For many, holidays in Khao Lak consist of sunbathing on a beach or playing in a pool, however what can you do if you fancy a change of scenery? Here are my top unusual tourist attractions in Khao-Lak which you may not have heard of and will hopefully spice up your day. Make more memories by visiting some off-the-track sites which you may never have known existed.
Beach Hopping – Hardly Unusual
Don’t just sunbathe on your own beach, as there are so many to choose from all with their own characteristics. Just because they may appear to be on the West they definitely do not all look the same. Take Poseidon beach as an example, it is covered in stunning lava rocks and is very different from the likes of ‘White Sand Beach’. Read this blog for my top 6 beaches to visit in Khao Lak.
Thailand is covered in temples of all sizes and colours and one temple just north of Khao Lak town centre will not disappoint. With colourful bunting, elephant statues flanking the sides of the main building there is so much to take in. Don’t forget it is essential for ladies to cover their shoulders and knees to enter religious sites. This particular temple is called Kuek Khak Temple and it was lovely to spend a short while wandering around the grounds. Another building we passed several times had many statues of cockerels outside and we think this could be a temple too?
The tsunami of 2004 killed thousands of people in many countries, Thailand being one of the worst affected. Khao Lak was at the centre of the devastation and therefore there are lots of memorials dotted around to commemorate lives lost. Visit this post to find out which ones we visited during our stay.
Try the Local food
When in Rome….. Don’t just eat the more famous dishes such as Pad Thai, Green Thai Curry or a noodle dish. Get stuck in to the kinds of foods locals eat, especially give the ‘Thai spicy’ heat a go at least once. We always visit the local markets just out of interest, and even when we have no idea what anything is we always try out at least new thing. I’m not saying that we always like what we try though.
Turtle Conservation Center
This attraction may not seem terribly usual however it is the location this conservation which is. The sanctuary is accessible only by entering the Royal Thai Naval Base! Interesting! Many tanks of varying sized turtles can be seen, all whom have been rescued. Read more here about what you need to take with you in order to gain entry. A tour is also available which combines going jungle rafting in the National Park with visiting this sanctuary. For more information click here.
Hotel Wrecked By Tsunami
I love stuff like this, it was almost like being in Tomb Raider! Not necessarily seen as a top tourist attraction in Khao Lak, it is however unusual! This hotel was sadly destroyed by the 2004 tsunami and nature was taking it back. I couldn’t get much closer as there was a river in my way and I was concerned about snakes being in the undergrowth. You can find this just south of the Devasom hotel on the beach side of the road behind Khuk Khak Beach. Tucked right in the trees you may miss it like we did but you can see what remains of the roof at the bottom of this picture below the bar, opposite what I remember to be some kind of meteorological station (to detect more tsunamis one might hope!)
Hire a Motorbike
A brilliant way to see the area is to hire a bike. I was a little sceptical about doing this but I couldn’t have been more wrong. We found an excellent company (Five Star Motorbike Hire) and it gave us such freedom. The main roads are excellent, not a pothole in sight unlike in the UK. Obviously when you go down the side roads they can vary in the type of surface but just take it slowly and carefully. We took our bike on a boat trip to the next item in the list. Fun!
Kho Koh Khao Island
A very short longtail or ferry boat trip away from the main land is Kho Koh Khao Island. Dotted around with some lovely luxury hotels this island is perfect for a day trip or to stay a few nights. There are signs that covid hasn’t been friendly to all businesses but I’m sure that it will pick back up. If you have a bike this is worth a little day trip.
Snorkel at the Stunning Similan Islands
With plenty of surrounding islands in the glistening bright blue sea there are plenty of places to go for a snorkel. We went to the Similan Islands a few years back and saw parrot fish which were 1 metre in length! The islands are closed to tourists for 6 months of the year in order to protect them which I think is an excellent idea. The islands are very beautiful too and I have an entire blog you can read about the islands. The Surin islands are also fairly close but I have yet to visit these. For ideas on the types of excursions and prices take a look here, there are so many boat trips to do you will probably have too much choice!
With several waterfalls to choose from you can get your waterfall fix here. Always best viewed towards the wet season as they can run a little dry. These falls were reached via a very short walk from the parking area. A lovely little restaurant was on site too in case you are hungry and thirsty.
Boon Soong Iron Bridge
Something completely different and a bit unusual, this iron bridge is worth a little drive by, and if you are daring enough, a little drive across. The distance is actually quite long and Mr C was not up for driving the bike across so we just viewed it from the road.
Takua Pa Old Town
On a Sunday Takua Pa Old Town has a walking street market. The main road through the ‘High Street’ is closed off to traffic and stalls are set up along the length selling all sorts. It begins at 3pm and goes on in to the evening and is an excellent way to get amongst local life. Fancy combining the Old Town, some temples with a bit of lunch? Here are some more ideas to enhance your trip and see the most of of the area.
Ton Pling Waterfall
This little waterfall is really cute and is just off of the main road and up a little hill. Reviews I had read said there would be lots of monkeys running around but that must have been pre-Covid. We had the whole place to ourselves, not a single other human or animal was there.
Eat Up A Hill
There are so many restaurants to choose from in Khao Lak you will never go hungry. Search out this lovely little resturant up the hill from the main drag for a completely different view. It is called Phu View and we had a lovely lunch here one day. Beware, it is up a very steep hill, the motorbike was pushed to its limit getting us here.
Really Unusual Tourist Attraction – A Conference Centre!
I thought this was a temple to be honest, but when we returned back to the hotel and I looked up what it was I discovered it was in fact a conference centre. You can find this on what we called the ‘jungle road’ between Khao Lak and Takua Pa Old Town. A very safe properly tarmac’d road this is definitely not a jungle road. Still looks lovely in a picture though.
With such dark skies as there is little light pollution out of the main area don’t forget to look upwards. We could see so many, and I always try & find Orions’ Belt!