Khao Lak is in Phang-Nga Province in the south of Thailand. Khao Lak is both the name of a town on the Andaman Coast as well as a series of long golden sand beaches stretching along the west coast of Thailand. For all those people not keen on the noise, crowds and high prices of nearby Phuket island, Khao Lak is a great alternative. It has the same great beaches as Phuket but offers good value mid-range accommodation, peaceful beach settings and is family friendly.

The beaches in the Khao Lak region start with Bangsak in the north, then Pakarang, then Khuk Khak, then Bang Niang, then Nang Tong, then Lamru and Finally Khao Lak beach. The two busiest beaches are Nang Tong and Bang Niang. This is because they are the closest to all the shops, bars, restaurants and facilities of the main town (that is also sometimes called Nang Tong or Bang La On). On all of the beaches of Khao Lak you will find long stretches of nearly deserted beach. The resorts are well spread out and several make the slightly false boast that they offer private beach front.

Rooms in resorts with air-con, hot water and TV normally start at about $30 a night in the low season. The cheapest place to stay is probably Khao Lak Youth Hostel. The more expensive places include the Beyond Resort Khao Lak (Bangsak), and the JW Marriott Khaolak (Khuk Khak).

The drawcards of Khao Lak are the diving opportunities just off the coast at the Similan Islands and Surin Islands, and a visit to Khao Lak Lamru National Park. It is usual for people to do a 2 or 3 night liveaboard cruise of the best diving spots of the Similan Islands. It is the best place in Thailand to dive and in the top 10 diving areas in the world. You can see mantas, whale sharks, sharks, moray eels, turtles as well as an abundance of fish and colorful corals. Lamru National Park is composed of rainforest rich in flora and fauna and a stretch of coast that is great for relaxing and snorkeling.

For those who enjoy beach culture, diving, snorkeling, laid back ambience and peaceful accommodation Khao Lak is definitely worth a visit. If you just want to party then go to Phuket.

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