The best beaches in Khao Lak are some of the most beautiful on the west coast of Thailand. Facing the Andaman Sea, the beaches are all perfectly placed for sunset, and many are protected by national park status, keeping them pristine. Khao Lak is also considered home to the premier surf beaches in Thailand.

    Some of the more popular beaches like Bang Niang and Nang Thong in the south have a lively feel about them, with night markets and small towns full of restaurants and bars just behind them. There are also super quiet beaches in the national park area, like Khuk Khak or Pak Weep.

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    White Sand Beach

    Take a picture on pearly white sands

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    White Sand Beach is a 2.6-km stretch of idyllic sands on the Pak Weep Coast, just north of Khao Lak’s Pakarang Cape peninsula. True to its name, the beach is popular due to its white sands lined by palms, and the waves of the Andaman lapping up onshore.

    White Sand is a relaxing beach, with an offshore reef making it better for sunbathing than swimming. There are a few hotels serving great food and cocktails at one end, but take a short walk and all you’ll hear is the sea crashing off the reef. If you plan on visiting at midday, make sure you take your shades – it gets so bright you’ll be dazzled by the sights otherwise.

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    2

    Bang Niang Beach

    Spend a day on a lively beach before visiting the local night market

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    Bang Niang Beach is a popular beach towards the south of Khao Lak, separated from Khuk Khak by a small tributary. Bang Niang is the quieter half, and the place to go for swimmers, snorkellers, or those who want a more untouched stretch of beach.

    There are some great resorts near Bang Niang, with a small town where you can find restaurants, massage parlours, and a wealth of bars and restaurants. Khao Lak’s best night market sits just behind the beach on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and it’s perfect for browsing after watching the sunset under Bang Niang’s palms.

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    photo by Stéphane Audiger (CC0 1.0) modified

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    Khuk Khak Beach

    Stroll along a wide beach that's great for nature-lovers

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    Khuk Khak Beach sits to the north of Bang Niang, on the other side of the tributary that separates the 2 at high tide. It's about 3 km long and very wide at high or low tide, with most of the views unbroken by anything other than fishing boats moored up along the shore. Great for a long beach walk, it’s also popular with surfers, and there are schools for those new to the sport.

    The sunsets from Khuk Khak are special, with its remoteness making for a picture-perfect vista. Bars like Memories Bar offer a cocktail with music, and luxury resorts like the JW Marriott welcome you to a spot of luxury among the nature.

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    photo by Stéphane Audiger (CC0 1.0) modified

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    Nang Thong Beach

    Explore rock pools and sunbathe on a sun-drenched beach

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    Nang Thong Beach is probably Khao Lak’s most popular beach, but it’s wide and about 3 km long so you’ll still always find plenty of space to yourself. Located towards the south of Khao Lak, it’s a great spot for sunbathing, and the views out to sea are dotted with clusters of rock pools and a lighthouse.

    Sunbeds can be hired for the day for pocket change, and the rock pools are great fun to search for sea animals in. You can go snorkelling if you’re happy a bit further out, and for those who prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of bars and restaurants to serve you throughout the day.

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    photo by Stéphane Audiger (CC0 1.0) modified

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    Pak Weep Beach

    Search for shells in the national park

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    Pak Weep Beach, sandwiched between Coconut Beach and Bang Sak Beach, is a small and remarkably quiet stretch of sand in the national park. The national park status prevents any noisy boats or sunbeds, so there’s plenty of space to get away from it all.

    Pak Weep is great for families, with slides and swings just off the beach in the trees. There are chilled out resorts and restaurants all along the shore facing the Andaman sunset, and at low tide there’s always a load of shells for you to pick. If you do want a sunbed then check out the resorts who are sometimes allowed a small area on the beach.

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    John Frodsham | Contributing Writer

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