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Khoa lak information weather, hotels, beaches etc

Barcelona
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Khoa lak information weather, hotels, beaches etc

Hello everybody!!

i will visit Khao lak but i am a bite confuse... about all i can not localize where is it exactly! how can i get it?

About hotels which one you recommend me.... i would like a beautiful hotel in front of the beach... which beach is the best in Khoa lak ?

when is the best time to visit it? when is monzon period there? i will like to visit Similian islands as I am diving!

There is a center where you can buy t-shirts copies, sunglasses etc... as in phuket or koh samui... and the possibility to eat something and drink.

Is it possible to rent a motorbike? do you know how much cost more or less?

which excursions are the best one? is it possible to arrive to koh samui or krabi and how?

I know thera are a lot of questions but i am really lost...

thanks about all... a big huggg

Phang Nga, Thailand
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1. Re: Khoa lak information weather, hotels, beaches etc

This summary may help.

Khao Lak is a quiet destination best known for its proximity to world-class dive sites, relaxed atmosphere, long beaches and scenic interior - only an hour's drive north from Phuket International Airport. The beauty of Khao Lak best reveals itself when approached from the south. The narrow road first winds through virgin forest, and then, as it leads towards Khao Lak centre, just after the Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park entrance, it offers an expansive view of an endless stretch of golden sand lapped by the brilliant blue Andaman Sea.

Development has accelerated in recent years and many parts of the area appear to be under construction, but it's still very easy to get away from it all. Thankfully, local development has remained quite low-key and Khao Lak is so far still a relaxed and natural place. The upside, of course, is that there is now a great range of accommodation available here, from basic bungalows with or without air conditioning and hot water for those on a limited budget to five-star luxury resorts for the more affluent. Have a look at www.sawadee.com for a list of accomodation and prices and www.khaolakmap.com for an idea of where they all are.

While the wide, empty beaches are the main attractions of Khao Lak, it's also the closest mainland launch point for trips over to Thailand's top dive sites: the Similan and Surin islands, easily reached within a few hours by boat.

Renowned for their colourful marine life, vast coral gardens and clear waters, the Similan group of islands attract many divers and snorkellers on daytrips and liveaboards (closed from May-October). Surin is also a fascinating dive destination, and its lush interior is worth exploring on foot as well. The national parks within or nearby the Khao Lak area, for example Kaho Sok, are also fantastic places to hike around, take an elephant trek or water rafting trip and enjoy the abundant tropical vegetation, wildlife, waterfalls and streams.

To get to Khao Lak from Phuket, take route 402, over the bridge to Phang-Nga province. Turn onto Highway 4 and head towards Thai Muang and Thap Lamu – Khao Lak lies just beyond at La On Village, Bang Niang village and Khuk Khak village. Travel time is about 80 minutes. A taxi from Phuket airport will cost around 1500THB one way. Bus services from Phuket to Phang-Nga town are also available hourly from the Phuket bus terminal. The trip takes about 2 hours. From Phang-Nga Town catch a local bus to Takua Pa and asked to be set down at Khao Lak, or Bang La-on.

From Krabi , take Route 4 up to Phang-Nga, through the town and continue on Route 4 through Takua Thung, Thai Muang, up to Khao Lak. The trip can take up to 2 hours depending on weather and road conditions. If going by bus from Krabi, take one heading towards Phuket, and change at Kochloi to a bus heading for Takua Pa and Ranong. Ask to be dropped at Khao Lak or Bang La-on.

Visitors to Khao Lak can expect to find the weather to be warm all year round.

If really hot weather is not your style, the cool NE monsoon season, from November though March, is the least humid, and the cool breezes keep things comfortable. The average temperature is around 75°F to 89°F (24°C to 32°C) at this time.

For sun lovers, the hottest time is from April through May, with temperatures ranging from 80°F to 95°F (27°C to 36°C). There are frequent short heavy thundery showers, offering welcome relief from the temperature and humidity. June, July and August is less hot, and though the weather is generally fine, there can be brief but heavy showers, with plenty of sunshine between downpours. Temperatures range between 70°F and 90°F (20°C to 33°C).

During September and early October the monsoon sets in, but even then there are long intervals of sunshine between the heavy showers.

Khao Lak is enjoyable at any time of year however due to the range of excursions and activities, both water- and land-based that offer themselves during most times of the year. This means that it’s not unusual for some visitors visit Khao Lak twice or three times per year.

Khao Lak is the gateway to some of the top diving areas that southern Thailand has to offer.

It has the advantage of being in closer proximity than neighbouring Phuket and Krabi for day trips to locations such as the Similan and Surin Islands and can therefore offer a cost and time effective alternative for those seeking to explore the underwater world.

The Similan Islands are 3 hours by boat off the coast of Phang-Nga. The diving here is generally considered to be the best in the region, and compares favourably with some of the best in the world.

Diving possibilities range from touring coral gardens to adventurous drift diving in strong currents. In the judgement of Asia Magazine (October 18-20, 1991): "Every diver has particular favorites, but few would dispute that the Similans... are one of the best.

The visibility tops 100 ft between the November-April peak season, revealing a wonder world among the giant granite coral-coated boulders stacked one atop the other to depths of 90 ft and more."

Koh Huyong, the southernmost island of the Similan group offers a magnificent coral garden in 7-14m (23-46ft) of clear waters. This site frequently has over 30m (98ft) visibility, only slight currents and is considered a very safe site.

An extensive reef runs off another of the southern islands and provides at least four different dive sites. One bottoms out at 25m (82ft) and has many large rocks which provide a most interesting contour; many large schools of fish inhabit the area.

Another part of the reef has an excellent 20m (65ft) dive, with a lot of small lava type rocks which provide a home for colorful anemones, hydroids and soft coral as well as moray eels and red grouper. The visibility is seldom less than 30m (98ft) and frequently better. There is often a strong current, providing an ideal site for drift dives.

The Surin Islands are located about 60 km off the west coast of Phang-Nga Province, well known for diving, snorkelling and hiking in the surrounds of what is designated national park area. Of the five islands that make up the group, Koh Surin Neua (north island) and Koh Surin Tai (south island) are the principal islands - lying just across a small bay from each other, and where basic bungalow style accommodation and camping grounds can be found for overnight visits.

Like the Similan Islands, Surin Islands are best visited during the months of December to March when the seas are at their most calm, and for divers and snorkellers, water visibility is good. Local nature enthusiasts particularly favour these islands for the great hiking opportunities afforded here. A number of trails can be found, especially on the north island.

To reach the Surin Islands, charter a boat from any of the major piers in any of Phang-Nga, Phuket or Ranong provinces. From Khao Lak, charter a boat from any beachside location or zip up to the village of Ban Hin Lat for the easiest (and cheapest!) access from the mainland.

The Similans and Surins are closed for maintenance during the monsoon season.

There are two basic categories of transportation in Khao Lak: those that you steer, and those that someone else steers.

In the first category are cars, motorbikes, and bicycles. Rental cars are available at the airports; sticking with a known international company is suggested. Many hotels can arrange for motorbike rentals, and some also have mountain bikes available for those that prefer peddle power.

Choosing to let someone else do the driving is also popular. Resorts away from the action will have shuttles running at designated times – usually for a nominal fee. Local taxi trucks are also an option. If you take the hotel’s bus to town, this is often the most convenient way to return – though you might have to negotiate front door service for out of the way destinations.

Trips out to small islands off the main land are easily made by long tail boat - arranged through agents at any of the hotels and guesthouses in the area.

For ventures further a field, local bus services will take you to any district you want to go. The most convenient method of travel around however is by songthaew or taxi truck, easily hired from any town by the trip or for the entire day. Jeep and motorbike rentals are also widely available.

The waterfalls in Khao Lak aren’t the world’s most impressive, but that’s not the point – the journey is more important than the destination.

The jungle cascades are a great excuse to take a break from the sun and venture into the cooling shade of the tropical forest.

Keep in eye out for critters, creatures, and crawlies – and please note that some waterfalls may fall under the protection of a national park; entrance fees may apply.

Chong Fah Falls lie about 5 kms north of Khaolak along the main coast highway from Phuket up to Takua Pa. Easily accessed by rental car or motorcycle.

Lumpee Waterfall is reached by heading 20 km south from Khaolak towards Thai Muang district, lie Lumpee or Lam Phi Falls. The waterfall is medium sized and divided into three levels, each about 100 meters high. It flows year round.

Tohn Prai Waterfall is a large waterfall situated in Thai Muang National Park. Drive to within 1 km of the falls, then continue on foot. The hike to the falls is most enjoyable during dry season.

Off shore from Hat Khaolak are some coral gardens which make for interesting snorkelling and diving. Reached by longtail boat, the trip takes about 45 minutes and can be organised through local operators beachside at Hat Khaolak.

Phang-Nga Province has an annual 7-day Turtle Releasing Festival in March.

Turtles raised by the Fisheries Dept. are released by festival participants into the sea at Thai Muang.

La On Village is the ’centre’ of the Khao Lak. A few kilometres in length, it’s also home to the greatest collection of restaurants in Phang Nga province. If you want elegant, the five-star hotels will impress. La On Village offers a much more casual environment at much better prices. Lots of Thai choices, and nearly as many European options, ensure a varied experience. Two of the best and oldest Thai restaurants in Khao Lak are right next door to each other on the main street – Jai Seafood and Khao Lak Seafood. Not far away, you’ll also find Tiffy’s Café, Ruen Mai, Dee Seafood, Sala Thai, Nom’s Family Restaurant, Phu Khao Lak, Everyday Kitchen and many others – including evening street vendors. For international favourites – burgers, pizza, potatoes, cheese – try the Viking Steak House, O’Conner’s Irish Pub, Freestyle, Eule, or Mr Indian Food.

Coffee shops are also well represented in La On Village, with my favourite, Mrs Coffea, Stempfer Café, and Coffee Arthit serving steaming cups of this beverage along with tasty morsels to nibble on.

A short walk down a small hill and you’re on Nang Thong Beach. The restaurants in the resorts – notably Ton-Thong Restaurant (Suwan Palm Resort), Nang Thong Bay Restaurant (Nang Thong Bay Resort), and Green Beach Restaurant (Green Beach Resort) – are perfect for romantic sunset cocktails and dinner.

Elsewhere in Khao Lak there are superb beachfront restaurants, for example at Pakweeb Beach near The Sarojin and at Bangsak Beach near The Haadson Resort.

Just up the road a few miles from La On, you get to Bang Niang. On the main street you have The Takieng, Dao Thong and Kiaw Niaw restaurants, plus many bars. Off the main street and towards the beach there’s The Candle, the new Sawadee Lobster and Seafood Restaurant, and the restaurants at La Flora Resort and the Mukdara Beach Resort. The Chong Fah Restaurant has the luxury of being close to not only the sea, but massage beachfront massage huts too. Amanusa, Tonson, Coconut Grove, and Ayara are in the dinner-and-a-view category also.

In the small maze of meandering streets running parallel to the beach, you’ll find Ladda Restaurant, Joe’s Steakhouse, Amsterdam Restaurant, Talay Thai Seafood Restaurant, and the German Bakery. Some serve Thai food, some focus on hearty international fare, and some a little of both; the name of the establishment is a sure way to tell which is which.

The bar scene is Khao Lak is very mellow. With plenty of places to fulfil just about any excess-filled fantasy down the road in Phuket, Khao Lak focuses instead on good clean family fun. The undoubted champion of late night fun is the Happy Snapper, where a great live band entertains a crowd as diverse and colourful as the mural on the ceiling.

By no means the lone option, it’s joined by Freestyle Bar, Marlin Bar, Eule Beer Garden, O’Conner’s Irish Pub, Tarzan Bar, and Mex Biker Bar are all nearly within spitting distance. Ska Bar is in the centre of town, and consists of a small drink hut and open-air tables in the middle of a street-side shopping plaza; there’s no better place to people watch with a cold brew while your significant other rummages for the perfect souvenir for your relatives or obtains some necessary medication from the pharmacy. D.Time is across the street, or head a bit more southerly for pool, sports, and divers (and the people who love them) at Scuba Groupie, located in the Khao Lak Grand City building.

In Bang Niang you can find your favourite sporting events at Gecko Sports Bar & Grill, live Thai music at 813 Degrees Bar, pool tables at P&Y Bar, and great drinks at Piranha Bar.

You can also enjoy a drink in a local style bar such as Song's Bar, located 150 meters on the left after you entered the street near the 7/11 facing the Thai Army boat brought inland during the tsunami. The bar is popular among divers and expats.

Like dining and drinking, shopping options number in the dozens rather than the hundreds. The souvenir shops in La On Village come to life as the afternoon grows late and cools off.

Some are bursting at the seams with inventory – offering just about every trinket imaginable – while others specialize in, say, tee shirts or beach gear.

Art stores, though not as prevalent as CD and DVD stalls, feature some of the more impressive gifts available – like silk wall hangings, wooden knickknacks, and paintings.

For a complete makeover, from the bridge of your nose to the tips of your toes, stop by Top Charoen Optical or KT Optic for a new pair of designer eyeglasses, The Andaman Tailors or Monty the Tailor for custom suits, shirts, and dresses, and then enjoy a massage – foot, oil, or traditional Thai – at any of the places in town.

Small convenience stores, including (if not especially) 7-11, are ubiquitous; finding a cheap bottle of water or a tube of sun cream won’t be a problem.

There are a number of shopping plazas which have sprung up in Khao Lak including the Khao Lak Town plaza at the north end of La On and The Emerald Plaza in Bang Niang.

La On Village also has a number of internet cafes – useful for bragging on forums in real time or uploading photographs to those websites which always seem to blur your shots– and camera stores where you can have pictures printed, pick up extra film (if you still use this stuff!), or transfer photos from memory card to disc. ATMs and exchange booths are also readily available.

Cape Panwa, Thailand
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2. Re: Khoa lak information weather, hotels, beaches etc

Hello

The best beach in Khao Lak is Pakweep you will find two hotels here the Le Meridien and the Sarojin.The mukdara hotel is also very nice at Bang Niang. Have a look at www.khaolaklovers.com for maps and info

If you want to dive at the Similan islands then the time to come is from November to End of April.

Shopping in Khao Lak is not as good as Phuket as it is a small village but there are plenty of restaurants ,bars,and you will find shops selling the usual t shirts, bags, and sunglasses ect.

It is possible to get to Krabi by road 2 hours approx.

Julie

Bentley
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3. Re: Khoa lak information weather, hotels, beaches etc

Thanks for all the information - very interesting and useful reading. However, i'm hoping there is a boat to the Similans that does it in less than 3 hours! I thought I read somewhere 70 mins - I'm certainly hoping I did.

Cape Panwa, Thailand
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4. Re: Khoa lak information weather, hotels, beaches etc

Hi Liccylaccy,

If you look on the similan itinerary for www.khaolaklanddiscovery.com and also www.khaolaktours.info they both state 1 hour by boat to the islands. When my hubby went last year he thought it was a bit longer than 1 hour but he was not clock watching.The boat trip to Surin was 1hour 15 mins when i did that one.

Julie

Barcelona
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5. Re: Khoa lak information weather, hotels, beaches etc

Thank you very much for all information it is incredible....

I was thinking visit at the end of April or beggining of May... do you think is not enought good weather? what do you recommend me... getting before bkk or khao lak... ??

is the possibility to fly or drive from here until koh samui?

About similian islands will be opened at beggining of May... and the end of April?

You are fantastic.... thanks a lot

Cape Panwa, Thailand
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6. Re: Khoa lak information weather, hotels, beaches etc

Sonrisaviaiera,

The similan islands opening season is usually mid November to 16th May. There is a rumour that this year it will open 1 st November.

Julie

Poulton Le Fylde...
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for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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7. Re: Khoa lak information weather, hotels, beaches etc

Definitely only just over an hour by speedboat to the Similans from Tab Lamu pier, the main starting point for tours there from Khao Lak. However, if you book a tour when you are in Khao Lak, it should nclude transfers to anf from the pier from your hotel. Same if you want to go to the Surins. Whilst you may get a cheaper deal from the beachside, the craft used are not always the safest or equipped with appropriate safety equipment. I would alwas use a recognised tour company like Khao Lak Land Discovery for the Surins or the Similans. There are plenty of others in Bang La On.

You should be ok for both at the end of April, beginning of May but April ill be more certain.

To get to Koh Samui from Khao Lak, the best way is a taxi to Surat Thani then catch a ferry from there to Samui. You can they fly back to Bangkok from Samui.

8. Re: Khoa lak information weather, hotels, beaches etc

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