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Phuket or Khao Lak?

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
1 post
12 reviews
Phuket or Khao Lak?

I am planning to be in Phuket in November for 4 nights and currently thinking about extending it to 2 more nights. Should I extend my hotel stay (at the Sheraton Grande Laguna) or move hotel to the Le Meridien Khao Lak for the remaning stay?

What is the difference between these 2 destinations? ( I am already doing the snorkeling tour and Kayak tour at Phuket)

Also, how long would it take to travel from Phuket to Khao lak? Approx. how much would it cost and the best methods? Boat, car?

London, UK
Level Contributor
102 posts
80 reviews
1. Re: Phuket or Khao Lak?

We did two weeks recently - one in Khao Lak and one in Phuket. It all depends on where you want to concentrate looking around.

Khao Lak is smaller... nice beaches and some waterfalls and also some elephant trekking... It has enough to occupy you over 4 nights. Brilliant launch pad if you want to go snorkelling or diving in the Similans or Surin islands... They really are the best for snorkelling and diving. Gorgeous! We did ours with Khao Lak Land Discovery who were ok.

Le Meridien is a bit further from the the town though. If you hire a bike, that shouldn't be a bother. We stayed at Nang Thong (http://www.nangthong.com/) in a beachfront bungalow (3000 baht per night) and the facilities were incredible! We stayed at the Sheraton in Kuala Lumpur before we came over and I can honestly say Nang Thong was nicer.

However, you can do snorkelling in Phi Phi as well and unless you really want to go and see the near pristine beaches and underwater life in Similans or Surin, stick with Phuket. Phuket offers you more to do and Simba seas trips are the best to tour around the Phi Phi islands and/or Phang Nga Bay area.

It is about an hour and half drive between Phuket (Karon beach) and Khao Lak. It costs us about 1800 baht (I think) in a nice car. So with just 4 nights, you might take a whole afternoon to recover from the journey between the two. Don't know how the boat ride between those places will be.

Phang Nga, Thailand
Level Contributor
331 posts
1 review
2. Re: Phuket or Khao Lak?

Hello joyja,

Firstly, welcome to the Khao Lak forum. It has been said that Khao Lak is what Phuket was like, several years ago. However here is an introduction which may help you decide.

Khao Lak is about an hours drive north of Phuket airport along highway 4. Hotels will provide transfers (around 1800-2000THB one way) although taxis at the airport are plentiful (around 1500THB one way). Hire cars are available from the major operators, but be sure to have an international driving licence and full insurance. Driving in Phang Nga province is quite easy, just remember to do everything more slowly than at home and look out for locals on mopeds.

November to April is classed as the Dry or High Season. This brings hot and dry weather with perhaps the occasional shower towards the end of April. Hotel prices vary according to the class of hotel, although there is a wide range available from around 800THB per night to 40,000THB per night!

The two 5 star resorts in Khao Lak are the Sarojin and Le Meridien. These are located on Pak Weeb Beach, with Le Meridien being the most southerly and therefore the closest to Khao Lak centre. Pak Weeb beach is one of the best beaches in Khao Lak, in addition to Bangsak beach which is the next beach travelling north.

Khao Lak is essentially a series of villages along a beautiful coastline, with easy access to both land and sea based National Parks, waterfalls, elephant trekking, orchid farms and local towns. There is also an 18 hole Mini Golf Course! Travelling north, after passing Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park you have Bang La On, a few miles to the north are then Bang Niang and Khuk Khak. Hotel accommodation starts with The Poseidon Bungalows a few miles south of Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park, and ends at The Haadson resort on Bangsak Beach to the north.

Most larger hotels will run a shuttle bus service into Bang La On, often described as Khao Lak ‘centre’ although these may be at limited times and may be chargeable. There are plenty of taxis as an alternative. Bang La On is about 20 minutes by shuttle or taxi from, for example, The Sarojin.

Bang La On has the most shops, bars restaurants and banks. There are also many ATM machines. Bang Niang is smaller, but still has a good selection. You will find the majority of visitors to Bang Niang are couples whereas at Bang La On it’s mainly families. Khuk Khak is still quite small with a handful of restaurants and a few shops. In the High Season all of the restaurants will be open including a wide range of both independent and hotel based beachfront restaurants.

In Bang Niang there is a large range of accommodation from the 4.5 star Ramada to bungalow resorts like The Sanuk Bungalows. In Bang La On the accommodation is primarily 3 to 4 star, for example, the Baan Khao Lak on Nang Thong Beach and The Paradise on Sunset Beach, the next beach going south. Just south of Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park there is Khao Lak beach which has the popular Merlin Resort and the relatively new boutique Lukanawadee resort.

A good map of Khao Lak can be found here-


With a hotel listing here-


or here-




3. Re: Phuket or Khao Lak?

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