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

Phuket to Khao Lak

Phuket is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Thailand, and for good reason! Yet, many travelers don’t explore the beach towns and nature surrounding the country’s largest island. Did you know from Phuket you can easily get to Khao Lak, the Similan Islands, and even Khao Sok National Park?? If you’re looking for a more adventurous holiday, then this Phuket itinerary might be for you!

Top Khao Lak, Khao Sok & Phuket Itinerary Tips

Phuket Airport: Flying into Phuket Airport is easy as the island has direct flights from all over the world! When coming from New York City we often transfer through Doha International Airport with Qatar Airways. That way we can avoid going through Bangkok and adding another flight to our journey. 

Transportation: Contact your hotel in advance to arrange your airport pickup, or pre-book a ride with 12Go. Phuket International Airport is extremely busy. Obviously, having to figure out how to get to your hotel after a long day of travel isn’t ideal. You can also use Grab taxi which is similar to Uber in Thailand. However, they are not allowed to pick up at the airport so you will need to walk with your luggage just outside the entrance. 

Cash vs Cards: Credit cards are widely accepted in Thailand at hotels and shops. Still, it is good to have cash for street food, tuk tuk’s, and the famous night markets. If possible, always carry small bills! Make sure to check out our 40 favorite Thai Dishes!

Weather Warning: Like all of Thailand, the coast along the Andaman Sea has both wet and dry seasons. We wouldn’t recommend visiting during rainy season between June and November. For the least crowds, plan to go in swing season (December and May) or in the popular months from January to April for the best weather! 

Fun Phuket to Khao Lak Route

4 Days in Khao Lak Thailand 

How to Get from Phuket to Khao Lak

One of the greatest parts about this Phuket itinerary is how simple it is to get around the area. The best way to get from Phuket International Airport to Khao Lak is by taking a private transfer.

We set ours up directly through our hotel and the drive took just over an hour. The price for a private car can range depending on how many people you have, but typically will cost between 2.500 and 3,500 Thai Baht.

The reason why it makes sense to go to Khao Lak first is because the Phuket Airport is at the very north of the island. By starting your 10 day itinerary here you’ll avoid additional backtracking! Also, Khao Lak is an extremely relaxing and beautiful place to go as your first destination in Thailand. 

Khao Lak Thailand: 10 Helpful Things to Know For Your First Visit

Phuket to Khao Lak

Exploring Khao Lak Thailand

Khao Lak is a stunning area of Thailand with pristine beaches, an abundance of nature, and a fun night market. It tends to be quieter and more easy going compared to Phuket. This makes it a great place to start your Thailand trip, especially after a long day (or days!) of traveling to get here. 

You can spend your time relaxing at the pool, or renting a motorbike/bicycle to see the town. Another thing we loved about Khao Lak are that many of the best hotels are located along the beach.

During our visit to Khao Lak, we stayed at both La Flora and La Vela Resort. La Flora was very family friendly and had an amazing set of swimming pools. While La Vela is great if you are a couple looking for a romantic and fun getaway. 

Things Not to Miss in Khao Lak

  • Bang Niang Night Market which is open Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday
  • Take a bout tour to the Similan Islands or Surin National Park
  • Explore Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park
  • Check out the Laybay Surfskate Park
  • Beach hop down the Khao Lak coastline that stretches over 20km

Phuket to Khao Lak Thailand

2 Days at Khao Sok National Park

How to Get from Khao Lak to Khao Sok

Khao Sok is just under 2 hours away from Khao Lak. This is a very popular route and some travelers even take the journey to Khao Sok as a day trip. While there is a public bus we don’t recommend it as it’s confusing and long. 

Spending a night or two in Khao Sok National Park like we did? The best thing to do is to contact your hotel to inquire about transportation. Many hotels know that it can be a difficult area to get to and help arrange transfers so everyone connects with the right ferry times. 

If your accommodation doesn’t offer a shuttle service then you can book a private driver or shared minivan. You’ll see taxi stands to do this all around Khao Lak town. 

How to Get to Khao Sok National Park

Discovering Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park is one of those places that feels largely undiscovered. Still hidden from mass tourism, this unique part of the country draws a certain type of traveler in. 

The way the limestone cliffs tower above the massive lake, it almost feels like you’re on a different planet! One of the most interesting parts about Khao Sok is that you can stay right on the lake.

We spent the night at 500 Rai Floating Resort in a real overwater bungalow! They offered boat tours and jungle treks as well so we could truly see Khao Sok. Two days is the perfect amount of time to be inside the National Park and have a fun experience in nature. 

→ How to Visit Khao Sok National Park in Thailand

Things Not to Miss in Khao Sok

  • Boat Tour of Khao Sok National Park 
  • Explore the Coral Cave 
  • Morning Bird Watching 
  • Sunset Nature Safari
  • Kayaking on Cheow Lan Lake 
  • See Mae Yai Waterfall
  • Stay in a Floating Bungalow!

Khao Lak to Khao Sok

4 Days in Southern Phuket

How to Get from Khao Sok to Phuket Thailand

Again, the best way to get from Khao Sok to Phuket is to arrange the the transfer through your hotel. This way you can coordinate the car with the ferry back to Khao Sok Pier. If your hotel doesn’t include transfers (or if the price is too expensive) there is a couple of other options. 

Take the bus from Khao Sok to Phuket’s main bus station, or share a minivan to get back to the island! Out of the entire 10 day itinerary this will be the longest travel day. 

Khao Sok to Phuket Thailand

Back in Phuket Thailand

When you do get back to Phuket we recommend heading all the way to the south of the island. It is by far our favorite part of Phuket, and has some truly amazing beaches to discover.

Kata Beach and its next door neighbor Kata Noi are two of the most beautiful and filled with a range of hotels to fit any budget. You’ll also find great food, sun beds, and plenty of ice cold Chang beers to go around.

We’ve spent a lot of time on Phuket over the years and it’s a place you’ll never get bored. In fact, we even lived there and worked remotely for 2 months! You could easily spend an entire vacation here if you choose. Nonetheless, we hope we’ve given you a taste of Khao Lak and Khao Sok to show why they’re also worth visiting.

Things Not to Miss in Phuket

22 Fun Things to do in Phuket Thailand On Your First Visit

Phuket Itinerary

Have More Time in Thailand?

This 10 day Khao Lak, Khao Sok, and Phuket itinerary is the perfect trip to Thailand! However, if you are lucky enough to have even longer than we recommend heading to the islands next.

From Phuket you can easily jump on a fast ferry to Koh Phi Phi, rent a longtail boat and circle Koh Phi Phi Don, or visit the world famous Maya Bay

After Koh Phi Phi, jump on another ferry to Koh Lanta. Spend a couple of days beach hopping down the west coast and driving everywhere on a motorbike! From Koh Lanta you can continue island hopping to Koh Lipe, or travel to the mainland and experience Railay Beach. 

Phuket to Phi Phi Islands

Have any questions about this article or want to share your own tips for a Khao Lak, Khao Sok, or Phuket itinerary? Leave us a comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Phuket

Thailand Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we found flights from Bangkok to Phuket for $12 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50! 

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Transportation: While traveling through Thailand 12Go is where we find all our ferries, trains, buses, and transfers! You can find everything from island hopping speed boats to the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over Phuket! You can find everything from a James Bond island luxury sunset cruise, to Phuket Old Town 15-taster food adventure, and 5-hour island tour

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Thailand Travel Guide

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