|The New Resort Area North of Phuket|
It s Quiet, It s Relaxed, It s not Commercial
Khao Lak is a new section of the Andaman coast north of Phuket that is developing as a quiet, low-key get-away. This stretch of beach perhaps 30 kilometres long now has about two dozen bungalow resorts, many of quite a good standard, many with prices from 1,000 to 4,000 Baht. Cheaper ones are still available. New resorts are growing rapidly, and one 5-star establishment is due to open at the end of 2001.
This new resort area begins at, and stretches North from the tiny but scenic National Park called Khao Lak. It is little over an hour’s drive north of Phuket, and when approaching it the road rises steeply over the mountain headland that is Khao Lak. The road breaks out of the forest on the northern crest of the headland, offering a wide panorama of beach that stretches into the distance. The first resort is right at the bottom of the mountain.
The beach here is quiet and tranquil, and most of the resorts have built low density bungalows amongst the trees. Small beach bars snuggle in the trees at the high water mark, and are inviting and relaxing. Sunsets here can be spectacular, with the red orb of the sun melting into the ocean horizon.
The water here is pleasant and warm, though do expect it as deep and clear as on the beaches of Phuket, which, as an island, has the advantage. Mainland beaches never quite match those of islands. But for sheer relaxation, Khao Lak is difficult to beat. There is little entertainment here, few noises and little distraction.
The mountains in the back do offer some adventure: elephant trekking, white water rafting in some seasons, and trekking in the mountains and forest. Khao Sok National Park, a magnificent preserve of rainforest, is little more than an hour’s drive away, and anyone wanting seeking adventure can rent a car and drive the backroads through the mountains. It is possible to make a circular trip from here through Phang Nga’s beautiful mountains. The route is obvious if you can find a good map. (our map of this region will soon show this)
Such adventurous activities are relatively new to the area, are not well developed and the options offered by the resorts here are still few. But things are changing year to year. Ask the reception of the resort. Or do as most visitors to Khao Lak do - just stay in one place and really relax.