This time i was travelling alone and set off on the 14th April for a flight with Singapore Airlines from Manchester to Singapore and then on to Phuket. I found this flight much better as previously i have flown Emirates where you have to change connections in Dubai and then Bangkok which can add up to 7 hours of airport transit time i only had 2 hours with SA.
On arrival at the hotel i was given my chosen location which was for a room overlooking the Spa Pool and then wasted no time in heading to the beach for the afternoon. A few staff changes from last November but still some of the same faces and it was great to see them again.
My first night i dined at the Rim Lay on the beach and had a wonderfull meal of fried rice with shrimps vegetables and cashew nuts washed down with a chang. I must say that dining on your own for a woman at first i had to pluck up the courage to go but soon came to the conclusion that i could not starve for 3 weeks i like my food too much.I did find it a bit lonely as there was a lot of couples having romantic meals and it wouild have been nice with my partner.I had aranged to meet a couple from Australia but just missed them as they had eaten earlier but did meet up with them later.
The next day i decided after a few hours of swimming and relaxing after the jet lag to take a walk and find where Kai's seafood place was. I could not find it came to the Bangsak Beach hotel and assumed it was near here ,there was a shack that was all shut up further along the beach so carried on walking. Bit of a mistake as it was so hot and i had no water with me and only expected to walk about 30 minutes to Kai's have a drink and then go back. I saw a local who when i asked for restaurant for food and drink told me to carry on . I was really thirsty by this time eventually i came to some steps leading off the beach i had walked for 2 hours and found myself at the promenade at Bangsak near the Haadson resort and the Kontongscu restaurant. Did i need that chang. Luckily i bumped into some friends who were having a lunchtime drink and meal and they very kindly offered me a lift back. While there i arranged with the owner for a taxi to pick me up that night so i could dine there. My taxi was prompt and i had a very enjoyable evening as the driver was waiting for me i invited him to dine with me as his english was very good and i have been trying to learn a bit more thai. The meal was very good and i would rate this place as the second best meal i had this trip. After the meal i was then asked if i would like to go to a party as my driver was a football referee as there was a championship match the next day and managers and coaches were meeting in Takua Pa from Bangkok so i went and had a fabulous time meeting all these different people who all spopke good english .
I also went into Khao Lak and the food in Jai's is still very good also went to one of Arandoras favourites The Everyday which was good i had Mossamon Curry. Another night i went to Mr Poos this has now changed hands it is by the Merlin Hotel and is now called Hello Bar service here is very good and i felt very comfortable here and the fish i ordered just melted in my mouth it was delicious.
The best meal that i did have was at a place in Takua Pa called Bamboo River Floating Restaurant. To find this place it was dark and you turn left out of the Le Mridien on highway4 it is on your lefthand side approx 15-20 minutes by car it is after the first built up area that you come to there was quite a few eating places on the road and also some stalls you then turn off onto a track on your left which takes you to this restaurant which is a houseboat and you reach it by a gangplank on the river. I went with some of the lads from the Le Meridien who do the beach towells.The setting was lovely as we chose a table looking down on to the river and the food we had was unbelievable so many delicious
dishes. there was the tom yam goong soup. crab rings in batter and sweet chilli sauce which were amazing, some fried fish which was flaked and crispy the taste to this was wonderfull, also some other dishes one was curry in a coconut sauce ,a noodle dish ,and king prawns ,vegetable rice also steamed rice and the biggest steamed fish in a fantastic herb and lemon sauce so much food we could not eat it all and drinks. There were 5 of us and the bill 1000baht. This place was out of all the restaurants 10/10 for service ambiance and most of all the best food i have ever eaten in Thailand out of all my visits.I went here on my last night and was so glad i saved the best till last.Anybody who does want to find this gem of a place either ask the guys at the Le Meridien to write you down where it is so a taxi could take you or ask a local as it was a place that they know off.
I did not do many trips this time i did not fancy similan islands as the seas were getting a bit choppy. The highlight was my trip to Phi Phi on the Songthai from Phuket. This was the pHi Phi island and sunset cruise . I arranged a taxi from Khao Lak to Phuket including the return after the trip with Mr Sam from Phuket. The Songthai is a wooden sailing vessel and i am so glad that i made the effort to get there. The sun was shining the seas were calm and it was also Earth Day 2008 so where ever we went we cleaned up the sea bed of rubbish and also on the beach. The snorkelling was so good we went to a secret place called hideaway bay not yet discovered by other operators if you like coral it is really good here. Next stop was Phi Phi and here we snorkelled through a cave and we were met by a wall of fish i have never experienced anything like this before it was so amazing. Lunch was onboard and it was a thai buffet all the food fresh cooked on board . Next stop monkey beach and more snorkelling some of the fish we saw were so beautifull even cray fish. We left Phi Phi about 15.00 hrs after going to Maya bay and some other must see sights and sailed back towards Phuket. We anchored in a bay at 19.00 hrs and had a thai BBQ the food again all fresh cooked and was delicious while we watched the sunset. We got back to Chalong Pier at about 21.10 hrs a little late as it usually gets back at 20.00 hrs but we all had so much fun. Mr Sam was waiting for me and we then headed back to Khao Lak. I got back to my hotel around midnight.
The weather was on the whole quite kind as there was only one rainy day where it rained all morning untill 14.00hrs. Some times the rain came around 15.00hrs but the locals did seem to think that the monsoon season was early this year. Most days it was sunny and hot untill the rain but by this time i had had enough sun anyway.I had heard April was the hottest month and it was so hot i ended up burning and had to cover up for a few days.The day that i left the hotel they were taking all the sunbeds off the beach and brolly's due to the changes in the weather and high tides.
I also had a few more dresses made at Mr Monty's it was nice to see them again and the new premises.
Into my second week there seemed to be a lot more British arrive and it was nice meeting everybody and i had many happy nights at the Rim Lay as that is where most went. Also Happy Hour at the Le Meridien.
My first few days i wondered had i done the right thing travelling alone as it is not the same as going with your hubby or partner. But when people realized that i was alone i made many new friends. Would i travel alone again yes i will but next year i will go earlier Feb/ March. My only disapoinment was that i could not try two of the recomended restaurants as they were closed for the season Kai's and the Boatyard still allways next time.