10 Things to Know Before Visiting Khao Lak Thailand

Khao Lak Thailand

Khao Lak is a beautiful beach town that every traveler will love in Thailand. Yet, before you go there are a few tips you should know! Here’s some important info on the Bang Niang Market, the best beaches, and more of our favorite things to do in Khao Lak.

10 Tips For Visiting Khao Lak Thailand

1. Easy to Get to There From Phuket Airport

The first thing you should know about Khao Lak is how simple it is to get to from Phuket! In fact, it’s only 1 to 1.5 hours directly from Phuket International Airport.

The best way to get there is take a private transfer (taxi or shuttle) after you land. It will cost between 1,200 and 2,000 Baht depending on how many people you’re traveling with. You can pre-book the transfer with 12Go which is what we use for all our ferries, trains, and buses in Thailand. Also, if you contact your hotel they can usually set up a driver for you. 

There is a bus to Khao Lak from Phuket if you’re looking to save some money. However, we wouldn’t recommend this as it’s not a direct route and can often take over 3 hours. That’s not including the time it will take to actually travel to the bus stop, too! 

How to Get to Khao Lak Thailand

2. Khao Lak Beach & More Sandy Gems

If you didn’t know, Khao Lak has some of the most beautiful beaches in Southern Thailand. One of the most popular is named simply Khao Lak Beach and sits in the middle of the area. However, there are several others worth visiting along more than 20 km of coastline.

One of our favorites is South of Khao Lak Beach called Bang Niang. Here you’ll find beautiful luxury resort hotels and plenty of fun beachside bars and restaurants. Just South of that is Nang Thong which even has it’s own lighthouse!

If you have time we recommend renting a motorbike or hiring a driver to go beach hopping in Khao Lak. There’s so many beautiful beaches to enjoy.

Khao Lak Beach

Quick Thailand Tips

3.  Bang Niang Market 

Experiencing the Bang Niang Market is one of the best things to do in Khao Lak. It’s just a short 10 minute walk from Bang Niang Beach and can easily be visited by motorbike or taxi for those staying nearby.

If your accommodation is down by the beach you can expect to pay 300 Thai Baht for a round trip taxi. The driver will wait for you to be finished at the market in Khao Lak and take you back to your hotel after.

The Bang Niang Market is open Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from early afternoon to 9:30pm. The best time to go is at night when the market in Khao Lak really comes alive.

It’s a great place to go shopping for souvenirs, taste the different street food, and have a drink. They even sell special mojitos everywhere for just 60 Baht!

→ What’s Thai Food? 40 Delicious Dishes & Drinks You Must Try!

Bang Niang Market

4. Perfect Stop Between Phuket and Khao Sok

Another great reason to visit Khao Lak Thailand is its key location in between two other amazing destinations. Of course, you’ve probably heard of Phuket already as it’s Thailand’s largest and most popular island. Many travelers spent all their time here as there is just so much to do and see on Phuket.

Nevertheless, if you’re up for an adventure we have a spot for you! Khao Sok may not be the most well known National Park in Thailand, but after visiting we can say it certainly deserves more attention. Here you can take a boat tour of Cheow Lan Lake, or even stay overnight in a floating bungalow.

As we mentioned, it’s just over an hour from Phuket to Khao Lak. From there it’s only an additional 2 hours to Khao Sok National Park. This makes it the perfect itinerary if you have the time to see all three places.

10 Day Adventurous Itinerary: Phuket to Khao Lak & Khao Sok

Khao Sok from Khao Lak

5. Khao Lak Thailand is a Jump Off to the Islands 

For tropical paradise lovers, you’ll happy to learn that Khao Lak is also nearby to two stunning island groupings. The Surin and Similan Islands are amazing and just a short boat ride away from the beaches of Khao Lak. 

During our trip to Khao Lak we had the chance to go on a boat tour with Wow Andaman to the Similan Islands. We got to see several different islands, take the hike to Sail Rock viewpoint, and go snorkeling throughout the day.

Many tourists take these tours from Phuket. Yet, by leaving from Khao Lak you’re at a tremendous advantage! Not only is it much closer of a boat ride, but you’ll get to all the best spots before the Phuket travelers arrive.

→ Similan Islands Tour: Day Trip to Thailand’s Amazing National Park

Khao Lak to Similan Islands

6. Famous for Scuba Diving 

While snorkeling is very popular, Khao Lak Thailand is also know for its scuba diving. Some of the very best places are around the islands we mentioned above. There are also a few different shipwrecks where you can see an abundance of sea life.

We had such a good time snorkeling that we can’t imagine how good the diving is. From whale sharks to manta rays, and all kinds of colorful fish, there are so many reasons you’ll love scuba diving in Khao Lak! 

Khao Lak Thailand Scuba Diving

7. Khao Lak Has a National Park

While Khao Sok is a must-see, you should also know that Khao Lak has it’s very own National Park. Khao Lak-Lam Ru starts along the Andaman Sea and covers an area of 125 square km.

The park boasts an incredible amount of bird and mammal species to observe. Some interesting animals to look out for here include flying lemurs, monitor lizards, and hornbills. 

To see Khao Lak-Lam Ru you’ll want to hire a guide who can take you on a hike through the rainforest. Like we said, Khao Sok National Park is totally worth the trip, too!

How to Visit Khao Sok National Park in Thailand

Khao Lak National Park

8. Hotels for Every Travel Style

One of the best parts about staying in Khao Lak is the variety of different hotels and resorts to choose from. Luckily, we got to experience two different accommodations during our visit!

La Flora Khao Lak is a beautiful resort and spa located right on Bang Niang Beach. This is a fantastic place for families, and the swim-up pool access rooms are so much fun.

If you’re looking for a little bit of a different vibe, La Vela is just down the beach. This would be our pick for a romantic stay for couples, or even the adventurous traveler. They have a surfskate park and it was here we went to the Bang Niang Market from.

For more affordable options there are cheaper accommodations on the main road in Khao Lak. However, the beach is definitely the best place to be!

Khao Lak Hotel

9. Khao Lak Tsunami Museum

Sadly, Khao Lak was one of the areas most devastated in Thailand by the 2004 tsunami. It claimed the lives of over 4,000 people with some saying that number is vastly underestimated. 

Fortunately, Khao Lak has since rebuilt and its beauty attracts more and more tourists to the shores each day. Since then, there have been tsunami shelters created and an alarm system to notify people to get to higher ground in case of emergency.

If you’d like to learn more about the disaster or pay your respects you can visit the International Tsunami Museum of Khao Lak. 

Khao Lak Tsunami Museum

10. Best Time to Visit Khao Lak Thailand

The last tip we have for you is about what time of year to go to Khao Lak Thailand. This will be pretty easy to understand as Thailand has a wet and dry season. This makes the best time to go to Khao Lak from December to March.

During these months the area experiences less rain so you can make the most out of your vacation. Just remember, in a tropical place like Thailand you will still have the occasional showers!

When’s the Best Time to Visit Thailand For Perfect Weather?

Khao Lak Lighthouse

Is Khao Lak Thailand Worth Visiting? 

Yes! If you couldn’t tell from our post Khao Lak Thailand is totally worth visiting! We were honestly a little surprised that we hadn’t made the trip there sooner. 

The beaches are beautiful, there are plenty of hotels for every budget, and it’s not as busy as nearby Phuket! Do you think Khao lake is worth visiting? Let us know in the comments below. 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake


Khao Lak

Thailand Travel Guide

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  1. damian dwyer
    April 21, 2024 / 10:00 pm

    Thank you for the informative information about Khao Lak beach area. I love Thailand and have been there on a few occasions , on motor bike riding too. My wife and i have also been to Koh Samui and Phuket but plan to go to Khao Lak in early October. I know this is Monsoon time but looking up reviews ,travelling at this time it can be pot luck , but the reviews were 4-5 yrs ago. As the weather has changed a lot at different times of the year everywhere in the world , as we have experienced here in Australia too. Can you give me an up date of how it was last year in early October 2023 please ? we are prepared to take the risk but would appreciate you professional opinion . Thank you so much we love you site

    • Brigitte & Jake
      April 22, 2024 / 3:49 am

      Hi Damian,

      Thanks for reading! We’ve been to Thailand as early as November before and the weather has been fine. With that said, you’re definitely risking some rain heading there in October as it’s on the edge of Monsoon season.

      Sorry we’re not sure about the weather last October. If possible, you should try and wait to have the best experience. Khao Lak is amazing!

  2. Wyn
    April 4, 2024 / 9:24 am

    Khao Lak looks so amazing! I have to add this to my bucket list!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      April 4, 2024 / 9:28 am

      Such a beautiful coastal town in Thailand! We love Khao Lak (-:

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