Discover that heaven is a place on Earth with a trip to Khao Lak. It is home to a series of golden beaches that hug Phang-Nga's west coastline, about 70km north of Phuket. In addition to miles of glorious sand, you will be wowed by its lush jungle backdrop. The local waters are renowned for their marine life, which makes it the perfect playground for a host of water sports. The area has a great resort-feel, with hotels scattered close to the beachfront and restaurants lining the main road. But it still manages to retain an unassuming atmosphere and laid-back vibe. Khao Lak is hot year-round, but the peak season here is between November and February when the climate is drier and slightly cooler. It’s largest and most popular beach area is Nang Thong, which is teeming with restaurants, bars and shops along the main road, while large resorts front the beach. Bang Niang has more of an up-and-coming atmosphere, with some great bars and restaurants along the road that runs from the main highway down to the beach. Three times a week, Bang Niang hosts a market with food, clothes and accessory stalls. There's a friendly, laid-back vibe and most people take their time to browse, stopping for a drink at one of the pop-up market bars. To the south, you will find the secluded Khao Lak Beach, which is a peaceful refuge for nature lovers, while to the north, the beaches get progressively quieter. You can also go on many fascinating excursions as Khao Lak is also the gateway to the Surin and Similan Islands. These are renowned as some of the best diving locations in the world. Two hours east, Khao Sok National Park is an enchanting place to explore on a day trip. Giant limestone mountains and ancient evergreen rainforests provide a tranquil habitat for elephants, hornbills and monkeys, while a longtail boat ride on the impressive Cheow Lan Lake will introduce you to floating villages, emerald waters and some of the most beautifully unspoilt limestone karst landscapes you can imagine.