Khao Lak sits on the beautiful Phang Nga coast, about an hour north of Phuket airport. The name refers to a string of beaches, backed by mangroves and jungle-clad hills, so there is plenty to see and do here.
There is a great choice of accommodation along the beach, from basic to luxury and boutique, and the area's low-key nightlife means it’s popular with families, couples and honeymooners.
There’s little evidence of the devastating tsunami that swept through the resort in 2004, aside from a memorial and museum. If you can tear yourself away from the golden beaches and peaceful atmosphere, there are two National Parks within easy reach: the Khao Sok National Park with its impressive wildlife, and the Phang Nga National Park with its dramatic karst formations and secret lagoons. There’s world-class snorkelling and diving at the Similan Islands and Phuket is an easy day trip away.
Our Spin: Like several other places in Thailand, local provincial law says you can't build higher than a palm tree which means you can still enjoy uninterrupted views.