Following the success of Phuket Sandbox program, Khao Lak in Phang Nga province is now reopened under the Phang Nga Sandbox. Khao Lak Sandbox is allowing vaccinated travelers to travel to Khao Lak after landing in Phuket Airport and stay in the area for at least 5 nights.
Khao Lak in Phang Nga province is one of the most popular seaside resort areas for tourism, located just 80 kilometers north of Phuket International Airport. This destination in Thailand is a perfect spot for spending holidays.
What is Khao Lak Sandbox?
The so-called "Khao Lak Sandbox" or "Phang Nga Prompt" or "Amazing Khao Lak and Koh Yao" program is a model that allows travelers who are fully vaccinated to enter Thailand without quarantine. Fully vaccinated parents can travel with their unvaccinated children (please check Thailand Entry Rules for Children).
Starting from 1 October 2021, the mandatory duration of Sandbox stay has been reduced and now you can travel directly from Phuket Airport to Khao Lak and spend the mandatory 5 nights in Khao Lak Sandbox.
Staying at Khao Lak under Sandbox program, you are free to travel anywhere and do activities within the Phang Nga "Blue Zone Areas".
Once you have completed the 5-night extension in Khao Lak and have tested negative with your second COVID-19 test, the hotel will prepare a "Release Form", which can be used to travel to other destinations in Thailand. If your stay in the Khao Lak extension area is less than 5 nights, you must proceed directly to Phuket International Airport on the day of departure. At the point of entry back into Phuket, you will need to show a flight ticket or other proof of your international travel from Phuket.
Khao Lak Sandbox Rules
When travelling to Khao Lak, you must comply with a number of conditions as following.
Documents Required for Khao Lak Sandbox
International travellers need to apply for Thailand Pass, just like everyone else traveling to Thailand during COVID-19 pandemic. Proper type of Thai visa or eligibility to use Thailand visa exemption is also needed.
For entering Thailand and using Khao Lak Sandbox, travelers need to show COVID-19 vaccine certificate with a vaccine that has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Thai Authority. Proof of vaccination must be submitted when applying for a COE.
Health insurance policy with coverage including COVID-19 related treatment in the amount no less than 20,000 USD for the total duration of your planned stay in Thailand is mandatory for everyone entering the country under Phuket Sandbox scheme. You can easily buy the special package of AXA Thailand insurance online to meet all these requirements.
You will also need to present a prepaid booking of Khao Lak SHA Extra Plus hotels for at least 5 nights (or less if you fly abroad from Phuket Airport earlier).
Proof of payment for the mandatory Khao Lak Sandbox COVID-19 Tests that must be purchased directly from Phuket Swab Appointment System (PSAS).
Air ticket for a direct international flight to Phuket Airport. If you are planning to stay there for less than 5 nights, air ticket for an international flight from Phuket to another country will also be needed.
To enter Khao Lak by using Khao Lak Sandbox model, travelers need to present the COVID-19 free certificate issued within 72 hours before departure to Thailand and a vaccination certificate. (not required from 1 April 2022)
Khao Lak Sandbox Hotels
Despite the fact that there is no quarantine requirement under Sandbox program, arriving tourists are restricted to stay for 5 nights at accommodations that received SHA++ (SHA Extra Plus) certification, which is issued by Thai government for safety and health measures standards.
You can easily book SHA Extra Plus hotels via OTA such as Booking.com or Agoda.com, travel agencies or directly with hotels. According to 11 January 2022 update from Thai Embassy in Vienna, the hotel booking confirmation must be inclusive of airport pick up*. When booking your stay with Booking.com, send the special request for your hotel to arrange the airport pick up and issue the confirmation.
*Note! Despite this note on Thai Embassy website, some of our readers report that their Thailand Pass applications were successfully approved with a fully prepaid confirmation of separately booked SHA+ certified airport transfer that is cheaper than transfer arranged by the hotel.
You must upload your SHA Extra Plus hotel confirmation in the Thailand Pass system for getting an approval to enter the country. If you will be booking SHA+ certified transportation for the trip from the airport to the hotel separately, don't forget to add the confirmation of prepaid airport pick up as an additional document.
You need to stay for at least 5 nights in Phang Nga province and you can choose from the following SHA++ certified hotels in Khao Lak here: SHA Extra Plus Hotels in Khao Lak.
Some of the best rated SHA Extra Plus Hotels in Khao Lak:
Ramada Resort by Wyndham Khao Lak - Relaxing beach-front resort in a boutique setting, close to the world-famous Similan island and surroundedby national parks.
Devasom Khao Lak Beach Resort & Villas - Located directly on the Khao Lak’s sunset beach sided by a natural lagoon, this is a resort found amid tropical garden and coconut groves. Offering luxurious guest rooms, pool suites and beachfront villas, each unit boasts breathtaking sea view and is decorated with ancient architecture of Southeast Asia.
La Flora Khao Lak - Located along the golden sands of Bang Niang beach in Phang Nga, La Flora Khao Lak offers luxurious accommodations and leisure facilities.
Aleenta Resort And Spa - Located on the sunset side of the Andaman Sea and the pristine Natai Beach, the 5 Star Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa in Phang Nga is just 25 minutes north of the Phuket International Airport, short distance away from Khao Lak, Blue Canyon Golf Course and the picturesque Phang Nga Bay. Villas are decorated in a contemporary style and provides a view of the ocean.
The Retreat Khaolak Resort - Set within a 15-minute walk from Khukkhak Beach, The Retreat Khaolak Resort offers modern rooms with balcony and free WiFi.
If you are thinking to stay in other areas of Phang Nga province, find the list of Phang Nga SHA Extra Plus hotels here ⬇️.
How to transfer to Khao Lak?
Travelling from Phuket Airport to Khao Lak in Phang Nga is available only via approved routes and by SHA Plus-certified car transfer services. You need to travel by approved modes of transport from Phuket directly to the SHA Extra Plus hotel.
Update 18 January 2022! According to the latest announcement by Thai Embassy in Vienna, airport pick up must be included in hotel reservation but some of our readers report that they successfully used separately booked cheaper SHA+ airport transfer for Thailand Pass application.
The COVID-19 test will be made on arrival at Phuket Airport. The test should be booked and paid beforehand via PSAS System.
List of Khao Lak COVID-19 Test Centers
- Andaman Hub Medical Center Tel. 076 486 799
- Takua Thung Hospital Tel. 076 581 394
- Takua Pa Hospital
- Thai Muang Hospital
If the result of COVID-19 test is positive, then you will be required to strictly follow the protocol:
- COVID-19 patients must be transferred and admitted to an MOU, hospital or a private hospital that is covered by your travel insurance for treatment immediately.
- High risk travelers must be transferred to an AQ for observation within the same day.
Other Sandbox areas in Phang Nga
Koh Yao Islands
Koh Yao is located in Phang Nga Bay, halfway between Phuket and Krabi. Koh Yao consists of two main islands, Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai, and several surrounding islets. Beautiful nature and calm atmosphere attract tourists to come here. Many accommodations can arrange excursions to the surrounding islands including the famous Khai Island and Hong Island.
Staying here, you can just go fishing by the sea, canoeing, or take a relaxing stroll along white sandy beach. Most of resorts are providing direct access to the beach and magnificent views of Phang Nga Bay and Phi Phi Islands. They also feature a large outdoor pool, water sports facilities and on-site restaurant serving delicious dishes.
Sha Extra Plus Hotels in Koh Yao Island
Some of the Best Rate Sha Extra Plus Hotels in Koh Yao Island:
- TreeHouse Villas - Located on Koh Yao Noi, TreeHouse Villas is an adult-only resort boasting spacious air-conditioned villas surrounded by lush tropical forest, cliffs and private beach of Phang Nga.
- Koh Yao Yai Village - The 4-star luxury hotel is nestled within a rainforest, steps from the tranquil shores of Yao Yai Islands. Providing direct access to a 400 m private beach and magnificent views of Phang Nga Bay and Phi Phi Islands, it also features a large infinity pool.
- Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa - Located in Loh Pared Beach, Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa offers cozy accommodations. It features an outdoor pool and a variety of restaurants.
Further Updates on Thailand Reopening
Keep in mind that during COVID-19 pandemics the rules and regulations are often changed, so we would recommend contacting your local Thai embassy before making any plans or reservations.
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