Just returned from 10 nights in Khao Lak and thought I would share some of our experiences. This was our 2nd trip to Khao Lak and stayed both times at Cousins Resort in Bang Niang. Travelled with my hubby Shane and 3 kids aged 8, 6 & 3. Also my parents travelled with us too. Grab a cuppa...it's a long one!!
Wed 23 Feb - Flew with Air asia from Gold Coast to Kuala Lumpur and then to Phuket – long day travel and exhausted by the time we arrived but we saved a lot of money doing it this way so would probably do it again if we got cheap flights. Arrived at Cousins Resort in Bang Niang (staying in a family room) at about 11.30pm and were met by Alan & Barbara (A&B) who had very nicely stayed up to welcome us....buggered, so went straight to bed soon after.
Thu 24 Feb – Didn't do too much today as we were all still pretty tired. Had breakfast at Cousins and went for a walk to get some milk, bread etc. Ended up at a massage place called Po-Tae Massage where I had a foot massage and my daughter had her hair braided. Massage 400b. Hair Braided 1000b. Quiet afternoon and then sunset drinks and dinner at the Chong Fah Restaurant in Bang Niang.
Fri 25 Feb – This morning we were having our hire car delivered at 9am. We hired a 7 seater Isuzu (not sure of the name – Alan knows it) from AP Car Rent in Phuket. Paid 1800b per day and 400b for delivery and pick up from Phuket. Very happy with the car and perfect for all 7 of us. We hired the car for 5 days. Once we got the car we headed off to Sairung Elephant Camp which is about 5km north of Le Meridian on the right hand side. We got a little lost but eventually made it and had a great time on the Elephants – 5 of us had never been on one so was pretty cool experience. My 6yr old son loved it. Trek for about 30mins along a nice flat track to a waterfall where you get off, take some pics and then 30mins back to the camp. Definitely long enough. Elephant suspension is not the best!! We then headed to Ma Ma Lek's at Pakweeb Beach for a catch up with A&B, lunch and a bit of beach time. That night we headed to Everyday Lazyhouse with A&B for dinner. Great place, great company, great food, great music. Loved it!!
Sat 26 Feb – Up early and headed for a walk south along Bang Niang beach this morning. Beautiful morning...so good to be in Khao Lak again!! Went to the first beach restaurant you come to after the Ramada and had yummy banana pancakes and mango shakes for breaky. Then went swimming and lazily strolled back to Cousins. We then headed to north Bang Niang beach to the Pin & Piew (sp?) beach restaurant and grabbed a couple of sun loungers (free when buying a drink or two) and lazed around for the afternoon. That afternoon we went to Bang Niang markets for a wander and a shop and then headed to Hill Tribes for dinner and bumped into A&B again and we all had dinner again (sure they are getting sick of us about now!). Now I'm probably going to get a few comments about this but I wasn't all that fussed on the food at Hill Tribes – entree's were yummy (dragon balls and something else) but the mains weren't that great. Maybe it's just me not liking northern thai cuisine?? But my family all felt the same unfortunately.
Sun 27 Feb – Today we headed off in the car to Sunset Bar which is located on the Southern end of Khuk Khuk Beach. This is our favourite beach restaurant and we were impressed with how much better the eating are, kitchen etc had gotten this year....think a few people are realising how good it is!! Morning lazing around the beach and then yummy yummy lunch of Spicy Thai Glass noodle salad and Chicken Penang curry. That night we went to Rabeang restaurant which is located just near Joe's steakhouse on a back street in Bang Niang. Nice, tidy, clean little restaurant and great food. Early night.
Mon 28 Feb – Today we headed off exploring in the car. First to the Tsunami Memorial for a wander around. Wasn't very impressed with this place and felt like it really wasn't being looked after all that well. Children's playground all falling apart and very empty with no-one else there. Further speaking to Alan about this, found out a lot of the Tsunami money went to Phuket more so than Khao Lak (even though it was more badly hit) so can understand why it is looking not it's best!
Then headed over on the barge to Koh Kho Khao Island for lunch. Ended up at a resort called Anandah which is pretty much the most northern place along that strip of hotels. Loved the look of this place....little bungalows dotted throughout the garden but still plenty of space in between. Lovely little restaurant on the beach with good food and reasonably priced for a resort. Had a swim in the water and then headed back to Bang Niang via the Barge (which for some reason took forever to leave – 1 hr of waiting later and we finally got back to the mainland) Great day out and we were all tired so had an easy stroll to Chong Fah Restaurant for dinner and early bed.
Tue 01 Mar – Last day with the car today so up early and headed north to Bangsak Beach for a look. Had a quick look at the Haadson Resort (lovely) and saw a big massive construction site just north of the Haadson....it was huge and found out later that its the new Gracelands Hotel (sorry to offend but I don't like big hotels and this one looked bigger than big) which is suppose to be opening at the end of this year. On an absolutely gorgeous stretch of deserted beach which unfortunately won't be deserted for too much longer. Then drove over to what use to be the Bangsak Beach Resort which I have now learnt is going to be a new resort too. Hopefully something small and tasteful!!! After this headed to White Sand Beach for breakfast at Ao Thong Restaurant and a morning lazing around the beach. Only place in Khao Lak where we had to pay for our sun loungers 100b each. Very busy with around 4 rows of loungers times by the 3 restaurants and there is not a lot of room to move. Ended up going for a walk north along the beach and going through part of was use to be the Similan Resort and then back again. Quiet afternoon at Cousins pool and then headed to the Sunset Bar for a special sunset dinner. A&B joined us and we had a great time with lots of great food made by the owner Nop. Love the Sunset Bar!!
Wed 02 Mar – Car was picked up this morning and we just decided to have a lazy day around the pool. My dad went off and did a half day cooking course at Everyday Lazyhouse with Goi the owner. Picked up at 8.30am and taken to the markets to buy the ingredients and then back to the restaurant to cook the 3 courses. He made Prawn cakes, Glass noodles with chicken & massaman curry. Cost was 1200b and he loved it! That afternoon we said goodbye to A&B who were heading off to Western Australia for two weeks of exploring in a campervan. Was sad to see them go and Cousins didn't quite feel the same without them there. Oh well, we will see them again next year....same time, same place!!! That afternoon we did the markets again for some more shopping and then the grandparents babysat while me & hubby went and had a massage and dinner at the Mali Restaurant in Bang Niang – very hot indian style curry...yummy though!!
Thu 03 Mar – Headed up to Pin & Piew restaurant again for a day at the beach. Had lunch there and the food was amazing – very impressed. That afternoon my oldest daughter and I headed off to have massages and our nails done at Po-Tae Massage again. That evening we went to Chong Fah Resort for happy hour cocktails (5pm-6.30pm buy 1 get one free) 200b per mojito and they were yum. We then headed up to Jade Restaurant which use to be the old Coconut Grove. Located just next to the Fanari Resort on the beach. Very impressed with the food here and have to rate it as one of the best meals we had. Will definitely be back. Our last night with my parents as they were flying out the next day to Sydney so was great to have such a nice meal.
Fri 04 Mar – My parents decided to have a lazy day around Cousins pool and getting organised for their evening flight. We headed back up to Pin & Piew for a day at the beach again and some more yummy food. All the girls at P&P are very friendly and were keeping my 3yr old daughter and another little 3yo german girl very entertained. Was a great day and perfect to end our holiday on. Said goodbye to my parents and then headed to Rabeang again for an easy dinner.
Sat 05 Mar – This morning we were being transferred at 10.30am to the airport so we got up early and headed south along Bang Niang Beach. Ended up at the last beach Restaurant you can go to before getting the little ferry across the inlet. Restaurant was called Ahoy and was really nice. More banana pancakes and mango shakes and then time to head back for our transfer to the airport. Another long day of travel via Kuala Lumpur and arrived back in the Gold Coast at 8am Sunday morning. Exhausted and then drove 2 hrs to the Sunshine Coast and home!
Had an amazing holiday in Khao Lak and already organising next year. March/April for at least 2 weeks this time....10nights just wasn't long enough. Hope this JBR was informative for some people...please ask any questions if you want to know more.
Link to some holiday pics:
(let me know if the link doesn't work)