Khao Lak is a small town about 50 odd kilometres from Phuket Airport and in the province of Phang Nga along the west coast. The islands in close proximity to Khao Lak include the Similan Islands, Surin Islands and of course Phuket. This means that when you visit Khao Lak, part of the Khao Lak tourism activities would include hopping over to the Similan Islands and maybe a holiday extension over in Phuket. The choice of transportation and hotel bookings in Khao Lak are plentiful, leaving you spoilt for choice and the only restrain is the depth of your pockets. There is everything from budget to world-class spa resorts to indulge in.
A Khao Lak holiday would not be complete without marine and eco-based activities, sightseeing tours, shopping and even sessions to pamper yourself and still keep the kids who are traveling with you occupied.So, how would you start your day in Khao Lak? A round of sightseeing would be a good idea if you want to hit the beaches later. Some of the Khao Lak things to see include the Khao Lak Old Town which is rather unusual that it is of Sino-Portuguese design which is unlike any other town in Thailand. There are a few shops worth mentioning here which are the batik and yan lipea handicrafts of bags and purses. Another is the traditional art of shadow puppets. These puppets that depict traditional Thai myths and characters are pressed from cow or buffalo hide, stiffened and punched through with various intricate designs on the surface. As they are flat, the skill is in the puppet master to make the figures come to life when light is cast from behind and through a white screen.
You can buy these shadow puppets as decorations but the best is if you get a chance to actually watch the shadow play first hand. Later, continue your Khao Lak tour by making your way to Takua Pa and take in the sights of the beautiful temples there. If you happen to visit in the month of April, there is a vegetarian festival that you can attend and it is a great experience especially for vegans. The Khao Lak adventure tours are highly suitable for those who are into hiking, scuba diving, snorkeling, whitewater rafting and canoeing or kayaking. The many beaches, islands and marine parks as well as tropical rainforest makes it an ideal location for varied sporting activities in Khao Lak which has been blessed with a myriad of landscapes.
Some of the popular Khao Lak things to do include treks to a number of secluded and beautiful waterfalls and an eco-tourism tour of the rainforest to catch a glimpse of the indigenous wildlife available. Those with more stamina can try a canoe or sea-kayak adventure tour in Khao Lak. These tours will bring you to Phang Nga Bay where with a guide to accompany you, exploring the many sea caves, grottos and mangrove bays will promise to be quite an expedition. Checkout the Khao Lak special tours that bring you to the lagoons at night especially in December during the Loy Kratong Festivalwhere floating candles and floating night lanterns are released at night to celebrate and worship the deities.
Other Khao Lak sightseeing tours include the Khao Lak island tours to the Similan Islands that are renown as some of the best diving and scuba spots in the world. The marine parks located here are excellent with a variety of hard and soft corals, aquatic life and lovely sun-kissed sandy beaches with emerald green clear waters. There are many Khao Lak scuba diving and snorkeling packages available. Some are day trips and others are liveaboard that comes complete with meals and even with a dive master. The night dives are the best where you can see the actual colors of the corals which seem bleak and gray during the day.
There is so much more to Khao Lak activities that even the kids can enjoy. This is a great opportunity for them to learn about marine parks, the natural wildlife of flora and fauna, experience an elephant trek through the rainforest on the backs of elephants which would be such a thrilling experience for them as well as play in the many waterfalls and pick seashels or observe the natural marine eco-system from the many tide pools. Even avid golfers will not be left out, there a five great golf courses located in Khao Lak itself. So one can say that Khoa Lak has a truly diversified tourist itinerary for anyone and everyone!