Thailand Trip 2016 – Part Two – Khao Lak

25th October, 2016

It’s been just over a week since we arrived home. Snap back to reality…oh, there goes gravity…(gee thanks Eminem…)
We’re back into routine and have hit the ground running.
Back to work, back to school.
(I’ve consumed so much wine this past week. I must be making up for the 3 weeks I missed it in Thailand!)
We are happy to be home in our own beds again. Although I am already sick of the Victorian weather. We had all 4 seasons since being home, it’s been ridiculous.

Let’s get stuck in…
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have read this post I put up a while back about our trip to Bali last November.
It was our first time to Bali. Andrew and I had organised a surprise getaway for the kids. They had no idea until we woke them at 5am to head to the airport (EPIC pull off!!)
One early evening whilst sitting by the pool, we started chatting with another Aussie couple (Kate+Danny) whose little boy (Tanner) was playing with our kids.
We hit it off. Just clicked. Right from the start.
It was actually kind of creepy how much we all had in common. After talking for a while, we discovered that we lived in the same state as each other, about 4 hours apart.
For the next few days we were all joined at the hip, as if we’d known each other for years.
We exchanged details and just knew that we couldn’t leave this as a serendipitous holiday romance and never see each other again…
6 weeks later, they all came to stay at our place for the Australia Day long weekend. That weekend we booked another Bali trip for May this year. We had a blast!
So much so, that a month or two later we booked this Thailand holiday together.
Another adventure to be had!

So, as promised, here it is…

Khao Lak is about a 2 and a half hour drive from Karon. We found a driver with a car big enough to fit us all and our luggage, paid him 3,000 Thai Baht ($115 AUD) and we were off!
4 adults and 3 kids in tow.

ACCOMMODATION

We arrived at the Centara Seaview Resort Khao Lak by mid afternoon. We’d booked a Family Residence Room, more space to spread out and the kids had bunks, so they were chuffed!
After a wander around the grounds, we all ordered some drinks and a very late lunch and enjoyed a lovely evening on the beach as the sun went down.

The resort itself is huge and stretches all the way from the beach to the main road. There are several pools, including a toddler and an adults only pool, and a water slide to enjoy.


For the first few days it appeared we had left the blue skies and sunshine behind in Phuket.

It rained, and rained. October is monsoon time in Thailand, and although we’ve been previously in October, we have never seen so much rain for such long periods of time.
It was still muggy, so the kids swam whilst the adults enjoyed the poolside cabana and cocktails.


PLACES TO EAT:

We had buffet breakfast included each day, and for lunch we would either enjoy some light meals in the cabana, or head down the road to a fabulous little cafe called Cafe’O Bar.
This place was one of our favourites!
Scrumptious Thai cuisine, and the staff were lovely. Lunch here was around $20-$30AUD including drinks. (The very best green curry and spring rolls we ate the entire trip!)

We ventured out to the main street most evenings for dinner and found some great restaurants.
We really enjoyed Mojo’s. A great variety to choose from and a kids menu. Our bill came to about $80AUD for our family of 4 including drinks. So, not super cheap, but not too expensive.

We discovered an absolute gem Go Pong. We ate here twice for dinner. The service was great, food was delicious and we fed both families for less than $35! Crazy!!
I’ve always been a little sketchy on the dodgy looking cafes and restaurants in Asia, but I was pleasantly surprised with this place. A sweet little family run business.

We also tried Pizzeria La Piccola Maria  – yummy wood fired pizzas washed down with cold margarita cocktails. We paid about $60AUD for us Barnes’.

TSUNAMI MEMORIAL PARK

One afternoon, we caught a 5 minute Tuk-Tuk ride up the road and visited the Tsunami Memorial Park.
On December 26th, 2004 the Thailand Tsunami practically wiped Khao Lak off the map.
It is mind-blowing to see the damage that the wild ocean can create.
Within hours, so much destruction and devastation. Lives changed forever.
I am glad we visited the museum – albeit very confronting and overwhelmingly emotional.

We also went for a wander along the beach a few kilometres from the Centara one morning after breakfast to a tree that has been lovingly named the ‘Tsunami Tree’.
A beautiful big old tree with photographs and memorabilia attached to it. Remembering those lost. If only this tree could talk. The stories he would tell.

 


BANG NIANG MARKET

This market is a must if you’re staying in Khao Lak. It’s on every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from mid afternoon to evening. Live music, loads of food stalls, cocktails and shopping. We found a great little stall run by a husband and wife team and their young teenage daughter. She took the orders whilst Dad cooked and Mum took the cash – a good system!
Cheap food and cheap cocktails! Big bonus – no sore tummies the next day either!

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Most nights after dinner, we would have a browse in and out of the markets, making a few purchases. Having some fun with bartering and joking with the locals.
We regularly visited ‘Madame Crepe’ for a tasty dessert. The most delectable crepes filled with anything your heart desires. My choice was nutella and banana, and all for 50 Thai Baht (less than $2AUD).
She was the cutest crepe maker I ever did see!

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I really loved Khao Lak. We’ve been to Thailand several times, but only ever stayed in Phuket and Bangkok.
I felt so much peace in KL. It was so beautiful and everything seemed to move at a slightly slower pace. Next time we visit, we’ve decided will bypass Phuket and head straight to KL.

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A FEW TIPS

– Power Adapters: If we remember, we take a power board when we travel – as well as the compatible adaptor for the wall. This way all devices can be charged together and you’ll only need one international adaptor.
– Washing: I pack a small sachet of washing powder and pegs for small items we can wash in the room, but we take most of our washing to one of the local laundries – as mentioned in the previous ‘Part One’ post. Highly recommended!
 As with many countries, if you drink the water from the tap or shower, you will most certainly get sick. Bottled water is generally provided in resorts daily, and you can also buy water at the local corner store for about 50cents-$1 AUD.
– Pharmacies: There are several on every street and they are well stocked with brands you’ll be familiar with. Most Pharmacists speak very good English, so if you or anyone you are traveling with becomes unwell, don’t stress too much! (Unless you have a limb falling off – then I would advise a Doctor…!)
– There are 7-Eleven stores on almost every corner. Snacks for kids are easy to find and cheap. Pringles, potato chips, icy-poles, nuts etc. It’s always nice to have a few snacks in the room to munch on between meals. We all know kids have hollow legs, and if yours are anything like mine – they’ll need to eat every hour!
– Tipping: Restaurants/cafes/stores etc will apply vat (tax) of 7%, and majority of these places will also apply 10% service charge to the bill. If there is NO service charge applied – a tip is usually always expected. If the service charge IS applied – no need to tip. The 10% covers this. But in saying that, it’s up to you if you’d like to leave a little extra. It is always appreciated.
– What is a Tuk Tuk you ask? A Tuk-Tuk (pronounced Took-Took) is an open air taxi. Often pimped up with a killer stereo system and lights. You’ll need to agree to a price before jumping in the back. Usually, a Tuk-Tuk ride is just a quickie. Most rides are 5-15 minutes long and will range from 150-400 Thai Baht which is about $5-$15AUD.

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– Bartering: If you’re doing some market stall shopping, bartering is welcomed and can be a bit of fun if you’re respectful and don’t try to get something for nothing. The stall holder will give you a starting price. You’ll barter back and forth for a few moments and will usually end up paying around one-third to half of the starting price.
– Check up local cafes and restaurants on Trip Advisor before dining. Often if you find an eatery super busy with lots of bums on seats – generally that’s a good sign!

If you would like to start at the beginning – you can read Part One – Phuket here….
Any questions – just ask. I love a chat.

Now, where to next…?!

Big love,
-Cx

“We don’t meet people by accident.
They are meant to cross our path for a reason” – Unknown
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2 thoughts on “Thailand Trip 2016 – Part Two – Khao Lak

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