For those interested in scuba diving in Similan Islands and Surin Islands, Khao Lak is the ideal place to stay, away from the hustle and bustle of cities.
A delightful place full of long and secluded beaches, Khao Lak is in the Phang Nga province of Thailand. It is located at a distance of about 60 km from Phuket Island, on its northern side. Phuket Island is Thailand’s biggest island. The silvery beaches of Khao Lak are fringed all over by enchanting mountains. The place was practically wiped off by the tsunami in 2004 but has risen again, phoenix-like, with renewed beauty.
How to reach Khao Lak
Traveling by air:
Though there are holiday flights from Europe to Phuket, these are rare and it is easier to fly to Bangkok and then take any of the many domestic flights to Phuket. From Phuket you have to proceed to Khao Lak by road. Most resorts and hotels arrange airport transfer and if it is not available, taxis are aplenty at the airport.
Traveling by bus:
Thailand has many long distance bus services. The buses are air-conditioned and comfortable, and it will take about 12 hours to travel from Bangkok to Phuket by bus. It works out to be much cheaper than flight. Buses from Takuapa to Phuket also serve travelers to Khao Lak.
Where to stay in Khao Lak
Khao Lak has no dearth of accommodation. There are grand, boutique-style resorts to cheaper budget hotels, catering to the needs of all categories of divers. You can browse the website Agoda.com to get detailed information on hotel rooms and resorts and to compare the prices. Whatever your choice may be, you can rest assured that you will get the best value for the money you spent. The site has an on-line chat service where you can ask questions to clear your doubts.
Palm Gardens Resort
Located just 60 kilometers north of Phuket, Khao Lak is a paradise for dive enthusiasts. Here, the Palm Gardens Resort is located, amongst the gorgeous tropical garden of Khao Lak. It features 10 Bungalows surrounding a large swimming pool with Jacuzzi and waterfall.
Every Bungalow is fully furnished with TV, mini-bar, charging station, air-conditioning, safe, en-suite bathroom that aligns with the needs of divers. There is also a veranda where you can take your breakfast and enjoy the morning sun. The dive center of the resort offers courses and dive trips to islands of Similan.
Climate of Khao Lak
Khao Lak is warm round the year. However, rainy season sets in by September and then days will become breezy and nights cool. Rains will go on till March but there will be plenty of sunshine in between the showers so that you can expect at least 26 sunny days in a month on an average. November to March is the time of the northeast monsoon. From the end of May till October is the time of the southwest monsoon. The Andaman Sea may become rough during the southwest monsoon.
Best time to visit Khao Lak
November to April is the best time to visit Khao Lak. However, December and January are peak seasons when the dive sites could be quite crowded. If you prefer those months, it is better to do your booking sufficiently in advance.
Nightlife in Khao Lak
There are many beach restaurants that provide excellent sunset views. Bars and pubs where visitors can meet each other and have a drink at night may not be too posh but are quite pleasant and entertaining.
Other entertainment choices
The unspoilt beaches of Khao Lak are ideal for trekking and there are mountainous jungles, mangroves, estuaries, and valleys full of forests to explore. Rafting across rivers, riding on elephants, and joining eco-tours are the other entertainment options.
Festivals of Khao Lak
Loi Krathong (also spelt Loy Kratong) is an important Thai festival. It falls on the full moon night of the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar. Beautifully decorated baskets are floated on water during this festival which generally falls in November.
Songkran, celebrated on April 13th, is the traditional Thai New Year’s Day. It can be called a water festival because that day young and old alike splash water on each other in homes as well as streets. Visitors can participate in the water revelry in full measure. Parades and pageant contests are the other attractions related to Songkran.
Scuba Diving in Khao Lak?
Check out our Khao Lak dive guide and start planning your next dive trip!