak has all the best parts of a deserted island escape �
without the high costs or sacrificed material pleasures.
The chance to pack a picnic and find a your own plot of paradise � just the
crash of the waves, a few scurrying crab, and that special someone � is very
much a reality. While each beach has ample supplies of the �big three� �
sun, sand, and surf � they also have minor differences in personality.
We�ve done the tough work of inspecting every last one, but that shouldn�t
stop you from doing the same; second opinions are always valuable in matters
of extreme importance.
Woods and waves come together at the southernmost beach in Khao Lak. Quite
possibly the area�s most shaded stretch of sand, stately trees line the edge
of the beach, their branches reaching for the sea. A headland, impassable on
foot, blocks this beach from it�s neighbours to the north, resulting in
periods of absolute vacancy.
Nang Tong Beach
La On is the main shopping, dining and nightlife hub of Nong Tong Beach and
is a hive of activity once the sun sinks into the Andaman Sea. A
one-kilometre strip of restaurants bars and shops, it�s the One-Stop
destination for the whole of Phang Nga Province. A mere stroll away from the
beach, you�ll find all you�re looking for here.
La On Village has many restaurants with a wide range of cuisines to choose
from but it is certainly not a fine-dining destination. This area is popular
with Scandinavians, yet Scandinavian cuisine does not dominate although you
can get your meatballs at the Viking Steakhouse and Pizzeria. Expect many
middle-range restaurants serving mixed-nationality cuisine in an effort to
keep everybody happy.
Don�t expect hedonistic, out-of-control head-banging nightlife in Khao Lak
but do look out for lots of friendly people, laid-back pubs and bars with a
touch of live music here and there.
La On is actually small enough to walk the length of it and take in the pubs
and bars as they come.
Only a few years back La On consisted of a few mom & pop stores, roadside
restaurants and a German �imbiss� establishment. Nowadays you can eat pretty
much any international dish here, shop till you drop and even grab a Big Mac
24 hours round the clock. Still, La On isn�t exactly Pattaya or Patong and
it�s all the better for it. One thing�s for sure: if you�re looking for
cheap sunglasses, beachwear, pirated DVD�s and the like you won�t have far
to look in La On.
On the practical side of things, La On has many banks and ATM machines.
Banks in Thailand are open from 08:30 � 15:30 (for a Western Union branch
you�ll have to go to Takuapa). Most resorts run shuttle services to La On,
some free some not.
There are probably more tailors than opticians in La On, and that�s really
saying something. Two of the best are located close to each other in the
centre of La On and offer excellent quality and a wide range of styles and
textiles. The golden rule is to allow enough time for the tailor to make a
perfect fit and not to accept rushed jobs. James Fashion and Creative Khao
Lak Tailors are both in between the Khao Lak Center (not to be confused with
Khao Lak Center Point Bazar further up the road) and Ruen Mai Plaza and they
refuse to carry out the infamous 24-hour jobs that some Bangkok tailors are
Khao Lak Center Point Bazar
Khao Lak has two Center Points: this is the older one and it has seen better
days. It houses a standard beachwear/beach toy shop selling all sorts of
watersports-related paraphernalia, jeans and T-shirts, pirated DVD�s and
lots of stuff you probably don�t need but is so cheap you�d better buy just
in case. If you are planning to go on a day trip to nearby islands or to do
some kayaking, the snap-shut plastic protection bags to hold your electronic
goods in are a good buy. Center Point is also home to a watch repair
service, just in case your Rolex Oyster is playing up.
Nangthong Park Plaza
This two-storey shopping centre features the usual optician shop, several
fashion outlets, a gold shop, a jeans-and-T-shirt shop, a ground floor
bar/caf� with live music, a health and beauty shop, a �community products�
outlet and several handicrafts and jewelry stores.
Bang Niang Beach
The second most populous beach, Bang Niang, like Nang Thong, is still
nowhere near crowded. A few longtails putter about in the sea, a small
assembly of resorts overlook the beach, and basic-but-cheap Thai restaurants
and massage huts � with paradise-perfect views � perch on the small sand
hill that slopes down to meet the incoming surf.
Khuk Khak Beach
Khuk Khak Beach, with only a couple resorts tucked among the pine trees and
palm groves, marks the end of civilization and the beginning of endless
stretches of near-nothingness.
Following the signs from Khuk Khak Village to the beach of the same name,
jump off the main road on any trail that leads to toward the water and enjoy
the tranquility of isolation. Here, you�re more likely to encounter local
fisherman going about their business than other travelers.
While nobody actually calls Pakarang Cape the Horn of Khao Lak, they could.
Jutting into the sea, it provides a great vantage point to view the beaches
to both the north and south.
Sparsely treed and littered with shells and broken coral, it�s not the most
sun-bather-friendly, but it�s definitely interesting, easily accessed by car
or motorbike, and amazingly unpopulated.
Some of Khao Laks most sumptuous resorts are spread out on Pakweeb
(pronounce Pakweep) Beach�s several kilometers worth of prime coastline, and
for good reason.
The beach is lovely, though it may take a moment to realize what sets this
beach apart. National park status means no motorboats; a fact so refreshing
you�ll be hard pressed to find a more peaceful location. As an added bonus,
resorts here know how important a clean beach is, and go to great lengths to
keep the sand in tip-top shape.