I posted this at the end of another thread I was on but have realised I am better to start a new post as it's a different topic.
Staying at Mai Khao Lak Resort mid December 2016 over Christmas. DH, myself and girls of 11 and 8 years. We'd like to see a fair amount of the local place during our 2 weeks. We don't want to just sit in the resort every day. Do you recommend a trip to Phuket? We want to do some of the national parks around Khao Lak, potentially stay in a lake house, visit turtle conservation, elephant bathing and may visit the Orchid/Butterfly house (would organise this one ourselves), but also I'd like to do a bigger town with decent souvenir and goods shopping one day. Is Phuket best for this? We aren't bothered about snorkelling trips/diving/islands as our youngest won't do any of that on a trip, but we would do bamboo rafting and long boat trips etc as part of national parks. We are more into the culture and national parks stuff as a family really.
Thanks for any tips - I've reviewed and saved the websites of the major trip operators out there but really after advice on shopping and day trip to Phuket.
Edit - I see that one operator does and afternoon and evening in Phuket allowing you to take in the Fantasea show - might this be a good way to see Phuket/shop and do a show?