Khao Lak, on Southern Thailand’s Andaman coast, is not high up the list for many tourists. But as well as being just half an hour from Phuket, it’s also got just as much – if not more – to offer than its popular neighbour. Here are 6 awesome things to do in this under-rated region.
1 – ROAD TRIPPIN’
The roads in Southern Thailand are some of my favourites in Asia. And around Khao Lak, they are nigh on perfect. Well maintained, not much traffic, safe, and so picturesque! Jungles, rivers and a lovely stretch of coastline, dotted with limestone karsts. And the best thing – compared to the hugely over-touristed Phuket, this area feels deserted. It’s an awesome place to be behind the wheel and one of the best things to do in Khao Lak.
2 – HIKE THROUGH THE JUNGLE
A short drive from Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park is the largest area of virgin rainforest in Southern Thailand and is older and more diverse than the Amazon. The park is home to over 5% of the world’s species including elephants, tigers, deer and even bear! You can even take a dip in the river at one of several easily accessible waterfalls. Don’t waste money on a guide – the paths are all well signposted – and keep an eye out for leeches!
3 – KAYAK THROUGH PHANG NGA’S MANGROVES
Neighbouring Khao Lak, the Phang Nga estuary (home to the infamous “James Bond Island”) is perfect to kayak around – gentle tides, lots of coves and inlets to explore, and unique sandstone and limestone formations that make for a great day out.
4 – WATCH THE SUN GO DOWN ON A DESERTED BEACH
Khao Lak, being on Thailand’s famous Andaman coast, is home to some of the world’s best sunsets. Watch the sun go down on one of many almost deserted beaches. Good luck finding such a beach that isn’t totally overcrowded at sunset in Phuket!
5 – GET A TASTE OF AMAZING SOUTHERN THAI FOOD
I ruddy love Thai food and without a doubt my favourite Thai region is the South. Curries tend to be a little more sour and definitely spicier. As well as the generally excellent seafood, you categorically have to try the Crab Yellow Curry. It’s incredible.
6 – WATCH A REAL THAI BOXING FIGHT
Phuket has several very popular Thai Boxing rings but Khao Lak’s stadium is more authentic and less “for the tourists” than in Phuket. It’s also a little cheaper! Fights are on every Friday night from 9pm.
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