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Not too sure about khao lak

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margaret river
posts: 68
reviews: 4
Not too sure about khao lak

Hey all, been in khao lak for a few days and have to say as a first timer we are a little disappointed. Are we missing something? Everything I've read says quiet, peaceful etc but that main road has more lanes than our freeway back home! It's loud, and we witnessed a tourist get knocked off their bike (not pleasant) and after traveling to many places through Thailand and Indonesia this certainly isn't the quaintest. I dive so that's helping but my partner doesn't and we are staying at sensimar and just wondering if we need to go somewhere else to find this quietness and tranquility? We are pretty open minded and relaxed and from what we have seen/experienced so far it contrasts to everything we have read about it? Thoughts? Cheers

31 replies to this topic
Poulton-le-Fylde, UK
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
posts: 24,764
reviews: 61
1. Re: Not too sure about khao lak

It depends what your expectations are of Khao Lak compared with other Thailand destinations you may have visited and where you obtained information on which you based your decision to stay in KL. It certainly has recovered magnificently and developed significantly since it was the epicentre of the destruction, devastation and loss of life in Thailand of the 2004 Tsunami. Thankfully it remains, other than the 1 McDonalds, free from the western commercialism, that typifies other Thailand destinations especially its near neighbour, Phuket.

Sorry you are disappointed but I hope you fill find something of its attributes that make it "Paradise" for so many Khao Lak Lovers.

KL is essentially a beach destination and base for access to the Similans, Surins and Koh Tachai, to Phang Nga Bay and to Khao Dok National Park. However, to really appreciate the natural and mainly unspoiled beaches you ned to visit some of the outlying ones like the Coconut Beach part of the wonderful Pak Weeb Beach from where I am writing this reply after a super lunch in a superb location at the Boatyard Restaurant. Having visited Australia and your wonderful beaches there is still nothing better IMO than enjoying a delicious Thai meal on a fabulous Thai beach. The location of the Sensimar, although great for the restaurants, shops and bars of Bang La On does not have to us the beach appeal that our current holds. Perhaps give it a yet?

margaret river
posts: 68
reviews: 4
2. Re: Not too sure about khao lak

Thanks for your feedback guys. Going to explore further north today and check out some waterfalls! It is hard to imagine the destruction from 2004 and I agree it looks like nothing ever happened! But still struggling to find some charm, hopefully will find some today! We've discussed it and it's the only place we have been to in Thailand and Indonesia that has so many cars...other places are primarily motorbike focused and maybe that's why we are struggling. Saw another tourist carted away in an ambulance yesterday :-( so busy that road! Thanks heaps for your thoughts :-)

London, United...
posts: 10
reviews: 20
3. Re: Not too sure about khao lak

I went there a couple of years ago and won't be back, a big road next to the beach, totally charmless, I recommend Krabi province instead

Poulton-le-Fylde, UK
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
posts: 24,764
reviews: 61
4. Re: Not too sure about khao lak

"a big road next to the beach," - which one of the 25km of beaches was that then? Khao Lak is a linear destination and if you stay in one place your views will be limited that area. Did you go inland from the highway? North to Bangsak, Koh Kho Khao and Khao Sok or south to Phang Nga Bay?

"totally charmless, I recommend Krabi province instead" - I'm not sure people who only stay at Ao Nang would agree that had charm.

Like Khao Lak's or any major popular resort's areas the charm and beauty lie away from the commercial areas.

margaret river
posts: 68
reviews: 4
5. Re: Not too sure about khao lak

Ok so we spent the day exploring other areas and although it was 'nice', for us personally it lacks charm and character. The rubbish at the waterfalls was out of control and a big turn off. We have basically come to the conclusion that this place is great if you like to sun bake everyday. But that big main road is a big turn off and although there is some nice quainter areas, as a whole, we're not hugely impressed. Everyone is different and has different needs etc and I'm not dissing KL I'm saying it's just not for us :-)

melbourne australia
posts: 704
reviews: 23
6. Re: Not too sure about khao lak

I think Khao Lak, its either a place you visit, you like, grow to really like, and repeat visit,

or cross it off, heard about it, been there, nothing special.

its what ever floats your boat......

we are re visiting next april, and looking so much forward to another " where did those 12 days go " holiday.

As you mention there is a main road...

its the lifeline between the rest of Thailand and Phuket, and passes through "Khao Lak".

just as an aside,

we have visited Lombok twice recently.

Senggigi is widely promoted as having amazing beaches, jaw dropping scenery .vibrant nightlife..

beaches 2 out of 10

scenery 2 out of 10

vibrant nightlife, well if you wish to repeatedly pestered by hawkers,,,

thank goodness its only a transit stop....and pollution to inhale while trying to have dinner on the main tourist road.

The miles and miles of beaches, the absolute feeling of "turning off and tuning out "the beachside restaurants, the warmth of the locals...

its all there , just forget about the "road"

how did you get there ...??

enjoy the rest of your stay

7. Re: Not too sure about khao lak

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Poulton-le-Fylde, UK
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
posts: 24,764
reviews: 61
8. Re: Not too sure about khao lak

Perhaps those who say Khao Lak lacks "charm" can define what they mean by it.

Suggesting people should go to Koh Chang instead of Khao Lak when you have never visited KL is hardly an experience based recommendation. I suggest 450chris visits "this Khao Lak place" before passing judgement.

I understand the point about the widening of the highway going through KL and I thought the same when they started to do it in Bang Niang last year. However, on completion the local shops, food stalls etc that have emerged and add to what is the charm of Khao Lak to me.

We've had a great afternoon taking some TA friends from Iran to the Walking Street market in Takua Pa Old Town less than half an hour up the road from KL. if you have the opportunity go there. It is the Main Street which is closed from about 2pm to 6pm every Sunday afternoon in the High Season and is lined mainly with food stalls where the smells assail your senses. You may feel like strangers in a foreign land but are none the less welcomed by the stall holders and Thai people alike. Truly charming.

Se pics from this afternoon at https:/…

9. Re: Not too sure about khao lak

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Essex, UK
posts: 562
reviews: 53
10. Re: Not too sure about khao lak

Have been to Krabi twice. Have been to Khao Lak once. About to return to Khao Lak again.

Krabi and Khao Lak are VERY different in my opinion.

Krabi is very good for long tail day trips but Ao Nang (main tourist area) is a bit dull and every shop and restaurant the same.

Khao lak is more about the beach scene whereas in Krabi there are hardly any hotels with a beach and few restaurants by the beach.

I like Krabi but think I prefer the laid back Khao Lak Beach scene.

Edited: 2:07 pm, December 29, 2013
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