Khao Lak/Lam Ru National Park

Hat Khao Lak

Immediately south of Hat Khao Lak, this vast 125-sq-km park is a collage of sea cliffs, 1000m-high hills, beaches, estuaries, waterfalls, forested valleys and mangroves. Wildlife includes hornbills, drongos, tapirs, serows, monkeys, Bengal monitor lizards and Asiatic black bears.

The park office and visitors centre, 3km south of Khao Lak proper, off Hwy 4, has little printed information, but there’s a scenic open-air restaurant perched on a shady slope overlooking the sea. From here, there's a fairly easy 3km (one-hour) round-trip nature trail south along the cape to often-deserted Hat Lek.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hat Khao Lak attractions

1. Tsunami Museums

2.19 MILES

Tsunami museums have become something of a cottage industry in Khao Lak. Several have popped up in shops located close to Boat 813 – at least four at the…

2. Boat 813


This police boat was hurled into an open field 1km inland from Hat Bang Niang (2.5km north of central Khao Lak) by the powerful 2004 Boxing Day tsunami…

3. Ton Chongfa Waterfall

2.94 MILES

This tiered waterfall makes for a nice half-day trip away from the beach. You can reach the park entrance by travelling 5.3km from the main road. From the…

4. Tsunami Memorial Park

15.43 MILES

The wave-shaped Tsunami Memorial Park in Ban Nam Khem, a squid-fishing village 26km north of Hat Khao Lak that was nearly wiped off the map in the 2004…

5. Phung Chang Cave

22.75 MILES

A dam at the mouth of this cave created an artificial river, which visitors can explore, first by kayak and then bamboo raft as the cave narrows…

6. Thamtapan Temple

22.94 MILES

This unusual Buddhist complex (the name means 'Heaven and Hell' temple) has cave shrines, a dragon tunnel and a collection of grotesque figures…

7. Ko Panyi

26.82 MILES

A stilted Muslim village clings to this small karst island, where most tours dock for lunch. It's busy, but Ao Phang-Nga tour operators can arrange for…

8. Khao Sok National Park

27.17 MILES

Khao Sok National Park is close to the Andaman Sea, and possesses the classic Andaman topography: signature fern-covered limestone cliffs that shoot…