The purpose of this holiday in Thailand was to explore the Andaman coast. So I booked a room at the Monkey Dive hostel in Khao Lak and got a flight from Bangkok to Phuket. The beachtown of Khao Lak is situated 100 km north of Phuket. Here long white sand beaches are backed by forested hills.
Nowhere outside of Aceh was hit harder by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, but the town has done some significant tourism resurgence since the tsunami. The Chinese and Russian mass-tourism hasn’t arrived in Khao Lak yet. Though the town is well equipped to tourists and has plenty of accommodation, shops and restaurants.
A major reason for many tourists is that Khao Lak is the most practical base to explore the Similian and Surin islands (70 km off shore). These islands are known for the excellent scuba diving. No wonder that so many dive shops are based in town.
I divided my time in Khao Lak between reading books on the beach and scuba diving in Similian islands NP. In the weekend I visited the festival in the main street that was organized to celebrate the end of Buddhist Rain Retreat and the start of the tourist high season.