Khao Lak is a series of villages, now tourist-oriented, mainly in the Takua Pa District and partly in the Thai Mueang District of Phang Nga Province, Thailand.
The name “Khao Lak” literally means “Lak mountain“. Lak mountain is one of the main peaks in the hilly small mountainous region (maximum height 1,050 meters (3,440 ft) within Khao Lak – Lam Ru National Park. The tiny village of Ban Khao Lak, the original beach, Hat Khao Lak, and the bay of Khao Lak (Ao Khao Lak) actually all lie in the Lam Kaen sub-district of Thai Mueang district. But in recent years, presumably for reasons of convenience, commerce and marketing, the generalisation of the name Khao Lak has propagated itself northwards almost as far as the town of Takua Pa.
It is popular for its serene ambiance and as a departure point for liveaboard scuba diving trips to the Similan Islands. Khao Lak is approximately 60 kilometres (37 miles) north of the island of Phuket along Phetkasem Road (Thai Route 4), one of four major highways in Thailand. Khao Lak is serviced regularly by buses. Phuket International Airport (HKT) is 74 kilometres (46 miles) south on the island of Phuket. Though Thailand’s economy is mostly export-dependent, Khao Lak remains mostly tourist-dependent, with surrounding agriculture and commercial fishing making up a small contribution to Thailand’s overall economy.
Differentiating Khao Lak from neighboring tourist destinations like Phuket are its quiet, up-scale, secluded coastal resorts; uncrowded beaches; family-friendly nighttime environment and provincial ordinances that prohibit structures taller than the height of a coconut palm tree, keeping Khao Lak down to earth (but subject to sprawl).