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     Khao Lak's remote location 100kms north of Phuket has always made it a destination for those seeking quiet relaxation. The beaches are ideal for long walks and the warm clear water perfect for swimming. Within a short drive are several excellent national parks if you want to explore tropical rainforests, waterfalls, exotic wildlife and hot springs. Scuba divers and snorkellers will think they've found heaven after experiencing the underwater splendors at the Surin and Similan Island Marine Parks, both considered world-class dive sites.

     Like a Phoenix rising from the rubble left behind by the devastating 2004 tsunami, Khao Lak has returned with a vengeance. The rebuilding began almost as soon as the debris was cleared and today this small coastal town has enough infrastructures to attract tourists back to its stunning beaches. The town itself lies primarily along a point on the coastal road that winds its way from Phuket in the south to Ranong in the north. A cluster of small restaurants, travel shops and mini-marts provide the basics. Most of the resorts are located on the sand at the town's main beach, an 8km stretch of beautiful uncluttered sand. Although only about 40 per cent of the resorts have been rebuilt, there's a decidedly upmarket feel to the new Khao Lak. Evenings in Khao Lak revolve around sunsets over the Andaman Sea, a cold beer and seafood from the daily catch.

     Despite being the hardest hit by the 2004 tsunami of all the beaches in Thailand, Khao Lak is back in business. Its beaches are as clean and beautiful as ever and life slowly continues to recover. Accommodation spans from inexpensive beach bungalows to mid-range and upmarket resort hotels. Getting to Khao Lak is straightforward via Phuket International Airport, which is 75 kilometres away. Here international flights land from neighbouring Southeast Asian countries and from the Thai capital, Bangkok. Once at the resort, most attractions can be covered on foot but taxis are on hand for longer journeys.

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