Wow! where did that 3 weeks go? They say time flies when you're having fun...and boy did we have some fun :-)
you might need to get a cuppa this is going to be a very long story....hope I don't bore you too much!
Our holiday started at 4am on 5th Sept when we packed the car with our suitcases.....much to the discust of our cat sitting thinking "are they leaving again?" poor thing haha
Flew Air Asia Perth to KL to start with and then another flight KL to Phuket, ($194 return each bargain) all went well, great flight and had pre-booked hot seats
7e & f, movies and meals, before we knew it we were in KL, got through customs, immigration and the fingerprinting all very quickly which was good as I had expected big queue's, I must say that I found LCCT a lot bigger and better than I had expected too, plenty of places to eat and shop, checked in our luggage to Phuket, had lunch and proceded to our boarding gate with an hour to spare....boarded the plane on time 4.15pm only to be seated on the plane and wait for another 30mins (they were waiting on another passenger that didn't end up arriving) anyway all good going and finaly our flight took off for Phuket.... whoo-hoo!!
Arrived Phuket at around 5.15pm, got through immigration etc very quickly, collected my sim card and off we went, greeted by our driver from Boss Taxi's, he was holding up my name but we really would have got by without it as we all knew each other straight away, lovely guy, then starts the drive up to Khao Lak, and what a lovely drive it was too, the new Sarisin bridge is looks great now it's all finished and cuts out a bit of time..... or was it the way speedy was driving haha
First of our 5 hotels during our trip was Khao Lak Merlin, we love this resort and have been talking via e-mail with Chin over the last few months, she put us back into our pool access room from last year as requested, check in was lovely and friendly with a nice refreshing drink and cold towel, Chin had left me a note as she wasn't there that evening and we were to catch up next day
This is our 2nd stay here and it didn't dissapoint, still a beautiful resort, arrived just in time to catch the last of the sunset before it disapeared for the day, (after watching sunrise over Perth and set over Khao Lak how magic is that ;-) )
had dinner that night at Veranda on the beach front (Merlin restaurant) Oh yes Khao Lak is still as beautiful as ever :-) only one thing.....
"we're the only Aussies in the village" LOL (you have to see Little Britton to understand that one)
There is new guy at the entrance of Merlin (guard or bellboy) who was a funny dude, he asks "how are you tomorrow' to which we kept replying "i will tell you tomorrow" haha
The next couple of days were spent on beach massages, beach walks, great food,catching up with our Thai friends from last year, Jo's seafood and KL massage where we gave their little girls Aussie pressies koala's etc they loved them,
As i got very sunburnt on the first day I decided to have a nice aloe vera massage...... not such a good idea after all when you are sore ouch!! i went in thinking ah a nice soothing aloe vera massage, lay face down on the massage bed and next thing...OUCH!! i though a steam roller had run over me lol (not funny at the time though i can tell you!!) she was massaging my back before the nice soothing 'aloe vera', how can one tiny little person carry so much body weight?, it was nice later when she did apply the nice soothing aloe vera gel though, but i will think twice about that one next time lol most painful massage i have ever had haha
We had a catch up on Wed lunch time in Khao Lak town with a couple of fellow TA members thanks Malboy and mrs Malboy for a great lunch it was great to catch up, we had lunch at Discovery Cafe, the food was great
Hubby ordered some eye-glasses from Top Chareon Optical, he got transition lenses bi-focal and I got a 'free' pair of good sunnies, so we were happy with that, it is the shop far south of town on right hand side going towards Merlin resort, cost about $325 for the lot
We hung around town for a while shopping before having dinner at Fisherman Bar where we went last year a couple of times, which now has new management, good food and few drinks before getting a taxi back to Merlin
Well...... come Thurs 8th Sept there goes all the peace and quiet of Merlin Resort when the neighbours from hell moved in :-/ (not the only Aussies in the village anymore.....they are from Melbourne!) are they just letting any old rif - raf into here these days, OMG how loud are they??? well one of them is (wish we had those ear-muffs haha)
It's ok, don't panick they are friends and we had this holiday planned with them for a long time....but come on.....next door!!!! lol
we spent the next couple of hours hanging out in the pool having a couple of drinks and chatting and proceeding to shrivel up like 4 old prunes lol until we all decided to go get ready and go out for dinner...Jo's restaurant was it, where i ordered tiger prawns like the size of small cray fish mmmm! they were delish! much to the discust of mr pepie who spent the rest of the holiday trying to find the same meal.........which he did eventually haha
It was great to catch up with pepiemelbourne (TA name) and mr pepie again and we all had such a fantastic time and we laughed soooo much during our few days together :-)))
Friday evening the 4 of us set out to meet up with malboy and mrs malboy at a little family restaurant they had found and loved at Bang Niang, it had recently opened up again and sorry but don't know the name (there is no name on the restaurant, it is maybe the last one on the road before you turn onto the beach road to Chong Fah Resort) anyway, we all had a fantastic evening and a lot of laughs (must put that on my 'blob' private joke!) after dinner they set out big cushions and a low table with candles on it out on the lawn by the little pond ahh it was so beautiful there just an awsome atmosphere, and a lovely balmy evening, they are a lovely family that run and own this restaurant and the food was great (as you can see I love food haha) at the end of the night they arranged a ride home for us back to Merlin which was really great of them, lovely little place you guys must go there :-)
Saturday had a massage at a new massage place near to Merlin, Apissara (not sure if the spelling is right?) it is at the end of the new precinct there, good massage too we will be going back there next time too
Saturday evening the 4 of us went off to the markets, got Boss to send one of his drivers for us 200bhat, as it had rained on and off all day we didn't know if the markets would be on but all good and the rain held off, got some good bargains and a pair of fisherman pants for 50bhat good one! they are so comfortable
we ate at Ta Kieng restaurant opposite the markets (thanks to cocotang for the recommendation) had a good meal sizzelling seafood platter which was lovely but i would have liked more prawns, it seem to have got a lot of squid and occy on mine (but that's me i always get the dregs haha) the others were all good with more fish and prawns, anyway not too fussed i still enjoyed it, we had wine too only 150bhat glass and as we had a few glasses each in hindsight we should have ordered a bottle (or 2) all good anyway!
during our meal the heavens opened up again and down came the rain, ok while we sat there but when we came to leave was a different story, and could and should have just hopped straight into a taxi.... but oh no! not with me around, there is a shop open opposite that i found at last minute last year and didn't have time to shop in it sooo... guess what? with brollies in hand we all run over to the shop in the pouring rain but it was funny at the time too after the wine lol anyway after a bit of a look around the shop and the rain getting heavier by the minute we decided ok we will go home now, TAXI...... there were a bunch of taxi guys outside so asked how much to Merlin? 300bhat they say.... "say what?? we only paid 200bhat coming here"... so while we are all standing around with our brollies and getting very wet 'trying' to barter over 100bhat difference it rained more haha finaly we said ok 300bhat (they wouldn't let up) but we were the only tourists left around the place and everyone else closing up (now back to the only Aussies in the village haha) and mr pepie said i can't believe that you are standing around in the pouring rain haggling over 100bhat...anyway the taxi driver said wait there which we did and 3 guys came up behind the taxi and he hopped in, they then all proceeded to push the taxi to start it!! WELL... we all just lost it and cracked up laughing with which i said to the guy that they have to pay us 300bhat to get in it lol!! the ride home was a laugh and one of which we wouldn't want our kids to tell us about if they were doing it haha talk about a mad mouse ride, pouring rain, windy roads going around the bend on the wrong side of the road, and i don't even have photo's of this either :-/ things we do!!
well it rained heavy all night and we were due to go out to Cheiow Lann lakes and Putawan raft houses next day so didn't know if it would go ahead? anyway, all good in the morning cloudy but not raining, so off we went the 4 of us to the lakes picked up by Sunya (one of Boss drivers) we knew him from last year so it was good to see him again, great guy and we had more laughs along the way and all day, it was a beautiful day stayed cloudy with a bit of sun here and there but managed to get a swim and a lovely lunch,
they have some new raft houses at Putawan now with a wooden frame bed and sliding doors and windows, all built since last year and as we were there as returning guests they gave us a new one each to rest and change in for a few hours
the heavy rain set in about 2.30pm you couldn't see the mountain it was so heavy, but 3.30pm off we sailed in the longtail boat all togged up in our so called water-proof poncho's haha
we were mant to go sightseeing on the longtail boat but it rained so much on the way back (and did it rain) we only managed to get a bit of sightseeing in between the rain showers, but it did make for another good laugh, our eyes were watering we laughed so much, but once again no photo's to support this story as our cameras were locked away in a waterproof bag
the markets i wanted to stop off at on the way home were now out of the question as it was still raining heavily so just headed back to the resort, got back at about 7pm and had room service meal that night, pretty looong day but a great day ;-)
Monday we moved on to Ao Thong bungalows at White Sand Beach, and left the neighbours behind haha they headed home on Tuesday, it was a sad farewell to them even though we were only going up the road haha I hope we get to do all that again next time pepie thanks for such a great time :-)
we had a great last few days at Ao thong bungalows, (see my review in a few days time) we were the only guests there (only Aussies in the village again haha) had the new family/large bungalow which was lovely and only few steps to the beautiful beach, the rest of the time was lovely weather wise, few small showers here and there but nothing much, had some lovely beach walks and the meals at Ao Thong restaurant are brilliant, we had some of the BIGGEST tiger prawns that you could find mmmm!!
The new tailor shop is next to Ao Thong (it has been mentioned on TA before) strange place for a taior though?? not belonging to Ao Thong but renting the space that used to be the tour kiosk, they also have a shop in Bang Niang, La Moda Suit it's called,couple nice guys (for tailors) didn't push or anything and as it was convienient with staying there i had 3 pairs of trousers made and all turned out good quality 5000bhat for the 3 pairs, hubby had 4 pairs of shorts made (under protest he and tailors don't mix, especially on the beach part of our holiday haha) anyway we will see how long they stay there?? only because of the location, their prices and work is good
During this last week in Khao Lak we had one night over at Thanyamundra Resort in Khao Sok (see my review) it's a 5* working organic farm resort on the edge of Khao Sok national park WOW! is all i can say on this place and it over exceeded my expectations and once again we were the only guests, we are beginning to feel a bit special haha as it was for our anniversary they had set up a special dinner for us, our butler, yes we had a private butler Kitty, he is a great guy, he picked us up at 6.45pm and drove us in the little golf buggy down this small road and stopped alongside a pathway lit up with candels leading to a thatched roof sala all set up with flowers/orchids and candles for a special dinner, set in amongst the rice paddies and fields OMG it was soooo beautiful and what a great night we had with our butler and 2 other staff the restaurant manager Gor who done a fantastic job with the meals and wine and Nu, they waited on us all evening, thanks guys we will never forget that night it was amazing :-)
next morning i made myself wake up at 6.20am..... no not to use the gym (although i need it now) or walk or cycle one of the many tracks..... not that energetic haha but to watch the mist and sun rise over the mountains....now that is AMAZING! what a beautiful sight to wake up to in the morning along with the sound of the gibbons and all the birds singing, If you want a bit of r&r and luxury out in Khao Sok national park then this place is a must do, fantastic resort highly recommend it :-)
Back to Ao Thong for last couple of days and few drives around Bang Niang and Khao Lak town again, had lunch and drinks at Nong Prew restaurant and bar on the beachfront, loved it and found our dream home (or hotel /business for sale) would love that place!
A bit of teary good bye to Mr Nueng (and my best dog Lily she is soo cute) who has been just brilliant with us, we will miss him but will see him again next tiem, we had a great stay
So it is now time to say good bye and leave beautiful Khao Lak once again :-( we had a great time last year and fell in love with it but this year was even better, can't wait for another visit
Sorry this was a long JBR and well done to anyone that actually read the whole lot, hope it wasn't too long and boring (even more to tell but can't fit everything in haha)
Khao Lak http://tiny.cc/owpyu
Cheiow Lann lake/raft houses http://tiny.cc/ylzq2
Thanyamundra resort http://tiny.cc/oiubi