About Khao Lak - Lam Ru
Located around 80 km north from Central Phuket, Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park is a small park covering an area of 125 km² in Kapong, Mueang Phang Nga, Takua Pa and Thai Mueang districts of Phang-Nga Province. While only less than a couple of km2 of the park is along the coast to the Andaman Sea, the park accompasses mainly tropical evergreen montane forests with highest peak at 1,077 meters asl a bit further inland.
The park is popular for a couple of small beaches near the park headquarters and Ton Chong Fa Waterfall which is only 12 km from the park headquarters. There are also several trails in the park for longer hiking that require guide assistance.
The Indian Ocean tsunami that hit the coastline of Thailand in December 2004 caused 4,000 deaths at Khao Lak area which was the worst affected area in Thailand. The coastal areas of the park were also badly affected by the tsunami.
The park is home to various interesting species like Sunda colugos (Sunda flying lemurs), binturongs, Malayan weasels and Indochinese serows. On various websites, the presence of Malayan tapir is mentioned, it is likely based on historical data, due to poaching no more tapirs found in parks this size.
There are over 170 species of birds reported from the park. Some less common bird in Thailand recorded from the park are; chestnut-rumped babblers, short-tailed babblers, lesser crested terns, scarlet-rumped trogons, thick-billed spiderhunters, rufous-winged philentoma and red-crowned barbets.
The national park is also home to many interesting species of reptiles and amphibians; Equatorial spitting cobras (Naja sumatrana), red-headed kraits (Bungarus flaviceps), Jasper cat snakes (Boiga jaspidea), snake-eater wolf snakes (Lycodon ophiophagus), twin-barred tree snakes (Chrysopelea pelias), spotted tokay geckos (Gekko monarchus), Robinson's stream skinks (Tropidophorus robinsoni), amboina box turtles (Cuora amboinensis) and Burmese bushfrog (Gracixalus carinensis) have all been reported from the park.
There are regular public minivan routes between Phuket and several destinations north or north/east from Khao Lak that pass the visitor center area of the park near the coast. These minivans can be easily arranged via hotel reception teams. For shorter trips a private transportation is recommended, these too can be arranged from the hotels.
The visitor center area has a smaller designated area for campers, several park accommodations, shower/toilet facilities and a nice restaurant with a nice sea view.
Entrance fees & opening times
As of June 2022, the entrance fees are 100 Baht for adults and 50 Baht for children 3-14 years old. Thai citizens pay 20 Baht for adults and 10 Baht for children. The entrance fees can be paid at the visitor center or at the entrance of various attractions.
Khao Lak - Lam Ru National Park is open 8 am to 4:30 pm every day, the restaurant is open 8 am till 6 pm or 7:30 pm depending on how busy.
Stay & eat
There are four accommodations at the visitor center area near the main beach for 800 Baht per night Fri to Sun or 560 Baht from Mon to Thu. These can be booked through the DNP website in advance. As the money transfer must be done within 2 days and the fact it takes a longer time with transfers from abroad, it is only possible to book from within Thailand only. Payments can be done at 7-Eleven convenience stores or banks.
Camping is only possible at the southern end of Khao Lak Beach, near the main visitor center.
There are only a limited number of tents for rental for 2 to 3 people from 225 Baht per night and sleeping set for 60 Baht per person. Tents can only be rented on arrival, no guarantee there will be any available. If you have your own tent, 30 Baht will be charged to use the campground.
There is only one restaurant next to the main visitor center at the coast and another one at Ton Chong Fa Waterfall. The restaurant meals are very expensive compared to most other national parks in the country with an average price at around 200 Baht.
You are recommended to ask a Thai speaking person to call on your behalf.
- 076 410 241 Visitor Center
- 076 485 243 (Headquarters)
The attractions of Khao Lak - Lam Ru
Visitor Center area
Visitor center area has a couple of beaches and a kilometer long trail from one beach to the other. At the nearest beach there is a designated camping ground, shower/toilet facilities, few accommodations and a restaurant.
Small Sandy Beach
As the name suggests, it is quite a small beach, accessible directly from Highway 4 or by a kilometer long nature trail from the visitor center. The trail is clear and easy to walk.
Khao Lak Beach
This is where the visitors are allowed to set up tents. While referred to as Khao Lak Beach, the real Khao Lak Beach to the north is not really part of the national park. The bit inside the park is a bit rocky, a couple of hundred meters wide, between the park area of the visitor center and a rocky coast at the south end of the real continuous Khao Lak Beach. From the rocky part, it takes a few hundred meters to reach the real Khao Lak Beach. There are shower and toilet facilities at the parking area, the restaurant is only a couple of hundred meters away.
Ton Chong Fa Waterfall
Due to being very near Khao Lak, it is the most popular waterfall in the park. It is only 6 km from Highway 4 (Phet Kasem Road), 10 km from Khao Lak Village and 12 km from the national park visitor center.
The falls have 5 tiers of which few are very small, the main fall is a 10 meter high drop. The first kilometer of the walk after the checkpoint is on a narrow dirt road which later continues as a clear forest trail for less than a kilometer.
It is possible to swim on some ponds at the falls, the 5th tier has a bigger one.
There are no public transportation options to the falls, also no restaurants or shops nearby. Visitors are recommended to have enough water with them.
Lam Ru Waterfall
A 5 tier waterfall located at south of Kapong, nearly 45 km from the visitor center. It is the largest waterfall in the park with medium size tiers.
There are no public transportation options to get there, no restaurants or shops nearby.