I can very well remember our first trip to Thailand. After a long flight I fell asleep on the one hour drive from Phuket airport to our hotel in Khao Lak. Eventually a pothole woke me up. When I opened my eyes I saw water buffalos on the meadow. The car made a sharp left turn and there it was: my paradise. What a great start to a new adventure. Even the kids loved it and they couldn’t get enough watching the green, green jungle. Our driver was heading for a car park a few seconds later. Here it was our hotel: in the middle of paradise – at the South Beach of Khao Lak. In front of us the sea and the jungle-covered hills behind us. What an overwhelming sight!
Tired but very excited we checked into our small hotel. The people are incredibly friendly! That was what the children realized immediately. Welcome to the Andaman Sea. Yes, we all felt very welcome! Traveling with three children this, at least in Europe, we often have made very different experiences. Here we have found our dream. So we even keep coming back.
Khao Lak is compared to the tourist resorts of Phuket a more relaxed region and it has a lot to offer. The crystal clear sea is ideal for swimming. On the endless quiet beaches a long walk is a highlight for the whole family. There is always something to discover. The Khao Sok National Park with the Cheow Lan Lake is only a one hour’s drive away. Jungle feeling at its best! The fascinating Phang Nga Bay with the James Bond Rock was another highlight for us. Parts of the James Bond strip „Tomorrow Never Dies „with Pierce Brosnan and parts of Hangover 2 were filmed here. It is an incredible experience for the whole family to explore the bay with its impressive rocks, caves and grottos by canoe. Many rare species of animals that we before only knew from books or television, can be observed here.
A snorkel – or even diving tour is a very special experience. The underwater world is fantastic and the islands around are a paradise in paradise! We all love it. If you are planning such a trip I advise you to look for a serious tour operator. They might be a bit more expensive but it is definitely better to feel save rather than to save a few cents.
Unfortunately Khao Lak also has a very sad side. In 2004, this magical region transformed within minutes into a nightmare. Khao Lak was hit very badly by the tsunami. You can imagine the power of nature once you see police boat that was thrown 2 km inland by the destructive power of the sea. This also is part of Khao Lak.
Just on the other side of the road there is the market. It takes place on Wednesday and Saturday and it is definitely worth a visit. There is a lot to discover and to try. Great food!
Another advantage for us, being a big family, is the fact that the costs are relatively low compared to our prices at home. Even for the smaller budget, there are very nice accommodations. Other costs, such as eating out and getting the clothes washed are very family friendly. There are numerous very good and cheap restaurants. Only the organized tours are quite expensive when booked with reputable tour operators. But they are worth it. Health wise we only had problems with a pinched hand, a normal virus infection. In these cases, the medical care was always excellent and the local hospitals are well equipped. This is also an important point, especially if travelling with kids.
I can really recommend travelling to Khao Lak even for families with samller smaller children.
Each end of the year we discuss with our children the travel plans for the coming year. If we ask the kids where they want to go, the three of them agree: Khao Lak!
With sunny regards