Around here is brilliant for people who enjoy activities in the sea or in the jungle. The town is just 84 kilometres from Phuket but doesn't have all the noisy nightlife of Patong beach. It is much quieter with some really good hotels. It was hit very badly on the day of the tsunami but the hotels have rebuilt and are now better than ever.
The National Parks
These are the inland national parks, not to be confused with the Marine national parks, which look after the islands along the coast.
In Laem Ru and Khaolak National Parks there are trekking trips and elephant safaris organised by specialist companies.
The elephant trekking is really good, and the view from the back of one of these great beasts is probably the best way to see the jungle.
The Asia Safrai Camp offers half day treks in the jungle, or there are more extensive day tours with bamboo rafting on the rivers
This can done on the same trip as an elephant trek. It's one of the delights of Thailand to sit on these simply constructed rafts and float downstream under the guidance of a local oarsman.
Viewing the jungle from here is just about the opposite to the elephant ride since you are down at grass roots level. It's peaceful and graceful with a good chance of seeing some interesting birdlife and reptiles.
Close to Khao Lak there are some jungle waterfalls to visit at Ton Pling which is accessible from the 'main' road and Bo Hin and Sai Rung. The latter two waterfalls are close to Pakweep Beach
The sea offers all sorts of great opportunities to explore the natural world either under water or from a kayak.
There are plenty of places where you can rent a kayak and go 'sea canoeing' The most popular area to go is Phang Nga Bay, famous for its limestone caves and the James Bond film.
Snorkelling can be enjoyed just about anywhere along this beautiful stretch of coastline. The waters are clear.
For those wanting to go deeper and further then trips out to the Similian islands is an option divers often take. Regarded as one of the 10 best dive sites in the world this archipelago of small outcrops of rock brings wonderful underwater adventures.
The islands are uninhabited but overnight stays can be arranged with the national parks department - www.np.gov.th