Just 80 km north of Phuket, Khao Lak was essentially erased by the 2004 tsunami. But the town, and the tourist industry it relies on, has rebounded. It remains quieter than other coastal destinations, offering secluded beaches, tranquil nights and family-oriented activities. You want full moon parties and besotted nights? You’re out of luck. But if you’re looking for unparalleled scuba diving in the Similan Islands, you’ve hit the jackpot. Just 1 hour north of Phuket Island, in mainland Phang Nga province, Khaolak is a beautiful area with long, long stretches of sandy beach fringed by the mountains of the surrounding national parks. Recently “discovered” it offers nature lovers an unspoilt landscape of beaches, jungle covered mountains, forested valleys, mangroves and estuaries. Development has been careful with comfortable resorts and bungalows blending into the scenery along the coastline. A great place to relax. What to Do… More low-key than, Phuket, it’s a place to take it easy, read a book and get back to nature with a few comforts! Go for long walks on the beach, take a nature tour and explore the interior, go sightseeing by elephant, trek through the jungle or go rafting along the along local rivers. Eco-Tours leave every day. Khaolak is also a great jumping off point in the high season for a trip to the Similan Islands, renowned for the superb world class diving to be found there. Located further north, the Similans are more accessible and day trips within easy reach. Locale and Landscape Khaolak lies in the Takua-Pa district of Phang-Nga province, in the south of Thailand. Phang-Nga is situated on the West Coast facing the Andaman Sea, and lies within 1-2hrs driving distance of popular tourist destinations such as Krabi in the east, and Phuket in the south. A primarily agricultural province, Phang-Nga produces rubber and food crops such as rice, vegetables and fruit. A large proportion of the province is still comprised of forest, much of which is designated national park area. Khaolak itself is a national park area, resplendent with rich natural attractions, and a convenient departure point to other of Phang-Nga’s many points of interest, including the famous Similan Islands, and Surin Islands in neighbouring Ranong Province. Khaolak’s strong attraction is the beauty of its natural surroundings -bordering the Andaman Sea on one side, and surrounded by natural forest on other sides. Offering peace and tranquility, the area is reminiscent of Phuket in bygone days, and is the perfect spot to get away from the razzle and dazzle of more populated areas nearby. Getting ThereBy Air from Bangkok : A flight into Phuket International Airport, followed by a road trip of a further 80 kms to Takuapa town. Most hotels and resorts there have an airport transfer service. By Bus from Bangkok : take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal to Takuapa heading Phuket but don’t forget to tell the bus to get off at Khaolak which is on Km 56-57 heading to Phuket. By Car from Phuket : use route 402, pass the parallel spans of Sarasin and Thao Thepkrasatri Bridges. You are now in Phangnga province and heading to Koak Kloy town and Thai Muang and then Takuapa. Khaolak beach is on Km 56-57 heading to Takuapa town. By Car from Takuapa : Heading South to Phuket town about 50 kms from Takuapa to get to Khaolak Beach.