My family (husband, 18 yo and 13 yo) and I have just returned from 8 nights in Khao Lak staying at the Ramada (see separate review). Wow! Khao Lak is a lovely place. So different to Patong where we stayed a couple of years ago. No jet skis. No tuk-tuk mafia. No aggressive hawkers.
We were in Bangkok for 4 nights before arriving in Khao Lak so really enjoyed the slower pace. We did do a couple of day trips. I had booked a driver with Boss to take us to Khao Sok national park where we did a 1 hour bamboo raft trip on the river then it was onto Cheow Lan lake. Here we took a longtail boat to a small village for lunch and a swim, then we were taken for a further look around the lake on the way back.. Very long day (8.30 am pickup and back at the hotel at 7 pm) but very enjoyable.
The other day trip was to Similian Islands with Khao Lak Land Discovery. We had perfect conditions and were very well looked after. There were only 15 of us on the boat so were not crammed in. The other passengers and tour guide were Germans but the guide repeated all the info in English to us. The family (not me) got to snorkel in 3 locations and saw plenty of fish, a few turtles and even a shark at the last spot. Plenty to eat and drink all day.
The rest of the days were spent by the pool or at the beach enjoying the sun.(Only rained one afternoon for a couple of hours.) On our last day we caught a taxi to the mini golf course but it was closed for the day as they were pruning all the trees.
My daughter got her hair braided on about the 3rd day at a massage place almost opposite the Pinocchio restaurant but some had already fallen out by the time we left for home. One day we went to Orchide massage just near Chef Jimme and my daughter had a manicure with colour, husband got a foot massage and I had a facial all for 1100 baht.
But my favourite was Chong Fah massage on the beach where my husband and I had a 1 hour Thai massage for 300 baht each. Lying in those huts, cool breeze, sound of the waves rolling in - heaven. After the massage we went to 'Take a seat' cafe for a coffee, banana shake and a lovely piece of mango cheesecake. Thanks for the recommendation Arandora otherwise I would not have known it was there and the lady who served us was very nice.
We only ate at the hotel once and the restaurants we tried were Chong Fah, Sawasdee, Tonsons, Chef Jimme, Mali seafood and Aroy. All of the restaurants were really good except for Sawasdee which was the most expensive meal we had. The beach restuarants Tonsons and Aroy were probably our favourites - feet in the sand, sound of the waves, entree and 4 mains and 2 rounds of drinks for just over A$20. How good is that? Unfortunately did not get to try Hill Tribes or any of the bars for happy hour but there is always next time but we did find the pancake stalls- mmm chocolate and banana.
We went to the local markets a couple of times but the saturday ones were best but do not leave it too late as they start to close up at 6 pm.It was interesting walking around the food section. Also one morning on our daily walk we went and saw the Police Boat. Amazing when you think this boat was moored 1 km out to sea. We got our laundry done through the tailor shop nearest the Ramada. 50 baht per kilo wash only.
As you can guess by this very long JBR we had agreat time. Thanks to all the people who contribute to this forum especially Arandora as it made planning our trip so much easier. But one last question - how do all those tailor shops stay in business?????