Located north of Phuket, Khao Lak is a lesser-traveled stretch of sandy coastline along the west coast in the Andaman Sea and set against a backdrop of jungle-covered mountains. Partly attributed to provincial ordinances that prohibit structures taller than the height of a coconut palm, Khao Lak maintains a quiet ambiance that has attracts travelers to secluded upscale resorts and its uncrowded beaches and mountains. With slow and steady growth, two small areas of Khao Lak are seeing an infusion of restaurants, bars, and convenience stores, giving visitors a choice between isolation or a beach front stay within walking distance of these commercial areas.
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Just inland is the Khao Sok National Park, perfect for a whole day’s adventure into the jungles to explore the local flora and fauna. Nature trails lead visitors past stunning waterfalls and along the river. Rafting and canoeing can also be enjoyed.
The old town area of Takua Pa district, now almost forgotten, has a rich history dating back a century. The quiet town’s main street is lined with period buildings in Sino-Portuguese architecture, Chinese shrines and tea houses. There is a New Town with the same name located just 7km away and is a typical bustling Thai town where most of the residents have moved. However, elderly residents can still be seen in the Old Town sitting and chatting in front of their homes and at the local market. Motorized vehicles are not common in this town, with the majority of residents choosing to either walk or bike.
Khao Lak is popular for its accessibility to the famed Similan Islands and Surin Islands which offer some of the best diving in the world. There are several dive spots and diving can be experienced as day trips from land or liveaboard trips.
Snorkeling is fun and easily done just a couple hours from the shores of Khao Lak. Surrounding areas are well known for coral reefs, white sandy beaches, and warm waters, making it one of the best places to snrkel in the Andaman Sea.
In the surrounding vicinity and easy to get to are a couple of waterfalls. Just south is Lampi Waterfall, best views in the early morning as the sun rises from behind the mountains and rays shine through the mist.
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