Sean and I just spent five lovely days enjoying two different Thai beaches — Khao Lak and Phuket. Khao Lak is in Phang-nga Province, just a 90-minute car ride north of the airport on the island of Phuket.
After a devastatingly expensive cab ride — by Thailand standards — up to our resort in Khao Lak (trust us — leave the airport and find the bus!), Sean and I ate a nice Thai lunch on the beach. We stayed at the Andamania Beach Resort, which is just a few kilometers away from the Khao Lak city center.
Side note: on the way to the resort, we passed by a procession by Thai-Chinese people on Phuket who were celebrating the lunar new year with traditional practices like putting swords through their cheeks! We only saw bandages covering wounds like these during the Vegetarian Festival on Phuket in October 2012; this time, we saw the real deal! I took a video, but unfortunately I can’t upload it, so here is an article from the AFP. Warning: the photos are quite graphic.
For the rest of the day, we walked up and down the coast, admiring the blue sky, white puffy clouds, warm Andaman Sea water, and beautiful golden sand. That night, we enjoyed more Thai food on the beach and chatting with one of the restaurant servers, who spoke great English and was impressed by our lousy Thai!
In the morning, we swam in the ocean, walked around the resort’s gardens, took some photos, and enjoyed breakfast…on the beach of course! Later on we took a taxi to the city center, waited at the bus stop for an hour, helped a backpacking French family find a place to stay for the night, and then took a nice old coach bus to the JW Marriott on Phuket, where we met up with our friends, Michael and Larisa.
(Before the beach, we had so much fun showing M&L around Bangkok. We took them to our local massage place for foot massages, Chatuchak Weekend Market, the ladyboy cabaret show at Asiatique, the Grand Palace, Wat Po, Wat Arun, Khao San Road, Hotel Muse for dinner & rooftop drinks, our favorite breakfast spot Kuppa, the Jim Thompson House, and Terminal 21! And our friends Kevin and Air came over to meet them and to part of their Thai-fruit-taste-testing experience!)
The next three and a half days were, for me, a mix of pure relaxation and energetic activity! I went on a bike tour, took a yoga class, ran 5K on the treadmill, kayaked, swam in the ocean, and ran barefoot on the beach a couple times. But in between I read my book by the pool, listened to my podcasts on a comfy couch, slept in (which for me is post-6:30), and really got into vacation mode. It was a wonderful break from Bangkok!