When people refer to Khao Lak, they're usually talking about a series of beaches hugging Phang-Nga's west coastline, about 70km north of Phuket. With easy day trips to the Similan and Surin Islands, Khao Sok and Khao Lak/Lam Ru National Parks, or even Phuket, the area makes a central base for exploring the northern Andaman.
Southernmost Hat Khao Lak gives way to Hat Nang Thong, both within walking distance of Khao Lak proper (Khao Lak Town), a bland but convenient jumble of low-rise hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and tour and dive operators sited along grey Hwy 4.
About 2.5km north, Hat Bang Niang is a quieter version of sandy bliss with skinnier beaches. Hat Pakarang and Hat Bang Sak, 12km to 13km north of Hat Khao Lak, are a sleepy, unbroken sandy stretch surrounded by thick mangroves and rubber-tree plantations. You'll feel like you’ve really escaped it all there.