Warm waters and beautiful beach in Khao Lak on a sunny day

Khao Lak

Khao Lak’s beaches are straight out of central casting: pearlescent white sand, deep blue skies, and rustling palm trees leaning out towards glittering, turquoise seas. Add to this three national parks and the coral reefs of the Similan and Surin Islands — both within easy day-tripping reach — and you have one of our favourite spots in all of Thailand.

The scenery is so stereotypically paradisiacal that it’s hard to believe this stretch of coast was completely destroyed by the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004. Today, Khao Lak has not just rebuilt — it’s booming. Continuing tourism to the region has played a significant part in its recovery, and yet despite its popularity, Khao Lak retains a wholesome, family-friendly vibe that enhances rather than spoils its charms.

In fact, if you ask us, Khao Lak has everything you could wish for in a beach getaway. Sprawling along 20 miles of balmy Andaman coast, it has bustling beaches with lively nightlife, but it also has secluded stretches lined with sleepy villages. It has friendly budget guesthouses as well as upmarket resorts, and superb snorkelling and diving opportunities as well as foreigner-friendly restaurants and pristine jungle hikes. It’s fun without a trace of seediness, and foreigner-friendly without losing its local character. Such balance is rare, so take it from us: Khao Lak is a find.

Connects with

Khao Sok NP

Khao Sok National Park is the place to stay at a rafthouse lodge, to kayak on Thailand’s most beautiful lake, to follow your nose to metre-wide “corpse flowers”, and trek past whispering bamboo groves and hooting gibbons to remote wildlife sanctuaries.


The largest and most popular of the Thai Islands has as many different personalities as it has beaches — and that’s quite a few! Pay no heed to those who say Phuket is past its prime: there are pockets of paradise here to compete with anywhere in the world.


Krabi’s coastline is the stuff travel dreams are made of. Emerald vegetation clings to dramatic, gravity-defying cliffs, towering limestone pinnacles teeter precariously over the sea, and hundreds of little islands lie waiting to be explored.