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Thailand 23/02/02 - 09/03/02

Leaving Bangkok - Arriving at Khao Lak Bay Front Resort

Once again we don't need our wake up call. Semi packed from last night we use our last cash discount breakfast voucher before settling and awaiting the Kuoni pick up. There was a storm in the night which left part of the main drag outside under a foot of water, which was now drying out. Our company in the shuttle bus today consists of three gay guys of differing description. Notably one hugely tall with a boil on his nose, another approx four and a half foot tall with a boil on his nose, and the third reminiscent of a Monty Python cartoon character - no boil. We leave Bangkok quickly, the traffic easing swiftly. Each of our group is accompanied by a guide at the airport, two of whom are trainees. We are ushered through with the greatest of ease, remarking on the lack of security, unlike that currently imposed in the UK. The flight to Phuket is uneventful, the views on landing magnificent as we drop down low over the Andaman sea. Again we are greeted by a Kuoni guide once we have fought of the eager taxi touts. We are pleased to be heading in the opposite direction as we are driven north back towards the mainland - this time just me and Mrs A, adjoined by our new guide (whose name turns out to be Darling - which came easy for remember to me), a trainee guide (two thirds through his three month training, whose name was apparently O), and our driver. We were honoured. And our 90 minute journey was filled with Q&A on the area, and other questions of Thai living.

Khao Lak is 60 kilometers north of Phukets' airport, and is tucked into the side of the first hilly stretch of the coast in this direction. Our resort (Khao Lak Bayfront www.khaolakbayfront.com) is the third in the bay, the first three nestled together on Sunset Beach. It is simple and remote, but lovingly cared for by an owner who regularly consults his hotelier neighbours on how best to improve the area. We have chosen a sea view bungalow, and are promenaded down the landscaped path between the semi-detached cottages and past the pool, with its own bar, both perched on the edge of a lawn fringed golden beach, to our nest for five nights, literally a stones throw from everything. It doesn't take us long to realise that, with the exception of breakfast in the hillside restaurant, we may not have to walk further than fifty paces in any direction to get anything we need!

Khao Lak Bay Front, bay view bungalow Khao Lak Bay Front swimming pool Khao Lak Bay Front sunsets

The room is simple, but comfortable with all mod cons: Mini bar, aircon, en suite, a TV, and with a shop and internet point we couldn't ask for anything other than a kettle to make our Earl Grey. We hit the beach, hard. So hard that after a dip in the splendid sandy and bath-like Andaman we retreat to sleep off our afternoon by the pool, and in the room. Tonic is cheap, and with a litre of Bombay burning a hole in our luggage we retire happily to the beach for sunset as our west facing shore delivers the icing to our cake - the sun sizzling into the sea at the horizon.

There seem to be plenty of options for eating in the area, with tempting beach restaurants in our neighbouring hotels as well as traditional Thai places along the beach in both directions. And this is after only a short stroll along the beach to the north - we are told by the Rough Guide that there are plenty more. For tonight, however, we decide to try our own hotels restaurant, and are treated to superbly attentative service, as is customary for Thailand. I succumb to the Rock Lobster thermadore, and Mrs A to the steamed red snapper, both of which are deliciously cheap, at just under a tenner for the whole meal with drinks. We pass comments that it is unusual to, so soon in a holiday, have the same sense of relaxation that can only be experienced by sitting on ones' own crapper!
Summary | Bangkok | Bangkok Day Two | Khao Lak Bay Front Resort | Khao Lak Day Two | Ko Similan Islands
Turtle Conservation Festival | Leaving Khao Lak for Pimalai Resort, Ko Lanta | Ko Rok Snorkelling
Pimalai Resort and Ko Lanta Driving Tour | Leaving Thailand
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