Khao Lak is world renowned as a scuba diving mecca; with its beautiful coral reefs, and rich marine life, not to mention being the nearest port to the amazing Similan Islands, it has been pulling divers in from all over the world for years. What really makes Khao Lak special is that unlike a lot of other top diving destinations, where your only options are to eat, sleep, and dive, Khao Lak offers a rich diverse culture and beautiful nature with plenty of things to do when you are out of the water. So aside from diving, what are the best things to do in Khao Lak?
If you like a long stroll on a pristine beach, then Khao lak is the place for you. There are several outstanding beaches in and around the area. The most famous of these are Pak Weep Beach and White Sands Beach. Not only do both beaches offer beautiful settings, but there are plenty of eateries around, they are a perfect place for a swim and walk washed down with a tasty lunch.
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Keeping with our nature theme, there are plenty of waterfalls in and around Khao Lak. Since most people visit during the dry season, they tend not to be at their raging best, but nevertheless they are well worth a visit. The closest waterfall is the Tong Chong Fa waterfall. This secluded idyllic place is great to while the hours away and have a swim in its refreshing waters.
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Who does not love turtles? To get to see these absolutely adorable creatures there is nothing better than a visit to the Royal Thai Navy Third Fleet Sea Turtle Nursery. This nursery is located about 15 minutes outside Khao Lak, and has various pools where the turtles are rehabilitated until they can fend for themselves and then be released back into the wild. If you can’t get your turtle fill there, there is another turtle sanctuary a little further away. The second is in Thai Muang, about 40 minutes away from Khao Lak, and is operated under the Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development department. Here they care for eggs laid at local nesting sites, as well as rehabilitating sick and injured animals. In addition, the sanctuary also has its own breeding programme. This center also breeds other fish such as anemone fish and sea horses, to be sold to aquariums to help fund the sanctuary.
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After a day diving, at the beach, clambering around waterfalls, what better way to relax than a relaxing session in a spa? Thai massages have ancient roots and are even considered to have spiritual origins. In and around Khao Lak there are many great spas offerings massages and other relaxing treatments. One of the great things about the spas is that they combine both western pampering with Thai healing traditions.
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If you are not already in love with Thai food, you will be by the time your first week in Thailand is over. The best way to capture some of the magic of Thai food and take it back home with you is by participating in one of the many cooking classes available in Khao Lak. Most of these classes teach authentic Thai home cooking, and are conducted in private residences. By the time your course is over, you will definitely learn to whip up a few delicious dishes, what better way to take back some Thai food magic with you?
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Being in the middle of a tropical paradise, there are many options open to you in Kho Lak. There are plenty of tours running to national parks, river rafting, and other outdoor pursuits. One of the best available tours is to Khao Sok national park. You can take day trips as well as overnight trips to Khao Sok. In Khao Sok, you can indulge in jungle trekking, rafting, and even Elephant trekking. A word of caution – if you opt for elephant trekking, research you company carefully to ensure that they are reputable and treat their animals well.
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A visit to Khao Lak would not be complete without a trip to the international tsunami museum. This poignant place remembers and honours the victims of the tsunami in 2004. The sheer power and devastation is driven home just outside by the presence of Thai Navy patrol boat T-813. This large military vessel was swept more than 2 Km inland by the tsunami! The area where it came to rest has been renovated and is now home to the museum commemorating this sad Read more on our full article about: Khao Lak Tsunami
Overall, Khao lak is not just a diving destination – it is an idyllic tourist place to visit that as a bonus happens to be also the home of some world class diving.